TFTC Project: An update and a preview trailer

A forum for the TIE Fighter Total Conversion Project (TFTC). Here you can find out news, updates, FAQs or just ask questions about the project.

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TFTC Project: An update and a preview trailer

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AngeI
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Post by AngeI » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:03 pm

I’ve heard it said that it's become something of a running joke about the TFTC project always being "in progress". Well with Bmans blessing I’ve prepared an update for you, some tangible proof progress is being made and I even made a lovely preview trailer for the TFTC project to showcase what you can expect beyond just a simple port of the original TF campaign to XWA. I joined Bman last year and though I’ve had bouts of inactivity myself since then I do as much work as I can, particularly the last couple months since I got laid off in lockdown, so I've been working heavily on this. So without further ado I present to you the trailer:

https://youtu.be/d8EbwANhJDQ

So what exactly am I doing? I’m taking each TF mission, building upon and expanding them to fulfill their potential in the XWA engine which you, the fantastic and amazing XWA modding community, have spent the last 20 years improving every aspect of, notably in the last year significant graphical enhancements to the engine! But simply porting TF into XWA has problems which often breaks the mission flow and pacing or just outright leaves you unable to complete mission objectives without cheating, quite often this is related to destroying capital ships which as you all know, tend to shoot down incoming warheads which TF did not do. Additionally the AI is significantly better and the game itself is far more energetic than the original TF. So what we’re actually doing here is two things.

One will be a reimagined campaign which as mentioned, which take many liberties with the original campaign. In some cases this will only mean some minor aesthetic changes, an increase in the number of ships fighting but structurally, its essentially the same mission as the original. But in a few cases, they are missions rebuilt from the ground up which combine elements of two or more missions together. The reason for this is that, in order for the original TF to accommodate a larger engagement, it often broke up its larger fights into 2 or 3 separate missions. So let’s take Battle 7: Missions 1, 2 and 3. All the same fight to finally destroy the VSD Protector and protect the INT Harpax in essentially 3 stages. Well in XWA we can pretty much do that in one massive fight now but requires some creativity in structuring the mission to proceed in a similar fashion of course. It is the final Battle in the main campaign of TF before the Expansions, so we want this to be an epic fight before Zaarin begins his own coup attempt at the end of the main Campaign. This also means some liberties will be taken with the story at times and most of it will undergo a rewrite to be more in-depth as well as maintain more consistency in the names of various capital ships you will encounter throughout the campaign. I offer below two Work-in-Progress examples of this:

https://youtu.be/x_Pwz2l5wII - Battle 4: Mission 5 Rebel Arms Deal – This is an example of a mission which has been significantly expanded upon its original version but otherwise has the same basic objective. Stop an arms deal between the Rebels and Nharwaaks for new hyperdrive technology by destroying the FRG Xerxes (with additional objectives added to kill Nharwaak ships too).

https://youtu.be/TBXSV1fXJP0 - Battle 3: Mission 5 Trap the Rebel Fleet – Don’t recognise that? That’s because the original was B3M5: Thrawn Inspects NL-1 followed by B3M6: Wait for Relief Forces. Well this is an example of a mission built from the ground up to combine elements from both missions but changing the story to show off the tactical genius of Thrawn in eliminating the combined Pirate and Rebel forces harassing the Pakuuni sector which have been trying to prevent you from establishing the NL-1 Station on this new frontier for the Empire. The end result is the same, you are successful in establishing a firm foothold in the system for the Empire and defeating the enemy forces.

But I understand there might be some purists out there who might simply want to play the original campaign without such changes. Well don’t worry because the second thing is we intend to offer both the Reimagined and Classic campaigns. To this end, the original will ONLY be edited in as far as making sure the briefings look visually correct (most of them don’t visually translate very well into XWA), all original voiceovers are intact and making sure you can complete mission objectives without having to cheat all the time. Otherwise no other changes will be made.

So that begs the question of course, when will this be out? Honestly, I don’t know yet, but I’m really hoping in the next few months we could offer a release of the Main campaign and do the expansions later. I’m expecting a kid in September so I’m concentrating on this as much as I can while I still have the ample free time to do so and Bman is also doing a lot of work in updating many models with new weapon layouts and balancing ships – so for example Corvettes aren’t instadeath murder machines to everything in sight! I’ll let Bman pipe in with his own comments below of course :)

Otherwise feel free to comment, ask questions or put in suggestions! :)

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Post by Darksaber » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:17 pm

Wrong Forum Moving to the Pilot Lounge
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DTM
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Post by DTM » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:03 pm

Outstanding work Angel, Bman and all people involved in this project!!!
The preview is great! You have my support. It's time to fight for the Empire!

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ual002
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Post by ual002 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:06 pm

Jeez, DS. Tact. lol.

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Anyway, I'm looking forward to see the end result. This is a long time in the making.
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Post by Darksaber » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:19 pm

Quite simply it has nothing to do with the XWA Upgrade, therefore it was in the wrong forum what's wrong with that?
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Jaeven
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Post by Jaeven » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:26 pm

Outstanding work.

I totally agree, as good as TF was back in the day, I'm glad any XWA version of it is being expanded upon. Looking really good!.

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Post by Ace Antilles » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:53 pm

That looks really good.
Are you using the recent hook updates to make cutscene playback simpler or improved?

I've partially planned a future project in my head which would work well with this.

I'm looking forward to playing this. Would love to see a good X-wing complete conversion too one day
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ual002
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Post by ual002 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:12 pm

The project is built off of XWAupgrade pack as a base as I understand it but considering it may very well become its own thing then yes I understand. I'm just razzin yah DS.
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Post by korekwerner » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:23 am

Well done.
btw.
wouldn't it be easier to just use the TFTC made in 2005 and change the graphics that are changed anyway? From what I remember, TFTC worked quite well.

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AngeI
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Post by AngeI » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:14 am

Thanks for the kind words so far! :)
Ace Antilles wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:53 pm
That looks really good.
Are you using the recent hook updates to make cutscene playback simpler or improved?

I've partially planned a future project in my head which would work well with this.

I'm looking forward to playing this. Would love to see a good X-wing complete conversion too one day
I've not looked at those hooks myself, I'm simply concentrating on the mission editing side of things. Not sure if BMan has either but will bring it to his attention :)

I too would like to see X-Wing get the same treatment, but thats another project for another time plus you do have the XWVM project as well. Though I honestly fear that particular project will get hit with a Cease & Desist order at some point given its not just modding a pre-existing game, but creating a new one (albeit a cover of an old one).
korekwerner wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:23 am
Well done.
btw.
wouldn't it be easier to just use the TFTC made in 2005 and change the graphics that are changed anyway? From what I remember, TFTC worked quite well.
It is being built upon that original release. Its how I started off doing this before I got involved with the project myself :)

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Post by korekwerner » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:54 am

@AngeI And I like it, using things that are already there and improving them. Great job and thank you for doing this.

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Post by Vince T » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:14 am

That looks gorgeous! Amazing work, guys!
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Post by Camerad » Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:13 am

That's nice. Thanks. Good luck.
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Post by Haakan » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:56 pm

AngeI wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:14 am
Thanks for the kind words so far! :)
Ace Antilles wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:53 pm
That looks really good.
Are you using the recent hook updates to make cutscene playback simpler or improved?

I've partially planned a future project in my head which would work well with this.

I'm looking forward to playing this. Would love to see a good X-wing complete conversion too one day
I've not looked at those hooks myself, I'm simply concentrating on the mission editing side of things. Not sure if BMan has either but will bring it to his attention :)

I too would like to see X-Wing get the same treatment, but thats another project for another time plus you do have the XWVM project as well. Though I honestly fear that particular project will get hit with a Cease & Desist order at some point given its not just modding a pre-existing game, but creating a new one (albeit a cover of an old one).
korekwerner wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:23 am
Well done.
btw.
wouldn't it be easier to just use the TFTC made in 2005 and change the graphics that are changed anyway? From what I remember, TFTC worked quite well.


It is being built upon that original release. Its how I started off doing this before I got involved with the project myself :)

If you need help with mission editing to speed up the process I volunteer with both mission editing and testing. XWAUP and DSUCP are visually stunning and the dynamic cockpits added that feeling the old XvT and TIE had and I thought something has to be done to give proper content to such an awesome upgrade so I set to work but you've got a larger progress.

I have a parallel work about a sequel story for TIE but I'm more than willing to help you with the missions.
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Post by haui » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:52 pm

The videos look great, Can't wait to play it, Thank you for this work
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Post by ual002 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:22 pm

In order to have an immersive out of flight engine experience, I will absolutely need to enlist the support of the prominent hook authors to help me get control over when the room decorations and pilot uniform appear for the player for this to work. The only thing we can control right now is after what mission all medals save the kalidor crescent appear. Everything else is hard coded. Especially the things swapping art around for doesn't solve.

Once i have some help making a hook and config file, I can dive in and finish all the different decorations and make them appropriate to a TIE Fighter Mareek Steele experience.
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Post by Griffin » Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:04 am

Fantastic, look forward to this being completed :)

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Post by Bman » Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:08 am

Videos look great. And backdrops.
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Post by blue_max » Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:22 am

Good job guys! Nice videos... and a bit nostalgic too :)

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Post by Forceflow » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:00 am

Man that trailer looks sweet! Great work, I still remember playing Tie Fighter. In my mind that is still among the best games ever.
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AngeI
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Post by AngeI » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:20 am

Thank you guys :)

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Post by AngeI » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:24 am

Double post please delete

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ual002
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Post by ual002 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:13 pm

Tangent Warning:

To expand on my previous post, the way the mission list is set up, the pilot file is set at mission 9 I think, so when you enter the game the pilot room already has the military uniform hanging in the room to skip the early mission slots before the rebel pilot in the vanilla game has joined the alliance.

On the surface this seems like a sensible solution, however as a result of starting on mission 9, you aren't actually completing the previous blank missions in the TFTC, so the first 7 Items in the list I made below will never trigger.
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Now that's fine if you are willing to lose those slots and the potential immersive world building they can provide, in my empire install, those items are replaced with posters, and starfighter models, nothing game breaking.

Nothing I have found in the vanilla game files allows you to actually change the trigger mission for those room decorations to show up. The description file for all the room decor items seems to have mission numbers associated with it but changing them appears to do nothing.

I believe those are hard coded.

If a talented person is able to find the hex code stuff or whatever that controls it, and can write a hook that has an associated CFG file, that for the time being, just allows me to specify what room items show up after/before whatever mission I want, then we would be golden. This allows me to set the art in the CBM editors,easily replacing whatever I want, then specifying later as I play through, what Items I made should show up at what time.

This would be a revolutionary step in creating a vast array of personal pilot room setups for all sorts of installs, rebel, pirate, empire, mercenary, etc. And would make the creators job a whole lot easier.

Sorry for the tangent. It's a subject that isn't generally a high priority and it seems a lot of people are just unfamiliar with all this. I believe it is ultimately important though for a finalized, polished, immersive, end user experience.

PS I have a little more nuance I can share with anyone digging into this based on my testing and observation that might help identify the hex code.
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Post by XDragon » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:59 am

@Angel

Looks great, I love the idea of merging the missions into one larger one. My question is will you expand on some of them to take advantage of the fact that XWA allows up to 4 different areas of combat?
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AngeI
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Post by AngeI » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:37 am

XDragon wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:59 am
@Angel

Looks great, I love the idea of merging the missions into one larger one. My question is will you expand on some of them to take advantage of the fact that XWA allows up to 4 different areas of combat?
Yes though not very frequently. I've only got one mission so far which makes use of all 4 regions (which is inspired by one of the XWA missions where you have to do some recon work), several other missions are using two regions often as a starting region before you hyperspace to your objective.

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