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Klofkac

D2kEditor v1.4 new feature preview + new tileset research!

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Hello, as I already mentioned recently, I'm working on new version (v1.4) of Dune2000 Map and Mission Editor. Right now I have two most important new features complete: built-in tile attribute editor, and newly: Smooth Spice rendering! No longer ugly blocky spice, but now it looks exactly like how it is drawn in game. It's so fun and satisfying to place spice on a map and see how the tiles prettily connect to each other!

yNl8QIX.png

I still have a couple of minor improvement ideas to implement: just stay tuned, I'm going to publish a pre-release version soon. Feel free to give me any more ideas for features, bug fixes and improvements if you have any.

As you may notice, my primary aim for new features in v1.4 is easier custom tileset creation. So while implementing smooth spice rendering feature, I also did some new research about some special tiles and how the game handles them. By special tiles I mean those tiles, which the game uses internally during gameplay to alter the map based on player's actions (building, harvesting spice etc). These tiles are used to draw for example concrete, basement of buildings, thin spice and thick spice, and most importantly, the tiles which game will draw on a place where spice has been harvested, or where building or concrete was removed/destroyed. This information may be very useful and valuable for custom tileset creators, and this also influences the limitations of custom tilesets.

For my research, I used a modified version of tileset BLOXBGBS. I wrote numbers on some special tiles, and those numbers would show in-game so that I can better see which exact tiles the game uses. I marked some tiles with red color, which means, those tiles would never be used by game. Here it is:

1pp1GMI.png

The most important is, that you can safely replace the red-marked tiles by whatever custom tiles you want, without breaking the game. Only 8 sand tiles (marked 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9) are drawn by game on tiles where you harvest spice, and only 8 rock tiles (marked 1-8) are drawn by game on tiles where you destroy/remove a building or concrete. The 3x3 building basement is not used by any building. Only three tiles are used to draw concrete in game (marked 1,2,3) and the others (4,5,6) are unused. And the very first two full-spice tiles are not used as well, and finally, tile 795 either. Which, in result, gives you 33 extra tiles you can use, and which you previously mostly left intact to be safe and not break the game.

Here you can see some in-game screens to see how it works:

OVxZ7eO.png

Only 3 different tiles are used for concrete.

DgkB6Ll.png

Only 8 different rock tiles are used on place where you destroy concrete or remove a building.

PUG2gag.png

Only 8 different spice tiles are used on place where you harvest spice.

And the last, most interesting finding: The game draws thick spice in the same exact pattern always in all maps. The pattern is 8x8 tiles and repeats.

CMYCZre.png

I hope you found this information interesting and useful. Happy modding!

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1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

It's so fun and satisfying to place spice on a map and see how the tiles prettily connect to each other!

That's interesting; although it's just visual, from time to time I still get a question about one of my images, from X map, having blocking spice.

1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

The most important is, that you can safely replace the red-marked tiles by whatever custom tiles you want, without breaking the game. Only 8 sand tiles (marked 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9) are drawn by game on tiles where you harvest spice, and only 8 rock tiles (marked 1-8) are drawn by game on tiles where you destroy/remove a building or concrete. The 3x3 building basement is not used by any building. Only three tiles are used to draw concrete in game (marked 1,2,3) and the others (4,5,6) are unused. And the very first two full-spice tiles are not used as well, and finally, tile 795 either. Which, in result, gives you 33 extra tiles you can use, and which you previously mostly left intact to be safe and not break the game.

That's usefull; Some days ago Fey told me that not all the concretes were actually used. Don't know how many more he found, but I feel he will happy to know for sure all this info.

1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

I hope you found this information interesting and useful.

It is indeed =D.

1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

For my research, I used a modified version of tileset BLOXBGBS. I wrote numbers on some special tiles, and those numbers would show in-game so that I can better see which exact tiles the game uses. I marked some tiles with red color, which means, those tiles would never be used by game. Here it is:

You may want to add that imagen with the editor for future references (or to say to people; if you want to mod, use this as template-info-something); and instead numbers, you can mark them with a red X with a legend saying "never used" or any ideas you may think of.

Also, although sand tile "0" it's not used in the game naturally; it's the tile you editor use if it lacks a proper ".ini" (if I am not wrong), and it was the tile used in your early versions, before the randomizer on the tiles; I still have like 2 campaigns with that tile everywhere :P.

1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

in result, gives you 33 extra tiles you can use, and which you previously mostly left intact to be safe and not break the game.

Now I am thinking on those C&C tilesets done in the past, even Fey was struggling to add new elements withouth breaking the game, 33 it's indeed a good amount to add a couple of 3x3 and some 2x2 groups here and there.

Wow, what at eye you have too see the spice pattern; I am playing the game for years and never realize that.

1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

Feel free to give me any more ideas for features, bug fixes and improvements if you have any.

I was thinking once again on the modified outpost thing: the problem with sharing the same visual as the regular one. Maybe there are better solutions, but I was thinking; it could be possible to pick the graphic when the antena it's looking at the opossite direction to use it into the editor?

image.png

Just like this (ignore the lack of concrete). The normal outpost antena looking down, as it is now, and the modified one looking up. It's not the most friendly way to make then looks different, but the only one I can think on making both buildings different on the editor without altering the imagen iteslf (adding a "modified" word or a "M" or anything like that).

Edited by Cm_blast

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4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Lots of stuff!

So we have more room than we thought and don't need so many rock / sand tiles?

I found out the other day that the game only uses 3 kinds of concrete tiles, but the EDITOR displays the ones in the horizontal line on the right. Could you fix this in version 1.4? I intend to use those tiles in a tileset, and the map preview will be hecked up if the editor still uses those tiles.

Your work continues to inspire, Klofkac. :D Thank you!

Edit: Also, hang on. Isn't the 3x3 concrete / rock tile configuration with artefacts used under buildings like the Heavy Factory, or anything really tall? Imma have to look at this when I get a chance. lol maybe I can finally add stars to the black void in the Heighliner tileset!

Also-also, although you CAN use those tiles, 748, 749, and 795, mousing over them in-game when placed seems to read "Spice." At least for 748 and 749, which is why I left those alone in the Heighliner tileset. :P I don't believe there's an issue with 795, but with those two, just saying.

Edited by Fey

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9 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

You may want to add that imagen with the editor for future references (or to say to people; if you want to mod, use this as template-info-something); and instead numbers, you can mark them with a red X with a legend saying "never used" or any ideas you may think of.

Good idea, but I would rather like to mark those "special" tiles used by game and mention what purpose it is used for and explain how it needs to be handled with special care.

9 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Wow, what at eye you have too see the spice pattern; I am playing the game for years and never realize that.

Well, I did never notice myself either while playing the game for years. But once I wrote numbers on the tiles and filled whole map with thick spice, it was very easy to recognize the number pattern.

9 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

I was thinking once again on the modified outpost thing: the problem with sharing the same visual as the regular one. Maybe there are better solutions, but I was thinking; it could be possible to pick the graphic when the antena it's looking at the opossite direction to use it into the editor?

Yea, good idea and I agree with you, but it was quite difficult and laborious to take an image of all the in-game buildings and units graphics. I needed to take screenshot from in-game and then join all the screenshots into one big image, and then take care about transparency etc. I don't feel like doing this work again, but still, good reminder.

7 hours ago, Fey said:

I found out the other day that the game only uses 3 kinds of concrete tiles, but the EDITOR displays the ones in the horizontal line on the right. Could you fix this in version 1.4? I intend to use those tiles in a tileset, and the map preview will be hecked up if the editor still uses those tiles.

This is already fixed in version 1.4: editor will use only three concrete tiles which are used by game. Previously editor used all 6 because I did not know about this.

7 hours ago, Fey said:

Edit: Also, hang on. Isn't the 3x3 concrete / rock tile configuration with artefacts used under buildings like the Heavy Factory, or anything really tall? Imma have to look at this when I get a chance. lol maybe I can finally add stars to the black void in the Heighliner tileset!

Nope, even on extra tall buildings, the 3x2 basement is used. But you can confirm with all kinds of buildings to be sure.

7 hours ago, Fey said:

Also-also, although you CAN use those tiles, 748, 749, and 795, mousing over them in-game when placed seems to read "Spice." At least for 748 and 749, which is why I left those alone in the Heighliner tileset. :P I don't believe there's an issue with 795, but with those two, just saying.

Humm, thaat sounds interesting! Actually, the TILEATR*.BIN files have two distinct sections: one with 800 attribute values, and the second with 800 strange values: it's #FFFFFFFF for all non-spice tiles, and some other value only on spice tiles. Maybe those values define the text that shows under mouse cursor when you move it over that tile. If this is right, that would even increase modding possibilities! I'll definitely check that out!

7 hours ago, Fey said:

Your work continues to inspire, Klofkac. :D Thank you!

Yea, I really enjoyed playing missions with custom tilesets (your Heighliner tileset and Cm_blast's Warcraft 2 tileset), which inspired and encouraged me to do all this stuff! Thank you for your work too!

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4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Yea, good idea and I agree with you, but it was quite difficult and laborious to take an image of all the in-game buildings and units graphics. I needed to take screenshot from in-game and then join all the screenshots into one big image, and then take care about transparency etc. I don't feel like doing this work again, but still, good reminder.

And it's not possible to simply opening the png with the buildings and with the screenshot I took early selecting this piece image.png.170773dcd86eb0cc5639e4eacd3d61d2.png, paste into the png and place in the correct spot and then "save as"? The piece I selected doesn't have colors, only a few yellow pixels so I can match them together.

After renaming the original with another name (to not mess up anything) and saving in photoshop with some specific options, appears on the editor like this:
image.png.6ef8b0a57b299a5e97222cc55f021e3b.png 
First row normal outpost, second most modified, third normal, fourth modified.

Mask doesn't get affected, I don't know if there is another problem there I may be missing; I got a "steam error" or something when I simply hit "save as" and saving the imagen using default options, but when I saved with these specific options (Photoshop):
image.png.cc095e3128c69f9ca27b79f08e2c0716.png
The editor seems to read the imagen fine.

I did the same for the ordos one; I only pick a few yellow pixels to be able to match them later more easily.

This is the file with the altered version: structures.bmp
Check it personally too see if I didn't mess up something; keep the original file just in case there is a problem I didn't think off, but if not then you can even use it.

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19 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Yea, good idea and I agree with you, but it was quite difficult and laborious to take an image of all the in-game buildings and units graphics. I needed to take screenshot from in-game and then join all the screenshots into one big image, and then take care about transparency etc. I don't feel like doing this work again, but still, good reminder.

Yeah, I know the feeling. XD I did just a little bit to get the Storm Lasher graphics in my editor, and that killed me inside.

19 hours ago, Klofkac said:

This is already fixed in version 1.4: editor will use only three concrete tiles which are used by game. Previously editor used all 6 because I did not know about this.

Ah, good! Thank you.

19 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Nope, even on extra tall buildings, the 3x2 basement is used. But you can confirm with all kinds of buildings to be sure.

Seems that is indeed the case. Excellent! Then we really do have a LOT of space to work with.

19 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Humm, thaat sounds interesting! Actually, the TILEATR*.BIN files have two distinct sections: one with 800 attribute values, and the second with 800 strange values: it's #FFFFFFFF for all non-spice tiles, and some other value only on spice tiles. Maybe those values define the text that shows under mouse cursor when you move it over that tile. If this is right, that would even increase modding possibilities! I'll definitely check that out!

If you can figure that out, it would open up some tiles. :) I look forward to hearing the results!

19 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Yea, I really enjoyed playing missions with custom tilesets (your Heighliner tileset and Cm_blast's Warcraft 2 tileset), which inspired and encouraged me to do all this stuff! Thank you for your work too!

:D You're very welcome. Yeah, Cm's Christmas campaign was a total riot!

Did you happen to play through the latest version of the smugglers campaign? It has a few Heighliner maps, including one particularly unique one that was actually a tower defense map. Most of the campaign is on Arrakis though.

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18 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

And it's not possible to simply opening the png with the buildings and with the screenshot I took early selecting this piece image.png.170773dcd86eb0cc5639e4eacd3d61d2.png, paste into the png and place in the correct spot and then "save as"? The piece I selected doesn't have colors, only a few yellow pixels so I can match them together.

Ooh, thank you! Honestly, I was not thinking that simple. I'll try this out and update the graphics with the editor!

3 hours ago, Fey said:

Did you happen to play through the latest version of the smugglers campaign? It has a few Heighliner maps, including one particularly unique one that was actually a tower defense map. Most of the campaign is on Arrakis though.

Well, to be honest, I do not play that much (sometimes I get some other interest than Dune2000), so I did not play through many custom campaigns yet, including this.

But after I release D2kEditor v1.4, I'm hoping you would take advantage of all the newly discovered modding possibilities and update your tilesets and maps. Then I will definitely eager to play that maps! I'll just wait for it. Right now you can experiment with the preview version of attribute editor I published in the other thread.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

If you can figure that out, it would open up some tiles. :) I look forward to hearing the results!

I did not get into this yet, will continue some other day. But I'm also looking forward to figure this out!

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On 2/11/2020 at 10:40 PM, Klofkac said:

Well, to be honest, I do not play that much (sometimes I get some other interest than Dune2000), so I did not play through many custom campaigns yet, including this.

But after I release D2kEditor v1.4, I'm hoping you would take advantage of all the newly discovered modding possibilities and update your tilesets and maps. Then I will definitely eager to play that maps! I'll just wait for it. Right now you can experiment with the preview version of attribute editor I published in the other thread.

Ah, I see. Yeah, Cm did discover one game-breaking glitch in S09V2 I have yet to fix. It's not THAT big a deal, it's a long map as it is, but it's easier than it should be due to something that I DID in fact fix, but my progress was reset when my last PC bricked itself and I forgot to re-fix it before releasing the final drafts. Fixing a game-breaking glitch in one map is a good excuse to fix minor stuff in other maps.

There IS other unique artwork in the campaign besides the Heighliner Tileset. Like this pretty new boss tower: https://prnt.sc/l44lv2 Or new Combat Tank bodies with stripes along the sides and dark treads: https://prnt.sc/meei8z Prior to the creation of the entirely new tileset, these were the first things I did. It's all in an effort to show the player that the universe is bigger than he thought, to add to that epic sense of scale and discovery. Assuming it works. And our current efforts with tilesets are taking this even further!

On 2/11/2020 at 10:40 PM, Klofkac said:

I did not get into this yet, will continue some other day. But I'm also looking forward to figure this out!

I'm also very eager for the time when you figure this out! Every little thing we do unlocks new possibilities for this game.

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11 hours ago, Fey said:

I'm also very eager for the time when you figure this out! Every little thing we do unlocks new possibilities for this game.

Surprise! It's indeed exactly what I thought it was!

So the so-far unknown second section in TILEATR*.BIN files defines the hint text which displays when mouse cursor is moved over a tile. In original tilesets, it was used only on spice tiles.

This is rather a cosmetic thing, but can be pretty useful too. Here I made some demonstration about how it can be utilized in your Heighliner tileset maps!

5HJmsV7.png

You can give different hint text to supplies, MD pads, and any other sort of tile you like.

Y7aGf41.png

And here is the most useful combo: Combination of "Occupied by Building" attribute and hint text. This way, cursor will turn into selection cursor and structure name will be shown. And in addition, the structure will be drawn in respective color on minimap. But beware that minimap color is driven by respective side's allocation index, so if you alter allocation indexes, the minimap color will change too.

I already added this feature into D2kEditor:

JFtzexH.png

And you need to define the texts in your custom text.uib file:

CDc5x1d.png

I hope you find this interesting and make use of this feature in your tileset and maps!

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15 minutes ago, Klofkac said:

Named doodads

Holy hell, that is so freaking cool. When does 1.4 come out? I can't wait. :D

Also, those are Freighters! The LRA - Long Range Artillery - might be inside. Missile Tanks, Siege Tanks, you know. That kinda thing. :P

Edited by Fey

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33 minutes ago, Fey said:

Holy hell, that is so freaking cool. When does 1.4 come out? I can't wait.

Well, I still have some stuff to do. For example the editor should load texts from custom text.uib when loading a mission where it is specified. Right now it loads only the default text.uib (that can be at least defined in D2kEditor.ini file). This is a missing feature, in past it was not much important, as messages triggered by events would be specified in mission's ini file and not usually in custom text.uib anyway. But with this new feature it is more needed. But I want to release a preview version once this is complete, and then eventually finish other minor stuff.

39 minutes ago, Fey said:

Also, those are Freighters! The LRA - Long Range Artillery - might be inside. Missile Tanks, Siege Tanks, you know. That kinda thing.

Well, I do not really much know all the stuff and story, that was rather a quick simple demo I made. But you know, those hint texts will be really very useful for players without knowledge, including me 😏.

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5 minutes ago, Klofkac said:

Well, I still have some stuff to do. For example the editor should load texts from custom text.uib when loading a mission where it is specified. Right now it loads only the default text.uib (that can be at least defined in D2kEditor.ini file). This is a missing feature, in past it was not much important, as messages triggered by events would be specified in mission's ini file and not usually in custom text.uib anyway. But with this new feature it is more needed. But I want to release a preview version once this is complete, and then eventually finish other minor stuff.

Right. No problem, take your time, it's not like I have the time to go experimenting with this right now, as much as I want to. :D

8 minutes ago, Klofkac said:

Well, I do not really much know all the stuff and story, that was rather a quick simple demo I made. But you know, those hint texts will be really very useful for players without knowledge, including me 😏.

Very much. 😮 I love adding little flavor everywhere in my projects, so this will REALLY help bring more life to projects.

I eagerly await the release of the preview version. :)

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So, here you go: https://www105.zippyshare.com/v/RV6oYsqt/file.html

This is the second preview version, here is list of changes done from the first preview version:

- Finished support for editor attributes. Editor attributes are no longer part of TILEATR*.BIN file, but are now part of tileset .ini file. The program will save editor attributes into .ini file when you save changes in tile attribute editor, so be careful to reload the .ini file if you have it open in any text editor. If you still have TILEATR*.BIN file used by older version of editor containing editor attributes in it, click the "Convert" button to convert editor attributes into the new form and save.
- I also modified minimap color rules, fill area rules and spice restriction rule in original tileset .ini files to follow the changes in editor. For example editor attributes now use different hexadecimal values. You will need to modify your custom tiliset .ini file to make it work properly with new version of editor.
- Added smooth spice rendering feature
- Added support for editing tile hint texts
- Added better support for custom TEXT.UIB files. Now when you test a map with custom TEXT.UIB file specified, the game will be launched with that custom TEXT.UIB file. The editor will also load and use texts from custom TEXT.UIB file and will display them in "Edit tile hint text" mode.

One tip: if you are editing for example minimap color rules and want to immediately see the change, just save changes in your text editor and in Tile Attributes Editor, use Reload Attributes option. The program will reload .ini file and will redraw minimap. This is also useful with "Draw minimap colors" mode.

Enjoy!

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Hey, hey! Another new cool feature is here!

This time the main new thing is adding support for up to 8 different paint types. Previously the editor supported only 4 paint types, which was pretty much enough for standard Dune2000 tilesets, which had just Sand, Rock, Dunes and Ice. However, with custom tilesets (most notably Warcraft2 tileset done by @Cm_blast) 4 types were just not enough, because there were more different terrain types than in Dune 2000.

But besides this, the most important improvement is improving the auto-smooth edge feature. Now this feature is much more universal and usable for all possible terrain types, not just only Rock and Dunes in standard Dune2000 tilesets. You just need to configure it properly and then you can do lot of magic with this feature!

Here is demonstration of how the new features work with Cm_blast's snowy Warcraft2 tileset.

k9VkL2u.png

Here I made a dumb map to show all possible terrain types:
1. Snow (default)
2. Dark snow
3. Thick ice
4. Thin ice
5. Water
6. Deep water (not used in configuration made by Cm_blast, it's jus a darker water)
7. Trees
8. Rocks

And now, with a few shift-clicks, I can change that map to this within several seconds.
KABOOM:

GwT9nLP.png

And it all took just 8 shift-clicks. So now I hope, it will be much easier and more fun to create new maps using this tileset. The tileset configuration .ini will still require some improvements, I just made this quickly for demonstration purposes.

With this, I needed to change the way how paint tiles are defined and change the meaning of editor attributes. You no longer use editor attributes to mark paint tiles for specific paint type, but instead, you define directly the tile numbers in paint groups. Here's example from BLOXBGBS tileset:

[Paint_Tile_Groups]
Group1.name=Sand
Group1.tile=48
Group1.paint_tiles=48;49;50;51;52;68;69;70;71;72

Group2.name=Rock
Group2.tile=552
Group2.paint_tiles=552;553;554;555;556;572;573;574;575;576;592;593;594;595;596
Group2.smooth_preset_group=3
Group2.smooth_presets=E3DC15BZWRFSQ4GXA2TV

Group3.name=Dunes
Group3.tile=81
Group3.paint_tiles=63;64;65;66;81;83;84;103;104
Group3.smooth_preset_group=4
Group3.smooth_presets=E3DC15BZWRFSQ4GXA2TV

The smooth_preset_group setting defines the preset group from which presets for smooth-edges feature are used, and smooth_presets defines the preset keys (keyboard keys) used for straight left (E), straight upper (3), straight righ (D), straight down (C), upper-left corner (1), upper-right corner (5), down-right corner (B) presets etc. I hope you understand the point.

I also made improvement in BLOXXMAS tileset, taking advantage of this feature. Now creating bridges is much faster and easier.

Here's another dumb demonstration map:

o0b81ev.png

All you need to do is to place the rock-bridge transition blocks, and then just paint bridge tiles (for 1 tile wide bridge, paint 3 tiles wide bridge, for 2 tiles wide bridge, paint 4 tiles wide bridge) and simply shift-click on bridge edge. And voila, with a few shift-clicks, bridges are created:

85rRzts.png

Here are the presets and configuration, for reference:

SgMZckR.png

Group5.name=Bridge vertical
Group5.tile=345
Group5.paint_tiles=345;365;385
Group5.smooth_preset_group=7
Group5.smooth_presets=SEFCWRVXCCEE

Group6.name=Bridge horiz.
Group6.tile=362
Group6.paint_tiles=361;362
Group6.smooth_preset_group=7
Group6.smooth_presets=GYJNTUMBJGGJ

Coming out soon, stay tuned!

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3 hours ago, Klofkac said:

More stuff!

Oh dang 😮 Hey Klof, here's another idea: How about adding an in-editor feature for adjusting tileset preferences? If we could assign special groups to the tileset in the editor itself, I think that'd be a lot easier to work with.

You probably already thought of it, but I have to suggest. :) Keep up the great work!

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4 hours ago, Fey said:

Hey Klof, here's another idea: How about adding an in-editor feature for adjusting tileset preferences? If we could assign special groups to the tileset in the editor itself, I think that'd be a lot easier to work with.

Hi and thanks for your suggestion. If I understand you correctly, you are asking about in-editor UI to edit the tileset .ini configuration (minimap color rules, block presets etc). I was thinking about this myself, but I'm not going to implement this. The main reason is amount of effort to implement the UI and all the stuff for this feature, compared to what we gain with this. The size of alive Dune2000 community is nowadays shortened to active 3 persons (me, you, ad Cm_blast), so it does not make sense to spend hours implementing some functionality for only 3 people who would potentially make real use of it. And from my point of view, editing the .ini file manually is just sufficient, considering that configuring a tileset is one-time activity (you do not make a new tileset as much often as create new maps using that tileset).

However, I'm still thinking about implementing some "helper" UI for creating block presets. In the UI, you will create a preset as you want, and the UI will generate all the numbers that need to be inserted into the .ini file. You will then copy the preset definition and paste it manually into .ini file. That's sort of semi-automatic compromise solution that won't give me much work to do.

4 hours ago, Fey said:

Keep up the great work!

I'd like to ask you about your feedback on the last preview version I published here. Did you make any use and experimentation with it? Didn't get reply from you so far, so I'm just curious. Good feedback and cooperation is good motivation and pushing power for me to progress implementing new features, as this way I can also find more needs and good ideas.

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2 minutes ago, Klofkac said:

Hi and thanks for your suggestion. If I understand you correctly, you are asking about in-editor UI to edit the tileset .ini configuration (minimap color rules, block presets etc). I was thinking about this myself, but I'm not going to implement this. The main reason is amount of effort to implement the UI and all the stuff for this feature, compared to what we gain with this. The size of alive Dune2000 community is nowadays shortened to active 3 persons (me, you, ad Cm_blast), so it does not make sense to spend hours implementing some functionality for only 3 people who would potentially make real use of it. And from my point of view, editing the .ini file manually is just sufficient, considering that configuring a tileset is one-time activity (you do not make a new tileset as much often as create new maps using that tileset).

However, I'm still thinking about implementing some "helper" UI for creating block presets. In the UI, you will create a preset as you want, and the UI will generate all the numbers that need to be inserted into the .ini file. You will then copy the preset definition and paste it manually into .ini file. That's sort of semi-automatic compromise solution that won't give me much work to do.

The numbers being generated would be really useful. I'm a-okay with that!

2 minutes ago, Klofkac said:

I'd like to ask you about your feedback on the last preview version I published here. Did you make any use and experimentation with it? Didn't get reply from you so far, so I'm just curious. Good feedback and cooperation is good motivation and pushing power for me to progress implementing new features, as this way I can also find more needs and good ideas.

I've only had the time to edit a little bit, so from my limited perspective thus far, things look very normal and all is well. I'll be sure to mention if I find a bug or something whenever it is I get more time to do some more in-depth editing!

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14 minutes ago, Fey said:

I've only had the time to edit a little bit, so from my limited perspective thus far, things look very normal and all is well. I'll be sure to mention if I find a bug or something whenever it is I get more time to do some more in-depth editing!

I guess you're busy with IRL stuff, like me. But I'm really looking forward what new you will come up about your Heighliner tileset and what useful things you can use the new possibilities and features for. Feel free to post any time you make something interesting.

I also wanted to say, that you can take advantage of the configurable smooth-edges feature in your tileset, and 8 paing groups as well. But this will need some reorganization of preset groups and presets you currently have in your tileset configuration. I'm willing to do this configuration for you, if you want. So in that case, just wanted to ask if you made any modification or new stuff (like adding stars), to send me the up-to-date version of your tileset and configuration.

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4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I guess you're busy with IRL stuff, like me. But I'm really looking forward what new you will come up about your Heighliner tileset and what useful things you can use the new possibilities and features for. Feel free to post any time you make something interesting.

Very much so! And I absolutely will, Klof. Actually, I had an idea for another... uhh, 20 maps in the Summers campaign. But, they're just ideas for now. Need a new tileset or two before I can actually, you know, go through with making the maps. Also, I need to re/play a ton of Cm's stuff before I can even do that. XD So, the gears will turn at whatever pace they may.

4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I also wanted to say, that you can take advantage of the configurable smooth-edges feature in your tileset, and 8 paing groups as well. But this will need some reorganization of preset groups and presets you currently have in your tileset configuration. I'm willing to do this configuration for you, if you want. So in that case, just wanted to ask if you made any modification or new stuff (like adding stars), to send me the up-to-date version of your tileset and configuration.

I'm not sure about the stars idea. I mean, maybe we could put a six tiles star doodad that's actually really big, not just white dots. If there were white dots, none of them would ever be close to the platform edge. So... it's in the workshop! :P

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1 hour ago, Fey said:

I'm not sure about the stars idea. I mean, maybe we could put a six tiles star doodad that's actually really big, not just white dots. If there were white dots, none of them would ever be close to the platform edge. So... it's in the workshop!

Actually, one reason I was asking about stars is because the 8 possible paint groups are not enough for Heighliner tileset. There are more than 8 terrain types. There is: Base platform, Supply Depot, Black platform horizontal+vertical, Blue platform horizontal+vertical, White platform horizontal+vertical, which makes 8. But then there is void, and potentially also stars. I'm having hard time how to solve this (need 9 or 10 paint types, but it's actually a problem). If there will be just black void and no stars, I'm thinking of hijacking the Thick Spice button to paint black void tiles instead (and place MD Pads different way), which is rather a dirty work-around. The other option is to sacrifice one or two other terrain types (most likely any of black/blue/white platform). What you think?

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7 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Actually, one reason I was asking about stars is because the 8 possible paint groups are not enough for Heighliner tileset. There are more than 8 terrain types. There is: Base platform, Supply Depot, Black platform horizontal+vertical, Blue platform horizontal+vertical, White platform horizontal+vertical, which makes 8. But then there is void, and potentially also stars. I'm having hard time how to solve this (need 9 or 10 paint types, but it's actually a problem). If there will be just black void and no stars, I'm thinking of hijacking the Thick Spice button to paint black void tiles instead (and place MD Pads different way), which is rather a dirty work-around. The other option is to sacrifice one or two other terrain types (most likely any of black/blue/white platform). What you think?

IIRC, I set up the preset tile groups for quick access to blue / black / white platform. That could work fine on its own, I think. :) Or, heck, the stars could be specific setpieces, doodads like the Mass Deposits, not little dots scattered about. Something like this:
https://prnt.sc/r5vybm

Without the small stars in the background. Just the big star, whatever color it is. One big star doodad. Seems like it would make the most sense, considering the tileset behavior.

At the moment, I believe Base Platform, Supply Depot platform, and black void tiles are set to be paintable. Which is fine! They seem to be most common.

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Ok, so I made more changes in editor and Heighliner tileset configuration.

This is the result:

4MzM4EQ.png

So I used all 8 paint groups for all 8 different types of platforms, so now it will be much easier to directly paint any type of platform, instead of using block preset.

And I made support for 4 common paint groups, two of them are reserved for thin spice and thick spice (with special behavior), and the other two are reserved for concrete and void. Pre-placing concrete on a map could potentially be useful, althrough in original tileset it is not possible to build on concrete, it can still be used as some decoration, or better, take advantage of newly discovered tile attributes to pre-place a real working concrete. Void (black tiles) are not so common and natural to use in normal tilesets, maybe it can be used to make non-rectangular maps (which was never used yet, at least what I know), but it's useful for Heighliner tileset.

Here's the code:

Spoiler


[Paint_Tile_Groups]
GroupA.name=Supplies
GroupA.tile=793
GroupA.restriction_rule=$10000000000

GroupB.name=MD Pads
GroupB.tile=301
GroupB.restriction_rule=$10000000000

GroupC.name=Concrete
GroupC.tile=651
GroupC.paint_tiles=651;671;691
GroupC.restriction_rule=-$4000000008000

GroupD.name=Void
GroupD.tile=0

Group1.name=Supply Depot
Group1.tile=48
Group1.paint_tiles=48;48;48;49

Group2.name=Base Platform
Group2.tile=572
Group2.paint_tiles=572;572;572;572;552;552;552;592

Group3.name=Blue Plat. Ver.
Group3.tile=672
Group3.paint_tiles=672;672;672;672;652;652;652;692

Group4.name=Blue Plat. Hor.
Group4.tile=695
Group4.paint_tiles=695;695;695;694

Group5.name=Black Plat. Ver.
Group5.tile=673
Group5.paint_tiles=673;673;673;673;653;653;653;693

Group6.name=Black Plat. Hor.
Group6.tile=675
Group6.paint_tiles=675;675;675;674

Group7.name=White Plat. Ver.
Group7.tile=517
Group7.paint_tiles=517;517;517;517;497;497;497;537

Group8.name=White Plat. Hor.
Group8.tile=539
Group8.paint_tiles=539;539;539;538

 

As you can notice, paint tile list is repeating same tile number. This way you can force higher or lower probability of specific tiles. For example for vertical platforms, there are three different tiles available, where one tile has a hole in it. When you paint a vertical platform, there will be 4 in 8 chance the first tile is used, 3 in 8 chance the second tile is used, and only 1 in 8 chance the tile with hole is used. You can clearly notice that the tile with hole is much less common than other tiles.

There are more new things and changes made to tileset configuration which I will explain later. For example restriction_rule is spice restriction rule made generalized for any paint type. If you do not know what that does mean, it means that you can paint spice only on sand, or you can paint concrete only on buildable tiles etc.

Stay tuned for more stuff!

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More stuff!

I completely reorganized the block presets. Now all presets of same platfom type are gathered together under same preset group, which is more logical (you can place all possible tiles from the same platform type without switching preset group), but most importantly, you can take advantage of auto-smooth edges feature.

Here is how it looks like:

wa9UULb.png

r53U6HT.png

And example of config:

Group7.name=White Plat. Ver.
Group7.tile=517
Group7.paint_tiles=517;517;517;517;497;497;497;537
Group7.smooth_preset_group=4
Group7.smooth_presets=34RE78IU90PO

Group8.name=White Plat. Hor.
Group8.tile=539
Group8.paint_tiles=539;539;539;538
Group8.smooth_preset_group=4
Group8.smooth_presets=DFVCJK<ML:?>

And voila, here's how the auto-smooth edges feature can work in practice. On left side raw painted platform, on right side after shift-click:

XxjMfT5.png

So creating terrain with Heighliner tileset is now much easier and faster, isn't it?

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13 hours ago, Klofkac said:

More stuff!

Klof, this is awesome!! It's like the tileset was meant for the game now ❤️ And I know @Cm_blast is gonna love these new changes. I know I did what I could to make the tileset easier to work with, like by setting up those tile presets, but this is something on a whole different level. I love it. :)

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On 2/27/2020 at 12:50 PM, Fey said:

Klof, this is awesome!! It's like the tileset was meant for the game now ❤️ And I know @Cm_blast is gonna love these new changes. I know I did what I could to make the tileset easier to work with, like by setting up those tile presets, but this is something on a whole different level. I love it. :)

Thanks! I really love doing this.

I completely reorganized also the platform walls presets, now it's much easier to create walls. I again organized it by presets of same platform and wall type being together. See:

huDzfKF.png

ynLw3ST.png

So now you just use 5 buttons in a row to create all walls for one platofrm/wall type. With 4 fingers on keyboard it's fast and piece of cake.

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