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Temple of Elemental Evil: Icewind Dale Total Conversion

AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47
edited November 2016 in General Modding
Greetings all.

I must confess I am a newbie to the world of Baldur's Gate, but not to D&D in general, (I've been playing on and off for 21 years or so) and not to D&D CRPG game modding (I've been a modder for the Temple of Elemental Evil for 13 years or so). I recently purchased Baldur's Gate 1 EE & 2 EE, and Siege of Dragonspear, and Icewind Dale 1 EE on Steam with the intention of discovering for myself if if would be possible to make a Baldurs Gate Total Conversion Mod for Temple of Elemental Evil, thus marrying one of the best loved D&D CRPG adventure series with the best CRPG turn based D&D tactical game engines.

I hope to use the maps, story, dialogue and movies from the original Baldur's Gate game adapted as necessary for use in the Temple of Elemental Evil game, and have 3D models and animations for items, scenery and monsters not currently available in ToEE created from scratch or adapted from existing models to provide a full Baldurs Gate experience to players of ToEE, and vice versa.

Please feel free to reference our sister thread on this matter at the Circle of Eight forum and offer assistance to this project if you so wish to do so.

As I stated earlier I am new to Baldur's Gate modding, and as such I am having some difficulty getting started. For one thing I'm unsure as to whether such a project would even be allowed legally? Do I need to seek permission to use certain files? If so who do I address this question to? Both games have been extensively modded by fan based communities so I am inclined to believe that the basic unmodded game files are basically fair game but please correct me if I am wrong.

I have thus far been unable to extract the game maps from Baldur's Gate which will need all open-able doors removed, and possibly resized to accommodate ToEE's 3d character models. I gather Infinity Explorer requires the Baldur.ini file which does not exist in the Steam version of BG EE. Is there another way to extract the maps so they may be edited?

All dialogue files will need to be recreated from scratch obviously, and while I have looked at some, the format is unfamiliar to me, is there a FAQ or something for getting started with dialogue editing?

The Infinity Engine games use a different scripting language to ToEE which uses Python for it's scripts, Is there a detailed list of global flags and variables that get set via scripts and/or dialogue files available somewhere so we may recreate the many complex situational nuances of Baldur's Gate's story in ToEE.

I'm sure there will be many many more questions from me if this project gets underway in earnest, I hope this community is as helpful as the Circle of Eight has proven themselves to me to be over the years, and I would appreciate any assistance I receive from yourselves.

Post edited by Allyx on
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Comments

  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,325
    For one, use nearinfinity not infinity explorer.

    The gibberlings3 iessdp (not sure I spelt that acronym right, check Google) is a very useful resource for info on game files.

    I believe there's a BG conversion in nwn2 called baldur's gate reborn as well you might want to see.

    GrammarsaladlolienCrevsDaak
  • GrammarsaladGrammarsalad Member Posts: 2,510
    edited May 2016
    ...i didn't know that there were any mods for toee...

    The neverwinter mod is called Baldurs gate reloaded.

    Some good resources:

    Iedsp will help you find your way around tyre infinity engine:

    http://gibberlings3.net/iesdp/

    Nearinfinity is an excellent tool:

    forums.beamdog.com/discussion/30593/new-versions-of-nearinfinity-available/p1

    Dltcep is another excellent tool:

    http://gibberlings3.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=23917#entry196679

    Good starting places anyway

    Edit: weidu stuff

    http://weidu.org/WeiDU/README-WeiDU.html

    JuliusBorisovlolienCrevsDaak
  • AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47
    Yeah, I absolutely understand how huge an undertaking this will be, at the moment we're in more of a discussion phase, as to whether there are any serious challenges in the way that would scupper the whole thing before getting down to the hard work and actually producing something playable in any meaningful way.

    Speaking of which, I have now extracted most of the maps, turns out Comodo Internet security was doing a fantastic job of protecting me from extracting the maps I wanted with NearInfinity. There are a number of maps which I could not extract though I think I so far have 447 out of 512. Extracting the individual maps results in an error of "Error Exporting AR2600.TIS" which is of course Candlekeep, and the first map I actually need. The .TIS files themselves seem to extract just fine, so by the omission of the .PNG files, I can see which maps I am missing.

    Is there a website that hosts the maps for download individually or as a whole? Or another method for extracting the maps that I've not yet tried?

    I am currently missing the following 60 map files:

    AR0900
    AR1200
    AR1200N
    AR1300
    AR1300N
    AR1400
    AR1900
    AR2000
    AR2100
    AR2200
    AR2300
    AR2300N
    AR2400
    AR2600
    AR2600N
    AR2700
    AR2800
    AR2900
    AR3000
    AR3100
    AR3200
    AR3200N
    AR3300
    AR3400
    AR3400N
    AR3500
    AR3600
    AR3800
    AR3900
    AR4000
    AR4100
    AR4200
    AR4300
    AR4400
    AR4500
    AR4600
    AR4700
    AR4700N
    AR4800
    AR4900
    AR5000
    AR5100
    AR5200
    AR5300
    AR5400
    AR5500
    BD1000
    BD1000N
    BD2000
    BD2000N
    BD4000
    BD4000N
    BD5000
    BD5000N
    BD6000
    BD7100N
    BD7300
    BD7300N
    OH3000
    OH3000N

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,468
    I'd much rather see the ToEE maps/quests/content ported to the BGEE 2.0 engine, than vice versa. But whatever...

    Out of curiosity, given that BG has already been ported to NWN2, which is 3D and uses 3.5E rules, what's the benefit of doing the same in the ToEE engine? Is it better than NWN2?

    smeagolheartGrammarsaladRaduziel
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,325
    I tried TOEE back in the day and was offput by the bugs and such. I'm glad more attention has gone into it (bug fixes and engine modernization).

    I really like 3rd edition in NWN but haven't really compared to 3.5. If 3.5 is closer to 4.0 then that's bad from what I've heard.

    But yeah I agree with The Doc, I don't see the effort being worth it since BG already looks pretty and is extremely rich in content. You get the benefit of upgraded ruleset but as he said you get that in the mod for NWN2.

    How about porting Of Steamworks Arcana or something? Anyway, it's your deal if you guys want to put that much effort into this then good luck to ya and we're here and love to see product as it gets worked on.

  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited May 2016

    I'd much rather see the ToEE maps/quests/content ported to the BGEE 2.0 engine, than vice versa. But whatever...
    Same. I think editing BGEE maps is going to be messy. I realize that

    Out of curiosity, given that BG has already been ported to NWN2, which is 3D and uses 3.5E rules, what's the benefit of doing the same in the ToEE engine? Is it better than NWN2?

    It also would be much easier to do so in NWN2's Electron Engine (NWN2 uses an updated version of the Aurora Engine from NWN1), because of the Toolset that is provided for modders.

    I tried TOEE back in the day and was offput by the bugs and such. I'm glad more attention has gone into it (bug fixes and engine modernization).

    I really like 3rd edition in NWN but haven't really compared to 3.5. If 3.5 is closer to 4.0 then that's bad from what I've heard.

    No, 3.5 is more like 3.0+. Hence, why it's called "3.5". lol They revised/added features of 3.0 when creating 3.5. Only problem was, 3.5 got kind of bloated, because of Prestige Classes and tons of races.

    One really great thing about NWN1 & 2 was the TOOLSET though. You know how hard it is mod things in BG, due to the limitations of the Infinity Engine. In the NWN games, that problem went away. Why? Because the Toolset is fantastic!

  • ChadChad Member Posts: 90
    The real benefit of the TOEE engine is the turn based combat and much more strict following of 3.0 rules...Reach weapons, Combat Reflexes/attacks of opportunity, etc. In regards to bringing the tactical combat of PnP to a CRPG TOEE is the best example of it. BG/BG2 is great for story and there is definitely a lot of tactics to be applied, but the turn based combat in TOEE is truly born from PnP D&D. The game at release was junk, but for those who have not played it with all the co8 mods I highly recommend it. It's been years since I played the game, but with all the fixes and new content it is really enjoyable, though not nearly as story heavy as BG2.

    KamigoroshiIllustairlolien
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,325

    I'd much rather see the ToEE maps/quests/content ported to the BGEE 2.0 engine, than vice versa. But whatever...
    Same. I think editing BGEE maps is going to be messy. I realize that

    Out of curiosity, given that BG has already been ported to NWN2, which is 3D and uses 3.5E rules, what's the benefit of doing the same in the ToEE engine? Is it better than NWN2?

    It also would be much easier to do so in NWN2's Electron Engine (NWN2 uses an updated version of the Aurora Engine from NWN1), because of the Toolset that is provided for modders.

    I tried TOEE back in the day and was offput by the bugs and such. I'm glad more attention has gone into it (bug fixes and engine modernization).

    I really like 3rd edition in NWN but haven't really compared to 3.5. If 3.5 is closer to 4.0 then that's bad from what I've heard.

    No, 3.5 is more like 3.0+. Hence, why it's called "3.5". lol They revised/added features of 3.0 when creating 3.5. Only problem was, 3.5 got kind of bloated, because of Prestige Classes and tons of races.

    One really great thing about NWN1 & 2 was the TOOLSET though. You know how hard it is mod things in BG, due to the limitations of the Infinity Engine. In the NWN games, that problem went away. Why? Because the Toolset is fantastic!

    Yeah it's 3.0 but it's on the way towards 4.0. It wasn't too long after 3.5 that they got all the "great" ideas for 4.0 is what I mean.

  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636

    Yeah it's 3.0 but it's on the way towards 4.0. It wasn't too long after 3.5 that they got all the "great" ideas for 4.0 is what I mean.

    Well...yes, but 4.0 went WAY OFF THE DEEP END. I mean, there were several optional races from the DMG or some of the supplemental books, such as Genasi, Tiefling, Aasimar, etc. But the 3.5 PHB just had the same races as 3.0.
    4.0 was when they made the ridiculous decision for the Spell Plague to cause Abeir to basically "magically" collide with Toril. And then all these Abeir specific things became part of Toril. (This made 4.0 lore so weird and convaluted.) Roleplay was emphasized way less. It was just a mess. Any 3.5 stuff that "resembled" 4.0 was not baseline, as per the PHB.

    Grammarsalad
  • AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47
    edited May 2016
    I stopped playing PnP D&D before 4.0 was released, not because I no longer wanted to, just because life got in the way, people I played with were no longer nearby etc... and modding ToEE modding became my D&D gaming experience.

    NWN2 yeah it's great that they are also doing a BG remake, I do have a copy of NWN2 here and I might just try it out, but it's still not turn based, psuso-turnbased with excessive pausing etc perhaps, but there is no better CRPG for the true feel of PnP D&D than ToEE.

    The Circle of Eight have developed their own toolset, much like the Infinity Engine game Modder's have, which even Troika ex-employee's have stated are better by far than the toolset they themselves had to work with to make the game in the first place with one notable exception, the Troika made World Ed tool, which was mistakenly bundled into a Polish version of patch 2 is better at sectoring map files than Co8 built World Builder is, but World Builder is capable of doing so none the less.

    Kamigoroshilolien
  • IllustairIllustair Member Posts: 822
    edited May 2016
    Understand guys that he is a TOEE modder first and foremost, so using NWN is not really an option. In other words, it's not a question of what base game he should use; should he make a BG conversion, it will be TOEE, as it should be since that's what he's most familiar with! I personally would love to see BG in TOEE engine! TOEE has a certain appeal to it. Combine that with the BG storyline and it would be a great (and different) experience.

    Btw, if you guys haven't checked their mods, you might want to - they've brought so much life to the game!

    AedanAllyxKamigoroshilolien
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,468
    edited May 2016
    Allyx said:

    NWN2 yeah it's great that they are also doing a BG remake, I do have a copy of NWN2 here and I might just try it out, but it's still not turn based, psuso-turnbased with excessive pausing etc perhaps, but there is no better CRPG for the true feel of PnP D&D than ToEE.

    ToEE is turn-based? Oh, yeah, then that really turns me off to the idea. (Btw PnP D&D is not actually turn-based - the reason BG was so great way back in 1998 was that all other D&D games were turn-based, and BG's real-time-with-pause was a much better approximation of the PnP game than any CRPG ever made before. But, that's a conversation for another thread.)

    Oh! I have an idea! Port Planescape: Torment to the ToEE engine!
    - BG has already been ported to new engines 4 times over the years, there's just not as much need for another version
    - Poor PS:T has languished with its old engine and horrid UI
    - PS:T is driven by story, not game mechanics, so updating it to a different engine will not result in as many mechanical/balance issues as BG
    - Torment: Tides of Numenara is coming out soon, and it is a Torment game with updated/changed mechanics, and truly turn-based combat. It will go perfectly alongside an updated, turn-based version of PS:T!

  • IllustairIllustair Member Posts: 822
    The problem with PST conversion though is that it almost lacks combat, which is basically the appeal of ToEE engine. PST conversion won't be able to showcase the ToEE engine well.

    AedanKamigoroshilolien
  • ChadChad Member Posts: 90
    Icewind Dale in ToEE? Would be a lot less writing/copy pasting, I would think... ToEE is at the end of the day about the tactical turn based combat and, just like the core game, Icewind Dale is centered around building a full party. Seems a perfect match to me. And if it works out there is always Icewind Dale II as well! :)

    Illustair
  • AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47
    edited May 2016
    IWD II has also been discussed, to be fair any decent new modules for ToEE would be a good thing for both the Co8 and D&D CRPG fans generally, the major stumbling block has always been the maps, decent artwork is hard to find, there has been a commonly held misconception that ToEE and the Infinity Engine games specific isometric angle would make the ToEE elements of any mixture of the two look terrible, turns out the difference is les than 1° and not noticable in game.

    ChadIllustairlolien
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636

    ToEE is turn-based? Oh, yeah, then that really turns me off to the idea. (Btw PnP D&D is not actually turn-based - the reason BG was so great way back in 1998 was that all other D&D games were turn-based, and BG's real-time-with-pause was a much better approximation of the PnP game than any CRPG ever made before. But, that's a conversation for another thread.)

    Well...kind of. It's a combination of turn-based and real-time.

  • AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47
    The combat is all turn-based, right down to the I initiative rolls at the start of combat to determine the order of each combatant's turn, everything else is real-time, running from place to place etc...

    Chadlolien
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,468
    But, is it simultaneous turns? Or, I swing my sword at the enemy as he stands there dumbly, and then he swings at me while I stand still?

    If the latter: what's the point of initiative?

  • ChadChad Member Posts: 90
    In pnp you roll dice for initiative and whoever wins the roll goes first while all other players/enemies wait their turn. There are real time elements such as attacks of opportunity when you enter or leave a threatened area (reach weapons are very good for this reason). However, pencil and paper dnd battles are very much turn based. ToEE.simulates this extremely well, just not many played it because it was a steaming pile of bug poo until co8 modded it four years. Now it's really a fun game, though the story is rather short unless you add the extra content also created by co8 which gives a pretty decent higher level experience. Biggest downside they never were able to change is that you can only be base classes so no fighter/mage/Eldridge knights or shadow dancers etc. This may be a good thing since base classes have always been easier to balance.

    Illustair
  • AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47
    The Temple+ project has been adding class abilities to support level progression upto level 20 and potentially higher dor solo adventurer players, so Monks mow get the full list of abilities including Quivering Palm, Druids can Wildshape into large Elementals, support for high level Bards and the various sub-races listed in the 3.5 PHB are also being worked on. The latest news about Temple+ can be found on www.RPGCodex.net but the adding of prestige classes could soon become a reality.

    IllustairKamigoroshilolien
  • AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47
    Other tactical maneuvers have also been added with Temple+ Trip and Disarm attacks are now added options, retrieving a disarmed weapon and waking up allies that have been put into magical slumber are also new options for both PC's and NPC's.

    GrammarsaladIllustairlolien
  • GrammarsaladGrammarsalad Member Posts: 2,510
    edited May 2016
    I remember not liking that i rogues couldn't really scout ahead the first time i played. But i do love the 3.x rules ( and i really dislike 4e). I think I'll have to check out these mods when i get the chance

  • AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47

    But, is it simultaneous turns? Or, I swing my sword at the enemy as he stands there dumbly, and then he swings at me while I stand still?

    If the latter: what's the point of initiative?

    Turns are sequenced consecutively, so a high initiative is the difference between your wizard casting a fireball at those archers and killing them, or the archers readying an action vs. spellcasters and perforating the wizard and disrupting the fireball.

    In ToEE, tactics is all important. In my most recent run through my level 6 paladin beat Tolub in Nulb in a 1 vs. 1 fist fight even though Tolub had 20 extra HP, just by using full (2) attacks and 5' steps, thus robbing Tolub of his second attack each round as he had to move to get into range to punch. I know it's an AI exploit, but the humble 5' step has saved my ass countless times in ToEE, yet I doubt anyone ever uses it in NWN, or IWD II.

    Illustairlolien
  • AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47
    edited May 2016

    I remember not liking that i rogues couldn't really scout ahead the first time i played.

    Rogues have no problem sneaking, select the "Sneak" button in the radial menu and move where you want to scout, be sure to put skill points in move silently and hide first, and equip cloak and boots of Elvenkind for +5 ranks on each. A ring or potion of invisibility also helps if you have one.

  • GrammarsaladGrammarsalad Member Posts: 2,510
    Allyx said:

    I remember not liking that i rogues couldn't really scout ahead the first time i played.

    Rogues have no problem sneaking, select the "Sneak" button in the radial menu and move where you want to scout, be sure to put skill points in move silently and hide first, and equip cloak and boots of Elvenkind for +5 ranks on each. A ring or potion of invisibility also helps if you have one.
    No, i meant scouting ahead, though i wasn't clear about what i meant by that. In baldurs gate, you can have your whole party on one side of the map, and your rogue on the other side of the map. Often, i send my rogue ahead to disarm traps, etc

    I remember in toee, you couldn't spread out your party liked this

  • ChadChad Member Posts: 90
    I'm pretty sure you can select one party member and go anywhere on the map, leaving the rest back. It's actually very similar to how you select individuals or groups in BG.

    Kamigoroshi
  • AllyxAllyx Member Posts: 47
    Yes you can select characters individually, by left clicking on them, left click, hold and drag a selection box over certain/all characters with the mouse , and select all characters with the left most button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

    Kamigoroshi
  • inethineth Member Posts: 572
    @Allyx

    I admire your ambition! ;)

    But I would recommend doing this with IWD1 instead of BG1. And probably also only with the IWD1 base game content, without the Heart of Winter expansion content. Because:
    1. Much fewer maps.
      BG1 has a crazy amount of little indoor maps for all the houses in the cities, not to mention all the throw-away overland areas, dungeons, and caves in the countryside. Correctly setting all of them up in another engine will probably entail a lot of boring and repetitive work. IWD1 has fewer maps, but they are more unique, more deliberate, and more polished.
    2. Much fewer side-quests and quest NPCs.
      This means less complexity for the total conversion to deal with.
    3. More combat focused.
      The appeal of IWD is the cool atmosphere (pun intended) and the never-ending sequence of challenging combat encounters. Since the main benefit for porting an Infinity Engine game to the TOEE engine would be to make the combat more tactical, this would be a perfect fit right?
    4. More beautiful
      The art style of the IWD games (as well as BG2) has also aged much better than that of BG1. Many BG1 maps look like they were assembled using a primitive tile map editor. The IWD1 maps look like they were all custom-rendered/painted.
    The downside is, of course, that there a fewer fans of IWD than fans of the BG series. So using IWD content might give your mod less of a community impact. On the other hand, I imagine that the kind of people who enjoy the combat-focused IWD might be more likely to give tactical turn-based a try, than people who play BG for the story... :)

    Illustairlolien
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