Klofkac

Reviewing Map and Mission editor

42 posts in this topic

Hello there!

I've been away from D2k and this forum for quite long time after the last release of D2kEditor. I see it's working pretty well and many custom missions and campaigns were made. I got an idea that I could fix bugs in the editor (if there are any at all) and add some minor additional features, if there are any requirements or ideas. I remember I got a few suggestions just after the release, but now I feel it's time to review everything and place your ideas and reports after more than year of using.

Right now I know about the Casualties condition research, and fixing the "Flags?" property to "Ratio" property, which is floating-point value, as discussed.

During the time I was working on level editors for two classic DOS platforming games: Hocus Pocus and Vinyl Goddess from Mars:
http://www.classicdosgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1500
http://www.classicdosgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1512
You can look at them if you know any of these games.

I'm for example going to remake the Settings menu (show grid, impassable tiles etc.) to toggleable buttons located under the minimap, just like in these editors.

And one more thing. I see that many of you discovered what the AI settings mean and posted some information on this forum. I think it would be really great to clearly document everything on some easily-available place, like modding wiki ( http://old.d2kplus.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page ). So that anyone could easily find which AI property does what.

Thank you!

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Hi again man, your Dune2000 editor is awesome.

About bugs: I found 2 bugs.
- One is in the "open tileset" menu. On the top of the windown you can select some sizes, 1x1, 1x2...2x3.
1x1 select four squares (2x2) -  2x2 select nine (3x3) - 4x4 selects 2 squares (2x1) so seems that the editor use the next option to the one selected. 2x3 (being the last option) doesn't select anything on the editor.
- Sometimes (I don't know exactly how to trigger this) when you use the open tileset (space bar) and click on any tile (or group of), when you are about to select it the blue square (showing where will be placed) doesn't appear. usually reopening/closing the tileset menu fix it.
 

Ideas: I have a good number of ideas in my mind. some of them would be useful, others (i think) is just me trying to go even further. If I am delusional with any of those ideas just ignore them :P.

Visuals:
- A Zoom in/out could help. For example, I want to have global vision (or more vision in general) over the map, so I can control the distance from X Side/player to Y side/player and Z side/player.
- Events out of screen. Let's say my map is 64x64 and I set a reinforcement at X= 63 Y=45, and then I place another reinforcement at the same place, by default the editor place the new event to the right, but since is out of the bounds can't be see it (you can't move it by hand, need the editor or move the previous event).

Buildings:
- In the same line as now you can place an Atreides Palace, Ordos palace, Atr and non-atr High-tech Factory, etc... the option to place at least different types of light/heavy factories. Atreides with a Harkonnen Factory will still make them builds Atreides-combat-tank, but since the building is Harkonnen now they can build The devastator too. My mind is focused in the idea of the "House IX". Some modders used Tibet or periodical reinforcements/deliveries to fulfill the fantasy that "IX have all the technology". But, What if you can give them the three heavy factories using the editor? They could build the three special tanks without resorting Tibet <--- ¿Delusional here XD?

Events:
- Play sound: right now you place a number but, at less you try it, there is no way to know what sound/effect/voice is. So, some kind of previou button to make the sound play (Maybe this one is impossible, but I found some lines of dialogue that aren't used in the game).
- Play music: a similar concept, but this time instead a number you need to write the file. Maybe some menu deploying to show a list of the files in the specific folder (and then you click in one and that's it). Maybe playing the music is not possible, but the menu showing the files it is.

Maybe I will remember something more, but for now I think I just write to much. Thak you for listening and for the effor in those editors.

Edited by Cm_blast
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On 7. 9. 2016 at 9:09 PM, Cm_blast said:

About bugs: I found 2 bugs.
- One is in the "open tileset" menu. On the top of the windown you can select some sizes, 1x1, 1x2...2x3.
1x1 select four squares (2x2) -  2x2 select nine (3x3) - 4x4 selects 2 squares (2x1) so seems that the editor use the next option to the one selected. 2x3 (being the last option) doesn't select anything on the editor.
- Sometimes (I don't know exactly how to trigger this) when you use the open tileset (space bar) and click on any tile (or group of), when you are about to select it the blue square (showing where will be placed) doesn't appear. usually reopening/closing the tileset menu fix it.

Thanks for report. I'll look into this.

On 7. 9. 2016 at 9:09 PM, Cm_blast said:

A Zoom in/out could help. For example, I want to have global vision (or more vision in general) over the map, so I can control the distance from X Side/player to Y side/player and Z side/player.

I see. TBH, I was actually thinking of adding zoom-in/out feature, but I realized how hard it would be to implement - I mean the changes in rendering code and editing code. But maybe I can come up with some solution. Is zoom 50%, 100%, 200% okay for you?

On 7. 9. 2016 at 9:09 PM, Cm_blast said:

Events out of screen. Let's say my map is 64x64 and I set a reinforcement at X= 63 Y=45, and then I place another reinforcement at the same place, by default the editor place the new event to the right, but since is out of the bounds can't be see it (you can't move it by hand, need the editor or move the previous event).

IIRC, I made it the way that when the moved event marker would appear outside the right map boundary, it appears in the left edge of the map - so scroll to the left and you should see it. I know it's not very useful, but I had no idea where to place the event marker.

On 7. 9. 2016 at 9:09 PM, Cm_blast said:

In the same line as now you can place an Atreides Palace, Ordos palace, Atr and non-atr High-tech Factory, etc... the option to place at least different types of light/heavy factories. Atreides with a Harkonnen Factory will still make them builds Atreides-combat-tank, but since the building is Harkonnen now they can build The devastator too. My mind is focused in the idea of the "House IX". Some modders used Tibet or periodical reinforcements/deliveries to fulfill the fantasy that "IX have all the technology". But, What if you can give them the three heavy factories using the editor? They could build the three special tanks without resorting Tibet <--- ¿Delusional here XD?

No, that's not possible to do, because the game itself does not support it. In TILEDATA.BIN it is possible to specify any building/unit type, but NOT the version of a building/unit - by version I mean the "visual" version of building (atr/hark/ord have own versions of all buildings, there are also merc heavy factory and smugglers starport versions) as well as the different versions of combat tank. In some cases, the "visual" version has also impact on unit types you can build in the building (light factory, heavy factory) - that's exactly what you're talking about.

How it actually works in the game: when you either build a building/unit or pre-place it on a map using map editor, the game calls "MyVersionOfBuilding" and "MyVersionOfUnit" functions, which return the respective building/unit version for the respective side (according to allocation index). In other words, if you are Harkonnen and build a combat tank, you will ALWAYS produce harkonnen combat tank, regardless the heavy factory version you produce the tank in - even if you capture Ordos or Atreides heavy factory. Similar situation is on H7V1 - you capture Atreides construction yard and you still build harkonnen-style buildings, BUT you can build Atreides high tech factory, because it is actually different building TYPE.

On 7. 9. 2016 at 9:09 PM, Cm_blast said:

Play sound: right now you place a number but, at less you try it, there is no way to know what sound/effect/voice is. So, some kind of previou button to make the sound play (Maybe this one is impossible, but I found some lines of dialogue that aren't used in the game).
- Play music: a similar concept, but this time instead a number you need to write the file. Maybe some menu deploying to show a list of the files in the specific folder (and then you click in one and that's it). Maybe playing the music is not possible, but the menu showing the files it is.

Yeah I agree on these, I will try improving this. The game has its own string table with sound names so I could utilize it. I don't think I will be able to play sounds in the editor at all.

 

I was actually thinking about creating some random map generator. But it would be really hard and heavily time-consuming task, and furthermore I'm really not sure how much it would be practically utilized, so I will rather not go into it.

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2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I see. TBH, I was actually thinking of adding zoom-in/out feature, but I realized how hard it would be to implement - I mean the changes in rendering code and editing code. But maybe I can come up with some solution. Is zoom 50%, 100%, 200% okay for you?

Is ok, I don't need a very elaborated zoom, just a bit of zoom out (in my case the zoom out is the most important, but others with bigger resolutions maybe want the "in") so I can look if the two bases are near/far or not.

 

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

IIRC, I made it the way that when the moved event marker would appear outside the right map boundary, it appears in the left edge of the map - so scroll to the left and you should see it. I know it's not very useful, but I had no idea where to place the event marker.

All good, this was just a minor detail.

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

No, that's not possible to do, because the game itself does not support it. In TILEDATA.BIN it is possible to specify any building/unit type, but NOT the version of a building/unit - by version I mean the "visual" version of building (atr/hark/ord have own versions of all buildings, there are also merc heavy factory and smugglers starport versions) as well as the different versions of combat tank. In some cases, the "visual" version has also impact on unit types you can build in the building (light factory, heavy factory) - that's exactly what you're talking about.

I was expecting that type of response. Like you said, capturing a "X Factory" you still produce your own type of tanks and not the others. Even with tibed disabling one I think all are gone too. I understand what you are saying to me, so I didn't have hopes on this. 
 

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Yeah I agree on these, I will try improving this. The game has its own string table with sound names so I could utilize it. I don't think I will be able to play sounds in the editor at all.

Maybe a bit of naming like "scream1", "Explosion1" or "Unit ready" would be useful (if possible), but nothing mandatory. In my Frank Herbert Campaign I create an event to spawn a Fremen after the money increase to 150 (then goes to 0) and play the "unit ready" line, as a warning that "1 unit have been trained". Later in another mission I used the "Death Hand Missile" line of dialogue at the same time a DH is spawn, just because the game didn't said it.

What I mean is, in all the campaigns I'hve done only 2 missions are using that featured and just 1 mission is using the "play music" event (the mercs- choose your ally, to change from "options.Aud" (the main menu music)  to "Risehark.aud", as a way to say "Ok, now the game really starts".

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I was actually thinking about creating some random map generator. But it would be really hard and heavily time-consuming task, and furthermore I'm really not sure how much it would be practically utilized, so I will rather not go into it.

I don't think is neccesary (I talk for myself here). Right now with the keyboard I barely need to open the tileset to create pieces of land, sand or cliffs. I only open the tileset with "specials" tabs like "rock special" or "Ice". Takes a bit of time learning where every tile is in every key, but once you know that "1" "5" "z" and "b" are the four corners every basic cliff is among those 4 keys. 

Oh, I remember something. This is very very very minor bug, but if you click in the tab "terrain" and in the picture of "Rock", "Rock" is selected. If you click again on "rock" now is not selected but you still can paint rock <-- is not even important, you can skip this one.

However, how about a "visual transparency" before placing a building/unit? For example, now you click on the ref and go over the field a white 3x3 square appears. Instead that maybe is possible to show the refinery with a transparency so you can see what building are you about to place and see where you are placing it.

And last one thing you maybe can add. A feature to find "sandworms" and "start player": If you take an skirmish map maybe you delete some of those starting zones to include anothers or just while converting to a campaign type of map (remodeling the scenario, placing units over the tile...). Later if you want to try the map, an error appears, saying I need 0 or 8, so I can't test my map.

Searching in a big map can be hard (too big, a lot of rocks-details...), so maybe something to rotate to every "start-player" so i can found them and deleted them. Same with Sandworms, maybe I want to place a Sandworm in a specific area so he can harass X player, but first I need to search when the sandworns were in the map (being hard to find). <-- or simply, if I don't want sandworm at all placing one in the rock is enough, but not if the original map have any over there.

Also, chaining with the last parrafar. How about a "sandworm counter"? for similar reasons. Some maps can have 8 sandworms or more, but I need to search 1 on 1 and, after deleting 4 of them... how many there are still there? (saving I can tell if there is more left, but not how many of them I can't found).

I focus in the "start player" and "sandworm" since are the 2 things that denied the option to do a play-test.

Ps: I'm sorry if I am asking for too much, and thank you again for the editor; i'm even updating very old campaigns for other guys just because you editor make it so easy.

Edited by Cm_blast
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2 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

However, how about a "visual transparency" before placing a building/unit? For example, now you click on the ref and go over the field a white 3x3 square appears. Instead that maybe is possible to show the refinery with a transparency so you can see what building are you about to place and see where you are placing it.

Nice idea, but unfortunately I don't know how to draw transparently. I'm using the very basic Windows GDI library for rendering, not sure whether it supports it at all.

2 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

And last one thing you maybe can add. A feature to find "sandworms" and "start player":

Yes I can simply add a "search" feature. You would be able to search for any special value on a map, that means also buildings and units.

Btw, sandworms and player starts are marked by a different color on a minimap, so it's possible to find them by looking carefully on it. But I see it can be quite tedious way.

2 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

How about a "sandworm counter"? for similar reasons. Some maps can have 8 sandworms or more, but I need to search 1 on 1 and, after deleting 4 of them... how many there are still there?

There already IS sandworm, player start and spice bloom counter on the status bar.

2 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Ps: I'm sorry if I am asking for too much, and thank you again for the editor; i'm even updating very old campaigns for other guys just because you editor make it so easy.

No problem, that's actually what I asked for!

 

Btw do you remember that I suggested documenting all the AI properties? If you know well what all AI properties do, you (or more people here) could write everything up on the modding wiki or somewhere. I think it would be really helpful for anyone who wants to make their missions.

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2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

There already IS sandworm, player start and spice bloom counter on the status bar.

Silly me, didn't see it until now XD.
 

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Btw do you remember that I suggested documenting all the AI properties? If you know well what all AI properties do, you (or more people here) could write everything up on the modding wiki or somewhere. I think it would be really helpful for anyone who wants to make their missions.

I know a bit about the IA propierties, later I will bring a .doc or similar with the stuff I know for sure.
Other can write it later to the wiki in good english.

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Tbh if the random map generator would work well, I actually see it being utilized. First, it can save you a lot of time, and then it creates a random map, random maps are fun, because it's no one's personal style of mapping: it's randomly created, therefore a new thing you and the rest of the community aren't used with. But I see how difficult it is, especially since d2k has the rock/sand differences as well, compared to RA1 for example where you dont have to care about a building space and smoothing its edges.

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7 hours ago, FedaYkin said:

random maps are fun, because it's no one's personal style of mapping: it's randomly created, therefore a new thing you and the rest of the community aren't used with

Yes, that's true. BUT. The random map generator actually "has its own personality". In other words, if you randomly generate many maps, you will notice that all the maps are somehow similar to each other in terms of "mapping style". The results of random generation depend on the random map generator algorithm and the predefined patterns (if used). It can be customized to some extent by setting some parameters, but still the key problem is that random generation cannot create pure original things, which a human with rich imagination can do - it is limited to what it was programmed for.

Edited by Klofkac
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I'm here to bring all my knowledge about Ia properties and the known .ini rules.

Is not completed, but at least i am mostly sure of most of the lines I write. I tryed to avoid speculations: "Attack side priority" seems obvious but not only I didn't test it but Feda sai something about the IA still attacking the player despite change the values.

some lines like the defence areas... I remember spying the original Harkonnen campaign so I could check the behaviour, but even with a copy-paste of every single value, I couldn't make it work, so I don't how to do it (at least I know what happens in the original map).

IA properties.doc

Of course, to add any of this to the wiki someone should write in better english, and better explained too.

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7 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

IA

Thank you!

Just a tiny question: I've been always curious why you spell "IA" rather than "AI" (= artificial intelligence). What does "IA" exactly mean?

And one more: why you spell "valour" instead of "value"?

Edited by Klofkac
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7 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Thank you!

Just a tiny question: I've been always curious why you spell "IA" rather than "AI" (= artificial intelligence). What does "IA" exactly mean?

And one more: why you spell "valour" instead of "value"?

Oh, sorry, in spanish IA = Inteligencia Artificial. Is just the habit.
The same happens with the MVC, which I write as "VCM" (=Vehículo de Construcción Móvil).

About: "Valour", First time I wrote "valor" (in spanish again), and the office (with the language set to english) suggest "valour". Feel free to correct as neccesary.

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8 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

in spanish IA = Inteligencia Artificial.

Interesting. In Spanish like in Latin, adjective is after noun, isn't it? Or in Polish.

In Latin: intelligentia artificialis.

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15 hours ago, Adriano said:

Interesting. In Spanish like in Latin, adjective is after noun, isn't it? Or in Polish.

In Latin: intelligentia artificialis.

Yes.

By the way, I forgot to tell. The "First attack building delay" is not absolute. I mean, if you write "15 minutes" on it the IA may attack near that time, but rarely will atack at the exact time. Also, if you write "25 minutes", is probably that the AI attacks much more early if he builds fast (he will have a big army, so he send to attack even although it's not near the 25 minute mark).
*My guess there is something over there that affect directly "first attack building delay", depending if the player kills or something... in a mission I have 2 players with the same AI (export-import) and both attack at the same time. however one have like a extra windtrap.

The time between buildings attack seems to work as an absolute value. if you write 7 minutes, every 7 minutes the attack is inminent (of course, if attacked or something similar, may skip 1 turn).

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Another thing came to my mind klofkac.

Is about testing maps which already have the basic naming done. For example, I have a map called "The emperor returns.map/.mis/ini". In the editor the name (that will appear in the launcher) is "The Emperor Returns - mission 1".

When I load this map with the editor and use the test buttom, a new set of files are created/reemplaced: testmap.map/ini/mis. That's ok, but in the launcher now I will have "The emperor Returns - mission 1" twice, one being the map (which maybe later I change something and saved) and the other being the last time I test the map.

I don't know if there is any solution to this, like replacing the line "Name=The Emperor Returns - Mission 1" from the ".ini" file automatically to "testmap" or something.

*edit*

Something you may change. The visual of the modified outpost, or at least a bit. Right now except for Atr/Frem, the normal outpost and the modified outpost looks almost the same when they are placed in the editor. Since both buildings are different (even for the events in the editor) some kind of distinction will help to identify which is the one placed. (adding a "M" in the picture or something similar, just enough to know "this is a modified outpost").

Edited by Cm_blast
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hey Klofkac, I discovered something. I don't know if you were aware of it.

Back in time you said something about you couldn't add the Multiplayer version of the Sardaukar, because the game gives you an error. Recently I found something that maybe is connected with that.

Using your editor, any Sardaukar you place owner by Harkonnen the MP version will used instead. This means everyone is given the single player Sardaukar, while the Harkonnen, by default, takes the Multiplayer version (he has slower ROF). My guess is because only the Harkonnen use the MP in skirmish/online/practice mode.

 

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Hi and thank you for this information. I didn't know that. It now makes sense why I was not able to add MP sardaukar.

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What CM_blast said also effects starport units in my mod, Harkonnen gets MP Sardakuar with MG, others get Emparor one with Flamethrower. 

 

Just giving info here, i'm happy with that situation. 

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On 07.09.2016 at 1:33 PM, Klofkac said:

I see it's working pretty well and many custom missions and campaigns were made. I got an idea that I could fix bugs in the editor (if there are any at all) and add some minor additional features, if there are any requirements or ideas.

Yes, I am agree, the editor is good now! It works very well.

 

Klofkac, would you like to add one feature? If it i not very difficult.

I mean list of last files, recently opened files. I hope, I write clear enough. For example, list of 3 last opened files.

Sometimes, when copies of Dune 2000 are in different folders, it needs slightly long time to found some maps.

 

But this is not problem.

 

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On 10/20/2016 at 3:53 PM, Adriano said:

Yes, I am agree, the editor is good now! It works very well.

 

Klofkac, would you like to add one feature? If it i not very difficult.

I mean list of last files, recently opened files. I hope, I write clear enough. For example, list of 3 last opened files.

Sometimes, when copies of Dune 2000 are in different folders, it needs slightly long time to found some maps.

 

But this is not problem.

 

I agree, good feature to have.

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The event "Set Attack Building Rate" works as intented, right now appears "unknown", but in my last campaign I tried to use it and totally works.

I create a map where the AI have a 3500 <time between building attacks> (over 2:30 minutes). Later, when the player have access to all the technology (tanks, turrets, etc...), my event change it to 8500 (over 5:20 minutes), so that AI now waits more time before launching new attacks and thus increasing the force of the attacks withouth increasing the rate of building.

I mean, the "unknown" can be changed by "attack building rate".

 

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22 minutes ago, Cm_blast said:

The event "Set Attack Building Rate" works as intented, right now appears "unknown", but in my last campaign I tried to use it and totally works.

I create a map where the AI have a 3500 <time between building attacks> (over 2:30 minutes). Later, when the player have access to all the technology (tanks, turrets, etc...), my event change it to 8500 (over 5:20 minutes), so that AI now waits more time before launching new attacks and thus increasing the force of the attacks withouth increasing the rate of building.

I mean, the "unknown" can be changed by "attack building rate".

 

I'm pretty sure it is called "Set Attack Building Rate" in the version I have. There is no unknown there.

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2 hours ago, FedaYkin said:

I'm pretty sure it is called "Set Attack Building Rate" in the version I have. There is no unknown there.

That one?

set.PNG

Because the "set build rate" have "build rate", but this one have only "unknown" there.

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14 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

That one?

set.PNG

Because the "set build rate" have "build rate", but this one have only "unknown" there.

Good notice, Cm_blast! So I will try to give it some meaningful description, something like "Ticks between attacks".

I hope I will get into working on D2kEditor again soon, so far we collected a bunch of interesting ideas for improvements and probably some more will yet come up.

Just for information: In the meantime, I was working again on my Hocus Pocus editor and created a tool for editing sprites, which is really significant new feature. For more information you can look here.

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Hey Klofack, can be include a way to see what area will be revealed? I mean, If I place the "area revealed" to show a part of the map, I can't see exactly the area that would be shown until I don't combine "timer=1" and test the map. It's worse If when I already have the scenario done and at the end I change my mind and move them. At this point I want to recheck the new areas, but if they appears with some special condition I need to edit the thing to make it appear as timer=1 and then reverse to my original condition.

So similar to "mark impassable tiles" and "Mark buildable tiles" maybe a "mark area revealed tiles" showing exactly which squares will be visible on the map and thus don't needing to enter the game again just to see what tiles are the ones visible.

By the way, back in time you couldn't include a transparency to show the building/unit that about to be placed and the terrain of the same time, but I though that the opaque vision of the building/unit can be added. So instead showing 9 white squares, the editor will actually show that you are placing a light factory; not transparency needed. But maybe and option in the editor to alternate between the options if someone don't want to see the building and prefer to see the terrain instead.

Another thing. There is something you can do to differentiate visually the walls? They all looks the same, don't have colour at any part at all; is easy to select "Fremen-walls" and then use them to border the Atreides base, Resulting in abnormal behavior. In the minimap blue and grey looks almost the same.

Edited by Cm_blast
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