Civizard tileset - possible?

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Swithin
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Civizard tileset - possible?

Post by Swithin » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:22 am

Hi Slitherine!

I just saw that you launched MoM on Steam, and have canonized Seravy's awesome CoM update as official! Congrats to all of you! I hope that this brings greater exposure to the granddaddy for those relatively new to fantasy 4x, and I'll be keeping an eye out for any news of possible sequels. ^_^

It's been a couple of years since I last booted MoM or CoM, but having them together in an "archival" package has rekindled my interest. I was curious whether there was any discussion to importing the tile set from Civizard into the Steam release? On the Steam forums Iain mentioned bringing talk of future modding to these forums, and seeing as Asmik Ace has left the games industry (and seems to lack the interest or rights to rerelease Civizard) this seems like the kind of thing that, if you're uninterested in pursuing on your end, a dedicated modder might accomplish on their own (with some participation from you in regards to rights to the redesigns.)

I know that there's great interest in a major graphical overhaul and minimal interest (and split opinion) on the '97 tileset, so it might be misspent effort, but this seems like the final step to incorporating all the classic content into one. What are your thoughts?

Blake00
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Re: Civizard tileset - possible?

Post by Blake00 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:18 pm

Ahh yes that would be cool. For those unaware of it, Civizard - Majutsu no Keifu is the Japanese playstation conversion/remake of Master of Magic. Its essentially the same game but with totally new graphics. It's pretty awesome!!

The tiles appear to be stretched across a large world floor texture (kinda reminds me of oldschool Final Fantasy and SNES Mode 7 3D tricks) on an angle which makes screenshotting them impractical. That means the graphics need to be extracted out of the game and as far as I know no fan has done that sadly. If that was successfully done then presumably someone like Seravy or Serena would know how to extract and replace graphics assets in original MoM.

Sadly there's no English version of the game but if it's of interest to anyone I've done a preliminary English translation on GameFAQs of its main interface which was not easy as I don't speak Japanese haha! I plan to play a bigger a game of it in the future and hopefully translate more. I even bought a physical copy of it and had it imported from Japan! (posted photos in the MoM FB group HERE )

Actually you've given me an idea I might suggest to Slitherine regarding the missing long lost MoM source code issue. Probably a long shot but ASMIK did the conversion, not Mircropose, so presumably Micropose sent them MoM's sourcecode to build Civizard from as Civizard is identical in MoM in every way mechanically its just the graphics and rendering engine that's been replaced. All the background gameplay mechanics code should be the same. A good sign of that is the fact that all stats in the game are still English while only titles & descriptions have been changed to Japanese. ASMIK is not a dead company, they are still going today, so it might a long shot but its possible they still have backups of the source materials used to convert MoM to playstation. Slitherine's office might want to make some calls and emails haha.

Company info & website:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asmik_Ace
https://www.asmik-ace.co.jp/english

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Blake00
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Re: Civizard tileset - possible?

Post by Blake00 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:15 pm

Forgot to say a while back that I spoke with Serena on the MoM Discord and he confirmed that his MoM Tweaker tool can import and export classic PC MoM's assets

I like Serena 15/03/2020
Hey @BlakesSanctum,
Sure. All MoM graphics are available.
Tweaker can view, export, and replace most of them (LBX Editor).
And Tweaker's map view obviously has all the overland and combat tiles.


So theoretically his tool could be used to import the Playstation versions graphics into the PC version (although there will likely be some colour pallet conversions required beforehand). However the problem still remains of extracting the graphics out of playstation version of course haha.

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Last edited by Blake00 on Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Civizard tileset - possible?

Post by Blake00 » Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:02 am

Some updates to this topic. I was attempting to contact user 'I like Serena' (super talented creator of MoM-Tweaker) on the MoM discord to talk about this thread and it attracted the interested of the also super talented 'Implode' (creator of the MoM-IME the HD Multiplayer remake). This lead to a very interesting conversation between us and a few others about locating and extracting the graphical assets from Civizard, the playstation version of Master of Magic.

The original conversation can be found here:
MoM Discord join link (to allow viewing): https://discord.gg/wFNQf36
Direct link to the chat post (use after joining): https://discord.com/channels/6127257939 ... 7771862067

However that contains a bunch of other topic/conversation posts in between ours so here's the 'cleaned' version below:
BlakesSanctum07/04/2020
I like Serena, hi mate could you take a look at this thread? your expert thoughts on this topic would be very interesting.
viewtopic.php?f=590&t=97130

Implode07/04/2020
That's really cool, didn't know about that. The graphics are... a bit weird, but guess we are just used to regular MoM graphics. It looks like its trying to do some fake perspective so tiles in the background are smaller than tiles in the front? That would imply its a lot more than lifting the graphics from that ver and encoding them back into LBXes and expecting it to work. Roads look pretty sucky too.

BlakesSanctum07/04/2020
@Implode yeah I pretty much said the exact same thing in my replies to him. The playstation MoM Civizard is displayed in a sort of virtual 3d environment similar to the world map in SNES final fantasy and other JRPG games where they used 'Mode 7' to rotate simple textures on the 'floor' of a 3D room. In this case the textures being the world map of a MoM game haha. Which of course makes it half impossible for us to lift the graphics with screenshots. Would need a tweeker tool like Serena's to get into the game files on the CD.

Implode07/04/2020
The tiles look a different size too, they're way bigger than 20x18 pixels, especially look at those cities. So you can't just export those and import them back into the original MoM. Pretty interesting comment you made about that means they must have had the source code too, thought the same thing.

BlakesSanctum07/04/2020
Yeah thats the other thing.. Civizard's assets do look a bit bigger and would likely need to be resized! (Civizard's graphics could be a cool 3rd party mod for your MoM-IME too I might add).
And yeah the MoM source part suddenly came to me when replying to him. I posted the same details in a different thread for slitherine and one of their staff thanked me for the info and said they'd pass it on to the MoM team. Whether ASMIK still have the files or if Slitherine will bother to contact them is a whole other matter of course haha but I at least tried to steer them in the right direction...

Blackscar07/05/2020
oh you did hear about them using neural networks to upsample old pixelated game art? I hope one of the modders uses that technique for the next com or mom update. some of the old art really needs a higher resolution :rofl:
the blocky and not so legible text has gotta go for sure

User Blackscar posts links and comments about some of the cool AI Upscaling retro remake projects going on right now...

BlakesSanctum07/05/2020
Yeah I'm loving all this retro game fan remake's using AI upscaling stuff going on atm.. eg I've been following the Final Fantasy 7 and Resident Evil 1-3 AI upscale projects. I also saw that goodguy pic you posted over on Doomworld forums where a guy has upscaled a bunch of other doom things too.

the problem is for upscaled MoM graphics you need an engine that supports larger tiles and unit cells etc.. no engine exists.. seravy can't 'hack' the original mom to support higher res graphics so you need a different engine. Theoretically someone 'could' take implodes MoM-IME java engine and modify it to support upscaled graphics or even just the bigger playstation stuff.. however obviously that's complicated stuff and a lot of work so it would require someone with the desire AND the skills to do that

Implode07/05/2020
I'd need to see an extract of the tileset from the playstation ver to give a real answer on that. There's a hugely complicated set of smoothing rules in my graphics XML that turns how the server sees the map into how the client sees the map which are one of those things that I wrote one time and now its in the "omg I hope I never have to touch that ever again" category. So do they have exactly the same tileset as in terrain.lbx? By the look of those mountains I would guess not. But theoretically someone could build a completely new graphics XML that had different smoothing rules and tileset could drop it in but again, hard to say for sure without seeing all the graphics ripped from the playstation ver so I could see how it looked.

BlakesSanctum07/05/2020
yeah probably different files.. I'll have to have a look at my cd files to see.. if there are nice separated terrain and other graphic files like with the pc version maybe I can stick them online for someone in the community to play with one day.
Been wanting I like Serena 's thoughts on the topic (as he built the mom tweek extraction tool) but he's been very quiet lately lol!

@Implode I had a look on the Civizard MoM Playstation CD and sure enough its using different file types. Presumably GRPH is the graphics folder lol
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Implode07/06/2020
interesting OK

BlakesSanctum07/05/2020
GRPH folder contents
smalls files.. easy to chuck in a zip for here or somewhere for people to play with
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Implode07/06/2020
yeah but I wonder what a BMF even is :smile:

Blackscar07/06/2020
this is probably incorrect
https://filext.com/file-extension/BMF
or unrelated to the BMFs they are using
BMF is a graphics file format used for storing cliparts or photos. BMF format was used by older versions of Corel software products and was later substituted for more popular BMP format.
https://www.file-extension.org/extensions/bmf
now that makes more sense if it is a corel format

BlakesSanctum07/06/2020
oooh.. i like how that site has a online viewer for them.. I'll try one of the files on it
damn...
xnview didn't go so well either haha
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Implode07/06/2020
http://fileformats.archiveteam.org/wiki ... _graphics)
TIM (PlayStation graphics)
files begin with 10 00 00 00

BlakesSanctum07/06/2020
here's a 7zipped copy of all the files in that folder should anyone else want to play with them..
(file attached to post here: https://discord.com/channels/6127257939 ... 3617148005
So as you can see we managed to locate the graphic files on the playsation CD and I uploaded them to the discord for people to check out however as of yet no one has succeeded in getting into them. Am hoping to reconnect with Serena to see what he thinks about it all.

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