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To Beemdog, when are you guys ever going to finally update the character models?

Drakengard2099Drakengard2099 Member Posts: 1
edited November 22 in General Discussions NWN:EE
I've posted this on the game's Steam community discussion, yet have heard absolutely nothing in response to this vitally important subject. So I'll repeat it again until the community gets the answer we deserve.

Personally, I've been a major fan of every Enhanced Edition Beamdog as brought out and so far own every single one. My one monolithic gripe (if it can be called that) is with all the fixing and polishing you guys have done so far, including releasing new DLC's, yet nothing has been done with the one major thing that I think everyone can agree on, the gods-awful character models... That it seems not even community mods can fix. My question is; why has nothing been done to update and thereby "Enhance" them so that they don't look like a half-demon toddler on the chamberpot made them? Why is it that your guy's 2d skills can look so awesome, yet the 3d models in NWN still for the life of me look so, well.... like no one gave a damn? NWN's character models still look unfinished and unpolished on so many levels that it's the first thing that If I were the creative director, would have focused major attention on right after updating the engine. I wouldn't even insult folks with putting up a vote tally on which features should we work on, hands down the atrocious 3d models need a facelift. Yet it appears that Beamdog assumed "since none of the original developers who made the game seemed to care, that why should we" was the thought process of the day. I love the work and dedication you guys at Beamdog have shown to bring new life back to these wonderful priceless games. I just wish you guys would seriously reconsider and look into giving the 3d character models the properly enhanced edition make-over that this game and it's fans truly deserve. I would gladly pay extra for a massive visual facelift of the game, over a short story DLC, any given Sunday. No Question.

Post edited by Tresset on

Comments

  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,522
    edited November 22
    That it seems not even community mods can fix.

    There are some decent character models and head overhauls on the vault already, actually. I find them a vast improvement, one that makes the game actually decent to look at. Characters have hands with fingers instead of weird crab claws! But I get if it's not enough.

    Previously I would have said it's probably not gonna happen, but the latest update gave me hope since it improved the quality of the already existing models, and the game itself, by quite a lot. There are also some piecemeal improvements that Beamdog has been making to various models, weapons and armor at this point, on the steam workshop, not sure about the vault, but probably.

    JuliusBorisovArvia
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,138
    edited November 22
    Hey, @Drakengard2099, I've seen your Steam thread. We don't have a response to your question at the moment. The team is working really hard on NWN:EE, with a few of the recent updates being huge, and more is on the way.

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    DerpCityArviaOld_Githgugulug5000
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,993
    @Drakengard2099 you say all this like it is as easy as falling off a log...

    In reality, it is about the most time consuming, expensive, and difficult things to do in the video game industry... Even giants like Nintendo have trouble with it, so I don't blame a small company Beamdog one bit for having trouble with this.

    WarChiefZekeArviaDerpCity
  • ShadowMShadowM Member Posts: 568
    I've posted this on the game's Steam community discussion, yet have heard absolutely nothing in response to this vitally important subject. So I'll repeat it again until the community gets the answer we deserve.

    Personally, I've been a major fan of every Enhanced Edition Beamdog as brought out and so far own every single one. My one monolithic gripe (if it can be called that) is with all the fixing and polishing you guys have done so far, including releasing new DLC's, yet nothing has been done with the one major thing that I think everyone can agree on, the gods-awful character models... That it seems not even community mods can fix. My question is; why has nothing been done to update and thereby "Enhance" them so that they don't look like a half-demon toddler on the chamberpot made them? Why is it that your guy's 2d skills can look so awesome, yet the 3d models in NWN still for the life of me look so, well.... like no one gave a damn? NWN's character models still look unfinished and unpolished on so many levels that it's the first thing that If I were the creative director, would have focused major attention on right after updating the engine. I wouldn't even insult folks with putting up a vote tally on which features should we work on, hands down the atrocious 3d models need a facelift. Yet it appears that Beamdog assumed "since none of the original developers who made the game seemed to care, that why should we" was the thought process of the day. I love the work and dedication you guys at Beamdog have shown to bring new life back to these wonderful priceless games. I just wish you guys would seriously reconsider and look into giving the 3d character models the properly enhanced edition make-over that this game and it's fans truly deserve. I would gladly pay extra for a massive visual facelift of the game, over a short story DLC, any given Sunday. No Question.

    Maybe this will be some consolation to question.

    DerpCitySylvus_MoonbowCroquette
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 889
    The community could create content that "fixes" the issue but it's a huge amount of work. There just aren't enough people with the skills and time to work together to overhaul all the art assets.

    I think Beamdog has a similar problem and has been looking for a technical artist since forever. Not to mention that at the time many community members demanded that they make HD character models before any updates to the engine. Don't some people now post that the early tech demos Beamdog did release can be buggy or cause crashes?

    I don't think NWN EE was so successful to justify all that work anyway. At least not in the way people hope, maybe rounding a few corners on polygons here and there. Some people say this or that will surely bring in waves of more customers but I'm more skeptical. I don't think a proper modern graphics overhaul will bring many people in or compete with modern products so I don't think the costs would be justified. Like just remake it all from scratch 4head.


    Has NWIC ever released anything or is it still all just proof of concept videos using assets ripped from other games?
    Even if they released all Witcher art assets it still wouldn't cover all NWN content, now you need versions for elves, dwarves, gnomes, and so on, but just scaling a human model would not work. Obviously all the options from content for the Witcher aren't just versions of assets for NWN either i.e. they wont overlap/replace existing assets. They'll need genuine original models and extensive alterations to assets from those other games to match the NWN races properly.

  • LaputianBirdLaputianBird Member Posts: 107
    Has NWIC ever released anything or is it still all just proof of concept videos using assets ripped from other games?
    We release things when they're ready to be released, and showcase them when they're ready to be showcased. The new character appearance system is not a proof of concept, it's a working system that isn't mature enough for general release, and won't be for a while longer due to its complexity.
    However the point of the system and the showcase is not the models from the witcher, it is the system itself, which is solid, versatile, and delivers two key features that we feel are necessary - to be part-based, and at the same time to be skinmesh-based. Additional features are the use of a modern skeleton, which will allow the use of modern animations to replace the vanilla ones, and the separation of skin/body parts from clothing parts, which become two separate sets - which will lend itself much better to a texture tinting system that we'll replace the plt-based vanilla approach with.

    now you need versions for elves, dwarves, gnomes, and so on
    That is outside our project's scope and we don't have any plan to address it, if anybody is wondering. What we do, we do it in order to be able to create our own gameworld the way we envision it, we are not on the quest of fixing with our limited resources what BD couldn't deliver with theirs.
    We simply decided to share publicly whatever we make for our own needs, in the hope that others could benefit from it. In the specific case of the character appearance system, we intend to release not only the game resources but also the documentation for anybody else to plug into it and extend it to cover whatever needs they might have. Whether that will yield any result for the community at large it'll depend on interest and effort invested into it by others.
    And those that are interested in keeping up to date with whatever we are doing or planning, or with the technical details of the systems we design, they can just find us in the discord server we setup for it, we are not going to waste our limited time hunting down across the whole community any piece of misinformation about the project, this case clearly being an exception, since I stumbled upon it by chance.

    JFKSylvus_MoonbowWarChiefZekeCroquette
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 889
    Thank you LaputianBird for confirming what I pointed out. This is not a system that will address the demand raised by this thread.

    It is great that you are having fun and enjoying what you are doing. The videos posted for the project clearly reflect a lot of excitement of the people developing it. However in terms of results you still have yet to provide them, hence this is not in any way misinformation. This is simply the reality, a reality you can correct when you are ready, and of course if you will be ready at a later date.

    As you posted yourself it still depends on whether or not people actually use the system, expand it, and remake the original content in a similar way. It does not address the issue, citing the showcase simply shifts the focus. Not only are there I suppose 28(?) possible character variations of which one is shown, it also doesn't explain the technical details. That is there are ways to do it that are better and ways that are intractable for larger sets. Of course increasing the amount of work would reduce the likelihood of widespread adoption given the lack of high quality models being made currently.

    Therefore it's also correct to point out, as you confirm, that the Witcher models (or models ripped from other games) might also be the only models. Nothing in the showcase implies that original assets will be created as remakes of the old NWN assets, which you confirm.

    Don't take it too harshly.

  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,522
    Has NWIC ever released anything or is it still all just proof of concept videos using assets ripped from other games?
    We release things when they're ready to be released, and showcase them when they're ready to be showcased. The new character appearance system is not a proof of concept, it's a working system that isn't mature enough for general release, and won't be for a while longer due to its complexity.
    However the point of the system and the showcase is not the models from the witcher, it is the system itself, which is solid, versatile, and delivers two key features that we feel are necessary - to be part-based, and at the same time to be skinmesh-based. Additional features are the use of a modern skeleton, which will allow the use of modern animations to replace the vanilla ones, and the separation of skin/body parts from clothing parts, which become two separate sets - which will lend itself much better to a texture tinting system that we'll replace the plt-based vanilla approach with.

    now you need versions for elves, dwarves, gnomes, and so on
    That is outside our project's scope and we don't have any plan to address it, if anybody is wondering. What we do, we do it in order to be able to create our own gameworld the way we envision it, we are not on the quest of fixing with our limited resources what BD couldn't deliver with theirs.
    We simply decided to share publicly whatever we make for our own needs, in the hope that others could benefit from it. In the specific case of the character appearance system, we intend to release not only the game resources but also the documentation for anybody else to plug into it and extend it to cover whatever needs they might have. Whether that will yield any result for the community at large it'll depend on interest and effort invested into it by others.
    And those that are interested in keeping up to date with whatever we are doing or planning, or with the technical details of the systems we design, they can just find us in the discord server we setup for it, we are not going to waste our limited time hunting down across the whole community any piece of misinformation about the project, this case clearly being an exception, since I stumbled upon it by chance.

    That sounds incredible, and I can't think of a better overhaul. All of that is sorely needed and opens the engine up to be capable of far more than it is now. Kudos to everyone making that happen. Everywhere I look there is something big happening in NWN right now. Could be a whole new game in a few years time.

    CroquetteDrakengard2099JFK
  • CroquetteCroquette Member Posts: 2
    For what it is worth, we do not claim to address BD's shortcomings with our work. We are actively working, and we are grateful to those who notice it, follow us and are interested in our dev work. Thank you to those who think we are somehow contributing and to those who mentionned our work in this thread. This is the kind of energy that helps motivate us.

    dafenaDrakengard2099JFK
  • dafenadafena Member Posts: 73
    Thank you LaputianBird for confirming what I pointed out. This is not a system that will address the demand raised by this thread.

    It is great that you are having fun and enjoying what you are doing. The videos posted for the project clearly reflect a lot of excitement of the people developing it. However in terms of results you still have yet to provide them, hence this is not in any way misinformation. This is simply the reality, a reality you can correct when you are ready, and of course if you will be ready at a later date.

    As you posted yourself it still depends on whether or not people actually use the system, expand it, and remake the original content in a similar way. It does not address the issue, citing the showcase simply shifts the focus. Not only are there I suppose 28(?) possible character variations of which one is shown, it also doesn't explain the technical details. That is there are ways to do it that are better and ways that are intractable for larger sets. Of course increasing the amount of work would reduce the likelihood of widespread adoption given the lack of high quality models being made currently.

    Therefore it's also correct to point out, as you confirm, that the Witcher models (or models ripped from other games) might also be the only models. Nothing in the showcase implies that original assets will be created as remakes of the old NWN assets, which you confirm.

    Don't take it too harshly.
    However in terms of results you still have yet to provide them, hence this is not in any way misinformation.

    I don't think this is true, his team already posted a preview and a whole placeable pack. They are two persons practically hacking and reworking NWN to fit their needs. It takes time to have something as complex as this system fleshed out, not to say they are making tools for everyone to use.
    As you posted yourself it still depends on whether or not people actually use the system, expand it, and remake the original content in a similar way. It does not address the issue, citing the showcase simply shifts the focus. Not only are there I suppose 28(?) possible character variations of which one is shown, it also doesn't explain the technical details.

    This is half-true; yes, old content isn't backwards compatible, but at the same time this is a new method of refiting models, modernizing the game to a new height. The current system is good, but this will save way more time, not to mention it has a custom sketelon more akin to a current gen one. They indeed provided information of how it works on their discord, they are pretty open.
    Therefore it's also correct to point out, as you confirm, that the Witcher models (or models ripped from other games) might also be the only models. Nothing in the showcase implies that original assets will be created as remakes of the old NWN assets, which you confirm.

    Asset flipping is the easy way to showcase and make something. They aren't the first ones to actually do it nor will be the last team to do so. CEP and Q are filled with that kind of content; the Custom Content Challenge too, heck to have new content being from other game shouldn't be a surprise nowdays.

    Yet still, that doesn't stop you from opening Maya and sculping your own content to make it fit as it didn't stop you from doing it with current system. They just are making their own advanced preset. Instead of having to jump around creating whatever they are making a whole straight up platform for people to add content which, if you ask me, it's leagues better than what we currently have. Heck, they'll even release documentation explaining everything, something the community still struggles with.

    So, yeah, i bet first release will be TW3 adapted (which isn't just 28 sliced models), but they are more than capable of sculping their own meshes which maybe once they finish with this will happen. Beamdog won't be making new updated assets. Not even the new facelift is... New, it's just adapted Zwerkules content. This is what we have and what will be done, so, we'll have to roll with it.

    CroquetteDrakengard2099
  • shadguyshadguy Member Posts: 154
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 889
    Which is all well and good, there are many people doing many things with NWN. Some are released as toy examples, some are widely adopted, some never end up getting released or never finished completely. It's nice that people have projects to work on too, that's a wonderful thing.

    Is it practical and fleshed out in the way that it will ever address the concerns raised in this thread? Well, that remains to be seen. It definitely does depend on those two crucial details we're keen to gloss over. Whether it gets released and not just a nice video, and whether or not remakes/replacements of old assets get made for that system including all of the necessary variations. We'll only know what happens for certain when/if they make a public release, not in their chatroom or whatever but on the vault. That's not being mean that's just how it is, for everyone, not just them.

    Any twisting and turning in this discussion simply obfuscates these simple truths.

    Certainly anything is possible so if people are that eager to prove me wrong then I'll look forward to it. Obviously. We'd all benefit from it but it's a mammoth task which that project doesn't address by itself, which the project is clearly aware of. Speaking on the virtues, skills, and goals of people working on it is neither here nor there.

    Another way of looking at it is that the people who decide what the standards are and who set the tone for derivative content are the people that do the bulk of unglamorous grunt work. Whoever that may be or maybe nobody will do it.

  • LaputianBirdLaputianBird Member Posts: 107
    Don't take it too harshly.
    If I was to take harshly the remarks that come from people who invest all their energies sitting in judgement and ignorance of what is actually going on out there, I wouldn't have time to do anything else. [part removed at a moderator's request]
    However in terms of results you still have yet to provide them, hence this is not in any way misinformation.
    This is exactly what proves that you are misinformed, and that you didn't even care about finding out if your assumptions are correct or not, outside of the narrow closet that these forums represent.
    it also doesn't explain the technical details
    They've been explained elsewhere, [part removed at a moderator's request]. And forgive us if we didn't think that including technical explanations in the video was a necessity to pass your judgement.
    Nothing in the showcase implies that original assets will be created as remakes of the old NWN assets, which you confirm.
    The fact we don't make any claim into a certain direction doesn't imply that we are confirming that things will move in the opposite direction. It is very basic logic.

    However, [part removed at a moderator's request], I can only imagine the great results that people would achieve if they just started to pay your remarks the attention that they deserve. But don't lose your hopes, keep pushing hard for the greater good of this game and community, sooner or later someone will realize that your remarks are a great resource.

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 889
    LaputianBird I am not expending much energy on this and certainly not in ignorance.

    Either apologize now or apologize in lets say 2 years if your system doesn't achieve widespread use and is used by modders to revamp NWN's art assets. If you can promise you will apologize then I also promise I will apologize should that actually turn out to be the case.

    Until then you are taking this personally and acting childish and blowing hot air.

  • LaputianBirdLaputianBird Member Posts: 107
    edited November 27
    Is it practical and fleshed out in the way that it will ever address the concerns raised in this thread? Well, that remains to be seen.
    It will never address those concerns, and when @ShadowM mentioned "some consolation" it was already clear it wasn't being proposed as the answer to those concerns. It is a different thing, and consolations are something you get when you are not getting something else.
    We'll only know what happens for certain when/if they make a public release, not in their chatroom or whatever but on the vault.
    This is based on an assumption that might seem obvious to you, but that is fundamentally wrong. None of our work will ever be released on the vault, so you already have your answer. What we develop are resources for other PW developers and builders, and there are other distribution channels to achieve that (which we're already using). Things have changed for what concerns distribution, and they'll keep changing, whether they fit your expectations or not.
    Furthermore, none of what we develop can be distributed to players and be accessible to them, for solid technical reasons that cannot be bypassed. That again means we cannot be a replacement for what BD could do, nor we intend to present ourselves as such.

    But the showcase is not "just a nice video" that amounts to nothing. What is presented in the video is an actual, working system and not a proof of concept, that exist and is in some people's availability. Making it available publicly is something that will happen, but is completely optional and accessory - we are showcasing what we are designing and making, not what is available on the vault, or will ever be a replacement for the vanilla assets.
    In other words, it isn't that the project isn't yet what you think we're claiming it'll be, you are simply misunderstanding what the goal and the nature of it are.

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 889
    A proof of concept still functions LaputianBird, it wouldn't prove much if it didn't. Besides that I don't know many modules or persistent worlds that only include basic human models. Not releasing it publicy-publicly as in actually publicly hampers the argument that others will build on it. Either way that's not much of a consolation and frankly you're derailing the thread because you took a matter of fact (which you have not contradicted, only confirmed) as a personal insult.

    Well if you actually had some solid results to the contrary that were fully fleshed out then you wouldn't need to waste your time redacting expletives I suppose.

    Certainly I would never be so ungracious to fiercely defend any work I have not finished nor intend to fully flesh out against the assumption that it probably wont impact other content much.

    As we've established numerous times that the project doesn't address the question of this thread perhaps it's time to stop derailing it. Best of luck on your projects though, the showcases look good at least for what it's worth.

This discussion has been closed.