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Merging Autumn Aurora 2 and Secret Trails 2, Possible?

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  06:04:50  25 December 2013
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stooe
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On forum: 06/02/2009
 

Message edited by:
stooe
12/25/2013 6:56:50
Messages: 655
Merging Autumn Aurora 2 and Secret Trails 2, Possible?

I was just curious if anyone had an idea how to do it, AA2 is beautiful, and Secret Trails 2 has some amazing story work done, I took a shot in the dark and merged the 2 gamedatas manually without replacing the shaders and the meshes for stalkers and Failed. Bad.

Could someone assist me? Or if someone could just go right ahead and throw me th gamedata if they have already done it or can do it?

Thanks for taking the time to read,

-ST

If it's any appeal, I'll custom make a few skins for whoever can do it, tailored to your liking
  21:18:34  25 December 2013
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ddraig
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 06/19/2012
Messages: 158

---QUOTATION---
Merging Autumn Aurora 2 and Secret Trails 2, Possible?

I was just curious if anyone had an idea how to do it, AA2 is beautiful, and Secret Trails 2 has some amazing story work done, I took a shot in the dark and merged the 2 gamedatas manually without replacing the shaders and the meshes for stalkers and Failed. Bad.

Could someone assist me? Or if someone could just go right ahead and throw me th gamedata if they have already done it or can do it?

Thanks for taking the time to read,

-ST

If it's any appeal, I'll custom make a few skins for whoever can do it, tailored to your liking
---END QUOTATION---



If you just want the visual elements, it shouldn't be too difficult. The easiest part is obviously the textures. If I were to suggest a way to do it, it would be this:

Use Winmerge. This is an invaluable program, and can make this sort of thing so much easier.

For textures, the first point of call would be to identify which of Autumn Aurora 2's textures are straight up retextures of the default vanilla stalker ones. Using winmerge, you would basically do this by comparing the textures from AA2 and unpacked stalker vanilla, choosing all the files that read as "Different from binary file" or something similar, which is an obvious sign that they're straight up replacements, and then copying those to a new folder.

After that, it would be a case of identifying which new textures both ST2 and AA2 both use. To do this I would create a copy of the ST2 textures folder, compare this copy folder to the default unpacked textures, and delete everything in the copy ST2 folder that is "Different from the binary file", which basically leaves you only with ST2 specific textures.

You can then merge the folder you originally created with the textures AA2 changed from default with the copy SS2 texture folder (with only new textures).

You can then compare the AA2 textures to this, and any that are "different" you can copy over from the AA2 into the other folder. I wouldn't recommend copying any textures that are found only in AA2 over just yet, since they might be redundant.

With this, you should hopefully have a compatible textures folder that replaces ST2 textures with AA2 ones with no redundancies.

Textures.ltx is a different kettle of fish, and will require careful merging assuming you want the proper bump maps etc. Basically you'll want to add all references that the AA2 textures.ltx file has that ST2's doesn't, and change any ST2 settings to the AA2 ones. This can be a pain in the ass, but I generally hate working with the textures.ltx

The next step is to change the levels over. Basically in the "levels" folder, you should see a list of levels. The main files you will want to be interested in are the "build_details.dds" and the dds files in the terrain folders within the specific level folders. The build details file is basically the type of grass used, and the files in the terrain folder basically "paint" that texture onto the levels.

After this you should have a game that looks fairly similar to autumn aurora 2 for the most part.

With meshes, you can sort of repeat the same process as used with the textures but with the meshes folder. This isn't likely to be as productive with textures, because chances are good both mods use different meshes for different things and may even use the same meshes but be named differently etc.

Basically all character meshes are controlled by the character_desc files in the config\gameplay - so that may be a good place to start.

Weather which is another big part of how the game looks is also slightly more complex, but it shouldn't be impossible.

Hopefully this is useful. I might be interested in something like this myself, so I'll see what I can do. I already have the AA2 files, but I don't have ST2. I'll download ST2 later on and see what I can do. I've become something of an expert with merging mods recently so I might be able to whip something up that everyone can benefit from.
  22:33:32  25 December 2013
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stooe
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On forum: 06/02/2009
 

Message edited by:
stooe
12/25/2013 22:44:36
Messages: 655

---QUOTATION---

If it's any appeal, I'll custom make a few skins for whoever can do it, tailored to your liking

If you just want the visual elements, it shouldn't be too difficult. The easiest part is obviously the textures. If I were to suggest a way to do it, it would be this:

Use Winmerge. This is an invaluable program, and can make this sort of thing so much easier.

For textures, the first point of call would be to identify which of Autumn Aurora 2's textures are straight up retextures of the default vanilla stalker ones. Using winmerge, you would basically do this by comparing the textures from AA2 and unpacked stalker vanilla, choosing all the files that read as "Different from binary file" or something similar, which is an obvious sign that they're straight up replacements, and then copying those to a new folder.

After that, it would be a case of identifying which new textures both ST2 and AA2 both use. To do this I would create a copy of the ST2 textures folder, compare this copy folder to the default unpacked textures, and delete everything in the copy ST2 folder that is "Different from the binary file", which basically leaves you only with ST2 specific textures.

You can then merge the folder you originally created with the textures AA2 changed from default with the copy SS2 texture folder (with only new textures).

You can then compare the AA2 textures to this, and any that are "different" you can copy over from the AA2 into the other folder. I wouldn't recommend copying any textures that are found only in AA2 over just yet, since they might be redundant.

With this, you should hopefully have a compatible textures folder that replaces ST2 textures with AA2 ones with no redundancies.

Textures.ltx is a different kettle of fish, and will require careful merging assuming you want the proper bump maps etc. Basically you'll want to add all references that the AA2 textures.ltx file has that ST2's doesn't, and change any ST2 settings to the AA2 ones. This can be a pain in the ass, but I generally hate working with the textures.ltx

The next step is to change the levels over. Basically in the "levels" folder, you should see a list of levels. The main files you will want to be interested in are the "build_details.dds" and the dds files in the terrain folders within the specific level folders. The build details file is basically the type of grass used, and the files in the terrain folder basically "paint" that texture onto the levels.

After this you should have a game that looks fairly similar to autumn aurora 2 for the most part.

With meshes, you can sort of repeat the same process as used with the textures but with the meshes folder. This isn't likely to be as productive with textures, because chances are good both mods use different meshes for different things and may even use the same meshes but be named differently etc.

Basically all character meshes are controlled by the character_desc files in the config\gameplay - so that may be a good place to start.

Weather which is another big part of how the game looks is also slightly more complex, but it shouldn't be impossible.

Hopefully this is useful. I might be interested in something like this myself, so I'll see what I can do. I already have the AA2 files, but I don't have ST2. I'll download ST2 later on and see what I can do. I've become something of an expert with merging mods recently so I might be able to whip something up that everyone can benefit from.
---END QUOTATION---



I have both files as of right now, I tried a simple merge earlier on today, including keeping the .bin files from AA2 being that they are modified and I got an instant crash, then again I'm not too terribly good with stuff like merging, I just like painting up Stalker suits and stuff to make them look pretty If you have any progress, I would be absolutely thrilled to check it out. ST2 with AA2 graphics would be the Best Comp yet in my mind!

:edit:

as far as I can tell (after digging through the textures folder in aa2) there is something strange going on. Almost as if the mod is using the Clear Sky engine, there is a jumble of skins in the texture folder, 2 different normal Stalkers (act_stalker.dds And act_stalker_neutral_2.dds) I'm incredibly confused. I was initially looking for the textures for the new models for Duty, Freedom, and Monolith Exo's to see if I wouldn't be able to xfer those over to ST2 and check them out but, I lost my mind somewhere along the way
  03:55:12  1 January 2014
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Celice
Senior Resident
 

 
On forum: 08/10/2011
Messages: 284
The skins may not be in the right places because the mod author of Autumn Aurora 2 might have reorganized where the new files are, and where the game loads these assets from. Most big mods end up doing this--look at the wpn folder for example and you'll probably see a lot of nested folders.

For the graphics, you can probably do a lot of texture copying pretty easily. Just be careful of copying the UI files, which are usually mod-specific in terms of what is included. Weather might be more difficult, requiring some manual editing and merging of config files and things like that.

I once had Priboi Story loading Autumn Aurora 1.0, and it was a beautiful, crisp, colorful game. 2.0 tries to mimic MISERY, but I hope in either case you can get this working for you. Secret Trails 2 is an amazing mod
  21:09:45  6 January 2014
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stooe
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On forum: 06/02/2009
Messages: 655
In case anyone is still wondering, I happened to get a response from Vanderer regarding the merge, he said that in the future when he has time, he plans on merging Autumn Aurora 2 with Secret Trails 2, being that ST2 is his favorite story line mod.

Yay
 
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