Marvel Adventures 2.2 Update!

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Howdy folks!  I’ve been hard at work since my return from distant shores, and here are the first fruits of those efforts.  I’m releasing a new update for my Marvel Adventures mod that fixes a ton of problems and provides a lot of tweaks and improvements.  I’m also including something that has been requested from time to time, and which I’ll try to make a standard from here on out, save game files for each mission for each campaign, so if you do run into problems or just want to skip around, you can keep playing as you like.  So, without further ado, you can get the new version of the mod here:

Download Marvel Adventures!

(I’m having trouble getting the file uploaded to my server at the moment, so you’ll have to get it from my ModDB page until I fix the issue)

Installation:

FIRST DELETE ANY PREVIOUS VERSIONS OF THE MOD!

Then, simply run the installer and point it to the proper directory, where FFvTTR is installed.  The default data path points to the Steam installation of the game, so you’ll need to change it if you have it installed in a different location.  This is the default directory:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Freedom Force vs. the 3rd Reich\MA

Note the “MA” at the end.  That is the mod folder.  Don’t forget to add that if you change the directory!  Do NOT install the mod directly into your FF directory, as it won’t work and it will likely mess up your game installation.

Version 2.2 Release Notes:

  • Fixed problems with several campaigns, including Iron Man, X-Men 1, Avengers, Thor, and others
  • Fixed a ton of graphical glitches
  • Replaced some of the .exes to fix some errors
  • Fixed numerous typos and missing dialog
  • Fixed balance and AI issues
  • Included save files for each campaign to allow players to skip around and so they don’t have to play back through everything to see the fixes

Known Issues:

  • Some anti-virus programs will find false positives on the .exes of this mod. These are nothing but batch files I compiled myself, but because they copy and replace the campaign files in the background in order to switch campaigns out, AV programs tend to freak out about them. If this makes you uncomfortable, feel free to use the included shortcut instead and switch the campaigns manually as outlined below.
  • Saves during missions will load, but the mission will not work properly once loaded. This is the nature of EZScript, and I’m afraid I can’t do anything about it.  It is best to save between or after missions.
  • You won’t see balance and other fixes unless you start new campaigns. That’s just the nature of FF’s saves; they carry a snapshot of everything, so no changes will show up in old campaigns unless you restart them. That’s one of the reasons I’m including saves.
  • If you’ve got certain video card and driver combinations, certain characters, like Iron Man, may have helmets/hats/hair that bob up and down on their heads when you have full video settings. Just turn off character shadows and that will stop.
  • The game suffers rare CTDs in Windows 8 and 10. I have no idea what’s causing these, and they are likely just a result of the game not playing entirely nicely with new versions of Windows.  The crashes aren’t reliably recreatable, so I don’t have much information. They don’t seem to harm anything, but be aware and don’t panic if it happens.
  • The dreaded pink texture issue seems to have reared its head again. This is when part or all of a character’s textures show up bright pink. It is apparently being caused by the number of similar meshes/skins that the mod contains. With the help of Cyber Burn, I’ve fixed some of the biggest offenders, but this may still occur. Restarting the game or your computer tends to help for a time. Extended play sessions tend to be the culprit. This should be much less common now, however.
  • The last mission in the Iron Man campaign is bugged and won’t end properly. I can’t figure out the issue, but as it is the last mission, you can still play the entire campaign.

Campaigns:

This is not your average mod. It has a total of 10 campaigns, 7 full length and 3 mini-campaigns (which might get expanded in the future)! Playing them used to be a bit complicated, but thanks to Abenavides, it’s now just a matter of clicking on the appropriately named .exe included in the mod folder. Each of these launches the game with the appropriate campaign loaded. The rest of the game is the same, so you can play in the RR with the full cast of characters with any and all of the game modes. This just changes the campaign missions available to you.

If for some reasons the .exes don’t work for you, you can still access all of the campaigns manually.

Simply choose the campaign you want out of the ‘Campaigns’ folder, copy it, rename the copy to campdef, and drop it in your main MA folder, rewriting the exiting one. Don’t forget to copy these, or you’ll lose campaigns!

Marvel Adventures Vol. 2 Released!

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Well, it is finally here, only half a year after I told y’all it was almost done.  I wasn’t too far off, was I?  The sad truth is that this mod has languished almost entirely finished on my hard drive since the end of the summer, with very little left to do.  Unfortunately, a PhD is no easy matter, and my work rather swallowed my free time in those intervening months.  Nonetheless, finish it I did at long last, and now y’all can explore all the awesome new content that I’ve stuffed into this release!

Welcome to Marvel Adventures Vol. 2! 

This update massively expands both the hero and villain rosters of the original release, adding in tons and tons of characters, including almost every major player that didn’t make the cut the first time, as well as a great variety of lesser characters.  It includes everyone from Spider-Man, Hulk, and Galactus to the various venomous members of the Serpent Society, and just about everyone in between!  Even the illustrious Squadron Supreme put in an appearance in the intro to the next Avengers campaign!

The final total for the mod is somewhere around THREE HUNDRED characters!


That’s right, this expansion is just crammed full of content!  It features three brand new campaigns and several expansions for the originals!  As I mentioned in my previous teaser, the X-Men benefit from a whole new story-arc that takes them from the familiar confines of the X-Mansion to the distant stars of the Shi’ar homeworld! (Plus, a short spin-off campaign featuring solo stories!)


The Fantastic Four get in on the expansion fun, completing their original campaign arc with the reveal of the dastardly Dr. Doom’s malevolent machinations and a world-threatening brawl between alien tyrants right in the heart of downtown New York!


This expansion adds a host of tweaks, fixes, and improvements to everything that came before, as well as generally expanding its boundaries in every direction.  I hope that you can all enjoy this love letter to Marvel comics as much as I enjoyed making it!

And I want to take another opportunity to boast about the incredible, exclusive, and ridiculously beautiful new skins by super-star skinner Afghan Ant!

Check out the Marvel Adventures album HERE!

So, is that enough to sell you on this little project?  If so, great:

Download Marvel Adventures Vol. 2 Now!

I left an important note of thanks out of the readme, so you can get an updated version here.

Be sure to delete any previous installations. 

You can set your data path to whatever you like, but the installer includes a number of .exes that are set to work with the Steam installation.  I’m afraid they won’t be of much use for folks with other paths, but they’re a nice little bonus feature for the rest of you.  They’ll allow you to launch the individual campaigns without having to do any file editing!  Speaking of those campaigns…

New and Expanded Campaigns:

  • X-Men (major expansion)
  • X-Men 2 (, mini-campaign telling solo stories)
  • Avengers (small expansion)
  • Fantastic Four (major expansion completing their arc)
  • Spider-Man and the Marvel Knights (big, brand new adventure!)
  • SHIELD (mini-campaign)

Have fun folk, and make yours Marvel!

Ghostbusters: Trick or Terror 2 Released!

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Happy Halloween one and all!  I’m just BARELY getting this one in under the wire, but I am proud to release the second episode in the Halloween adventures of everyone’s favorite spirit chasers, the Ghostbusters!  Join them for another mysterious case as they are called to a foreboding locale and face strange events that just might be connected to their previous Halloween misadventure.

As before, this is a simple, one mission story, but I had a blast making it, and I hope you will have a good time with it as well.  So come on, celebrate Halloween in style, with the kings of creep, the Ghostbusters!

This release includes the original mod as well as the new mission and foes.  You can download the whole thing here:

Download it here!

Challenge the restless dead and make New York safe for her citizens!

Strap on a proton pack and make use of the Ghostbusters’ arsenal of gadgets!

Help Pete, Egon, Ray, and Winston fight back an incursion from the spirit world, and save Halloween once more!

Pulp Adventures Released!

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I have finally finished work on a project near and dear to my heart, my pulp heroes mod, Pulp Adventures!  It tells an original tale of danger and daring do, teaming many classic pulp heroes and several modern characters cut from the same cloth!  It features a huge cast of characters, including all of the two-fisted heroes gracing the awesome artwork above there, as well as a host of other crusaders for justice.  The story features several classic pulp villains and a twisting, turning plot that ties in to the settings and adventures of many of the starring characters.  So, what are you waiting for?  Come, ride with Britt Reid, laugh with the Shadow, swing the trees with Tarzan, and buckle your share of swashes with Zorro!

Featuring:

  • An epic, sprawling, world-spanning 17 mission campaign!
  • Over 25 playable characters!
  • Beautiful custom art by the super talented Naitvalis!
  • Custom music!
  • Nazi punching!
  • Dinosaur wrangling!
  • Two-fisted action galore!

Hero Roster:

  • Doc Savage
  • The Shadow
  • Indiana Jones
  • The Green Hornet
  • Kato
  • The Rocketeer
  • The Spider
  • The Spirit
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Tonto
  • Tarzan
  • Conan the Barbarian
  • The Phantom
  • Captain Midnight
  • Miss Fury
  • Dick Tracy
  • Jungle Jim
  • Kolu
  • “Monk” Mayfair
  • “Ham” Brooks
  • “Renny” Renwick
  • Flash Gordon*
  • Buck Rogers*
  • John Carter of Mars*

*These characters don’t feature in the campaign but are playable in the sandbox mode…for the moment!

Download the Pulp Adventures Mod Here! (Version 1.1)

A new, updated version with a number of fixes has been uploaded.  This one addresses a number of bugs and balance issues.  If you download the new version, you do not need any of the patches.  If you downloaded a previous version, delete it and install this one instead.  It will be save game compatible, but to get the benefits of the balance and gameplay tweaks, you’ll need to start a new campaign.  The fixes for missing textures and the like will work either way.

Patches: Only necessary for those who downloaded the original version.

Patch 1: This fixes a missing texture and a bug that kept mission 4 from playing properly.

Patch 2: This provides a missing file necessary for Mandrake the Magician.

Pulp Adventures

 

 

 

 

Doc Savage and the Fabulous Five

I was so excited after I finished this batch of updates for my latest project that I just had to share this image.  The Pulp mod is now just one character away from completion!  Doc Savage and his fantastic aides are all in and ready to face whatever dangers this action-packed adventure have to throw at them!  Thanks to the amazingly talented and wondrously prolific Daglob, a fellow pulp fan, these six heroes are united for the first time in the history of Freedom Force, and to the best of my knowledge, the first time in a video game!  From left to right, you see ‘Long Tom’ Roberts,’ ‘Johnny’ Littlejohn, Doc Savage, ‘Ham’ Brooks, ‘Renny’ Renwick, and ‘Monk’ Mayfair.  Each of them has a unique set of abilities that reflect their portrayals, and each has a fantastic skin and skope.  Pulp fans be on the look out for Pulp Adventures, coming soon!  It features all of your favorite pulp characters, like the Shadow, the Green Hornet, the Lone Ranger, Zorro, and many, many more.  It will feature over 25 playable characters!

 

Custom Loading and Menu Screens

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Howdy folks!  Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to create custom loading and menu screens in Freedom Force vs The Third Reich.  There probably were tutorials once-upon-a-time, yet while there are some good threads about this on Freedom Reborn, there isn’t, to my knowledge, a good, clear, set of instructions on how to do this.

So, you want to give your mod a little extra bit of personality, replace the main menu with a picture of the Thundercats, the Teen Titans, or whatever your mod is about, right?  Well, the process is really quite simple.  Like most things with FF, these interface screens are really easy to customize.  It’s just a matter of replacing files in the right directory.  With the following instructions, you can replace the main menu screen, the Rumble Room screen, the loading screen, and every other game menu and loading screen.

  1. Make sure your mod has the right directory.  You’ll need Art\Library\Interface_Scenes, and at least some of the subfolders.  Which ones you need depends on what all you want to replace.  If you’ve begun your mod by copying FFX, you probably won’t have these files.  You can copy them out of the main FF Data folder, or you can grab them out of one of my mods (which all have at least some of these images replaced).  Now, the folders corresponding to the various loading screens are mostly intuitively named:
    1. mg_ff_team_main is the main menu screen, mg_rumble_room is the rumble room screen, and so on.Screenshot (24).png
  2. Each interface scene in the game consists of two parts, a texture, the actual image that is displayed, and a nif, or mesh file, which is the canvas upon which the texture is displayed.Screenshot (25)
    1. The texture will have a specific name that the nif tells the game to look for.
    2. Some of the scenes have animated or otherwise unusual nifs that can be hard to fit with a texture.  You’ll notice that the default main menu is like this, scrolling through a whole host of characters.
    3. You can replace these with simpler nifs from other portions of the game.  I’ve done this with the main menu in all of my mods, simply substituting a flat nif from one of the loading screens for the default nif.
      1. Of course, if you change nifs, you need to make sure the you rename the texture that goes with it appropriately so the game can find it.
      2. For example, the texture that goes with my chosen main menu nif is load_skyking.dds, while the default texture is made up of a number of different pieces each with a specific name.Screenshot (26).png
  3. To change the image displayed by your chosen interface screen, simply replace its texture with one of your choice.  It must be named exactly the same thing!
    1. All textures used in FF have to be square, with even dimensions.
    2. Interface scenes must be 1024 x 1024, .dds format.
  4. If you’re not sure how to save an image in .dds format, I recommend using GIMP, a free image editing program that can take a .dds plug-in.
    1. After installing GIMP, open your image with it, crop or scale to approriate dimensions, and then Export As a .dds file, named whatever your base texture is, i.e., load_skyking.dds.
  5. That’s it, you’re done!  Enjoy your cool new custom screens!

Well, that was easy, but what if you want to create custom loading screens for your mod’s campaign missions?  Well, this is also pretty simple, but it does require a few more steps.

  1. These files also go in your interface_scenes directory, but instead of replacing them, you actually need to create your own.
  2. Copy one of the comic_blank (comic_timemaster, comic_blitzkreig, etc) folders out of the vanilla Data folder and past it into the Art/Library/Interface_Scenes directory in your mod.
  3. You’ll see that it is a similar animal as the other interface scenes we already discussed, except instead of a nif and ONE texture, it is a nif and THREE textures.  This is what makes those cool fake comic covers for the game’s mission loading screens.
    1. The comic cover itself is broken into two pieces, and then there is a ‘back’ image which provides the background.  You need to replace the two textures with your own cover image chopped up into pieces of exactly the same dimensions.
    2. OR, you can do just like we did with the main loading screen, and simply replace the comic cover nif with a plain nif and only have to make one texture.
    3. Name your folder something fitting for your mission, avengers1, for example.
  4. Now comes the slightly more complex bit.  You’ll need to create entries in FFEdit for your brand new loading screens.
    1. Open up FFEdit, and make sure the Primary Data path points to your mod folder.  Now, click on the ‘Res’ (resources) tab, and scroll down until you see the ls_blank (NOT is_blank!) entries.
    2. Select one of these, like ls_01_begin, and click ‘copy.’
    3. Rename your new entry to be ls_yourmissionname.  Note, it must match exactly what the mission name is in the Campaign tab, so it is a good idea to switch over there, copy the mission name, and just paste it after ls_.
    4. Point the source of the entry to your newly created mission loading screen.  Make sure to trim the data path to start at ‘library’!
    5. Save, rinse, repeat for other missions.Screenshot (28)
  5. You’re done!  These should now display whenever you load one of the appropriate missions.