Project Delphinus is an attempt to
recreate a portion of the setting from the console RPG Skies of Arcadia
using Half Life 2, with everything the same scale - Yes, I know - the map
is HUGE. The project is roughly half way done, with various portions
in various states of completion, with the Delphinus externals being
the most complete, and the exterior of the island being the least complete.
Initially, most of the reference materials were sketches from the game, and
screenshots posted on the web. These were, for the most part,
inadequate, as some portions of the ship and island are never clearly
visible in the game. Also, for the most part, my attempts to
duplicate the textures of the game, quite frankly, sucked.
So, there was a need for game materials (models and textures) for
reference. I had an image of the game on my PC, so all the data was
sitting in front of me, I just needed to get it out of the game...
I dusted off my VB books, and began coding. Within 2 weeks, I had a
bulk texture ripper, which I only needed to run once, and I had all the
reference textures I needed for the game. This alone gave the project
a tremendous boost. Then, I hit some other snags, namely reference
models for some items.
Again, the worldwide web provided the necessary information - I located the
source code for a program called SA2DX, which read portions of the actual
model files from Sonic Adventure 2. I got a hold of the author, and
development on MLDNet, my first model convertor, was on. MLDNet never
made it to release, as the IDE I was using burped one day, and took the
core of my source code with it.
ExMLDNet would be 2 years in coming to beta relase, essentially recoded
from the ground up, using object oriented programming. It met the
initial goals of the project in October 2007, and went into beta release
and bug stomping.
So, Project Delphinus and ExMLDNet's development have gone hand in
hand. Developments in one lead to developments and refinements in the
other. I've gone from knowing next to nothing about OOP, to being
fairly proficient with it. My mapping skills with Valve's tools have
also improved greatly as well.
It's been an interesting journey, and it's still not over yet.
NEW! Download the Work In Progress! (The Map is for Half Life 2 : Episode 2)
Steve Pettit, 26 April 2008