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Vahkiti

Modding Bionicle Heroes

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Vahkiti

Well there doesn't seem to be a topic for this yet, so I may as well get the ball rolling. There is quite a bit of content in Bionicle Heroes not seen by public eyes. I'm not just talking about the developer trivia and bug lists, but also things like unused NPCs, (or I think they are anyway..):

 

iXR84.png

 

And debug/test levels.

 

164I7.png

 

The latter of which actually contains multiple test levels, one of which I was able to get partially functional on the Nintendo Gamecube port. The only problem is that when you look in a specific direction, the game will always crash.

 

 

Is there any chance somebody can help me figure out why the level is doing this? If nothing else, it's something to get the topic rolling. I'd also be very curious to see those Matoran files in game or otherwise, unfortunately I can't find anything capable of unpacking the .pak files which in this game I'm almost certain contain model data.

 

Another thing I was trying to do yesterday but failing to do, the demo for Bionicle Heroes had superior Hero Mode mechanics, requiring a button be pushed to activate it, and giving you a time limit to use it. I was hoping to try to port this into the final game, but I'm not sure what files reference it. Any ideas on that?

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Nishliau

How about the Wii version?

Have you tryed that one?

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Vahkiti

How about the Wii version?

Have you tryed that one?

I doubt it would be much different. Structurally, most ports of the game are identical. The only reason I'm using Gamecube is because with DML I can run the game fully extracted on an SD card where I can freely swap files around without needing to recompile. True, the same can be done on the PC, but I tried this last night and it crashed before even opening the level.

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McJobless

Could be a corrupt surface_type, but I don't know the engine and how it's graphics engine works.

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Vahkiti

Could be a corrupt surface_type, but I don't know the engine and how it's graphics engine works.

As far as I've been made aware, Bionicle Heroes runs on a, (heavily) modified LEGO Star Wars engine. If you know anything about that, chances are, it will apply near the same to this.

My only theory is that since it's a test level, it could be trying to load an object that doesn't actually exist in the code anymore. Unfortunately modifying the level.cfg to the point where it references nothing at all seems to have no effect for better OR worse.

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McJobless

Have you ever heard of the Dantooine Lag Fix? In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, a feature called "Frame Buffer Effects" were implemented to make the game look better. Unfortunately, the only system which could run them without them crashing was their own development computers. It could be the same thing here; there might be too many polys or effects linked to that wall that causes the game to lose it.

I've noticed on PC editions of Traveller's Tales games, the setting.cfg file lists some weird settings which (if their name is anything to go by) should make the game look better. They seem to be disabled, because changing them does nothing. Maybe that testlevel has some kind of graphics feature they didn't implement in the final game because it would cause the system to overload?

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Vahkiti

Have you ever heard of the Dantooine Lag Fix? In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, a feature called "Frame Buffer Effects" were implemented to make the game look better. Unfortunately, the only system which could run them without them crashing was their own development computers. It could be the same thing here; there might be too many polys or effects linked to that wall that causes the game to lose it.

I've noticed on PC editions of Traveller's Tales games, the setting.cfg file lists some weird settings which (if their name is anything to go by) should make the game look better. They seem to be disabled, because changing them does nothing. Maybe that testlevel has some kind of graphics feature they didn't implement in the final game because it would cause the system to overload?

I never have actually heard of that. I could try and test your theory though. Since the 360 version was the only HD port of the game, if any system would have those enabled it would probably be 360. I'll deal with that later though. In any case, have you any idea how to repair the issue?

EDIT: Hello, what's this? Found this in the root of the DAT file. The file's called cutscenes.cfg

CUTSCENELIST

; -------------------------------------------------------------- CUTSCENES --------------------------------------------------------------

DIR "LevelsTestAreacutscene_assets"

;; ----------------------------------------------------------------- BEAM WEAPONS -----------------------------------------------------

;CUTSCENE "BLUEBEAM_LEVEL1" "BLUEBEAM_LEVEL1.cu2" "" "BLUEBEAM_LEVEL1.ghg"

;CUTSCENE "BLUE1_ALT2" "BLUE1_ALT2.CU2" "" "BLUE1_ALT2.ghg"

;CUTSCENE "PLASMABEAM" "PLASMABEAM.CU2" "" "PLASMABEAM.ghg"

;CUTSCENE "FLAMETHROWER" "FLAMETHROWER.CU2" "" "FLAMETHROWER.ghg"

;CUTSCENE "ICE_BEAM" "ICE_BEAM.CU2" "" "ICE_BEAM.gsc"

;CUTSCENE "Rhakshi_Beam" "Rhakshi_Beam.CU2" "" "Rhakshi_Beam.ghg"

;CUTSCENE "green_PIRAKA_BEAM" "green_PIRAKA_BEAM.CU2" "" "green_PIRAKA_BEAM.ghg"

;CUTSCENE "bluebeam2" "bluebeam2.CU2" "" "bluebeam2.ghg"

;CUTSCENE "blue3_plasmabeam" "blue3_plasmabeam.CU2" "" "blue3_plasmabeam.ghg"

;CUTSCENE "DISINTEGRATION_BEAM" "DISINTEGRATION_BEAM.CU2" "" "DISINTEGRATION_BEAM.ghg"

;CUTSCENE "VEZOK_BEAM" "VEZOK_BEAM.CU2" "" "VEZOK_BEAM.ghg"

CUTSCENE "BROOTAKA_SWORD" "BROOTAKA_SWORD.CU2" "" "BROOTAKA_SWORD.CU2"

;; ----------------------------------------------------------------- BEAM BULLETS -----------------------------------------------------

;CUTSCENE "BLUEBEAM_LEVEL1" "BLUE1.cu2" "" "BEAMBULLETS.GSC"

END

See anything of note?

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McJobless

I think we've got our problem child. Check to see if all objects exist.

cutscenes.cfg doesn't exist in any other version of the Traveller's Tale engine, btw.

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Vahkiti

I think we've got our problem child. Check to see if all objects exist.

cutscenes.cfg doesn't exist in any other version of the Traveller's Tale engine, btw.

Hmm.. well I couldn't find your settings.cfg either. They weren't kidding when they said the engine was HEAVILY modified I guess. :P

EDIT: I think I've narrowed down at least one plausible issue. There are no files in the cutscene_assets directory with the file extension of .ghg. HOWEVER this could only relate to why the PC version can't load the level at all. I'll dig around in the Gamecube version and if IT has them, that will confirm at least that issue.

EDIT 2: There seems to be a LOT more debug and testing information left in the Gamecube iso, which tells me that it was either natively developed for the NGC, or just cleaned up a bit for file space on the PC. either way, I found some .htm files in the cutscene_assets folder. The only purpose they seem to serve is to give the devs some statistics on the related file:

buildpcfbionicle_ngcliveLevelsTestAreacutscene_assets/blue_rhakshi_beam.chg

Exported by cpayne

Timing

Converted Wed Sep 13 23:48:05 2006

Total conversion time: 1 secs

Texture conversion time: 8888 secs

Geometry conversion time: 1.24436e+006 secs

Memory Usage

Display List: 11408 (44.09 %)

Total Block Memory: 11408 (44.09 %)

Unaccounted Memory: 14468 (55.91 %)

Total File Size: 25876

Textures

Number of textures : 4

Details

Materials

Number of materials : 2

Materials per texture : 0.5

Material Memory : 612

Details

Shader Materials

Number of shader materials : 0

Details

Shader Lights

Number of shader lights : 0

Details

Geometry

Number of instances : 1

Number of gobjs : 1

Number of geoms : 0

Geoms per gobj : 0

Number of vertex packets : 0

Vertex packets per geom : -1.#IND

Number of vertices : 0

Number of triangles in gobj: 0

Number of triangle strips : 0

Average triangles per strip : -1.#IND

Display list memory : 8091

Geometry Memory : 3317

Details

Display List

Number of items : 21

Special Objects

Number of special objects : 1

0 : UNKNOWN NAME

Binary Blocks

Number of binary blocks : 0

Binary block memory : 0

HGObj

Number of joints : 10

Number of layers : 1

Hgo Memory : 14291

Texture Details

Geometry Details

Material Details

Shader Material Details

Shader Light Details

In any case, back on to what matters, neither version of the game contains a single .ghg file anywhere in its respective image, so I think we've pinpointed the issue. Now I guess I need to figure out how to edit this file to STOP referencing those files?

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maver1k_XVII

So, I recently discovered this forum while searching for something and I decided to contribute some interesting information. I hope it's okay to use this topic even though it's 2 years old.

 

Some time ago I decided to take a look at the resources of Bionicle Heroes to see if I could find anything interesting. I've extracted the main archive and found the files that I assumed were models. After a week or two of effort I managed to make a more or less working script for a tool called Noesis that is able to open the models from the PC version of the game, but without the skeleton structure. Here is a bunch of pictures:

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' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

 

Beside that I found out that there is a number of unused models. Those are the 3 matoran models mentioned in the first post, silver rahkshi and masks of Toa Metru. Unfortunately they have a slightly different structure from the rest and I still can't get my script to work properly with those models. However it's possible to get their textures (dds) with the exception of matoran who lack any. Here are textures of Toa Metru masks for example:

DnWo16i.png

And here is a picture of Whenua's model:

NN2JpKf.png

I tweaked the script so it can open the model above, but it's still doesn't work for other Toa Metru masks and the UV coordinates are missing.

 

I also took a look at the models from the GameCube, PS2 and NDS ports. All three of them use different model format, but the ones for GameCube and PS2 are more or less similar to the one for the PC. DS port has a completely different format and on top of it the models and textures are aparently compressed.

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The Ace Railgun

Nice job with that, you should make an intro post :P but seriously, nice find. I wish they had more Matoran in game, the only thing I didn't like about Bionicle HEROES is that it felt vacant after you beat up the mobs.

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maver1k_XVII

Yeah, I agree with you. It becomes boring quite quickly and collectibles don't really feel worth the time, but at least it was better then Bionicle: the Game as for me.

 

And by the way I forgot to mention that the matoran models look really weird. I could only view them as a bunch of points, but they looked like some sort of vehicle xD . I made a picture, but I guess it's hard to tell anything from this point cloud.

hiOcLsd.png

The thing at the bottom is the only part of the model I was able to view with vertexes connected correctly. There are probably more then 10 parts, not sure.

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Pereki

http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/20605-bionicle-heroes-unused-betatest-level-found/#entry1010089

First time this has been explored in a meaningful capacity, to my knowledge. It doesn't really test any of the games functionality (at least in the parts we see), so it might be more of a test as far as what level layouts would look like.

EDIT: Oh, what, we have a BIONICLE Heroes forum? Okay. Could someone merge this with the topic already over there?

Edited by Pereki

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jamesster

Boom, topics merged.

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Avak
On 8/13/2014 at 3:56 PM, maver1k_XVII said:

So, I recently discovered this forum while searching for something and I decided to contribute some interesting information. I hope it's okay to use this topic even though it's 2 years old.

 

Some time ago I decided to take a look at the resources of Bionicle Heroes to see if I could find anything interesting. I've extracted the main archive and found the files that I assumed were models. After a week or two of effort I managed to make a more or less working script for a tool called Noesis that is able to open the models from the PC version of the game, but without the skeleton structure. Here is a bunch of pictures:

imageproxy.php?img=&key=23e50bf3d3073695' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

imageproxy.php?img=&key=23e50bf3d3073695' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

imageproxy.php?img=&key=23e50bf3d3073695' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

imageproxy.php?img=&key=23e50bf3d3073695' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

imageproxy.php?img=&key=23e50bf3d3073695' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

imageproxy.php?img=&key=23e50bf3d3073695' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

imageproxy.php?img=&key=23e50bf3d3073695' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

 

Beside that I found out that there is a number of unused models. Those are the 3 matoran models mentioned in the first post, silver rahkshi and masks of Toa Metru. Unfortunately they have a slightly different structure from the rest and I still can't get my script to work properly with those models. However it's possible to get their textures (dds) with the exception of matoran who lack any. Here are textures of Toa Metru masks for example:

DnWo16i.png

And here is a picture of Whenua's model:

NN2JpKf.png

I tweaked the script so it can open the model above, but it's still doesn't work for other Toa Metru masks and the UV coordinates are missing.

 

I also took a look at the models from the GameCube, PS2 and NDS ports. All three of them use different model format, but the ones for GameCube and PS2 are more or less similar to the one for the PC. DS port has a completely different format and on top of it the models and textures are aparently compressed.

Someone knows how to unpack .nup models from Bionicle heroes.
Noesis script does not unpack these files.Although I've opened the file with hex editor and it was written: NU20 NTBL. Perhaps they have a very similar format to .ghg files.

In the configuration of the game model is specified in the format .ghg/.gsc models, however, have an extension .nup/.hgp

And by the way the game has files .job-most likely it is a compressed configuration where completeid and levelid and so on are stored. As I know all the additional characters (piraka) of the game are tied to completeid. I moded this game for a long time and I know that there is a bug with piraka when vezon replaces them.
If you unpack these files you can fix the bug with piraka.

 

And by the way Silver Rahkshi is Guurahk

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Avak

I found another bug in the game: a lot .cfg files are not used (bionicle.cfg, charatribs.cfg, niggles.cfg, 6_reidack.cfg etc.)
All information from these files is recorded in one file (bionicle.cfgc).
If you modify these files in the game will not change anything because the game uses a single file—bionicle.cfgc

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