Hey, I'm team lead on Geistkrieg (I also do much of the game design, and all of the textures). While this is the first project for Starcraft 2 we'll release, we've been modding RTS for a long long time for the 'Command and Conquer' series. Our last major project was 'Mideast Crisis 2' for CNC3 (link below);
So far I have to say that Starcraft 2's engine, while not perfect, and lacking a lot of documentation, has allowed us to do things we never could've for CNC games. Geistkrieg has been a lot of work (both art and code) but it's finally coming together.
The plan is to release a rough, public, Allies-only alpha in the near future. By rough we mean; probably no new infantry (animations are killing us atm), particlefx or sound (not going to tackle that yet). The goal is to slowly add on and iterate from there.
I remember your C&C work. Was quite impressive. I presume you will not allow anyone else to use those assets?
When you feel like getting started with particles, it would be work checking out Delphinium's thread and assets, and the assets I released. They will help you get started. I don't know what C&C editors were like, but transitioning from Sins of a Solar Empire, which has the most limited particle engine of any game I've ever seen (even wc3 is leaps and bounds ahead of it), was very easy. For most realistic-ish effects, like say those in CoH, they will be trivial to make with an art team like yours behind them. Use flipbook textures and go hogwild with high fps animations to complement those great meshes.
I remember your CC work. Was quite impressive. I presume you will not allow anyone else to use those assets?
When you feel like getting started with particles, it would be work checking out Delphinium's thread and assets, and the assets I released. They will help you get started. I don't know what CC editors were like, but transitioning from Sins of a Solar Empire, which has the most limited particle engine of any game I've ever seen (even wc3 is leaps and bounds ahead of it), was very easy. For most realistic-ish effects, like say those in CoH, they will be trivial to make with an art team like yours behind them. Use flipbook textures and go hogwild with high fps animations to complement those great meshes.
Thanks! CNC3's particlefx editor didn't exist. EA had a proper editor, but they cut it out of the release version of the engine...leaving us with a super clunky editing numbers value method (MEC2 had poor pfx, we never could find someone good to help on it).
Thanks for the links, they'll come in handy. At the top of my list is to post up a help-wanted topic sometime soon since right now we could really use an animator or two, as well as someone on particlefx. We can do up any special models/textures needed, but someone fairly well experienced in the pfx editor would be ideal. Some of what we'll be needing to get done; old film projector like fx beam, a better lightning/tesla-like fx, more detailed blood/gib detail than sc2 used for infantry, a lot of weird Geist powers, etc etc
As for the question on releasing assets, we haven't discussed it much so I dunno. Additionally we run into the problem that, while our art looks good together...it REALLY does not mesh with SC2's style and looks pretty bad when they put next to each other.
I see. Yeah, I was mostly interested in the assets because, were I to continue my private project, I was intending to redo all of the game's graphics in a more realistic style (similar to yours). I have a lot of factions based on Russia, Germany, etc. and the assets would have been great once I brought everything together. I've actually considered asking your team about porting some of your C&C3 assets into sc2 in the past, but I couldn't figure out a pipeline to actually get those out of the game and back into max (after that point it isn't hard for me to update them for sc2), so I never pursued the idea. I'd have to solve some pretty significant issues with the game's AI performance if I wanted to continue that idea, but I figured I'd ask anyways.
If I decide to try to continue work with the game I will consider attempting some lightning particles early in, as I would need quite a few of those myself. If this happens, I'll be sure to share them with you (along with anything else).
Our style isn't actually that realistic though. It's a halfstep between Diablo 3's painterly style (ironically with mostly phototexture terrain textures) and Company of Heroes (which actually is nearly entirely handpainted, not phototextured despite how it looks). We'll see about Geistkrieg's assets later, right now our hands are full just getting it all ingame and working right.
The MEC2 art is a 100% no-go though. If we could've used them, we would've already on a project, and would've released something years ago. :b Isotx owns MEC2 so all that stuff is basically gone. :/
pfx, ya, let us know. Whenever we get to it, we'll probably release our pfx to those who'd want it anyway I don't think the style difference will matter with those.
Well, the proportions are more realistic, which is more important to me. That's one of the big appeals of your screenshots to me so far. I wanted to go down most of the game's default assets and remaster them a bit, particles, proportions, textures and all, but NiNtoxicated's m3 importer shreds a huge amount of data so the workload would have been just as big as porting something else or close to making something from scratch (except for infantry, which I can't model much less animate. Totally understand your pain there.)
Nonetheless, looking forward to seeing the end result. Keep up the good work!
If you plan on having custom voice acting, I may be able to lend more direct assistance there.