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Author Topic: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but...  (Read 6738 times)
Draco
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OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but...
« on: March 03, 2003, 08:28:05 am »

I would like to know why? im not bitching or anything, ive seen them before in the early 90's seeing how star control was my first computer game, and pretty much all i had for a few years... lol the good old days before you could get everything free off the net  Cheesy. anyhoo, i would like to know why, does it have something to do with coding? or something
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2003, 10:11:48 am »

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I would like to know why? im not bitching or anything, ive seen them before in the early 90's seeing how star control was my first computer game, and pretty much all i had for a few years... lol the good old days before you could get everything free off the net  Cheesy. anyhoo, i would like to know why, does it have something to do with coding? or something

There has been some discussion about this here before, but I'll summarise for your benefit. First of all, nobody's quite figured out how the 3DO version stores its video files (what format, how to play it, et.c.) and second, it's somewhat unclear whether we're actually allowed to use them anyway due to some odd copyright problems (similar to the trademark problem with the name "Star Control").

Due to these problems, work is being done on using the PC intro instead. This is easier for a number of reasons: the PC version only uses static images, and we know (or at least think) we're allowed to use it. However, since most of the development team is working on getting the game itself working properly first, there has been little progress on showing the introduction and ending. Also, since UQM is based on the 3DO version of Star Control 2, we have none of the source code for the PC introduction and ending sequences. In effect, the PC introduction/ending code has to be rewritten from scratch.
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2003, 10:12:50 am »

Are you speaking of the videos?  If so, here's why.

It's kind of low on the totem pole as far as getting the game all together.  There are still a great many bugs to iron out before we get to worry about the "frills" such as FMV.

Also, the video is in an odd format (.duk) for which the source code and materials have been lost.  Our stout-hearted programmers, therefore, have to manually decode the bitstream and header info in order to be able to play them at all.  To re-record them into another format (eg: via recording and reprocessing) risks further decay of the already shabby video quality.  The .duk format is apparently horribly lossey and therefore degrades the visual quality of the film.

(for those who don't know, high quality video winds up being incredibly huge if not compressed.  When compressing video, you will almost always lose quality.   To record every frame and then compress it with a lossless compression would still be FAR too large to be of any real use other than for movie or television work.  Therefore, a "lossey" format is used with acceptable tolerances to make it small but still visiually appealing.)

Anyway, I hope this answers your question as to where the intro and conclusion went.  It WILL be in the final version I'm sure.  We'll all just have to sit back and wait.

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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2003, 07:48:08 pm »

An interesting thing to note here is that all of the PC SC2 ending is not static images.  The important parts are, but still, not all of it is.

Wonder how the DEV team is going to reproduce that?  Or has someone figured out how to extract all of those frames?  FSCP might have that ability or something...
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2003, 11:13:32 pm »

I thought that it was a mixture of Static shots, static shots being panned-across, fade-in/out, and conversation-style animations. All that is fairly straightforward, but not so easy that it takes priority over more serious issues.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2003, 11:14:09 pm by Death_999 » Logged
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2003, 04:50:05 am »

If you really really want to watch the intro and ending, go here
http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/files/sc2.shtml

or here
http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/3do/movies.shtml
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2003, 11:56:32 am »

Quote
I thought that it was a mixture of Static shots, static shots being panned-across, fade-in/out, and conversation-style animations. All that is fairly straightforward, but not so easy that it takes priority over more serious issues.
You and I apparently both forgot the actual "destruction of the Sa-Matra" sequence, which is a rather short animation (one part where your flagship moves in alongside the Sa-Matra and launches the escape pod, and the explosion seen from the escape pod). This makes supporting the PC version's ending a bit more complicated (we'd have to extract the entire animation from the PC version).
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2003, 08:00:45 pm »

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(we'd have to extract the entire animation from the PC version)


Thats exactly the part I was talking about.  Just wondering if there is already someway to do it and if not, if its next to impossible...Huh
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2003, 08:59:48 pm »

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Thats exactly the part I was talking about.  Just wondering if there is already someway to do it and if not, if its next to impossible...Huh

We have already extracted all needed datafiles for PC intro/ending, but there's no code to play them yet; it depends on new resource system which has to be implemented first.
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2003, 08:27:55 pm »

You have all the important ones yes, (at least in the content/slides directory in CVS) but not ALL of the ending.  

Here are some selected images from the animation that I'm talking about.  I took these with just a screen shot grabber, so I don't have all the frames...





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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2003, 09:37:44 pm »

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Also, the video is in an odd format (.duk) for which the source code and materials have been lost.  Our stout-hearted programmers, therefore, have to manually decode the bitstream and header info in order to be able to play them at all.
Errr... Surely there are players available for TrueMotion-S video that we can use? A quick Google search pops up several references, including mentions of Microsoft Video for Windows and QuickTime codecs. Using one of these, we should be able to unpack the video. Once we have access to the raw video data, we can start thinking of what sort of codec we can design to recompress the data without losing image quality.

Alternatively, we could try to use an existing player for Windows (and annoy all non-Windows users).
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2003, 10:43:00 pm »

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You have all the important ones yes, (at least in the content/slides directory in CVS) but not ALL of the ending.

We have those too, they just aren't in CVS currently Smiley Or actually they once were, before we re-extracted stuff from 3DO cd and removed all images which weren't used by any 'ani file'.

About TrueMotion etc, to my knowledge format which 3DO version uses isn't playable by any standard video player / codec out there. Meep-Eep knows more about that than me though. Our hope ultimately is to make a player for them ourselves so that no recompression is needed.
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2003, 01:21:12 am »


I'm no expert, but given the 3DO version was out during a period in the gaming industry where proprietary formats were the *norm*, for various reasons (for instance, modding was a pretty foriegn concept to most companies, and then there's some performance issues that were more important then than now, etc), I wouldn't be surprised if the format's some nearly lost information at this point. There might be something in the source code, possibly, but if it's a 3DO proprietary format, and not a SC2 format, I wouldn't count on much useful.

But whatever the case is, either the developers will need to write their own player code, use existing code as yet undiscovered, or modify the files to a standard format. In the foremost and latter cases, they'd have to decode the file format *anyway*, and at that point, most of the work in getting new player code written is done, so you might as well use the original format to avoid further quality problems. In the second case, it's all a moot point, anyway.

Another, more insane option, is to get someone real good with 3DS Max or something like that(whatever's appropriate-- i haven't seen the 3DO's opening myself) to re-build the sequences from scratch. I'd have to say, that I sure wouldn't volunteer for a job like that, though. Ug-ly.
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2003, 12:04:49 pm »

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But whatever the case is, either the developers will need to write their own player code, use existing code as yet undiscovered, or modify the files to a standard format. In the foremost and latter cases, they'd have to decode the file format *anyway*, and at that point, most of the work in getting new player code written is done, so you might as well use the original format to avoid further quality problems. In the second case, it's all a moot point, anyway.
How about this: use the original 3DO video playback code through an emulator (e.g. FreeDO). That could be somewhat inefficient, but it ought to work, at least. If we, for one reason or another can't or don't want to add 3DO emulation to UQM, we can take the emulator output and recompress it in a suitable (possibly custom-made) format.
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Re: OK. I know there are no intro-conclusion but..
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2003, 05:24:37 pm »

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We have those too, they just aren't in CVS currently Smiley


Sweet.  Grin
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