Recently a feature regarding non-portable lights in player inventory was closed.
If you’ve never heard of this before, that might be due to the curious fact that this is used only once in the entire game of Morrowind – with Trueflame, the legendary sword of Nerevar Indoril.
As you can see, having the sword equipped lights up a small area around the player. The blade itself isn’t the actual source of light. It has a script attatched that adds an invisible light item into the player’s inventory, which then makes the player glow.
This got me thinking. In many games a radius of light surrounds the player. If one were to make a mod or an entirely new game, they could use the abovementioned mechanic for exactly that purpose. So I did. But what I saw was not what I expected…
I found a bug. Seemingly anything that uses a normal map gets lit up to full brightness, achieving an albino look. The bug report is filed here and will hopefully get a fix some time in the future.
3 hours later Scrawl has already fixed it! I retry my experiment and go for a small pink aura for my invisible character.
And here’s the last update we owe you. Below you’ll find two more videos. The first one will handle OpenMW, and the other will spend some time on OpenMW-CS.
Phew, now that that is out of the way, we can move on to 0.39.0. The next version is still cooking, but if you want to go check it out, you can always try the nightlies for Windows and Linux. They already include support for those fancy new shaders too!
Welcome back. It seems we still owe you some videos. So let’s get right down to it. First, we have a video that shows off the updates for OpenMW. The second video shows off changes for OpenMW-CS.
Oh, hey there. How nice of you to pop in. It’s been a while. Sit down, we’ve got something really cool for you. You know how WeirdSexy has been busy and stuff, and our last few releases didn’t have any release videos? Well, we’ve got a surprise for you. No, WeirdSexy isn’t back just yet, but we do have a video for you. It’s a retrospective of the past few releases. So though WeirdSexy may be missing, sit back and let Atahualpa take you through our past few releases in these Forgotten Release Commentaries.
Those were some sixteen minutes well spent. Speaking of time well spent, Scrawl has a bit of a surprise for you too. We’ve had this feature back in Ogre3D, and now – after a bit of a hiatus – it’s back: normal maps! Scrawl still had some of PeterBitt’s old normal maps lying around, so he figured he’d try them out and lo and behold:
Subtle, but gorgeous. As an added bonus, OpenMW can now automatically use normal maps if it answers to the naming scheme. As Scrawl explains it: “This is now implemented. For example, for the color texture foo.dds, the game will automatically use foo_n.dds as a normal map (if it exists). The benefit is that you don’t have to go around modifying (and distributing) all the .nif files / mesh files.”
But normal maps are not everything. OpenMW now supports specular maps too, and both specular and normal maps can be used with the terrain shader.
For example, lysol (who has worked in the past on Warcraft III and Rome: Total War re-textures), has put his expertise at work and made some new textures for Vivec with specular and normal mapping, while still trying to stick close to the original:
For more information on this, check out the wiki page on texture modding. It has instructions on how to enable mapping right there, and might be a good starting point for anyone thinking of making graphical mods for Morrowind.
There’s also been some significant progress on the OpenMW-CS side of things. For one, we’ve got the cell markers and cell borders visible now. Also, you can now drag-and-drop stuff from the Objects table into the 3D view of a cell, and it will appear, right there. So if you have made a really cool item, and you want to drop an instance of it somewhere in the world, now you can. Next up: in-scene instance editing. Ooooh. Can’t wait to see what Zini is doing with that.
Oh yes, speaking of Zini, Morrowind Modding Showcases has done a follow-up interview with him. So bathe with me in his Germanic glory and check out the video!
Well, see you next time when we have more cool stuff to show!
Hello again. Small update since it’s been a while since the last one. The move to OSG has called for a lot of work left and right. Most of it is not exciting enough to get into in a newspost (interesting enough if you want to delve deeper into the development of this project, though!), but there are a couple of things worth noting. First is the object selection via the scene view in OpenMW-CS. Scenes may contain a lot of stuff, and finding the exact item you need may be a hassle. Scrawl and Zini have been working on a way to use the scene window to select objects. Next up is selecting terrain and stuff that isn’t rendered in the scene (such as pathgrids and cell markers). You can’t move them around yet, though, that’s all for a different update.
If you’re not a modder, but only play the game, you will enjoy this second bit of news: Scrawl has restored sun flares! Check out the before and after pics:
Rather than being a flat disk in the sky, light blooms now. Pretties.
Every step in the direction of beautifying the game is a good one and the team (especially OSG/shader magician Scrawl) is planning to do much more! There’s the water shaders, and there are object shaders. The latter may be a bit more difficult than just using an already existing implementation, as performance might be negatively impacted too severely to just plop it in and go, so some work on that is required. After the object shaders are done, work on object shadows can start, something that doesn’t seem all that significant, but it’s one of those touches that makes a ton of difference once you see it. Definitely more on that in a later version.
Disposing of bugs is, of course, also a staple of Morrowind releases. Counting only the bugs on the tracker – so not including all the bugs that have been fixed as soon as they were encountered – 149 bugs have been fixed so far for this release. The other 40 issues on the tracker that have been closed are things such as small optimizations, a scaleable GUI, and several OpenMW-CS features.
Doing so has left OpenMW with less than 100 issues until 1.0. Of course this amount fluctuates wildly and some issues are relatively small while others are huge. Still, it’s great to see the finish line drawing nearer and nearer.
I’m not going to lie to you, though: porting is a toughie and OpenMW-CS has come to that point where nearly all basic functionalities are in place. That means that the next version won’t be released next week or even the week after that. But still, the team is working hard: they are committed to pushing out the next release with terrain optimizations and a basic water shader for your enjoyment.
Troubling as the time since our last release may seem, know that the team is still busy and that the work put in the next version brings one of the most significant changes for players since the implementation of terrain and physics. Thanks for your patience and see you next time.