Amazing.

New or Old say hi!
allmhuran
House Steiner Private
House Steiner Private
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:12 pm

Amazing.

Post by allmhuran » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:41 pm

I never would have imagined there was still Mech2 activity in the world, let alone an updated demo playable on Windows XP as we approach 2009. That's 13 years after I first bought MechWarrior 2. Totally amazing.

Yes, it was 1996, I was 17 years old and my grandfather had just bought me an IBM-PC as a "starting university" present. My family had owned an Amiga 500, and I was therefore something of a joystick-using gamer. Thus I found myself with a need, the need of a joystick to use with my brand new PC. I found one at a local department store. It was a joystick called the "sidewinder" and it was made by Microsoft, a company name I only knew because it appeared when I booted my new PC and loaded windows 95. I still remember the windows 95 startup chime.

As it happened my new joystick came bundled with what looked to be good game based on what I saw on the box (which was all I knew of it at this point). It was called MechWarror 2, and the name alone grabbed my interest. It was the very first program I ran on my new computer. As soon as the intro movie ran I was hooked. I had never seen anything like this before.

I explored everything about the game. I had already poured over the detailed manual on the bus ride home. I read every single page of the in-game archives. I played the entire game thorugh as Wolf, then Jade Falcon. Then I did it again. Meanwhile I was learning about this thing called the Internet. Using Netscape and alta-vista, I found out much more about Mechwarrior. I discovered Netmech, and after much pain configuring what, IIRC, was called "Mech PPP" I finally found my way into the game lobby, where I saw a player by the name of Ed.au. Being a fellow Australian I began chatting and playing with Ed regularly from that point on.

When Mercenaries arrived I jumped on it. At this point the timeline starts to get fuzzy. Was I already using Kali to play Netmech? In any case, I had my group of playing buddies, which now included Ed and a group of players from the States, two brothers by the names of Hammer and Jammer amongst them. I had also read an article by what turned out to be my now good friend Ed. It gave instructions on how to "decompile" the multiplayer missions, edit them, and add new missions to the game. Was this the first game to offer user-created content? It wasn't built into the game, but Ed had figured out how to do it with some help from activision's OneManArmy, Mr Dan Kegel.

Well, this sparked an interest in me I hadn't previously had much chance to explore: programming. I dove in head first. I had nothing with which to compare the experience. I had never used an IDE, I had never seen game code before. So when I learned that in order to, say, add a geometry object, like a mountain, to my map I had to write a line of text with the name of the object, its X Y and Z world position, its X Y and Z rotation, its X Y and Z scale, and a whole mess of other things I can't remember, then run the game, load my map (assuming all of the other necessary files had already been created), and visually check, in game, where my object was... whether, in fact, I had picked the right object to begin with... well, I just assumed this was what programming was all about.

In the end I spent a very, very large amount of time making Mercnet missions. I think I made 7 of them by the end, but the only mission whose name I can remember now was called "Mechathalon". I think the rest of the missions may well have been named after Guns and Roses tracks.

And the rest is history.

Anyway, that's my story. I am, or was, known by a few names, Psychlone was my main smurf name. But my most commonly used handle, and the one I used in the names of my mission files, was "Axe".

PS: Shoutout to ShadowWolf and James!

User avatar
Sir MMPD Radick
Clan Nova Captain
Clan Nova Captain
Posts: 1615
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:07 am

Re: Amazing.

Post by Sir MMPD Radick » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:55 pm

Welcome allmhuran! I am glad to see you found us!
Yep, mech2 is alive still by far we have games relatively frequently ya just have to meet us on IRC and a game could be setup.
Most of us are from the states though so times might not coincide very well with ya... but we do have a few people from Germany and New Zealand which come on occasionaly which ya might see.

By the way any chance ya have any of the maps you created? I had a map pack from someone which may have had them but my comp crashed and i did not get a chance to post them online. :(
James 3:5-10: My Reminder
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

allmhuran
House Steiner Private
House Steiner Private
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:12 pm

Re: Amazing.

Post by allmhuran » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:05 pm

I'm actually living in Ottawa, Canada now. Times have changed.

I remember the handle "Radick", but of course I imagine it would be a popular one. I also see theres a Col.Kell on the forums, but have no idea whether or not that's my old buddy ShadowWolfKell from Netmech, Mercnet, Starcraft, Tribes, etc etc.

I believe all of the maps by myself, Ed, and other members of the (very old) NAIS team (from around the days of the creation of the mercnet 3D mission editor) are still around somewhere. LedMirage's stuff is in there as well. But I have not been able to find the page I'm thinking of after a brief search just now.

allmhuran
House Steiner Private
House Steiner Private
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:12 pm

Re: Amazing.

Post by allmhuran » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:09 pm

OK, the site used to be called the MW2 Mercenaries missions depot. It was still alive 18 months ago, but has now vanished I'm afraid. You can still find a subset of missions by the likes of ed and myself here http://forums.sarna.net/files/programs/ ... /missions/

EDIT:

Found the page on the wayback machine. I suggest you get them while you can, who knows when they'll disappear.

http://web.archive.org/web/200503140657 ... depot.html

EDIT2:

Found a mirror! http://mitglied.lycos.de/wuh/depot.html

User avatar
Sir MMPD Radick
Clan Nova Captain
Clan Nova Captain
Posts: 1615
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:07 am

Re: Amazing.

Post by Sir MMPD Radick » Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:43 pm

thanks!

Canada eh? coolz, well ya not the only canadian then if ya join us. :)
Col Kell though, no he is not the same person he is a new addition. He did not play back then.
My handle though is from 1998, but I did not play on kali back then nor play mercs. I played on mplayer with mech2.
Radick though is a closed house, there are only two official members of the house of Radick anymore. MottDaHoop and I are the last of us. Anyone else with the handle is only a Radick in name only.
James 3:5-10: My Reminder
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

allmhuran
House Steiner Private
House Steiner Private
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:12 pm

Re: Amazing.

Post by allmhuran » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:21 am

A couple of other things...

These are mercnet missions. They won't work with netmech. As far as I know, extra content was never added to netmech.

Also, custom missions started becoming problematic with version 1.1. The "greatest ever" version of mercnet ran under 1.05/1.06.

Finally, I noticed a thread by col.Kell regarding the renaming of his mission file in order to get it to work. This was an oooooooooold problem with extra content, which was definitely fixed at some point. Basically, the game wouldn't recognise filenames outside of those originally packaged with mercnet, so you would have to change your filename to one of the existing mission names. This was fixed somehow, I'm not sure whether it was work done by Dan Kegel or by Ed Wong and Co. Either way, you definitely *can* use whatever filename you like (4 chars + .mwm), but I can't remember the details anymore (hey, it was 11 years ago that I made my last mercnet mission).

User avatar
Col.Kell
House Steiner Archon
House Steiner Archon
Posts: 868
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:44 am
Location: An Isolated Tennessee Valley.

Re: Amazing.

Post by Col.Kell » Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:26 pm

Welcome allmhuran to mech2.org!
Good to see a new face!

But, sorry to tell you, I'm not your netmech pal, I just picked the name Col.Kell because it sounded cool (: . I have been on mech2.org since only September of this year, and have played net only 2 months.

But, yes, I have recently adapted an interest into building new missions recently. I mean, after 13 years it's time for some new maps! I have gotten loads of MW2 and Mercs extras from sarna.net, one of which was an actual mission builder that was programmed by both Hammer and Jammer. I have discovered that even though this program was designed for Mercs missions, you CAN build the esentials for a NetMech or MW2 mission, as long as it has the same geometrical shapes.
There is another program made by the two brothers, called "mw2edit3D", it is somewhere in the Mercs section of the Sarna website, (I'll have to find it again and ask Radick to post it in the download section,) it even alows you to build missions for the 1.05, 1.06 and even the 1.1 version of Mercs.

But I am usually on the "MechVM" section of this forum website debating and discusing things with Skyfaller, who is a real reprogramming guru.
And also check my "Build-a-mech" and "Build-a-world" threads in the Screenshot sections for awesome MW2/Merc hybrid mods.

Glad to have met you! Shoot me a post or PM if you would like to talk about MercNet missions and the like! :)

(Edited by Skyfaller: Removed my real name ...)
MechWarrior 2: 31stCC
Image

User avatar
Skyfaller
Clan 2nd MechWarrior
Clan 2nd MechWarrior
Posts: 991
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:58 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Amazing.

Post by Skyfaller » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:04 am

It's great to see someone with a lot of MW2 modding knowledge return!

I hope you enjoy your stay here.
Download MechVM

If you have problems with MechVM, please attach the files MechVM.cfg and install-report.txt from the folder where MechVM installed your game.

allmhuran
House Steiner Private
House Steiner Private
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:12 pm

Re: Amazing.

Post by allmhuran » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:13 am

If you just want to get a bunch of new missions I suggset you check out that mirror of the old mercenaries mission depot. Some of the best missions ever made are definitely still on that site. Insert plug for LedMirage here (he now works on WoW mods, he may even still have the decompiler for mercnet files somewhere...).

As a general rule, the user created missions were much larger and more complex than the inbuilt ones, but not always.

All of the work by Pat, Mike, Ed and myself was done for mercnet 1.05/1.06. There were some problems getting the editor to work with mercnet 1.1. These were mostly resolved, but by this point mercnet was going the way of the dodo, so you may find a few issuses cropping up. If it does work for netmech, that's an unexpected bonus.

Endymion
I.S. Baby
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:11 am

Re: Amazing.

Post by Endymion » Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:35 am

Wow, times sure have changed since those heady days of mercnetting, not to mention sitting in kali for 20 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Anyway, Hello, I'm Ed, the author of the mercs mission table file, and some of the earliest custom missions for mercs (which were pretty much just demos to get people excited enough to create good missions). I'm pretty sure that before I came along, no-one had figured out how to create complex objectives in their missions (or if they had, they weren't telling). I think it's also fair to say that, at the time, I knew about as much or more about how mercs was put together than anyone outside of Activision. Unfortunately all those brain cells became extinct a long time ago.

I was actually a fan of FASA's Battletech wargame from the late 80's and had the boxed set and almost all of the battlemech technical manuals, so naturally had to play mechwarrior when it came out. I wasn't really a fan of multiplayer online games, and i think netmech was my first experience. My recollection differs from Don's slightly - I think we actually first encountered each other in activision's newsgroups, rather than in netmech, but I could be wrong. However, it was Don who put me in touch with Pat and later Mike Grover.

I just spent an hour reading through the mission building faqs... and all I remember is how painful the entire process was. At the time, the only info was the documentation that was released on the CD and some messages in the activision newsgroup (I think Dan Kegel and/or JJ Franzen were trying to help people). The guide started out as my notes from when I was trying to decypher all of the existing information and turned into a full blown faq as I experimented further with the game.

I vaguely remember being responsible for the following:
1. mercs mission table faq, and another faq dealing with mech creation.
2. I was amongst the first to create usable custom mechs... a process just as painful as creating missions, if not more so.
3. i vaguely remember being able to decompile the .prj and .bwd files or something along those lines. I was definitely able to grab the component objects out of the files, but I don't remember how or why I would have done it.
4. i colaborated with Pat and Mike Grover on development of the nais "tactical design lab" shell - a branch of the code was provided to us by Led Mirage. This is different from Ender's Nais shell.
5. i made one or two minor contributions to Mike Grover's 3D mission editor.

Just a bit of random trivia: IIRC Mike and Pat's 3D mission editor was actually better than anything activision had made internally. They had even managed to make a deal with Activision to have it released (royalty free) on the Titanium CD, but the deal fell through when Activision decided not to put a third party program on their CD (probably legal issues, since everyone else was keen on it).

Anyway, I'm also amazed that mechwarrior still lives on! Good on you guys!

Post Reply