Former modder from the good old days coming back into the fray. (Don't get excited, always have been a bit of a molyneux (all talk no trousers)).
Apart from personal projects this is the only public project that has tickled my fancy. Going to offer up a few thoughts about the model structure you are using.
Ahh the good old days. Q2's simple structure brought complete freedom and let anyone with the the desire create whatever they imagined. Golden age for the PPM. A very short golden age that would be stifled by the segmentation of q3 and the skeletal animation of further games.
Now the reason I'm here. I'm sure this would go against your desired plan but a little discussion never hurt anyone.
At the moment your legacy support for md2 and md3 sits well with your praiseworthy aim for GPL'ed/CC valhalla of inter-sharing of content with other like-minded developers but there is an opportunity to offer the ideal environment for the return of the spirit of the golden age.
Both md2/3 have their advantages and weaknesses.
MD2 has the dreaded vertboil and the troublesome but worthwhile vWep when handled well. It also has the bliss of extremely simple animation and texture structure.
MD3 has the creatively limiting segmented structure (but useful in game function) but comes with the useful tag_floor and weapon. Shaders, bit of a pain but useful once understood.
(would slag off the config files but I'm praising the shaders so it would be a bit iffy)
A hybrid of the two that offered a simple but solid structure whilst still offering the legacy support would benefit q2w I think. Offering an ideal easy PPM solution would be a feature that would pull people towards q2w and have more people create and play for it. (sound like a filthy salesman don't I ;)
My idea solution would be to use the md3 format but have a single mesh character (md2 style) with a set animation list, the option for either tradition vWep or tagged. Retain the q2 texture structure and have shaders as an optional extra.
Thoughts? Has this been brought up before or have the big boys mulled over this themselves?
p.s. Thanks for forwarding the reg email Dolan. You linux users always have to put roadblocks in the way of inter-compatibility... ;).
Hi Bort, and welcome.
I agree with nearly everything you said, and these are certainly issues towards which I've directed a lot of thought. Essentialy, you're right on the money. Quake2 animation system with MD3, single-mesh models is where we're headed. This is actually already present and working in the game -- we just don't have any MD3 models using it yet. The only part that's not completed is the tag_ support, but that's a couple hours worth of coding -- I'm not too concerned.
So, the models that I would consider priority right now are the static, non-animated weapons and items. We're aiming to recreate the Quake2 weapons with reasonable poly counts -- this allows us to have a 1.0 release with the Ichabod and Ogro player models, since their legacy vweap models will look correct. I would like to re-skin those two with 1024x1024 textures.. but even that is not high priority.
However, if you're really fixated on creating a new player model, by all means go for it :)
Just a follow-up, after some discussion on IRC it sounds like 512x diffuse skins would be adequate for weapons, items, and perhaps even players.