Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Anything to do with Drakan level editing and modifications, post it here! Also this is the place to tell us about your new levels and get player feedback.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby UCyborg » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:34 pm

I always thought seeing an open-source clone of the original engine would be cool. HeckFluff did some reverse-engineering on some of the file formats, but said he's working on re-implementation of another engine ATM.

Programming is still rocket science to me for the most part, but yet, I managed to come up with a patch for the original game/engine that solves tons of bugs and shortcomings. Check the AiO Patch in the game discussion/technical support section of the forum.

Some parts are implemented in a separate DLL, for which you'll find code on GitHub. It's not current though, the changes since the update featuring the new server browser backend haven't been pushed to GitHub yet.

I have another update planned, in fact it's almost done, I'd just like to look into something before I put it out, hopefully in the near future. Though I said the same thing back in November. :D

It features possibility to redirect savegames to user specific folders rather than using installation folder, screenshots are redirected to Screenshots subfolder and the issue with the game overwriting the old screenshots has been fixed, the bug with usage of registry functions in editing tools to store list of recent files has been fixed; compatibility shim VirtualRegistry is no longer needed, Riot Engine Options dialog will no longer use 100% of CPU core, the editor's 3D engine no longer creates DebugLog.txt (I don't remember anything ever being written there).

It also makes the game once again work on retro operating systems (Windows 9x family). It turned out my DLL wasn't working due to copy-on-write mechanism not working by default on these systems, though an easy trick exists that makes it work. There's also a fix in there for regression with small visual bug with bump mapping that slipped in some time back.

It'll be the best release ever made! Judging by the view count of that thread, people like it and are using it. It could be better, but hey, I find programming difficult, it takes time to come up with something useful and obsessing over minor details doesn't help neither. So that's all you're going to get from me!
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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby HeckFluff » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:33 pm

A fellow Drakan fan,
Zalasus
So we're going to have two open Drakens? Well, the advantage of yours is that it will run fast (as opposed to using all of Unity's graphical effects) and you don't need to wait for art assets to finish it. You could spice it up with things that may or may not end up in OpenOOTF, like multiplayer with bots, co-op, an in-game map editor, easy modablility, or maybe online leaderboards. And, if OpenOOTF gets a completely different story, maybe its art assets could be integrated into yours, which will lessen the requirement of having the original files.

Or, abandon your OpenDrakan, and start on an OpenIOfTheDragon, as it's files are on Steam. I haven't reverse engineered the file formats yet, but I do know that their XOR "encryption" password is GBDFYTNE. A reimplementation of I Of The Dragon will be useful, to make controls more reliable (it's one of those games where some keys can't be bound, and turning the dragon doesn't work sometimes), and to provide much easier modability.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby Arokhs Twin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:14 pm

It seems this project is getting a lot of interest; I'm noticing a lot more traffic to this site and new members recently. Let's hope this revives the game. :)
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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby yangez93 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:34 pm

Hi everyone :)

Drakan Remake OST
I'd love to help out. I have some free time this week, so I can put together some ambient outdoor and maybe cave sounds, and start working on making a theme/menu song that keeps the style of the original but is different since the theme is probably one of the assets that's most likely copyright protected.
Chrysalis If you have free time, please make nice music based on Drakan OOTF, the best you will make initially something like Ruined Village/Wartok Canyons theme. Or just menu title song. Ruined Village theme has very nice choir and drums that makes atmosphere of this level. Without this music level is just a little bit boring :) In my opinion the best you can make the same melody but with better samples/synthesizers/vst :) Drakan has matched music to the levels, for example in Spider Cave we have interesting music. Or action music with drums on Rift World. It'll be incredible to make such music with modern samples. When you upload some music it also will help for Drakan Community.

OpenDrakan idea by Zalasus
A fellow Drakan fan,
Zalasus
Yes, your Idea is great, to make Drakan:OOTF as OpenMW. I counted that in OpenMW are nearly about 150 programmers, what a huge number :) Fortunately, in this forum we have very talented, willing to help enginners/programmers. It'll be nice to see Drakan free reimplementation. An advantage of OpenMW is that Morrrowind was very popular game, volunteers are everywhere for them.

Imagine that all bugs we can solve especially multiplayer mode or improve Drakan Editor(I have always problems with this, especially when I export models :) ), this editor is very discouraging but there are some fan created levels.

So you can do this:
  • Improve AI system
  • Cross-platform, game runs on Android, Linux systems. I always wanted to play Drakan on my smartphone :)
  • Improve game mechanics. Did you see Drakan speedrun with these bugs? :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buABUor_zDA Large skips, glitches. Arokh: "I can't fly here" -> Yes, you can :)
  • Improved GUI and interface. Customisable GUI
  • Improve multiplayer mode
  • Add plugin/mods functionality
  • Fixing bugs
  • The Ancient Gates story on OpenDrakan? Why not :)
  • Improve Drakan Editor
Here we have very talented programmers/engineers in this forum.I hope they will join together to make this OpenDrakan :)I hope you will start as soon as possible.

My analytics
It seems this project is getting a lot of interest; I'm noticing a lot more traffic to this site and new members recently. Let's hope this
revives the game. :)
Good point. My personal opinion is that upcoming release can increase number of views. I have also noticing traffic boost.
.For me personally good to see a lot of traffic, replies, comments. It keeps me motivated. To help this we need to make good Drakan community :)

This is my WordPress stats overall. In my opinion it shows from what country are mainly Drakan fans. But everyone has their own conclusions. And it shows also maybe someone will be playing this. Second the most viewed site page is "Download", I guess why :)
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Here we have recent screenshots

Arokh's Lair. Assets I use for this level: Rock and boulders(very popular free asset in Unity.) These rocks has material-> Drakan original texture of cliffs, normal maps,height map,occlusion, and secondary maps. Bricks and Torch are from Castle LITE assets. Corridors are made just simple. I also made this using free assets, but there is problem with texture when I need diffrent lenghts, so textures have diffrent sizes sometimes :)
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Grimstone mine caves:
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Spider Caves. But where spiders? :)
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Islands and Fortress. Thanks to Reo To Obj converter + free assets. To make this fortress. Right now I make traps such as lava room.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby Zalasus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:06 pm

Here we have very talented programmers/engineers in this forum.I hope they will join together to make this OpenDrakan :)I hope you will start as soon as possible.
Thank you guys for your feedback! After my little "breakdown" previous to my last post I quickly regained my interest in my recreation and continued to work on it, so abandoning the project is off the table.

I already considered writing a new editor for the game, and the also the fact Drakan wasn't the only game using the Riot Engine is a big plus for reimplementing it.

I'm still not totally convinced an engine recreation is the best way to revive Drakan, but given that fiddling with the 3D stuff necessary for a game like this really helped me learn OpenGL etc., I came to the conclusion that continuing to work on the engine is worth it. That and the fact I'm still having tons of fun while doing it ^^

I think I'm going to start a second thread here to give some information on my project. I don't want to clutter this thread with discussion that does not belong here.

Thanks again, Yangez93, HeckFluff and UCyborg! And also thanks to Arokhs Twin for maintaining this site. I would be really glad to see one of my favourite games as a child become alive again :)

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby HeckFluff » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:37 am

I'm still not totally convinced an engine recreation is the best way to revive Drakan,
Keep in mind that once you have a working engine reimplementation, replacing the original files with community-created assets will be relatively trivial, assuming of course that artists exist, which is also what YanGez93's remake needs, outside of Unity Store assets. It would be like an overhaul mod for Skyrim. Furthermore, Draken's files are just archives. You can extend your engine to support more modern stuff without breaking backwards compatibility. And you can do it incrementally too.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby WilsonM » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:05 pm

I hope all of this happens. I'm really excited for this. We live in really interesting times for community projects like this and I think it's only going to become even more interesting in the future.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby Mechanist » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:54 pm

Well, now that's something you don't see very often!
Last time I checked out AL was some 3-4 years ago; yesterday decided to check what's new on a whim(*). Certainly did not expect this, though!
(*): Not exactly true - actually I'm thinking about doing a Let's Play of Drakan:OOTF on the Something Awful forums.

I would gladly offer my help with this project, the only problem is that my programming is quite rusty.

I used to design embedded systems (incl. writing the code) just a few years ago, but that's very far removed from PC software design:
Low-level stuff (assembly too), no OS whatsoever, direct control of the hardware, extremely limited hardware resources, read-only program memory, no dynamic memory management, no GUI, frequently no display device at all, etc. - pretty much the polar opposite of writing programs for modern OS'es.
But it was a lot of fun watching "1337 PC hax0rz" hopelessly trip and stumble over their own shoelaces, totally unwilling and/or unable to understand the limitations, quirks and specifics of embedded systems and their hardware and firmware :lol:

It would be like an overhaul mod for Skyrim.
What I'm going to say is probably very stupid, but at a first glance seems workable, at least on the surface:
Why not do this as a total conversion mod of Skyrim?
(well, other than due to the amount of existing work which had been done in a different direction?)

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby HeckFluff » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:56 pm

Skyrim's engine isn't exactly malleable to this kind of thing. But I guess it's theoretically possible for the sufficiently insane. The existing dragon riding is rather unliked, as far as I know, because of the lack of control. And there's no ladders in Skyrim, but I suppose they can be changed to stairs. Skyrim's character controller also doesn't stick itself to platforms it's standing on; it merely copies the velocity, which means that moving platforms may feel bad to the player. To show yourself, play around on the only moving platform in Skyrim: the bending bridge in the Dragonborn DLC. But apart from the big problem of dragon riding, yes, most stuff can be done in Skyrim.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby Mechanist » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:45 pm

Couldn't remember which bridge, let alone where it was. Tried finding it anyway - no dice.
First got a CTD, then page fault BSOD, then 3 hard crashes - each after noclipping more than about a few hundred meters (but staying in bounds at all times, mind you). Guess it'll have to wait until I get my new system up and running.

Technically, there are ladders in Skyrim, but they function identical to doors (level transitions; not climbable).

In the end, it all comes down to how much of the internals (and how deeply) does the engine expose through what's accessible by modding tools.
This, I do not know.

My "experience" with modding games is limited to the Unreal engine (Deus Ex / "The Nameless Mod"), and Minecraft. Even then I didn't attempt anything ambitious, just adding/overriding some minor functionality.

Speaking of Unreal engine, The Nameless Mod (Deus Ex total conversion mod --> different game altogether) implements its own extra functionality in an interesting way:
It brings its own brand new classes to the party, which extend the original Deus Ex classes (eg. "class TNMWeapon extends DeusExWeapon"), which then refer to other such extended classes.
There appear to be 2 main categories of extended TNM classes - one where only minor changes are applied; and the other involves extensive rework, such that effectively nothing remains of the "old" class.
Also, a lot of the Deus Ex models and related assets were reused verbatim.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby HeckFluff » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:13 pm

Actually, there're nine moving platforms, and they're called "ApoBendingHallway01". 5 are in "DLC2Book02DungeonNEW". Most of the time, the player does stick to the floor quite well, but there is a lot of slipping around sometimes (try sprinting about on the end of the hallway where you move the fastest), and rotation isn't tracked, and jumping ignores the velocity of the platform. But it's better than I thought.

About ladders, I was actually referring to climbable ladders, not just teleports that look like ladders. It could probably be done by an IDLE animation that takes control of the player. Or maybe a special animation graph that enables the animation-driven motion mode when using a movement animation that goes up and down instead of forwards and backwards.

If you want to look at actual code of one of the Drakan remakes, to see how well you may or may not understand it, see the GitHub link in https://arokhslair.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4244.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby Mechanist » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:29 am

Ah, that's why I couldn't find it before, I was looking for something else entirely. Even though I've been there already, a long time ago.

Other than the ridiculous jumping physics, it feels fairly reasonable though.
It doesn't feel too out of place in that context, either, due to the unusual nature of that location.


While I was at it, I also did an enlightening experiment involving the "tc" console command:
- tc to a dragon when it's sleeping - result: just like trying to control an inanimate object;
- tc to an active dragon on the ground - result: can walk around more or less normally, but not take flight apparently (jumping does nothing - haven't tried ALL of the keys, though);
- tc to a flying dragon: see below.

Trying to control a flying dragon by console commands has interesting results: if the AI is off, it just hangs there motionless like a decoration, but if the AI is on, it's "kinda" controllable:
Using the mouse causes it to turn noticeably, but the AI script does its best to make it follow a predetermined(?) path, forcefully yanking the dragon back to whatever orientation it is supposed to be pointed to at any given time.
Doing any of this also caused serious camera issues in general, due to the character model being so large.

This makes me wonder what would happen, if the player controller was somehow forcibly attached to a dragon model (total brokenness, presumably?) - I'll try fooling around with this idea later.
Alternatively, try modding in a dragon AI which allows "normal" control. Not sure how doable that is, haven't looked into it yet.

As far as I understand it, the crippled dragon "control" in Skyrim is what it is because the game, as such, is not equipped (and was never intended) to reasonably deal with dragons being fully controlled by players.
Presumably, allowing that to happen would cause ludicrous AI breakdowns at the very least.
Also there are other technical reasons - such as walled cities being separate loading cells, so being able to fly too close to them, let alone trying to land there, would break the illusion.


As for the coding - my understanding of OOP code is about on the same level as my knowledge of the Russian language:
I can read the Cyryllic script, know some of the common words, and can at least grasp the general meaning of the text without resorting to a dictionary. But I can't really write any but the very simplest sentences without making them a total trainwreck.

So yeah, I looked into code, and it's about like that.
I can understand the general program flow ("the leg bone is connected to the... hip bone"), and what each part does (very roughly), but can't figure out any of the details - for example, how exactly is the data being extracted from the original Drakan resource files.


EDIT: I've poked around a bit more, including in the Skyrim Creation Kit. Here's what I learned:
- the dragons fly along dynamically generated paths, but ignoring any collision ("there are rails in the sky, along which things can... fly?"); this explains why tc'ing to a flying dragon always caused it to eventually clip through the ground/sky and go out of level boundaries, usually also freezing the game,
- non-glitched landing is only possible in places that are marked as proper "landing zones" by the game,
- making the dragon control work properly without resorting to bizarre & unorthodox tricks/hacks is highly nontrivial (editing ~50 000 lines of XML behavior code, anyone?),
- various flying mount mods (eg. the flying broom) use the horse as a basis (invisible, or with swapped model) + usually an invisible platform for the horse to stand on; alternatively, a water layer is created high in the sky on a trigger, placing the entire level "underwater", and swimming mechanics are abused for flight.
- conclusion: the required pieces of the puzzle all exist in the game, but there is no obvious (let alone easy) way to assemble them into something good.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby yangez93 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:15 pm

Hi everyone :)

Now, project has Collaboration service. So it means if there be any volunteer can be invited to collaboration. Project hasn't it before. I hope it will definitely speed up production when it'll be some form of help. We can add to project some users,beta testers and project managers. Cloud storage is only 1GB but I think that should be enough for scripts and more advanced assets(animations,menu system), ai system and other features. Holding 3D models, terrrains of course on another storage service.

It is very good news, it is of course beginning to release Tech Demo. We want this game to make easily accessible.

Ads monetize is turned off for obvious reasons. But it gave me an idea to make much more than just Drakan Remake. We talk about copyright infrigment so I'm very carefull. Even if you turn it on, we have to consider changing of name. But if we look at project, it hasn't a lot content of original Drakan :) At the moment I do not think so much about it.

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BTW. The first anniversary is coming soon and project is still going on and user activity is quite huge :) I'm very happy about it :)

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby Mechanist » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:09 pm

Hey, how's it going? Any progress with the file hosting issue? :?:
I can offer a small donation to the cause - say, up to about 50PLN/month. PM me if you're interested.

Unfortunately, all that model/texture stuff is pretty much Greek to me: even though I work with 3D models daily, they're of a very different kind (SolidWorks 3D CAD).
SolidWorks is about as good for creating "artistic" models, as the "artistic" 3D modelling programs are good for creating engineering models - which is to say, not really any good at all.

I could try and take a stab at some coding though, but I'd first have to refresh my meager OOP knowledge. It's been a good few years since I last wrote any OOP code, and I'd rate my experience as "minimal" at best; the bulk of my coding experience was in low-level languages for embedded systems.
The most complicated program I ever wrote was on the order of 5k lines of code, and roughly 50kB when compiled (yes, it was for an ATMega). A couple others have come close in scope; but otherwise, most of my programs were under 1k lines.
Nowadays I don't even do that anymore - after an unrelated (but grand) disaster which set me back >$30k :!:, I now routinely take great care to ensure that my future attempts at "solving" problems do not, in fact, end up creating far more new problems than they actually solve. Or alternatively, wasting far more time than they can possibly save.

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Re: Drakan Remake by YanGez93

Postby yangez93 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:28 pm

Hi everyone:)

Thank for your post. My assumption was to make this project completly free in 100% and I'm aware of copyright infrigments:) Even when we change name it will be still similar to Drakan so I cannot accept money. But I can accept new models(structures,NPCs), animations,tips, game ost, useful programs to terrain or advanced terrains(cave systems), Unity tutorials and just technical support :) You know, for money I can buy some new assets such as flying Dragons or combat animation. It'll be helpfull to support by money these artists who created such incredible assets. Maybe you guys thinking, why I do this, it takes a lot of time and I don't even plan to make money from this, surely money helps in game development. I really like Drakan, so even when I don't make profit from this I can learn some Unity and GameDev:)

Right now I thinking about where to upload this? Project is getting bigger and bigger. Best solution is upload this to cloud and periodically add new updates. But what is the best hosting service so Players can play this in easy way? Just click "Download" with automatic updates feature:) It sounds really good. There are a lot of game that works in this way, such as new free game "Unreal Tournament".

SolidWorks sounds good. In any 3D model programs, engines(Unity, Unreal, CryEngine or Source Engine of Valve) ->we can do incredible games in these tools. Even we can able to make completly new game just by making mod (Counter Strike for example). I tried in past make new levels in Drakan Editor but I failed, it was very buggy in 2003-2005 so I've been able to only make some modifications in some levels. Right now when we talk about 3D model programs I know Blender environment. One ways to make advanced terrains convert Terrain to mesh and rotate upside down (in Unity unfortunately we cannot rotate Terrain).

For me it'll be necessary to not naming it "Drakan". Maybe leave just "OpenOOTF". Without ":A Drakan Remake" or replace it another subtitle such as:
  • "Rynn adventure". Rynn has very long adventure with goes through a very large number of lands/worlds.
  • "Arokh revival". Using Heron's Crystal it changes completly Rynn in powerfull Warrior with Dragon.
  • "Dark Union Reborn". Game started with Evil invasion of the village.
  • "New Order". The end of the game can change everything
  • "Rescue Delon". For Rynn is only family member, so she will do everything to rescue him.
  • "Order Corrupted"
  • "Sword of Destiny". Of course Rune Blade, without it she cannot overcome Navros.
  • Rift Crystal(There some mention about artifacts such as in Harry Potter series)
I think also about main plot. Change name of Rynn and Arokh? Levels, lands and weapon names?

http://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/ -> Very nice tool. But I don't want to make this game "Generated" but "Created" :D There some possibly modifications about names:
  • "Rynn"-> "Lynn" .
  • "Arokh" ->"Atho, The Eternal"
  • "Grotto">"The Frozen World"
  • "Islands"->"The Changed Archipelago"
  • "Wartok Canyons" ->"The Great Continent"
What you thinking about it? Maybe you have some suggestions?

New screenshots as always:

Chapel in Ruined Village, we can pick up there some health potion and fire crystal. Of course you will have to overcome Scavanger :D
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Of course Ruined Village, Rynn approaching to Arokh's Lair
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Arokh's Lair, we had in Drakan OOTF the same level "Ruined Village" but in this game it'll be separate level.
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I've made some winter scenery in Wartok Canyons so Grotto level it will be easier to make. I had to change tree textures, add snow rock materials but I haven't made snow particles.
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Troll crate looks pretty good. I can not wait that Rynn will jump on them :D
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Fog is much more stronger in this part of Wartok Canyons
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Vulcano world is very interesting level. Of course I want to make much more objects in this Game than Drakan OOTF.
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Here we have Rift World :) I think it was worth starting this level because since I started to make the end of the game, I have to finish and the whole game :) There is example of level that has "Terrain ceiliing". In Unity we cannot rotate it. When we convert it into mesh we can but it'll be hard to modify it in future when something has to change.
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In Unity we have very nice https://assetstore.unity.com/ contents. In easy way we can import new assets to game. We can search "Free" assets, and we can make incredible game. For me personally it is hard to make cave system but I try my best :) When we talk about coding, in Unity I usually use C#. I rather can write simple codes, conditions, switch statement or triggers. Collaboration service can helps in coding, some users or project managers can upload some useful codes:)


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