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Blog #25 - Random Thought on HK-47's Eyes

I was looking at headlights the other morning and wondered: Would the orange reflector pattern work well for HK-47's eyes?     I decided to alter Kainzorus Prime's reskin of Darth Parametric's new HK models. (Click on the pictures to see larger versions.)  



  I'm not sure that I got it right. ::shrugs::

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #24 - Video Editing Questions

I've recorded a decent amount of footage from Star Wars: The Old Republic with the intention of doing some movie / playthroughs on my YouTube channel. However, editing isn't my forte. I also wish to make some close edits - hopefully down to the frame - so I can include as much footage as possible. I'd love to have some suggestions on how I can create HD videos on YouTube with the footage that I've recorded.   The tools I currently have:   Video:
FRAPS (A legal copy, so I won't have the watermark that unregistered versions of the program have)
Roxio 2010 (including VideoWave)
Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10.0
and of course, Windows Movie Maker (LOL)   Audio:
Goldwave
Audacity   Might anyone have recommendations on programs to use or "how-to" suggestions on putting the walkthroughs together that they could pass along?   If you need more information, let me know.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #21 - Top 5 Modders with Projects Languishing in Development Hell

Now that it's 2016, let's review a list of works in progress that we haven't seen an official release or even a recent update for. When I say recent, I'll be specific. If it's been over 6 months since the project lead has commented on a project, it's not a recent update. No pictures of the mods are included here. Links to the appropriate posts in their announcement threads are listed - and they do have pictures.

This thread is going to annoy some people. Sorry about that.

In no particular order, let's get started on my list!

1) K1 - The Night and Day Mod

First announced on Lucasforums way back in February of 2012, the Night and Day Mod is supposed to do the following: add a day to night cycle in the skyboxes on Knights of the Old Republic I.

Last update for this? June 2015, on DeadlyStream.

2) Quanon's many, many, many projects

He certainly announces a lot of projects but most of them don't quite get released, do they?

(Notable exceptions - released in 2014 - can be found here)

What hasn't been released yet? Here's a brief overview:
- Scrapyard Games (Yes - I know - this one is being worked on)
- Nar Shaddaa: Crazy Nights project
- Korriban Expanded
- Darth Bandon, reskin + helmet
- Lightsaber Pack
- The "City of Light" project

Let's hope at least one of these gets released in 2016. More than one would be better!

3) Rhen Var - A new planet mod for Knights of the Old Republic II
 
Darth InSidious - at least give us an update, will ya?


4) Constar's Textureforge

After a promising reskin of Atton and some Sith Assassins for KotOR2, we were promised future skins:
Are any of these near release?


5) Darth Hayze's Unfinished WIPs.

After a well received Extended Enclave release, more projects were announced. Namely:
Oh modder, whereart thou?


Not seeing the mod you thought you would? Well - after you PM the author for an update, feel free to post your comment on a seemingly abandoned project below. (Seriously though, do PM the author.)

If any of the authors wish to either provide an update or cancel a listed project or projects, this is probably a good place to mention it as well. (If announced on DS, we can arrange to lock the thread if you so desire.)

So . . . How many of you took this way too seriously? (Comment if you get the humor. )

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #22 - Jedi Holocrons

The Jedi Holocron as produced by "Uncle Milton Star Wars Science" is described in its ad copy by the following:      
So it's a trivia game for kids. I get that. But where's the science part of it? In the "poster" that comes with it.     Eeek. If this really basic information is what they are passing off as "science", our society is doomed.   PS: I do appreciate the mention of my namesake in the document.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #20 - Happy Holidays from M4-78

M4-78 doesn't know how to sing but that won't stop him from sending a Christmas Carol your way. For your listening pleasure, he butchers "Blue Christmas" in the style of Elvis Presley.     No, you can't return this "gift" - believe me, I tried.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #19 - Seeking Audio Reviews of M4-78 EP

Hi there folks. Did you all know I'm making an M4-78 documentary? Well, I am . . . and I'm asking for your help.   The Prologue for the documentary is more or less hammered out with my secret partner-in-crime. We're currently working on Chapter 1 which covers why M4-78 was cut from the game in the first place. There are few chapters here and I won't be spilling all of the details at this early date. Eventually there will be a section where I review the game. I think that many folks might have the same thoughts on the mod as I do and I'd like to hear it from a player's point of view.   What I'm asking from you.   1) A recording describing what did and did not work for you when playing M4-78 EP.   Caveat: I'm only looking for reviews of the most current version (version 1.2) as it's only fair to judge the work from the latest version which may have resolved issues you may have had with the mod in previous versions.   2) I'd need the recording to done in a relatively quiet room with no background sounds audible. If you can reduce the echoes in the area you record, that would be even better. The better the sound quality, the more likely it could be featured in the Chapter.   3) Whatever you do record, I'd also need the actual text of as well. It's a video and we'll be putting the text up on the screen.   4) This will be an all ages video so keep the language to that level.   If you're game, send me a PM! Thanks for reading this and enjoy your day/night.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog # 13 - Why the "READ ME SECOND" thread matters

Folks using the TSLRCM mod - or TSLRCM with M4-78 EP - may wonder why they have to post the questions and answers from the READ ME SECOND thread when reporting a bug.   Simply put: Speed of response.   Many of the "bugs" reported have been narrowed down to those few questions. If the modders receive the answers to those questions, it's going to save them a lot of time (both yours and theirs) asking what will likely be on that list. And we all know, you want to get back to playing the game as quickly as possible.   In addition, if the answer isn't on the list of questions, modders can still learn from your answers. Folks will be able to catch patterns when a particular mod doesn't play well with TSLRCM and/or M4-78 EP and then can take step to improve those mods.   So please, help those modders help you by posting those questions and answers with each bug you have (or think you have). Thanks for reading.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #18 - The Current Changes at LucasForums

These thoughts are purely my own and do not reflect the views or opinions of DeadlyStream.com   Some random thoughts about the current changes over at LucasForums - as I don't want to clutter up a Status Update:   I suppose my main issue with the current changes over at LucasForums - meaning as of right now - is I'm unsure why each of the changes were actually made.   Items were archived and whole threads were moved over to a new site called StarwarsGamer. If the sole purpose for all the changes is to open your site to a wide range of new game enthusiasts, why are you limiting yourself to a niche group like Star Wars games? There's only one brand new AAA Star Wars game being released this year (AFAIK) so moving everything to one area seems problematic at best. To put a finer point on it, where do you think all of these gamers are going to be coming from? The new movie that doesn't have anything to with the new or old games?   What effort has there been to actually find where the older games are sold to drive them to your site?   There's no reasons clearly listed as to why each of the moved threads were moved from one place to another - and why some threads have remained where they were. There doesn't seem to an overall theme to these changes. Perhaps there's a grand vision at work but at the moment it seems a little bit like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.   Who's in charge now over at LF? As a long timer user of the traditional LF - since 03-04-2006 - I see some familiar names promoting changes over there but I'm see a quite vocal minority of folks that I never ever heard of 6 months ago. Does the person in charge actually have a plan of how the site will look and operate in the end or is new each change being done to test out a theory? I'm not seeing the overall picture of what's going on over there.   Over here at Deadly Stream, we have tended to promote vocal and knowledegable folks from within the community that have actually been around for a while. I don't know anything about your new hires which makes feel a bit leery. Other than complaining about the LF site's traffic, what have these relatively new folks brought to the community?   I don't hate LucasForums. How could I be - I've been there almost 10 years. I'm just genuinely worried for it.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #17 - Extracting Voice Files from "Star Wars: The Old Republic"

I'm interested a specific thing and I'm hoping one of you enterprising folks may be able to assist.   I know it's possible to extract the audio from the game. There have been threads elsewhere dedicated to extracting the music from them. I don't need the music as I have the official legal soundtrack that came with the Collector';s Edition and folks upload the newer TOR music to YouTube all of the time. However, I'd really like to get my hands of the conversational audio for some particular characters - HK-47, HK-51, and HK-55 - in particular places. The only areas I can currently access the character audio files are in pre-Makeb locations.   A kind soul did provide me the sound files for HK-51 on Makeb , Rishi, and Yavin 4. I would like to be able to extract any character audio files available on Ziost and in the KOTFE. I'd also like to be able to find out how and where to find the character sound files for Makeb, Rishi, Yavin 4, Ziost and KOTFE. I am willing to do the work but I'd have to know how to proceed.   I have the following tools:
EASYMYP
acb_to_wem
bnk_to_wem
wem_to_ogg
and the instructional README that accompanied them.   PM me if you have direct knowledge about the above or can direct me to someone that does. Thank you for your attention.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #16 - When Responding to a Big Update/Post . . .

Just say a modder has - after some period of time - posted a sizable update to one of his/her projects. Something like this . . .
 
In your excitement, you may have felt the need to quote the original poster's entire post. You don't need to do that because that modder's post is still in the thread. The readers don't need to read it twice.   However, if you wish to leave a comment on a particular part, then trim the quote down to that specific part. For example . . .
 
The quote now has a targeted response. The author has also received constructive criticism - enabling him/her to know what works in the update/mod (and perhaps what doesn't).   Thanks for listening.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog # 15 - My Highlights from NYCC (Part 2)

In addition to the events mentioned in the last blog, Mrs Holocron and I got to do some photo opportunities while we were at NYCC 2015.   1) If you're familiar with the Firefly TV show or the Serenity movie follow up, you'll likely know three of the people in the photograph.     The signed original copy will be hanging up above the bar din our basement as soon as we get a nice frame.   2) Also a fun thing, we met John DiMaggio. You might not know the name but you likely have heard his voice.   He's played this character - Bender from Futurama     And this character, Jake the Dog from Adventure Time.     But in the Star Wars TOR universe, he's this guy - Nico Okarr.     He was in the SWTOR "Return" trailer for the game as seen here.     So we go to get a picture with him but he winds up taking like 11 in a row. Hence this GIF. LOL  

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog # 14 - My Highlights from NYCC (Part 1)

My Picture Highlights from New York Comic Con   The Mrs and I went to the New York Comic Con and we just got back today. Here are a few highlights.   We went to the SWTOR Cantina. They were hosting it at the Hard Rock Cafe. They also had a cosplay contest which took way too long to get through. I'm not any of these guys.     Drinks were poured and loot was given out. The loot?     This was the wrist band so I could come in and go out of the event when I wished.   This is one of those rubber wrist bracelets that they said was "just for fun"       This next item was interesting.     This book comes with the Collector's edition set. But I'm pretty sure the one in CE set doesn't have . . .       . . . the developer's signatures!   There was the obligatory creature code card.     You can find codes here. I'll be handing mine out in the near future.

If you extended your subscription at the event, they threw in some in game pet (not sure what it is) and this shirt.



    All in all, a good haul at the SWTOR Cantina Event.   Tried seeing if there was any interest in doing Sleheyron and/or M4-78 for TOR. Unfortunately, the guy I was speaking to was a bit daft. He was not understanding that I wasn't suggesting that they use the assets from the original game discs to create the world - just that the mods themselves indicated a clear interest in those planets. A wasted opportunity.   Tomorrow, will post some pictures the Mrs and I took with some notable sci-fi personnel.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #11 - Rogue versus Rouge

Rogue versus Rouge   Rogue   Rogue (noun) (1) a scoundrel, (2) a vicious or solitary animal, or (3) a fraudulent piece of software. The word is also an adjective meaning vicious and solitary.   Rouge   Rouge (noun) is a pinkish color or a reddish powder. Also called blush or blusher (UK), it is a cosmetic typically used by women to redden the cheeks so as to provide a more youthful appearance, and to emphasize the cheekbones.. It’s also a verb meaning "to put rouge onto."     Correct Usage: In the Star Wars universe, Han Solo is a lovable rogue.     (Yes, you Han.)   Correct Usage: When applying her make up, Princess Leia didn't use too much rouge.     Incorrect Usage:   Han Solo is a fierce rouge in the smuggling world.     No . . . just . . . no.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #10 - Picking a voice to read text in my documentary

This is one of my blogs that I won't be putting in my status updates, so congratulations if you've found it!   For my upcoming M4-78 "documentary", one of the topics I'll be covering is Team Bantha's attempt at doing a M4-78 mod. The main portion of that section will be Pavlos' excellent M4-78 Post Mortem article.   I'm not British but apparently Pavlos is. I thought hiring a voice actor might be an interesting way to present someone else's written work. An advantage to this would be that viewers will (easily) know when I'm stopping the article to explain certain things - when they hear the voice has changed from English accented man to an American voice.   Here's where you can help. I'll likely be hiring the voice actor from fiverr.com. Listen to the actors that do male adult British voices and give me your opinion on which of them might best suit the article I linked to above!

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #9 - Do you have any M4-78 questions that are non-walkthrough related?

In case any one is wondering, I am still working on that M4-78 documentary video series. I do have to wait for a few folks to send their comments in an audio form. One of the folks is at school and another has just got married so I must patient. You guys don't want to hear my voice all the way through the video as that would get old quick. (Ask my wife!)   While I wait for those audio submissions, I'll put this question to you: Do you have any M4-78 questions that are non-walkthrough related? I will be doing a video walkthrough for M4-78 EP. and I have a very good idea of what every one is looking for in that. The M4-78 questions need not be restricted to the most current M4-78 mod. I can't guarantee an answer for you but I'll do my best to get the information you're interested in.   Any takers?

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #8 - What makes a mod successful?

In your opinion, what makes a mod successful? I'm looking for a more general overview in your responses, without making this about specific mods. (That is, I don't want this to devolve into a list of most favorite / least favorite mods.) What makes a mod work (or not work) for you?

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #7 - Creating a closing credits video

Hey folks!   I'm in the process of making a video series but I have to think a few steps ahead to making an end credits scroll which would simulate the credits scrolls for the movies and the KOTOR games.   I know the fonts to use . . .       . . . and I have those fonts (among many, many others.)   But I don't know of a free program that can accurately simulate the actual scrolling. No, I don't own Photoshop and I can't afford it so that's pretty much out as an option. I'd appreciate any free (or at least relatively inexpensive) suggestions that anyone could offer.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #6 - Rotating the Featured Download

March is approaching fast and I want to know which mod should be a Featured Download. The majority of the folks come here initially do so due to one of the larger mods. They may be missing out on the smaller mods that aren't as well known. I've always thought that the site should pick gems out of the downloads here and promote them.   This is where you come in!   PM me your pick for a mod to appear in the "Featured Download" spotlight. I'll also need to know the reason that you chose that 1 mod today! (Don't vote for your own mod because that would be tacky.)   I'll be locking the thread to force you to send them to me directly. Your vote is your vote and I don't want this concept to turn into a discussion on why one mod might be better than another.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #5 - What I get out of you subscribing to SWTOR

You've probably seen messages like the following as my status update:   Well if you subscribe, I get in-game pets - specifically the following pets . . .     As you can see, I've earned the first pet. I'd really like to get the 5th pet, but I have to earn the other ones in between to get that one. They also do one-time gift of some cartel coins to yours truly if you stay subscribed but I'm in it for the pets.   Thanks for listening to my plea!

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #4 - Canon versus Cannon

Canon and cannon are very often confused and used improperly. Although the two nouns are pronounced identically and spelled similarly, the only difference being one "n", these words have completely different meanings and should never be used interchangeably in writing.  
Cannon (noun): A mounted gun for firing heavy projectiles; a gun, howitzer, or mortar.  
A ship's cannon   Example of word in use: Before Darth Vader and his accompanying fighters chased Luke Skywalker in the Death Star's trench, the turbolaser cannons stopped.  
A turbolaser cannon   Canon (noun): The body of rules, principles, or standards accepted as axiomatic and universally binding in a field of study or art.  
The Chronicle of Narnia canon   Example of word in use: Though the books are numbered, there is still debate over which Narnia book should be read first due to the series' internal chronology.   So to review . . .
Correct Usage:   Women writers have been fighting to find their place within the male-dominated literary canon.
Women writers have been fighting for their place in the male-dominated literary society with cannons. (Grammatically correct, but perhaps not factually correct.)   Incorrect Usage:   The guns are bad enough, but now the enemy has canons!
If you try to put Admiral Thrawn in the new movie, you'll get smacked by Disney because they removed him from the cannon.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #3 - KOTOR1 Playthrough

I'll be playing a fresh KOTOR1 playthrough and I need suggestions.   1) Silveredge9's Brotherhood of Shadow: Solomon's Revenge 2) Inyri Forge's Recruitable Kay 3) Sithspecter's Flowing Revan Robes 4) Drewton's Darth Malak skin 5) Zbyl's restored K1 BIK Movies   I followed Inyri Forge's instructions on how to make sure that Solomon's Revenge is compatible with her mod. Now that I have them all patched up, I'm looking for more suggestions on what I should add to my K1 playthrough. I'm only interested in mods that actually have been released. I also have no interest in any mods that are not compatible with the ones above.   I did get a suggestion before I made this blog. Here's why I won't be using it . . . I will not be using "KotOR Cutscene Sound Improvement" for two reasons. 1) It doesn't specify which version of BOS it's compatible with. (Is it the original BOS or the new "Solomon's Revenge" version?) 2) It uses John Williams' Star Wars music and I'm pretty sure that's not legal. (Thanks anyway for the suggestion, milestails!)   I'm hoping to hear from you folks with some K1 suggestions!

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #2 - Plosives and Sibilant Sounds

Plosive Sounds   It turns out that these pops and thumps occur mainly on what are known as 'plosive' sounds, prime examples being words that start with the letter 'B' or 'P'. If you were to hold a lighted candle in front of your lips while speaking or singing 'plosives', you'd see the flame flicker, because we tend to expel a blast of air when making these sounds. By contrast, if you sing a sustained 'Ahh' sound, the candle will barely flicker at all, because you're mainly just producing sound vibrations with your vocal cords and expelling very little air in the process.   Sibilant Sounds   In addition to above problem letters, there's also the sneaky sounding S - and also Z. The S can produce a hissing sound that's difficult to edit out as well. Professional voice actors have training on how to deal with such things with various facial exercises. Like the above, the reason for this occuring is once again air. In this case however, the harshness of the sound is usually due to the exhaled air hitting the teeth,   However, if you're reading this - and you're making a mod - you probably don't have the budget to hire a professional voice actor or actress. What is one to do? The answer is three words is . . .   A Pop Filter   A pop filter is a nylon-mesh screen that clips onto the microphone and is placed between the speaker and the microphone. It lessens the aforementioned air issue by filtering it out. Pop filters are commonly used in music studios. Of course, you could buy one . . . but what fun would that be? I'm going to link you to a video that will show you how to make your very own for under 10 (U.S.) dollars. (No, it's not me in the video.)     If you need more than one pop filter, this might be the best way to go. The savings will be quite apparent.   A few hours ago, I ordered a pop filter from Amazon. I decided that for my next blog, I'll describe my set up and perhaps give a layman's review of the filter. I'll probably re-record lines from the original M4-78 mod by Darth Stoney - so I don't "spoil" anyone waiting for the "M4-78 Enhancement Project" stuff. (I'll probably have links to YouTube videos for that.) A note: I'm no audio engineer so hopefully I'll satisfy the curiosity for our standard viewers without going overboard. I will provide links where I acquired my equipment and have prices and more information on my microphone, computer, and pop filter for those that crave that sort of thing. Oh yeah, I'll have pictures too but I might just grab those from the ever popular Google.   Until next time . . . whenever that might be

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

Blog #1 - The "Black Mesa Source" modders discuss voice acting

I was thinking about voice overs earlier today and was wondering why I've never posted a blog before. It seems like the two things might go together.   This first entry is likely to be very exciting as it mostly relies on a link to an outside source. An admission, this is mostly copied word for word from a post I made over at Lucas Forums.   Those that follow Half-Life at all might be familiar with the Black Mesa Source mod. The concept was to redo the first Half Life 2 game engine using the latest Source engine. (I believe the last engine mentioned was the one right before Portal 2 but they may have started using that one for all I know.)   Over at SteamCast, they've posted a podcast with some of the voice actors for that mod. If you start listening at about the 20 minute mark, you'll hear some interesting takes on voice acting and some tips as well.   Here's the link to the relevant SteamCast page.   Don't worry - I'll get better at this sort of thing in the future.

Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron