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imlegos

Tips for making Custom Content

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Hello there, I've been thinking recently about making a custom scenery pack based on Portal (2). And I was wondering, what are some tips for doing any kind of custom content, like say rides.

 

Edited by imlegos

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I don't have any experience doing custom scenery (yet), but I've done a number of custom rides. I can give all the information I have if you need it. I have information on the format of the .DAT files (though the OpenRCT2 source code is by this point probably the best resource for this), the palette you need to use, the angle that the camera should be set at, the correct scale for the game, and all the angles that you need to render sprites at (for rides mainly ... with scenery there's only 4 angles)

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Check out the RCT2 Object Editor here: http://www.nedesigns.com/utilities/

Using this tool you can open and edit existing DAT files, and see how they are stored. The order of the sprites, their maximum size, and the pallet to use are the only things you can't change. There are some tutorials about how to render models correctly, and make them fit with the rest of the game. http://ae.rctspace.com/tutorial/ch05.htm

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A couple of points about AE's tutorial:

  •  Don't render to a GIF and then convert to RCT2's palette. You're palletizing the image twice - the resulting quality loss is evident in several of AEs rides. Render first to true color, and then convert. I wrote my own renderer to handle the process, but that's probably overkill.
  • When you are converting to indexed color, if your object is supposed to be remappable don't include the other color indices in the target palette. Otherwise, you might end up with non-remappable colors in remappable areas. AE suggests touching it up manually. I don't - it will get very tedious if you are doing a ride as they have lots of sprites. Also, the colors that AE marks as remappable aren't actually the remappable ones. I wrote my own renderer to handle all this for me but that's probably overkill depending on how many sprites you need to render (some of my rides have tens of thousands).
  • Don't just guess the camera angle by trial and error. It's a well known projection that was/is common in "isometric" games (it is not however a true isometric projection). There's no need to guess, it, I have the projection matrix and the angles you need to set the camera to if you want them.
  • AE says several things are hardcoded that are not actually hardcoded at all. You can change the spacing of cars, you can increase the number of riders per car, you can add extra sprites, you can change the makeup of the train and really anything else except the track style and sound effects (there's other hardcoded stuff, like splashes, but it's not as frequently encountered). Flat rides are far more limited, because the animation sequence and base size are hardcoded, but still, I would recommend actually checking whether something can be changed if you need to.

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I currently have an idea for trash cans in a Portal pack: Mini Intelligence Incinerators (New = P1 design, Vandalized = P2, and full would be a new thing all together) Lamps could probably be based on the light panels seen everywhere (Either flat or standing, or even as a wall object). Not sure what to do with benches. The pack would probably be based heavily around use of Zero-Clearance for some effects, like placing a portal wall on a path or track.

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If you're placing portals on track, you could make the object a door instead of relying on zero clearance. These can be placed on narrower tracks (such as wild mouse) without the need for cheats, and they are animated, so you could have some sort of effect when the train goes through.

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The portal wall would be un-animated for larger tracks, like Twister and Looping. But i could have an animated version used, where the animation has the portal opening and closing upon going through it. (As shown by colorable portal) The look of it when the door is closed would be similar too how a portal looks when there is no corresponding one placed.

Edited by imlegos

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Object editor looks like it could be useful, but I have no clue how too get the images I'm going too need. Best thing I can think of is loading the object in Source Film Maker, taking an image with the proper camera angle, then editing the image. Also, this is more in regards too the Portal Theming project; I don't own Portal 1, I have 2, but not 1. So I can't make an image of the regular Intelligence Incinerator...

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If using a renderer without support for orthographic projection, a workaround is to move the camera very far away and zoom in very far. This will give you a projection that's close to, but not quite, orthographic.

I've done all the modelling for my rides in Blender, and I find it does the job well. I don't render my rides in Blender (I use my own renderer), but I've used Blender for rendering other sprites, and as long as you get the projection right and turn off anti-aliasing the results are good. Realistically, pretty much any 3D renderer can be used - you don't need any sophisticated features for this.

If you are doing a scenery object and only have a couple views to render, you can always draw them by hand. I don't recommend this approach, but it's an option.

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I have absolutely no idea. I've never actually used it. (I've stated previously the profile was made using GMod, which is played as a FPS) Also, drawing by hand probably won't look good for me.

 

I'm talking about this here instead of the project's thread is because this seems more like it could lead into more tips, as well as help for myself.

Edited by imlegos

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I'm not familiar with anything.

I'm horribly under prepared too do this. And GMod doesn't have an easy was to angle the view too work, and would just be me fiddeling around for an hour with the camera, trying too get the right angle.

 

I just remembered that there is rotation snaping in Gmod... Maybe it could be of some use... Gmod can load the objects, but not the maps.

Edited by imlegos

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I don't have any experience with blender, but in my opinion one of the best 3D modeling programs you can get is Autodesk Inventor. It might take a few tutorials to get used to but in my experience it's pretty intuitive and powerful.

Though I'm not sure about any specific file types it can or can't output, and in that case what renderers it will be compatible with...

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On 4/25/2016 at 01:55, X7123M3-256 said:

If you don't mind, could you explain how I could replicate this effect? I need to make a railway track behind my park that can actually run trains without looking weird. I also wanted to then use this concept to make a highway that runs Pickup Trucks and Vintage Cars in two separate lanes.

Basically, I need to make a portal precisely when the ride track meets the edge of the park which is directly linked to the opposite edge (which, in turn is connected to an invisible station).

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The portals don't actually work, the cars are just timed exactly right to make it look like one train is being teleported to another location when in reality it's just 2 separate trains timed really, really well.

Edited by YoloSweggLord

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Really? If that's the case, they are timed damn well. I mean it's literally perfect.  The train that goes in one portal is so accurately coming out of the other portal I'm more than impressed by the person who pulled that off. 

@X7123M3-256 You had your own news post for that feat: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/a-roller-coaster-tycoon-user-made-a-ride-with-functioning-wormholes

Edited by ziscor

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5 hours ago, ziscor said:

If you don't mind, could you explain how I could replicate this effect? I need to make a railway track behind my park that can actually run trains without looking weird. I also wanted to then use this concept to make a highway that runs Pickup Trucks and Vintage Cars in two separate lanes.

Basically, I need to make a portal precisely when the ride track meets the edge of the park which is directly linked to the opposite edge (which, in turn is connected to an invisible station).

Here's the animation with scenery off. This is done using the block system; when the train arrives at the top of the lift the block ahead is occupied, so it's forced to wait. The block clears when the second train leaves the MCBR, and then they both take the same time to reach the portal at the bottom. Then the trains just keep switching roles until the last train hits the brakes.

This would be a challenge to pull off using the car ride because of the lack of block sectioned mode. It ought to be possible to get the same effect using "synchronize with adjacent stations" as well (this is really just a themed duelling coaster), but done this way you have to hide the station if you want to preserve the illusion (because otherwise you would see the fact there's actually two trains at that point.

 

I'm not sure why you think you need this though - if the aim is just to create a highway, does it matter if one train comes out the tunnel at the same time the other enters? I wouldn't bother trying to synchronize that if it were me.

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I recently made a post where I needed that. I need to make sure the cars that go across the highway do not go off the map (at the last tile) and go all the way to the other highway track. It's not exactly pretty to look at and breaks the illusion that actual trucks are going off the screen on the highway.

Here's how it is:

portals.png

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If it's actual portals you're after, check out this park. It's LL, but a similar bug affects RCT2 and I'm sure you could make something like this work. However, these portals are fairly short range and you have limited control over where the trains exit. What I would do in your situation is just loop the track back to the other end via an invisible underground track. There's no need to synchronize it, becuase you don't actually want the player to notice that it's the same car looped round - it's actually better if it takes some time to return so that the player is less likely to notice that it's just a loop of cars.

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I think I just might make tunnels at the two ends so that people can't notice the vehicles moving along the edge of the map (like they do now). I'll look more into that hack, though. Thanks for the help!

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