Nomad Mod and a requiem for FPSCreator

Hey!

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.
http://files.thegamecreators.com/betafiles/FPS_Creator_V120_BETA17A.zip

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:
http://www.blackicemod.org/

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.

Credits:
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)

Commentary

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.

Recommendation?

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.

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About serygala

Who really has time to think about a summary of himself on the internet? I like art, women, gamedesign and I love coffee. Everything else is too much information.
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