Fallout: Tactics Redux Mod released

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, May 9, 2012.

  1. Felipefpl

    Felipefpl Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    394
    Jun 17, 2010
    Endocore - i congratulate you for the fixes on this mod (i'm gonna be honest, i dont care about the added/removed things, i just wish there was an unofficial patch that fixed most of stuff mainly the SLOW scrolling when you get close to the end of the game).
     
  2. majek

    majek First time out of the vault

    17
    May 11, 2012
    I've only checked the folders and i've noticed those ugly modern weapons and ammo sprites (those take from Fallout 1&2 are fine). Are those actually in this mod ? If they are i'm having second thoughts about playing. :/
     
  3. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    Ah, thank you! While I enjoyed the Tough Boy mode very much, those random encounters were just plain stupid. Sadly, when I have experienced a few of those, my game crashed afterward. I still don't understand how some professionals could release the game with such an annoying feature!
     
  4. draeke

    draeke It Wandered In From the Wastes

    193
    Dec 2, 2005
    How far apart is Tactics scripting/code wise I am curious if anyone ever attempted to add the vehicle element to any of the other FOs if even possible that is, I personally have never looked under the hood of any of them but it wouldn't really surprise me to find out that each new iteration was just adding more code to the original
     
  5. Elitech

    Elitech Still Mildly Glowing

    282
    Apr 22, 2008
    Dunno where to post...

    Bug report: Cannot use melee weapon(s) - i.e. combat knife - with female in tesla armor
     
  6. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    362
    Mar 14, 2010


    Thanks to all for the comments.

    @Elitech

    That seems strange, and my first thought in the absence of other details is that you have a corrupted sprite file. My mod doesn't include those sorts of sprites, so the problem would be coincidental in that case and could be fixed by grabbing the proper *.bos archive off one of the game disks and unpacking it into your core directory.

    I'll check this, but in case I can't reproduce anything strange could you provide more information on the details of the problem (i.e. "cannot use" because X happens...).


    @your evil twin

    In general my approach was see if existing content could be made more interesting or fun; I usually didn't cut anything unless I had some superior replacement content or mechanism. There are still plenty of loafers hanging around the bunkers spouting relative nonsense, but hopefully some of the new extras I added (particularly in bunkers one, two, and four) will be mildly entertaining as a compensation.

    If you're just reaching the Reavers, I think you'd notice some very substantial differences if you were to start a new game using the mod and replay the missions. All else (bug fixes, etc) aside, with my approach to weapons I feel the player often has to genuinely apply sound tactical thinking to do well in the game now. The first two-thirds of the game are also the period during which my changes have the most dramatic gameplay effect, as most players are likely to continue the old standard approach of relying on energy weapons once the opponents change to robots exclusively. On the other hand hobby time is always in too short supply for most of us, and you would be looking at replaying most of the game (almost fifteen missions).

    I feel one of the major setbacks to modding progress in Fallout Tactics has always been the almost universally held desire to conflate FOT with Fallout and Fallout 2. The games have different purposes as well as different strengths and weaknesses. FO and FO2 are role-playing games; since combat is a traditionally important component of rpgs, the games have a decent but hardly rigorous combat mechanic. On the other hand, FOT is not an rpg and doesn't have the technical horsepower to ever become an rpg. In this mod I've striven to enhance and accentuate what FOT does well (small unit combat simulation) rather than try to turn an apple into an orange (a goal which has given us little but grand pronouncements of FOT vaporware dreams over the years). Therefore players interested in a science-fiction/post-apocalyptic military game will hopefully find the game much more compelling and fun than ever while using my mod.


    @Felipefpl

    I tried to make some attempt to fix most problems (a few exceptions are noted in my documentation), but I'm only one guy and I was unable to secure any substantial second-opinion betatesting prior to releasing my materials. I'm sure bugs and problems remain in the game, though I hope players will report persisting problems so I can examine them in a future update (I already found more spelling mistakes I missed in the current release). Though Fallout Tactics includes a fine level and campaign editor for end-users that FO/FO2 modders would give an arm and a leg for, in other respects FOT is not very modder friendly in regard to engine-related issues. One thing in the game's favor is the advancement of processor and memory technology in the years since it was released; if you played some time ago on an older computer, I think most slow-down related issues would be solved by replaying today on the machine noted in your sig.


    @majek

    Though I fictionalized all the weapons (no more "Beretta M92FS" or "Ruger AC556F", etc) in addition to redesigning their stats, unfortunately almost all extant sprite packs evidence considerable obsession with "real world" guns as if FOT were a Jagged Alliance game-- and thus I didn't have much desirable material to choose from regarding images for several new weapons. Many of these sprite packs also make use of a formal perpendicular view (again, reminiscent of JA2) that harshly clashes with the existing FOT artwork. More unfortunately, all three modder-made sprite editors for FOT presume the end-user owns Photoshop and is capable of advanced image palette manipulation; since I'll never pay hundreds of dollars for that program I can't make my own sprites that would be more appropriate for the game. Furthermore, in many cases where FO/FO2 frms were converted to FOT sprs in the past, the resulting image quality has been poor in my opinion. Beyond all I've mentioned, FOT is focused on a different sort of gameplay than Fallout or Fallout 2. While I've always been of the opinion that a great Fallout 2 weapon mod would get rid of everything but pipe rifles and rusty revolvers, that approach in FOT would almost certainly detract from rather than enhance play.

    In short, regarding weapon images I mostly reshuffled the game's existing art, and when adding novel images I usually tried to choose artwork that looked "science-fiction-y" rather than "real." The trouble then is, there just isn't much to choose from in that department. Hopefully in the context of actual gameplay, most players will find my solutions satisfactory. If anyone has other solutions or additional artwork in spr format of which I'm not aware, I'd be happy to hear about such and have a look.


    @valcik

    With my revision of random encounters as well as the effort I've made to address crashes associated with Special Encounters, I think you'll find far less trouble with CTDs on the world map using this mod. Though I'm not certain in all cases, I believe I also fixed the bug(s) associated with the player-characters unable to leave a Special Encounter when visiting the encounter map on subsequent occasions (i.e. sometimes no exit grids would appear unless the player-characters started combat and killed all npcs on whatever particular map).

    I really admire your tenacity if you managed a whole game of FOT in tough guy mode-- the thought of fighting (actually, standing around and plinking from a distance) thousands of roaches and dogs is too much for me, and for that reason I never tried formal tough guy mode. I didn't consider this before, but perhaps tough guy mode will be more popular under the new circumstances I've created for random encounter deployment.

    More generally, I do think the game is more fun with an "informal" tough guy approach-- saving frequently, but only reloading in cases of bugs, crashes, or the end of a play session. If soldiers perish, that's war-- I play JA2 the same way. Though I consider myself a fairly good FOT player, on my last playtest of the modded campaign I suffered four KIAs. One was particularly memorable-- I had developed an already decent sapper recruit called "Marco" into a formidable sneaker and demolitions man. In the Osceolla mission, for what seemed like a good reason at the time (famous last words-- "I think I can take those guys") Marco violated my own Soldier's General Order #1-- nobody goes anywhere alone, ever. Marco successfully infiltrated the numerous surface fortifications and snuck into the very heart of Gammorin's underground complex, and then snuck past and around each guard in the mess hall area and successfully planted a remote-detonation bomb at each mutant's feet. I knew it had to end badly eventually, so when the mutant near the door finally detected this crazy thief guy and shredded Marco with a burst of machine gun fire I wasn't surprised. Nonetheless, I continued playing rather than reload-- and was able enjoy imaginary reveries in later missions about my characters swapping war stories like "Well, if Marco was here, we'd [insert absolutely insane tactic here]." Another KIA was a character named Eldora, whose description in my mod reads:

    Eldora is a third generation BOS; her family has served the organization for nearly a half-century. Nonetheless she insists on no special treatment, and is determined to make her own way up the ranks.

    When she fell in combat, I imagined my squad leader having nearly inconsolable qualms as he pondered informing Eldora's venerable parents that their daughter had perished under his command.

    Of course everyone ought play in a way fun to themselves, but I've always felt playing so that actions (and inactions) have consequences is always best and makes me a far better player. FOT is not an rpg and never will be, but for the player who brings his own imagination to the game in many cases fodder for role-playing can be found in numerous situations and places.


    @draeke

    Fallout Tactics uses a different engine than Fallout or Fallout 2. This was in fact a major stumbling point to modding progress on FOT that still haunts us today-- years ago Microforte seemed to believe their "supacool, sexy, and top-secret" Phoenix engine was going to make them millions of dollars, and thus they sternly refused to release important tools or even much information for modders to work with. As a result, a decade later we see that this Phoenix engine is largely forgotten while Fallout and Fallout 2 modding (wherein modders always got semi-official support and at least some useful information and tools about how to break down the engine from devs) have thrived.

    Another change I made in Fallout Tactics Redux was to drastically increase the usefulness of vehicles, since many players seem to enjoy them and many vehicle-related perks are available for player-characters that are otherwise fairly useless in the standard game. On most maps, players can now make at least some use of vehicles they bring with them when entering a map; in particular, I found fighting the behemoths and pacification bots in Scott City using a "tank versus tank" strategy was a lot of fun even in turn-based mode, which typically isn't very conducive to effective vehicle usage.

    In theory practical vehicles could be simulated in Fallout or Fallout 2 with a simple frm change and a few script nodes, though I'm not sure the end result would be worthwhile-- mowing down hookers and drug dealers with an old schoolbus on the crowded streets of New Reno might be fun once as a gag, but after that I think the novelty would quickly wear off. The maps and fighting situations in FO/FO2 aren't really complex enough to justify the work involved, and I think most players would agree the main fun of these games is in situations not related to fighting. On the other hand, if we expand the definition of "vehicle" to include things like rideable horses or motorcycles then the notion becomes much more compelling; the practical limitation in this case is the grave difficulty of creating new animated artwork for Fallout or Fallout 2-- which for most of us as hobbyists is fairly impossible due to the time required for such projects rather than any technical issue.


    @all

    A rather important change to weapon effects mentioned several times under in-game contexts but that may otherwise come as a profound surprise to players is that plasma rifles, plasma pistols, and plasma grenades now inflict radiation damage as well as mundane fire damage. I meant to mention this rather ominous change in my documentation, but forgot. When facing Reavers and humanoid bots, you'll likely want to either stock up on Rad-X and Rad-Away or have a soldier with "Awareness" to identify enemies with plasma weapons so these threats can be neutralized at once. The reason I made this change is that the mechanic clearly favors AI forces, who won't live long enough to suffer radiation poisoning anyway given the "search and destroy" nature of most mission objectives, and therefore increases the player's need to use good tactics rather than rely on the old "hey, let's just charge into battle with a frontal assault" banality. The game engine assesses radiation damage from weapons in direct correlation to mundane damage-- so if one of your troopers takes several hits from a plasma weapon, his or her strength will plummet from radiation burns and he or she will likely be completely immobilized until attended by a medic. As a consolation, in the grand scheme of things plasma weapons are relatively scarce in the game and careful players should not suffer too much from this sadistic change. As further consolation, among changes to armor values in Fallout Tactics Redux Power Armor and Advanced Power Armor offer substantially increased radiation resistance compared the unmodded game-- but both are relatively rare, and in most cases players will not find enough suits of Advanced Power Armor to equip a full squad of six soldiers. Scarcity of "the best" equipment is another implementation of my belief that a challenging game is a fun game, and that a fundamental failure of the original Microforte product was that the game offered very little challenge.

    Players who read the mod's documentation will note that I made several provisions to functionally segregate "bug-fix" content from "enhanced game" content, with concise instructions for further customizing the game to one's own tastes. Therefore if radiation-dispensing plasma weapons or any number of other changes are too much for you personally, feel free to swap out my changed entities for versions from the standard game. One nice feature of FOT in contrast to Fallout/Fallout 2 is that all weapons and other items found in any particular map initialize with their current default entity data when that map loads during play for the first time. Therefore one can change weapon and item values/effects "on the fly" as the game progresses without any drastic consequences for subsequent play. Though items already encountered by the player-characters will remain "stored" in the condition which the player-characters initially found them, in such cases these items can be easily removed from play by trading them away to a BOS quartermaster.


    Endocore

     
  7. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    Have you tried the GIMP? It can do almost anything Photoshop can do, and it's open source. It can even do a few things better than Photoshop (palette manipulation being one of them, in certain cases).

    http://www.gimp.org/

    I use both and I like both.
     
  8. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    362
    Mar 14, 2010


    Elitech mentioned some trouble with melee weapons; I investigated and found an incorrect version of the Combat Knife entity file was included in my materials. :oops: While correcting the matter I tested all the other edged weapons with both males and females in various armors, and everything else was working-- so unless I hear otherwise, I'll conclude the trouble Elitech mentioned was while using the Combat Knife.

    I apologize to players, as this particular entity escaped notice during my latest playtesting. Solutions to fix the Combat Knife entity include:

    1) Download a specific fix for the combat knife entity. Unzip the download and place the file called "combatKnife.ent" in the \core\entities\weapons\Blades\ folder wherever you installed Fallout Tactics and the mod. Although any existing Combat Knives the player-characters have already encountered in the current playthrough won't work, after putting the new file in place all "new" Combat Knives found in the field or purchased from the BOS quartermaster will be fixed and working properly.

    -OR-

    2) If you're familiar with the Fallout Tactics Editor, use the Entity Editor to edit the file combatKnife.ent. Under Weapon Mode 0, change the "Animation Name" class from "Thrust" to "Slash" and save the file (no other changes are necessary). After this, any existing Combat Knives the player-characters have encountered in the current playthrough will still be unusable but all "new" combat knives found in a mission or purchased from the BOS quartermaster will be working properly.


    Thanks again for the bug report. Though I've already found more cosmetic/trivial issues to fix in an update to version 1.1 fairly soon, since to my knowledge the only new problem introduced by my efforts was the one entity file mentioned above I'll hold off on an update to facilitate more time for feedback. I encourage everyone to report any bugs they find while playing, as a major focus of the mod is to eradicate all eradicable all problems in the game. I can't fix some engine issues (for example, the "Tunnel Rat" perk increases the speed of a crawling character but not a crouching character, or the ability of any player-character to "win" at gambling by putting up no stakes of his own and merely pressing the Gamble button repeatedly, or the vacuous way in which burst fire damage is calculated), but I'd like to at least try to consider a plausible solution to whatever issues remain with the game in the wake of my other numerous fixes.


    @UniversalWolf

    Thanks for the info. I didn't know GIMP could do such work, and I'll take a look. I normally use Paint Shop Pro 8, which does almost everything I ever need quite well-- except work with palettes, which FOT's goofy propietary graphic format requires. :cry:


    Endocore

     
  9. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    Definitely! I have defeated Gammorin just few hours back, it's 11th mission or so. Game is running like a charm, without any single crash. :salute:

    So far, I have noticed just one minor bug: It seems that heavy weaponry isn't affected by the Bonus Rate of Fire perk. My big gunner have received -1AP bonus for small arms, but not for a big guns. (Not big deal though, he's rocking very hard anyway.)

    edit:
    About a Tough Guy mode, I just love the experience multiplier, cannot play it otherwise. Those groups of roaches, dogs or other annoying pest can be handled with a combat shotgun or some grenade during one single turn.
     
  10. Elitech

    Elitech Still Mildly Glowing

    282
    Apr 22, 2008
    Game is more enjoyable with this "mod", good job :)
     
  11. requiem_for_a_starfury

    requiem_for_a_starfury So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Apr 3, 2003
    Well done Endocore.

    As far as I remember Dak's version of Redviewer didn't need complex palette fiddling. In fact most of the sprite creation tutorial didn't apply to Redviewer (I don't know about Sprite Creator) and it was really easy to create inventory sprites without photoshop. The Spray tutorial needs an old version of Photoshop anyway iirc it wasn't compatible with later versions.
     
  12. killap

    killap Bear Dude Moderator Modder

    May 16, 2005
    Wow, great stuff Endocore! I always smile when an old game gets an update like this.

    I actually always enjoyed playing Tactics and this will definitely make it better whenever I get around to playing it again.

    Well done indeed.
     
  13. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    362
    Mar 14, 2010


    @valcik

    I'm glad you sound like you're enjoying the game + mod; for me, spreading a few smiles and laughs is what modding is all about (apart from the purely intellectual challenge of technical design).

    The non-interaction of Fast Shot/Bonus ROF with certain heavy weapons was a decision on my part rather than a bug, and based on the very limited options available in the FOT Entity Editor. More info on this particular issue is in my documentation, but the bottom line is to get around that I would have had to require a highly visible interface mod with Fallout Tactics Redux, and since this one narrow area was the only reason to do so I decided to leave it alone. Heavy weapons are already very dangerous to friend as well as foe given the high weapon damage values in my vision of the game, so in practice I hope everyone will find my decision plays well.

    @Elitech

    Thanks again for reporting the combat knives, and I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the Redux mod.

    @requiem

    Anyone who read all the way through my copious documentation will see requiem_for_a_starfury listed several times in several contexts in the "Credits" section. Thanks for a number of your materials I appropriated, and thanks as well for all you've personally done over the years to support continuing interest in FOT at various forums and maintain the arcane old ways and knowledge that would otherwise have been lost.

    I spent a lot of (ultimately wasted) time trying to make all those sprite editors work (both versions of Redviewer, Sprite Creator, and Spray) with the tools I had on hand, and couldn't find a way to make anything from any of them. I found an old JA2 modding program in a dark crevice of my hard-drive that could export palettes from BMPs, but Redviewer insisted on inverting the palette order which resulted in many messes and after reading the documentation several times I gave up. Sprite Creater unfortunately relies on "32 bit" bmp images (which according to my research only two commercial programs in the world can deal with) and weird "raw" formatted stuff that I don't understand. Personally, though, I blame the whole thing on MF for making such a ridiculously obscure proprietary image format in the first place. :crazy:

    @killap

    Thanks. For yourself and anyone else who liked the original game on its own merits, I think this version offers much more fun, challenge, and substance (new material) as well as far less distraction and frustration (many, many, many bugs fixed). If you do take the mod for a spin, though, don't mention it publicly-- I despair to think of all the hate mail I'd receive if anyone thought I distracted you from the RP. :wink:

    @all

    After releasing the mod, I've been making another playthrough myself to investigate yet more avenues for correction and improvement of the game. So far I've played up to Mardin, and apart from the buggy combat knife have only found cosmetic issues (yet more spelling mistakes, portrait work, etc) to fix though I have made some additional minor enhancements as well. Thus after allowing for a period of further public review and finishing another playthrough myself I'll release an update, but in the meantime the game seems to be working as intended on all counts so anyone who wants to play won't gain much by waiting for a future version as any changes will likely be minor.


    Endocore

     
  14. majek

    majek First time out of the vault

    17
    May 11, 2012
    Yeah, it's a quite annoying process but the hardest part for me is finding the right images. After that i somehow manage to create something that i like. I use Paint.Net. It's good enough for the way i learned to do it, which i guess i the long and complicated way. Delete background, crop, feather, resize, save as PNGs, PNG to ZAR using FT Tools, import zars in RedViewer just the big and small gui, i don't really care about the ground item image) and save as .spr, change the Image position using SpriteCreator as necessary.
    :look:

    So after i complained i went and tried to make some weapons ( Me3, vanquish and Deus Ex art was used ) The result ... http://www.mediafire.com/?6z3ysyy7rqjgohz XD
    Maybe i should shut up try and your mod now. :D :|
     
  15. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    Oops, I have read just the installation part of readme file and have rushed in the action afterwards. Anyway, I like your improvements very much! :ok:
     
  16. Guiltyofbeingtrite

    Guiltyofbeingtrite Vault Dweller

    751
    Oct 13, 2008
    I've noticed I can't see NPC's item descriptions when bartering with them. Is there a way around this? It will show my item's info if clicked but not theirs.
     
  17. Elitech

    Elitech Still Mildly Glowing

    282
    Apr 22, 2008
    Wasn't that a "feature" of the vanilla FoT as well?
     
  18. Guiltyofbeingtrite

    Guiltyofbeingtrite Vault Dweller

    751
    Oct 13, 2008
    I don't remember it being, now I have to save, buy a weapon, equip it, check and see what ammo it uses, then reload. Is there a list of all weapons and ammo types for this mod? I'd also be willing to print that out.

    Other that I love it. And nice job using Sting as Feyd-Rautha as a BOS NPC portrait. awesome.
     
  19. Endocore

    Endocore Look, Ma! Two Heads!
    Modder

    362
    Mar 14, 2010


    Thanks to everyone for the comments.

    @majek

    Good job on those sprites. You've got some nice material there, and I wish I could have found more stuff like that over the winter when I was designing Redux. I particularly like the Crusader, the Paladin, and the Valiant. May I include some of your sprites in a future version of the mod?

    @Guiltyofbeingtrite

    Unfortunately that's the way the game has always worked. I find that lack of functionality pretty annoying as well, but no plausible fix or alternative method is available (i.e. it's hard-coded).

    In the case of my mod, the regular trouble this interface issue raises is of course compounded by an all-new line up of weapons, some of which have unexpected functionality. Unfortunately the only lists/tables I have of the weapons and stats are written (ye olde pencil and paper) rather than electronic, but now that you mention this since the way the barter system works in the game could mean truckloads of valuables are given away just to figure out which gun does what I'll see if I can gather the weapon info into a useful list or chart. In the meantime, in my opinion the "best" weapons are now:

    Melee: Ripper; the Combat Knife is fairly useful for dedicated melee fighters as well.
    Pistols: the one that looks like a Colt 45.
    SMGs: the one that looks like an MP5 with the stock extended, though the one that looks like an MP5 with no stock is pretty decent as well.
    Rifles: I like the 7mm weapons rather than the slightly more dangerous 8mms; look for the items that look like a Colt M4 and a Colt M16. Perhaps unexpectedly, the Gauss rifle isn't really much better than the other two sniper rifles available (one 7mm, one 12mm), so if you're hard-up for cash don't choose to purchase a gauss gun over power armor or an energy weapon.
    Heavy Weapons: I like the 8mm gun called "Vostok," as it offers a single-shot mode as well as a burst-fire option (both based on the Big Guns skill); in 7mm a similar weapon is called "Camden E36." The heavy mutant machine gun and the rocket launcher are the deadliest weapons of all (if you can manage to hit the enemy with them). Due to the way the engine processes burst-fire, miniguns were fairly useless in the original game and are even less so in my mod, because frankly (with all due respect to Jesse Ventura) I think the whole idea of a hand-held minigun is silly and I put no effort into improving them.
    Energy Weapons: Plasma or Pulse weapons.
    Grenades: Frag and Plasma.
    Bombs: C4, Remote-detonated bombs.

    Endocore

     
  20. majek

    majek First time out of the vault

    17
    May 11, 2012
    Well i don't mind, but it's mostly Bioware's art from Mass Effect 3, so if they complain you'll have remove it. :)