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School of War: Tron Legacy Edition

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:: Greetings Programs ::



In 2010, a movie released that has been under appreciated in my (and others) opinion.  However, after seeing Tron Legacy in IMAX, and subsequently several times after that - the idea of taking this digital frontier and applying it to Jedi Academy has never left me.  As part of the School of War server, I knew that many aspects of this movie tied directly into the pathos of our community.  It's been 13 years since that film debuted, but the reality of a map combining the rich visual aesthetics and contrasting elements is now becoming a reality.  Thanks in no small part to the people I have partnered with; the beginning of something truly revolutionary is coming to our server, and to the rest of the Jedi Academy community.  Welcome to the first stages of what we hope to be the fruition of dreaming of this for the last decade. 

DISCLAIMER: Most of the screenshots shared here are not rendered in game, but are actually being rendered in Blender.  Through a number of techniques afforded to us by kind and expert modders in the community, we developed a pipeline to do the bulk majority of the world building in blender, and then transfer that to radiant, and eventually into the game.  Proof of concepts have been done multiple times so we are cutting down the limitations of Radiant, while also speeding up the process as Blender is a far more useful and easy medium to construct this vision. 

I. The Plan 

Based upon the movie; Tron Legacy, the concept for this map is broken up into three distinct levels with multiple areas in each level.  The original concept had three levels.  That of the Outlands, The City, and the Underground.  While the outlands and the city were canon to the movie, the underground was an addition to offer some versatility to the map, and some of the normal features of rooms for events, training, and information.  


This was the rough guide in putting together this masterpiece, and after some lengthy discussion and re-watching the movie several times - there was a clear direction in moving forward.  While my mapping partner and I were not fluent at all in the art of mapping for Jedi Academy, we are passionate about making this a reality, so we endeavored to learn by doing, and getting the amazing help of the mapping community through the process.  The following proof of concept has been put together to show you how we are making this map feel like the same experience we got in the movie.  


II. Proof of Concept

Stage 1:

Upon loading the map for the first time, you are transported into the real world, outside of the Arcade.  Now for reasons of our server - the name of the Arcade has been changed to Red's.  This arcade will host a variety of well known arcade games from various eras, including cabinets we custom built for games that were never arcade machines to begin with.  Based off the layout of the original Tron movie, the arcade will be setup with an upstairs office/bedroom, along with a focal point arcade machine which acts like a secret door to venture down into the laboratory.  From there, access to the Grid will be through a computer terminal, which will transport the player to the Grid version of the Arcade's lower laboratory. 




Stage 2:

Once you emerge from the laboratory, you are now within the Cityscape of the Grid.  This will be a massive city sitting on a hexagon and replete with towering buildings all accented by ribbons of light, and in the center a massive structure that culminates in a stunning skyscraping tower, atop which features a night-club/lounge area.  A large highway system connects the surrounding quadrants of the city, and empties into a section of grid like streets that encircle the various buildings.  This is by far the largest area of the map, and will be an open-world of catwalks, ledges, buildings, and scenery that will immerse the player in the Tron experience.  Various vehicles will be either parked or on routine paths snaking around the city.  The presence also of a massive cruiser orbiting the city will also be of noteworthy exploration and discovery.  



Stage 3:

From the Grid, the player will have to journey between the city, the arena (featuring dynamic dueling pods), and a lightcycle (or swoop) grid, in which races, and battle royals can be accomplished.  A key structural destruction of the grid wall will allow players to access the outlands, and from there they will need to discover the hidden gems in this rocky and darkened terrain.  Eventually their path will lead them to a secluded oasis that holds the key to getting back to the Grid itself, and beyond to find the way back home.  



Stage 4:

Re-entering the city through a secret tunnel that leads into a long and winding canyon and eventually back into the city, the race is on to the Portal.  But first, the player must secure the disc in order to even use the portal, and for that, they need to reach to the pinnacle of the tower to that elusive End of Line club in the skies.  Traveling up an elevator to the peak of the spire, they will indulge in the lights and sounds of a Daft Punk inspired night-club, where they can explore the setting high atop the Grid.  Perhaps a bit of danger exists though, as the orbiting ship and some flybys of Recognizers are amid the sky as well, just waiting for an opportunity to strike. 


Stage 5:

Once you find the method to reach the cruiser that orbits the city, you'll eventually locate the Master Disc that will give you access to the Solar Sailor, and access to the Portal.  This train ride will take you through the rest of the outlands on a sky-high adventure reminiscent of the train level in base SP.  Eventually arriving at the Portal, to which you will use the Disc to portal out of the Grid and back to the arcade where your journey began, thus completing the circle of the map.  




III. Construction and Design

We are several months into the process for creating these levels and working on various aspects to get the aesthetic correct.  There's been a lot of talk with the modding community that has been an invaluable help to us about shaders, culling, clipping, and light mapping.  We're figuring things out as we go, and jumping back and forth between the various areas we'll have.  You'll notice we haven't really touched on any parts of Level 2, and that's because it's an unfinished idea of what we want, though we do have some models already set that we'll be making use of.  

We still have a great amount of work ahead of us, but we are enjoying the journey.  We wanted to post this first post of the thread just to show you what we're doing, and where we are currently at.  We'd love to get feedback from the community and see what you think, and how we might even improve on this vision.  We do have a Discord server specific to this project, so if you are interested in joining that, we can talk about that opportunity should you express interest in it.  We'll keep you appraised here with sporadic updates as they come to light on this thread.  Thanks for your time, and happy trails program!

PierceDoughty, mjt, OCD2 and 10 others like this
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  • EvasionStudios changed the title to School of War: Tron Legacy Edition
  • 1 month later...

It's been a month and a lot of work has been done.  We've discovered several new methods thanks to the kind and supportive people who have generously given their time and talent into helping this project move forward.  What we've found is that we needed to move every area into a blender file first, and use them to move it into radiant.  So we've scrapped some of our earlier work that was done in Radiant and in game, to recreate it new in Blender.  After doing that we started to fill in more of the areas that we needed to create, as well as new rooms.  So enjoy these preview shots of the areas lit up in Blender. 

I. Tron City















II. Disc Arena







III. Lightcycle Grid





IV. Arcade









V. Oasis













VI. End of Line Club





VII. Emerald Palace 







VII. Amber Garden





There is still a lot of work to do, but we have come a long way.  We will of course being giving proper credit to the numerous people who have helped us, the places where we were able to get models and textures.  Once we are finished putting all of this into Blender, we will then be going over a final pass to make sure all the textures are proper.  Then we can get into radiant and start making this thing a reality.  I hope you look forward to the future updates here, and we'd love to hear what you have to say about our progress thus far!  Till next time, programs!

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Very beautiful. Aside from the very unusual designs and details, what is equally impressive – the shaders, the lights and the general atmosphere. In some cases I wouldn't expect the JA engine to be able to bring up this quality. The shining and the "reflective" parts look very neat: the floors in Amber Garden for example, as well as areas in the End of Line Club.

The bed and other furniture in the Oasis rooms are beyond words – these look exotically perfect. 🥹

Did you use Radiant for mapping? 

EvasionStudios likes this
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So as the disclaimer has said in the posts, most of these photos were created in Blender.  However, we have every confidence that with the proper shader files, and some other modifications - that JA will be able to handle all of these effects without hindering performance. 

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On 5/13/2023 at 11:28 PM, EvasionStudios said:

So as the disclaimer has said in the posts, most of these photos were created in Blender.  However, we have every confidence that with the proper shader files, and some other modifications - that JA will be able to handle all of these effects without hindering performance. 

Looking very good so far!


Be warned that jedi academy lighting can actually just darken your diffuse images though. Just because it is often just mutliplied and lightmaps and diffuse images are in 8bit (per channel) color depth. If you are interested I could show you how to use a blender addon that I've written to properly bake lighting with blender. I could also offer help if you are interested in providing rend2 support with your maps.


Blender addon in action:



Old version of rend2 in action:



GeoBall and EvasionStudios like this
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