Date: 06-16-06 20:48
A while back, when I was a lurker here, someone posted some messages, claiming to be working on a Savage Empire remake. I was very annoyed to never see any new messages, screenshots, or links concerning this.
Well, I've been experimenting with Exult Studio during the past few days. I have also been experimenting with Gimp and Paint Shop Pro. I have put together some experimental screenshots that give an idea of what I'll be working on. I like to think of it as more of a port, than a remake. Demo and original shots are provided for comparison.
Inside Intanya's hut:
Overhead view of the demo area:
Since I can't find a program, or anyone with the capability to extract the graphics data from the Savage Empire data files, I have been using Pu6e to take screenshots. I then cut and paste the items from the screenshots. Then its a "real fun" process to edit out all of the background graphics, and then resize them, and decrease the color depth to 256 color 8-bit graphics, export to an optimized .png (to keep the transparency), then import them into Exult...
As you can see, the sizes and colors of some of the graphics are not correct, and will require further experimentation to get right. I went through many failures and crashes until I could get the graphics loaded right. Gimp seems to save in hi color, and I can't figure out how to get it to save in 256 color, which would eliminate having to use Paint Shop Pro for that. Plus, I find resizing the graphics in Gimp to be user-unfriendly, and a quite easy to do in PSP. If I could extract the graphics from SE, all of this would be a lot easier, and faster (they are in LZC format). As it is, I don't know how I'm going to get a hold of the SE portraits, and playing the game all of the way through, just for screen captures of the portraits, isn't in the cards right now.
Another problem is that whenever I save any maps with shapes on them in ES and then quit, I cannot load my map anymore. This happens even if I have only one chunk and one shape on the map. So what you see in those screenshots is the second time I put it together. It only took me a few minutes though, so no big loss. But I am afraid to start building a map on a large scale, just to have it not work anymore. A mini map, or a similar aid would help exponentially with world building. Another issue, is that many of the cliffs in SE are very high, and with the Z height being at the limit it is now, some areas of SE are impossible to make (well, I do have a couple of tricks to try, but it would require custom chunks and shapes, and my artistic ability is somewhat limited). Then there are the waterfalls, dinosaurs that would require larger monster shapes than the U7 default ones, etc.
Well, enough rambling on for now. I just wanted to show some screens, and explain where things are at, and what stands in the way. At some point, I'll formally ask if anyone is interested in forming a team. I may wait to see what the next version of ES is like.