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Author:  GelatinOverlord [ Fri 17 Apr 2015, 22:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Hey there beautiful. New update out.
Less lights, but brighter to be ready for graphics update
Added super sexy decals, check them out ;)
Adjusted particle effects. There is now steam in pit rooms, you catch fire in the furnaces, and light comes out of you when standing in flag zones.
Flipped right side of map vertically to be properly balanced (it seems that rebels had the disadvantage because there was too much open space on sci side)
Tweaked middle ramp and bridge. It looks aesthetically pleasing now, and you can now drive vehicles into the center portion without speeding and hitting a ramp.
Changed middle corridor: Pit room adjusted, Console areas adjusted, made area towards center into downwards inclining ramp because of cars being able to get down there. Don't want people piling up cars to get onto center area. Center jump is still possible, just a bit trickier.
Adjusted stairwell into side towers. It is now a gradual sloping ramp starting from larger area
Added "vents" for zombies, removed all zombie spawns inside of playable area, no need to worry about running into their spawns.
Added alternate routes to access the windows behind spawns.

That's all I can think of right now. Check it out!

Core.sub [269.9 KiB]
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Author:  bencelot [ Sat 18 Apr 2015, 02:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Awesome stuff man, I've added it for next version. It looks really cool too, especially loving those decals on the center ramp! Very sexy ;)

Author:  GelatinOverlord [ Sat 18 Apr 2015, 11:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Just a quick fix, sorry about that Ben.
STM pointed out some problems concerning Extraction trucks which kinda needed to be fixed.

Core.sub [270.47 KiB]
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Author:  bencelot [ Tue 21 Apr 2015, 04:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

All good, updated! cheers :)

Author:  GelatinOverlord [ Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Might as well post my progress so that others can see
Finished with
75% of the models
50% of the decals
95% of the particles
90% of the lighting
Sci + left side is the most completed.
File comment: WIP
Core.sub [382.08 KiB]
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As always, lemme know what needs to be changed.

Author:  bencelot [ Thu 25 Jun 2015, 20:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Wow. Just wow. Man these models and decals are unreal! I especially love these bits:


Really creative how you've made the pipe go UNDER the dirt.. really nice touch. And the wires and pipes and stuff all over the place really brings the map to life. Amazeballs! So much detail, I love it! Core truely is the home of the pipe. Amazing job with the new models so far. I have nothing but awesome for the models and decals, but I'll try offer some suggestions for other areas:

I think the fog is a bit too fast and too dark right now. It looks cool but Core's biggest problem has always been how dark it is. The walls are dark grey, the ground is dark grey, and so adding in dark grey fog as well doesn't help. Also I think it should move slower just to be a bit less distracting. Considering that Core is already a very dark map, I think maybe it'd look better without the black fog. You currently have these settings with this fog:

But I'd try something like this instead:

Note that's when standing up high. When on the ground level it doesn't look that extreme. Could probably tone down the intensity a bit but you get the idea. It's good to give the map a bit of colour other than dark grey. Also when using black view fog it hardly even shows up, so you miss out on that sense of depth. This greenish nuclear fog shows up nicely as you go up and down in height however, giving a nicer sense of depth. Anyway maybe have a play around with settings like that?

1) I'd remove the directional light. It adds too much ambience and makes things look flat as a result. Also directoinal lights take FOREVER to load because they have to calculate for every single tile in the map. Considering that it's only got a tiny intensity anyway you'd be better off removing it entirely, loading the map faster and getting more contrast in your light vs dark areas. Simply compensate by increasing the intensity on your point lights a tad.

2) Watch out for lights like this:

Firstly that ambience is quite high, reducing the potential contrast and sexiness of your shadows. Secondly, the radius is massive. I know I suggest using huge radiuses on lights but that's only if the light is actually in a large area where the light rays can actually travel far. This light is put in a tiny corner and only really needs a radius of 20m or so. By having a radius of 45m we have to light approximately 6379 tiles (PI*45^2) compared to only 1256 tiles (PI*20^2). So the light is going to take roughly 5x longer to load than it needs to. Not only that but because it has such a high ambience it's applying this ambience to the entire top left corner of the map. When you have a few lights like this with high ambience and huge radiuses all the overlapped tiles end up looking flat and washed out.

3) Also watch out for having 2 lights so close to eachother effectively doing the same thing:

These lights both have 45m radius with 29% ambience and they're super close to eachother. The issues with this are:
A) Takes longer to load as you need to render for both lights.
B) The ambience stacks so much that the tiles just look flat and there's little contrast between light and dark (less interesting visually).
C) Shadows get confusing as well. You end up with too many shadow lines on the ground and it gets a bit chaotic. A single light source only produces 1 set of shadows and looks cleaner.

Try deleting one of the lights entirely and making the other light have a slightly larger range and intensity to compensate. You can also drop the ambience down a bit too. Remember with a brighter fog colour the fog will naturally light up the dark corners and get a cool contrast going.

4) Try placing models in the way to cast nice shadows. The models you've got are absolutely amazing, but I feel that a huge opportunity is wasted with the light positioning. You can just tweak things here and there, put hanging wires, pipes and railings in key places next to lights to get them casting nice sexy shadows. Here's the picture above reworked with points 3, and 4. A single light with nice shadow casting objects nearby. Note I just tossed these in. I'd probalby go back and remove the railing in this case as the hanging wire and the pipe are enough. But you get the idea. Some extra detail has been added.


Final suggestion.. but I feel that you could make the map look a lot nicer by replacing the dark grey asphalt texture on the ground with a lighter grey concrete instead. The cracked concrete that I use for the spawns in Downtown would look nice. The problem is that the walls and the ground are all so damn dark. They're the same colour and as a result there's not much contrast. This doesn't look as nice as it could. Furthermore, dark grey is a really difficult texture to work with for lighting because the colours don't really show. You can't get a nice contrast from light to dark because even with a really bright light the dark texture is still going to remain dark.

I've had a bit of a go reworking this little area. It takes almost no time at all to replace the ground texture and imho the effects are worth it. It looks quite nice I think. Here's a before and after of all the changes I've suggested:



Obviously this sorta stuff is subjective, but I feel that with these changes the map has a lot more personality:

1) The fog adds a nice green glow to the map which is complemented nicely with the contrasting blue and yellow lights. The map is colourful and vibrant!
2) You can actually see shadows on the ground due to the models and the well positioned single light source. You can see I've tweaked the tiles very slightly to justify placing a barrel there to cast a nice round shadow on the ground. Remember MF is inherently tile based with ugly blocks. Any opportunity to put curved or diagonal lines into the map must be taken!
3) The contrast between light and dark is much more noticable, making the shadows look a lot deeper and nicer. And while the overall FEEL of the map is darker, the actual playing area where players will spend 90% of their time has been made brighter with an increased light intensity. It's ok to have dark shadows in corners, especially for an indoors map with the theme of a nuclear reactor. As long as the majority of the playing area is nice and bright it's all good for gameplay and screenshots :)

Anyway I've attached the Core file I was using to make these screenshots. You can take a look or even use this to get some ideas and/or copy the settings on the lights/fog/tiles etc...

Core.sub [383.23 KiB]
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Eitherway man it's looking fantastic, especially the models and decals. I'll try and get some new models uploaded for you today or tomoz. Keep up the good work!

Author:  GelatinOverlord [ Fri 26 Jun 2015, 22:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

My biggest concern with changing over to a different tileset for the floor tiles is that the asphalt tileset has border tiles which help me decorate some parts, but I'll download your copy and work off of that and see what I can do

Author:  bencelot [ Fri 26 Jun 2015, 23:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Yeah I thought about that, but at the end of the day I don't think it matters too much. If you can make 95% of the screen more bright, vibrant and colourful by switching to the different tileset, then no one is going to miss the little edge lines that much. You'll actually be getting more defined edges now anyway because it won't be dark grey up against dark grey anymore. Also with this tileset you can add the cool little cracks and stuff, which I think add a nice texture to the map :)

Author:  GelatinOverlord [ Sat 04 Jul 2015, 14:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Hey Hey.
New Official update for Core just for you guys.


Some minor gameplay changes.
Seriously, a lot of sexiness.

List of changes:
Reduced map size. This doesn't affect gameplay as I only cut off parts where people couldn't go anyways.
Added many decals, models, and particles.
Tried my best to adjust/remove as many lights as I can. Lowest I got was 60 lights on outbreak. Highest is 68 on Checkpoint. Load times might be a bit long because of this, sorry guys :/
Added alternate hallway for entering sniper nests.
Pit rooms and adjacent control rooms are now changed. Much cleaner now.
Added walls jutting out from the sides. Mainly meant for more cover from sniper fire. Also pretty damn sexy with models/particles
Moved a lot of miscellaneous things around, such as pillars/boxes/towers.

File comment: v3.0?
Core.sub [543.6 KiB]
Downloaded 151 times

Take a run around it and lemme know if I messed anything up.

Author:  bencelot [ Sat 04 Jul 2015, 20:23 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Holy shit man, this is gorgeous! 1433 models!! And the level of detail you've gone into.. tipped over chairs where people have committed suicide, the car crash against the wall, the fire pits, the pipes going into the ground, the glass panes, the way the wires connect to the telegraph poles.. it's a pleasure to explore and discover all these little details. I don't even know how you DID some of these things and I made the damn game! So amazing. I really like the new lighting as well. The map feels a lot brighter and a lot more colourful. Super impressed with the amount of work you've put into this map. It looks and plays great :D

My only concern as I'm sure you've guessed is performance. It took me 60s to load the map, which is 3x slower than the next slowest map, Barn. Yes I'm on a non-gaming laptop, but I still think a lot of players will struggle with this sort of a loading time and might even vote against the map when the round ends to avoid waiting so long. The mapsize of Core is actually smaller than Asylum, yet it loads 4x slower. It's because of two main areas:

1) There are too many lights. From what I've seen you've done a pretty good job optimising this in terms of light radiuses and removing ambience where it's not needed. Although I still think there are a few lights that could be removed. Remember Asylum has only 24 lights and the actual map size is larger than Core. I'm sure it's possible to trim this down. Remember the slowness comes from how many tiles have to be lit. When multiple lights overlap it all adds up.

Anyway assuming you want to keep the general light positions the same the suggestion I would make is this. Remove the red flashing lights. There are 12 of them. Removing all 12 will bring the lights down to 48. It will also speed up the load time a LOT because the game will realise it doesn't need to render phase 2 lighting anymore. This allows for a lot of time saved. I've done this in Barn and Downtown because they are also big maps with lots of lights, and ultimately the cool flickering lights effect wasn't as important as the loading time. I quickly did this on Core to test it out and it already dropped the loading time from 60s down to 45s. BIG difference!

I know the red flashing lights look cool, but considering the extra loading time they provide I think they're not worth it. Core already has SOO much cool shit to look at anyway, no one is going to miss the flashing lights. You don't even need to replace them with non-flashing red lights. I reckon just remove them entirely. It looks fine without them and loads signficantly faster.

2) The other BIG thing causing your map to slow down is the models. All 1433 of them!!! Every single pixel of every single tile has to to loop through every single model for every single light. When you have 1433 models that is a shitload of raytraces to make. This many models is SLOOWW! Try this. Load Core with quality lighting and map models & decals enabled. For me it loads in 60s. Then change to a different gamemode (to trigger a reloading of the map) but this time have map models DISABLED. The game will not bother rendering any shadows from the models. For me it loads in 20s! 3x faster just without models!!! That is HUUUUUUUUUUGE! And this is where you'll get most of your savings.

Obviously you want to keep the models as they look sexy as hell. But what you can do is take a look at the models in the map and see if they're actually even casting a shadow or not. If they're not casting a sexy or a noticable shadow then simply uncheck the cast shadows option on it. Remember this will add up a lot! You can TRIPLE the loading time if you got rid of all the model shadows. Obviously you don't want to do this for all models because model shadows are sexy, but you only need shadows enabled if the model is actually casting a shadow that can be seen.

A quick tip, the biggest offender of this is hanging wires. Firstly they are often above the lights so don't cast shadows on the ground. But secondly hanging wires take longer to render than any other model because they are so big. They take up such a huge area and they're curved with lots of faces meaning they take ages to render. You could make big performance savings by simply going through and removing shadow casting on all the hanging wires in the map.

Here's an example of what models should and shouldn't be casting shadows:


The models/shadows in green are sexy and should be kept. Firstly they're actually casting a shadow that you can see, so the rendering time isn't going to waste. Secondly the shadows they DO cast look sexy and make sense. You can easily see how the light and the model cast the shadow together. Overall models like this make the game look rich and detailed and 3D.

The models circled in red should have shadows disabled. Notice how they're mostly hanging wires. I can't find where the shadows from these wires are. Maybe they're not casting any because they're positioned above the light source. But the game still needs to check these models just to make sure they are or aren't casting shadows, and this takes plenty of loading time. We can visually see that they're not casting any noticable shadows and save the game a lot of time by just disabling shadows in the first place. Hanging wires espeically are huge and take ages to render, so disabling all of these would be good. Also, I've circled the models in the firepit. I'd just remove shadows on these and put a big dirty decal underneath them to represent the decay and debris. You can hardly see the shadows anyway and there are so many models in there that you can get the same visual effect at a fraction of the loading time.

The shadows circled in blue are an example of a shadow that doesn't make sense. Yes, it does make sense in a laws of physics kind of way as that's how the new raytracing engine works. But visually, the source of the shadow (the hanging wires down the bottom) are too far away from the shadow itself. Unlike the shadows cast from the railings or the traffic cones, this shadow is confusing. When you're zoomed in and can't see the source of the shadow it's just a random line on the ground that makes no sense. Models casting confusing shadows like this should be doubly unchecked because they not only slow down the loading time, but they also make the map look messy and confusing. Note that not all hanging wires are bad, but they are big long objects and must be treated with care. Considering how long Core is taking you'd be better off removing them unless they're super obvious like this:


3) Another point related to performance is in-game performance. My computer runs realllly slow on Core because there are so many models and decals lying around the place. Now this is fine I suppose, though I would have to disable models whenever playing your map. This is just on my comp, other people won't have to do this. Point is for the people who DO have to do this it would be nice to have just a few key models that are force displayed. On my maps what I've done is force displayed:
A) anything that affects gameplay like a tree you can hide under.
B) lights. Any models or decal which is used to represent a light source I've force displayed, because they're so damn important. Even when models are turned off, the light sources will still make sense.

So I suggest you do this because on my laptop I'll always have to disabled models to play competitively on Core. But it would be nice if the map still retained just the lights and a few reaally sexy models that you want to show off. Only the best of the best though because otherwise people won't be able to play the map at all.

Also maybe a FEW models and decals could be deleted. Things that take up a lot of area take the longest as they must render more pixels. So big dirty decals on the ground are sexy, but you don't need them EVERYWHERE. Also hanging wires like this could maybe have a few deleted for performance reasons. Or instead of having 2 right next to eachother, just have 1 wire for the same general effect:


1) Map LOOKS amazing. God damn sexypants. Incredibly detailed! Very impressive what you've achieved. However this many models/lights/decals unfortunately has a hit on performance and compromises must be made.

2) The map LOADS 3x slower than any other map. Too slow. The fastest ways to fix this are:
2a) Completely delete the 12 red flashing lights to do away with dynamic map flashing. Big savings to be made here.
2b) Disable shadow casting on any models that aren't actually casting a visible shadow, or are casting a shadow but it's confusing or ugly or not sexy enough to warrant the loading time. Key models to look at here are all the hanging wires which are expensive and rarely cast shadows in the first place. Also some of the pipes hidden under other pipes wouldn't need to cast other shadows either.
2c) Maybe just delete a few hanging wires outright, as the general feel of the map will remain the same but the game will load faster as a result.

3) The game PLAYS slowly as well due to all the models. Toggling models on/off makes a big difference in performance. I will try and optimise this further through code but it's already pretty good. Mostly you'll just need to accept that lots of players will be forced to disable models when playing Core. The 2 main things you can do for this are:
3a) Force display the most important models/decals like light fixtures and the occassional pipe or something. All the dirt and paper and grime and barrels should remain optional though.
3b) Maybe just try delete a few of the bigger decals like the big areas of dirt and cracks. Not all of course as they look great. But just a few in the corners is enough to get the impression across without having to cover the entire map in dirt. Lots more pixels much be rendered and this is slow.

So yeah, map is gorgeous. But the map is TOO gorgeous for it's own good :p It loads and renders quite slowly and I think it'd really be worthwhile trying to fix this a bit. I'd love to play games in this map as it looks so nice but I think lots of players will vote against it or leave the server entirely due to unnecessary performance issues. And this would be a waste of a sexy map!

Author:  GelatinOverlord [ Sat 11 Jul 2015, 21:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

New update out!
Reduced load time on my machine from 32s to 19s. Asylum loads in 11s, so it shouldn't be too bad.

Removed unnecessary models
Removed unnecessary shadowing of models
Reworked lighting in some parts to cut down on amount of lights
Lighting properties done on some tiles

Core.sub [475.43 KiB]
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Sadly it doesn't look as pretty as it did before, but the past download will always be there if Ben optimizes the game to the point where that version can be played with little issues.

Author:  bencelot [ Sat 11 Jul 2015, 22:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Hey man, thanks a tonne for optimising the map. I just tried it out and it loaded in 19s for me too, same time that Downtown Oubreak takes. Huge improvement over before, and it's running faster in-game too :D

As for it looking worse I don't think so. It actually looks a lot less cluttered now. Sometimes less is more ;) And all my favourite things like the car crash and the broken pipes are there anyway. People will be blown away by the sexy. Eitherway it now plays great, looks great and runs great. A perfect official map! I'll add it to the release now.

If you don't mind I might just make a few tiny fixes such as a few misaligned tiles I found, and I might force-display a few of the most important models/decals. I'll send it back to you when it's done and you can review the changes (if you even notice them). Just little tweaks.

Anyway thanks heaps man, I know how long you've worked on this thing! Great work :D

Author:  bencelot [ Sun 12 Jul 2015, 19:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Hey man, just gave the map a quick once over and made a few changes. Nothing drastic just little performance improvements and a few lighting tweaks. I was able to improve the loading time by disabling Self Shadowing on all your models (which takes ages) and as a result was able to put back in a few lights that you deleted. Tweaked the colour scheme a bit too just to make things a bit more colourful and go with the more intense fog. Overall it's lookin' good! Check it out. Here is a complete list of all the stuff I changed. It looks like a lot but they're very minor. This is just so you can review all the changes:

Increased view fog density and tweaked to slightly more cyan colouring to complement the lighting scheme more.
Removed Self Shadowing from all the models. This gave a nice boost to loading time. This option slows things down a lot because it means that each model now has to check against every other model for shadows when it's being lit. Taking this off made no visual impact but sped up loading time by a few seconds.
With those extra seconds I readded a few lights you deleted, and tweaked a few of the existing lights with more ambience and bigger ranges to create a softer and more natural look. I also put a few of the big lights up against the walls to get more dramatic shadowing, and raised up the spawn lights so they'd cast light down past the steps to compensate for the unlit area. Probably would have been too expensive to do this otherwise but the performance gain allowed for it and I think the overall effect looks quite nice.
I added a new wind sound effect that increases in volume when you go up to high areas, giving a sense of atmosphere and depth.
Fixed a few yellow/purple lights and particles that you forgot to flip when putting Sci down the bottom.
Deleted a couple wires that were cluttering the view too much. None of the important ones though.
Got rid of the streetlamp inside the green pits and went back to your original idea where the light "glows" from the radiation. Increased ambience of the green light and removed shadow casting on the railings to reflect this. Looks less cluttered now.
Removed shadow casting from a few of the railings in the central strip just to make the lighting a bit simpler.
Fixed a few lights which didn't have glow decals in Outbreak.
Force displayed all models and decals that are associated with lighting. Also force displayed those big sexy arches you have for gameplay reasons.
Added a few buzzing noises on the lights in the corridors behind spawns.
Added some cool turbine noises near the corner tunnels.
Put a small covering on top of the tunnels to mask where the bright concrete texture connected with the dark wall texture.
Enlarged the extraction truck zone because if you hit it right on you couldn't quite get inside it.
Repositioned a few of the Outbreak bomb locations to get an even 4 bombs consistent with other maps, also to get more diversity.

Finally, and this is something to be aware of for future maps. When I was running around I noticed that the game was strangely jittery. Every 0.5s the game would stutter very slightly. I originally thought this was because of the models but it was actually all the steam particles. There are like 50 steam particle zones in the map, which is fine and I kept them all, but they were causing jitter for 2 reasons: Firstly the spawn timer on them all was 0.2s with no randomness. This meant that every 0.2s (or every 12th frame in the game engine) all 50 zones would generate ~4 new steam puffs at once. Creating that many particles in the exact same frame caused a bit of a stutter, so to fix this I just added 0.1s of randomness to their spawn frequency, causing the 200 particles to be generated evenly across all 12 frames. The other issue was due to sound. They all had the same sound and every 0.5s or so that looping steam sound effect would finish and need to be reloaded 50 times in the same frame. I fixed this by ticking shared sound on all the steam particles, so it only had to be reloaded once instead. No more jitter! But yeah I had no idea that sound could make such an impact on game performance and it took me a while to figure this out. So a good lesson for map makers, myself included, to remember!

Anywhoo, I think that's it. Bit of a long list but it's mostly technical stuff. The only thing you'll really notice is the fog and lighting tweaks. And I think these look a bit nicer now by going back to something similar to what you had originally. The performance gain allowed for this, so it's a win/win! I was also able to put a few new lights in areas that really light up and show off all the sexy pipes in the map, so now everyone can view the amazing work you've done. Let me know what you think of the tweaks and if you want anything changed.


Core.sub [475.78 KiB]
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Author:  GelatinOverlord [ Sun 12 Jul 2015, 22:22 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Woah, thanks. It looks good. No complaints here. I'm glad that some of the lights were readded, I was annoyed by how dark some places were, but wanted the map to load faster so I disregarded it. Thanks again for the help!

Author:  bencelot [ Sun 12 Jul 2015, 23:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

No problemo. Yet another sexy official map added to the list! Thanks for creating it :)

Author:  bencelot [ Tue 21 Jul 2015, 18:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Just for sake of completeness, here is the most recent version of Core including the team decals up against the walls. Whenever you update the map in the future make sure to use this one. You'll need the new texture file. You might as well just download the entire test build though to make sure I haven't missed out on anything.

Core.sub [469.62 KiB]
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Author:  GelatinOverlord [ Sun 28 May 2017, 16:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Hey there guys. Haven't updated this map in ages, so for V1.0 of Geneshift, I'd like to Introduce Core 1.5.


Core.sub [566.43 KiB]
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Redesigned spawns completely. Now cars can't speed through your base and wreck everything. Outer Merc spawns allow for easier access to spawn ramps.
Lowered sniper towers, added sniper tower to lower right corner for fairness.
Added cover to the middle plazas. Walls now jut from the pit rooms and there's a lowered area near sniper rooms.
Added balconies on sides with least cover. In theory it should add protection from cars entering spawn, and an offensive foothold for those attacking spawn.
Added more routes to spawn balconies as well as to the sniper room. Gotta show some love for pedestrian movement.
Added models/decals, tidied up existing models/decals. Made it more clear that you can shoot through pit room windows.

Give it a run through and lemme know if you catch anything that looks weird!

Author:  bencelot [ Wed 31 May 2017, 07:55 ]
Post subject:  Re: Bx_Core

Awesome work man, thanks for updating this. I've added it for v1.01 :D

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