New explosion FXs (RK's Explosions)

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New explosion FXs (RK's Explosions)

Postby RK4000 » 26 Feb 2014, 01:36

(Credit for all pics goes to Blackster)

Latest version: RK's Explosions V12 (Last updated: 20.4.2020)

Ranked status: RANKED!

ETA for V13:TBD
(89% Gorton STILL included in latest release.)

Download: The latest version of the mod can be obtained form the FAF vault, under the name of "RK's Explosions" when using downslord's client.

Alternatively, If you are using the old client, you can download it manually from this link. To install, simply unzip into your mods folder.

--New unit destruction effects for all factions
--Added visual eye candy, without being distracting or having negative impact on performance
--Differentiated unit explosions and damage state effects based on unit faction, tech level and role
--Improved strategic missile effects (Cybran and Aeon)
--Does not modify any of the unit stats and abilities. The mod is purely visual.

Supported mods:
+Basic unit packs

Known conflicts:
-Simspeed++ (doesn't really break the game if used, it just makes the effects look worse)
-Any big mods that are based on older patches

So, since FAF is always looking towards improving the overall look of FA in addition to the balancing changes, I've decided I want to make some custom explosions for units, rather than the generic fireball ones we have currently, just to spice things up a bit. :D

About the explosions themselves:
The idea behind them is that, for example, a Cybran unit will not explode the same way an Aeon unit will, but a T1 unit will also not explode the same way a T2 or T3 one will, for example, a mantis having the same explosion size as a Brick has doesn't make much sense to me. Different factions obviously use different materials and such to create units, and even different units within the same faction aren't necessarily made from the same material or in the same way either. This mod aims to bring out more factional diversity with high-quality diverse explosions and damage effects.

Comments and suggestions welcome.

Effects: RK
Coding: RK, Domino, Sheeo, speed2
Advertising in casts: Gyle

Suggestions and feedback: Aulex, Nombringer, everyone who posted, and all of the AIx clan (huge thanks to these guys)

Planned for V13:
Reworked SCU explosions

Known bugs/errors:
None for now!


-Q1: Will this mod make the game lag more in terms of FPS?
A:No. See the "features" at the top of the post. Land effects, especially Cybran and Aeon, are less graphically demanding than the old generic fireball explosions, while Seraphim and UEF are probably around the same. The game is now also approaching 13 years old, so even if you are by some chance using a low-grade 10 year old graphics card, there should still be no fps drops caused by running the mod.

-Q1.1: Will this mod make the game slow down more in terms of simspeed?
A:The quick answer is no. Simspeed is not mesurably affected by particle emission, which is the main thing the mod changes.

A more complicated answer is still no, and it may even make it slow down less, because it removes much of the default "debris" code, which spawns debris projectiles, and those do have an effect on simspeed.

Explanation: The mod removes the standard debris and replaces them with lower numbers of debris, which have more particle effects. The net result is less debris, which should technically make for higher simspeeds. The debris, however, make a negligable impact on simspeed either way to begin with, so this change shouldn't be drastic. But, that is a detailed answer to the question.

-Q2: Does the mod change any gameplay aspects of FA?
A: No. It is intended as a purely visual mod.

-Q3: Have you heard of "Firey explosions" or "Supreme battlefeel" or "insert graphics mod name here"? I think you should add the effects from it into your mod!
A: Yes, I've heard of them, and no, I will not copy their effects. Firstly, the point of RK's Explosions is added eye candy without interfering with gameplay or lowering performance. This design philosophy is incompatible with other mods. Most of the effects from other mods include increasing the particle count and lifetime of particles quite a lot, and while that can look cool, it affects gameplay (because they can be distracting) and it affects performance (due to particle count being too high). The second reason is that it's really uncool to rip off another mod's effects and just add them into my own, at least without the owner's permission. I would like to do my own thing, while sticking to my mod's original design philosophy as described. :)

-Q4: Can I disable the new effects while still playing in the same game as people with the effects on? (without disabling the mod itself)
A: No, you cannot, not for now at least. In theory a toggle is possible but it still needs a lot of work.

-Q5: Effect x makes my game lag horribly! Why is this?
A: I don't know, I do extensive testing on every effect I make to see how much graphics load it makes, compared to the standard ones. If you post which effect and when it made you lag in this thread (possibly with a replay attached with a time-mark where the game lags for you), I can look at it and see if there is any optimization to be done, or fix any other issues.

-Q6: How many new effects does the mod add?
A: Currently, the mod contains 769 unique effects.

-Q7: Does this mod affect unit models, animations and textures?
A: No, it does not. Maybe in the future there will be some custom animations, but models and textures for units are (and will probably always stay) unchanged.

-Q8: Does this mod affect other effects besides unit death explosions?
A: Yes, all units have custom damage FX for their damaged state (75%, 50%, 25% HP). As for weapons, only one or two weapon effects are different. It also affects (optimizes) some effects that you usually don't notice (for example dirt and mud getting thrown around while units move, crater textures etc... In the future however I plan on also working on some weapon explosions as well.

EDIT 1: Added replay with the first changes to the explosions. (all were made smaller, Cybran explosion animates faster)

EDIT 2 (2nd March 2014): (Yes, I'm keeping track of changes by dates, so people don't get confused :) ) Tweaked Cybran explosion more. Made small adjustments to scale for all techs. Redone sparks on UEF explosion. Added "shot down" trails and factional explosions for air units.

EDIT 3: Added first combat demonstration replay (same version as 2nd March 2014) Will not work anymore due to version change, will upload new combat demonstration soon.

EDIT 4: (15th March 2014): Tweaked Cybran and UEF explosions slightly, majorly optimized the seraphim explosion,.
***First test of Experimental explosions (yes, they are over the top right now, it's just a proof of concept for now. For now, they use generic fireball explosions.)

EDIT 5: Added an actual game replay, it's mostly T1 stage, a little bit of T2. Cybran vs Seraphim. Thanks to Ceneraii.

EDIT 6: Added 5 more actual games, 3v3 teamgames. All factions, most tech levels, air included. Thanks to Ceneraii, Sheeo, Cyko, Barad-dur, Gorton, HansGruber, DukeOfEarl.

EDIT 7: (22nd March 2014):*Fire added to UEF explosion *Slight change to the charge on the Cybran unit explosions (longer lifetime) *Re-addition of the debris (they were accidentally removed) *Reduced emission rate on "fall down" particles when planes are shot down *Slight scale adjustments for each tech. (slightly bigger for T1, slightly smaller for T2 and T3 was left the same)

EDIT 8: (23rd March 2014):*Slight change in air unit trails as they fall down when destroyed. Reduced emission rate and lifetime for most to avoid high particle counts. The mod is now available on the vault as a standalone! Search for "rks_explosions"

EDIT 9: (27th March 2014):*Changed UEF explosion fire particle *Greatly improved the way explosions look with bloom off. *Airplane fall-down effect emission rate reduced *Uploaded to the vault as rks_explosions V2

EDIT 10: (31st March 2014):*Added factional damage effects for planes (when they are damaged but not dead) *Aeon explosions are no longer 2D *Slight scale tweaking for Cybran T1 explosion *Slight optimization of the Cybran shot-down trail. *Disabled logging (should stop the game from freezing for a few seconds when many units die at once, and remove stutters in massive battles) *Uploaded to the vault as rks_explosions V3

EDIT 11: (13th April 2014):*Added naval factional explosions. *Further optimized aircraft fall-down trails *Tweaked the "fake bloom" settings when bloom is switched off *Uploaded to the vault as rks_explosions V4

EDIT 12: (15th April 2014):*Added building factional explosions. *Factionalized navy/building debris *Slight changes to the oil slick *Hopefully fixed the see-through-FoW particles. Let me know how this fix turns out. *Uploaded to the vault as rks_explosions V5

EDIT 13: (25th April 2014):*Added experimental factional explosions. *Some changes to the oil slick (bigger texture, more transparent) *Fixed the see-through-FoW particles. *-Slight randomness introduced for explosion scale. The explosion size is randomly multiplied by a random number between and including 0.9 to 1.1, to make slight variation in multiple explosions of the same unit. *Uploaded to the vault as rks_explosions V6

EDIT 14: (10th August 2014):*Added air experimental factional explosions. *Fixed planes burning while sinking *Improved performance on most effects *Imroved fire and smoke texture *Made differences between explosions of different tech levels more apparent (see main post about V7 V2 for this) *Uploaded to the vault as rks_explosions V7 V2

EDIT 15: (8th January 2015):*Overhauled all explosions *Streamlined code *Got rid of most placeholder effects *Fixed many bugs and also some that existed in FAF already *Integrated toggle for stock and factional explosions *Uploaded to the vault as rks_explosions V8

EDIT 16: (14th July 2016):The project has been cancelled until further notice.

EDIT 17: (8th November 2017):The project has been revived, speed2 fixed 99% of the mod so it works with 3690.

EDIT 18: (24th March 2020):*Added completely custom damage FX, Cybran and Aeon nuke explosion improvements, bugfixes, polishing, code optimization. *Uploaded to the vault as RK's Explosions (V10)

EDIT 19: (19th April 2020):*Added Nomads support *Reworked building explosion *Reworked naval explosions *Added an improved debris system *Added plane and structure debris *Improved a few textures *Uploaded to the vault as RK's Explosions (V11)

EDIT 20: (20th April 2020):Hotfix for V11: there was a missing emitter causing the Fatboy to not be reclaimable because the script couldn't run to the end. *Uploaded to the vault as RK's Explosions (V12)
Last edited by RK4000 on 28 Apr 2020, 02:09, edited 264 times in total.
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Re: New explosion FX's

Postby ZaZen » 26 Feb 2014, 01:50

Can you make a replay where you explode them individually, its alot of time repeating the replay to view them all.

Looks good on the face of it though.
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Re: New explosion FX's

Postby RK4000 » 26 Feb 2014, 01:56

Alright, here's a replay with them exploding individually.

Look at the first post for updated replay.
Last edited by RK4000 on 26 Feb 2014, 02:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New explosion FX's

Postby ColonelSheppard » 26 Feb 2014, 01:59

Hmm very cool, especially UEF (not actually but i have to be positive about UEF whenever i can)
but it's too big for the techlevels, like the current is t1 would fit better on t2 and t2 on t3 and t3 on t4 etc.. xD
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Re: New explosion FX's

Postby Lame » 26 Feb 2014, 02:03

t2 and t3 look a little too big imo

cybran explosions look weird somehow especially t3
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Re: New explosion FX's

Postby RaptorJesus » 26 Feb 2014, 02:06

I definitely like the T1 and T2, although the T3 explosions look a bit extreme, almost like they should belong to TML or artillery shots.
It would get crazy if you were loosing T3 in large numbers, but I do like the direction this is going

Are you going to do anything to building and commander explosions?
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Re: New explosion FX's

Postby Nombringer » 26 Feb 2014, 02:13

:D finally RK!

Yes it looks great, and yes the explosions need to be smaller :D
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Re: New explosion FX's

Postby RK4000 » 26 Feb 2014, 02:48

Uploaded replay with the first series of changes. Look at the first post for the changes and replay.
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Re: New explosion FX's

Postby Myxir » 26 Feb 2014, 15:18

they look nice, but i think they should be limited to energy consuming units only, at least these explosions look like something like that
for just normal stuff, it's a bit too much imo
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Re: New explosion FX's

Postby Ze_PilOt » 26 Feb 2014, 16:25

Not a bad idea, that would make more variety in the explosions too.
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