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Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Is Totally Takei The Duke Nukem Forever demo is out. I can't even convey how surreal it is to me to be typing those words. But anyway, I've been poking around the demo for the last couple of days, and a new version of Noesis is up now that supports extracting 5 different variants of its included .dat packages.

The picture is of the world's first (well, probably) right and proper DNF content mod, with Duke sporting his brand new Takei Pride tanktop. Noesis spits out all of the info you need to re-inject textures while it's extracting them, and I've already got a fully functional repacker that I intend to release sometime relatively soon. I've also finished hammering out the model format now, and Noesis v3.27 and later can view/export them.

Duke modelDuke model
Duke modelDuke model

The process of exporting the models is pretty simple, but requires a few steps. Here's a step by step of what you need to do.

1) Using Noesis, extract the contents SkinMshes/defs.dat, SkinMeshes/meshes.dat, and SkinMeshes/skels.def. By default, Noesis will want to extract these to separate folders. You don't want this, and instead you want to extract them all to a single folder. (e.g. "c:\steam\steamapps\common\duke nukem forever demo\SkinMeshes\allfiles")

2) Browse to the .msh of your choice in Noesis and open it.

3) If .skl or .def files cannot be found automatically you will be prompted for them. Additionally, Noesis will attempt to find MegaPackage.dat and TextureDirectory.dat relative to the path of the .msh file. If it cannot, you will be prompted for those files as well.

4) Export and enjoy. Note that materials are still a work in progress, and it can't automatically find the right materials in most cases. But certain models are working. (like Duke and one of the Holsom twins)

I've got model re-import/modification working, but the material situation limits it pretty severely. In the coming days/weeks, I'll be continuing to reverse that data and trying to figure out a reasonable process for replacing/overriding assets that doesn't involve rebuilding all of the game's packages.

Also, if you haven't heard yet, you can play the vehicle sequence in first-person. It's much nicer this way.

Update: I've successfully exported a model to COLLADA, modified it (re-weighted, added and modified geometry, modified the texture), re-exported it to .msh using my in-progress Noesis exporter, and got it to load in the demo. Have a look:

Wait for the scene with the twins.


129 comments in total.
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June 18, 2011 at 10:20 am (CST)
hello.. nice work! i've exported something from dnf and made some changes.. but how can I rebuild back a .dat archive from the modified-extracted folder? tried batch but couldn't use it :(



June 18, 2011 at 8:19 am (CST)
Any idea when you will be able to release a tool that can rimport modified files into the DNF .dat archives?
Like for ex if I want to modify, bumpmaps, textures, sound files, meshes etc and want to test them in game.
Just exporting files is really cool but it doesn't allow us to mod DNF at all.



June 18, 2011 at 8:17 am (CST)
Hey.I don't know any other way to contact you so i'm hoping you'll read this.

It's about the jumbot.Is there anything i can do so that i can use secondary fire on the 357 Mangnum and the Crossbow ?
I mean to actually be able to use the scope.

Thank you.


Rich Whitehouse

June 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm (CST)
Those files aren't encrypted at all. They're binary formats. You can't expect to edit a binary format in notepad. :)



June 17, 2011 at 9:16 am (CST)
Hey I really like your app Rich.
I have a question.
Is there any way to decrypt .dfx. .dmx .dps .dtx .cvp .dsm or.U files after you extract the DNF's MegaPackage.dat ?
I can open all of those files with notepad but among words I see lots of encrypted stuff.
If we have access to those files I think we can configure the properties for the textures and materials of the game.



June 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm (CST)
Very awesome, I can't wait.
I want to start modding this hell out of this game and potentially start changing some internal settings and make some things work like they used to work in the 2009 video teasers of Duke Nukem Forever.
The quicker I can access and modifity scripts and various settings, the sooner the game will start looking more like a pc game.


Rich Whitehouse

June 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm (CST)
3dwizard: Could be, I haven't seen any properties relating to decals though. Eventually I'd like to translate DNF's materials to/from extended Quake 3 shaders or something, but that depends on the route I go for importing maps.

SPTX: All of the .dat files are already extractable. As for getting the contents into Unreal-format files, that would be a bad idea, considering most of the formats support things that Unreal formats don't. You don't want to lose data on conversion.

zardalu: Yeah, I'll be adding anim support eventually. Haven't had a chance to look into it yet, as it's a lower priority than maps for me at the moment. I did come across the entrypoint for anim decompression already, though.



June 16, 2011 at 7:26 am (CST)
Thanks Rich for the latest version. I am loving it.
Any potential for DNF anim support down the road?



June 16, 2011 at 3:59 am (CST)
Is there a way to get their dat files into proper unreal files ? (u, utx, ukx, usx...)



June 16, 2011 at 3:00 am (CST)
Damn... Thanks for the quick and detailed reply though.
I have another question though.
Do you have any idea how could the game assign which texture will render bullet decals and which one won't?
Is this done from the engine or is there a material property setting somewhere where each texture is part of a material that has it's own sounds, and assigned decals?
There are some textures on the character models that when you shoot you see bullet wound decals on it but when you shoot the main textures of the enemies, no bullet wound decal is being rendered.
So my conclusion is that you can get any texture to render decals on it when you shoot it if you set the material properties or something like that.
It would be good if I could open materials and see/modify their properties.
Do you have any plan for a material editor or material viewer or something similar?

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