Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Time for some updates

 Hello all,

work is making good progress on many sides, as I had to give up the approach to just focus on the townhouses. They are all done by now, but as I had to make some changes to the dbcopgraphics.db, I can't upload them as separate files. Instead, I have to make one project again, like I did with the H.T.O.P.

This is because I made every townhouse use it's own set of textures, to achieve much more diversity. Same goes for all the shops, that I was working on. They look great yet, but I am not finished with them, so you have to be patient a little bit longer, until I will upload an alpha-version of my current work :)

To give you some impressions of my work so far, here are some pictures:


The townhouses:









The Shops:








The bakery:


All screenshots were taken with the reshade-profile, that I created for COTN. It gives the game a much more modern and satisfying look, if you're asking me.

Here, for a quick comparison:

reshade on


reshade off


Once I find the time, I will upload my profile here under the post processing section.


I hope, you like what I have done so far and stay tuned for the next update :)

Best Regards

Horus

Monday, February 28, 2022

News, news, news!

 Hello all,

I know, it's been a very long time since I last posted here and to be honest, I actually gave up modding children of the Nile in the last few years, because of various reason. For a long time, I felt that this blog was more like an archive then something that would ever be filled with new content. But then, things have changed...

As you can guess by the title of this post, I have some very interesting news and I am very happy to finally start blogging here again about all my recent success in modding the hell out of this old game!

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First, I got my passion for modding back! I recently spend lots of hours investigating new ways of modding things, that seemed impossible in the past. Overall, I am yet very happy with what I found out and I am able to show you some examples here during the next few weeks, starting today.😀

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Second, thanks to the people who still mod Empire Earth today (CotN is build on the same engine), it is now possible to edit models like buildings and change the way they look or how textures apply to them in a much easier way. This works using an import/export addon in Blender and it works like a charm! I always wanted to edit models back in the days when I was working on the H.T.O.P and now it is finally possible without lots of effort and some complex tools.

I will write a short summary on how to do this and what tools you need here on this blog in the future.

Here you can see some examples:






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Third, I was literally able to find my personal holy grail of CotN modding: editing those nasty dat.files, that store the game's core mechanics. Yes, it is possible and I know how to. For all of you that searched the internet like me, desperately trying to find a way to get some insight on those gibberish files, trial and error is the key.

As far as I know, by now there are only two mods changing dat files. One is the prestige-level mod and one is the walker speed mod. I am pretty sure, that both authors did it just like me and spend a lot of time trying to find out what value they needed to change.

During the last few weeks, I got some insight into reading the hex-values inside some of the dat files and did successfully achieve the following:

- changing brick buildings costs for a lot of buildings 

- changing building costs for monuments and adding new costs, like food in addition to existing materials (late game difficulty can be raised 💪 )

- changing costs for palace enhancements

- changing the number of farm houses supported by palace and nobles

I am still at the beginning of modding and it is a very time consuming process. What I could find out by now will be posted here on this blog and also on Children of the Nile heaven.

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Fourth, to spice up the visual quality of the game, I experimented with the latest reshade build and found it to be a very powerful tool to make the Children of the Nile look much better. I will add some information about this on the post processing page here on this blog.

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So whats next?

To ensure that I don't lose motivation once again and to make sure that I can provide results from time to time, I decided to split modding into several smaller projects. The H.T.O.P was one big approach, now I will try to improve the game's building-models in smaller steps, starting with the

Townhouse-Project

There are many aspects that can be improved, starting with ugly pottery and ending with adding some decorative clutter to make sure, that these buildings better resemble the wealth and luxury of the ancient Egyptian upper class.




New screenshots of my work and hopefully some downloads for all, that still pass by here from time to time, will come very soon.

Stay tuned!

Best Regards

Horus

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

First Models

Hi all,


as a proof of concept and to give you an idea of what I am working on, I want to share some of the updated stall models with you. You can see them in the Post "A sign of life...".

They are not finished by now and could use some polishing here and there.

Here is the link:

https://mega.nz/file/QEBmkTLZ#cwq6kV2nJRAcMxWyXXPZkWiV7nKLOhIelUJK79-_o0M

Simply download and put the .cem - files inside your models folder. They should play nicely along with my textures.

Please leave a comment and tell me what you think about my work and what to improve next.

Best Regards

Horus

Sunday, March 7, 2021

A sign of life...

It's been years since I last posted here and I don't know how many of you still come around here or even play this old gem of a video game. I recently felt that it would be nice to give it another try and what I discovered then made me really excited! By the time I was working on the texture overhaul project, I always thought how nice it would be to be able to edit the models and show them some love or correct bugs, for example broken UV maps or missing faces.

I spent hours searching the web for a possibility to edit those cem models and there was none. Until now...




Thanks to zocker-160 and his blender addon from github, we can now import and export Children of the Nile's models and edit them with blender. This is such a great opportunity to make this game even better by updating, fixing and even replacing it's static models like buildings with better ones. As far as I understood, there is no way of editing animations at the moment, so it's not possible to edit people or animals. But the possibilities are yet endless! I started some small projects and updates shops stalls like pottery, linen and baskets or so to see what's possible and I am very happy with the results. See some screenshots to get an impression.














I will see how far I come by working on Children of the Nile's models from time to time as a hobby and maybe share some of my updated models with you here.

Stay tuned


Best Regards

Horus

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

!!! H.T.O.P. Final released !!!




* H.T.O.P. Final released *

After over one year of hard work I am happy to be able to release

Horus Texture Overhaul Project Final
It's done!
Over one year after the first texture was edited, this project has finally come to an end. More than 180 textures were remade from scratch - in uncountable hours of painfull image editing.
The result is really worth it! I promisse that it won't be easy to get your eyes of this game anymore.

Now this project is over, I will spend my time doing other things.
(All fans of Sims 3, visit my Sims 3 Big Apple New York World Blogspot
http://sims3bigapple.blogspot.de/)

None the less, I am sure that this wasn't my last journey to the Nile, as now, there is really a reason to zoom in and watch my ancient egypt metropolis grow and grow!

Concerning this blog, I will try to maintain it as long as possible to make sure that the files are ready to download in the future and to be able to respond to feedback or help solving problems.

Last but not least, I want to say thank you to all you dear visitors, who have encouraged me to keep on working on the project.

Have fun playing this great game so that it won't be forgotten over time!
May your journeys on the Nile always be peaceful.


Yours,

Horus

Friday, February 1, 2013

Thanks for over 100 downloads

Hi all,

I want to thank you for over 100 downloads of H.T.O.P. 0.2, which shows that there are still some people playing CotN and my work is somehow legitimized.

The final version is nearly 100 % finished and in my opinion, it looks really great. Only very small adaptions have to be made until the release.

I hope you still enjoy the game and you are looking forward to H.T.O.P. final !

Best Regards,

Horus

Friday, November 16, 2012

Work on final version begins...

After being absent from CotN for quite a while, I started work on H.T.O.P 0.3, which will also be the last release / final version. Right now, most of the retexturing is done and I will try to get this game looking as good as possible.

Since the last time I actually played the game lots of time has passed, so I started a new campain and took some nice screenshots, which I want to share with you. The screenshots were taken with the ENB series activated. They present really well how far this project has come. Thanks for all who have encouraged me to keep on working.