Acythian – 2019 City and Characters


If you followed this project since its inception you might have noticed that it went through several iterations of character designs.
Initially I was working with Errant AI’s character collection. However, despite being very versatile they are barely usable as civilians and entirely geared towards military type games. Modifying them to look the part for anything else would look extraordinarily cheesy. I’ll still use them as armed enemies as their animation pool is just perfect and there are enough masked variants to hide the difference in style with all the other characters.

Secondly I just used retextured versions of the stock Game Guru characters. These came with pretty neat scifi versions and with a few edits to the fantasy pack types I had neat cyberpunk characters. However, I did not want the characters in my game to be instantly recognizable as GG chars. I also found a lot of the civilian and military types to be very generic in style. I understand that this was made on purpose as GG should allow the user to have the ability to make a videogame in any genre he likes but it was rubbing me the wrong way. The androgynous looking female character variants did not strike my fancy either.

Apart from some testing with high poly variants that where all not for my skill level I finally came to a decision.

I own a lot of chars from arteria 3d. Especially the FPSC versions (generally perceived as low quality as it seems they have been made FPSC ready by brute force, quality be damned) have a pretty low polygon count. The retail versions from their store have LOD versions and look genuinely decent. They have an impressive animation pool and can reach quite decent quality. And with owning so many of them I can easily have enough variation going on in my levels without being too taxing on the engine.

Now, there is one extra point to using these. I enjoy salvaging and retexturing old media to my liking. These chars are perfect as they have barely seen any use in FPSC projects. Feel free to guess what pack they are from if you own them

And here are those I have ready so far:

She was pretty much ready to go out of the box and is one of the higher quality characters in acythians collection so far. Same level of detail as Shavra characters later in production.

Talking with Pirate Myke he suggested that I make a smoother version for an up close LOD level of this one. But alas, I came to the conclusion that I sacrifice a lot of quality on other chars and that no matter what I do, I don’t have the necessary skills to significantly improve this one. SO this is what he looks like

A military type char I converted to look more like a street crook.

He looks more like a leather gimp than a char to be taken all too serious but I think he turned out neat, despite having some of the worst UV mapping I ever made. Ha!

The outfit turned out alright. I deal with the unfortunate face texture stretching later


Even if I use Lowpoly characters. There are a lot of performance and stability related factors I have to keep in mind.
Naturally, no chars are active once a level starts. This goes without saying. But I have looked for more solutions to keeping those FPS high even with a lot of characters active. Here goes:

*Spawning (of course).
*LOD levels. Specifically a LOD stage that has no mesh (if this does not load properly I just make it a single polygon. I have to test this)
The idea is to completely remove the character mesh once the player is far away enough that he would not see the character anyway. This can be set very close for indoor levels but I need to avoid model popping.
* NPCs just standing or sitting around can be entities rather than characters that loop a single animation track. This alone should have a positive impact on overall framerate.
* Lower texture resolution.

A few more impressions from the city level.

Now that the character issue is solved, I need to figure what kind of vehicles are being used in this games universe. Cars are more or less obsolete in general but I also don’t want to just copy something as iconic as blade runners flying vehicles. In the background of this screenshots you can see someone dealing in “vintage vehicle and machine parts”.

Yeah, the lack of real time shadows is very rough but I hope the urban decay translates well anyway in these tunnels.

I am also working on a better fire effect to replace these stock decals.

I’ve been experimenting with characters and have a bit to say about that but first I’d like to show you the progress I have made on that city map.
For all the artifacty GG rendering and the faults it has, its really starting to feel like an urban are playing through it. I’m a bit proud for how the player can traverse it and all the alcoves, nooks and crannies it has.

So far I have not done anything major to the colour tinting and overall feel of the level but just detailed it more. Also note that some shots have differences in brightness, as that too is something I’ll settle once and for all later on.

Take a look:

Comments are welcome as always and thank you for viewing!

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

News about Acythian and the discontinuation of Shavra


I have yet again updated page 1 to better represent the project at its current stage. The last time I did that was in February of 2017. Its true that this project has evolved along side the engine which is also why there has never even been a beta demo release (there have been 2 test releases which are the Redacted games. If you read this and never saw those, you can grab both here.)

You can clearly see, even if you only casually flip through the pages of this thread, that the game took a long time to find its tone and even genre. At this point I have written a lengthy design document and have everything pretty much thought out allowing me to work on small, episodic games and other pieces of artwork set in my own little fictional universe. This is nothing unfamiliar to any creative person and my other game projects went through a similar process but I really made that commitment to myself to stick to this project and its lore. I understand that so far, this might look like a generic shooter to any casual browser and its way less popular outside of the GG community than Shavra or other projects where. (relatively) However, people who saw my GDD liked it so far and I believe the world it builds has a lot of unique characteristics, including the characters it represents. It dawned on me that a lot of ideas in it are better suited, or at least better achievable for a person with a limited skillset such as myself in a novel.
Its a little life goal of mine to have one or 2 novels published. Nothing popular, just something that sits on the shelve in the SF section one day. As for the game, I still want to craft a few, no doubt obviously amateurish, yet hopefully entertaining, episodic titles with rather simple story lines and gameplay, yet set in a more complex and hopefully captivating world.

Originally, all I had in mind with this project was a dumb little shooter, using GG’s early extremely limited and broken features. The name of the project, not necessarily catchy or aesthetic was a result of me simply throwing letters together until something clicked. I did however add a little description of what it means and how to pronounce it to page 1. Then it evolved into a corridor based horror shooter, then a third person action game (when that was supposed to be implemented) and eventually it settled on first person action adventure.

Where am I going with this?

Good question. The reason for this rambling post so few of you will read is that I wanted to send out a little life-bleep as I have posted so little about the game lately and have been somewhat absent from the game guru community as a whole and that I decided to kill off all my more lofty and ambitious game ideas.
I was learning the ropes of other engines lately, “engine shopping” as some call it and decided that all that was simply no longer for me. I am not too old but just not at a stage of my life to be able to invest that kind of energy, to learn a complex tool for what is, lets be honest here, essentially a hobby activity. It all just feels like such a chore and is really not worth it for me. Most would require me to either form or join a team and I greatly prefer the helpful nature of this community over an all out collaboration.

Personally, the last real stride to go all out on a project, put in regular work hours and set milestones for myself was Skrye.

While it was hard for me to kill of “Shavra” as I tried to make it work in one iteration or another (Previous titles where Spyra and Relict) it was the right choice. I’m now experienced enought to just know what I can’t do and that game was something I was uttely incapable of ever pulling of. Acythian on the other hand allows me to make cool little things. Small fun games.

Some people on here are far more disciplined and diligent than I am. The truth is that while I enjoy my creative hobbies sometimes I don’t get around actually working on them for weeks in a row and therefore my projects can stagnate. I truely appreciate those of you who maintain an interest and keep checking back therefore all the more.

And thats really what I wanted to reduce my 3D hobby to given the little time I have for it : Fun. You’ll find that a lot of the things I do on here might seem less ambitious but therefore I hope they will somewhat soon be actually playable.

Thank you for reading even though it certainly took me a while to get to the point.

I’d also like to share some early screenshots from a city area. I’ve shown these around a bit before and mostly gotten good responses, albeit that there are a few things that need changing or adjusting. However, now that I have the general architecture of the level “carved out” I can start detailing it, which is the more enjoyable part.

Synchromesh had the really interesting idea that I might create some light aerial traffic with an animated skybox.

You’ll also see that its using dynamic lighting now…I’m still holding out for someone like Lee or Preben to implement something decent in the future. Here’s to optimism

If you are on the discord, you may have seen these before.

Light and visibility will likely change in this area in the future.

A screenshot from higher up. Several of these buildings have already been replaced and the whole scene is a lot less blue now.

The small market will have a few NPC’s later on.


C&C is always welcome. Up next will also be a few soundbytes from the soundtrack for those interested. I’ll upload those as a YT video.


Posted in acythian, Development, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Basic melee weapon rigging in fragmotion [English / Deutsch]


First of all this is going to be the last tutorial I make for fragmotion. I get a lot of messages about it and tried to explain how to use it to so many people that I simply don’t feel like it anymore. Someone I really respect asked me to so I abliged.


Also vorab mal, das hier ist das letzte Tutorial zu Fragmotion das ich veröffentliche. Ich werd eigentlich dauernd danach gefragt und habs schon so vielen Leuten versucht beizubringen dass ich nun echt keinen Bock mehr habe. Nun, ein anderer 3d Modelliere den ich sehr respektiere hat mich gefragt, drum mach ichs nochmal:

I keep this as short and precise as possible. This tutorial will teach you the basic rigging functions (where to click). If you want to perfect it, you gotta experiment for yourself. So lets go:

Ich versuche es kurz und knackig zu halten. Diese Tutorial bringt dir bei wie du einfache Nahkampfwaffen an ein bestehendes Animationsset “riggst”: Also machen wir mal:

* First thing you gotta do is open the hand rig with the animations you want to rig to. Now make sure that you have it in default pose and no animations active (default) and click “file – merge”. Now you select the weapon you want to rig to the anims and import hit.

Öffne zuerst das Animationsset zu dem du riggen willst (die Hände). Clicke dann “file-merge”. Als nächstes wählst du die Waffe aus, die du importieren möchtest.

HOLD UP! Before you go any further you will want to make sure that your textures are unified. LINK ON HOW TO DO THAT.

Bevor du weiter machst solltest du sicher gehen dass sämtliche UV’s auf einer einzigen Textur sind. Damit es später im GG auch funktioniert und die passenden Shader hat. Dazu oben ein Link zu einem weiteren Tutorial.

Now lets continue:

The arrow points at the modifiers. Select your new weapon and scale it / rotate it, apply the correct material. Make sure its positioned where the original weapon used to be. Next step will be to delete the original weapon (but, of course, not its bone).

Skalieren, rotieren, plazieren. Hier gehts einfach darum dass deine Waffe genau so plaziert ist wie die Vorherige.

What happens now is you selecting the skeleton browser and the right bone (which one that is, is different for every rig and you have to use your splendid deductive reasoning skills on that one ) Select the weapon you want to rig, make sure the vertices are select as well!!!, click “assign selected vertices to bone.”

Fast geschafft! Nun wählst du den “Skeleton browser” an und suchst den passenden Bone. Bei Nahkampfwaffen ist es ja zum Glück nur einer. Du musst sicher gehen dass du die “vertices”auch ausgewählt hast. Wähle also die Waffe und den passenden Bone aus und klicke “assign select vertices to bone”. Welcher Bone das ist, ist bei jedem Rig etwas anders und das musst du selber rausfinden

Now you have to weigh the bones. For rigid bodies like melee weapons its usually the max weight but this can be a little less. Use the slider to set it and then click the biggest “set” button. Now check the animation if it plays correctly and if the weapon is placed correctly. When all that is good, badabing, badaboom, sonny jim, you rigged a weapon.

Hier musst du nun “Gewichte” für die Bones anbringen. Das machst du mit diesem farbigen Barren. Für rigide Körper wie etwa Prügelwaffen ists meistens eh das Maximum, es kann aber auch etwas weniger sein. Einfach die Animation abspielen und nachbessern bis es stimmt. Also: Gewicht wählen und den grossen “Set” Knopf drücken. Wenns nun so ist wie dus dir vorstellst wars das eigentlich auch schon.

IMPORTANT: To minimize further problems make sure that once you export there is only:

1 texture
1 material
and 1 animation set.

ALSO make sure that the animation is set to 30 fps, fragmo can set a higher number here which would be wrong.

Wichtig: Um weitere Probleme zu minimieren solltest du sicher gehen dass das Modell, bevor du exportierst, nur:

1 Texture
1 Material
und 1 Animation mit einer Bildwiederholrate /Framerate von 30 hat.

Want to rig something more advanced than melee weapons?

Here is a great video:

I hope this points some people in the right direction. Sorry for the eventual passive-aggressive tone but fragmotion isn’t fun…explaining it is less fun

Ich hoffe es hat ein Paar von euch die richtige Richtung gezeigt. Sollte ich genervt rüber kommen entschuldige ich mich aber fragmotion macht schon keinen Spaß…es erklären noch weniger

Posted in Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nomad Mod and a requiem for FPSCreator


If you are reading this chances are that you used FPSCreator in the past or are still using it and you are either viewing this for information or a tiny dose of nostalgia. If you are new to FPSCreator and want to check it out I will dedicate a whole paragraph with everything you need to know to get started too. Then you’ll also be informed about what you can or can not do with it.

The first thing I want to address is Nomad Mod and some other useful tools you might find enjoyable. After that I’ll recap a bit of FPSC’s history, what made it special and how it died eventually. Now, you can disagree with me that its “dead” and there are certainly still uses for it but more on that later. Now we will talk briefly about Nomadmod.

Nomad Mod

What is Nomad Mod?
Nomad Mod is a high end graphics modification for FPS Creator which provides unified dynamic lighting, flashlights and other graphics enhancements.

Nomad Mod Features:

* Unified Dynamic Lighting
*Bump, Specular, Illumination
*Water / Window Refraction
*Cinematic Bloom / Motion Blur
*Depth of Field / Cell Shading
*Film Grain / Sepia / Noir
*HUD Damage / Health System
*Camera Movement Effects
*Light Shaft Effects / Fog Effects
*Animated Texture Effects
*Improved Blood Effects
*Fully Working Flashlights
*Support for Dual Wielding
* Compatible with S4Mod Zeta

Which version of FPS Creator does Nomad Mod use?
Nomad Mod uses FPSC v1.20 BETA17A however this is not a source modification so you can apply it to other mods providing they are built on a recent version of the source code.

Why use Nomad Mod?
Nomad Mod provides a fully integrated dynamic lighting solution to allow consistently realistic lighting effects throughout your game from static and dynamic lights with static and dynamic objects. You can also use a number of post process effects such as cell shading or film noir to give your games a totally unique look.

How can I get Nomad Mod?
Nomad Mod has now been added to Black Ice Mod and will no longer be supported as a standalone package. You can download Black Ice Mod here:

Nomad Mod License:
Nomad Mod is free to use for commercial and non-commercial projects. There is a license restriction on the music track provided and this can only be used in games made using this mod unless purchased separately.

Original Shaders – Bond1, CoZ, Dark Goblin, Uzi Idiot
Models – Errant AI, Jon Fletcher, Maniac Modeler, Uman
Textures – Rolfy, Madcow, Shim Kangrey, Xplosys, Starmind
Scripts – KingofMk98, Ncmako
Music – Nickydude (MadLadDesigns)


With Nomadmod, FPSCreator becomes the easiest to use game maker out there. So many complex features are available out of the box and it rivals Game Guru or other packages by just the sheer amount of (theoretical) possibilities. Nomad Mod adds FPS features that where previously either not available or worked only to a degree, such as Armor, Player Body, Allies and usable dynamic lighting.

Sadly FPSCreator has been broken from the start. It has a memory cap of about 2 gig that can not be worked around. This makes creating a game nearly impossible. Now, you might think 2 gigabyte is plenty of space but its not harddrive memory but system memory. Meaning that an empty map with a gun and a skybox already takes up nearly one gig. The rest is just enough for about 4 rooms and a hallway (if decorated properly.) Good luck loading more than 3 levels without at least a crash too.

Nomad, the author of the mod, put it far better:

“The problem is as the FPSC community grew in size and talent, we kept pushing the boundaries and expecting more from the engine but the fundamental memory cap / management issues were never properly addressed so you have the promise of great looking games with lots of levels but not the reality. Also whilst this was going on other game engines started offering free versions and becoming more accessible which gave FPSC more competition from larger developers.”

Here are screenshots of my attempt to push the memory cap and see how much the last and best version of FPSC can handle. It all collapsed as soon as I added scripts and enemies. Getting a one or 2 level game of this quality working fine? Sure! You’ll have a whopping 4 minutes of gameplay then. Anything more does not seem feasible. Notice that I only used specular mapping, no normalmapping.

Final Words

I’ve used FPSC for years. I had a lot of fun tinkering whole evenings away and as you can see here I also actually released quite a few games. I never got confirmation on this but I always suspected that FPSC was originally designed to be a small product for teens who could drag and drop themselves a corridor shooter together in it. As an entry to proper game development. However, it ended up attracting an older demographic too that saw the potential and the engine has kept evolving, however having subpar memory managment that would eventually kill it for me, and many projects with it.

As I grew older I came to have a better understanding of how a game engine works and eventually realized that these flaws are so deeply ingrained in FPSC that only a complete recode could touch on them.

As disappointing as that was and I have a whole library of vaporware projects to prove it, FPSC was a blast back in the day. The community during its golden age (about 2008 to 2012) was just a joy to be around and I met many people online that I am still friends with to this day.

Okay great! Now you might wonder why I am writing this. Well its because of this: I told a few people and veteran fpsc users from back in the day that I would make a whole archive of released FPSC games that where good. Kind of a repository. However, I decided against it for several reasons:
Number 1: Most games are simply gone. Filehosters went down, users took them down themselves or websites that used to host them are expired. Remember in the early 2000s when they told you that once something is on the internet its doomed to be there forever! You only need to browse old 3D sites or forums and oggle at all the dead links, dead image hoster icons and missing forum avatars to see how fucking wrong they where.

Number2: Its over. It seems redundant and almost a decade too late. As cool as many of these projects where, they had their day and they are quite obviously relics of a by gone era in game design. Where things better back then? Yeah, a lot of them where.

Number3: I don’t want this to be a resource for people to loot other peoples games for scripts and textures only to quickly cobble together a steam cash grab.


Häääh …no.

Alright…its not that simple. If you really strip back the gameplay features and level size, you can make a horror themed corridor shooter like this. Among the most impressive work arounds are seen in this. It will even kinda, sorta work sometimes. Other uses for FPSC are first person adventure games. You might have seen those on steam. Here are 2 developers that have quite the library.

Peace on Steam

GDnomad on Steam

shameless plug: These games use a ton of my media 😛

Keep in mind that getting these normalmaps and other shaders all set up is wonky and involves a bit of trial and error. So yeah, you can make these types of short adventure games and some are even quite decent! Like Phobia by JonezGames.

Alternatively you can really lower the poly count and texture resolution as well as game logic to the level of a PS1 game. But even then you might encounter unexpected issues.
(Keep in mind that you will also have to not use the segment system then. It might look blocky and simplistic but even a small level can easily have a whopping 30 000 Polygons if made with it.)

However, if you are able to do that, your time might be spent more wisely learning to use a different engine. Especially given that FPSC’s one vibrant community has largely decreased to half a dozen active users. If you want to try it out, Nomad Mod is where you get started.

As it stands. This is the point where I will no longer cover FPSC related content on this website. Thank you for reading.

Posted in Development, gaming, Miscellaneous, Personal, Spotlight | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arkane Studios – Half Life² Episode 4


I am fully aware that this is old news but I only recently found out that valve has outsourced the development of Half Life² Episode 4 to french dev-team Arkane Studios.

Half Life² is among my favourite FPS games and with Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah and Dishonored under their belt, Arkane is also among my favorite developers….especially when it comes to creative vision. Now Dishonored 2 and the new Prey didn’t strike my fancy but thats another story.

Sadly, the project got cancelled but I’d still like to feature the little screenshots we have and later link to a video that also offers some early animations. I have compiled some screenshots from other sources, most notably “valve time”. However, as this is an unreleased project and you happen to read this, let me know if one of these is from another mod or game. I tried my best to make sure to assemble som impressions of what could have been:

Video by youtuber 32 megabytes showcasing some animations and other screenshots:



Posted in Miscellaneous, Spotlight | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Acythian – Horror Themed UrbEx level

It’s there in your eyes
Like diamonds ablaze
Sleepless we walk
Through the valley of dreams
We live life long enough
Like silent machines


I’ve made some progress here and there and also started working on a new map. This will be an optional side mission but I promise that if you enjoy the game otherwise, you will not want to miss it

Here is the 10 mm SMG from the game. Its design is a Kriss Vector. Granada made the model, Errant AI the Hand Rig, Bugsy animated it and I textured it. A true community effort if you will.

Now I decided to add the optional side mission. I was inspired by games like the Thief series and Vampire: The Masquerade. These games all have one spooky horror themed adventure part and I want one in this game. So here it is: I will not reveal how its going to be spooky because I also want it out as a demo for halloween.

I had some problems at first with the engine refusing to render the models in “highest” but that somehow solved itself. Its nice when random evens in game guru actually go my way for a change.

I think its easy to see that the area is abandoned for decades. I designed these textures for the modelpack2 drink machines to go with that look.

While most of the gameplay takes place in those buildings I decided to have a convincing nature scape around it. There will also be a constant feverish buzzing of crickets here

Thank you for checking this out and feel free to let me know what you think. I am always happy to see feedback to my work

Posted in 3D Art, acythian, Development | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Acythian – November Update


Development has been slow once again so I can only leave you with a few changes to level 1. (previously in a different article. LINK )
Basically, in the first draft the complex was on an island and I changed that to a lush forest. I also changed the amount of decay the player will encounter in the complex.

But first, I am also remaking a lot of the media I have to work with this game. For example, I have retextured and edited the female peasant character from the “classics” media pack to go with the title. Sadly, the result is kind of awkward which is why I made here a sniper character. You know, you only see her from a distance
I also didn’t manage to get that blank facial expression out of the model so strapped on a gasmask.

Here you’ll see what the first level will look like in the final game (unless there are major changes in the rendering pipeline along the way.)

Thankfs for viewing! Feel free to drop me some feedback, its always appreciated 🙂

Posted in 3D Art, acythian, Development | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment