Author Topic: The UGSF VR Training Initiative  (Read 5677 times)


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The UGSF VR Training Initiative
« on: May 25, 2012, 03:15:17 PM »
Ever wondered if you could create a new Starblade Scenario, with a new threat, new enemies, a new ship, and new player weapons? I'm not saying it's impossible for me, concept-wise, but financially, it's a challenge. I'm writing ideas for a new Starblade scenario, FOR THE PC, and possibly Macintosh if I can find a transplantation team! I'm trying to make a near-perfect arcade to PC conversion, no MAME System Required, all bugs intact, compatible for Windows XP, Vista, or 7; 32-bit or 64-bit. Will soon provide support for Mac OS X. This conversion project will only be distributed through one source, provided you agree to a simple terms of use, acknowledging that the copy you downloaded is for private exhibition only. Once the conversion is done, and Namco-Bandai agrees to let me distribute the Starblade conversion. I will also ask them if I could reverse-engineer the transplanted code to determine if manipulation of the game's engine is possible. They may not allow their code to be modified, at first. But, with time and money, they'll agree to make the game's code and data public domain.

Once I unshackle the game from Namco-Bandai's "total" propriatorship (meaning they can only allow modification through their moderation.), I will assemble a team of Starblade fans that can code and model, to create a Starblade Scenario Editor, entitled "The UGSF VR Training Initiative". This will allow mod-savy players to create their own Scenarios, from the simple shakedown runs, to the more complex planetary surface assault operations, like the original "Operation: Starblade". You can't recreate "Operation:Starblade", unless you plan on doing a hardcore mode/version/edition of it. But you can create your own, original scenarios, complete with your own dialogue, radio chatter, briefings, strategic recess sessions, etc. It's the Skyrim Creation Kit, for Starblade. Custom Content is open for public demonstration and exclusive distribution. Heck, create online co-op scenarios, if you know someone that loves Starblade but wants to play it with you.

Sound's like a crazy idea, but I feel like simply creating the tool, first. Then, recreate the original scenario with the tool. Any ideas on how to get the models from the game, with its correct colors? They're just polygons with colored faces, I don't plan on creating or swiping mapping textures for them. I just want to recreate the scenario as it was in the Arcade version, first. Then, compile the beta exe with ini for binding configuration. Then, create menu interfaces to enable the playability of different community-made scenarios. Then worry about adding the "alpha" textures, for the final touch-up.

So, who want's to train new Geosword pilots?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 08:09:48 PM by Cmdr_Manuel »


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Re: The UGSF VR Training Initiative
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 07:03:27 PM »
That is a great idea! But it sounds like a gigantic project!
I agree you have to keep the original rendering ... flat polygons only, no 'modern' mapping/effects! ...and of course a true 60Hz refresh rate.
I presume you have some coding skill? I wouldn't try to recreate the original mission, this would be a huge job only to recreate the geosword fly path, the models, enemies path. I would prefer an original scenario.
Good luck on that.


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Re: The UGSF VR Training Initiative
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 07:22:40 PM »
Wow indeed, that is a huge project.

I would try to look at the Mame drivers and how they get this thing to work. Someone must have started to reverse engineer the game in order to write the driver. The information gathered there might be useful. You must first understand how the scenarios are modeled in Starblade in order to get your tool to work. There the Mame driver could be useful, but must noch necessarily. Just find a way to read the data off the roms and visualize them in the first place. The animation and stuff is done using the game engine, which will be a lot harder to reverse engineer as this is coded in the roms.
`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'


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Re: The UGSF VR Training Initiative
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 08:05:46 PM »
I could do this on the Unreal Development Kit, but I need the original models, plus the simple polygon colorings. If that can't be done, then I'll have better luck with recreating them in Blender.

UPDATE: *facehoof* I just found about this now, but it was developed before I thought of my project, almost a year ago!

Alex Marshall has built a code-based System 21 SDK/GDK, using the most tedious, and picky, yet powerful language: C++.

I need to learn this coding framework, while developing a demo in the process. Too bad that you need to walk, before you can run, though.

Point data turns code into a 3D image, I kinda figured that out. But, for the game to run smoothly, not oly do you need good PC hardware and Dx3D support, but your code must agree between the master and slave DSPs. That's what the System 21 coders had to work on the most, during development of StarBlade and CyberSled.

You do know that DSP isn't just for video, but for other types of digital data. Dad told me about, just recently. Just about every piece of digital tech uses some form of DSP, for a variety of processes, not just processing point data into Low-polygon images. DSPs are versatile, but Namco decided to program theirs' for processing point data into polygons, that are to be seen on not just System 21 hardware, but other architectures to follow.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 04:19:30 PM by Cmdr_Manuel »