Marathon 1 VR (fan-made)

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Marathon 1 VR (fan-made)

Post Jun 8th '14, 16:37

Download a preview version:
Press alt-enter once launched. Tab brings up graphics menu.

I'm working on a simple re-make of Arrival (environment only) in Unreal Engine 4 for the oculus rift. My day job is writing music for film and tv, and I have hardly any experience with 3d editing and textures/materials, so it's far from perfect. But I figured it would be a good way to learn the engine (I normally work with middleware when it comes to writing game music, but it helps to know as much as possible).

Any Marathon fans out there with a dk2 on order? I was toying with the idea of working on it a bit more and releasing it, maybe doing the same with an environment from Durandal or Infinity.
Last edited by alborada on Sep 3rd '14, 21:50, edited 1 time in total.

Post Jun 9th '14, 03:57

Hey, that's neat! The effects are really cranked up, making it look more like a tech demo than something ready to play, but you probably knew that. Judging from the last thread on the subject, it sounds like there's some interest in the Oculus Rift among the community.

I can't get enough of those enhanced M1 textures. They really need proper normal maps, though. Or I wonder if there's some way you could make a static mesh to replace each texture, world unit by world unit. Then you could make the ins and outs implied by the texture with actual geometry in places where the normal map doesn't cut it.
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Post Jun 9th '14, 07:40

Thanks. I tried making normals and specular/emissive maps from the flat textures, but as you saw it wasn't very successful- e.g. the need to separate out the dirt and scratch marks from the texture proper. Unfortunately I don't have the time or skill to make replacement meshes (for now anyway), but I'm sure there's someone out there with the ability and enthusiasm to do so? If someone like me can slap some geometry and textures together in a day or two, it makes me wonder what someone skilled could come up with if they tried. Seems to be a lot simpler than programming rift support into Aleph One, anyway.
I might have a go with the Infinity textures as I think Tim Vogel made some bump-maps for them already.

Post Jun 10th '14, 09:28

In my humble opinion, goran has made the best replacement textures for Infinity. You can find them on Simplici7y.
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Post Jun 10th '14, 20:50

In case you aren't aware, Weland can export an OBJ of the level geometry for any Durandal or Infinity level. It's untextured, but it might save you some time if you want to demo a different space.
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Post Jun 11th '14, 23:06

I was not aware, that's great news thanks. Unfortunately no matter what i do I can't get Welend to run. I don't suppose someone could do me a massive favour and export Waterloo Waterpark as an obj? Would save me from a day or so of modelling..

Post Jun 12th '14, 10:19

Sure, that's easy.
(17.79 KiB) Downloaded 239 times

Also, I took some time to experiment with making 3D models of some of Jay Faircloth's M1 replacement textures, like I described earlier. If you'd be interested in these, I could finish a complete set and send them your way.
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Post Jun 13th '14, 09:22

That's amazing thank you, playing with it in Maya now.
And those M1 textures would be really useful, I wasn't planning on building more than Arrival so wouldn't need a complete set. Anything you have would be a great help

Post Jun 14th '14, 01:27

I'd started working on the 'water' set, but I see now that Arrival uses the 'sewage' set. The sewage set seems to have more topographic features, so this will be more than a quick bit of modeling work. But I'm finding ways to be more efficient, and I find these kinds of simple, hard surfaces easy enough to make.

I'm trying to make it look good, but not go overboard with the polygon count, since any texture can be repeated a lot. I also don't want to mess with the textures, so I'm applying each as a flat planar map onto the 3D surfaces.

It's good to hear you also work in Maya. Then I could hand off the Maya .mb file directly. On the other hand I've been trying to learn to do more with UDK, and this would be a good opportunity to learn how to export & make new static meshes.
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Post Jun 15th '14, 18:25

To say I work in Maya would be an bit of an overstatement, I'm just using the free trial to preview stuff and export fbx files. For Waterloo Waterpark I've ended up using the mesh you supplied as a guide and building bsp brushes to replicate it; my attempts to learn texturing within maya were pretty disastrous, and I find unreal's material editor pretty simple and intuitive.

Maybe when you're done with the M1 meshes you could export your work as fbx- I can import them and reapply the materials within ue4, apply specular/emissive etc? I asked Jay if he still had the original data for the textures, and he kindly offered to have a look through his archives - it's unlikely but there's a small possibility he still has the separate photoshop layers, which would really help with making specular/roughness masks.

Post Jun 17th '14, 09:09

Oh, I didn't know you were in direct contact with him. That sounds incredibly useful if you can get your hands on the original photoshop files.

I'm making slow progress on the 3D models. I have 8 textures done, which is a quarter of the sewage set. If the scope is all of Arrival, there will also be other textures like the computer terminal, pattern buffer, and shield recharger to do. Here's a teaser.
sewage progress 1.jpg
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Post Jun 17th '14, 23:20

Those look fantastic. I haven't got much further with the geometry but would definitely benefit from the terminal and pattern buffer if you're still working on them.
I had a go at the first room of Waterloo Waterpark using Quixel tools for the normals and specular maps, it's bit rough but the textures are generally flatter which makes things easier:

Post Jun 24th '14, 09:45

I have nothing new to show, but I haven't forgotten about this. I'm done with about 2/3rds of the texture set. I'm experimenting with and hopefully improving my technique, by putting some components at irregular angles to catch the light differently and break up the orthogonal regularity of flat, vertical walls (even flat, vertical walls with bumps & ridges on them). But still, every texture should tile fine, and I'm limiting myself to a depth of 20 cm.

[edit] I've finished the sewage textures. Next up are the special textures (terminal, pattern buffer, switch, shield recharger) when I have time to work on this again.
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Post Jun 27th '14, 23:50

Sounds good, look forward to seeing them.

Post Jun 28th '14, 02:42

Here they are as a (compressed) Maya project folder. Maya crashed when I tried to export to fbx.
M1 3D
(1.89 MiB) Downloaded 265 times

Open the scene file M1Textures_sewage_clean.mb. Each texture is named according to the M1A1 Revival PNG name, and is 2m x 2m in area. As a bonus, there's also the first batch I did in there (half of the water textures), though they're not cleaned up.

The conundrum for me is still how to best use these for walls that aren't an even number of world units long. In many cases there can just be extra texture dangling in negative space, as if the texture had a discarded 'margin' on the sides. But in other cases the texture may have to be carved up at arbitrary points along its width.

I tried to make these as easy to work with as I can anticipate; let me know how it goes in practice.
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Post Jun 28th '14, 19:54

I know what you mean- I was a bit apprehensive about having to line up all the meshes- but we'll see how it goes. I was never going to make a 100% accurate re-creation- if I can make it look convincing without replicating the exact texture placements from the original, I'm sure it will be fine.
If I can't make it work well with the meshes then I'll try using them to create quality normal maps for the bsp brushes, see how that looks.

Post Jun 28th '14, 22:21

Yeah; I'm sure the original 2D textures required less consideration than these will. If they look as good or better than before, no one should care if the alignment's changed somewhat. You can even squash and stretch them to fit the walls better, something you (almost) couldn't do in Marathon.

I remember in Marathon: Resurrection, they played it loose. Sometimes a wall was just a flat texture, and other times they'd extrude out bumps and ridges and whatnot. The end result was inconsistent in my opinion, but at least better than all flat walls.

If you make normal maps from these, know that I deliberately didn't model details that were too small to justify doing in 3D and would be better detailed in a normal map - nothing smaller than 5 cm deep, if it could be avoided. For proper normal maps we'd need to do some digital sculpting, which isn't my forte. So it'll be better than nothing, but perhaps no more than that. We're fortunate that the textures have so much shadow & highlight 'baked in'.

One last thing I forgot to mention. These have an average polygon density of just under 90 triangles per world unit, which is kind of an unusual unit, but hopefully means they won't be a performance bottleneck even when repeated hundreds of times in a level.
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Post Jul 2nd '14, 23:29

That Arrival video is awesome! While it may border on tech-demoish with the blaring lights, I think it'd be perfect for the beginning of a scenario where you're just coming out of stasis with a mean cold-sleep hangover. Anyway, it does a good job of conveying what is possible. Keep up the great work!
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Post Jul 3rd '14, 01:30

Good idea, Ares. That would be a good excuse for pumping up the post-processing and whatnot at the start, like he's done.
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Post Jul 4th '14, 10:10

Yeah I got a bit carried away with the effects but will scale them down a bit when I'm more familiar with the engine. It's hard not to get excited by all the shiny bloomy pretty things.
Sorry for the delay, just when I found some time to work on it I realised my maya/3ds/photoshop trials had all finished.. so had to get to grips with blender instead. WIll hopefully make some progress next week but can already see the 3d models making a big difference.

Post Jul 4th '14, 10:15

Also funny you should say that... I'm making a project alongside this (unrelated) that deals with coming out of hypersleep, the idea being that disoriantation/change of worldspace is very relevent to VR- i.e. the idea of coming out of stasis would work pretty well as a premise for the start of an oculus game.

Post Jul 24th '14, 21:44

Any progress on this, alborada?
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Post Jul 25th '14, 13:45

Yeah sorry for the delay. The dk2 arrives tomorrow so I'll get back on the horse next week :D

Post Aug 5th '14, 00:37

So this evening I had the pleasure of walking the halls of the Marathon, kinda. After a week of tinkering with a largely broken oculus sdk I got it to work reasonably well with the unreal engine, and voila.

A couple of things were pretty obvious:

1.) It's freaking awesome. Just wandering around and looking at the walls is surprisingly entertaining

2,) The textures (predictably) look pretty flat, although the specular/metallic effects are pretty nice. Because I built it with simple bsp brushes it runs pretty smooth- importing the meshes starts to kill the frame rate, which with VR is something you really want to avoid; at the moment I'm only using your meshes for the terminal and control panels which works great.

I think the best plan of action would be to make normal maps from the meshes you created and get a version up and running that everyone can try out, and after that think about re-building the thing from the ground using meshes. Which would be a fairly big job but would make a fair bit of difference.

Post Aug 5th '14, 02:58

As I said earlier, normal maps aren't my forte. This is my first time trying to generate them: I did it 'manually' by creating a set of colored directional lights from different angles. I'm fairly sure I have it set up correctly, but there's still a chance it will look inside out or something when applied. I'd be curious to see what results you can get with this. The arrangement is the same as in the Maya scene I posted.

M1 sewage normals combined.png
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