Original Post — Direct link
19 days ago - /u/Jagex_Stu - Direct link

Originally posted by Wahisietel

Shoutout to /u/Jagex_Stu for fixing up that cutscene back in 2015, for four years Zemouregal was invisible.

Also speaks to the importance of keeping old quest content up to date, which is something that hasn't been happening as of recent.

I'm glad to see this reworked cutscene has held up.

I think I may have done this in TAPP? Presumably shortly after DoD when we had the new skeletal Zemouregal.

Originally Paul Gower made this scene as an overlay interface with model components.

An approach that was used sometimes in the early days for cinematics (layering animated models of fire on an interface was more viable than a 3D scene back then), but ultimately this inventive approach didn't adapt well to Runescape's platform upgrades over the years.

Eg environment lighting & dynamic shadows don't apply to interface models, so they look quite flat, and they were built for a specific resolution. Most were made for the fixed-screen window, as devs at the time had no idea how advanced the then software-rendered, procedurally-textured Java browser thin client would become.

(I remember replacing another interface cutscene - Arrav's reveal - later in the quest around the same time, as we had the new Arrav model from DoD.)

'Fun' fact, I built this replacement sacred forge cutscene out of whatever spare parts I could find that fit at the time. The environment is an instance of Zaros' dreamscape from Fate of the God's. Then I spawned in a staggered wall of recoloured particle emitters for the fire, in the foreground and the background, to give the illusion of depth with the minimum of particles.

The original also had bespoke models for the various figures from Varrock that rose out of the flames, with a unique animation each.

Which meant that when over the years, King Road, Reldo, Ellamaria, etc, were graphically updated (IIRC they got another graphical polish for DoD), the version in this cutscene was completely incompatible (so NPCs still had the little beady black eyes from the 2007scape generation of human models, etc).

So this time around I spawned their overworld NPC configs into the instance and used whatever generic fadein animation I could find that fit their rig. Figured it'd future-proof the cutscene a bit more that way.

Amazing that it's been half a decade already!