Graphics Enhancement Mod (GEM) v2.4. Updated: December 22, 2012

Please post here for questions and discussion about scenario, art and sound modding and the game editor for Distant Worlds.

Moderators: elliotg, Icemania

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Martian
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Graphics Enhancement Mod (GEM) v2.4. Updated: December 22, 2012

Post by Martian »

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Current version: 2.4
Updated: December 22, 2012

Quick overview of GEM features:

- New icons & pictograms for game's interface
- New cursors set
- Restyled ship graphics
- Improved planet & star graphics
- New landscapes
- New ruins
- New galaxy backdrop



- FEATURES -


NEW ICONS & PICTOGRAMS

53 new redesigned and refined icons & pictograms for game's interface.

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Resized to perfectly fit interface's elements so there is no need for the game to resize them to fit in buttons and frames. As a result all new pictograms look very sharp and clear in the game (except those which are used in more than one place and with various scale). Here are some examples:

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Unfortunately most of other interface elements are not available for modding. There are some of interface's resources present in "images\ui\chrome" folder which are not used by game (Or at least not where it was expected).
Another issue is that the game sometimes uses same resourcses for different elements of interface (for example "firepower.png" is used both for military ships and crash research icons). This fact limits design choices for the interface improvement. So looking forward to modding improvements in DW's future releases.



NEW CURSORS SET

14 all new "pixelart" cursors.

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RESTYLED SHIP GRAPHICS

The ship restyling has several purposes in mind:

1. Make ships look clearer and distinctive on various bright and dark backgrounds during gameplay.
2. Quick identification of all controllable state ships.
3. Quick identification of military ship types.
4. More eye candy look.[;)]

I know that game already has good ship type identification signs such as triangles for military ships, rectangles for construction ships and so on, but I believe average human eye is much more responsive to colours than to shapes. So I decided to use different colour outlines to make it even easier to quickly identify ships during a gameplay.

All controllable ships have various colour outlines:

Red - Military ships
Green - Construction ships
Cyan - Exploration ships
Blue - Colony ships

Military ships have following distinctive insignia painted on them:

One stripe - Escort
Two stripes - Frigate
Three stripes - Destroyer
Four stripes - Cruiser
Five stripes - Capitalship
Small circle inside a bigger one - Carrier
Small diamond inside a bigger one - Troop transport

Here are few examples:

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Additionally, there is an alternative shipset for those who prefer ships with black outlines only:

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IMPROVED PLANET GRAPHICS

Continental planets
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Desert planets
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Ice planets
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Marshyswamp planets
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Oceanic planets
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Volcanic planets
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Barrenrock planets
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IMPROVED STAR GRAPHICS

Main sequence star
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Red Giant
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Super Giant
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White Dwarf
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Neutron Star
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NEW LANDSCAPES

Original artworks were not created by me but were searched and taken from the net, mostly from Terragen's gallery. I just resized, framed and colour graded them. So all kudos and credits go to their creators.

Landscapes are resized and adjusted to perfectly fit game's interface.

Unfortunately, at the present moment DW has a hard-coded limit to use only few first images. So it uses only 4 images for continental planets (+1 from forest folder), 3 for desert, marshyswamp and ice planets, 2 for volcanic and oceanic planets. Hopefully this will be fixed in "Shadows" release, but for now most of these landscapes wouldn't appear in the game.

If you want some particular landscapes to be present in the game, please rename them to use first few numbers. For example, use names from "landscape_0" up to "landscape_3" for continental planets.


Continental planet's landscapes
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Desert planet's landscapes
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Ice planet's landscapes
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Marshyswamp planet's landscapes
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Oceanic planet's landscapes
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Volcanic planet's landscapes
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IMPROVED RUINS

For the ruins I used amazing and myserious paintings of Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński.

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NEW GALAXY BACKDROP

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GEM DOWNLOAD LINKS

GEM v2.4 - Complete mod
http://www.mediafire.com/?7r0xul9p7fd36a8


Alternatively, if you don't need all of the features, you can choose which individual parts of the mod to download:

GEM v2.4 - Galaxy backdrop only
http://www.mediafire.com/?ipwww3mbdekwswo

GEM v2.4 - Cursors & icons only
http://www.mediafire.com/?2odwi8mndekqd30

GEM v2.4 - Landscapes & ruins only
http://www.mediafire.com/?8tpm52tgjin0r95

GEM v2.4 - Planets & stars only
http://www.mediafire.com/?w3o99fn0j4o7ac0

GEM v2.4 - Shipset only
http://www.mediafire.com/?0rrcz3z7s47s712

GEM v2.4 - Alternative shipset only (without colour outlines)
http://www.mediafire.com/?v123ydbyja41nhb



INSTALLATION:

1. Backup original "Distant Worlds\images" folder
2. Extract archive and overwrite original files in Distant Worlds\images
3. Enjoy!



CHANGELOG

[+] new content/feature
[-] update/fix

v1.0
+ Upgraded original graphics for all planets except frozen gas giants & gas giants.
+ Upgraded original graphics for all stars on a system zoom level.
+ Upgraded original galaxy backdrop.

v2.0
+ Upgraded original ship graphics.
+ Integrated updated version of "Surrealistic ruins" mod.
+ Integrated updated version of "Beautiful landscapes" mod.
- Made the atmosphere slightly visible even on a dark side of planets.
- Fixed a shadow artifact appeared when a planet overlaps another planet.

v2.1
+ Added 9 new cursors.

v2.2
+ Added 5 more new cursors and updated most of previously released cursors.

v2.2.1
- Minor design update of bombard, construction and mine cursors.

v2.3
+ Added 53 new & refined pictograms for game's interface.
- Most of the cursors are redesigned or refined.
- New version of galaxy backdrop.

v2.4
- Improved planet graphics, including new atmospheric effect.
- Added an alternative version of shipset without colour outlines.
- Updated version of galaxy backdrop. Slightly redesigned and significantly desaturated to improve contrast between backdrop and active objects on the map.
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Shark7
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Shark7 »

Wow, you really managed to clear up and improve the graphics there, downloading this one now. [:)]
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Martian
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Martian »

Thank you, Shark! Yes, it took me some time...
The game is very sensitive to errors. Sometimes even one wrong pixel can make things look awful! [:@] [&:] [:D]
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w1p
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by w1p »

I've always been a "gameplay over graphics" type of person, but the lots of little modifications you make sure do make a massive difference, and they have such a polished feel to them. I think Erik should consider getting you to help out with Shadows. No offence to the art team, but Martian's artwork is simply superb.

Simply put - Thanks!!
unidterror
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by unidterror »

these are real nice, ill download em and paste them in. this would be the first World mod i actualy try.
thank Mars keep up the fabulous work.
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tjhkkr
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by tjhkkr »

This is a very nice piece of work.
Thank you, very much.
Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.
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Igard
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Igard »

Excellent work, Martian. The stars in particular look amazing!
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Martian
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Martian »

w1p, unidterror, tjhkkr, Igard

Thank you guys!
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Martian
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Martian »

ORIGINAL: Igard

Excellent work, Martian. The stars in particular look amazing!

Yes, planets received most of my love, while all patience was spent for the stars! [:D]
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Arcatus
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Arcatus »

Oooooh. Shiny!

Very nice stars. Especially that neutron star.

Downloading :)
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tjhkkr
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by tjhkkr »

Is that the Great Nebula of Orion for that background?
How did you dim it down?
My version is very, very bright.
Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.
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Martian
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Martian »

ORIGINAL: tjhkkr

Is that the Great Nebula of Orion for that background?
How did you dim it down?
My version is very, very bright.

I used original "galaxy_backdrop_OLD2.jpg" file which was located in "Distant Worlds\images\environment\galaxybackdrops" folder.
Here it is:
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Then I just resized, slightly blurred (to soften "pixelization" effect when you zoom galaxy map in the game) and colour graded it.

Can you show me your version?

Attachments
galaxy_backdrop_OLD2.jpg
galaxy_backdrop_OLD2.jpg (149.66 KiB) Viewed 545 times
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tjhkkr
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by tjhkkr »

I will get it to you soon... [8D]
Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.
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Kalthaniell
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Kalthaniell »

The sun looks tenfolds better now[:D]. Thx!
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nelsonlee_slith
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by nelsonlee_slith »

why it donot work if I just modify the num of new pics?
form 1001 to 1023 for example
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Martian
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Martian »

ORIGINAL: nelsonlee

why it donot work if I just modify the num of new pics?
form 1001 to 1023 for example

Sorry I don't quite understand your question. Can you be more specific?
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nelsonlee_slith
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by nelsonlee_slith »

for example
I change the /planets/continental/Continental-0001.png-->Continental-1001.png
donot replace the old pic,then put it in the game dir,but donot displayed in game.....
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Martian
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Martian »

I guess the problem here is about how game itself reads files. Ether "1001" is too high number for game to "see" it. Or maybe its because of gap between numbers. Just for a test try renaming it to the consequent number after last one already used (0024 for example).

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Martian
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Martian »

Mod is updated and renamed. See first post... [;)]
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Shark7
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RE: "Gems & Pearls" Mod

Post by Shark7 »

Good idea on the ship icons, but I have to ask to be sure...

You did use a blue other than pure blue (R= 0, G = 0, B= 255) right? Pure blue would just give you a giant moving engine glow. [;)]

Landscapes and ruins look great and are about to get downloaded. [:)]
Distant Worlds Fan

'When in doubt...attack!'
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