April 14, 2021:
Among The Shadows II: The Lava Planet
by Oton (fish) Ribic
April 28, 2008:
The Towerof Doom
by Dirk Destiny and Pumpkinetics
February 21, 2008:
The Dark Tide: Beyond the Ancient
Bonus Material from the Dark Tide Series! (31 MB)
by Patrick Haslow, Matthew Hallaron & Barry Brien
Posted by karjala on 2022-12-19 10:42:32 EST
The Force Engine 1.0 Released!
We are on PC Gamer - welcome everyone!
If you want to play custom Dark Forces missions in The Force Engine (TFE) simply ...
- Download a custom mission from the list here
- Place it in the Mods folder insde your TFE install (You can just drop the zip inside!).
- Go to the Mods section and select a mod from the list.
- I recommend you try these missions first! The Dark Tide - Part 1 , Lava Planet or Prelude to Harkov
- Finally, if you want to learn Dark Forces Map Making we have a newbie-friendly step-by-step Tutorial .
It's been three years since the project started and today is the day when it finally releases to the public! Congratulations Lucius!
Go read the release announcement on The Force Engine's page .
You can download it here here
Here is the Release Trailer!
For those that are not familiar, TFE is a full reverse engineer of Dark Forces code with multiple improvements. It is a successor, of sorts, of the DarkXL project that was abandoned due to the engineering changes of the time. This new version is by far the best way to play the game in 2022.
- Full Dark Forces support, including mods. Outlaws support is coming in version 2.0.
- Mod Loader - simply place your mods in the Mods/ directory as zip files or directories.
- High Resolution and Widescreen support - when using 320x200 you get the original software renderer. TFE also includes a floating-point software renderer which supports widescreen, including ultrawide, and much higher resolutions.
- GPU Renderer with perspective correct pitch - play at much higher resolutions with improved performance.
- Extended Limits - TFE, by default, will support much higher limits than the original game which removes most of the HOM (Hall of Mirrors) issues in advanced mods.
- Full input binding, mouse sensitivity adjustment, and controller support. Note, however, that menus currently require the mouse.
- Optional Quality of Life improvements, such as full mouselook, aiming reticle, improved Boba Fett AI, autorun, and more.
- A new save system that works seamlessly with the existing checkpoint and lives system. You can ignore it entirely, use it just as an exit save so you don’t have to play long user levels in one sitting, or full save and load with quicksaves like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D.
- Optional and quality of life features, even mouselook, can be disabled if you want the original experience. Play in 320x200, turn the mouse mode (Input menu) to Menus only or horizontal, and enable the Classic (software) renderer - and it will look and play just like DOS, but with a higher framerate and without needing to adjust cycles in DosBox.
At DF-21 we will work on embedding custom missions to work with TFE so one can load them instantly.
Posted by karjala on 2022-11-01 17:01:29 EST
Mines Level Contest
Now that the WDFUSE editor is modernized with 3D preview it is a good time to de-rust our map-making skills! This is why the staff at DF-21 will be hostnig a level-making contest... with a prize !
The Contest Theme
The goal of the contest is the rework of the classic map Mines . What is Mines? Go ahead give it a try ... like now! Mines Download
Important Note: Please download the MODERN version of the map as it is patched to be compatible with modern editors!
All done? Well if you have, you will realize that the map was made by a child, only known as Ari G and is of ... questionable ... quality.
Here is how the mission looks like in the game...
This is what it looks like in the editor....
And here is the readme...
mines b y Ari G.
Its my frst levvel so pleaze dont say its stuupid
As much as we may joke about it, over the years the communtiy fell in love with this mission. There is even a Mines Appreciation Page !
Therefore, the theme of the contest is to answer the question of...
What is behind the spooky Hall of Mirrors (HOM) wall in the second room of the mission?
The Contest Rules
You must submit a custom mission of your own creation that adheres to the following rules.
- You need to answer the question outlined in the contest. What is behind the Hall of Mirrors (HOM) in the Mines mission?
- You have to preserve the Mines Geometry and Objects including the Spawn Point and the Death Star Plans (You can however, alter the geometry after the mission starts with scripting).
- You can add as many objectives as you wish, but you must preserve the original one.
- You do NOT need to create a mission briefing (i.e. - NO LFDs required)
- You must submit the mission GOB to DF-21.net with the author template filled out --> Author Template
- Your submission must be turned by midnight on November 30th 2022 EST --> Here
- Most importantly - USE YOUR IMAGINATION AND HAVE FUN !
The Contest Prize
The winning map of the contest will be judged by our Discord users with the Member role. The highest voted on map will receive the Dark Trooper Attack Lego Set !
The Lego Set will be shipped to the author's address (even to Australia) after the winner is announced.
Important Note: DF-21 Staff cannot win the prize. If a staff's submission wins, the prize will be awarded to the second most votes.
If you've never made a mission in Dark Forces before don't worry!
You can use the modern WDFUSE editor to make your mission. We also have a new step-by-step tutorial found Here .
If you are stuck or havea question about the contest - simply ask for help in our Discord !
Posted by karjala on 2022-07-23 09:20:19 EST
WDFUSE 3.0 Release
We are excited to announce version 3.0 of the WDFUSE - the Dark Forces Editor. This version has multiple improvements that will streamline your map-making experience.
You can download it from our Downloads section or through a direct link here.
3D Renderer Updates
A long-requested feature by the community (Ex: Secbase Unlimited) was the realization of a 3D renderer synchronization to visualize editor changes. This day has come and now the editor has live synchronization to the 3D Renderer .
Any change you make in the 2D mode editor will be instantly reflected in the 3D renderer.
This includes moving map components such as sectors, walls and objects. For a better understanding of what live-synchronization entails take a look at the video below.
You can now automatically download, install and configure it by pressing the download button in the 3D Renderer Options tab.
This is a seismic shift - gone are the days of launching the game just to see if the texture you moved is now properly aligned with the wall. The changes are instant and work with the largest community-made missions such as the Dark Tide Series or the Assassination on Nar Shaddaa.
WDFUSE Tutorial Missions
The Editor now includes mission tutorials. They will give you step-by-step instructions on how get started with mission editing. They are geared towards map-makers without any experience.
You can load them up from the New WDFUSE project window.
The tutorial missions will go over all the Dark Forces editing components in a simple methodical manner. Here you can see the tutorial room on Switches.
In addition to the renderer we now fully support the Origin store version of Dark Forces as well as being able to launch your GOBs within the The Force Engine
We can now drag individual or multiple vertices at once. This will make wall-alignment a breeze.
Here we multi-select vertices and move all of them at once instead of piece-meal. All the adjoining vertices are moved together.
You can now specify colors of any object in the editor. Don't like the defaults? Make all the stormtroopers red!
You can now load any recent project you've been working on. This is useful for those of us that jump between multiple projects.
Full Change List
- Added ability to load a list of Recent project
- You can now have projects longer than 8 characters long
- Added an option to open the project folder of the current project in explorer
- WDPs should now be auto-associated via the Options
- Added variable back-up limits via Options
- Added 100 vs 125 DPI support
- The Force Engine has been added as a Launch Menu in Options
- Added EA Origin support as an external storefront.
- Added verification to project assets and added more logging when issues occur
- Added a warning if the GOB assets are locked (Ex: you are running Dark Forces)
- Added real-time sync with 3D Renderer
- Clicking on Sector Find now updates the INF Editor as well
- You can now update multiple wall lengths at a time
- Sector Heights are now shown in the Wall Editor
- BOSS and COMPLETE sectors are now different colors (controlled via Options)
- Normals now always show up when single-clicking on a single Wall
- Grid/Scale settings are now stored in the INI file
- Fixed an issue where some objects do not detect the sector they are in
- Bit values now show up in the INF Editor's event_masks
- You can now pan while holding ALT and left clicking
- Added freehand drawing of vertices while holding CTRL button
- Added control over object snapping (Floor/Ceiling/None)
- Clicking away from objects will now auto commit (if enabled)
- Added support for negative Yaw values (will modulo to 360)
- You can now change the texture offsets using Shift+Arrow Keys
- Added Rotate option to the Pop-Up menu
- Added Flip option to the Pop-Up menu
- You can now change object colors
- Added ability to move Vertex and Wall multi-adjoins at once instead of individual dragging.
- Deletion of multi-Vertex/Walls added
- The Asset Toolkit now loads DELT/ANIM filetypes
- Added WAV to VOC converters
- Added PAL/CMP/WAX converter tools from Jereth Kok and Oton Ribic
- Rewrote CopyFile code so now you get valid stacktrack during issues
- You can now enable/disable Wall Texture modulo via Options
- Fixed Wall scale calculation where sometimes you could not click on walls that have small deltas (Ex: 0.01)
- Added a WIKI Tutorial as a HELP (F1) guide.
- Renderer height and width size is now stored in the registry to persist between sessions
- Holding ALT button now allows you to pan your mouse from 3D renderer to WDFUSE
- Added an option to automatically download and install the renderer from the Options menu.
DF-21 Wiki and WDFUSE Tutorial
Learning WDFUSE has always been a challenge. There were few modern guides explaining how to make custom missions.
We've taken the time to create an entire Wiki with full an extensive tutorial with example missions to help you get started.
Check out the modern WDFUSE Tutorial and feel free to expand it with more examples.
Posted by karjala on 2022-06-29 20:50:04 EST
DF-21 Staff Interview
We've recorded an interview with the Australian game podcast TwoBit Gamers.
Come have a listen!
We talk about how we were first introduced to Dark Forces and what led us to the DF-21 community.
Posted by karjala on 2022-05-17 21:34:42 EST
The Force Engine 0.9 - iMuse & Sound Released
After months of effort Lucius has released The Force Engine 0.9. You can download it Here !
The emphasis is on the full reverse-engineering of the iMuse (Interactive Music Streaming Engine) system.
Take a look at the playthrough below: all the audio is now generated through The Force Engine.
Remember that the iMuse is the audio system crated by Michael Land for the game Monkey Island 2: Le Chuck's Revenge It was used in many LucasArts games including Dark Forces.
One of the key features of this system is the ability to switch tracks depending on what is happening in the game. For example, if there is combat or exploration the music transition from one track to another.
Take a look at the video below that gives a nice example of iMuse audio transitions in Monkey Island 2 !
Please read the Blog post that details all the changes and drop by TFE discord Here
Features and changes included in the release:
* Reverse-engineering of Dark Forces complete (with the obvious exception of going over bits of code again for bugs, or if I ever want to port TFE to DOS - and no that is not happening anytime soon if ever).
* iMuse system with proper music cues, transitions, and effects. Features like fades and similar effects work the same for both midi and digital audio.
* This is where most of the time was spent. iMuse is big and convoluted.
* Game music with fight/stalk transitions.
* Game and Cutscene sound system that uses iMuse to play digital audio; which includes proper sound priorities and accurate sound falloff and panning.
* Level ambient sounds.
* Sound UI will volume control for Cutscene Music, Sound, and Game music and sound.
* The ability to enable 16-channel digital audio support in iMuse (it was basically already there in the code, I just had to make some tweaks so it could be changed at runtime). 16-channels is the default but if you disable the option, it reverts back to 8-channels like DOS.
* The ability to disable fight music if desired.
* The Mousewheel is now bindable.
* The Mousewheel works on mission briefings and some PDA screens (mission briefing and map).
* Improved support for System UI scaling for 1440p and 4k.
* Many other fixes.
Future Plans for 1.0
With version 0.9 finally released, the next major release will be version 1.0 - complete support for Dark Forces in TFE. Unlike the 0.9 release, the plan is to split up the release into several smaller releases. There will be 2 main parts:
- Bug Fixes. I plan on splitting bug fixes by system and do one or more 0.9x release for each system. Examples include AI bugs, weapon bugs, collision issues, INF issues, etc..
- The GPU renderer - the last major feature for version 1.0. The GPU renderer will support both shearing for looking up and down (which emulates the software renderer) and accurate perspective projection to allow the player to look up and down further without distortion like modern 3D games. Initially it will support 8-bit color emulation with optional colormap interpolation to remove banding. Later, after version 1.0 is released, true color rendering, dynamic lights and other features will be added.