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S3V3N

Dayz Standalone Mod: Arkansas

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Hi!

 

I've been juggling with the idea of working on a Dayz mod for quite some time now. Since I am an Environment Modeler, I decided to start picking some locations and looking for models to get started with. There is still a long way to go, before modding support becomes availablefor DayzSA, but I want to prepare the models as best I can, so by the time it comes available a capable coder and more support can come in and work with the assets and create more. We'll also need some people to dress the map.

 

Technically, I was thrilled by the announcement that future files will be *.fbx format, which will make it easy for me to work on buildings and secures the option to have double Uv-sets, e.g. for exterior and interior of buildings. Technically, there should be no problem, and I will post updates in the thread as I get them ready. As soon as the option becomes available, I will also show them in-editor/modelviewer, as opposed to in my modeling program, Maya.

 

Enough of the introduction, here is the area I am thinking about: Arkansas!

 

Before you shout: "but why not New York?", I want to say that I'll create most buildings as enterable and even though New York might look nicer, it will be impossible (for me) to create that many different skyscrapers and shops which are at least partly lootable; the engine would not like that either ;) I want to start comparably small and I can only model so much by myself. It is entirely possible there will be other versions and other areas later. Arkansas is visually also not too big a departure from Dayz, but I believe it is different enough to feel fresh.

 

First will be a testmap of a rural area anyway, later on a small city will be introduced.  If you are from the area or know certain points of interest in Arkansas, please feel free to add links or pictures to the thread. If you are visiting or living in Arkansas, it would be awesome, if you could research/fotograph some buildings from all angles and in detail, so I can model with higher fidelity. Feel free to get in touch with me here, if you are travelling/resident, and I will share my Skype. Input from the community is cherished and important in order to build a nice atmospheric representation of the area. 

 

Important to remember is that it will be a fictional depiction of Arkansas. I don't plan to faithfully recreate urban or rural areas, but I want to get overall composition and silhouettes right. Buildings will repeat throughout the map, but there will be some unique buildings. At first I will only create buildings and props, later perhaps some shrubbery. I expect most of the shrubbery/vegetation to come from DayzSA. There will probably be texture changes to autum style leaves. 

 

Features:

 

a) *farms

b ) *river

c) airbase (military)

d) 1 city

e) villages

f)  open road, countryside

 

a) Rural Arkansas:

stack_house_zpsnuahgovf.jpg

 

 

 

barn_zpsbxvvvn47.jpg

 

WEB_welcome-to-ar_zpsthn0mufn.jpg


b ) River Landscape

White_River_Arkansas_zpshorh4iyz.jpg

 

buffalo_river_limestone_cliffs_zpsctkd3d

 

buffalo_limestones_zpsp1pi8uv1.jpg

 

buffale_bridge_zpsilyyj5tg.jpg

c) Military Airbase

Dyess_MB_headquarters_zps4ioq7zju.jpg

 

Dyess_MB_airfield_zpsh2dbnag6.jpg

d) The City

King_Opera_House_zps35hn0mul.jpg

 

University_Agriculture_Building_zpsfmmut

 

UAMSmedcenter_zps5swxged0.jpg

 

Regions_Center_zpseuj2spzh.jpg

 

Metropolitan_Bank_Tower_zpsv7lw7mk5.png

 

Cleveland_County_Arkansas_Courthouse_zps


e) Village

farmhouse_zpsphw8ctyq.jpg

 

Johnny_Cash_Dyess_AR_zpsdmr6tpjc.jpg

 

Lakeport_Plantation_zpsoqmvtpxw.jpg

f) pics on roads and countryside aren't helping my modeling, so they are excluded for now. 

 

 

I know these are just a lot of pictures for now, but that's how research works. It's gonna be a while, before I gathered enough info and made my own concepts to start modeling. Especially if you want fitting interiors, I will depend on your pictures and suggestions.  

 

What I need

 

* A Coder's interest (not necessarily right now, but keep watching this thread, please), preferably knowledgable about modding Arma/Dayz

 

* I would require some info on materials in DayzSA. How is a material created, what maps are used and what format and resolution is required? Any additional info or tips on modding at this time would also be highly appreciated. For now I will just create Diffuse, Normal and Specular maps and save them as *.tga

 

* Info on Dayz's terrain system and generation would be appreciated. I plan to use a heightmap of Arkansas, tweak it and create terrain with World Machine. Can Dayz's engine use layered materials? Is there a terrain painting tool and can terrain be edited on the fly (with brushes)?

 

* How do I add sockets to buildings, so I can use interactive objects like doors?

 

* Pictures from Arkansas. Everything is needed. Streetlights, trashcans, busstops, billboards. Pick the examples you feel would fit the map. I cannot create everything and the game engine requires instanced objects to work fluently, so only the few best looking assets can and will be repeated across the map.

 

I promise to work on it whenever I have time, but don't expect regular updates here. Check back for new inspiration though, our discussions and your input here are highly necessary.

 

Thanks and see you next time!

 

P.S.: (You may want to bookmark this thread, it will get burried until my next update, soon).

Edited by Inception.
Added thpoilers

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Yeah ever since July I've been working on a terrain for DayZ too. With Windmills.... Alot of them!

Making terrains is not as simple. It requires detailed satmaps and mask layers and that is before we're getting anywhere near object and road placement. My advise, wait for mod support before you do anything related to the game. DayZ is being heavily redone. Stuff might be irrelevant soon. Make your models but don't take any steps into porting them to the game, yet!

I am currently working on a sat map and models for buildings, but all is outside the game boundaries as it won't be the same once the new engine is integrated in the public versions fully.

I think you're over it tho. Making a simple model with detail, animations, 3 to 5 LODs, 4 shadow lods and memory is just about a week of work for someone who is new to making arma addons. I've once spoke to shinkicker, he is a vet arma modeller currently working on the 2017 mod (I think). He told me it takes him 30 hours to finish an enterable building model.

That's a lot, and you're planning on doing it to random buildings you found on google maps? Fuck me if it wouldn't be triple the hours.

Edited by StanleyWasHappy

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Yeah ever since July I've been working on a terrain for DayZ too. With Windmills.... Alot of them!

Making terrains is not as simple. It requires detailed satmaps and mask layers and that is before we're getting anywhere near object and road placement. My advise, wait for mod support before you do anything related to the game. DayZ is being heavily redone. Stuff might be irrelevant soon. Make your models but don't take any steps into porting them to the game, yet!

I am currently working on a sat map and models for buildings, but all is outside the game boundaries as it won't be the same once the new engine is integrated in the public versions fully.

I think you're over it tho. Making a simple model with detail, animations, 3 to 5 LODs, 4 shadow lods and memory is just about a week of work for someone who is new to making arma addons. I've once spoke to shinkicker, he is a vet arma modeller currently working on the 2017 mod (I think). He told me it takes him 30 hours to finish an enterable building model.

That's a lot, and you're planning on doing it to random buildings you found on google maps? Fuck me if it wouldn't be triple the hours.

 

Thanks! Great to hear you are working on a map and thanks for the info. Did you use a heightmap as your base, i.e. is it possible to generate Terrain in the editor by using a heightmap? 

 

Yes, I don't plan on porting anything yet, however, *FBX-format is great news to me, since it's Autodesk's native format and I can tweak easily, if need be. I studied Dayz's models carefully and think I know what the limits are. I'm a bit concerned about baking the Navmesh for the infected, but I hope we'll get some info on that after modding becomes a thing. For now it is all about content creation.

 

Since you already work on a map, would you be interested in joining the project at some later point? I'm interested in bringing the rural/flat and mountaneous ares together on one map without making it look artificial. If need be I can create a terrain in Mudbox and either give that to you for tweaking or extract a heightmap from it straight away. I'm not concerned about the time it takes to model a building. Texturing is where most of my hours of work will be spent. 30 hours/building seems legit when they are truly unique, but there are many simple buildings that do look similar and can be tweaked to turn into 3-4 different models. I also hope to get better images and info from the community, but Google is always the start of all of my research.

 

I'd also love to have some US-cars in the game, because it would look weird to have UAZ and Lada driving around in an American landscape, but I'm not planning on modeling cars, yet. I do however believe we could simply replace the models of existing ones while using their physics. It would require some new sounds. Ultimately US-vehicles should be in the mod, but are not planned for the first releases.

Edited by S3V3N

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Thanks! Great to hear you are working on a map and thanks for the info. Did you use a heightmap as your base, i.e. is it possible to generate Terrain in the editor by using a heightmap?

Yes, I don't plan on porting anything yet, however, *FBX-format is great news to me, since it's Autodesk's native format and I can tweak easily, if need be. I studied Dayz's models carefully and think I know what the limits are. I'm a bit concerned about baking the Navmesh for the infected, but I hope we'll get some info on that after modding becomes a thing. For now it is all about content creation.

Since you already work on a map, would you be interested in joining the project at some later point? I'm interested in bringing the rural/flat and mountaneous ares together on one map without making it look artificial. If need be I can create a terrain in Mudbox and either give that to you for tweaking or extract a heightmap from it straight away.

I'd also love to have some US-cars in the game, because it would look weird to have UAZ and Lada driving around in an American landscape, but I'm not planning on modeling cars, yet. I do however believe we could simply replace the models of existing ones while using their physics. It would require some new sounds. Ultimately US-vehicles should be in the mod, but are not planned for the first releases.

Honestly I don't have spare time right now as I am beginning the hardest school period now.

Keep in mind 1 thing. Compare ArmA to a retarded child. He doesn't think or generate anything. You need to feed it with all it needs to give you the results you want. You need to supply the map tool with a heightmap a satmap a mask and shitload (not shitload but hey) of stuff to connect the 3 into 1. And that, gives you an empty map. You need to set clutter for the ground textures and fill forests (can be done with a tool) and then place objects. Which isn't that bad but it gets boring sometimes. Then, you need to configure it all with town names and etc..

That is a lot of work. As for the navmesh, you don't HAVE to do it. We don't know how to create or generate it yet but it certainly is not mandatory for your map to work.

Now this is a very long process.

You need to take into account that terrain making most likely won't be completely different or at all. There might be small extra stuff apart from the navmesh that will be added to the mapmaking process but the core elements won't change.

Modelling is a whole lotta new story haha

Edited by StanleyWasHappy

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I have never got into modelling anything other than weapons for ArmA. I'm planning to do it somewhen, but not currently.

I'm very interested to know how will the new falling damaged vehicle parts module thing will affect the process of naking a car. We'll see that ina few months when and if mod support comes out

I have never got into modelling anything other than weapons for ArmA. I'm planning to do it somewhen, but not currently.

I'm very interested to know how will the new falling damaged vehicle parts module thing will affect the process of making a car. We'll see that in a few months when and if mod support comes out

Edited by StanleyWasHappy

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I have never got into modelling anything other than weapons for ArmA. I'm planning to do it somewhen, but not currently.

I'm very interested to know how will the new falling damaged vehicle parts module thing will affect the process of making a car. We'll see that in a few months when and if mod support comes out

 

I think every dynamic object on a car, e.g. doors are attached to a socket. They probably have local volumes, so if you deal enough damage to an area, the door falls off. Let's wait on further info though.

 

What you write about the maps sounds like World Machine 2 is going to be perfect to create the Basemap. Since you can download plugins that export different layers of the map, e.g. rocky, sandy, grassland, erosion for the diffuse and normal mapping and a heightmap for the...height. I wonder what base you used for your map, if it wasn't coming from World Machine. The mask you mentioned is for roads? I can paint this into the heightmap and have World Machine 2 generate a terrain from it, which will then include the flattened road parts. I'm gonna have to look into terrain creation in ArmaII, soon.

 

Navmesh will be necessary for infected to enter buildings. If I rely on their pathfinding capabilities without it, they will get stuck or turn in circles. It might be an option, but I'd rather bake a navmesh.

 

Why are you so upset with modeling? I've studied 2D and 3D for 3 years and been in practice for 2 more. Modeling a building is not hard, UV-ing hard surface is easy. The most difficult thing is getting the proportions right, even though scaling can be done later. I enjoy modeling a lot and have done countless houses, some of them highly modular. If you change your mind on working on a map for Arkansas, feel free to contact me. It's easier to work in a team, and I intend to start building a small team, once I've done enough content to feel we can begin with the bulge of the work. 

Edited by S3V3N

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It might seem hashed out, but I'd really like something STALKER themed, where Pripyat acts as the city and there are a number of smaller settlements, industrial areas, swamps, etc around it. Could maybe include the power plant, but eh. I just like the whole feel of STALKER. Would fit perfectly with DayZ.

 

I find American settings pretty boring, but that's just me. Certainly this Arkansas has a nice variety of environments. I think something dishevelled and overgrown would look really nice. Buildings crumbling and stuff, think The Last of Us. Never played it, but I've seen a Let's Play and the setting looks amazing. Do something like that for the city and I'm sold.

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I find American settings pretty boring, but that's just me. Certainly this Arkansas has a nice variety of environments. I think something dishevelled and overgrown would look really nice. Buildings crumbling and stuff, think The Last of Us. Never played it, but I've seen a Let's Play and the setting looks amazing. Do something like that for the city and I'm sold.

 

That won't be possible. You cannot compare the environment detail of a singleplayer with a narrow path to a sandbox game. That kind of work is also very detailed and with higher texture resolution than anything I'll be able to do here. It would require a pretty big team and a lot of time and concept art and it could not be done in an open world game. All I can do is provide models to be used on the Arkansas map. Of course the map will be littered and houses will look worn. However, don't expect the detail of a 100.000.000$ singleplayer game. The first iterations of our map will look pretty bland.

 

About Stalker, yes it is interesting, but I cannot research the area and there are too many apartment complexes/verticality. What always annoyed me about Stalker is that you could see the power plant and buildings but couldn't enter them fully. I'd rather deal with something I can research and get info on from the community to get it right. For a while now, you will only see me uploading concept art and WIP buildings and updating them, according to feedback. I don't expect this mod to get started before 6-7months from now, but by then I will have created some usable content and the rest can be blocked in with placeholders.  

 

As a sidenote, I thought about making this in Japan at first, but the Arkansas landscape and foliage are similar enough to DayzSA to make it viable to re-use a lot of assets, such as trees/shrubs, fences, probably some shacks, silos, etc. 

Edited by S3V3N

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Well I'm pretty new to modelling but after you finish modeling you have tons of stuff to do in order to integrate it into tge game. That includes making rvmats for each material with the proper normal maps, configurate each area with surfaces and penetration values if you wish doors to be penetratable. Yoy need ti animate doors and properly set a model.cfg.

Making a model is just halfway through. I'd advise you to make models for ArmA 2 as a start. You can make it to ArmA 3 but as car as I know ArmA 3 reauires you to resuze your models while DayZ won't (I think).

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Well I'm pretty new to modelling but after you finish modeling you have tons of stuff to do in order to integrate it into tge game. That includes making rvmats for each material with the proper normal maps, configurate each area with surfaces and penetration values if you wish doors to be penetratable. Yoy need ti animate doors and properly set a model.cfg.

Making a model is just halfway through. I'd advise you to make models for ArmA 2 as a start. You can make it to ArmA 3 but as car as I know ArmA 3 reauires you to resuze your models while DayZ won't (I think).

 

I think I'll re-use the doors from DayZ. I should be able to add sockets for doors, so they can be placed in my houses. If possible I might retexture some. Like I said, I am a modeler and supply models and terrain if necessary. The dimensions of the doors would be important to know though, so I'll definitely have to look into Arma. Penetration might be an issue, but for most of the buildings it won't be needed and we'll re-use stuff like fences and some buildings like the barracks and metal sheds. It's definitely gonna be a lot of work, but the final integration of the objects would be the coders work, I just supply all the bling.

Edited by S3V3N

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I started modeling tonight, because I was in the mood. I jumped right in, which is never a good idea, but the house is pretty simple. I ran into a slight problem with the interior, which needs some help from our community's friendlies, who know this type of architecture.

 

The problem is this is a very old house and doesn't have a lot of space inside. I'll either need a huge hole for the stairs or a ladder up to the 1st floor. I'd really like to make a steep stair that looks almost like a ladder to save some space. Is anyone able to provide some pictures or even just information about how this kind of house was divided on the inside and how the stairs look? I'd greatly appreciate some info about this, because this issue is going to repeat with other old houses; in the worst case, I'll make a ladder. 

 

Also, don't deal with the textures yet, I just wanted to test the look of some textures I have in my library. Before making final textures, I have to have all the parts modeled and packed. 

 

 

2015_10_21_farmhouse_01_zpsmntjbjcj.jpg

 

problem zone -> giant hole for the stairs:

 

2015_10_21_farmhouse_01_stairs_zpst0c7my

 

Forum Admin: Please stop making all my images spoilers. In a thread like this we need to be able to browse images without clicking through spoilers. Thanks. If necessary I can add to the title "image-heavy". 

Edited by S3V3N

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lol I just realized that I visited that 3rd house in your "villages" section as an elementary school field trip. If memory serves me, it was a part of a larger plantation site

 That is exactly right. It is a plantation house. Do you happen to have some photos or other info you might be able to share? I'll probably model that one next. The small white one, btw is the home of Johnny Cash, so I guess someone's been there and took photos too. 

 

 

Gross. Why not Canada?

 

United States is too unoriginal.

 

Be a hipster bro. To stand out from the rest you must.. well.. stand out!

 

I've been wanting to work on a US-map for a while. I don't know much about Canada, but I feel a USA setting is more believable, since there would be weapons lying around everywhere  ;)

I also don't really know how things look in Canada, but it would admittedly be fun to imagine, e.g. a cold map like Namalsk that plays in Canada. Too much work right now, I'm keeping it simple and already it is difficult enough. Perhaps, see this mod as a start to more and a guide/help for future modders. 

 

 

For now, I decided to leave the interior textures and models, apart from inner walls. I can't work on those, before I did some research and since the interior's textures will be put on a seperate UV-layer anyway, I might as well do them after I finished my testing with some of the houses. I'd really like to find a coder and mapper for this project. I'd be working much faster, if I could hand my content down the line to someone who integrates it into the game. I'm willing to model a whole library of assets, but I won't succeed with this mod without input from the community or without splitting up the work somewhen down the line. 

Edited by S3V3N

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Use spoilers, that is all.

 

If you wish to learn how to make island's, model or import assets you had better learn the ropes using the correct tools or at best the nearest thing possible which is of course the BIS toolset.

 

To do anything in DayZ SA you will have to wait and see what the Devs release.

In the meantime you should start here...

 

https://forums.bistudio.com/forum/89-arma-2-operation-arrowhead-editing/

 

ArmAIII...

https://forums.bistudio.com/forum/161-arma-3-editing/

 

Moved.

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Use spoilers, that is all.

 

If you wish to learn how to make island's, model or import assets you had better learn the ropes using the correct tools or at best the nearest thing possible which is of course the BIS toolset.

 

To do anything in DayZ SA you will have to wait and see what the Devs release.

In the meantime you should start here...

 

https://forums.bistudio.com/forum/89-arma-2-operation-arrowhead-editing/

 

ArmAIII...

https://forums.bistudio.com/forum/161-arma-3-editing/

 

Moved.

 

Thanks for moving and the info, very kind! I have OA and I'll read into the process. I see myself as part of the asset production and concepting and don't plan on doing everything alone. It would be nice if at some later point others joined the project to deal with the actual integration of assets. I know the workflows for Unity, Cryengine and Unreal and it's hard to believe importing terrain in Bohemia games is completely different. Since *.PBO is getting scrapped for *.FBX though, I don't see a need to get into detail right now. I'm just building content to a point where people are convinced it will be worthwhile joining this project. It's always hard to tell with mods, but I do hope we can make ends meet, on the long run. 

 

Okay then, I don't really understand why, but I'll use spoilers.

 

>>EDIT - does or will the engine use lightmaps? That would mean, Ill actually have to use my second Uv set for the lightmaps and can't use it for interiors. 

Edited by S3V3N

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Here is what I've done tonight:

 

2015_10_23_farmhouse_01_zpsdshzff3d.jpg

 

2015_10_23_farmhouse_01ba_zpslp2a3ciu.jp

 

I've chosen the simplest way to texture  so the detail is going to be quite generic. This give me lots of space on the UV-Map however, which means if I have to add more textures later I'll still have space to put them. My main goal is efficiency, so none of the models should take more than 2-3 days to produce (in my free time, not full-time).

 

The next step will be to take this testing asset into ArmaOA and see if I can figure out how to add doors (I expect doors to be seperate models in AO/Dayz, hopefully they are). I'm also gonna have to check out collisions and lightmaps. Once I've set everything up, I'll show some updates and if everything works I'll move on to the next asset. There are quite a number of unknowns to me, so I don't want to waste time working on highly refined objects. To me this looks good enough to give it a pass for a mod.  

 

>>EDIT: Wow this editor is a supreme pain in the ass. I'm not gonna be able to continue, until I've spend a couple of days/weeks reading myself into this mess. It makes me really appreciate how extremely easy the workflows in Unity and Unreal are. Even Cryengine is a blast to work with, in comparison. I could really use someone to talk me through the basics, so if you are familiar with modeling and working with Bulldozer/Oxygen, please send me a PM and help me out here. Don't get me wrong, I wanna do this project, but this editor is just not what I expected. This is like going back to the early days of game development, and I doubt the tools for Dayz will be anything like that. Here is a screenshot to illustrate the mess this is. 

 

bulldozer_zps1wjgbr4m.jpg

 

If I can't find help or info, I'm gonna have to put this on hold, until tools/documentary for DayzSA become available. I was merely hoping to be able to produce some basic assets beforehand. But I'm not gonna spend months learning something that is so outdated and most likely will work and look very differently in DayzSA. If they want workshop support the tools will have to be a lot better than AO's. 

Edited by S3V3N

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There are plugins for Blender and 3dsMax so that you don't have to do the work using BI tools.  They've progressed quite a ways so you should be able to follow a workflow similar to what you are familiar with.

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