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Amiga Moding Questions


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Hi @ all.

 

I m working on a Dune 2 Mod for the Amiga Version.

Im using THC´s Editor, HexEditor and normal EditPad for the scenario and regio ini´s.

 

My first map is ready but i have a great problem.

The Harvester dont move one meter. The dont harvest the spice and just stand still.

Now my Idea is that there is a commando like (Hunt, Guard etc..) but i dont think it.

 

What is the Problem and how can i fix it?

 

Sorry for my bad english (im from germany)

 

Greets

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Thx.

I have found the problem, the standard commando was guard and not harvest. ;)

I have changed it and now it works.

I the computer build a base alone or did he just rebuild destroyed buildings?

I think the harvester upload spice on and on, also when the spice silos are full. Is that normal?

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I the computer build a base alone or did he just rebuild destroyed buildings?

No, the AI can only rebuild destroyed structures.

I think the harvester upload spice on and on, also when the spice silos are full. Is that normal?

I think the AI does not lose spice due to the lack of silo storage. Or maybe it does, but it doesn't make any noticeable impact on its economy.
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Is it possible to change the TechLevel for the first Missions?

So that all units are possible from beginning till the end.

 

 

I have mad a mission with Ordos and Harkonnen vs. Human.

The reinforcements of the Harkonnen is comming all 3 minutes to the Human Base. I have set "EnemyBase" an its functunally.

But the Ordos Reinforcements will landing in the Harkonnen Base, also set with "EnemyBase".

Is that problem known? What can i do?

 

 

Edit: are the Prices in the Starport hardcoded or where can i find it?

 

Thx 

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Is it possible to change the TechLevel for the first Missions?

So that all units are possible from beginning till the end.

It can be done, but only by editing the EXE. It's not possible by changing parameters in the INI files.

 

I have mad a mission with Ordos and Harkonnen vs. Human.

The reinforcements of the Harkonnen is comming all 3 minutes to the Human Base. I have set "EnemyBase" an its functunally.

But the Ordos Reinforcements will landing in the Harkonnen Base, also set with "EnemyBase".

Is that problem known? What can i do?

Yes, it does happen in official missions as well. For example, in mission 4 the Sardaukar reinforcements may be dropped into the enemy base instead of the player's. It might be affected by the House number, but I can't be sure.

Edit: are the Prices in the Starport hardcoded or where can i find it?

Prices are randomly calculated based on the default productions costs for a unit. I think someone did some research into that, and it turned out that the price in the Starport may vary from 75% to 150% of the initial cost.

There is no way to change this except by editing the game executable. I don't think anyone ever tried to change the way Starport goods are priced.

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Is it a bug that the reinforcement ends when the game is running a long time?

The DOS version had an error in the code which prevented looped reinforcements, even though they were coded in the game. This was fixed a while ago.

As for the Amiga version I'm not sure. I think it is based on the DOS v1.07 with some things fixed, but I don't remember if the looped reinforcements are one of them.

Maybe reinforcements stop later on in the game because the unit per map limit is reached? There can be no more than 80 regular ground units total on the map at any given time.

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Maybe reinforcements stop later on in the game because the unit per map limit is reached? There can be no more than 80 regular ground units total on the map at any given time 

 

Is the reinforcements stopping when the unit Limit is reached? i thought that reinforcements an starport units are free from the limit. Just the computer or human cant build new units.

 

Question;

 

Where can i find the seeds in the Amiga Version?

i wnat to chang something but i dont find the seeds.

Just a number in the scenario.ini

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Is the reinforcements stopping when the unit Limit is reached? i thought that reinforcements an starport units are free from the limit. Just the computer or human cant build new units.

This is only true for the "per side" unit limit (which is defined by the MaxUnit= variable in the scenario INI files). But there's also a hardcoded global limit of 80 regular ground units per map, 10 aerial units, 2 worms and 2 saboteurs (3 in v1.0). It cannot be exceeded in any way.

Check Nyeguds' Dune II EXE Editor. Each unit type has an assigned index range, and every unit present on the map gets a unique index based on that range. There may be no units on the map at any given time than there are available indeces, which are limited.

This was done because of memory restrictions I suppose.

 

Question;

 

Where can i find the seeds in the Amiga Version?

i wnat to chang something but i dont find the seeds.

Just a number in the scenario.ini

The seed is the number in the scenario file. The game uses an algorithm to build the terrain based on that number. It is not possible to "edit" the maps the way you would do that in Command & Conquer, StarCraft or other RTS games which have actual map files.
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The seed is the number in the scenario file. The game uses an algorithm to build the terrain based on that number. It is not possible to "edit" the maps the way you would do that in Command & Conquer, StarCraft or other RTS games which have actual map files.

But its possible in the PC Version right?

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Foxman, I think what might have got you confused is that before the seed generation algorithm was properly understood, Dune II engine recreations like Dune Legacy or Dune II - The Maker, and some map editors, had to rely on maps which were extracted from the original Dune II's saved games. But these maps are only usable in third-party games, and modern versions just use the seed generation algorithm anyway.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi @ all.

Now i have a questions about the graphics.

The Amiga Version also have wsa and cps Files inside.

But i have no chance to view or open it?

The XCC Mixer doesnt work or im to stupid.

The Eastwood tool i cant find, and tools like irfanview, photoshop or so dont work also.

What can i do for the Amiga Version?

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I'm not sure if the graphics formats used by the Amiga version are the same as those for the PC version. IIRC, the Amiga palette has less colours.

Anyway, the best tool for the PC graphics formats is Red Horizon Utilities.

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My guess about the difference between Amiga and DOS Dune 2 WSA-s would be that the PC use chunky VRAM structure, while the Amiga uses planar.

 

A chunky VRAM for a 16x2 image looks like this (an eight number group is a byte and the numbers are the bits of the pixels):

76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 7654321076543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210 76543210

While a 16x2 planar VRAM looks like this (same here, eight number is a byte and the numbers are the bits of the pixels):

77777777 7777777766666666 6666666655555555 5555555544444444 4444444433333333 3333333322222222 2222222211111111 1111111100000000 0000000077777777 7777777766666666 6666666655555555 5555555544444444 4444444433333333 3333333322222222 2222222211111111 1111111100000000 00000000

Advantage of the chunky mode is speed. A chunky VRAM is the fastest VRAM, the CPU can directly modifiy a pixel by one operation, regardless to the bitdepth. Disadvantage is the memory wasting, for on 8 bit, it's okay, but if you use only 5 or 6 bit (like on Amiga), you'll waste 3 or 2 bit on every byte.

Planar mode is exactly the opposite. It's extremely slow for the CPU, since for modifiying a pixel, you have to read in, mask it out, then write it out the bytes that much time as much bitdepth you have.

However it's the most efficient method for sparing space, as it never wastes even one bit. (Since Amiga has a special co-processor, exactly designed for manipulating planar VRAM, in the beginning, the programmers did not have to worry about speed.)

 

In practice this means, if you want to have fast drawing on the Amiga (with the Blitter or the 68000), then you cannot store your images in chunky format, since then you have to convert them each time you write them into the VRAM, so you have to store them in planar structure (shown above).

 

 

 

Another difference is the palette as mentioned by MrFlibble.

An SVGA or MCGA VRAM on the PC uses 256 colours out of 262144. It means, every palette entry is 3 byte long, but do not uses the top two bits per component, only can assigned with values from 0 to 63.

An AGA Amiga also uses 256 colours, but out of 16777216. (Means full 24-bit colours, 256 values per component (0-255).)

However the Amiga version of Dune 2 can run on OCS/ECS machines too, which can use 32 (or 2x32, see later) colours out of 4096 (12-bit palette).

(Actually on Amigas, you can have 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 2x32 coloured screens on every Amiga and you can use 64, 128 and 256 coloured screens on AGA machines, but Dune 2 is not AGA and not colourpoor, so my best guess is that they either use 32 or 2x32 coloured EHB screens.)

On an OCS/ECS Amiga, you have 32 palette registers, each are 12-bit wide (which means 4 bit for R, G, B and 4 bit unused, 16 total shades per colour component), so you can have 32 unique colours on a screen (5-bit screens). But Amiga has a special 6-bit screen format, which called Extra Half Bright mode. You still have 32 palette registers, but you have an imaginary second palette where all colours are the half brighted versions of the primary palette. So, if you set colour number 8 to a gray with values 10, 10, 10, then the imaginary colour 40 will be equivalent to 5, 5, 5. Dune 2 either uses this EHB mode with 2x32 colour, or just 32 colours.

 

 

 

Third difference can be the endianity. PC-s uses intel x86 CPU-s, which are uses little endian byte order, while the Amigas (and the vast majority of the 16 and 32-bit homecomputers from the '80-ies) are uses the Motorola 680x0 CPU-s which are uses big endian byte order.

Little endian writes and reads bytes from the least to the most significant byte, while the big endian does exactly the opposite.

For example a (hexadecimal) number 0x12345678 in the memory or on the disk would look like this on little endian: 78 56 34 12

On big endian it will look like: 12 34 56 78

While endianity is not an earthshaking problem, as it can be converted from one to another by simply rotating the bits, it must be known if a value needed to convert.

Though i have no knowledge about the WSA-s, i can confirm that the Amiga scenarios uses big endian byte order for storing numbers, thus i don't see a reason why Amiga WSA-s would do otherwise.

 

 

 

To conclude this much bullshit i wheelbarrowed together, the Amiga Dune 2 WSA-s must use 5 or 6-bit planar structured pictures and 32 coloured palettes. (For showing them on PC, you must emulate the imaginary 32 colours too, but to find them in the Amiga binaries, you have to seek for only 32 entries, not 64.)

The rest of the WSA-s (header, footer, whatever VRAM independent data) can be similar or entirely identical to the PC version, being their byte order the only exception.

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I made a screencap in WinUAE during game and counted the colours with IrfanView. It uses more colours than 32, so the game obviously uses EHB mode.

I found the palette in the WSA-s, from the offset of 11, there is 32 12-bit (0x0RGB), but until now, it seems, that the pictures only uses 16 colours and only the first 16 entry is used, the second 16 colours are set to 0x0fff (white). The pictures are 184x112 sized, so in theory if the Amiga WSA-s are really in planar structure, one scanline must be 23 byte long. However, it seems, that the WSA-s have some kind of compression (maybe a run-length one).

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THC thx for so much Infos.

I think my mod must be Live with the original graphics.

Thats too much for my understand. :(

But my mod is going on ;)

Is it possible to implent the special blooms in the Amiga Version?

I have tested it but became an error.

Btw. in my Version there are no Ordos, the are replaced and are called now Corin (the real House Corrino) the Ordos not really exists in Frank Herberts Dune.

I must call them Corin because the same number of letters.

Btw. here is my teaser picture for my Amiga Mod

http://www.amiga68k.de/?p=4117

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If you're to dechyper the WSA-s, then i'd suggest the "destructive trial and error" method. I mean, you can destroy various parts of the WSA and you can check what happened. You can do it with WinUAE and a hexaeditor. Just load Dune 2, go to the mentat screen, then select an entry which you will try to hack. You backup it, edit it, then you open it in the mentat screen. (You don't have to restart Dune 2, just exit from the article and open it again.)

 

What do you mean by "special bloom"? Blooms (spiceblows) are available on Amiga too. I don't know, if you did get my mail, but i finished the manual you asked; it covers every difference between Amiga and DOS Dune 2 scenarios.

 

I know, House Ordos does not exists in Herberts' books, but renaming them to Corin will be redundant as House Corrino is the Sardaukar (purple) player. 

 

I've already seen your post, it was on the news at the hungarian Amiga community. (BTW, Dune 2 is not the first RTS in history. It's either Stonkers from ZX Spectrum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonkers) or the Bokosuka Wars from the Sharp X1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokosuka_Wars), both from 1983.)

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Hi THC,

No ive not received the manual. :(

Special Blooms are thougt but not reallly sucesfull implentet in the game. There could be Units or an vehicle under.

The Sardauker in my Mod is changed in the trading guild.

Trial an Error with the wsa i could do. I look what happen than.

New pictures are a problem i think, but also without it is okay. I must know my limits.

Btw: your Editor is great, Thx for this cool work.

The best is that its able to Save amiga scenarios and pc scenarios.

Without that, it could be unimpossible to do that mod.

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BTW, Dune 2 is not the first RTS in history.

If Brett Sperry's account is to be believed, Dune II is the first RTS, because the term "real-time strategy" was coined by him/Westwood Studios specifically for that game:

“We called Dune II a ‘realtime strategy’ game – we did that to make it clear to software retailers and users that we had something new,” says Sperry, who seems to have been afforded the rare chance to not only create a new genre but to name it as well. [source]

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