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You also have been working directly on the source code. What were the biggest difficulties you faced there? Was it difficult to get familiar with this code, or were there helpful comments added (ed. comments integrated in the source code)?
mdahm:
Comments were rare. And if you found some, it turned out they just adressed minor details. The bigger picture we had to piece together ourselves. In my case: often by trial and error.
Glockenbeat:
Yes, the source code stood at the basis of all the work we did on the patches. And this didnt make it easier for the Team. Its no secret that the code contains some pitfalls, and comments are missing often enough.
Hans Trapp:
Getting familiar with it wasnt easy. Even nowadays, the feeling of familiarity is still not complete.
Solandor:
Well, the first work has certainly been very difficult. Although the programming language wasnt a new invention, the complexity of it couldnt be disregarded. Regretfully, a handbook wasnt included in the package.
Urban:
One of the troubles was the endless interlacing of the code.
A real understanding of the code and other issues came quite late. Yes, the intitial work wasnt easy. ;-)
raven:
Especially the in part unlogical cross-linking structure of the engine gave us difficulties. Normally, such a high-end engine cant be mounted within three years by a team of twenty. Pyranha bytes did it anyway, which is in my opinion, a remarkable feat.
The unlogical cross-linking posed us with problems like: when we change something in process X, suddenly process Y doesnt function anymore. Not always very pleasant.
Also the comments, which were mostly just providing information on specific functions of classes in the code, didnt make it easier.
World of Gothic:
Are there any surprises in the coming patch? Maybe some things that the community has been hoping for?
mdahm:
Yes, of course. ;) Details will come. But the number of times certain wishes were uttered by the community wasnt the strongest selection criterium for us. The questions: Do we ruin the fun for other players? and Are we capable of fullfilling the wish? were more important.
Hans Trapp:
There will be surprises. Let's leave it to the Community to decide, to what extent they get surprised. One could also cite Hamlar in a mildly changed way: "What have you done?"
RoiDanton:
There will certainly be certain surprises. Our teaser(s) will tell you more.
Solandor:
Surprise?! Would there be a surprise if we revealed it now?
Humanforce:
Among the around 600 items in the changelog every player should be able to find at least one that motivates him/her to take Gothic 3 of the shelf and play it again. :)
World of Gothic:
Are there any aspects of the game that you would like to change but are simply not capable of?
mdahm:
One could spend many more months on polishing the details. There are still enough nerve breaking bugs that we would love to remove, which are just too difficult for us. For instance the bug that Rhobar and his staff are sometimes spawned deeply under the surface. Potential sources for where is the guru screens are still somewhere hidden inside the game.
RoiDanton:
I do think that a significant number of improvements are feasible. Some months ago we didn't know yet that later on, we were going to be able to deal with some issues. The more we learned about the code the more possibilities for solving problems emerged. But dealing with such issues takes a lot of time, and at some point we do want to be able to get to an end.
Humanforce:
Yes, there are aspects we cannot deal with. The Community Patch will, no matter how important the matter is, not be able to change a thing about the storyline.
Solandor:
Well, there are problems with animations, 3D-model and dynamic effects for which we don't have the equipment and the know-how. My main wish would be to deal with the holes in the storyline. To deal with those holes we would have needed professional assistance to get new voice recordings in several languages.
World of Gothic:
Did you include new sound files or even new voice recordings? Maybe some fitting sound files from the prequels were reused?
Kronos:
Some of the sounds were adapted, in case the Community had been negative about them before (for instance in bugtracker-entries). Adaptations included ranged from changes in volume to (at least for Gothic 3) new sounds. A known example is the sound of a sword being drawn.
mdahm:
There are no new voice recordings - due to a lack of voice actors. :)
raven:
For our drawing-a-sword' sound we chose the sounds from Gothic 2, because these were considered the better alternative.
World of Gothic:
Which tools are available to you to create your patches? Have you also been using the tools from Piranha Bytes? Or did you have to program your own tools, for instance an exporter or an extractor?
ANNOmaniac:
Apart from the code, Pyranha Bytes also made their editor availiable to us, right from the beginning. Only with this editor we were able to make all the changes in the game world. We cant realy claim that working with it was always easy and without problems, but without its help we simply wouldnt have been able to make CP 1.70 in this way.
Home made tools were only necessary to accelerate certain projects and to ensure a more comfortable handling of the tasks. Because of the numerous bug reports during the long test phases, I needed a small tool which simplifies the work with many hundreds, maybe thousands, of in-game coordinates.
Hans Trapp:
We were able to chose from many tools, which PB had used as well. Packer, extractor, etc. Almost without exception I have worked with tools from Pyranha Bytes.
mdahm:
The most important tools for me were MS Visual Studio 2005, NicoDEs PakViewer, Total Commander, Hex Workshop, MasterEvils Template Editor, Tiny Hexer with Urbans Template-Script, Solandors G3-Editor, and last but not least the completely normal Microsoft Editor.
Urban:
A small choice: Gothic 3 Genome Editor, Gothic 3 FSG (Packer for the pak-files), Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 incl. SP1, Microsoft Windows SDK, Microsoft DirectX SDK, NVIDIA Direct3D SDK, NVIDIA FX Composer, NVIDIA Texture Tools, NVIDIA DDS, plug-in, NVIDIA Normal Map filter plug-in, NVIDIA PerfHUD, Paint.NET incl. XIMG plug-in (our own production), G3XIMGViewer (our own production), TinyHexer incl. Script made by Urban und lichtwicht.
raven:
Of course we have been using Microsoft Visual Studio, the standard program for the C++-programmer under Windows. Also a great many tools from Piranha Bytes were available to us. Some of these tools had their technical pitfalls, but overall they were very useful. Without these tools the creation of the patches wouldnt have been possible, at least not in this form.
World of Gothic:
To what extent do the improvements in the AI affect the degree of difficulty for the player? Was the pathfinding of the NPC's improved? I'm asking because during escort and follow missions there were often problems, especially at bridges.
mdahm:
In the code itself the pathfinding was not changed. But in the game world we made changes at many locations aimed at removing obstacles that hampered the NPC-pathfinding.
One result of our work is that the "escaped slaves" of Silden now do cross the bridge to Freman.
ANNOmaniac:
The problems with the pathfinding were rooted in the level design, and we dealt with them, as well as we could. On bridges a path for the NPC (connecting the existing paths at both ends of each bridge) was often missing. As a consequence NPC's often got stuck in front of them.
Kronos:
To the degree of difficulty: All fans playing Gothic 3 1.70 will be able to play the game at the degree that existed before the patch.
Translation by bigsnappy





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