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Revenant100

Heretic Minor Sprite Fixing and Widescreen-Friendly Project - v1.0 Release

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Greetings, Doomworld forums! To cut straight to the chase, I'd like to present the Heretic Minor Sprite Fixing and Widescreen-Friendly Project, created in much the same fashion as my Doom 2 project.

The three main goals of this endeavor are as follows:
1. Adjusting sprite offsets - This comprises the bulk of the project. This is meant to provide smoother and more consistent visuals during animations, when switching between different states, and between rotations. Additionally, some sprite offsets were shifted slightly upwards to avoid the sunken underground look.
2. Small image edits - There are a number of trivial errors found in Heretic's sprites. These mainly consist of transparent pixels or visible garbage pixels that were overlooked. If I could conclusively identify the issue as being an error and the fix would be as minimally intrusive as possible, I went ahead and made the edit to the sprite.
3. Making the graphics widescreen-friendly - For those running source ports with widescreen resolutions, you've likely noticed that some sprites cut off abruptly near the sides of the screen as they were only intended to be seen in a 4:3 aspect ratio. This pack extends these sprites so you can enjoy all of that extra viewing area without impediment. Credit goes to one Neoworm for creating most of these new graphics.

As for how to use it, this WAD in its current state works with limit-removing ports. However, vanilla heretic.exe compatibility simply requires some DeuSF work. With that in mind, you can pretty much use this WAD with any other level or mod as I can't imagine any conflicts. Simply run it with the lowest priority in the add-on hierarchy. Most newer source ports have an autoload feature, so I recommend using that.

Here's the current download of v1.0 (released 7/5/13):
http://www.mediafire.com/download/lbous134qm7zwib/HRSPFX10.rar (669.97 kb)

The complete changelog can be viewed here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4X6_GM5D7D_M21NUm1jZTZYblk/view?usp=sharing

Note: The sprite fixes and widescreen-friendly graphics are split into two WAD files. This is meant to provide compatibility with the original Heretic executable as the widescreen graphics will cause the engine to crash. Anyone using source ports (most everyone, I'd imagine) should load both WAD files at the same time.

Sample of some of the fixes:

(clickable thumbnail)
(clickable thumbnail)

This project is still very much a work-in-progress. I'm open to feedback on the current release as well as potential ideas for further changes.

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Personally, I always thought that blue pixel below the Gargoyles eye was deliberete, i.e tears.

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Ah, excellent! Great to see Heretic finally receiving the widescreen fixes it needed. Also a good idea to split it into vanilla/source port wads so that everyone can use it.

I take it you will also issue a fix for Hexen to complete everything (I dunno if Strife requires any changes, though)?

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Good to see this out. :)

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Vermil said:

Personally, I always thought that blue pixel below the Gargoyles eye was deliberete, i.e tears.

This is the only blue pixel present in all of the Gargoyle's sprites. It's also not visible in any of the other pain rotations, so it's certainly an inconsistency.

However, I have reason to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that this is a bona fide error. I was pondering how a blue pixel could have come about when I later noticed a bunch of similarly inexplicable purple pixels of different shades (an important bit) in one of the Gargoyle's gibbing frames. How could blue and purple pixels appear when the Gargoyle's sprites adhere to a mostly warm red color palette entirely devoid of those colors?

The answer seems pretty simple: I posit that Raven used a pure blue color (0,0,255 RGB) to represent the transparent background in their sprites. When their artist was drawing the Gargoyle sprites, which is among the several monsters to have been created from scratch rather than rendered from a model, the artist accidentally used some non-opaque brushes when applying his reds. Hence, partially transparent red on blue can result in differing shades of purple or a slightly off-blue if the red was almost fully transparent, as is the case with the "tear".

NightFright said:

I take it you will also issue a fix for Hexen to complete everything (I dunno if Strife requires any changes, though)?

Hexen is still on my mind, but that game is going to be a far larger endeavor than Doom 2 or Heretic proved to be. The biggest issue with Hexen is the many first person weapon sprites that need to be made widescreen-friendly. I've already collected the extended weapon graphics that some people have made, but the most difficult weapons still remain, namely the Fighter's arsenal. I can try to cobble together something suitable, but realistically, it's going to be a great deal of work. Any release is still a long ways off.

Strife is also a slight possibility, but I'm even less familiar with Strife than I am with Heretic or Hexen.

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You know this project actually interests me in playing Heretic again, I didn't try properly playing through it a second time after the first go, also since I now finally have the complete version I can consider playing through the the extra two episodes also.

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Heh, I noticed this kind of problem while playing the original Doom 3: Mr. Smiley Head's Safari with prboom-plus (it's a v1.2 IWAD, so Chocolate Doom doesn't like using it directly). Anyway, the "chook" weapon (rocket launcher) has the sprite cut off in a really noticeable way. I'm surprised that port doesn't have an option to render the game in a centered 4:3 screen area bordered by black bars. Or maybe it does and I missed it. Damn those crazy long PrBoom config sections! ;-)

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The new and redrawn portions and offsets of the weapon sprites in that pack aren't quite as faithful to the original art as I have been targeting, but I think most of it can serve as a useful base. I have been dragging my feet for much too long on the Hexen project to be so pedantic. Thanks for informing me about these sprites.

In the mean time, though, I do plan to release two relatively small updates to my Heretic and Doom sprite fixes which should largely finalize those two projects.

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This package includes two WAD files: HRSPFX10.WAD and HRWIDE10.WAD. The former includes only the general sprite fixes and is compatible with all engines. The latter contains only the widescreen-friendly fixes, including the Staff sprites, which is not compatible with the vanilla executable. For the complete group of fixes, you must run both WAD files together, assuming your port of choice can indeed support the widescreen-friendly sprites.

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I know that I suggest this for practically every other Doom project out there, but you should consider looking into the Chex Quest games for this; there are a LOT of inconsistencies and errors throughout them all, bad sprite alignment, etc.

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5 hours ago, Death Egg said:

I know that I suggest this for practically every other Doom project out there, but you should consider looking into the Chex Quest games for this; there are a LOT of inconsistencies and errors throughout them all, bad sprite alignment, etc.

I second this! Chex Quest is delightful and having some fixed sprites would be fucking awesome.

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On 4/27/2017 at 6:30 PM, Death Egg said:

I know that I suggest this for practically every other Doom project out there, but you should consider looking into the Chex Quest games for this; there are a LOT of inconsistencies and errors throughout them all, bad sprite alignment, etc.

The Chex Quest series is a possibility. While I would mark it as a low priority compared to the other projects, if it turns out that the smaller scope of the games makes it a (relatively) feasibly quick endeavor, it may happen sooner rather than later. Still, I wouldn't be aiming for any broad or sweeping art cleanup, so I'm not sure if there would be many technical adjustments that fall within the same scope as the rest of these sprite fixes. Nonetheless, I'm still in full Heretic/Hexen mode right now, so this is all later down the line.

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Hi! I'm a big fan of your Sprite Fixing Projects. Thank you for all the hard work!

 

I have some of questions/suggestions:

 

1. Are you considering fixing alignment for Dragon Claw? Or maybe it's deliberate, because it's left hand?

DlxGo7Yl.png

 

2. I wonder if there is a way to add missing characters to Heretic font ('[', ']', '&'). Currently square brackets are displayed as underscores, and '&' is displayed as some strange block.

 

3. The red signs on powerup animation of Tome of Power are visible from one side and not from the other. While adding or removing them may be not a "fix", but a "change", and therefore out of scope of this project, orange pixel to the right of the lower red sign on SPINBK11 seems to be an error.

tome.png

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, m8f said:

1. Are you considering fixing alignment for Dragon Claw? Or maybe it's deliberate, because it's left hand?

I don't recall if there was a particular reason I hadn't centered the Dragon Claw as it's been a while since I looked at it. I might have simply overlooked it since the rest of the weapons are all appropriately centered. I'll add this to the list of things to check for the next release to see if there'd be any issues with applying the centering.

 

11 hours ago, m8f said:

2. I wonder if there is a way to add missing characters to Heretic font ('[', ']', '&'). Currently square brackets are displayed as underscores, and '&' is displayed as some strange block.

To be clear, were you testing this in GZDoom, Zandronum, or some other ZDoom-related engine? The issue at hand here actually appears to be the result of an engine oddity dating back to the original DOS version.

Regarding the original DOS Heretic, it seems it's actually impossible to even write most non-alphanumeric characters since the game doesn't recognize the shift key while using the talk command. For some reason, there are two sole exceptions: the exclamation point and question mark work. It's also not possible to use the brackets since the inventory switching function appears to override these characters while typing.

 

Because of their omission, some of these characters were given duplicate dummy block sprites in Heretic's IWAD. This affects the following: &, <, and >. Similarly, the rest of the missing characters don't have a sprite at all. This includes: [, \, ], and ^. For reference, all of these characters exist in Doom's IWAD sprite font.

As far as modern source ports goes, specifically GZDoom/Zandronum/etc. running Heretic, the shift key now works properly while typing. This means it's possible to see the characters that were never previously visible before, including those dummy block sprites. For characters that don't exist in the IWAD font, GZDoom et al. simply displays the underscore.

 

All that said, this should actually be a fixable problem entirely on the sprite side. I'll have to create some new characters for the font, and this would have no benefit to the original DOS version (unless the missing characters were forced to be displayed, I presume), but it should all conceivably slide in without hassle. I'll do more testing later.

 

11 hours ago, m8f said:

3. The red signs on powerup animation of Tome of Power are visible from one side and not from the other. While adding or removing them may be not a "fix", but a "change", and therefore out of scope of this project, orange pixel to the right of the lower red sign on SPINBK11 seems to be an error.

This is an interesting inconsistency since the Tome is obviously a pre-rendered model that doesn't seem to have received too much in terms of manual art touch ups. It might just be that the rendered angles weren't perfectly perpendicular to the camera, thus the extrusions on the cover ended up being visible from one side but not the other. Hence, I'm not seeing an error here, rather the consequence of low precision angles and aliasing from very low resolution renders.

Edited by Revenant100

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6 hours ago, Revenant100 said:

To be clear, were you testing this in GZDoom, Zandronum, or some other ZDoom-related engine?

I was testing this in GZDoom. '&' character appears (as a block) in engine options (i.e. Display Options -> Blood Type -> value "sprites & particles"). Other missing characters can appear in player name (entered by user), or in mod-defined menus and texts (entered by mod author).

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Here's a preliminary test fix of the font that simply uses Doom's characters ported over:

Heretic_FixFont.png.9a17e6a3b8bcb03bb5e43e9286d1f1e8.png

 

No big problems as far as I could see, and it even works in the vanilla DOS executable when merged into the IWAD with no side effects, although these characters of course still can't be written. I'll be tweaking the characters to fit the rest of the font and include them in the next release.

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