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Lego Rock Raiders Reloaded will be possible

DarkianMaker

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Hi there, I said I would analyze the (available) code to Lego Rock Raiders and see what I can do with it and today I have come to a verdict. I will be able to reconstruct the game engine with the data I have available and the insights created by just looking at the overall configuration of RR and the game mechanics. It won't be easy nor will it be a swift task but it can be done and it will be done. One of my work projects has been postponed til 2017 and the other one is almost done so I feel like I can start on Rock Raiders Reloaded come next week and below is what I will start working on and what I will be planning to do for now with the project.

 

When I start I will be working on:

- The base engine (camera controls, HUD, resource control)

- Starter elements (Tool Station, Rock Raider, Solid Rock, Dirt, Drills and Shovels)

- The start of the Rock Raider AI system (I noticed how bare bone it actually is in the original game and will improve quite a bit)

- Basic map design.

- Keeping everybody up-to-date with what is going on.

 

What I am planning to do with the project itself:

- Recreate the Rock Raiders experience the best I can.

- Improve AI for everything.

- Make modding a lot easier on the new platform.

- Fix a few things that were broken/glitched in the base game (Ore Refinery using more ore than it needs because of zealous Rock Raiders; Trucks dumping more resources than a site needs;)

- Redo the way that drilling and using lasers on walls works by giving the walls HP instead of the system that RR used.

- Change the Laser Towers into base defense structures which engage enemies in their range when a red alert is active and maybe nerf their EC usage or just remove that altogether.

- Create a way of patching that makes sure you don't have to download the whole project every time there's an update.

 

What I am planning for when the project is stable and has what it needs:

- Keep improving the project.

- Create a multiplayer mode (co-op for now, PvP in whatever form will require some more thought beforehand).

- Work on a more complex sequel to Rock Raiders with more resources, buildings, vehicles and a ton more.

 

Let me know what you guys think so far and I'm curious for your opinions and ideas. :)


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23 Comments


Sooooounds, epic! How solo are you planning to go with the project?

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DarkianMaker

Posted

I do not intend to go solo on this one because I'm not good at all the things that are required, I can program but modeling and animating are things I've never poked with a stick and I'd rather have somebody on board who can do these things than have to spend a lot of time learning those skills which only slows down the overall progress of the project.

I do not intend to go solo on this one because I'm not good at all the things that are required, I can program but modeling and animating are things I've never poked with a stick and I'd rather have somebody on board who can do these things than have to spend a lot of time learning those skills which only slows down the overall progress of the project.

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Cirevam

Posted

You can poke me for modeling and animating. I have Lightwave and I've touched almost everything the game has to offer so far.

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@Cirevam I've sent over DarkianMaker the four basic essential buildings already in obj format, but perhaps it would be better to keep them in the format the game has provided them in already? If so, you'd be the better man for that job. At the same time though, lightwave's format is lightwave exclusive, leaving everyone without it wanting to make custom models in the dark. Unless Blender has a .lwo/.lws export plugin.

 

Also, if I may suggest. It would be a good idea if we use the HD models that various members have provided around here instead of the originals.

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Ringtail

Posted

Quote

 Change the Laser Towers into base defense structures which engage enemies in their range when a red alert is active and maybe nerf their EC usage or just remove that altogether.

while i don't like the way the drain and recharge system works, making them just free of cost seems like it'd make keeping your base secure too easy (except from other ranged enemies if anyone adds those in - on that note, can such be possible, rather than just monsters throwing their s***ty boulders?) I don't know what a better system would be tho so.

 

Quote

I do not intend to go solo on this one

good, pretty much all those solo remakes just die eventually. i'll still believe it when i see it but already this is a better attitude than most of the remake projects i've seen around here.

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2 minutes ago, Ringtail said:

rather than just monsters throwing their s***ty boulders?

They should throw it at the ceiling above your base causing the cave to collapse on top of it. That'd give you a reason to be scared. :P

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Cirevam

Posted

31 minutes ago, Xiron said:

perhaps it would be better to keep them in the format the game has provided them in already?... At the same time though, lightwave's format is lightwave exclusive, leaving everyone without it wanting to make custom models in the dark.

 

I want this game's modding efforts to open up to more than a handful of people. Maybe a hybrid or legacy solution is possible. @Yellowkey's CrystalCore project may be able to provide hints on how to support the Lightwave side. He basically rewrote the engine and it supports stock LRR resources with surprising accuracy.

 

As for monsters, anything to make them an actual threat would be nice.

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DarkianMaker

Posted

9 hours ago, Cirevam said:

You can poke me for modeling and animating. I have Lightwave and I've touched almost everything the game has to offer so far.

 

I will keep this in mind.

 

9 hours ago, Xiron said:

@Cirevam I've sent over DarkianMaker the four basic essential buildings already in obj format, but perhaps it would be better to keep them in the format the game has provided them in already? If so, you'd be the better man for that job. At the same time though, lightwave's format is lightwave exclusive, leaving everyone without it wanting to make custom models in the dark. Unless Blender has a .lwo/.lws export plugin.

 

Also, if I may suggest. It would be a good idea if we use the HD models that various members have provided around here instead of the originals.

 

Well, since I'm working on Unity and have to write my own version of the RR engine I don't think we have to stick to the old format and could just go over to the .obj extension for the models.

 

And yes using newer HD models would work fine with me so the remake also has a bit of a fresh feel to it without sacrificing the original style though.

 

9 hours ago, Ringtail said:

while i don't like the way the drain and recharge system works, making them just free of cost seems like it'd make keeping your base secure too easy (except from other ranged enemies if anyone adds those in - on that note, can such be possible, rather than just monsters throwing their s***ty boulders?) I don't know what a better system would be tho so.

9 hours ago, Xiron said:

They should throw it at the ceiling above your base causing the cave to collapse on top of it. That'd give you a reason to be scared. :P

8 hours ago, Cirevam said:

As for monsters, anything to make them an actual threat would be nice.

 

Well for nerfing purposes I was thinking of just halving their current cost or lowering it to a quarter of their current cost but if I were to remove the EC usage of those towers I would lower their damage output severely as well to compensate for the removal of the EC usage.

 

About ranged monster, although vanilla RR really lacks ranged opponents I could go and upgrade the Rock Monster boulder throwing like @Xiron suggested or implementing the Scorpion enemy and make it a bigger enemy with an energy beam shooting from its tail. Actually, that would be a pretty tough enemy if it can also attack Rock Raiders and their vehicles O_O. What do you guys think about that?

 

9 hours ago, Ringtail said:

good, pretty much all those solo remakes just die eventually. i'll still believe it when i see it but already this is a better attitude than most of the remake projects i've seen around here.

 

I've seen this with (remake) projects around the internet as well, usually those who either solo it or overextend their teams immediately mostly see their projects die because of lacking motivation or a team that is too big to manage and nothing gets done properly. I intend not to make these mistakes and will accept help of people but will not go around and have 30 people working with me on this because I can't manage that. And I'm still human so there will probably still be errors and mistakes down the road but I'm willing to face that and accept consequence.

 

8 hours ago, Cirevam said:

I want this game's modding efforts to open up to more than a handful of people. Maybe a hybrid or legacy solution is possible. @Yellowkey's CrystalCore project may be able to provide hints on how to support the Lightwave side. He basically rewrote the engine and it supports stock LRR resources with surprising accuracy.

 

Providing a platform that is easier to use for the modding community is a goal that is high on the list. Right now I have to say that I'd rather have something universal from the get go to work with and at a later stage will add the functionality for (as an example) stock LRR resources.

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13 minutes ago, DarkianMaker said:

Well, since I'm working on Unity and have to write my own version of the RR engine I don't think we have to stick to the old format and could just go over to the .obj extension for the models.

Actually, obj can't hold animation, so we might have to go with something like fbx. I'd like to hear other people's format suggestiosn.

 

Quote

I could go and upgrade the Rock Monster boulder throwing like @Xiron suggested or implementing the Scorpion enemy and make it a bigger enemy with an energy beam shooting from its tail. Actually, that would be a pretty tough enemy if it can also attack Rock Raiders and their vehicles O_O. What do you guys think about that?

Upgrade? Sure. To the extent of my ridiculous suggestion? Maybe not that far. :P

As for the scorps, I'm not really familiar with them. What was their original purpose?

Speaking of tough, will there be a difficulty setting? Like maybe there is regular which is just the standard rock raiders we know and love [roughly speaking], and then there is a hard mode where monsters do more damage, move faster, and perhaps even a slightly increased spawn rate (or have them on maps where they wouldn't be otherwise on normal), also, faster air drainage.

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DarkianMaker

Posted

3 minutes ago, Xiron said:

Actually, obj can't hold animation, so we might have to go with something like fbx. I'd like to hear other people's format suggestiosn.

 

Ahh okay, the things I learn xD I did see that Lightwave can export to .fbx so @Cirevam could potentially help out there.

 

4 minutes ago, Xiron said:

Upgrade? Sure. To the extent of my ridiculous suggestion? Maybe not that far. :P

As for the scorps, I'm not really familiar with them. What was their original purpose?

 

Maybe just an idea for a 'Big Rock Monster' for regular Rock Monsters I would think about them having a longer range with their boulder throwing and/or have their boulders do more damage.

 

Well the Scorpions had two variants I recall for the PS1 game, one of them just moved around and pinched your Rock Raiders if you came too close. The other one was highly aggressive, venomous and could throw energy bursts from its claws. So a larger version of that second one could potentially be a nightmare fuel boss monster :P

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aidenpons

Posted

As for the scorps, I'm not really familiar with them. What was their original purpose?

PC scorpions are so incredibly small (along with snakes) that I'm left to consider they must have been critters like the Small Spider or maybe the Bat - you can see snakes in one of the LRR cutscenes.

 

As for monsters, anything to make them an actual threat would be nice.

HealthDecayRate = -2

CanBeFrozen = FALSE

CanBeHitByFense = FALSE

 

on Electric Fence properties:

OyxgenCoef = 0.1

HealthDecayRate = 1

 

... although then it just comes down to a micromanagament of manning your buffed Mining Lasers and SHOOTING THEM ALL

also monsters can get about 1000+ health if you leave them too long which takes AAAAGES to kill

 

I'm also fairly sure for some reason the range of boulders is tied to the animation... but I could be wrong.

 

Fun Fact - Vanilla LRR boulders deal 1 damage to buildings. l405G.jpg

 

 

I'd say try to get an engine running before fiddling with the specifics of what to do here-and-there. If you can make a flexible engine, all the better. But that's me ranting and you probably know that already

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1 hour ago, aidenpons said:

I'm also fairly sure for some reason the range of boulders is tied to the animation... but I could be wrong.

If there's a problem (which that is), we can fix it.

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Ben24x7

Posted

Once you complete recreating LEGO Rock Raiders and start adding new features in, there is one that I'm not sure how to implement but would be useful;

 

The ability to upgrade Water Vehicles, or make the Upgrade station compatible with water tiles.

 

I say this, because in LRR's manual the entry for the Rapid Rider says that it has upgrades, but from what I see these upgrades aren't available in the game.

What should the Rapid Rider be upgraded with? I'm thinking there should be one for the cargo hold (just to carry more than one solitary Energy Crystal or piece of Ore, meaning that transporting materials "over-seas" requires less trips back and forth.).

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DarkianMaker

Posted

11 hours ago, aidenpons said:

HealthDecayRate = -2

CanBeFrozen = FALSE

CanBeHitByFense = FALSE

 

on Electric Fence properties:

OyxgenCoef = 0.1

HealthDecayRate = 1

 

... although then it just comes down to a micromanagament of manning your buffed Mining Lasers and SHOOTING THEM ALL

also monsters can get about 1000+ health if you leave them too long which takes AAAAGES to kill

 

This is grade A lunacy on a Pogo stick xD 

 

11 hours ago, aidenpons said:

I'm also fairly sure for some reason the range of boulders is tied to the animation... but I could be wrong.

 

Fun Fact - Vanilla LRR boulders deal 1 damage to buildings. l405G.jpg

 

Which is why having a custom engine is preferable so we can make the range be independent from the animation (200 tile away Rock Monster Sniper anyone?)

 

4 hours ago, Ben24x7 said:

The ability to upgrade Water Vehicles, or make the Upgrade station compatible with water tiles.

 

I say this, because in LRR's manual the entry for the Rapid Rider says that it has upgrades, but from what I see these upgrades aren't available in the game.

What should the Rapid Rider be upgraded with? I'm thinking there should be one for the cargo hold (just to carry more than one solitary Energy Crystal or piece of Ore, meaning that transporting materials "over-seas" requires less trips back and forth.).

 

Well, I could provide a separate Upgrade Station for the water to provide those upgrades (which probably will also be able to upgrade airborne vehicles) and make it more interesting to have a naval base.

 

I think a Rapid Rider could do with a larger cargo hold upgrade yeah but I'd also love to see it have a drill so you can drill those walls which are only accessible from the water, it would make using water vehicles so much more useful in some levels.

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Cirevam

Posted

7 hours ago, Ben24x7 said:

I say this, because in LRR's manual the entry for the Rapid Rider says that it has upgrades, but from what I see these upgrades aren't available in the game.

 

It actually has no upgrades implemented in the final game, so maybe it was planned but they realized it couldn't be done, or it was pointless and they forgot to update the manual. A bigger cargo hold means nothing when it can only hold as much ore as the pilot can carry. It would be different if we could trawl for ore and crystals at the bottom of lakes.

 

3 hours ago, DarkianMaker said:

I think a Rapid Rider could do with a larger cargo hold upgrade yeah but I'd also love to see it have a drill

 

Nah, no drills, you need LASERS:

 

gallery_27_60_90499.png

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aidenpons

Posted

 

Quote

;    I'm just going to ignore upgrades on this vehicle for now, as I cannot see how
;    it would possibly manage to get to the upgrade building...

 

This is grade A lunacy on a Pogo stick

xD 

With HealthDecayRate = -7 I've dealt with them IF they can be frozen - because amusingly while frozen HealthDecayRate doesn't apply....

... oh that's right I did do some, um, balancing work on my LRR mod, should probably do something with that at some point in time l405G.jpg

 

Drilling is, as Cirevam showed, doable in the LRR engine. More carrying capacity isn't, because the only way you can put stuff in is by getting a RR who is holding something into the vehicle... and as you may know, you can't even try to put two RRs in any vehicle.

 

I know that crystals sit quite happily on water after shooting up a full IceMonster that had CROSSWATER = TRUE, and I also know aforementioned crystals can be picked up with a modded Tunnel Transport... but the TT doesn't prioritise "water crystals" over "land crystals" and so it takes ages to pick anything up.

 

.... I should probably stop abusing the .cfg...

 

        SmallLazer {                  ;mounted on Defense Units and the Loader Dozer


            DefaultDamage    5.0
            RechargeTime    1.0                ; 25 units per second, remember?

            DischargeRate       0.00

yes Cirevam I did steal your ideas l405G.jpg

 

        AlwaysCheck:LargeDigger                Pilot:3,ToolStation:2,TeleportPad:2,PowerStation:2,Barracks:2,TeleportBig:2,GEO-Dome:3,Upgrade:2,GunStation:1

 

 

 

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DarkianMaker

Posted

7 hours ago, Cirevam said:

It actually has no upgrades implemented in the final game, so maybe it was planned but they realized it couldn't be done, or it was pointless and they forgot to update the manual. A bigger cargo hold means nothing when it can only hold as much ore as the pilot can carry. It would be different if we could trawl for ore and crystals at the bottom of lakes.

2 hours ago, aidenpons said:

Drilling is, as Cirevam showed, doable in the LRR engine. More carrying capacity isn't, because the only way you can put stuff in is by getting a RR who is holding something into the vehicle... and as you may know, you can't even try to put two RRs in any vehicle.

 

I know that crystals sit quite happily on water after shooting up a full IceMonster that had CROSSWATER = TRUE, and I also know aforementioned crystals can be picked up with a modded Tunnel Transport... but the TT doesn't prioritise "water crystals" over "land crystals" and so it takes ages to pick anything up.

 

Well, it shouldn't be too hard to implement it in the code that the Rapid Rider can pick up ore and crystals when manned and automatically bring them to the nearest dock to unload.

 

7 hours ago, Cirevam said:

Nah, no drills, you need LASERS:

 

Well, I was sort of planning to remove the usage of lasers for drilling purposes (since nobody in their right mind would expend their EC's just to break down 1 wall.

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Cirevam

Posted

Just remove your Tool Store if you're going to use drilling lasers. No Tool Store means the discharged crystals will not appear, which prevents crystal drain. Seriously...

 

The lasers I showed are just an animation for the wall drilling activity. I felt it made sense for a boat to stay further from shore and to use a tool that won't produce torque, which could cause it to capsize.

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sheepandshepherd

Posted

This could be interesting! LRR needs a remade engine... the original is too unpleasant and buggy to get working on newer PCs, and we've pushed it to its limits with what little modding it can support. Hopefully with the Unity engine and some of the RRU community assisting, yours will have a better chance of surviving than previous attempts :)  Good luck!

 

Compatibility with the old engine's data files would be nice, but on the other hand, LRR's file formats are unpleasant to deal with. The lightwave meshes can't be made or read correctly by most 3D modelling tools. WADs are useless. The Lego.cfg is huge and jumbled - better to have 1 file per vehicle/building/level/etc. And the map/script files, while fun to decode, really don't need to be in a dense binary format split up into multiple parts.

It'd probably be easier and more fun to rebuild the engine the way you'd like it, and just ignore how the old one worked internally. It was a good game, but not a good engine :P

 

Do you plan on using git or something like that for community contributions, once it's ready for initial release?

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DarkianMaker

Posted

On 12-12-2016 at 2:56 AM, Cirevam said:

Just remove your Tool Store if you're going to use drilling lasers. No Tool Store means the discharged crystals will not appear, which prevents crystal drain. Seriously...

 

That's an exploit and I don't do exploits :v But that is something that will get changed in the new system (for example the drained crystals get spewed out by the Power Plant.

 

On 12-12-2016 at 2:56 AM, Cirevam said:

The lasers I showed are just an animation for the wall drilling activity. I felt it made sense for a boat to stay further from shore and to use a tool that won't produce torque, which could cause it to capsize.

 

Understandable but the Rapid Rider has a design that makes it more stable on the water and could potentially support drills like the Small Digger has without the threat of capsizing or simply floating away.

 

On 12-12-2016 at 7:48 PM, sheepandshepherd said:

Compatibility with the old engine's data files would be nice, but on the other hand, LRR's file formats are unpleasant to deal with. The lightwave meshes can't be made or read correctly by most 3D modelling tools. WADs are useless. The Lego.cfg is huge and jumbled - better to have 1 file per vehicle/building/level/etc. And the map/script files, while fun to decode, really don't need to be in a dense binary format split up into multiple parts.

It'd probably be easier and more fun to rebuild the engine the way you'd like it, and just ignore how the old one worked internally. It was a good game, but not a good engine :P

 

Yeah, about 17 years later you're better off with a completely new engine with better support for modern 3D modeling and community modding xD Whereas modding support is a high priority with this project since as a modder of other games I like it when the infrastructure allows much modding (Paradox strategy titles are a good example of this). I hope at some point that adding new things to the game through modding will only require changing 3 files max and adding the object and animation files :).

 

On 12-12-2016 at 7:48 PM, sheepandshepherd said:

Do you plan on using git or something like that for community contributions, once it's ready for initial release?

 

I've never worked with Git or something the like so I might do that but if you could explain how it works that would be great :)

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sheepandshepherd

Posted

Unity's built-in version control might actually be easier to use than Git... not sure, I haven't used it in years.

If you do decide to use Git or some other version control:
 - It lets you upload your changes/updates as "commits". You can see all the lines of code that were changed/added/removed in each commit.
 - More importantly, other contributors can submit their own commits to you as "pull requests", which you can review and have Git merge into the project without overwriting any unchanged lines.
It's mainly just useful if you want other people helping with the programming. TBH, I haven't gotten any use out of putting my mod tools (GeoTool, Arc Hammer) on GitHub so far, other than a convenient place to upload them. But those were just small side projects.

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Ben24x7

Posted

If you do use GitHub, you may need to invest time into making sure Git works properly with Unity. I've seen one or two people who had trouble linking GitHub to Unity and spent quite a bit of time getting them to work hand-in-hand.

I'm not sure if this is a genuine issue for all game-makers who use Unity, but once you decide to get 'em together prepare for unforeseen consequences.

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If you want to use git (I recommend it), contact me. I'll help get you set up, even with Unity.

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