Jump to content

New mods: Damaged "Stalingrad-ish" buildings


Recommended Posts

Despair no longer: You can now create a Stalingrad scenario that actually looks like Stalingrad (at least a little): At long last, Umlaut´s "Stalingrad mods" are finished and ready for download at www.cmmods.com

The idea behind the mods is this:

I´ve always found it a real pity that you can´t begin a scenario in a damaged city like for instance Stalingrad at the end of 1942. Yes, you can make a scenario with a lot of rubble in it - but I really think it looks awful: Basicly you´ll have a city with a mixture of completely unharmed buildings - and completely flattened ones. But when you look at pictures of for instance Stalingrad most of the buildings are actually still standing to some degree - all though many are little more than shells. So my idea is to change the appearance of the "normal" building-files in CMBB to make them look more damaged. To me a realistic visual experience is an important part of playing CM - that´s why I generally won´t play a scenario, if the map looks unrealistic.

There are four packages of mods, meant to be used together in the combination you prefer:

stalingrad_buildings_umlaut:

Damaged and heavily damaged buildings. Allows you to make scenarios with cities that are damaged from the onset.

BASIC_telephonepole_umlaut:

Paved roads with telephone poles. Replaces "Paved road with tall pines"

FULL_telephonepole_umlaut:

Street with telephone poles and pavements with scattered rubble. Replaces "Paved road with tall pines" and "Pavement". For use mainly in city scenarios.

rubble_spray_umlaut:

"Sprayable" scattered rubble. Replaces huge craters.

For your convenience, I´ve also uploaded a little QB-map at The Proving Grounds , prepared for the mods, so you right away will be able to see what it all looks like - and fight a battle in the right surroundings. It´s called "Stalingrad mod QBmap" (http://www.the-proving-grounds.com/map_details_link.html?sku=150). You should also try it with winter settings. More battles made - or adjusted - for these mods will be coming soon...

I really hope you like the mods, and I´d appreciate comments from all of you. Either here - or in the thread under "design tips"

Cheers,

Umlaut

How to get the mods:

You can find the mods at www.cmmods.com

- in the left column, click "CMBB Mods"

Then simply search for the name "umlaut" or:

- Click "by designer"

- Click "+" at "Umlaut"

- Click "+" at "All"

- Click "+" at "terrain" or "other"

- and you´re there. If you can´t see all four mod-packages, you´ll probably just have to click "next page"

At the moment you should also be able to find them under: "newest mods"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Umlaut- These are great creative ideas! I tried to make a similar telephone pole mod once, but it produced poles of two very different sizes, which looked terrible. How did you avoid that? I think I had replaced one of the tree bmp's with a pole image.

The huge craters as rubble is an excellent idea!

How about a version of rough terrain, with its vertical doodads, as thick urban rubble? It would have an advantage over regular rubble in that guns could be emplaced in it. I tried to make one once but I couldn't produce a look that I liked.

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Aco4bn187inf

I´ve actually had the exact same idea about making rough as urban rubble. But it only occured when as in the middle of making the mods above - and I thought I had enough on my plate at the time. So maybe later...

As to the telephone poles, they are replacing tall pines. At first my telephone poles became ridiculously tall, as I had made the the same height as the pines. If I remember correctly they are almost half the height now. Why you had two very different sizes, I can´t imagine, never had that problem.

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

umlaut:

I saw your post about this a bit ago on The Scenario Depot II. I was intrigued by the concept and your description. I downloaded the mods the other day and — rather than loading them back and forth — I just did a dedicated install of CMBB with your mods substituted.

I ran into a couple issues.

First, and I think the most disappointing to me, is that the distressed buildings appear to lose their backsides — the two walls the farthest from the camera location — for some reason. The walls are still there, but you can't see them. The result is that it looks like the buildings are literally missing half of their walls. Interestingly enough, all of the walls are visible if you are actually in the building.

Hmmmm, now that I'm writing this out, it is starting to make sense . . . could it be happening because all of the buildings are missing their roofs (rooves)? i.e., when a normal building has a roof, you cannot actually see the other walls (the walls farthest away from you). The game probably doesn't render all of the walls of any given building, since they wouldn't normally be seen anyway (I'll bet that vehicles don't actually have a backside until you "walk 'round to the other side" either).

Interesting.

If the above is actually the case, I would vote for putting the roofs (rooves) back on your distressed buildings. They look quite nice, but it is terribly disconcerting to have half of the building not rendered. Put the roofs (rooves) back on . . . I'd say go ahead and distress them as you've done the walls, blow holes in them, whatever, but at least there wouldn't be this very distracting issue with the backsides of the buildings.

The large craters-to-rubble idea seems to work well; it has the added advantage of still maintaining some of the utility of the terrain-type as cover . . . which you would think would be possible with rubble. It is too bad that there aren't vertical standing doodads in there to take advantage of. Perhaps Aco4bn187inf's idea about rough terrain bears some looking into.

As for the pine woods/road-to-telephone poles: another innovative idea in concept. In practice . . . I feel it has more drawbacks than the [small] visual appeal that it provides. The catch is that the computer, of course, still sees the telephone poles as pine woods/road. There are penalties to movement, line of sight, concealment, cover and direct fire combat that shouldn't exist for telephone poles.

I also was upset that woods terrain got 'paved' when using one of these mods (the 'full'-telephone poles?). That, in effect, rules out the use of any woods in an urban environment. I removed that version of the mod, and got my trees back.

Anyway, I don't mean to sound hyper-critical; my intent is merely to provide feedback on what I've seen. I really like the idea, and will certainly use this mod for some of my game-play (I have a 1945 knock-down, drag-out city assault that is just begging for this treatment). I would encourage you to put the roofs (OK, one more time: rooves) back on the buildings. The rest I would leave as is: it is then my choice to use pine woods/road-to-telephone poles or craters-to-rubble. To me, though, the visual of the missing walls is too distracting to not be fixed.

By the way, for those of you that haven't tried umlaut's mod, you really would probably want to make some adjustment of your scenario in the Editor before playing with these mods. I think that you would also want to include a warning that the scenario was designed to use these mods, and to expect some odd situations if they are not used (having dozens of large craters around the base of buildings is the main one that springs to mind).

Overall, good job. Let me know if you decide to straighten out the issue with the building walls.

Mark

P.S. I think that the issue with Aco4bn187inf having two different sized telephone poles was possibly caused by using woods terrain, as opposed to tall pines. I think that there are several different sized trees rendered in woods, probably using the same artwork.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Buq-Buq

Thanks for your very detailed "review". smile.gif You should be aware, that in my opinion you can´t make these kinds of mods perfect - you´ll have to make a lot of compromises. That said, I´ll try to provide some answers:

the distressed buildings appear to lose their backsides — the two walls the farthest from the camera location — for some reason. The walls are still there, but you can't see them. The result is that it looks like the buildings are literally missing half of their walls.
I´ll answer here by quoting the readme-file, that came with the mods:

"Disadvantages:

No roofs on any buildings - whether "damaged" or "undamaged" (unfortunately I haven´t been able to make a damaged roof that looked convincing, so I have decided that the best solution was to loose the roofs alltogether).

"Half" buildings: You only see half - i.e. the two nearest sides - of the buildings. The other two sides - the ones furthest away - are missing. I guess this is caused by the my discarding the roofs (in reality they are not gone, only transparent): When the roofs are there, there´s no need for the game to display the two sides furthest away, as they are hidden by the roof.

This is only a problem when looking down from viewpoint 3 or higher (this is a mod mainly for those of us who prefer the lower viewpoints 1 or 2)."

There is more than one reason why I haven´t been able to make a convincing looking damaged roof. The first is this: The roofs you see in CMBB are actually put together by several (16, I think) roof-files put side by side. This means that if you make a damaged roof mod with say one hole in the middle, then when you load the game, the buildings will show up as having roofs with 16 holes - set in a very neat, symmetrical pattern. I´ve tried it, and think it looks far worse than the missing far walls. The alternative to that would be to put whole, undamaged roofs back on the building, but I also think that an undamaged roof would look utterly strange on a nearly collapsed building.

So I am well aware that the current mods aren´t perfect. But I consider the missing far walls to be the lesser evil, and thus for now I do not see any point in changing them. Sorry.

But if you can convice me that there IS a better way of making them, I´ll off course be more than willing to look at it. If you prefer the undamaged roofs I suggest you reinstall the original roof files to you bmp-folder. They are numbered: 1200,1201,1202,1203 and 1227

As for the telephone poles:

I also was upset that woods terrain got 'paved' when using one of these mods (the 'full'-telephone poles?). That, in effect, rules out the use of any woods in an urban environment. I removed that version of the mod, and got my trees back.
Again, I´ll refer you to the readme-file that came with the mods:

"These mods are intended for use in maps with no tall pines forests - and only with woods in snow-scenarios. "

and

"Replace any areas of "tall pines" and "woods" with some other feature, for instance "scattered trees". Otherwise you will have forests of telephone poles and woods with pavements."

As I said before: Using and making these kinds of mods require a lot of compromises - unfortunately you can´t have it all. In this case this is because the "tall pines"-files share the same "ground/terrain" files with the woods-files. I know about the disadvantages of the mods (at least most of them, I hope) and have tried to warn about them and take them into account. When it comes to the pavement in woods terrain that is exactly why I made both a "full" and a "basic" version of the "telephone pole"-mods: If you use the basic, you don´t get pavement under woods, but unfortunately neither pavement in the steets with telephone poles.

I hope this clears up some of it for you. Thanks for the review and comments

Cheers,

Umlaut

[ April 19, 2008, 03:39 AM: Message edited by: umlaut ]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

umlaut:

DOH!

I did try to read the READ ME files that came with these, but obviously I missed your pertinent notes! It looks like you have all of my issues/concerns covered quite thoroughly!

It is really too bad that the buildings use multiple copies of the same file to make up a roof. I agree that having symmetrical damage patterns appear on the roof would create considerable distraction. I think that I'll try putting the original roofs (again: rooves) back on and see what that looks like. Thanks much for providing the file names for that purpose.

By the way, kudos to you for your work on this mod; it really adds to the ambience of situations when it is used. And I have to say that ambience — how a scenario looks and feels — is very important to my enjoyment of the Combat Mission experience. Thanks for your time and creative manipulation of the existing system.

Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

umlaut:

I stand corrected again: these mods look WAY better as roofless buildings.

Well . . . perhaps I'll have to modify my playing style when using your mod.

Anyway, great job, especially considering the confines imposed on you. There are an awful lot of .bmp files there. That's a lot of work.

Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I'm modding, too, I know what compromises have to be made - and currently one mod I want to do is driving me quite mad - therefore I think you came up with the best solution possible. It enhances the atmosphere and really makes cities feeling like cities and not just villages with big houses! ;)

I hope we'll see some more from you in time! Definitely keep it up, mate!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind words, guys smile.gif

@ patboy: I´ve downloaded your mod and installed it with McMMM. It looks really good in the preview, but it doesn´t appear, when I start a scenario. Does it have to be a certain season or what? What determines whether it is exactly this file, the scenario uses, or one of the other - no city - files?

Cheers,

Umlaut

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by umlaut:

Thanks for the kind words, guys smile.gif

@ patboy: I´ve downloaded your mod and installed it with McMMM. It looks really good in the preview, but it doesn´t appear, when I start a scenario. Does it have to be a certain season or what? What determines whether it is exactly this file, the scenario uses, or one of the other - no city - files?

Cheers,

Umlaut

weather must be switched on clear mid day I think, I don't did a mod for overcast or snowy weather, but you can renumber all BMPs!

Cheers,

Pat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by John Kettler:

umlaut,

The real buildings for comparison!

Hi John Kettler

Thanks for the link- in fact I´ve already used the same - and other - clip and pictures in my research for the mods. But as you can see, I hasn´t been possible for me to make mods that actually represent real life (!) Stalingrad in every detail. There are several reasons for this: First, most buildings in Stalingrad were far taller than the two stories that are possible in CM. This alone makes a realistic set of Stalingrad mods impossible.

Secondly, the buildings you see in the news reel clips and pictures are heavily damaged buildings. The ones you see, once you load a game with my mods are damaged buildings. They only become heavily damaged when you hit them with arty and stuff. These should then hopefully look more like stalingrad than the current buildings.

Anyway: The name "Stalingrad" mods aren´t to be taken too litteraly. I actually mainly used this frase here and other places to convey which kind of mods we were talking about. I thought it sounded better than "Damaged building mods". Hope this hasn´t been too misleading.

Cheers,

Umlaut

[ May 31, 2008, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: umlaut ]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...