RE1.5 REvisited - A New Look at Resident Evil 1.5

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This is a FAQ intended to answer the most common questions regarding the RE1.5 REvisited project.

Q: "What in the world is RE1.5 REvisited?"

A:  RE1.5 REvisited was conceived by Richard Mandel in mid-2014 after seeing the early betas of Rod Lima's fan-created RE2 HD for the Unreal game engine.  It seeks to provide both Capcom and Resident Evil fans with as many canned assets as possible for modern 3D rendering and posing programs, as well as game engines, for the creation of various forms of multimedia entertainment either based on or inspired by the cancelled videogame Resident Evil 1.5.  This time around, however, the emphasis is on using a modern immersive true 3D engine instead of the classic pseudo-3D/prerendered background engines of old.  RE1.5 REvisited is NOT a game demo or anything of the sort.  It is and will always be nothing more than a collection of assets with which anyone - including Capcom - is free to use as they please.
    Work on the RE1.5 REvisited project was officially completed on 30 April 2017, just in time to mark the 20th anniversary of the original Resident Evil 1.5 (planned release date of May 1997).


Q:  "Where does Capcom stand with regards to RE1.5 REvisited?"

A:  Mr. Mandel was in correspondence with Capcom at the end of 2015 regarding both his novel Resident Evil: Exodus and the RE1.5 REvisited project.  He offered both to them as a freely given gift without any restrictions of any kind.  Capcom politely declined his offer, stating that they would prefer to develop in-house any assets concerning the cancelled videogame Resident Evil 1.5 -- should they ever chose to do so.  At the same time, however, they did not restrict Mr. Mandel from sharing both with Resident Evil fans in any way, and they also encouraged him to continue his creative efforts.  Mr. Mandel has this in writing, and it was the main reason why work on the RE1.5 REvisited project was allowed to continue to completion.
    It is Mr. Mandel's intention that the assets collected under the RE1.5 REvisited project aegis should be free to all without restriction, and this he will continue to do for as long as Capcom continues not to object his efforts and those of his supporters.  Mr. Mandel also wants to make it clear that his offer of use to Capcom itself still stands, even though they have officially declined it.
    Mr. Mandel had this to add when asked.  "Bottom line -- Capcom is not connected to the RE1.5 REvisited project in any way, nor do they condone or support it; but so far, they don't object to it, either.  They have their own reasons, whatever they might be.  As long as they continue not to object, then the assets of the RE1.5 REvisited project can continue to be made available to everyone.  Thanks to their generosity, you and everyone else can have these free resources based on or inspired by Resident Evil 1.5, and everyone benefits from that -- Capcom included.  Who knows?  Perhaps they'll change their mind about Resident Evil 1.5 someday.  If that ever happens, then this development resource will be there, ready and waiting for them.  In the meantime, we intend to share it with anyone who is interested -- and as long as Capcom doesn't object to that, or whatever else we develop for it down the line, then we can continue to do so.  If they ever do object, we'll comply with their wishes.  I hope everyone is grateful for Capcom for that.  I know we are! (laugh)."


Q:  "But why a modern immersive 3D engine?  Why not just go with the engine from the classic Resident Evil games, or something similar?"

A:  Entertainment standards have made a big jump since 1997-1998.  What wowed us old and grizzled gamers back then in our youths looks dreadfully antique and low-poly now.  There's also the fact that Capcom has slowly but surely been doing modern high-end remakes of those classic Resident Evil games.  It just makes sense to us that Resident Evil 1.5 be part of that effort, too.  "Right now Capcom doesn't intend to do anything with Resident Evil 1.5.  I know, because I've talked to them! (laugh)" Mr. Mandel recently said in a 2016 interview.  "Still, they've left the door open for us (and others like us) to do what we're doing, so long as we don't get carried away with it.  You know -- like doing something stupid, such as pervy nude mods? (*sigh*)
    "We at the RE1.5 REvisited project want to bring Resident Evil 1.5 into the modern immersive 3D generation -- but in order to do that, since many of the 3D assets for this game either don't exist or aren't available to the public, it's up to folks like us to either recreate them or find stuff close enough that we can either use "as-is" or modify accordingly.  That's why we're doing what we're doing."


Q:  "What assets does the RE1.5 REvisited project entail?"

A:  For starters, recreated 3D room models of every single location in the game, along with a revamped story (Exodus) for Resident Evil 1.5 which has been rewritten to be as compatible with the existing Resident Evil canon as possible.  We also have character model collections, enemy and monster models, zombie models, vehicle models, and so on.  It's the availability of the 3D models is probably what will draw most folks here.  As we said, we hope to diversify as our collection of assets grows.


Q:  "Can you describe some of the 3D models you have have?"

A:  We've recreated every single room, level, and level from the original game fairly close to their original form, with only those changes necessary to distinguish our work both from other fan efforts and from any future retail-level efforts on the part of Capcom itself.  We're also going to include in-development room variations whenever possible.  The different room versions documented from the other development builds -- stuff like that.  We're also going to include fan-based or fan-inspired stuff with a definite Resident Evil 1.5 flavor.  For example, Mr. Mandel is commissioning the creation of models from his novel Exodus that are unique to that particular story.  Also, if other fans will either donate or let us recreate any of their stuff inspired by Resident Evil 1.5, then we'd be happy to include it, too.  For now DXP is doing most of the actual scratch-built 3D graphics work, although Mr. Mandel is lending him a hand now and again as he's able.
     That's not all, though.  We've got a full set of both static and rigged weapons models culled or ripped from various sources on the Internet.  A very talented Brazilian XNA artist going by the name of ProgrammerNetwork rigged the whole static set that Mr. Mandel had spent over a year collecting, as well as adding a few more of his own finding (and making) to round out the set.  Mr. Mandel developed a basic set of character models himself with which to work, and got excellent donations by a half-dozen other XNA artists (as of December 2016) for the character model set, too.  We've got vehicle models, object models, and hope to add enemy and pickup item models, too.


Q:  "You say you're getting these models from all kinds of sources.  What do the creators of those models have to say about their use?"

A:  So far no one's objected.  If they do, Mr. Mandel has made it clear that he wants the model pulled and replaced with another one.  He's very ticky about that, because he wants the RE1.5 REvisited project to be as much on the level as possible.  That's one of the reasons why he went to the trouble of contacting Capcom.  Speaking of which, if we use ripped assets, then we try to use or adapt Capcom's own ripped assets as much as possible.  They know they can always say, "Don't do that," and we won't -- but so far they haven't.
    Please understand that if we had the talent pool to scratch build everything, we would -- but we don't, and scratch building takes a lot of time, so we don't if we don't have to.  If a canned asset is already out there which we can use or adapt, and no one objects, then we use or adapt it.  If they ever object, we'll remove it.  That's the way that works.


Q:  "How can I use the RE1.5 REvisited 3D models and other assets in the collection?  I know Mr. Mandel is an XNALara XPS user, and DXP is a Maya graphic artist, but could I use these for other things and in other programs?  Like in my own videogame or demo?"

A:  Most definitely!  That's why there here!  They should be compatible with any software out there that can import the common OBJ format for our static models (rooms, vehicles, items, etc) and the XNALara XPS mesh model formats (either MESH or XPS) for the rigged character models.  Blender will import and export both formats, for example.  If the program with which you want to use these models doesn't support them, then you can use either the porting facilities/scripts of 3D modeling software or a 3D model format converter to port it into whatever format you need.
    Here's one example of porting.  If you want to port our models into the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), in order to make your own RE1.5-style game demo, you'll first have to convert them to FBX format.  That's another common 3D format, used many for rigged models (our room models are unrigged), and you can use either of the two paths described above to do the porting.  Once you do that, you can simply load up your newly ported FBX models inside UDK just like you would import any other FBX model.
    Here's an example of both porting and application.  Mr. Mandel is an XNALara XPS user, and he's been using that popular posing program to create illustrations of scenes from his novel Exodus using the RE1.5 REvisited collection (among other sources).  The first thing he does is port the model into XNA-friendly format - usually either XNA-compatible OBJ, or one of the two common XNA formats (.mesh and .xps), using mariokart64's 3DS Max porting script.  Blender's got a XNA porting script too, by the way.  After that, he can load the ported model into XNALara XPS and do whatever with it which the program will let him.
    Here's a good example of what we're talking about with regards to game or demo development.  The main reason why Mr. Mandel pushed so hard to have a complete set of 3D models for the game finished and available by April 2017 is because of Capcom's current efforts at remaking Resident Evil 2 in modern form.  To quote him, "Let me put it to you this way.  Capcom's going to finish and release RE2 REmake, and it's going to be a humongous hit.  That's pretty much a given, as long as they stay true to the nature, gameplay, and visual style of the original.  Now let's suppose ... let's suppose ... that a year after RE2 REmake gets released, Capcom releases a bonus downloadable content pack (DLC pack) for it ... and in that pack were BOTH the complete old RPD station from Resident Evil 1.5 AND bonus character models from RE1.5, too!  The RE1.5 REvisited project makes that possible, you see?!  We have those 3D assets available NOW!  Well, obviously, Capcom's not going to use our stuff.  Most of it is too low-end, and they've already told me they'd prefer to develop their own stuff in-house should they ever decide to revisit the subject of Resident Evil 1.5.  Even so, that doesn't stop them from using our 3D assets for developing that DLC pack, while their own 3D artists are coming up with their own in-house 3D assets.  I've already given them permission for them to use our stuff however they want, and they don't and won't owe us a dime for it.  They won't have to give our project credit, either.  We'll just be freakingly happy if they do it at all! (laugh)  Just let the idea of that roll around in your mind for a while ... a RE1.5 DLC pack for the new RE2 REmake ....  Sweet, isn't it?  Our work has made that possible.  That's just ONE way our assets can be used."


Q:  "It sounds you're trying to compete with Resident Evil 1.5 fan project here>."

A:  Not at all.  What they're doing and what we're doing are two entirely different things.  We're not doing what they're doing.  We're only providing assets and resources.  That's all.  If other fans want to take our assets and do that kind of thing, or come up with their own assets and do it (as some have), then more power to them.  They're free to do so -- but we won't, and we don't.  We're a resource, not a competitor.  It's like trying to compare apples with apple seeds.  If you're talking about this one particular fan hacker's RE1.5 "rebuild" project (and I won't mention his name, as I don't support his project in any way, form, shape, or fashion), which long ago turned into the greatest piece of vaporware since Duke Nukem Forever (which DID come out, but it took a decade to do so and was irrelevant by the time it was released), you need to realize something.  He wants to bring you his concept of what the whole apple should have been like, in his opinion.  All we want to bring you are the apple seeds (our canned resources), and that way you can grow and eat your own apples the way you want them -- not the way somebody else wants them.  We're not going to compete with anybody and we don't want to do so.  That's not what we're about.


Q:  "How did you recreating your room models?"

A:  We had two methods, and we used a combination of both.  Since I (Mandel) was new to 3D, I usually handled the first part of the first method -- which was building up a base model of the room based directly off of the game maps.  DXP then tooke that and souped it up from there.  The second method is a little more complicated, and involves the use of certain tools which a very talented former classic RE game modder gave to DXP.  He can use them to recreate a classic RE room directly from the camera angle data in background images or even screen shots.  The only bad thing about the second method is that these tools don't account for perspective distortion -- which is why some of our early old RPD models came out not quite right.  That's why we're trying to combine both methods in order to achieve the best results, both with RE1.5 REvisited and with later projects.  For me, it was a learning experience -- but I welcomed it.  After all, practice makes perfect.


Q:  "I think your room models look like crap!  Why aren't they up to the quality of the games, or what other fans are doing?"

A:  That's not what others tell us.  They like them, and they're grateful for them.  Anyway, the low-end and poly-optimized path we follow was a deliberate choice on Mr. Mandel's part.  First, he doesn't want to compete with anybody, least of all Capcom.  Doing low-end room models helps to insure that situation never happens.  Second, he wants these to be able to be ported into any modern immersive 3D gaming engine from the original Quake onward.  We have to keep them simple in order to maximize their portability, and that's also why we use the common OBJ format instead of the many custom game engine model formats that are out there.  Third, Mr. Mandel is a user of the XNALara XPS posing program, and having very large retail-quality models tends to bog it down whenever you pose a complicated scene - especially whenever multiple models are involved.  Fourth, Mr. Mandel also sees the models as base models -- simple recreated 3D room models which more talented 3D artists can take and enhance, revise, upgrade, and even modify in whatever form or fashion they see fit.  He's left it wide open as to what you can do with these recreated room models -- but he insists we keep them simple for everybody's sake.  Fair enough?  You know, it's kinda like the old saying goes:  "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth."


Q:  "Well, I still think your room models look like crap.  What can I do to make them look better?"

A:  Our poly counts aren't that much lower than some of the simpler room models (not counting their contents) that Capcom itself created for the two Outbreak and two Chronicles games.  The difference poly-count wise is in the included objects -- and we simplified those as much as possible for porting purposes while trying to keep them at least recognizable.  So if you want to make our recreated room models look better for your own purposes, the first thing you can do is strip them to the walls and replace all of the included objects with higher-poly versions.  There's all kinds of sources out there from where you can mine or download higher-end replacements.  Tables, chairs, counters, plants, all the stuff on the desktops, ceiling and wall fixtures, hand and safety rails, etc.  Stuff like that.  The second thing you can do is re-texture everything with higher resolution and more detailed textures -- as well as adding things like shaders, UV and light maps, and so on.  Ours are pretty basic - these are FREE models, after all - but if you want to repaint your preferred RE1.5 REvisited recreated room model with, say, the official Capcom texture set, we don't object.  That's between you and Capcom.  Or if you want to use different textures from elsewhere, or even come up with your own, that's fine, too.  You can even re-release your "improved" versions of our CG models, and we won't object.  All we ask you to do is credit us for our original efforts.  Fair enough?


Q:  "Are you ever going to release any more rigged character models, or re-release your old rigged models, Mr. Mandel?  I'm thinking primarily about your Outbreak character rigs, as you're the only one who ever rigged the full set of both humans and zombies for XNA use."

A:  "Well, I don't release XNA character models anymore (as of December 2017 - ed).  It got to be too much of a hassle, and there were other things I wanted to do.  However, I made sure before I stopped doing XNA releases that we had obtained, recreated, or customized as many of the ones we needed for the RE1.5 REvisited project archives -- so the set is fairly complete.  There's only a few we missed, but that's simply because there was no such model available at the time that we could use or would make a passable substitute.  Our project character model roster is both wide and deep."


Q:  "I think RE1.5 REvisited is cool, and I'd like to be a part of it.  How can I contribute?"

A"  Unlike that other fan project from "da scene," who deliberately drove away a lot of talented people who would have been happy to help them, we welcome anyone and everyone who'd like to take part -- no matter how big or small your contribution, or regardless of your level of talent.  Even though the project has now officially ended, we still welcome contributions.  Just drop me, REMandel, or my good friend DXP (darksaviordxp) a note on deviantArt.  You do that by clicking on the Send a Note icon at the top right of the deviantArt site, or you can do it from our deviantArt home pages.  You can even do it right here on the official RE1.5 REvisited deviantArt home page.  It may take a while for us to get back to you - we do have lives in the real world - but feel free to drop us a line anytime.  We'd love to hear from you.


Q:  "Are you guys going to ever work with the original game, or offer any assets, tools, patches, and so on in support of it?"

A:  No.  That represents the past.  We represent the future.  It's not that we're not interested.  That's just not our thing, as we've already stated.


Q:  "One last question, Mr. Mandel.  At one time you claimed there was another build of Resident Evil 1.5 out there.  Do you still claim that, and are you still looking for it?"

A:  I don't claim anything.  It's a fact.  Certain people know it's a fact, and that's why they've tried to smear and discredit me so hard over this issue -- largely because they want it for themselves, so they'll have new material for their tired old one-trick-pony, smoke-and-mirrors show they've been running ever since February 2012, if I remember correctly -- when news of that first build of Resident Evil 1.5 we now finally have originally leaked.  I managed to dig in places those same people wish I had never dug, and what I found irrefutably points to there being at least one more build "in the wild," as the saying goes.  Do I want it?  Yes ... but not nearly as much as before.  It would be nice to have, but I don't have to have it, if you know what I'm saying.  Do I want it all to myself, so I can lord my ownership of it all over creation, as those same people did for well nigh a year?  Hell, no!  That's why I planned to give that first REAL build away once I got my hands on it ... but all of you know that story of how that came about by now, and I won't bore you with it.  I'll still like to skin alive a certain anonymous hacker for making me look bad so HE could be the one to release the game to the public ... but I guess it all worked out for the best.  All of you got the REAL game, and that's what I wanted for you all along.  I've long since moved on from that, and you should too.  I'm no longer actively looking for any other lost builds of Resident Evil 1.5, nor will I help finance a "group" purchase if one turns up.  I haven't been involved in anything like that for years now.  Why?  I don't really need them anymore, if you know what I'm saying.  I now have both my novel Exodus and the 3D assets of the RE1.5 REvisited project -- and that frees me of any so-called need for the other lost builds of the game.  Besides, I've got better things to do with my money than waste it on a bunch of narcissists, freeloaders, and ingrates.  RE1.5 Revisited is where I put the money I would have spent on that, and it's been the better investment in the long run.
    You see, and thanks largely to Rod Lima's pioneering efforts, I've become convinced that fans need to look to the future with regards to Resident Evil 1.5, instead of trying to reinvent the past in their own image.  Today's gamers want immersive 3D, not pseudo-3D and superdetailed backdrops.  It makes me sad to see all of the effort that one fan hacker and his groupies has poured into that custom fanwaker "rebuild" of RE1.5 -- and I'm going to call it what it is, as it's NOT what Capcom intended or how Capcom was going to do the game (I know, I've talked to them).  Most of that effort is going to go to waste doing their own unique reinterpretation of a past which they wish would have happened, instead of what actually did.  They could have been done years ago, and I have that from some of the best fan hackers on the scene, but they're still spinning their wheels trying to reinvent the wheel itself, and remold every bit of what survives of the original RE1.5 in their own image.  You know -- the ship of Theseus paradox, as DXP once so aptly pointed out?  On the other hand, that same effort, and much of their work, could be used for a modern immersive 3D rebuild, or reinvention, or whatever they want to call it, that the could truly call their own -- so long as they don't continue to claim that what they're doing is the real RE1.5.  It isn't, anymore than Exodus is the real RE1.5 -- but that's where they and I differ. I've always made a point to distinguish what I'm doing, how I'm doing it, and why I make any changes I do, from the actual Capcom sources.  They didn't do that for the longest time - tried to hide what they were doing, actually, until fans with equal skills and knowledge of the game caught 'em in the act - and in certain respects they still don't.  They're very talented, but they're also conceited ... and they have yet to release anything substantial with regards to Resident Evil 1.5 since that one hacked-up build of theirs years ago, which many people are still mistaking for the real game -- and NO, that Dino Crisis battle arena "tech demo" rip-off thingey doesn't count, either.  That and other such crud is why both I and most of the more sensible people on "da scene" back then left, and don't intend to return.
    I can only speak for myself.  I believed in the RE1.5 REvisited project.  I saw it through from start to finish, and both supported and financed it every step of the way.  We're DONE.  They're NOT, and people have been waiting on them for years.  You want to know something else?  As long as Capcom continues not to object, I'm going to make sure fans always have these free Resident Evil 1.5 inspired 3D model assets for them to do with as they please.  That other bunch and their ilk can continue to make fun of us all they want, or continuing to pretend like we don't exist -- because what they say doesn't matter, and we're NOT going away no matter how badly they behave.  They will never again hold RE fans hostage with an almost exclusive lock on all things Resident Evil 1.5 -- and for that, they've never forgiven us and probably never will.  (laugh)  Still, it's not about me, or DXP, or ProgrammerNetwork, or all the other people who have helped us in lesser ways -- and it's most definitely not about those people, either.  It's about the fans, first and foremost.  If the RE1.5 REvisited project is able to help fans realize their own visions regarding Resident Evil 1.5 or whatever parts of it they prefer in some small way, well, we've done our job.  That's what makes all of it worth it.  There is STILL a lot of interest out there in Resident Evil 1.5.  Perhaps, with our help, we can bring it into the modern immersive 3D generation, so a whole new group of fans can discover what the unique attraction for many to this almost completed but cancelled game was and still is all about.
   

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