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vidiware

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:)

Some good news for a change, I had a blitz on the mod in the last week which has seen me finish the Ordos missions at last (including game testing most of them) and complete the NewUnit descriptions/pictures. The drawing of the Leech is not very good (but will have to do) and I was unable to draw the Contaminator so that picture has been left as a blank.

My next task is to filter the Corrino textures down to only those now needed (I have way too many!) and I can then start on converting the Harkonnen to Corrino missions.

Last job will then be to do the icons (I have started a couple of times and got bored with it) and any final bug fixes.

Still doubt I will be ready for release this year, but things are at least looking like nearly done at last...

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:'( :( :'( ???

Well I suppose my last post was asking for it!!!!:

Update:

0% of mod completed - reason  >:( EBFD has decided to kill my mod. The rules file is OK. The artini is OK, but now if I load any mission from any house, it crashes either as it loads the map or a second or two later...or sometimes lasts a bit longer, but is quite unstable and especially for the first campaign mission for each of the three houses (always a tough mission map to load.).

Looking back I realise that this is what was happening about 1 year ago when I had almost completed adding the Guild side and then EBFD became corrupted.

I think I am including too many units with weapons and effects laden bullets (though both Rules and artini will load initially), with too many new textures and xbf buildings for the actual program code to support the display of the graphics (EBFD falls over not my graphics card). I think that is why the gamemasters had so many unarmed units and limited the bullets/weapons, as they knew it could not handle lots of units and fancy weapons...

So back to first principles and ignore a number of buildings (goodbye to Generals from a separate Palace HQ), goodbye to a 3rd gunturret per house, and goodbye to a lot of extra reinforcement/crate units...

...I will now start recoding a much smaller mod with less units per house and sub-house.

...so release before Xmas is now possible only if it's Xmas 2006!

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If I had realised that the instability was across all missions earlier - yes.

Unfortunately I thought it was due to me moving out all of the Corrino textures while I filtered them (as I was tweaking the Ordos missions, some Ordos and Ix units, tweaked a few buiding xbfs etc). So I carried on...

...So I have made so many changes that my backup fails also! - I even switched off a load of units/buildings to try to isolate the problem and was unable to determine one single thing, it is either something buried deep (a rogue texture, building or unit - unlikely though) or a buildup of too much tweaking of unit and building xbfs, rules files, artini files and GUI xbfs.

The best solution to ensure stability on other peoples PC's is to recode with less items - but now fully designed and mapped out (I now know what is needed to fit with the modified missions text files). I thus wont be wasting all the development time as I should be able to re-use all the xbfs, textures etc, just not all of them!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I have restarted editing the Conflict mod.

One good thing with a clean start is that I can retry some ideas from last year that I now know how to get to work - for example making the AI deploy an ATMinotaurus (which is in fact a Kobra model) as the original unit filenames for seige tanks are called on some of the campaign maps. While the Ordos now have a toxic gas hurling Kobra (that the AI knows NOT to deploy) that is in fact a HKInkVine with mini-deathhandsplats.

status:

AT, HK and OR units nearly redefined/textured.

Ix now as Mercenaries (ATMino plus HKAssault) plus IM now as Harkonnens (Infantry, InkVine Trooper and HKGeneral) unit definition/textures done.

No other sub-houses done yet and no buildings re-edited yet.

I am saving files and testing EVERY step to minimise the chance of instability hitting again...

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  • 1 month later...

Just a quick update:

Progress is slow but I am ensuring that each step is backed up.

All houses/sub-house textures and buildings redone except for the new ORHanger and ORResearchcentre buildings which I still need to complete the new construction models.

Have not yet done all the incidental buildings

All units coded and textured.

Sounds, unit speech, newunit descriptions and HK missions to do.

Finish date - likely by Spring 2006

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well it is January and Emperor is not working at the moment...

...I am in the middle of an upgrade to Windows XP plus dual boot to either Win ME or Win 98.

However I am still continuing development as I am manually editing the Corrino (Harkonnen) Campaign text at the moment, and I can do the unit voices/weapon sounds without needing a working EBFD.

MOD Position is:

All main houses complete including NewUnit descriptions. Some incidental buildings done.

All sub houses complete.

Ixian and Ordos campaign text edited.

Corrino campaign text - 30% complete.

50% of weapon sounds and unit voices updated.

0% of icons done.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

:)

Progress is good with 90% of the mod now complete.

I am on Rules tidy up and AI testing (I have reduced the AI difficulty from ICW where the AI was able to build too many units and buildings at each level).

All campaign missions converted (excluding last Worm mission) though I am debugging text/voice errors while doing the above play-testing.

Still thinking whether to look at all the individual AI scripts or not...

I have started the icons - 5% finished

Finish date - Summer 2006

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  • 1 month later...

;)

Progress is good with 92% of the mod now complete.

I have completed Rules tidy up and AI testing, majority of obvious bugs found, AI now slightly harder.

All campaign missions converted including last Worm mission (forced some Ix unit changes)

No plans now to change individual AI scripts.

I have started the icons - 15% finished

Finish date on track - Summer 2006

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  • 1 month later...

Well the mod is still only 90% complete - just a different 90% as to previous posting.

Following feedback on the look of some of the Ixian buildings I have redone a number of things including:

Dropping Harkonnen as a sub-house (only now present as rebel campaign units), replacing with Mercenaries (which sound like Harkonnens!) changing superweapons, making ADP's superweapons also and re-instating the Landsraad side....oh and changed those Ix buildings (which were rather ugly).

Status is everything is finished except for icons which I have made a start on. I am still testing to find/fix bugs.

I have decided that this is to be my last Emperor mod - once I have finished this (probably in 2-3 months) I will be ceasing EBFD modding as it is too time consuming.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well the mod is still only 90% complete - just a different 90% as to previous posting.

Status is everything is finished except for icons which I have made a start on. I am still testing to find/fix bugs.

Mod is not as complete as I believed - thanks to Creepin and Re-Vek I have discovered some Ordos missions that I have not edited and tested and would have potentially crashed Conflict of the Landsraad

I must now review all Ordos missions and the role of Smuggler incidental units so I estimate that the completion date (if I ever get round to doing the icons) has slipped to late 2006.

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  • 2 months later...

Well the mod is all but abandoned...

...I have become bored hunting down the bugs and errors in the mod and the thought of doing the icons is just too much at the moment. I am also unhappy with the superunits : Ix Projector = ATSONICTANK; Anti-stealth APC with machine-gun =  HKDev; accurate Deviator = ORDEVIATOR. I feel no excitement in wanting to build them but no idea what to replace them with and still fit into each sides look and feel as Sonictank has replaced the Mino, Seige Dev has replaced the InkVine and Ordos is just Ordos.

Also I am enjoying Rise of Nations - Rise of Legends both in skirmish mode and campaigns so not certain if the COTL mod will progress any further.

I will consider where I am in September

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Can you get rid of the superunits, or replace them with non-buildable carbon copies of ordinary units?

Will pilfering icons from KH2 or COAD help?

I've been looking forward to this mod for a while, and it would be a shame for it to die after all this work, but I can empathise entirely with the bugs problem.

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DuneNewt has proposed that together we look at the COTL material and look to finish either COTL, or his Palace mod or something in between.

In the meantime I will continue with COTL development (at a slower pace) and take up Nema's suggestion of seeing if I can pinch "generic icons" that already exist in KH2, COAD and some of the other mods as the main stumbling block is the projected time involved in creating the icons for all houses and all sub-houses!

I have given up finding the "missing" smuggler missions and will assume my fixes to the smuggler units/buildings and ordos mission files are sufficient.

Nema,

thanks for your suggestion on superunits. I am going to switch Corrino around (my main worry) so that the top unit is the RepairTank. The HKDev will then be relegated to a level 5 ResearchCentre unit that is useful as anti-stealth machine-gun medium tank (and cheaper/weaker) while the Repairtank if I copy KH2 and allow both repair of units and sardaukar will be very desirable to build. The corrino sardaukar and vehicles will then be the only infantry/units not to get self-healing at level 2. The change around is not now going to matter as I have disabled the HK homeworld rebellion mission where defending the palace would have been very difficult with Repairtanks!

As for the ix projector, I dont like it much but then the previous superunit (a weak stealth tank) again I never built and did not annoy me much tactically when the AI used it. Some people like the projector and with no real seige unit (the sonictank only has an extended range of 12) some people might use the projector to create seige units against the AI. If not the stealthed flying infiltrator is very nice - so much so that I have had to cut its bomb damage capability down!

JulesG

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  • 1 month later...

Well it has been two months since my last official update on the status of the COTL mod.

I have raised my estimate to 80% complete as I have been getting on with the icons, using some from Timmen's icon-mod and then retexturing the backgrounds (to give a common look and feel). All infantry are done, couple of sub-houses complete and just vehicles and buildings (Co and OR) to do.

I have also been changing play-style (see separate heresy mod posting) and am changing the superweapons (not again!) around. Chaos weapon to Ix, Energy-beam to Corrino (chaos-less chaosweapon) and Deviator-Missile (Deathhand) that leaves poison-gas fluid splat to Ordos.

Slow progress but hope to be finished before Xmas 2006.

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  • 1 month later...

I have also been changing play-style (see separate heresy mod posting) and am changing the superweapons (not again!) around. Chaos weapon to Ix, Energy-beam to Corrino (chaos-less chaosweapon) and Deviator-Missile (Deathhand) that leaves poison-gas fluid splat to Ordos.

Slow progress but hope to be finished before Xmas 2006.

Very slow progress - I have been frustrated in that I hate the Superweapons (other than DeathHand), cant get the Deviator-Kindjal unit out of a useful ORResearchCentre and that the ATR-Ix alliance should feel more familar (ie have some ATR units).

So I have re-designed as follows:

All units from FACTORY

Ix - Trike, Mongoose, IxProjector, Minotaurus, Stealth APC, Stealth SuperInfiltrator

Co - Flame Tank, Assault tank, Seige Devastator, Repair Tank, Dual-Laser Devastator

Or - DustScout, APC, LaserTank, InkVine, Deviator

PALACE (using ATpalace model) gives either 1) Stealth Ix General 2) Corrino Bashar 3) Ordos Deviator-Kindjal but this building is built at time of Hanger.

STARPORT - needed to get last FACTORY unit 1) SuperInfiltrator 2) Dual-Laser Devastator 3) Ordos Deviator

also planning STARPORT to offer a number of CHOAM units to all sides (Trike, Quad, APC, MissileTank )

SuperWeapon centre - 1) IxResCentre gives free Stealth Flying Infiltrator 2) Corrino Pyramid gives free "Terror Tank" (SonicTank firing Hawk Strike - just like KH2!) and 3) ORSW Centre gives the DeathHand missile.

I have dropped Ordos having a helipad/ornithopter and given ATR a more powerful Orni than Corrino.

Sub-Houses similar to before but Mercenaries and Landsraad will have a few less units (Quad, MissileTank etc) as these are now to be generic CHOAM starport only units.

Update soon

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  • 3 weeks later...

:( Stumped again!

I seem to have corrupted my various rules and artini files (including 2 sets of backups). This has left me in the last three weeks restoring every time I make one or two changes towards my final rules goals as the changes mean that it does not work in skirmish mode (falls over after a few seconds, though it works in campaign mode). The restore then works in skirmish mode but falls over in campaign mode! My rules, artini and units are now completely out-of-synch.

I have thus not be able to complete the rules changes needed to bring the mod all together as planned.

It looks as if I may need to redo the artini and rules files from a clean start, however at least I know now what each unit and building is to be - I just must not change my mind anymore! With the removal of the Heighliner and Homeworld Defence missions I also have more flexibility with design (which has been part of the multiple change problems in the last few weeks).

I dont think I have hit a coding limit, I think more likely it is too many copy, pastes and deletions (I hope).

A rules restart is not as bad as it sounds - the buildings, textures, units and icons are what take the time to design/create and they are basically all done (bar a few dozen icons).

Mod Delivery obviously now not before early 2007

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  • 2 weeks later...

;)

I think they are amateurs compared to my constant missed dates!

Anyway having restarted on the rules file I have just found the error in the one broken 4 weeks ago - the [ATTRIKE] filename was lost so of course it kept falling over!

Never mind : with the restart of the rules file I have rethought a few things and so will continue with my plans to release the mod by end of March 2007 (finished or not) - as after this time ALL I WILL BE DOING IS PLAYING C&C 3!!!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well the rules file rewrite is completed. :) I will put up the final list of units at another time. I have though dropped the Saboteur as the Fremen unit kept blowing up half of his colleagues during campaign tests. I could use it just as an Ordos crate unit if people like it that much...

Unfortunately the ICONs are causing problems.  >:(

I am going through the icons one by one to find out if they are corrupted and crash EBFD, it looks as if some of the B&W background icons are the problem.

I still have most ICONs to create/re-create.

I have decided to not change all the incidental campaign buildings and units as I have before to minimise any memory issues (though I will leave the textures and buildings in the game directories for other people to use).

Getting there (at last)!

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