Personal computing discussed

Moderators: SecretSquirrel, just brew it!

 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Qeustion for any programmer (espcially with gam dev exprience) who might be willing to, or have free time to help.

Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:34 am

Long story short, No Man's Skys sucks. You know it, I know it, we ALL know it.   There was a 2014 interview with Sean Murray, where he said the releasing mod tools for the game was practically a given.   Now maybe (the cynic in me says NO), that HELLO Games have been working the 1.10 update for well over a month now, to include such tools, but I highly doubt it.   I have zero programming skills (it's completely out of my wheelhouse), but I personally feel that there's just so much missed potential in the game, and I feel so bad for the users who couldn't get refunds, that I'd love to help in any small way that I can for the mod community.   The reason I'm posting this thread here, is because when I asked the folks at https://www.reddit.com/r/NoMansSkyMods, if there was ANYTHING a non-programmer like me could do to help, this was a very specific response I was given:

"Well, while gameplay mods are out of the way for now, us artist guys in the mod community would definitely be interested in someone creating a method to import custom geometry into the game for starters, if that someone can help on that deparment. ;)"      (emphasis mine). 

I don't know the first thing on how to create such a method/tool.   I've been casting as wide a net as I possibly can (including all the programmers I know,  asking them to talk their programmer friends, and even asking netowrk/ISP/Datacenter people ilke me if they might know some programmers.  I've basically been coming up empty.  

Could any one here be able to do such a thing, and be willing to spend their free time to work on this?   To quote Princess Leia "Help me Developer's Den. You're our only hope"
 
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 49709
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Qeustion for any programmer (espcially with gam dev exprience) who might be willing to, or have free time to help.

Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:01 am

Are there publicly available specifications for how the game stores geometry assets? (Not volunteering to help here, just pointing out that this is a rather critical prerequisite for developing such a tool.)
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
steelcity_ballin
Gerbilus Supremus
Posts: 12011
Joined: Mon May 26, 2003 5:55 am
Location: Pittsburgh PA

Re: Qeustion for any programmer (espcially with gam dev exprience) who might be willing to, or have free time to help.

Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:50 am

Keep in mind that a LOT of the content (models, landscape) was procedurally generated. There was a cool comment thread on reddit about KC, and how it may negatively effect your idea.

https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/co ... l_content/
Corsair 600T | ASUS P8P67 PRO | Intel 2500k @ 4.4Ghz | Asus 1080GTX | G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB | Corsair HX650 650W | Asus ROG Swift Gsync 27"
 
EndlessWaves
Gerbil Team Leader
Posts: 239
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:41 am

Re: Qeustion for any programmer (espcially with gam dev exprience) who might be willing to, or have free time to help.

Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:55 pm

steelcity_ballin wrote:
Keep in mind that a LOT of the content (models, landscape) was procedurally generated. There was a cool comment thread on reddit about KC, and how it may negatively effect your idea.

https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/co ... l_content/

Looks like the community is already well on the way to working out the file formats. If you can read them then it's not much harder to write them so that's not going to be an obstacle.

The next step is to work out how to get the files in game. Usually games load everything in a folder or from a large archive file and then use script text files in that archive to structure the various levels in the game. Given the wide use of XML files to set up the procedural generation information I'd be surprised if the setup for specifying the universe wasn't the same.

The game is available DRM free so you're not likely to be tripped up by any copy protection. The files may still have a checksum which could be an issue, although it's unlikely.

I would suspect it's perfectly possible and I'd be inclined to have a poke around with it myself. Unfortunately my computer doesn't meet the rather high minimum graphics card requirement so there's no point in me grabbing a copy from gog until I upgrade in a month or two.
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Qeustion for any programmer (espcially with gam dev exprience) who might be willing to, or have free time to help.

Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:24 pm

steelcity_ballin wrote:
Keep in mind that a LOT of the content (models, landscape) was procedurally generated. There was a cool comment thread on reddit about KC, and how it may negatively effect your idea.

https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/co ... l_content/

I was actually just about to link to that article, as well. I've been a bit busy, so I haven't had a chance to read the entire article.  It looked really informative,from the quick scan I read of it. 
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Qeustion for any programmer (espcially with gam dev exprience) who might be willing to, or have free time to help.

Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:26 pm

EndlessWaves wrote:
steelcity_ballin wrote:
Keep in mind that a LOT of the content (models, landscape) was procedurally generated. There was a cool comment thread on reddit about KC, and how it may negatively effect your idea.

https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/co ... l_content/

Looks like the community is already well on the way to working out the file formats. If you can read them then it's not much harder to write them so that's not going to be an obstacle.

The next step is to work out how to get the files in game. Usually games load everything in a folder or from a large archive file and then use script text files in that archive to structure the various levels in the game. Given the wide use of XML files to set up the procedural generation information I'd be surprised if the setup for specifying the universe wasn't the same.

The game is available DRM free so you're not likely to be tripped up by any copy protection. The files may still have a checksum which could be an issue, although it's unlikely.

I would suspect it's perfectly possible and I'd be inclined to have a poke around with it myself. Unfortunately my computer doesn't meet the rather high minimum graphics card requirement so there's no point in me grabbing a copy from gog until I upgrade in a month or two.

I don't think there's any copy protection, since I have the GOG version, as well, but HG did take the PSARC files from the PS4 version, and rename them as .PAK files. I found that out from one of the data-miners early on.

EDIT:  Here's a quote from that data-miner:  

"There are a lot of .pak files. When I checked out it's file header/magic, it reads out:
0x50, 0x53, 0x41, 0x52, 0x00, 0x01, 0x00, 0x04, 0x7A, 0x6C, 0x69, 0x62

The first four bytes is the magic number of the Playstation Archive format (PSAR). And bytes 8 to 11 is the magic for zlib.
This seems to indicate for me that this is a port of the PS4 version. Or at least, the PC and PS4 version use the same resource files."

EDIT 2:   I vaguely remember reading in the mod subreddit for NMS, that someone figured out how to decrypt the save files, so if I'm remembering this correctly, there's some manner of  encryption going on, with at least some of the games files.
Last edited by Doctor Venture on Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Qeustion for any programmer (espcially with gam dev exprience) who might be willing to, or have free time to help.

Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:33 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Are there publicly available specifications for how the game stores geometry assets? (Not volunteering to help here, just pointing out that this is a rather critical prerequisite for developing such a tool.)

Here's what one of the art modders I've been speaking to told me:
"The things that specifically deal with our issue though, of importing custom assets, would be you'd not only have to be fairly adept at any single programming language (since you can really do it with any, not just C# or C++, honestly), you'll want to read up on reading and writing files on the programming language of your preference, as well as study the two formats involved - No Man's Sky's GEOMETRY.BIN format which stores model information in EXML, and Wavefront OBJ, one of the most common 3D modeling formats most 3D artists end up using one way or the other."
The last time I even touched any variant of XML was when I set up three simple Hadoop servers, to test out the HadoopMapReduce feature of one of Arista's top-of-rack switches.   I'm pretty comfy with creating YAML job/task files for Ansible/Puppet and Zero-Touch Provisioning servers, but that won't be of any help here, though.  The last time I touched a 3D modelling program at all was waaaay back in my college days, when I was a graphic design major (before I dropped out), and it was some program I don't recall the name of, on some of the original PowerMacs. I think they ran OS 7, or something. It was either right after, or during, Apples transition from the 68K-series of CPUs to the PowerPC.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that HG evidently used PSARC files they renamed to .PAK. Also, that article steelcity_ballin mentioned (I'll link to it directly HERE, instead of the subreddit thread) goes into way more detail. I've just been too busy to read it, in its entirety.
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Qeustion for any programmer (espcially with gam dev exprience) who might be willing to, or have free time to help.

Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:04 pm

OK, I finally found the time to read that article in its entirety, and holy carp, it sounds non-trivial.    Something I'd been hoping to add would've been things like underwater habitats that the player could swim up to a functioning airlock, goes inside, and maybe do a little science or something with at least one NPC.  Maybe even add extra flora/fauna to the oceans, as well, and some other things to make ocean exploration in that game actually be interesting, and worth the time.  As it stands now, any building underwater is just the standard "abandoned base with the creepy biomass" plonked into the ocean, a couple of lifeforms, and seemingly the same flora, over and over again.  

But after reading that article, it sounds like more trouble than it's worth.  :(

Oh well, not dinking around with that, will free up time to play Subnautica and Sunless Seas. :D

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests