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Everything posted by [EA]LBrown

  1. I'm sure several of you have been wondering what I've been up to lately, so I thought it would be good to take a moment and fill you in on what has been going on. First off, I have to apologize for the lateness of this announcement. I had intended to to this over the Holidays, but my laptop decided to suddenly die on me just before I went on vacation, and I had no alternate internet access where I was. So as just mentioned, for the last several weeks I've been on vacation visiting family and friends in the middle of nowhere, Wisconsin. (The middle of the US with nothing but trees and cows for hundreds of miles). Once I got back a week ago, I started a new position as a Level designer for a local Game company and have already been hit with massive overtime due to a deadline. Why do you need a new job? Aren't you supposed to be the "Mod Support Coordinator", you ask? Well, the short answer is yes, I was, but unfortunately that position is no more. As you may or may not know, EA has recently Aquired Dice, (Or is in the process of doing it, I really don't know all the details), and as part of this there has been a lot of internal reorganization, with responsibility for BF2 shifting to the UK. As a consequence, it was decided that among other things, the Mod Support Coordinator position couldn't be supported any longer and the various duties of that position would be shifted to different departments in the company. I'll say right now that this has been a wonderful experience, and I've worked with a great bunch of guys. This was purely an organizational decision. So now you ask, so where does that leave us with support? The answer is I don't actually know all the details yet. I do know that various members of Dice/EA have pledged continuing support for the modders. For instance, there is a new version of the editor about to come out. (It may already be out. I haven't actually had a chance to look lately.) The new version fixes a few things and adds some functionality for Special Forces. I know there are also people still working on support for single player maps and other things and there will be some sort of a support address where modders can send questions much the same way you did with me. Note that I am still in contact with Dice/EA from time to time and as I get more details, I will post them. I will also still be checking these forums whenever posible, though it will be "unofficially". Even so, I will still be able to moderate when need be, and you can still send me questions by PMing me here and I will try to pass things on whenever necessary, though I can't promise how quickly I'll be able to respond. Okay, so where does that leave these forums? The good news is that there is still being work done on setting up the "official" forums. Unfortunately I don't have any details as to when things will actually be shifted over. The biggest problem is dealing with migrating everything from here over to the new boards. They are trying to make it as painless as possible while retaining as much content from here as possible. There will still be an announcement from me or possibly Detrux once this happens. (Special thanks to him again for continuing to deal with what was supposed to be a "temporary" site.) That's about all the info I have right now. As I said, I'm still in contact with Dice and EA and as I learn more, I'll post it here. Finally, I just want to say that I've had a wonderfull time working with all of you. You're an amazingly talented group that has produced awesome results despite these limited resources. I'll definitely be among those playing these mods and eagerly await their release. If you have any other questions or issues you'd like to discuss, feel free to send me a private message, and I'll try to get back to you or pass things on as quickly as I can. -Lawrence Brown -(former) Battlefield Mod Support Coordinator
  2. Hmm... Actually a good question. I would say that as long as you aren't trying to sell the mod, and you are creating your own version of the music (IE: not just ripping it from the game) it should be okay. Now if you were trying to sell it as a ringtone for your cellphone, that would be a different story...
  3. Yeah, that happens once in a while. I don't know exactly what causes it though. You can try using the smooth tool over the area with maximum settings. The "harder" way would be to try fixing the particular heightmap in photoshop if you are familiar with that way. (I have a tutorial titled "understanding heightmaps" that may help you with that.) If you do it that way, make sure you are fixing the heightmap in your "Editor" folder and not the main level folder, otherwise it will just get overwritten again the next time you open the map. (the editor opens the files in the Editor folder, not the main folder.)
  4. Honestly, I haven't figured out much about getting SF assets into BF2. I don't know that it's necessarily permitted anyway. Dice's position is basically that if you want to use assets from a retail expansion pack, then your mod needs to be for that expansion pack. That being said, to partially answer your question, it may be that you will need the new editor update that is coming out soon. I'm still trying to get info on this and will pass it on as soon as I figure it out.
  5. Sorry for being away for so long. Yes, the holidays are messing things up a bit. I probably won't be responding to much in the next few weeks. There are currently also a lot of other things being dealt with "behind the scenes" that are taking up a lot of time. To answer a few concerns: 1: I didn't say you can't contact me, I said that sending mail to my EA address wouldn't get you a response faster than asking your question here. If you have a mod team-related issue, feel free to email me. If you just have a question about how to make something work or your map crashes, you should post it here so that others can hopefully help you. There's no possible way I can answer individual emails for everyone whose map crashes at whatever percent. 2: The information I have been giving out concerning the "official" site is what I'm told by EA. I am not personnally developing the site, so all I can do is relay the information. I'm sorry it's been taking so long, but it's not something I can really control. 3. Yes, I am still working on my Pirates mod, but the bulk of the work is now done by a team. I'm just art directing and so on because yes, my day job is to coordinate Mod support. 4. So what have I been doing? among other things, constantly talking with Dice and EA about what you need to create your mods, checking back with them to find out the state of things and trying to light fires under the right people to get these things delivered to you, working with the various programmers and artists to get the training necessary so that I know how this whole process works, writing up that knowledge, creating reference materials, testing the tutorials to be sure they work, and getting them to you so that you know how to do these things, working with Rex and figuring out how to write tutorials on doing things in Max that were originally only designed to work in Maya, maintaining this site (with Detrux) so that each of you can ask questions, exchange information, and hopefully help each other to solve problems I haven't been able to yet, answer your questions where and whenever possible, hopefully in a way, such as posting here, that will also help others, moderating these forums, which again were supposed to be temporary, so that there is at least a sliver of organization to them, (believe me, they could be a lot worse), trying to coordinate with the people designing the official site so that they can figure out how to do such things as how to migrate all these forum posts to the new site, sifting through all the bug reports, posts, emails, and so on to figure out which are bugs, which just need clarification, and so on, and then getting that information written up in a form that Dice programmers and others can read and enter into a database so they can figure out what to prioritize in fixing and how to do it, and oh yes, responding to emails saying "Does Mr. Brown ever do anything?", and "why does EA hate us so much?".
  6. This thread is not being productive at all and is getting dangerously close to the abusive side, so I'm closing it. The bottom line is that Dice is in charge of the editor, how and when it gets updated, and how testing is handled. They felt that before they released it to the public (meaning all the mod teams), they wanted to be sure it wasn't going to do something like break all the work you've already done. You complain now that only a few "trusted" teams are getting the editor, but how much more upset would you be if you suddenly had to start over from scratch because of bug that wasn't caught before general release?
  7. This is a tutorial documenting all steps necessary for creating a new set of kits for a team and getting them in the game. This is a combined tutorial in that it is for both Maya and Max and contains example files for both. (Maya 6 and Max 7). You can get it here: http://bfeditor.gotfrag.com/Creating_New_Kits.zip
  8. Is this a 1024 map with scale set to 4? If so, then it won't work because of texture memory issues.
  9. Yeah, you can do that by just taking any image, slicing it up and sizing each piece correctly, and putting them in your Editorcolormaps folder. They will then show up in your terrain so you can use them for placing buildings and so on. Once you have finished with it, you can put your normal terrain textures back in (or create them if you haven't yet). Just remember that you may have to fuss a lot with scaling to get the dimensions correct.
  10. Have you checked the tiling settings of the low detail texture? I seem to recall a problem where the editor doesn't show tiling correctly. Does the tiling actually change visibly in the editor when you change the values?
  11. Yep, that's pretty much it. Just go by the intent of the rules and you should be fine. If anyone has specific questions, feel free to send me a message.
  12. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a complete list since they came from so many different places.
  13. As has always been with every "Battlefield" game, and as has been stated here, Dice does not allow you to mix assets between mods. (the retail game and the Expansion are both considered "mods"). This means you cannot put assets from Special Forces into BF2 maps and Vice-Versa. The basic reason behind this is that if someone just takes all the assets from the expansion pack and puts them into maps for retail BF2 so that you can play with all the new stuff without actually buying the expansion, then those that actually paid for it are being cheated.
  14. A quick fix is to copy those files from a retail map into your level. These are the textures for the surrounding terrain meshes. You will find them in the colormaps and lowdetailMaps folders of a retail level. Copy these to the corresponding colormaps and lowdetailMaps folders INSIDE the folder labled "EDITOR" in your level. Restart the editor and reload and repackage your level if necessary. There are several threads on this, so you might try a search for something like "surrounding", or "textures", or "tx_s0", or even "crash", though that one will give you an aweful lot of threads to look through.
  15. No, they are not going to be banned. These are mods, not original games, so it's expected that various assets from the original game will be used in most mods to some degree or other. The main point was just that as long as you aren't trying to pass off Dice copyrighted assets as your own, there shouldn't be any problem.
  16. All dimensions of a .dds texture have to be a power of 2. Adding 32 pixels to a 512 image will result in an error. If the original is 512x16, you would either have to make it 1024x16 or 512x32, but even after you do this, you still have to get the game to recognize those new images and to use them correctly, which involves a lot more steps, including creating a new .tai file and setting up the objects to use those images.
  17. You need to create a .tac file (texture atlas creation) file before you can create a .tai file. I need to figure it out and write a tutorial on it, but I think once you make the tac file, you just use a command line with flags for the tac file and the destination file. I'll try to figure it out as soon as I can. Sorry for the delay.
  18. The best way is to just open up some of the textures from retail BF2 and look at them.
  19. if you've placed your object in the right place and packaged both your mod and your level, then it should work. Without more info other than "my object doesn't show up when playing the game", it's kind of hard to figure out what the problem is since if you did everything correctly, it should work. If you followed the tutorials exactly, it should be working. If you could give a little more info on what steps you've been doing, we might be able to figure it out.
  20. The starting number of tickets and how fast they bleed can be set at the bottom of the init.con for the level. (not sure where to set this in the editor). Ticket bleeds starts when the "value" of all flags held by one team adds up to more than 100. This can be set in the tweak bar for each control point. A different value can even be set for each team. If you are trying to make the tickets bleed faster when more control points are held, I don't think this is possible. I didn't see anything related to that.
  21. IfI'm reading your question right, you could probably paste the 256 heightmap into the middle of the 512 heightmap using photoshop, assuming the scale of the two maps is the same. You would then still have to sculpt the new areas, but at least you shouldn't have to recreate the original areas.
  22. I don't believe the settings you use when rendering your lightmaps has anything to do with actual gameplay performance. The file size of the lightmaps is always the same. Changing the quality only affects how accurate they are, thereby saving rendering time for testing.
  23. When exporting your custom objects, the exporter automatically creates the .sample files needed for lightmaps and adds them to the mesh files. They were taken off of the objects in the retail game for file size issues, I believe. Anyway, what happens is that if you have a mix of original objects and BF2 objects and don't have those .sample zip files, you will get shadows on your custom objects, but not the BF2 objects. Note that what I'm referring to here is the "self-shadowing". This is where some sides of an object are brighter than others due to the angle of the sun and so on. This is NOT the terrain shadows, meaning the shadows created on the ground by the sun. The shadows on the ground will be created for all objects when you render lightmaps whether you have the sample files or not. Just make sure you have the option checked for generating terrain shadows when you render them.
  24. Since the terrain is a grid, and you can never have two points at the same exact place, it is impossible to make a completely vertical face. There will always be at least 1 meter between points. Teh bigger the height distance between two points, the "closer" to verticle it will be, but there will always be a difference. Yes, it's rather annoying that ladders can't be placed at a slight angle like they could be in BF42. I wish they would fix this, but it's probably just something we are going to have to live with. The solution we are using in my mod is to make a small wooden platform that sticks out at the top of the cliff that the ladder is attached to so it can remain straight. It isn't as nice, but it works.
  25. Ahve you actually painted the terrain textures, or are you just saving the blank map with control points and running it? Make sure that when you create your map that "scale" is set to 2. It should be by default, but it doesn't hurt to double-check. If you try to make a map whose size is 1024 and the scale is set to 4, you will have texture memory problems similar to what you have there.
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