Blogs

Blog #88 - What mods do you use for Tatooine?

This post is part of a continuing series I've been doing for Darth Varkor's next movie.   He mention that other than using Xarwarz's skins for Dantooine, that he was pretty open to suggestions. The next area we'll be talking about possibly improving is Tatooine! When you set up your ideal Tatooine, what mods you do use?  Please list the mods that you use below for both the interiors, skyboxes, and the exteriors of this planet.  You can mix and match here so if there's parts that you like from one set of skins and you substitute a few of them from another mod, let us know which you use.  (You can let us know why you do so as well!) In addition to skins, let us know if there are other Tatooine mods you use - fixes and other things - that you also use. For these, I'd definitely like to hear your rationale for using these.  Go ahead and point out any model fixes if there are any. Finally, please add pictures to illustrate your points.  Don't attach a link to make us see it on another page though.  Have an IMGUR link (or something similar) or put it right in the post. If you have questions, feel free to ask. By the way, I'm still looking for feedback on the M4-78 EP.  If you would rather do that anonymously, PM me.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #87 - I want your TOP 10 issues with the M4-78 EP

I'll have to get working on the rest of the YouTube documentary eventually but I'm going to need your input in order to proceed. I'd like you to list which version you played, either version 1.2 or version 1.3. This is very important as some issues may have been fixed in 1.3 that were present in 1.2 !  (However, I still want to hear them as the documentary will cover each version in chronological order.) I'd like you to list where you acquired the mod. (Was it from here, MODDB, Steam?) I'd like you to list up to 10 reasons each - and no more than that - of what were the most significant issues you thought were holding this mod back.  Throw your well-written walls of text at me.  If you can't think of 10 right away but can think of some more later to bring it closer (or all the way to) 10, you can update your entry at a later date. One entry per person. (Hence me mentioning about the updates.)   This shouldn't be considered a debate thread as I won't be defending the mod.  I just want to hear what you have to say.  Your quotes may be pulled from your entries below to show the perceived common consensus among players. Thank you for reading. PS: I'll be in Hawaii for about a week so I'll not be glued to the site.  I look forward to reading your comments when I get back.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #86 - What mods do you use for the Ebon Hawk?

I was asking DarthVarkor about skins he'd be using for his next movie.  He mention that other than using Xarwarz's skins for Dantooine, that he was pretty open to suggestions.  Let's tackle an area that we know that'll be in next movie . . . the Ebon Hawk.  When you set up your ideal Ebon Hawk, what mods you do use?  Please list the mods that you use below for both the interior and the exterior of our favorite star ship.  You can mix and match here so if there's parts that you like from one set of skins and you substitute a few of them from another mod, let us know which you use.  (You can let us know why you do so as well!) In addition to skins, let us know if there are other Ebon Hawk mods you use - fixes and other things - that you use as well. For these, I'd definitely like to hear your rationale for using these. (You don;t have to explain the area model fixes as that's just common sense.) Finally, feel to add pictures to illustrate your points.  Don't attach a link to make us see it on another page though.  Have an IMGUR link (or something similar) or put it right in the post. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #85 - So you need a soundtrack cover for KotOR I and/or II...

So you've ripped the tracks using our of the guides out there or you're just that clever with using Miles Sound Tools that you didn't even need one.  Congratulations!  You have that music to listen to to your hearts content. But what of the artwork that you probably want to track tag your MP3's with?  What ever shall you put in there?  Well, I have you covered.  (pun intended)  Here are two examples if nothing else comes to mind and . . .  a template if you have the picture and don't want to fiddle around with the text too much. If you use my template, feel free to post your KotOR II themed IMGUR link in a post below.  

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

 

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Sandral-Matale Feud Ending Guide

This guide is requested by @Sith Holocron. In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, there is a side quest on Dantooine named “Sandral-Matale Feud”, which you receive after you have dealt with Juhani at the grove and met the Jedi Council. This quest line revolves around a family feud between the Sandrals and the Matales, mainly between the patriarchs of each family, Nurik Sandral and Ahlan Matale. The questline will lead to a heated confrontation between Nurik and Ahlan, and there are multiple ways to resolve the questline. This guide will provide details on the different ways to resolve the Sandral-Matele feud, and how to achieve those endings. Here is the link to my Sandral-Matale Feud Ending Guide

Leilukin

Leilukin

#5: Lips

Apparently, I'm one of only a few individuals who still has access to the CSLU Toolkit, software that can output phonemes based on an audio and text sample. Historically, this has been pretty much the only way to generate LIP files for KOTOR so characters' lips will flap when they talk. LipSynchEditor converts from CLSU's PHN format to the LIP format, but to do that you need the PHNs first... unless you want to make lips manually, but that isn't practical. Unfortunately, the Center for Spoken Language Understanding's servers have been offline for a long time. As such, it's currently impossible for new users to install the software required to generate these PHN files. Only a few veterans like myself still have it installed. And I can't even guarantee I'll have access to it forever. It's currently installed on my old computer, but not on my newer system that I built after the servers were offline. I doubt the computer that does have it will last forever, so it's probably only a matter of time before I lose access to CSLU too. Until then, though, I'm able and willing to generate lips on request. And I've gotten a few requests already. Now, I don't want to make a habit of this and get stuck as the guy who does everybody's lips for them because making lips with the CSLU Toolkit is a long, boring process. What I can do for you, though, is tell you can do for me so I don't have to do all of it for you. If you follow the instructions below and send me all the necessary files, all I have to do is hit a button and send stuff back to you. And I have no problem doing that. CSLU requires three things: 1) audio of everything you want to create a lip saved as an individual mono WAV files; 2) a text file accompanying each audio file that contains the words spoken in that line of dialogue; 3) a master list matching each audio file to each text file so it knows what to process. First, you need your VO files in the mono WAV format that the CSLU Toolkit wants. If your VO is new, you merely have to make sure to save it in this format. If you're working with VO from the game, you'll need to convert it first. The game VO files are generally MP3 files with extra bytes added at the start of the file to confuse us. Stripping this header will restore them to regular MP3 files. This can be done with a batch script and you can read up on that here. That will make them MP3, but they still need to be converted to WAV. Any old audio converter can do this. Freemake Audio Converter is one I use for Windows. Alternatively, you can use the Miles Sound Tools to play and convert the VO directly from the original game format to mono WAV. Next, you need to write out all the words spoken in every line and save them as text files. I typically name the text files the same as the audio files. You then need a list of all your audio and text files. This is the most tedious part of the process, but fortunately I've attached batch scripts below to make this easier. text.bat will create blank text files for each audio file. You still have to type the dialogue into them, but at least you won't have to worry about the file names. list.bat will create the master list. It will search for every WAV file and create a line in the list for each one, saving all this as lips.txt. My script assumes each text file is named the same as each audio file, so if you want to use this script, that's required. Send me: 1) all your mono WAV files; 2) all your transcribed text files; 3) your master list of everything to process. Once I have all of those, I can run CSLU's script to generate PHNs and send them along. I can also batch convert to LIP if you want, because that isn't nearly as big a deal as all the above. If you want me to make lips files for you, post a comment below with the necessary files attached or linked, and I'll get to work. Lip Batch Scripts.zip

JCarter426

JCarter426

Entry #7 - The Prodigal Knight: OUT NOW

Hey everyone, The day is finally here. The Prodigal Knight is finally out and viewable for everyone. Four years of work culminating in this final film You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BZpAZM43Zo What a journey this has been. Thank you so much to all of you for your patience and support in particular this year as the first half of 2018 was a bit rocky for me. This has been exhausting, but so much fun, and I'm so glad I could see it though to the end.  To my countless voice actors - you know who you are! - thank you to all of you so much, again. Please feel free to leave any kind of review, feedback, etc., you like! That's all for now, I really hope you all enjoy it.    Now I suppose I should look at adapting that other Knights of the Old Republic game? Hmm, maybe a short break first...     Take care,   ~ DV   Oh, and you might wanna stick around until after the credits...

DarthVarkor

DarthVarkor

Blog #84 - New version of a 10 year old video

This version of the content permanently replaces my old version.  It was 10 years old and it was showing it's age. It needed some work on it.  Hopefully the effort shows! A little background: To those that always wanted to see the cut romance ending to Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic for Dark Sided female characters, now you can. (Yes, I know Revan is canonically a male, but you have to play as a female to use this mod.)  Thanks again to JdNoa for creating this great mod.  To download this mod for yourself, visit here: JdNoa Alternate Female Romance Ending    REQUIREMENTS: In order for you to be able to make the mod work you’ll need the following things to happen in your game: Your PC is female. You have followed the Carth romance as far as possible before the Unknown Temple (i.e. you got the "I think I could love you" conversation and responded appropriately). You took the DS path at the Unknown Temple.   FAQ: I know Revan is canonically male, but you can't romance Carth as a male without additional mods, nor would I want to. (He has too many trust issues.)  Yes, Revan is invulnerable for the fight with Bastila but this video isn't about the fight, but for the lines that Carth says.  This new version adds new titles, new end credits - that likely led you to this description - and adds the Star Forge falling into the sun with an appropriate fadeout.  This mod was created from pre-existing sound files that always existed on the KOTOR game discs. They were not re-voiced.  I cut together some of the various conversation options to make a smoother experience . . . and so I didn’t have to show each conversation more than once. To those that will inevitably ask/state/yell “Hey Carth, the ship is RIGHT BEHIND YOU!”, please realize that Carth didn’t want her to survive the Star Forge’s destruction.  He was sacrificing himself and hoping she would do the same.  Who’s to say he didn’t tinker with the Ebon Hawk so they *couldn’t* take off, right?   CREDITS: I used the following mods (or portions of them) with the aforementioned mod by Jdnoa in this video. They are listed in no particular order. Kexikus’ High Quality Starfields and Nebulas 1.2 – Fenharel’s Female Player Corruption – https://www.nexusmods.com/kotor/mods/1232 Curtis1973’s Star Forge Plus CM Effects Pack - https://www.nexusmods.com/kotor/mods/1138 Crixler’s New Saber Crystal Pack version 2.5 –     Redrob41 Party Model Fixes and HD Bastila –   DarthParametric’s Revan’s Hoodless / Maskless Flowing Robes for K1 –   Sithspecter’s Revan’s Flowing Cape and Belt Fix – https://deadlystream.com/forum/files/file/709-revans-flowing-cape-and-belt-fix/ ZimmMaster’s Revan’s Jedi Robes – https://deadlystream.com/forum/files/file/466-revans-jedi-robes/ (Note: the TXI file needed for ZimmMaster's mod is included in DarthParametric’s mod listed above) Drewton's Darth Malak - Dark Lord of the Sith (2.0) - https://www.nexusmods.com/kotor/mods/773/ 
(Note: I turned the armor to greyscale as I thought it gave him a better look. He's not in this video for very long though. LOL) DarthParametric’s KOTOR Comic Republic Uniforms for K1 -   and finally . . . Sith Holocron’s Remove the Menu Beeps from KOTOR and TSL - https://deadlystream.com/files/file/313-remove-the-menu-beeps-from-kotor-and-tsl/   SPECIAL THANKS: To Reddit user “tmnfrog” for providing the save.  That user saved me countless hours so I could jump straight to where I needed to record.  Thanks! Here's a link to the video.  I've made a link rather putting the video here so YouTube sees the actual engagement.  Please leave likes and comments there so I know what you liked about the video on YouTube. And please subscribe to the channel so you don't miss out on future videos.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

 

Entry #6 - The Prodigal Knight is FINISHED

"It is done, at last... it is done."   Hey everyone! Wow, what a month or so it has been. Re-casting Zekk went better than expected and the film, as of today, is officially done and ready to go. The film will be going public THIS FRIDAY. For any of my voice actors; look out for a little surprise coming sooner than that... I cannot express enough how much this means to me, this began as a "what if?" project back in November 2014 and since then the channel has grown to over 1000 subscribers and lots of people excited for the final chapter. I honestly can't convey enough my gratitude for all the support I've received over the past four years and I'm so excited to release this film. It's the biggest and best yet, I've tried to go out with a bang and hit you all in the feels at the same time. Fourteen months worth of work is about to pay off, and I really hope you all like it as much as I do. No film is perfect, but I'd being lying if I said I wasn't proud to round off adapting one of my all-time favourite games with this film. Alright, that's enough boasting for now. If you haven't seen it yet, the theatrical trailer is now out (link below). I really tried to make it as ambitious as possible and give it a modern spin. Looking forward to hearing what you all think on the finished film. @UnusualCharacters, I know I've thanked you a million times but I want to thank you again so, so much for coming on board not only for extra HK lines, but for breathing new life into Zekk and giving him a completely new take. You're the best! I'll post back on Friday when the film is out. For now, enjoy the trailer!   ~ DV   P.S: Would anyone be interested in a Q&A style video with the cast and crew after the film is released? I posted about this earlier on my status update, reckon it would be a lot of fun. Let me know!

DarthVarkor

DarthVarkor

Flexin at the Anchorhead's Cantina

I have only finished watching "Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)" recently, and those scenes inside the Jabba's Palace was quite memorable for me; one of them particularly is that performance of an alien singer with dancers. I thought the ambience of Jabba's Palace was quite match-up with what's inside the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic's Anchorhead's Cantina, so I decided to ask the band there to play one of my favorite tunes, "La rue" by the amazing Cortex, to kind of fits the atmosphere from Jabba's- while enjoying the beauty of the Star Wars Universe at the same time. Video:  

ebmar

ebmar

 

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: Redeeming Bastila Guide

In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, on the summit of the Temple of the Ancients at the Unknown World, you will be confronted by Bastila, who has fallen to the dark side. During the confrontation you will be provided the opportunity to determine which ending you will get, and there will be consequences of your choice there. If you choose the light side ending by rejecting Bastila's suggestion for you to reclaim the title of the Dark Lord of the Sith, you will face the fallen Bastila again in the Star Forge. Depending on your dialogue choices, you will either successfully convince Bastila to return to the light side, or you kill her if you fail to do so. This guide will provide in-depth details on how the mechanics of redeeming Bastila on the Star Forge works, and which dialogue options will give you better chance in successfully redeeming Bastila. Here is the link to my redeeming Bastila guide

Leilukin

Leilukin

Blog #83 - GUI elements from the Star Wars movies

In some mods I've seen, there has been a shift to use more modern looking elements for in-game lighting and advertisements.  Though pretty, they don't seem to accurately give the "feel" that the Star Wars movies do.  After all Mass Effect isn't Star Wars and vice versa.  Therefore, I've created this blog entry to simply show off what I think those computer interfaces should look like by using pictures from the movies (and the production studio that created them.)   These shots come from the following Star Wars movies and are in no particular order: TFA, Rogue One, TLJ, and Solo.  

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

 

Be Right Back

Had lost my close cousin two days ago. This is my first time experiencing this kind of "loosing" an important part in my life. I have been in a breakup and/or failed in anything before but it feels whole lot different. As I'm writing this down I don't want to be pitied nor any intention of me to spread any gloomy air around the forum. I just want to apologize if I can't reply, not delivering any stuffs or even as active in the forum like before, least in the meantime. It is so hard for me even to only sat in front of my PC, like I don't know what I wanted to do. I even wrote this from my phone. Hope to be back soon. ☺️

ebmar

ebmar

 

*IMPORTANT* Entry 5# - The Prodigal Knight has been delayed indefinitely.

AUDITIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO AUDITIONED.      Hey everyone,   Well, this is a post I had hoped I'd never have to make, but here we are. I regret to say that the final film in my series: "The Prodigal Knight" is on an INDEFINITE hiatus. This is due to my main voice actor for Zekk becoming AWOL and failing to meet various deadlines and (recently) no longer responding to my emails at all. Because of this, I have finally decided to part ways with this voice actor. I want to say now, that I hold no ill will against this person, this is not a character assassination or a rant against him, but I can no longer continue to delay this film because of him. I have an understanding of his situation and I wish him all the best, but I don't feel it's fair on myself to be kept waiting any longer whilst wondering if I will ever receive the final sets of lines to complete the film.  What does this mean for the project? Well, first of all: IT IS NOT DEAD. This project WILL eventually be done, I promise. This setback, however, means I must now re-cast Zekk for this final film and find a new actor to re-record ALL of his lines for this film, not just the remaining few. I won't be happy with releasing a film where the lead changes voice halfway through. They don't do it in the movie industry, and I don't see why I should either. This will take time, yes, but I have all the lines written and ready to go, to be sent in one large batch to whoever eventually takes the part.  Auditions for the part are now OPEN. If you are interested, please contact me directly on here. Or, if you have a recommendation for a voice actor, please send it my way. Please note I am NOT able to offer any voice actors any form of payment other than my undying gratitude and an early download link to the film before it goes public. I will not being looking into paid voice acting sites, either.   If you want to audition for the role, you must fit the following criteria: - Have access to  HIGH QUALITY/professional level recording equipment. I am not *too* picky, but background noise and/or gaming headset mics are a no go.  - Have a link to at least one existing showreel you are willing to share with me, so I can hear your work before considering you. - Be punctual when replying to emails and meeting deadlines. - Able to act using a deep and confident tone. For further reference, please consult my previous films to see how Zekk sounded.   Please remember: This is a BIG part, with a lot of lines. Please don't audition for this role if you are not up to the commitment.   Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me as I make it through this film. It will see the light of day, I promise. And I hope you will all agree when I say it will be worth the wait.   ~ DV

DarthVarkor

DarthVarkor

Blog #82 - VO should be done last in large projects

This blog post is actually for my own reference so I don't have to seek out which of the many posts I've mentioned it in. When folks mention their "big modding project" or their "huge overhaul" of either KotOR1 or KotOR2, here's what I used to quote...     If you actually wish to see if a large scale project will make it to release, see if they follow this advice.  If they don't, that project likely won't make it.  You may use the above quote to remind folks when "the next big thing" rolls around.

#4: Mods from the KOTOR Saga

The need at all for this blog post blog post brings warm feelings to my heart. We’ve always had a decently-sized community, but we were always kind of under the radar of the modding community. I’ve had people who have known me for years as a modder tell me they were surprised to find out I was involved with the movies as well. But it’s true - I’m one of the animators for the KOTOR Movie Saga. More than ten years ago, I was inspired by the original KOTOR Episode I to make my own projects. I initially made some comics, which I’ve posted about here, and I later started my own movie adaptation of KOTOR II (which I still haven’t finished). The director of Episode I @KOTOR_Trilogysaw the work I was doing there and asked for help with Episode II to do a few things he couldn’t do on the Xbox version. I also worked with him to update Episode II when we screened it at MAGFest, and then we were asked to come back within a year for Episode III. At the time, @DarthYcey was working on his own KOTOR II films and he came on board so we could actually get the film done in time. We now consider his Meetra films as a continuation of the Loganverse trilogy in one shared KOTOR Cinematic Universe, but that’s a whole mess of a story that I won’t get into right now. Anyway, @Jenko also joined us and more recently directed the special edition of Episode I, which just had its birthday last Thursday. So that’s the four of us. Mr Director and his three animators. We’re currently in preproduction on two new projects: Revan, a prequel trilogy set during the Mandalorian Wars, and Heroes of the Old Republic, an anthology webseries of little side stories that wouldn’t fit in the films. Until now, all these goings-on have occurred in the shadows. We never drew any attention on LucasForums. I think I posted Episode III when it came out and nobody replied. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d put it down to LucasForums not having a very active fan media section. There were forums for for it, but not a lot happening in them. People went to the site for mods. On the other hand, a lot of Loganverse fans (myself included) discovered the movies because they were specifically looking for Star Wars fan films or new KOTOR content, and weren’t necessarily interested in modding the game. So there isn’t as much overlap as one might think. Recently, though, I’ve noticed we’ve started to attract more notice - or in more cases, actually, I’ve learned that certain individuals were already aware of the films and just never mentioned it to me (maybe because they didn’t know I was aware of and involved with them). Whatever the case, we’re out in the open now and while it wasn’t a big secret before, I’m now trying to be more open about my involvement and exactly what that entails. And that segue brings us back to the matter at hand. Lately, I’ve seen requests for some material from our films to be released as mods. I want to talk about why that hasn’t happened so much and what you can do to maybe change that. First, I want to point out that not a lot of our stuff would work as mods. The scenes in the films were recorded solely for film purposes and utilize a lot of camera tricks and editing that can’t be done in the game. Most of the scenes aren’t complete in-game cutscenes. Even when I do program an entire scene, I don’t input each specific camera angle in the dialogue file that you’d need to do for a mod. Instead, I record the entire scene from every camera angle and turn the footage into a multi-cam sequence in Adobe Premiere. I do it that way because the game generally forces you to change angles at the start of a line of dialogue, but we don’t always want to do that when editing a film. Mr Director even asked me about this one time - he was wondering if, provided they had all the right files, someone could execute a scene and essentially see the whole movie in the game. And I could probably do that, but it would involve a lot more work than is necessary to make the movie and I’ve only ever done what’s needed for the movie. Unless we specifically plan for a scene to be released as a mod, it’s not a realistic prospect. What’s more eligible for release would be the assets we use to create these scenes - characters, outfits, locations, that sort of thing. And there hasn’t been much of that - yet. We’ve had to hold ourselves back a few times when we thought stuff would be filmed on the Xbox and therefore couldn’t utilize any modded assets. A few times this wasn’t necessary, and if I could redo things with that knowledge, Episode III would look a fair bit different. Canderous wouldn’t wear blue armor and a lot of the characters on Korriban wouldn’t wear officer uniforms. There were only a few cases where we knew we would record on PC and could do whatever we wanted. The earliest such case I recall is the Sith outpost scene early in the film (the one recorded in the Vulkar base). Since Logan had changed so much between films, Mr Director wanted his outfit to change too. We knew that I’d be recording that scene and that Logan would change clothes early in the film, so it wasn’t a problem to give Logan a custom outfit there. I dug through my files and we ended up using a texture I’d made years earlier. Another one that stands out is the Zabrak character Kondor Moderro. I remember making that the night I got back from the Episode II screening. We had a creative meeting in Mr Director's hotel room; he told us his plans for the character and asked if it was possible to add a new alien to K1 since we’d have to record all Moderro's scenes on PC anyway, given that he was a new character. Bastila’s outfit was another addition and in that case it was actually because there wasn’t a mod for it. Again, we knew her scenes would be another PC thing (you can’t use the Xbox freecam during those duels) so Mr Director thought of changing her outfit. He saw something he liked online but the mod was never released, so I came up with an approximation to use for the film. Things have changed since then - from now on, we’re recording everything on PC and the new projects involve new characters and locations that most definitely will involve new assets. But from our past works, only a few isolated bits come to mind. And for those, the most common scenario is that it simply hasn’t occurred to us to release it. As I mentioned before, Mr Director is an Xbox guy, and of the animator trio I’m the only one who has released mods at all. I’ve been on the modding scene as long as I’ve been working on these movies, but the other guys only got into this stuff for the films. So the real question is why JC hasn’t released anything. Again, the usual answer is I didn’t think of it. I’m really bad at releasing things. I have tons and tons of unreleased material - unfinished or abandoned project, things I changed my mind about, or some stuff I just haven’t used yet. Logan’s Episode III outfit was one such case. That was one of a bunch of textures I made back in 2009 and I still haven’t used the others for anything. I have a backlog of useless assets and a lot of it I don’t think is worth releasing. Not necessarily because it’s bad (and a lot of it is) but because of the futility of it. “A bunch of robe recolors I made in 2009” doesn’t sound appealing for a mod. Plus there’s all the work required to test the mod (I don’t get much time to play the games these days) and write up a proper installer so it will be compatible with other mods (I usually manually edit my 2DAs and other files and have a totally garbage build with years of such clutter that barely works for recording purposes) and taking screenshots (I hate taking screenshots) and so on. The mods I actually do release are only released thanks to a focused, concentrated effort to release them instead of letting them sit on one of my hard drives forever. There’s more in there I’ve forgotten than I remember. My incompetence aside, there are a few cases where we’re specifically reluctant to release our assets. It’s not the case for everything, and we likely could be persuaded to release some things, but it’s an ongoing concern for us that our films contain a lot of new content and don’t come across as footage of a 15-year-old video game. We want everything we make for the films to look and feel new, and to release that content, if you could see all the same stuff outside of our films, there’s a risk it could detract from that experience. I don’t feel that way about everything, but I do have mixed feelings. And because I’m not working on these films alone, even if the material in question is something I made on my own, if it’s I made it specifically for one of the films then I wouldn’t feel comfortable releasing it without getting the other guys’ approval first. And even though I think they’d probably say yes for some of it, I haven’t done so because there isn’t anything I’m particularly motivated to release. I made all this stuff for the films, not as mods. That goes for a lot of my own stuff as well. Some assets I have made with several uses in mind, such as my head resource, which end up being used in the films but weren’t made with that specific intent. When tha does come to mind, I do set it aside for release. But most of the time, I’m in one of two mindsets on this. Film, or mod. I don’t usually think of doing two things. If there’s anything from our films that you’d like to see released as a mod, the most proactive thing you can do is let us know. We can only say no on a case by case basis and we have to know what in particular people want released. It’s not like we’re hoarding all our files, but even though we know that generally there’s probably stuff from our films that people would want, we aren’t inclined to upload anything in particular without some nudging first. We gotta know what you want then and you gotta make us let it go. So if you make a mod request for it, then we can address the matter. I couldn’t end this post without a little promotion. If you want to talk about the movies to us directly, you can join our new discord. And if you’re reading this but you haven’t seen any of our KOTOR movies, the best place to start is with the Episode I: A Familiar Path Special Edition.

The Sith Code X The Revanchist

While ago, I'm surfing through Youtube using the keyword "The Revanchist", trying to find anything interesting and then, the main page leads me to a song by Trivium which the band I've known from about 2006 with their song "The Crusade"; to be short- one of the best Metal band out there! \m/. Then I'm like "wow, Trivium's new song, and the Revanchist? Interesting, let's see..." and the first thing on my mind listening to the first 30 seconds of the song was "this gotta has to be some speech in it. It has to!". Not long, I remember the voice submitted by @DarthVarkor to @Sith Holocron's "Korriban Expansion: Working [only] on the Voice Files (WIP)" thread, I downloaded the file and played the voice along with the song and they fit perfectly; with no cut-drag edit required! From there I contacted SH to ask about it and SH suggested that it would be more consistent if the voice is male and suggested @UnusualCharacters to get a go with the VO. I contacted UC to do the VO and here are the result. A mash-up of Darth Revan's "The Sith Code" whom recited by UnusualCharacters and Trivium's "The Revanchist", with an end-credits dedicated to mods which are currently used on my KotOR playthrough. Hoping y'all enjoy this video, as much as I do! Note: Kinda feel the Force is strong with this coincidence, like the Sith code was meant to be there along with the song in the first place 🤣

ebmar

ebmar

 

Entry #4 - "Where's The Prodigal Knight?"

"I have no set release date in mind, but I'm looking at Spring/early Summer potentially, though, don't hold me to that!" - Me in my January 2018 blog. Oh boy was I right on the "don't hold me to that" part...   So, hey guys! It's been over five months since my last entry, so I thought I'd give you all an in-depth update on TPK, and why it's taking so long. Before I explain I just want to make one thing clear: This project is not dead. It's alive, and you will see it this year, I promise. In March I uploaded a new trailer with a release date of "Spring 2018", as I don't need to tell any of you, that release time came and has now gone. Truthfully, I can't give an exact date yet, this is because I simply don't know, and I really don't want to rush anything. I've been working on this film since June last year, and it's been a very busy twelve months. So starting from the beginning... - June 2017: Legacy of the Sith is released, I go straight into production on TPK. Complete the first 3-5 minutes of the film quite quickly. - Late June 2017 - July: I went on holiday for nearly two weeks, and with also visiting family I was away for pretty much a month. No progress on the film. - Late July - end of August 2017: Resume work on the film, around 25 minutes is complete by the end of August. - September 2017: My first semester of my final year at university starts. Open the flood gates to the hell of third year work. - September - November 2017: Consistently balance working on the film and uni work. - November to December 2017: Our film shoot at uni starts, 12 hour exhaustive days. I go straight into the edit of that film after. Still find some time to work on the film. Just arriving on Malachor V. - End of December 2017 - Semester ends! I have about an hour of the film done. First teaser trailer released on Christmas Eve. Go home for Christmas, eat a lot of food. - January 2018 - Return to uni and film work. - February to April 2018: Film work slows down, waiting on lines from actors and my uni work ramping up. I have another film and a 10,000 word dissertation ahead of me all due by May. - April 2018: Film shoot begins. 12-14 hour days shooting, the most exhausting few days of my life. Straight into edit after, deadline is not far away. I also finish my dissertation in this period. - May 2018: All deadlines are handed in. By this point, I have not worked on the film in over a month. FINALLY receive some lines from a voice actor. Back to work on the film. I hit around an hour and 25 minutes. - Late May 2018: Officially wrap SHOOTING on TPK. Begin working on promotional material whilst I wait for lines. - June 2018: As of now, the film is done EXCEPT for lines from voice actors. Every After Effects shot, colour grade, part of the sound mix, etc. is done. All I have to do on my end is plug the lines in when I get them and create the credits sequence.   So that's where I am at. As you can see, I have been incredibly busy, but, I've tried my hardest to work on the film where I can. I really can't wait for it to be done so I can start releasing the promotional material (got a couple of nice surprises planned) and then the film itself. If all goes well, and I receive all the lines by the end of July, then the film will be out for AUGUST. But, again, don't hold me to that. Thank you all for bearing with me through this, I promise it'll be worth the wait! Want even more proof it's nearly done? Here's a screen shot from my final mix timeline, once I receive the lines from my actors the next 30-40 mins will be exported and join this timeline below to fill in the gaps. (The film has been edited slightly out of sequence):   TL;DR: It's nearly done minus lines from actors.

#3: Porting

I’m glad to be able to talk about porting. It’s not the subject itself that I find as mysterious and alluring as some forumites seem to, but it’s been such a taboo topic for so long that I find it refreshing to be able to talk about everything I’ve been repressing. Porting content from one game to another within the same series (e.g. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords) is now allowed on Deadly Stream. Because I’m allegedly “staff”, I was told about the change of policy a couple days before the official announcement, and I was shocked. I’m still shocked. Honestly, it feels weird discussing the topic even now. Not in a bad way - like I said, it’s rather liberating - but in an I’m still having trouble believing this is a thing sort of way. This would’ve been my tenth anniversary on LucasForums, if it were still online, and I was on the FileFront forums for a bit before that. Porting was always banned and I don’t remember when it wasn’t. When Deadly Stream went online, it maintained the same rules, and now that’s changing. It’s a shift in policy older than this website, put in place before many users here even played the games. It’s a surprise, to be sure - and I expect a welcome one for many. Given the nature of this modding website, I expect anyone reading this likely knows well enough about porting, but not everyone is a modder or PC gamer and I have been asked before what porting is and why it’s a big deal. Porting is taking copyrighted content - models, textures, music, or what have you - from one game and putting it into a different game. It’s a kind of modding, but the distinction is that regular old modding works within the confines of whatever game is being modded, editing the existing assets and/or adding new content created by the modder, while porting involves something that wasn’t in the game and that the modder doesn’t have the rights to. Why is this a big deal? It isn’t in some communities. Different sites have different rules, and some do allow it. But it wasn’t allowed in the KOTOR community until now, though I feel I need to add a qualifier to that. It was kind of unclear. Porting was certainly against the rules on LucasForums, and with LucasForums went the KOTOR community. While I was a reviewer for KOTORFiles part of my job was to make sure the mods I reviewed didn’t have anything that wasn’t allowed. We were, for example, instructed to be on the lookout for TSLRP when the beta was leaked. If you were to ask me if porting were allowed I think I’d say no, but I don’t think that was an actual FileFront rule. JK3Files hosted mods that ported content from Jedi Outcast to Jedi Academy. There were also a few KOTOR mods I suspected of ported content - textures I recognized from Jedi Academy, for example - as well as mods that included other copyrighted material like music and sound effects. Fortunately, though, nothing ever came under my review that called for an examination of the laws of porting. To further complicate matters, the official release of MDLOps - still hosted on StarWarsKnights.com - contains a tutorial on how to port the Tenloss disruptor rifle from Jedi Outcast/Academy to KOTOR. Bit of a mixed message there. Regardless, on LucasForums porting was certainly verboten. But for a long time, this was a moot point. There was a lot in the modding realm we couldn’t do. Until a few years ago, we couldn’t work much with head models - the animations would break, or something worse would happen. And unless you used Taina's Replacer, which didn't allow change in vertices, the smoothing would break. Even if you could get a model from point A to point B, it wouldn’t look as nice as it did back at A. Different tools could only handle different things. KAurora couldn’t do animations. MDLOps couldn’t convert lights or lightmaps, emitters, or walkmeshes. I don't know if room animations didn't work or if nobody ever tried it. All these things and more would break even if you were keeping a model in the same game. Most of these issues were only resolved last year with the development of KOTORMax, MDLEdit, and the updated MDLOps. For this reason, perhaps, porting as a reality was a rare concern. Only two cases from those days stand out in my memory, both of which involved screenshots taken in K1 to make textures in K2, and both of which deemed ok by the administration. On Deadly Stream, there was that fiasco with the credits. More often than not, the matter was merely theoretical - someone would unknowingly request something that required porting and be shot down for it. It was forbidden as a theory even though it wasn’t much of a possibility and I don’t know why. It was a rule from before even my time and I’ve never heard the issue properly debated. Porting wasn’t allowed, and you weren’t allowed to talk about why it wasn’t allowed. I find that a bit unsatisfying, so I’ll try to see things from both sides of the issue and debate myself. Argument A: Porting is a copyright violation. It’s taking something that’s not yours and distributing it without the copyright owner’s permission. In more extreme cases, publishers have moved to shut down mod projects/websites for fear of losing sales, such as with conversion mods that would remake a game in another engine. Modding as a whole is already on shaky legal ground, so it’s not wise to attract that sort of bad attention. The line is drawn here. Argument B: Porting isn’t anything like pirating a game because it involves a fraction of the content and requires the framework of a game to access it. It’s unlikely that any mod would negatively affect a game’s sales. If anything, more mods for a game is a good thing and content ported from one game to another draws interest in both. There’s nothing illegal about porting for personal use. The only part in question is the distribution of game assets - but that applies equally to all mods. The only difference is from which game the assets originated. It doesn’t make sense to apply a different standard of rules, especially for games in the same series that already share a lot of assets, like KOTOR. Those are the essential arguments, as I see them. At the risk of earning Kreia’s wrath, I’m not going to take a side. This is a bit of a coward’s way out that I can take because I’m a modder and I can port stuff myself if I want to and not rely on downloading it from Deadly Stream - more on that in a bit - but that really is how I feel. I don’t see it as a matter of what’s right or wrong or what’s legal but rather what you think is a good idea and how much of a risk you want to take. Some communities take a risk and never have any trouble. Some - not many, but some - have taken the same risk and had their mods taken away. It’s a subjective matter, and maybe that’s why I’m a little bitter about the LucasForums days - because I see it more as a decision we should make as a community rather than an ultimatum that must never be questioned (even if most of us don’t know who made the decision or the rationale). But whether or not it was entirely by choice, that was what the community decided and I went along with it. That was then, this is now. It seems the community has gone in the other direction, and I’ll go along with it. The question has become not what is allowed but what is and isn’t possible. I imagine, in the coming days, as more people ask this question there will be some poking and prodding to explore the new horizons. So I thought I’d save anyone reading this a bit of time by admitting that I’ve known how to do a lot of naughty things for a while now. I’ve been porting for personal use - not to make mods, but for my film projects that demanded it. Characters from different games interacting with each other, locations we wanted to use in another context, or just things that were useful for cinematic purposes - K2 has a lot more animations than K1. I’ve already been poking and prodding for years now and I no longer feel the need to hide it. I’m not going to go into much technical detail yet - perhaps when the modding wiki is online, if it's permitted - but I can answer some general questions right now.   For K1/K2: Can we port head models? Yes. There is some difference in the bone structure for each game, but there’s a specific process that works. It’s not even a huge difference, but it makes the lips of K1 heads clip in K2 and leaves K2 mouths gaping open in K1. My guess is Obsidian changed things during their development of the facial animation system that was never finished. The fix is essentially to copy the skin onto the appropriate game’s set of bones. Can we port body/full body models? Yes. Without any qualifiers. PCs? Party members? Aliens? Really? Yes. What about robes with capes? Yes. The supermodels would have to be edited to include the cape bones and their animations, but it could be done. I had one go at it but it’s a bit shoddy at the moment. Can we port other animations? Yes. With a few caveats. 1.) K1 has a limited number of animations that can be scripted, though new cutscene animations are an option. 2.) K2 has more combat animations than K1 and under different names. A couple bugs in K2 stem from failure to account for this, and unless they’re named properly for K1 the same sort of problem would occur. 3.) K2 has a ton of other new animations and they’re added all over the place, which complicates any sort of porting. Can we port models with their own special animations, like Darth Nihilus? Yes. The same animation concerns apply, but that’s it. Can we port textures - fancy ones, like bump maps and ones with animations? Yes. The TPC format doesn’t change, so even in the event that we’re unable to properly decompile to TGA/TXI, simply copying over the TPC is enough. I have a texture archive for K2 that includes all of K1’s textures (and any that happen to share the same file names are overridden by the K2 versions). Can we port areas? Probably. I’ve had one definitive success - m14aa, the Jedi enclave courtyard - and a few partial successes or failures. But it’s still early days and I suspect the problems may have been procedural. The courtyard has grass, running water, and room animations - all the things I’d expect to go wrong first - and zero problems. Lightmaps, which used to be destroyed during ASCII conversion, load fine thanks to the new tools. There is a difference in how each game is lit, so a ported module may end up too bright or too dark, but that can be fixed in the .are file. Good signs so far, but not enough for me to be confident in a hard yes yet.
While we’re on the subject, since some of you seem to have been left out of the loop, we can also edit areas now. You might’ve seen area fixes in recent mods, but I’m talking full on editing like changing the lighting or texture mapping or adding a door to a new module.  This would come in handy, for example, if one wanted to make new area mods that connect to the existing game, or integrate cut ones like the Czerka warehouse, or restore modules on Dantooine or Korriban that were left out of K2. Can we port feats/lightsaber forms/prestige classes/the upgrade system/the level cap/everything hard-coded? No. These were never porting issues. These game mechanics run directly through the game’s executable rather than an external file that we can mod.   For the MMO: Can we port items? Yes. See MDLOps’ tutorial. Can we port vehicles? Yes. I ported the Mantis bounty hunter ship to K1 as part of an area model on Taris. I stripped it of its bump maps because I didn’t know how to work with those at the time, but I imagine if we could figure out how to convert the formats those could be included as well. Can we port character models? Probably. But you’d have to weight it to KOTOR’s set of bones, which isn’t easy or fun work. That’s kind of why there aren’t a lot of new character mods at all for KOTOR. I’m not at all familiar with how the MMO models are set up so I can’t comment further. Can we port areas? Maybe? I can import the models into 3ds Max. To get one in KOTOR would be a lot of work - making new lightmaps and walkmeshes, replacing any emitters like running water with KOTOR standards, almost as much work as making a new area from scratch - but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible. Of course, KOTOR has issues with vertical space - can’t have one walkmesh on top of another - so there may be issues with the designs, depending on the area. But I don’t think poly count or anything like that would be a problem. The MMO seems to average around KOTOR’s level, some things better, some worse. I really just haven’t had the time to try it yet. These are all just my general impressions so far and your individual success may vary. But overall I'd say there’s a lot we can do and not a lot we can’t do - just a lot we weren’t supposed to do until now. The point of this blog isn’t to encourage porting, exactly. It’s your choice whether to do it or not. Because of the rules (the old rules) I’ve always strived to use assets that are in both games wherever possible. It’s more challenging that way, but it almost always resulted in fewer complications. Even with porting allowed, I’ll probably still do that in the future. It's simpler. But now that, surprisingly, after all this time, that is a choice people can make, I want to put this information out there so those of you who are interested in stepping down this path may do as you choose. I’ll be available on Discord if anyone wants to see some more examples of my porting attempts or get a more thorough overview of the process. Personal opinions not endorsed by FileFront Deadly Stream.

Blog #80 - Looking for a small voice part to be filled

I've been converting the Imperial Agent storyline into a audio drama.  From time to time, I need to have folks do the lines for droids and aliens because - as it's an audio drama - I can't rely on subtitles.  I'm looking for a someone to record the lines below  if they're interested.  British, Irish, Welsh, or Scottish accents preferred but I'll listen to all submissions.  Male or female voices welcome.  Mono or stereo.  MP3 or WAV. Lines: I request your attention.  I have an urgent message for you from Grand Moff Ilyan Regus. [Editor note: use pronunciation for "Moff Iyan Regus" using attached sound file as a guide line] Grand Moff Regus is the commander of Special Forces. I am patching you through now.  Ilum is accessible by starship.  I am uploading relevant star maps as directed. Operation Dark Ice is of critical importance.  You should proceed to Ilum now. T9 M6 ending transmission. Darth Malgus represents a critical threat. Grand Moff Regus and the War Council request your immediate presence. Access granted. Removing Darth Malgus from the Galaxy is the top priority.   Moff Ilyan Regus.mp3
 

Look Back and Forward

Twelve years ago in Boston, I went to a release event for Drew Karpyshyn's first Darth Bane novel, Path of Destruction. I was so excited to meet the man who wrote my favorite video game of all time. When I got there, I was one of about 6 people there, two of which were my parents who graciously drove me, and it felt a little awkward to be honest. Drew read a passage from his book and opened it up to a Q&A afterwards. I asked him about the possible KOTOR connections that might be in his book (the passage he read has included the mention of Selkath), my Mom politely asked him about his other works in fiction, and then it was done. The 501st showed up in some Stormtrooper armor, which was cool, I got my book signed and off we went. It was a nice little event. Over the years as each book came out and then the Revan novel, and then TOR, I would email DrewK who would actually engage in back and forths with me about characterizations of Revan, the Exile, and lastly the apparent non-twist ending of Dynasty of Evil (I still don't understand this one). Overall, don't really know where I'm going with this other than to say that Drew was a nice fella, and I'm appreciative for the experience and whatever slight connection I made with him. So, that's that. Also, if I said that I was working on voice lines for you, I still am. Trying to get paid work now that I'm in the proper state, so that's been my absolute focus - but I will get back to the fan stuff soon. Best, UC