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Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:21 pm
by unterbuchse
Heyho everyone,

tl;dr;: collaborative project to create a HD texture pack for Drakan - Order of the Flame. Find it here:
(user: drakanhd , password: testpasswort)

Long Story:
I always loved Drakan when I was a kid. I decided to create some hd textures for the game with the use of the 10th ann mod. Of course this is a tough one due to the amount of textures needed to be replaced for a full overhaul, so I decided to start a collaborative project.
So, the website gives you an overview on the project status. Right now we will focus on the Ruined Village because I didnt want to first get all orginal textures and categorize them just to get the impression of "OMG that can never be done".
The idea of this one is: everyone can contribute. The website has a password due to the licensing problems of the textures. This includes the fact that no names will be attributed to the textures. The goal is to have a hd texture pack and not a hall of fame entry in the nostalgia modding scene.
I know that the website lacks many features but I didnt want to waste to much time on it.
So, all communication will be handled in the forums, in this thread. If you want to contribute, just post it here. I just took a look at the Hill of Fire overhaul and perhaps we could even integrate those into the pack if they fit. Right now, all textures are from my personal work (These are only 139 as of now).

On the website you will also find the problems section. Please read it before posting!
In a later approach, we could think about new models if we can handle the REO magic.

So, I am looking forward if there is even any interest in this one,

Kind regards


Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:00 pm
by Arokhs Twin
Sounds a good idea - it would be good to have it working with the AiO patch as well but for now if it's an improvement over the look of the original game then that's definitely a good thing.

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:11 pm
by UCyborg
It's really nice to see someone put effort in visual overhaul, however the decision to tie those textures to 10th Anniversary Mod is not a good one for several reasons. Main reason, performance, take a look at these screenshots.

They show the scene from Wartok Canyons with increased rendering distance, running at 1280x768 resolution with increased FOV (90 + adjustment for 5:3 aspect ratio) and those textures from Hill of Fire overhaul, sized 512x512, using different rendering outputs; 10th Anniversary Mod, native Direct3D 6 (which you get without setting up anything) and dgVoodoo wrapper. As you can see, the performance with 10th Anniversary Mod is quite abysmal.

PC where these shots were taken has AMD Phenom II X4 920 CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti GPU with the latest drivers and is capable of running newer titles at medium - high settings at 1920 x 1008 resolution at decent FPS. Note that the resolution doesn't make any difference with Drakan. Also, Bump Mapping option doesn't work with 10th Anniversary Mod, so it was disabled for 10th Ann screenshot, hence the visual difference with Arokh and water.

Drakan patched with AiO Patch supports textures with maximum size of 1024 x 1024. It could be bumped to 2048 if needed, though that's probably an overkill.

Now, on to other limitations, Drakan handles all textures as 16-bit, this is the reason for certain artifacts to show up, I think this is the issue you've written about under Texture Filtering. Nobody has figured out how to patch this limitation out of the engine. For the Texture Coordinates / Texture Wrapping problem, this one really obviously shows up with 10th Anniversary Mod. I tried painting simple square with some random rainbow image I found online, and there were strange lines visible at some places where the one polygons's texture meets another. Replacing texture the right way didn't produce said artifact.

About sprite animations, this one is really a no brainer as the Level Editor gives you control over them, but if you use 10th Anniversary Mod's hacky way of doing things, then good luck figuring out the right order. Same goes for categorization, Drakan has textures neatly organized in specialized texture databases, you can find them under Drakan directory by .txd extension. They're opened in the editor along with the level you're working on. Usually, a group of levels shares a common texture database and each level can also have its own texture database with textures specific to said level. Textures in each database are usually logically ordered by what kind of terrain they cover etc.

As for the skybox, it's possible to change Follow Mode property of sky object to Hold Position, that makes it show a little differently. But yeah, skybox is essentially a special model. I don't think you can change how it behaves beyond what is exposed through the editor without the game source code, maybe if you're a really clever hacker you could stuff the right calls in the code to make it do what you want.

I'd suggest you get acquainted with the editing tools and don't forget about AiO Patch as it includes all community-made enhancements for the game and the tools. I suppose you could still mess with 10th Anniversary Mod's shaders afterward, but given its current buggy state, I don't think it's feasible. Importing the textures with level editor is certainly the way to go. You also get more optimal memory consumption and better loading times. I've written about the issues with 10th Anniversary Mod several times already, everything from visual glitches, inability to alt-tab out of fullscreen mode without the game breaking, the installer "englishifying" non-english versions of the game. Also, switching resolutions and from fullscreen->windowed mode and vice-versa doesn't work, neither do savegame snapshots and game screenshot feature, though the latter one is also broken in a different way on recent NVIDIA drivers or when running the game through dgVoodoo.

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:14 am
by unterbuchse
Thanks for the replies.
I will just write down my thoughts on the issues you posted without any certain order cause Ive really got to much on my mind right now :D

First of, I think you misunderstood me somehow. To clarify this: the texture pack is NOT forced to be used with the 10th ann mod. Meaning: this one will not be bound to the mod. I just think the mod is the fastest way of getting textures in and out of the engine / game. There may be fully compiled databases when we get to a somehow "release" state if wanted.
The main objective was to get some kind of organization going to motivate collaborative work. The old story of breaking down a complex task into small bits.

Then, on to another point: I already worked with the editing tools and some reverse engineering of the game itself. I did not take the database structure into consideration for categorization due to the rush for prototype mentality and cause I just did not think of it again :D 'sorry, my bad' (I started the hd texture and work on drakan editing some years ago, and the idea for the webpage was born only some days ago. So I just lost the overview on the things i learned before ;) ) .

Regarding the problems: the 16 bit problem is the one i was considering as main reason for artefact problem too. Still no more investigation on this one yet. The other problems considering the 10th ann mod are some of the reasons why i contacted the developer and asked for the source. First off, to get rid of the clamping / wrapping texture thingy and of course to fix the damn texture artifacts. We chatted a little and we talked about the texture wrapping but he did not give out any source yet (this was some months ago, so perhaps i will contact him again). Still, he was very supportive and i think we could get this stuff fixed if we could make it open source (you know, collaboration and stuff :) ).

So, right now Ive got many projects running and the website should serve only as a starting point. Perhaps i will overhaul it and use the "official" database structure or just integrate it to be more flexible.

So if you got more opinions / critics I am open for it :)

And of course, a big thanks for the warm welcome ;)

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:22 am
by UCyborg
Ah, it was misunderstanding indeed, didn't know you already played with the programs. Just the part about categorization hinted like you didn't, but no biggie, we're only humans. :)

Good point about getting textures out of the game, export all option would be really handy, but we only have export selection. In the end, it's true that it doesn't matter as much how you got them out and getting them back into the databases involves some clicking either way. While you can import them all with one click when you have all of them finished and in the right order with help of a .def file, unless I missed something, you still have to set class for the ground textures so the game knows which footstep sound to play.

Either way, the big part is making them so these extra clicks in the end probably aren't much of a hassle in comparison, especially if everything is not on one person. I put those Hill of Fire textures in game databases and while matching originals with new ones was annoying, it's certainly doable. Kudos for making them in the first place, this game really needs more love!

I find it funny how devs talked about the fact that they dropped software renderer, that would, among other things, allow use of true-color textures, but the game happily downgrades them. It was a quite confusing discovery, I was thinking, why and how 16-bit? There's no such thing as 16-bit BMP file, is it? So I put 512x512 24-bit BMP in the editor, export it, both files weighted 768 KB, which is the uncompressed image/texture of that size and depth. Only at later point did I realize that exporting it back out gives you image of worse quality, but the size is the same. I found the code in the editor that does it. Anyway, about that rainbow texture, viewing exported version in image viewer shows exactly the same artifacts that appear in the game. So the 16-bit label for every texture you view in the editor isn't there just for show.

So you actually got in touch with the author? Interesting, due to the fact that he just ceased communication here and on ModDB, though his site with the mod is still up. I also generally like the idea of open-source, which may sound hypocritical given that I put out AiO Patch with some extra code in proxy dinput.dll and not the code, only due to the fact that the optional feature that enables borderless windowed mode is pure mess. xD

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:03 am
by unterbuchse
Regarding the "not open source, cause its not clean enough yet" argument: Just think of the bus factor.
Would be a shame if the only reason a project dies is due to the fear of being ridiculed. First KISS then we can talk about optimizations. And if it is open source, everyone may contribute and fix the "dirty" sections in no time.

Regarding the HD Pack / each texture enhancement mod ever created, I fear we will run against the parkinsons law. Thats also the reason why I just put out the "do whatever you like" mentality without enforcing any style guides etc. If we have enough content, we may argue about which to use and why (if necessary).

Little side question on this part: What do you think about the textures I made so far? Is this even any enhancement yet? Although its one of the most stupid replacements, the red carpet in the church is one of the best examples, that it does not need to be complex, to look better.

Anyway, perhaps, if Ive got more spare time, I can fire up my Olly and dig in deeper. Who knows, this could be the start of something new :)

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:42 pm
by UCyborg
I put the source code on GitHub today:

For the modifications of the executables themselves, I didn't keep the OllyDbg data files, since the time I added new section in both Drakan.exe and Dragon.rfl for storing some variables and resolution list string used in graphics menu, the old files were invalidated. Not all changes could be tracked with them anyway because of eg. some deletions/additions to relocation table. And comparing executables in some hex editor might give the impression that there are more changes in the code than there really are due to the fact that I avoided writing jumps to the bottom of code section if there was enough space available to modify certain function in place.

About your textures, I find the grass textures a little too dark, but you've really nailed it with burnt houses. Also, it seems like, about, how do you say that in English, crowns/treetops? They could be more dense. But otherwise, I like them. These things are really subjective generally, different people like different styles. Personally, the only styles I encountered so far and just couldn't get myself to like them in computer games are cartoony ones.

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:21 pm
by Mauva Malhar
12133.jpg (114.81 KiB) Viewed 21414 times
Mountain World pack. It's beta, not all textures are replaced.!Ap0-nvQOvFIZbcAUoo2gOoBAWd4

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:25 pm
by unterbuchse
Great. We already have some double entries now so we will have to find a system to cope with this. I will think about something and integrate it to the site when ready. My first impression: everythings looks better but i dont agree with the "colorful" character. In comparison to my textures (which may be too dark) i would stick to a little bit "darker" not so colorful look.

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:01 am
by Mauva Malhar
I don't get it. What do you mean "colorful character"? They aren't over saturated. For comparison :D About double entries, I can concentrate only on ground textures.

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:44 am
by Mauva Malhar
And man, no offence, but your textures aren't seamless.
8989.jpg (80.8 KiB) Viewed 21411 times
3232.jpg (227.88 KiB) Viewed 21411 times
There must not be any edges, such textures are for old engines, when blending technology was a miracle :D And you took a road texture from these folks ( is a tire print on the road.

And let's don't make a fight, I appreciate and admire your work. :D

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:11 pm
by unterbuchse
(Dont give my text an agressive or offensive voice in your head when you read this :) )
First off:
I know they are not seamless and many textures need reworks (already mentioned on the page :) ).
Regarding the source of the textures / parts of the textures: I took my resources from which ever place I could access because (as pointed out on the website) I want to focus on the final product and dont care about licensing etc. Thats the reason for the password protection (no public release etc).
Furthermore: any attribution would result in a problem because you can never get every single source / attribution / credit when we really want to do this collaboratively.

Regarding the colors:
Just compare the level with ur textures applied (especially the grass stuff) with the level with my textures applied. (I mean live not screenshots).
My textures are a little bit too dark and yours are too "colorful". Just my opinion, but perhaps we may find some consent in between.
My thoughts on this are:
Lets get many alternatives and everyone may decide himself which to choose. (this may be annoying but this way we can circumvent the overly long discussion problem)

Happy to see ur work :) and again: We are all friends here who should be able to understand criticism :)

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:20 pm
by Mauva Malhar
Man, criticism is good :D It helps a lot. About colors, I'm trying to develop a method of packing and editing textures because I found a lot of glitches in my textures. So I hope it will help to change color and saturation with ease.

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:58 pm
by Mauva Malhar
Damn, I knew it'll be like this... Folks don't judge me, I'm off. Simply, don't have time for this stuff. Really sorry. Sending psd files with all materials which I used. Maybe it helps. :cry:!Ap0-nvQOvFIZbnDCpq1gG6Ce3LI

Re: Drakan HD Texture Pack

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:18 pm
by unterbuchse
Sad to hear that but I wont judge you. I dont have much free time right now either. So perhaps we meet again when there is some time :) Till then seeya