Scarborough 1978 - Midway's 'Boot Hill' game was in one of the amusement arcades - my first taste of electronic gaming - I blew 3 weeks pocket money in an afternoon and have never regretted a penny of it since -from the speccy 48K to my quad core.
Have been a bit busy of late with other projects but have been modding again over the Easter holidays. I fancied a level based on the Moltke Bridge in Berlin ever since I saw it in a book about Soviet combat photographers. The bridge entity was in the game pak from the older FoW game - but on checking images from the tinternet the width looked a bit narrow - this had always put me off building a map for the battle as it was a lot of work lining up all the entities correctly if the bridge was going to look wrong.
Did a bit of lateral thinking and deleted one set of railings then joined a double set of bridge sections together - the final thing now looks in proportion but aligning up all the bits took forever! The end result is a small map ready for a large scale defensive action - there are two swimming paths open one each side and access to the water for infantry to sneak across or to get out again if blown in the water by nades. It's not a perfect replica but I think it gives a good flavour of the surroundings and I really like battles that are split level across different terraces. Just got to dress the base map with appropriate rubble and details and can get coding the mission. I plan to set it in the RGB canon as a war story told to Jack Griffin by one of the team leaders and it will take the place of the origin level that should have gone into RGB2 as that part of the narrative. I dressed a scene up in the GEM to re-create the photograph that caught my imagination - the original was called 'On the way to the Reichstag' and was taken by Vladimir Grebnev. Took a screen shot from as close an angle as possible to the real thing then took the colour out in Adobe and added a bit of depth of field blurring. Some of the tanks had to be re-scaled in the editor to make the angles look more like the original as it was done with a wide angle lens but I think it turned out ok and it was a good check on the bridge proportions - the new width is a big improvement.
Just setting my stall out and taking stock.....
RGB2 Mod Progress Jan 2013
Origins blue completed and released
green completed and released
red completed and released
RGB Tweaker mod completed and released
RGB Cleancap mod completed and released
Pacific Defence/Attack Map 100% scripted 50%
RGB missions (each is a two part mission)
blue team mission map1 Map 100% scripted 100%
green team mission map2 Map 100% scripted 40%
red team mission map2 Map 100% scripted 0%
TBC (to be continued) Map 100% scripted 100%
Bonus 1 Map 100% scripted 20%
Bonus 2 Map 50% scripted 0%
Old Fort (remapped) Map 70% scripted 30%
new RGBweaps completed
Hope you all had a relaxing Xmas - the release of 'origins' has thrown up a few issues - namely that a lot of Europeans are unable to use Gamefront due to countrywide bans. I'm in the process of arranging mirror downloads but the authorisations are not through yet as everyone is on holiday - so please be patient. I will try and make sure any future RGB downloads have a mirror link attached so more gamers can get access to the files.
Well the pre-release of 'origins' has given me some much needed space to continue with RGB2 and I've invested a few days finally making a proper six barrel chaingun MG. I was p***ing about with an old one from a mod and really wanted another weap for RGB2 - so I bit the bullet and made one from scratch as the mod permissions and copyright issues were that complex (who ripped from who and who stole what from where..etc) I just thought bollocks to it and made one from the ground up. It was painful but now it's worth the while cos it will be free release like all my other stuff so if you've wanted a minigun for your own mod there will finally be one around that isn't needing credits from an outside source.
I was experimenting last month with a user interface to direct how a mission is played - here are the results...the player can choose Stealth mode or Gung Ho depending on what mood you are in. There are rewards and penalties for each option later in the mission so as the Grail Keeper said 'choose wisely'. Personally I like the stealthier missions but realise the value of a full on battle with all guns blazing (the Kursk level is my favourite in 'origins'- you can't be stealthy in a WW2 tank). Now you get to decide for yourself and missions get extra replay value if you want to do both.
I'll blog update RGB2 progress when we get a few weeks into January but for now I'm minced pied to the max and mrs Merch is hiding the rest of the booze till new year - have a good one!
I originally planned to complete the RGB2 coding as a Christmas treat for all the MoW gamers - the levels have got too big for one person to manage so I've gone against my ideal plan and packaged the origins missions as a mini mod so you have got something to enjoy over the holiday. I've seen a few good mods stall or cancel recently and didn't want you all to have to wait any longer for RGB to get it's s**t together so here you go! The origins were always going to sit in a seperate chapter anyhow so I don't feel too bad at a partial release rather than it all together. I will continue coding RGB2 during early 2013 and hopefully will get the other 9 missions packaged up ready to go in Q1 or Q2. The red, green and blue team missions have got so complex compared to the originals that I didn't want to rush them and release code that won't play properly - we are talking about player options for stealth mode or gung ho mode so you can play a map in two ways - extra events tagged onto the RCR - stuff parachuting out of the sky at random - exciting new weaps - you name it. So you'll have to forgive it all taking a bit more time - my modding activities keep getting disrupted by a recurring item in my life known as work or as the lads like to call it "a good day's work for a poor day's pay!". Anyhow I hope you enjoy the missions without getting too frustrated (check the read me files) - some constructive feedback would be good and some publicity for the RGB Mod if you have the time for it - but otherwise just have a bonza Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year and remember, if you are feeling a bit down this holiday - you're never alone whilst we are making mods for each other and the community - Roll on 2013 and bollocks to the Mayan Calendar!...
Well the Kursk level is finally finished,coded and play tested - wide open fields and tanks everywhere! - there is an element of both offence and defence and the RCR gives each replay a different aspect. It's without doubt the biggest RCR coding I've tried yet and the timing plus the Ai tweaks have been a real pain to iron out. Striking a balance between armour and infantry has always been difficult in MoW - I prefer armour myself but it is tricky on a cluttered map - so here is my version of what I always imagined would be the original sudden strike game crossed with the 'Tank attack' level from SHOWW2. Its tough to beat so there are a few tweaks for easy mode and I think hard mode will be a full evening job to win without cheating - as always it is to designed to run on normal difficulty. The main reinforcement tanks are unlimited so you can choose to build up a force slowly and launch a giant wave after about 2 hours or you can battle it out piecemeal trying to add one tank at a time across the territory you have to liberate then hold onto...The end of the Mod is now so close I can taste it - 9 maps built and 5 big codings done now. There is one large chunk of tricky coding on the second water plant level to sort - two bonus bits and that will be it...watch this space a bit longer.