Author Topic: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)  (Read 3054 times)

Lein

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Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« on: 2017-06-08 11:28:25 »
Intoroduction

This mod's purpose is to restore Final Fantasy 9 to it's original state then enhance the game and turn it into a less "kiddy" game. Final Fantasy 9 while being the most beautiful looking and sounding game in the series is known to be very childish and at times silly. We're not 12 years old anymore and most of us probably can agree on that the game suffers from a lot of rubbish that should be thrown out or modified. It's important to note that this is just an idea and that the mod might not even be possible to create, but good ideas are good.

Port issues

The first thing this mod would fix are all the issues that came with the android port, this mod is not meant for android devices which is why the following "features" will be completely removed from the game.

•All the cheats, you'll not even find them in the config menu.
•Resized battle UI.
•Resized character menu.
•Changed font.
•Standard encounter rate restoration.
•All broken sounds will be fixed.
•No skipping of videos.
•No chat/card icons.
•Restored mist to the world map.
•New medieval window theme.
•No autosaving

New characters

This mod is going to enhance every one of the original cast members and turn them into more mature versions of themselves. This goes for all the villains and minor characters too, below are suggestions for possible modifications.

Zidane (Arl):
This guy is going to be made 15 years older, he'll not be have a raging boner for the princess instead he'll be a professional thief, cold and tough. His only goal is to get the job done, take the princess to the king then get back to his drink. In that respect he'll be more like Amarant just more of a no nonsense guy. He'll still be a blonde but he'll be wearing armor in battle and instead of knives and a two bladed sword he'll be using a bow.

Garnet(Lenna):
This girl will stay about the same age, but she'll get a new personality and hair color. She'll be a ginger with an attitude, instead of being insecure about how she carries herself she'll be a spoiled princess that is raging mad that some thief kidnapped her. Later on she'll soften up and become attracted to Zidane. She's also not be wearing that orange outfit but a princess's casual dress, think of sleeping beauty or snow white.

Vivi (Gauvain):
The black mages come from the earlier Final Fantasy games and while they're great looking for what the Final Fantasy games tried to achieve it's hard to take these living dolls seriously. He is also like eight years old which is kind of silly, who would take an eight year old with you on a grand adventure to save the world. Therefore he is going to be made into an old wise wizard, someone the party looks up to for guidance. He is often going to be arguing with Zidane about what's the wise thing to do but at heart he'll be kind and loving towards all of the party members.

Steiner(Glain):
He is going to remain the general of the knights of pluto, but every goofy aspect of this character is going to be scratched. He is going to be given a beautiful mustache and a beautiful armor, he'll be the perfect gentleman with a pipe in his mouth. He is very posh but also strong and he'll think little of Zidane the thief, he went after the princess to bring her back at the orders of the queen but often get distracted by bottles of fine wine, he is very stoic in his own way and not much phases him.

The Tantalus bandits:
These are going to be cruel bastards, they'll joke about raping the princess before handing her over to the king. Zidane is going to have to intervene to prevent this from happening, really bad guys. One of them will be slain at the hands of Steiner after the ship crashes.

The black mages:
These won't be mages but slaves that Kuja sold to the queen from the outer continent. Black tribesmen that are used as slaves by the queen. When the party encounter these people in Dali they're not going to be portrayed as innocent puppies, but what they are barbarians. On the outer continent they engaged in cannibalism and crude sacreficial rituals, the party is going to be surrounded by these rabid warriors after they uncover what is going on and has to flee on a ship.

King of Burmecia:
This man won't be a frog or an oglop. All that is going to be scratched, he is going to be a regal king who sent for Garnet because of the madness of Queen Brahne.

Queen Brahne(Maxine):
We'll have this woman lose weight, she'll have gaunt cheeks and she'll be dressed in a black dress. Ghastly looking old evil hag, we need a scene in which she whips some of the slaves she bought from Kuja for fun.

Freya(Ylva):
No she won't be a rat, she'll be turned into a very attractive blonde warrior. Her personality could stay as it is, she'll just be redesigned as will all the rats into more of a nordic viking type of society, a warrior society. They're famous for hunting dragons and are therefore a mighty people hidden in the mountains. Steiner will take a liking to her but she'll dismiss him for being too posh unlike her viking man Fratley.

Fratley(Ulf):
This man will be a huge bulking viking type of guy, if Freya was impressive this guy will look like a greek god, absolute perfection clad in a shimmering silvery armor, just as cold as before.

Prince Puck(Anders):
We'll change this boy into a little blonde farmer boy instead, no rats. But he can keep his attitude and age.

Beatrix(Igedine):
I think she could probably remain as she is, she is already of the more mature characters in the original game. A redesign is in order though, some new outfit, armor definitely.

Kuja(Thyme):
Kuja's feminine qualities must go but he'll remain a mage. He'll still be slightly posh but not as flamboyant, he'll be cold and silent and very much in control. He'll be wearing very fine clothes but they'll not be as revealing. In the original game he was very flamboyant, that will be replaced with an attitude of disgust around people. He will share certain qualities with the queen, he really hates those slaves he enslaved and wants to see the south continent burn, instead of trying to overthrow Garland he is going to be very loyal to him and in awe of his powers.

Quina(No name):
He'll not be a fat toad eater, he'll be a muscular wild man. Think Sabin/Gau in Final Fantasy 6, all the frog crap will be scratched. He is mute and can't speak so he'll just be this psycho animal that follows the party around everywhere.

Amarant(Megrok):
This guy won't be seen in any scenes until the party reaches the outer continent, he is actually one of the cannibals, he saw his people be enslaved by Kuja and he wants to ritually consume Kuja's flesh. He is going to try to eat the princess in the summoner village, there might be a scene where she has been undressed and her bum is in the air and this freak is going to start eating her but then Zidane comes and kicks his ass. He joins the party because...he knows the secrets of the lifa tree and is later tamed somewhat.

Eiko(Sigfrid):
This girl we turn into an old granny, very capable summoner and role model for Garnet.

Garland:
This man is going to remain as he is.

Thorn Zorn(Humbi Bumbi):
These jesters can remain as goofy as they are, might make them a bit taller though.

Lani(Odda):
A redesign is all that's needed.

Moogles:
Not sure what to do about these teddy bears, they'll have to go somehow.

Dr Tot:
Can remain as he is just obviously a more realistic design to this scholar.

Major story/scene changes

Almost every scene is going to be changed in some ways, but the most important changes that might alter the story a lot or might require lots of work are the following:

•The summoner village (She won't be eight, she'll not have moogles and "amarant" will try to eat the princess.)
•The black mage village (This will be the cannibal village, lots of gore and wild men trying to cook someone alive, complete redesign of the town needed.)
•The oglop/toad issue with the king, he is not a toad so many of the problems that arose because of his sickness has to be altered or removed.

Other modifications
All boss fights in the game will be made harder from the very start of the game and all the silly enemies will be redesigned. Every character in the game will have it's proportions fixed, no more characters with huge heads. They'll look more like Final Fantasy 8's characters, and no odd elephant creatures, everyone will be human. Cutscenes and dialouge will be altered and entire sections of the game like the love letter sequence and other such scenes will be cut. The music will be replaced with nice remastered music from the original game or by new sounds that are appropiate for the new theme. New scenes and locations rendered will retain the same resolution as the original backgrounds so they don't look out of place. The game will be forced to run in 640x480 mode so the resolution of the models matches the backgrounds.

GET TO WORK!  :-D

DanTsukasa

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #1 on: 2017-06-12 07:49:22 »
Even if this were possible in the next year, it'd take you years to achieve this, its tantamount to making a new game entirely, you'll have to remake a lot of the games backgrounds, if not all of them in order to accommodate more realistically proportioned characters, which means the art style also has to change to be suited to that.

This, as nice an idea as it may be for some, is far beyond modding, this is making an entirely new game in the FFIX engine, including new animations and new models, a large chunk of this isn't possible with the current modding state, and most likely won't be for a long time.

Fraggoso

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #2 on: 2017-06-12 12:26:13 »
Do you want to accomplish that all by yourself? I suppose you're not a programmer and rely on other people to program tools for that needs?
This will be quite a life task, I guarantee that. All the models, texturework and animations needs to be done. All the backgrounds needs to be redesigned to fit the new models as well.
Dclem outlines the sound "problem" right now. So be sure to dive into 10.000 sounds file to see/hear what is what.

On the other Hand I'm not that touched by the new Party. Sounds very very generic to me.
Why not make a new game with something like RPG Maker (if you want to go 2D) or something like Unity/UE if you want to do it in 3D?

dclem

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #3 on: 2017-06-12 12:52:29 »
"kiddy".
Yes...  ??? the Final Fantasy 9 we all know is... "kiddy"...?
I don't think it's kiddy at ALL.
We still love it, though.
17 years of love I'll say.

Everything DanTsukasa and Fraggoso say is 100% true.
It is IMMERSE.

With all that energy is best left making your own game with your own characters and your own story line; like I do.
FF9's plot and story is perfect the way it is.

*Reading that above, seeing the complete change of characters, is trying to rewrite FF9, so it wouldn't even be FF9 anymore.
Starting with Zidane, if he loses all interest in Dagger... omg, GAMEBREAK. What happens when he chases her in the Prima Vista and is taking by her beauty, and again in Evil Forest as he reminiscence about meeting her, and how she makes him feel; getting the drive to rescue her, not JUST to get her to Lindblum like ordered, but because, he likes her deeply.
Then the iconic You're Not Alone disc 3 scene...
And finding out he's Garland "Angel of death" meant to kill. Remove the roots, remains but a tree without a trace.

What is being said here is not Final Fantasy IX.
Ooo! Saw the new Quina, a muted animal who just follows the party?
How critical Quina is to the game, though; getting them to the road to the outer continent. FF9 Quina is golden. What use is a character that has no vital purpose other than to run around senselessly?

Long story short. Be best to turn this into:

Quote
your own game with your own characters and your own story line; like I do.
« Last Edit: 2017-06-12 13:26:46 by dclem »

Lein

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #4 on: 2017-06-12 13:07:52 »
I don't think maturity is a bad thing, if you can redesign the character models and alter the dialouge a lot could be done to make the story and look of the game more mature. If it's possible to cut out portions of the code/cutscenes to get rid of certain sequences you could in theory make the game less kiddy. Tons of work for sure but I don't think we're talking years, more like months if you've got a team of people working on it. But it's not a realistic mod because of the modding tools that are yet to be created by programmers.

dclem

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #5 on: 2017-06-12 13:17:06 »
Mirror = Clone.

That's what I see here.  ::)
The cause:
James believes he's a 16 year old tailed human Genome from Terra with a raging testosterone.
Steiner believes he's a middle-aged man sworn to protect the princess of Alexandria, and ponders of spending the rest of his life in servitude.
Jennifer believes she is a 16 year old princess heir to the throne of Alexandria. She's actually not new to the royal life. She was born and raised in Dalkia.
Kevin believes he's a strange glutton gourmand who's ultimate goal in life is to eat everything, frogs, and become the greatest gourmand.
Freya believes she's a dragon knight from 'Burmecia' in tragic love with a talking dragon named 'Fratley'.
Deniece believes she's a six year old girl orphaned from the loss of a grandfather and parents, last survivor of late ancestors and an extreme moogle lover.
Zach...?
Zach who?
Oh... Zach the arrogant one...

*See avatar for expression*
« Last Edit: 2017-06-12 13:48:24 by dclem »

Fraggoso

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #6 on: 2017-06-12 14:04:57 »
I don't think maturity is a bad thing, if you can redesign the character models and alter the dialouge a lot could be done to make the story and look of the game more mature. If it's possible to cut out portions of the code/cutscenes to get rid of certain sequences you could in theory make the game less kiddy. Tons of work for sure but I don't think we're talking years, more like months if you've got a team of people working on it. But it's not a realistic mod because of the modding tools that are yet to be created by programmers.

Believe me, it'll take years not months.
Unless of course everyone has 12 hours a day 6-7 days per week to work on this full time.

You're asking to completely change FFIX as it's. That'll take serious time and engineering knowledge as well.

dclem

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #7 on: 2017-06-12 14:08:06 »
^ Yaasss!
That's the reality here!

DanTsukasa

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #8 on: 2017-06-13 05:22:26 »
Tons of work for sure but I don't think we're talking years, more like months if you've got a team of people working on it.

A few others have pointed this out but this really IS years work, even remaking the games backgrounds and nothing more would take a year or two with a team of 5-6 artists, you have roughly 3-400 backgrounds in the game, so even at a rate of 10 backgrounds a week from 6 artists, all working fulltime on this, that'd still be around a year at minimum, and nobody is going to be able to fully create one of the games backgrounds 100% models and textures (most of which are custom made for the scene if they want it to look good) in just a week alone.

Then there are the areas which were only created in 3D As a blockout and then took a few weeks of 2D Paintover to finalise (the forest, the ice caves and a few other areas), then theres ANIMATING all those scenes, that'll take ages too. Since I'd assume at minimum you'd want the same level of animations as the original game, plus probably a little more right?

I'm not trying to deter you from this, just trying to give you grounded realistic expectations.

This is as a great way to get into 3D Art, but its a *lot* of work.

Redoing all the character models alone is a good 6 months of work with a quick team, then theres remaking all the animations too, which is like a years work in itself.

Set yourself the goal of 1 character and 1 environment, pick an easier one and see how you get on with it, right now you don't have anything to show to convince other people to join you.

I'm not saying anything out of spite, I'm a professional 3D Artist myself, I've been in the industry nearly 10 years, currently working in Japan with some ex-square enix employees, I've worked on projects with them, they work well, but even they wouldn't dive into something like this without a lot of wages because its a lot of work.

dclem

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #9 on: 2017-06-13 06:16:34 »
I'm not saying anything out of spite, I'm a professional 3D Artist myself, I've been in the industry nearly 10 years, currently working in Japan with some ex-square enix employees, I've worked on projects with them, they work well, but even they wouldn't dive into something like this without a lot of wages because its a lot of work.

Couldn't have said it better; take it from someone with DEEP experience.
I've only been doing it for 4!

Hey...
you work with some Square enix employees, yes? Is it possible to let them know about how badly Silicon Studios destroyed our beloved FF9 with hordes of bugs, and they have yet to give a care to fix any of them? Just wondering, like, if Square even noticed this.
Yet they paid more attention to FFXII Zodiac age remaster; which is amazing don't get me wrong, but it's sad they kinda let FF9 go under the rug.

Kaldarasha

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #10 on: 2017-06-13 06:25:09 »
... currently working in Japan with some ex-square enix employees ...

I guess they don't care much about it.

dclem

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #11 on: 2017-06-13 07:23:45 »
can't believe i misread "ex" employee.
oh well. least they didn't complete give out.

Lein

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #12 on: 2017-06-13 08:15:56 »
Quote
A few others have pointed this out but this really IS years work, even remaking the games backgrounds and nothing more would take a year or two with a team of 5-6 artists, you have roughly 3-400 backgrounds in the game, so even at a rate of 10 backgrounds a week from 6 artists, all working fulltime on this, that'd still be around a year at minimum, and nobody is going to be able to fully create one of the games backgrounds 100% models and textures (most of which are custom made for the scene if they want it to look good) in just a week alone.

Then there are the areas which were only created in 3D As a blockout and then took a few weeks of 2D Paintover to finalise (the forest, the ice caves and a few other areas), then theres ANIMATING all those scenes, that'll take ages too. Since I'd assume at minimum you'd want the same level of animations as the original game, plus probably a little more right?

Redoing all the character models alone is a good 6 months of work with a quick team, then theres remaking all the animations too, which is like a years work in itself.
I think you underestimate how much of the backgrounds could be done more or less automatically in today's world. Yes remaking all the backgrounds would take more than a year unless you've got a team of maybe 10 professionals working on it, then it might take months. But that wasn't the main focus of my rant-y post. I was thinking more of the dialouge, characters and scenes.

Remodeling the main cast would take a few weeks at most and all the NPCs wouldn't be difficult, many of them share similar proportions to the main character, so in some cases you could just pull some vertexes around and give them new clothing. Rewriting the dialouge wouldn't be difficult and removing some scenes probably wouldn't be too difficult for programmers to do. Then you would already have a more mature looking game.

But none of this was meant to be serious, I thought to myself, what's the main issue with this game, oh yeah it's childish what would a mature version of this game look like. Then I wrote the post, just for fun, not because I want to attempt to do this. xD

Fraggoso

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #13 on: 2017-06-13 10:24:35 »
Okay... I'm out.
That even more childish then everything else I heard.

DanTsukasa

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #14 on: 2017-06-13 13:20:22 »
I think you underestimate how much of the backgrounds could be done more or less automatically in today's world. Yes remaking all the backgrounds would take more than a year unless you've got a team of maybe 10 professionals working on it, then it might take months. But that wasn't the main focus of my rant-y post. I was thinking more of the dialouge, characters and scenes.

More or less 'automatically', you mean procedural? With FF9, and achieving a very specific look... basically 0.0001% of it honestly.

Even if you have a Team of 10, it'd still take a hell of a long time.

There were leaps in 3D Tech from then till now, but polygons are still polygons, there are some shortcuts to make things faster, but its really not that different, the main difference is rendering and optimization, things like fur/hair took forever back then, now they still take time but not like then, the main difference is render times, which, rather ironically hasn't much changed either, given that scenes are dramatically more intense these days anyway, so would still take ages to make.

Think back to when FF9 was made, or 7 or 8, there was a team of approximately 200 people, with a good quarter of that, or at least 10% dedicated soley to graphics, and it STILL took them several years to make FF9, sure rendertime wasn't on their side, but that didn't add months to the project, it added a few weeks overall, at a guess. I'm not underestimating anything. You're dramatically underestimating how detailed these backgrounds are.

http://wikisquare.ffdream.com/_media/ff9/lieu/134.jpg

This image here, someone would have made a bunch of unique houses, this would have taken a week or two per house most likely, matching up with concepts, getting approval etc, thats just the outside, each tile is individually modelled, and on the ground, its possible its a solid texture, but its more likely that each stone there was placed, most likely with use of a script, I'd be amazed if stones or bricks were ever hand placed, even back then.

At your level, as a beginning, mimicking that scene would take months of work, that'd take me months too I think, at a guess, because theres a lot going on in there, thats a lot of models, a lot of uv unwrapping and a lot of texturing, and then nice lighting too.

Remodeling the main cast would take a few weeks at most and all the NPCs wouldn't be difficult, many of them share similar proportions to the main character, so in some cases you could just pull some vertexes around and give them new clothing. Rewriting the dialouge wouldn't be difficult and removing some scenes probably wouldn't be too difficult for programmers to do. Then you would already have a more mature looking game.

In some cases pulling around a few vertices is possible yes, thats certainly true, and is the best way forward, since right now increasing or lowering the polycount would cause issues.

Sure they share the same proportions as the main character, but they still all need to be retextured, remodelled because they're each their own mesh, then each individually bound to a skeleton, hell the rigging process alone would most likely take a month or two Id imagine. What makes you think NPC's are anymore difficult than the main cast exactly? The only real difference between them is polycount, which isn't the thing that eats the most time when modelling a character.

Rewriting all the games dialogue is possible right now, this is where I'd recommend starting honestly.

That alone is a big task, its essentially writing a novel, you'd have to write out and plan out all the scenes and dialogue in a separate document ahead of time, then start adding it in game, it'd take a long time but its certainly possible.

Redoing some scenes, provided you didn't edit the animations or the movement wouldn't be TOO much work, but if you want to do anything more, then you need to add new animations into the game, which means characters having a rig.

If the tools continue to grow, a lot of this will be possible eventually, which is really exciting, but you're using the games engine as a base to make your own engine really. Which is a lot more work than a mod.

I really do wish you the best of luck, and I'm interested in where this goes, but this needs some grounding or you'll quit early on because taking on a project too big, almost always results in the team quitting.
Quote from: dclem
Is it possible to let them know about how badly Silicon Studios destroyed our beloved FF9 with hordes of bugs

Ex-employees, but I think even the current employees I know wouldn't care, the game sold, artists aren't concerned with bugs honestly, I mean we'd prefer they were gone but its 'out of our jurisdiction' so to speak, It'd require someone high up at square enix to know and want to as SS to do the fixes, sadly I can't see that happening.

Apologies for the wall of text, I appreciate you taking the time to read and not respond aggressively, a remake of FF9 is something I'd love to get into myself if I had the free time right now, as I adore the game, so if the project is moving along, I'll most likely jump into it myself at a later point in time.

Lein

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #15 on: 2017-06-13 13:43:59 »
Quote
This image here, someone would have made a bunch of unique houses, this would have taken a week or two per house most likely, matching up with concepts, getting approval etc, thats just the outside, each tile is individually modelled, and on the ground, its possible its a solid texture, but its more likely that each stone there was placed, most likely with use of a script, I'd be amazed if stones or bricks were ever hand placed, even back then.

At your level, as a beginning, mimicking that scene would take months of work, that'd take me months too I think, at a guess, because theres a lot going on in there, thats a lot of models, a lot of uv unwrapping and a lot of texturing, and then nice lighting too.
I have actually done some rendering myself, both real time and actual renders. Unwrapping and texturing takes a lot longer if they're actual game models, because then you need to uv map every model and each model needs normal maps, some baked some not. Sometimes you need other maps such as gloss and subsurface maps. To uv map buildings, grass, trees, stones, a lot of work for sure. But when it doesn't have to be real time you can do it procedurally which is a lot faster. Performance isn't a factor either so you can just slap something on the model and see how it looks, don't look good just add another texture or modify the current one's coordinates. Texturing is a lot easier and faster when it comes to rendering.

What I mean by that you underestimate how much of it's done automatically I was talking about the minor details that people go woah, that's lots of work. Small stones, grass, leaves on trees, even vegetation. You can use particle systems to create thousands of grass strands in minutes, same with leaves and small rocks. Also a lot can be done in photoshop with the finished renders, do you need to create some dust or some smokey light or something, easy to do in seconds in photoshop. In the other thread the one about the Final Fantasy camera, if I had the camera setup correctly I would finish that background in hours. Cutting out the sprites so the character can walk behind for example a barrel is also easy. Because you can use render layers and render out individual models and them layer them on top of each other afterwards.

Here's a topic I made some time ago regarding the process of making prerendered backgrounds, it's very easy to do and quickly too.
https://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?417917-Prerendered-game-(Resident-evil-Final-Fantasy-etc)&highlight=

Quote
I really do wish you the best of luck, and I'm interested in where this goes, but this needs some grounding or you'll quit early on because taking on a project too big, almost always results in the team quitting.
I'm not going to be doing this, it was just a fun idea I had. If I had a team of 20 people working for me and we had six months to do it and were paid we would get to work right away and meet the deadline. But as I said I wasn't talking about the backgrounds, I was talking about the silly game elements. However the mods I put in the list before the rant regarding the characters, that's a mod I'm sure some would be capable of creating, a mod that reverts the game back to the original experience and not the android/cheat bullshit. :)

DanTsukasa

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #16 on: 2017-06-13 15:38:35 »
Unwrapping and texturing takes a lot longer if they're actual game models, because then you need to uv map every model and each model needs normal maps, some baked some not. Sometimes you need other maps such as gloss and subsurface maps. To uv map buildings, grass, trees, stones, a lot of work for sure. But when it doesn't have to be real time you can do it procedurally which is a lot faster.

It's a bit easier than realtime for sure, but its not 'heaps' easier, FF9 has a lot of asset reuse, so a lot of things are actually modelled on all sides and then a rotated version is used elsewhere, alexandria is a good example of this, as are the countless rocks throughout the game.

Its faster, but its not leaps and bounds faster.

You can use particle systems to create thousands of grass strands in minutes, Also a lot can be done in photoshop with the finished renders, do you need to create some dust or some smokey light or something, easy to do in seconds in photoshop.

Leaves and small rocks, you could use particle systems for yes, you'd still need to model them and then have the particle system use them, achieving the perfect result is a lot of trial and error but this is the way I'd personally do it yes, else I'd do things in Substance Designer and Substance Painter with tessellation.

I'm also aware of render layers, the original game also used them, so that makes perfect sense.
However the mods I put in the list before the rant regarding the characters, that's a mod I'm sure some would be capable of creating, a mod that reverts the game back to the original experience and not the android/cheat bullshit. :)

Thats certainly possible, though, regarding the cheats, wouldn't it be easier to just not use the cheats? You aren't forced to use them, its entirely optional.

If I had the camera setup correctly I would finish that background in hours.
If I had a team of 20 people working for me and we had six months to do it and were paid we would get to work right away and meet the deadline.
This is the scene: (I've attached an imgur album I made for all the games static backgrunds, I have another for its animated ones, static alone makes up 357 backgrounds, including animated, which is 192 it means that the game comes in at 549 backgrounds)
static: http://imgur.com/a/A09TB
animated: http://imgur.com/a/ra3OU

In that first static scene, from a quick glance I can spot around 40 individual objects, chests, lamps, books, rug, candle, various other things on the shelves, plants and so on so forth, thats a LOT of objects, even modelling and unwrapping those 40 or so objects would take a week or two if you're a really fast painter and modeler.

This scene could be done faster than most though, this is true.

I doubt you could finish it to the same quality in 'hours', but finish it overall yes, certainly, things like the grain and the warping on the wood would take some time to get looking the same detail level, but not too difficult. The carpet I'd personally do in substance designer, drawing the exact same design/pattern would take a little time in itself. Bare in mind that is one of the games easiest scenes for sure, blocking it out alone is a 10-20 minute job at best if everything else is setup correctly, ie: camera.

I do really want to see how close you can get to the original image here though, that'd be an interesting learning experience, and also having it done would just be good for your portfolio if you intend to do 3D Art as a career in the future.

The entire prerender process is easy yes, its not difficult in itself, its only making the art thats time consuming, everything else is simply grouping and render layer stuff, that you could do with a script if you were regularly using the same 5-10 different depth levels all the time.

Making great art takes a long time, I'm sure you know this too.

That original background was 100% not made in a few hours, I'm 100% sure that background in itself probably took 2-3 guys a few weeks to a month.

Everything would be taken into zbrush so that you could stylize the high poly too.


Lein

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #17 on: 2017-06-13 17:38:42 »
A background a day wouldn't be unrealistic, chests, lamps, books, rug, candle, these are very simple objects. If you wanted detail on the rug you could just apply hair particles to a plane and have them be colored by a texture to display some pattern. Books are cubes, you just need to create one book and you've got them all, chests are also pretty much boxes, same with clocks, one clock could be modified into dozens if there's even that many in the game.

What stands out to me while scrolling through your link are all the carvings and patterns on the stone walls, all that detail would be difficult to REPLICATE, but if we're allowed to improvise and create similar but not identical patterns that stuff could be created in programs like zbrush. For example roots in Cleyra or stone walls, fine carvings could either be displacement maps or actually modelled, these are definitely the hardest. I'm not saying it's easy but the easier backgrounds you could definitely put together in 9 hours, assuming you've got the camera and everything ready.

Some of the harder backgrounds, all the architecture for example might take more than one day, but even then for example Alexandria, after you've made one house you could twist it around and use it for another and modify it slightly. A lot could be used more than once, this applies to trees, houses, walls, pillars, and all sorts of stuff. A group of 20 talented artists could definitely remake all the backgrounds in a year maybe even faster than that.

Remember the people who made the original game worked on it for a year, also you're not creating a 360 degree game, you've got fixed camera angles which means there can be a lot of cheating. But 1-2 days for every background is definitely possible, if you've got 20 people working on it that's 20 backgrounds in let's say three days. 549 backgrounds + animations, that's roughly a hundred days, you could add 50 days to that and you still would have completed it within a year. And that's assuming one background takes 3 days for a person to complete. Many of the objects could be reused for different scenes. We're not talking clean geometry either, you could replicate a rock, rotate it, resize it and it still would look as good as before because of the displacement maps and the textures that obviously wouldn't be uv mapped.

But yeah definitely impossible for a single guy to do, also matching the camera to the background as of right now makes it much harder to do this.

EDIT: The texturing and shaders for the materials would add a good amount of time to that, but shaders can also be replicated and reused. You just need one for each type of material, wood, stone, metal, grass etc.
« Last Edit: 2017-06-13 18:01:23 by Lein »

DanTsukasa

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #18 on: 2017-06-14 06:06:15 »
A background a day wouldn't be unrealistic, chests, lamps, books, rug, candle, these are very simple objects. If you wanted detail on the rug you could just apply hair particles to a plane and have them be colored by a texture to display some pattern. Books are cubes, you just need to create one book and you've got them all, chests are also pretty much boxes, same with clocks, one clock could be modified into dozens if there's even that many in the game.

What stands out to me while scrolling through your link are all the carvings and patterns on the stone walls, all that detail would be difficult to REPLICATE, but if we're allowed to improvise and create similar but not identical patterns that stuff could be created in programs like zbrush. For example roots in Cleyra or stone walls, fine carvings could either be displacement maps or actually modelled, these are definitely the hardest. I'm not saying it's easy but the easier backgrounds you could definitely put together in 9 hours, assuming you've got the camera and everything ready.

Some of the harder backgrounds, all the architecture for example might take more than one day, but even then for example Alexandria, after you've made one house you could twist it around and use it for another and modify it slightly. A lot could be used more than once, this applies to trees, houses, walls, pillars, and all sorts of stuff. A group of 20 talented artists could definitely remake all the backgrounds in a year maybe even faster than that.

Remember the people who made the original game worked on it for a year, also you're not creating a 360 degree game, you've got fixed camera angles which means there can be a lot of cheating. But 1-2 days for every background is definitely possible, if you've got 20 people working on it that's 20 backgrounds in let's say three days. 549 backgrounds + animations, that's roughly a hundred days, you could add 50 days to that and you still would have completed it within a year. And that's assuming one background takes 3 days for a person to complete. Many of the objects could be reused for different scenes. We're not talking clean geometry either, you could replicate a rock, rotate it, resize it and it still would look as good as before because of the displacement maps and the textures that obviously wouldn't be uv mapped.

But yeah definitely impossible for a single guy to do, also matching the camera to the background as of right now makes it much harder to do this.

EDIT: The texturing and shaders for the materials would add a good amount of time to that, but shaders can also be replicated and reused. You just need one for each type of material, wood, stone, metal, grass etc.

I give up.

I wish you luck with the mod, and the project itself.

I still feel that you're dramatically underestimating the time taken.

You mention the people who made the original game worked on it for a year, they worked in it for 2 years, not 1 year. With a team with many years of professional experience, and various tools amassed from creating FF7 and FF8, (9 began development before 8's development had completed), also a team of almost 20 artists (probably 40 as I know team size doubled during production), most of which were American, the 20 there are from the Japanese team members alone, and thats just the leads for the various art departments. They weren't completing 1 background every 2 days, more at a rate of 1 background every few weeks, with bits reused to speed up later backgrounds, and other things being a few days blockout and then primarily painted over in 2D for some of the more complex areas, by talented artists.

Shaders can be reused, but given the art style, the vast majority of detail is coming from the textures anyway, not the shaders.

With all that said, a few more experienced artists have given their 2 cents, and you don't want to listen, and thats fine, its your project, and best of luck with it if you ever start it.

For the record: Displacement maps, normal maps and so on, still require good UV's, not to mention they require you to MAKE those displacement maps.

DLPB

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #19 on: 2017-06-14 06:14:38 »
DanTsukasa is correct.  Unfortunately, a lot of modders start their mod without asking the most important question "Can I complete this?"  The answer here is no. I see many mods where the answer is "unlikely". Here it's "Astronomically unlikely".  FF7 is modded, to my knowledge, more than any other PS1 game I have ever seen (maybe the most of any game PS era onwards), and we still haven't even managed to get all the 3D models replaced (something that IS doable). The background mods for FF7 are nothing but wishful thinking, because, as DanTsukasa says, the original team had tons of super professional people dedicating every hour to a project that lasted at least 2 years. That simply isn't going to happen here.  Also, I am not sure how FF9 was made, but if anything like FF7, the backgrounds would have originally been full 3D. Literally every area was a 3d environment.

I, too, wish you luck.  But it might be wiser to ask yourself which goals you can realize and which are Santa Claus. Many things can be done - but I personally believe time should be dedicated where it can serve the best use. The same goes for FF7 - which has suffered a great deal due to the modding community having no rudder.
« Last Edit: 2017-06-14 06:23:12 by DLPB »

Fraggoso

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #20 on: 2017-06-14 08:19:32 »
He already said that he's not working on this "Mod".
It was only wishful thinking.

Lein

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #21 on: 2017-06-14 09:29:54 »
Not even wishful thinking, notice in the title (complete). Every flaw in final fantasy 9 removed, that was the idea. Anyway I'm happy that you give up, it would be big if you would also acknowledge that you're wrong, but that's probably too much to ask for. You keep mentioning professionals as if that's an argument, there might be other reasons it took them more than a year to produce these backgrounds First the backgrounds had to be designed, that might have taken some time then created which back in those days probably was harder than it is today. We don't know that it took them all year to create the backgrounds, maybe they finished early and then other people started to create cutscenes within the backgrounds.

This image was made in 46min from nothing, give this person 9 hours every day for three days and I can assure you it would look as good if not better than what current backgrounds look in the final fantasy 9 game. Have you ever modeled a house before, it's rarely harder than creating some base pillars walls/windows/roof. These segments of the house can be reused to create different types of houses of the same style. Have you ever tried to model a clock or a chest, these aren't objects you need to take into zbrush. Very simple objects, I'm going to give myself 10 min and model a chest....


10 MIN LATER

Yes it's far from perfect but if it takes 10 min to create this chest, how long would it take to create the first scene on that theatre ship, I think three days is very realistic, I'm quite sure I would even be able to do it in one. You say it would take weeks for multiple people, you got to be kidding me. The nature scene was created in 49 minutes and I created this chest in 10 min, if I was given 30-40 min for this chest it would have proper materials and decent looking carvings, and definitely a proper lock. This chest would also just be in the background so it's not like it has to be super detailed. One background in three days is something any professional is capable of doing. The harder scenes which are architecture heavy with stairs and railings and sculptures, those might be exceptions, mainly because of the sculptures. But there are like four/five areas in the game with that much detail. Kuja's desert palace, Oilevert, Memoria and possibly one of the cities. Not sure why we started to argue about the backgrounds since that had little to nothing to do with the first post, areas wouldn't have to be remade only because the characters received more realistic proportions.

Kaldarasha

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #22 on: 2017-06-14 11:02:47 »
Go on and see how you manage to deal with 900+ backgrounds (FF7 has 600 so it's a fair assumption). Your biggest mistake in your calculation is the fact that somebody will do this 9h per day. Make a Kickstarter campaign and gather money then you may convince some artist to work on that, but without a payment you only get some kiddies (it's a nice project to get some skills) who would like to do it and this will not reach the quality of the original. However, if you start a campaign then you need a good layer since I doubt that SE allow that such a project exist. Another problem that exist, a team needs a team leader, else it is a bunch of people which upscale the images, but everyone with his own style. This makes it inconsistent in any possible way. As example Mayo Masters new BGs for FF7 (http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=15975.0) are different from the original and the BGs I have seen from other artist do also differ from each other in style. Now, if you start to complain about the style difference I can assure you that it is a good way to reduce the manpower for the project. But if they got money for the job then they won't be discouraged so much by these complain and may change their work.

If it would be so easy as you said then why hasn't SE did it. I tell you, that would be an enormous project that eat likely $500000 and will need years to finish. Also, as I said above the whole logistic behind this is much more important than you think and this does also take time and money. What SE did with the upscale was the best solution, since new HD BGs will not bring more customers.

Quote
But there are like four/five areas in the game with that much detail.
I am calling that the best joke ever.

Lein

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #23 on: 2017-06-14 12:41:50 »
First of all this topic isn't even about replacing the backgrounds, so I'm not sure why you're  hung up on that little boy. The backgrounds made by team avalance look fine, proves that it can be done with little effort. Anyway since some of you likely have no experience in creating photo realistic scenery there's no point in trying to convince you that it's possible, you can't do it in three days, that's fine, others can. Also it's not 900 backgrounds, it's 549. Me and some other guy on steam is going to attempt to recreate some backgrounds when he gets his computer working, I'm sure he's more informed on how to rip walk meshes and cameras from the game. Then we'll make you some backgrounds and you'll go woah amazing. *Kneels before masters*

DanTsukasa

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Re: Final Fantasy IX-2 (Complete)
« Reply #24 on: 2017-06-14 14:03:25 »
First of all this topic isn't even about replacing the backgrounds, so I'm not sure why you're  hung up on that little boy. The backgrounds made by team avalance look fine, proves that it can be done with little effort.

Woah man, people are offering advice, not trying to pick a fight with you, we can all discuss this without name calling right?

Anyway since some of you likely have no experience in creating photo realistic scenery there's no point in trying to convince you that it's possible, you can't do it in three days, that's fine, others can.

Ah come on, don't go around making assumptions about people so easily.

I'm 30, before I worked in the game industry I worked in the film industry, in the same role I'm in now, Environment Artist, films are, 100% pre-render.
I'm not going to be an apricothole and start spouting off titles and so on, but I've worked on several very large well known films, I'm well aware of how non-realtime rendering works. I'm also aware of how long things take to achieve a high quality level, I'm not talking down to you as I try to explain things, and I'm sure others would appreciate if you didn't talk down to them when you explain things to them.

Your box is nice, I'm not about to downplay your talents, you obviously have some experience with Rendering and some experience with modelling and texturing, though, you're also using blender, so at a guess I'd assume its a hobby and not a profession (I know 1 studio that works in Blender, also in Japan surprisingly enough).
The model is a bit basic but as you said its rough, that can well take 10 minutes, since its a simple model, with a simple unwrap and a slapped on premade texture.

In the original the planks are stylized, they don't have a premade texture thrown on them, each plank looks to be modeled individually (or possibly duplicated, its a little hard to tell), so I think its only an accurate comparison if you made the box the same way. Sure its a small prop but, if someone remade the bg's, why not have them at 1080p or 4k? Then we'd see all those details, otherwise all the work put in is wasted.

The Team Avalance backgrounds do look nice, they could look better too, but they could also look a lot worse, those guys put a lot of time into it, but there are stylistic differences as pointed out above. They also had the advantage that a lot of the environments in FFVII were honestly quite basic in shape, detail and texture, with some things being just block colour at times. FFIX is many levels above everything that FF7 ever did, even in its more basic areas.

I don't mean to put down the TA guys, fantastic work from them, especially for free, but its not comparable to 9, or even 8 in quality or renders.

First of all this topic isn't even about replacing the backgrounds, so I'm not sure why you're  hung up on that

The discussion continues because people want to explain just how big an undertaking this would be and come to a sort of 'middle ground' with you, so to speak.
We're all aware at this point that you've no intentions of recreating all the backgrounds, at least at this moment in time.

You mentioned many times that you'd get to cheat a lot, and this is, only party true, many areas from the game are clearly modeled in full, in every direction, because there are several pre-renders of the same area at different angles, even the opening room is featured at 2 different angles in itself. Then for consistencies sake if you made things look different you'd want to remake the battle scene too, just to smooth that transition, but I suppose you could ignore that side of things.

Take a look at this quick dump of pre-renders from Pillars of Eternity: http://polycount.com/discussion/166800/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-art-dump

The Artist said they rarely spent more than a week on a single area, and the team had 10 environment artists for those scenes.
Detail wise, a lot of its done via shaders and zbrush, the areas also aren't too detailed, they're keeping that old school feeling, they're also rendered at a distance so require less minute details. As mentioned those were rarely over 1 week, with a team of 10 people, each doing various sections of a scene, 1 guy does a skull, the other does the terrain, the other does small props and so on.
That is somewhat comparable to the detail in FF9 I'd say, somewhat, it is of course stylistically quite different.

I think if this cant sway you that getting the same quality level of the original FF9 in just a few days isn't realistic then I don't think anything can honestly.

Regarding the image with the tree and foliage, its really nice, for 45 minutes, but at the same time I can open up VUE and within the same timeframe create a photorealistic render, because VUE is doing it all for me really. Making that from scratch in Blender, Maya or 3DSMax however would take dramatically longer, and you'd need to have almost all of it in the same software so that you can confirm things line up, and that the correct renderer is used at all times, since Blender/Max/Maya's renderer is of a different quality to VUE.

Back on topic, regarding the Battle UI and character menu, I'd be interested in seeing what size you're imaging for these, are you thinking just like the original PSX game?