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Klofkac

[Superseded by version 2.0] Map and mission Editor v1.4: Full of improvements and new features!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Oh well... Indeed I tested this thoroughly in game to be 100% sure before I implemented this check. And the outcome was that only 30 blooms get spawned, never more blooms under any circumstances. I even tried to place a limited bloom that disappears after 7 explosions, and even after depleting the limited bloom, the 31st bloom did not start appearing.

Oh, alright.

On your test the same blooms stopped appearing every single time or you actually tried to make different groups to be harvested first? I think the ones at top have priority, but not 100% sure if that's true or if you harvest X first those reappear and not the others.

Fey, you and I have problems now, we have maps that we cannot test anymore if we ever do changes xD.

4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Good; I like this, any chance the same shortcut (Pgup-Pgdown) as the events, conditions and stuff?

This is something not mandatory, but it's one of the few shortcuts that I use; that and the copy-paste events/conditions.

4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Oh well, before adding this I actually tested Deploy action only with Reinforcement event. I did not try with Unit Spawn, as I thought it would work exactly same as for Reinforcement. So does deploy action for Unit Spawn work same way, or it always behaves as "Free", (or "Retreat") regardless what you set?

Yes, the spawn acts the same, I just trying it with 4 quads spawns with the 4 commands and they all did the same, first time moving into the base to wander around and the second time (delayed spawn + 1 initial spawn with tons of units to fill the defense ratio) the 4 quads stayed there, waiting for his turn to attack.

They simply do the same things as being deployed from a Starport.

4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

The reason I changed this, is that I actually looked inside game executable (DUNE2000.EXE) with hex editor and among many text strings stored in there, I found strings like "GUARD", "ATTACK", "RETREAT", "STAY", so these were obviously deploy action names, that behave exactly the way how the action is called. I.e. using Guard, units will stay on position and set to Guard mode. With Retreat. units will go back to base and wander around base, having potentially free assignment. This can be best seen when you set reinforcement outside player's base and set deployaction to Retreat, units will immediately go back to the base. With Stay, units will stand still and will not be set to Guard mode, however, if the standing unit starts shooting other player's unit because of being in range, then when the other player's unit attempts to run away, the standing unit will start chasing the unit. So this is still not 100% "Stand still and do not move at all".

Still, the Stay having a unit that doesn't move (at least, initially) it's really usefull, I think there are units that doesn't move even when guarding, like a missile tanks; I can see the missile tank rotating to shoot but not going closer, so long range weapons may not be lured as easily if using the "stay" command.

And like I said, the third campaign from my Butlerian Yihad has the machines without any active AI anymore but the "auto-shooting sistem" (plot-wise); if I had this thing before I would use it, because the idea was to have these vehicles withouth a driver, they are just there blocking certain areas and that's it. I even made a mission that the goal it's to raze an inactive base (won't build, won't repair, won't attack, it's just there) before another AI raze another base.

Or simply for commando style missions where player it's to avoid enemies at all cost.

4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Oh no! The other tileset ini files were NOT intended to be included in the zip file! These are mine testing files I'm working with. Unfortunately I forgot to delete them when I zipped the package for release. Please disregard the other ini files like they did not exist there. I will need to reupload a new zip without them. In D2kEditor there will always be ini files only for the original Dune 2000 tilesets and nothing else.

ooooh, I understand.

I guess you won't add any tileset.
I think that's for the best, with people that will update them, even the smaller update can have outdated whatever you may include.

But you can still add a .txt with "if you want custom tilesets, go here:" and placing the link into index just to tell people that custom tilesets can be added into your editor, and that way whatever post the index have should be the most updated version of that tileset.

I may create a sub-section called "TILESETS" to have them grouped.

4 hours ago, Klofkac said:

That's fine, just please to try test all new features and changes I did there if they work correctly and there is not any bug. I'm doing testing just for myself and it's easy to overlook someting or not count with unexpected way of usage by other people. And thanks for all the comments you wrote already.

I will look more into depth.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

I'm inclined to trust Klof on this. Cm told me a looong time ago that it was 32, and I always remembered it since then, but if Klof has been testing and has confirmed it to be 30, then I guess we were both wrong! XD

Half of the stuff I found it's most the time guesses based on experience; if at any moment I said 32 it's because I saw something, or simply I tried with ~30 blooms, seem them explode and assume 2^5 = 32, so 32 it's the max.

I'll do some specific test if there is any specific combination where specific extra blooms doesn't appear.

Edited by Cm_blast

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I made some new changes and additions, mostly based on your comments.

Thank you for the work and effort you've put into this, I'm sure it'll all be very helpful to many of us using the editor! On a more personal note, thanks for fixing the notes that didn't move around properly, that's something I love using and this makes it a whole lot easier!

One thing that I found very strange as a newcomer to the editor, is that I thought the concrete tile painter would place down concrete that any player or AI can build on, like if approached in game, but to my surprise it counts as terrain that doesn't allow building on top of it. I'm sure this has been looked at before by some of you, but it was one of the things that I didn't understand when first launching the editor, so might as well make a note of it here if it can be fixed or added later, if at all possible.

Another thing is that for structures that require 7 tiles, such as the heavy factory, you can't place some things in the upper left diagonal empty tile spot because the editor, I assume, considers that the origin point of the placed structure and therefore removes the structure if another is placed there. Would it be possible to move that point to the top middle tile, freeing the two diagonal empty ones to be used by other things on the map? Excuse my inexperience if there is already a workaround for this. Just wondering if it's possible.

Edited by AZ-Stalker

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, AZ-Stalker said:

One thing that I found very strange as a newcomer to the editor, is that I thought the concrete tile painter would place down concrete that any player or AI can build on, like if approached in game, but to my surprise it counts as terrain that doesn't allow building on top of it. I'm sure this has been looked at before by some of you, but it was one of the things that I didn't understand when first launching the editor, so might as well make a note of it here if it can be fixed or added later, if at all possible.

We call that tile "Fake concrete", the only way to "fix" that it's altering the westwood tilesets itself.
He is letting people to place this fake concrete just for extra details, like writting on your briefing "Somebody used to have a base here, but it was destroyed long time ago" and placing tiles just to show it.

image.png.292efd1669b1e06ea12e153ec6f52899.png <-- like this, just extra detail, so it looks like a small minibunker, even if nobody can build there.

It's the same that if you place spice opening the whole tileset (not the auto-painting tool), that's fake spice, you cannot harvest it, it can be used to later place harversters that won't move by themselves into mine fields while still having "spice" on the map.

3 hours ago, AZ-Stalker said:

Another thing is that for structures that require 7 tiles, such as the heavy factory, you can't place some things in the upper left diagonal empty tile spot because the editor, I assume, considers that the origin point of the placed structure and therefore removes the structure if another is placed there. Would it be possible to move that point to the top middle tile, freeing the two diagonal empty ones to be used by other things on the map? Excuse my inexperience if there is already a workaround for this. Just wondering if it's possibl

I always assumed that the building have some kind of "main tile" situated in the top-left tile (take the fact as a 3x4 building) or something like that, but honestly, I won't be surprise if Klof now said to us that it was possible to alter that to do what you said: placing walls-turrets on both corners.

the top-right it's at least free; well, all the tiles but that sepcific one are free, you can have a fact with 4 turrets integrated, not sure how that will work :P.

Edited by Cm_blast

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4 hours ago, AZ-Stalker said:

One thing that I found very strange as a newcomer to the editor, is that I thought the concrete tile painter would place down concrete that any player or AI can build on, like if approached in game, but to my surprise it counts as terrain that doesn't allow building on top of it. I'm sure this has been looked at before by some of you, but it was one of the things that I didn't understand when first launching the editor, so might as well make a note of it here if it can be fixed or added later, if at all possible.

Well, that's actually one of the reasons I wrote the D2k Mapping Manual for: I mentioned this in the manual, this sentence:

Quote

- Concrete (for decoration only, does not work as real concrete you build in game)

So probably you were playing around with this before I even wrote the manual.

From technical point of view, this is not directly problem of the editor, but rather problem of the game itself, and how tile attributes are configured in original tilesets. The concrete tiles do not have "Buildings can be placed" attribute, thus buildings cannot be placed on these tiles. You can go to Tile Attribute Editor and modify this to make concrete tiles buildable, but the main drawback is that you would alter the original game files and you would need to distribute them along with the maps, and write into instructions "in order to play my map you need to replace these game files".

4 hours ago, AZ-Stalker said:

Another thing is that for structures that require 7 tiles, such as the heavy factory, you can't place some things in the upper left diagonal empty tile spot because the editor, I assume, considers that the origin point of the placed structure and therefore removes the structure if another is placed there. Would it be possible to move that point to the top middle tile, freeing the two diagonal empty ones to be used by other things on the map? Excuse my inexperience if there is already a workaround for this. Just wondering if it's possible.

This is not limitation of editor, but actually limitation of the game map format. In the Dune 2000 map format, each tile in map has two values: "tile" value and "special" value. Tile value says which tile (graphics) from tileset is here, and "special" value says which structure (building, unit) or special object (spice bloom, worm spawner etc) is on the tile. When you place a building, the special value is set on the top-left corner tile of the building (so this way you can for example place two buildings overlapping each other). But because for "tall" 3x4 buildings the special value is also set on top-left corner, which is in fact empty tile, you just cannot place any other structure (building, unit) there. This is not up to me.

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Posted (edited)

I did my own test with the blooms and you were alright; I have no idea on what world I though the limit was 32; probably since I was finding so many things (heh, even know I found that an AI may start building a harvesters as his first unit even without a refinery present nor proportion whatshoever for that unit... so go figure... I know so much but also so little about this game...

So, unless there is a very rare weird combo that any bloom above 31 will appear (the ones at bottom never appear, only the thin spice) then it is true, 30 it's the maximum possible.

You may add a trigger error if any side has 10 refineries at once, game will crash as soon as the game start, so not really necesary, but if you want to also add it feel free to do it. I can't think right now on another kind of error.

Edited by Cm_blast

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21 hours ago, Fey said:

Not just structures, but units and certain objects like worm spawners and Spice Blooms too.

  The check works the way that it counts every structure (building or unit, including walls) as one. Worm spawners also count into this number, it looks like worm spawners work like a "unit" (they have own entry in TILEDATA.BIN). Other objects like spice blooms and player starts do not count, it seems the game treats them in different way. But this can be retested and confirmed too.

18 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

I may create a sub-section called "TILESETS" to have them grouped.

If you talk about creating "Tilesets" section in "All completed mods and tools index (Dune 2000)" thread, then it's definitely a good idea! Tilesets certainly deserve their own category (even on D2k+ web) as there are a bunch of new tilesets created already.

By the way, you can also create some other category called "RESEARCH & KNOWLEDGE", where you would put links to all threads where any useful information is mentioned, like new findings about the game (i.e. "tile attributes research") or some explanations or tutorials (i.e. "How to use minimap color rules in tileset .ini file")

7 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

You may add a trigger error if any side has 10 refineries at once, game will crash as soon as the game start, so not really necesary, but if you want to also add it feel free to do it. I can't think right now on another kind of error.

I guess you talk here about "Too many deliveries" error that triggers when too many carryalls with a new harvester would arrive when you pre-place too many refineries. I once got that error, but did not check how many refineries would cause this, and whether the limit counts across all refineries of all sides, or each side has its own separate limit.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Klofkac said:

By the way, you can also create some other category called "RESEARCH & KNOWLEDGE", where you would put links to all threads where any useful information is mentioned, like new findings about the game (i.e. "tile attributes research") or some explanations or tutorials (i.e. "How to use minimap color rules in tileset .ini file")

That would be good too. It has to include all the tutorials, AI scripting, manuals, the FAQ, the how to...
I don't know what exactly I may add, like the how to install dune 2000 from an actual CD, it's not editing, but it is a "research-knowledge-tutorial", so maybe it deserve his place.

Out of curiosity. Do you know if can added here on the forum a way to popup a text?
For example "Resource editor" it's an editor to... resources... ok... I have no idea what the program it's about, and the post that contain the link it's a reupload because I don't ever know where/if there is a post explaining what it does.

So, hover your mouse over the link and a small text written "this can edit the graphics of the game" or whatever that tool does.

5 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I guess you talk here about "Too many deliveries" error that triggers when too many carryalls with a new harvester would arrive when you pre-place too many refineries. I once got that error, but did not check how many refineries would cause this, and whether the limit counts across all refineries of all sides, or each side has its own separate limit.

Since I was with the bloom test I placed like 15 refs and game crashed, so I deleted 1, then another... so yeah, with +10 game crashed, at least for the same side. If the refs are splitted into more houses then it is fine, although I am not sure the limit on too multiple AIS, but at least more than 10 refs for the same AI that totally crash the game. 10 it's the limit.

Edited by Cm_blast

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8 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Worm spawners also count into this number,

Yee. It's not actually a spawner that's placed on the map - you are literally placing the worm for the sandworm side on the map, and then it's subject to the initial sleep delay. Neat, huh? :P

8 hours ago, Klofkac said:

But this can be retested and confirmed too.

Just tested and confirmed that you're correct.

S18 is at the entities limit. Deleting two Spice blooms does not allow even one more unit to be added. I remembered it differently than how it actually is; maybe I was really thinking of worm "spawners."

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52 minutes ago, Fey said:

S18 is at the entities limit. Deleting two Spice blooms does not allow even one more unit to be added. I remembered it differently than how it actually is; maybe I was really thinking of worm "spawners."

So 1000 it's the unit/structure limit?

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1 minute ago, Cm_blast said:

So 1000 it's the unit/structure limit?

According to adding up all the statistics of units on S18, there are 995 objects on the map. 3 more for worm spawners, and maybe I missed 2 in the statistics. So if it ain't a thousand, it's somewhere very close!

I trust Klof's 'max entities counter' could confirm for sure. :D

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5 hours ago, Fey said:

According to adding up all the statistics of units on S18, there are 995 objects on the map. 3 more for worm spawners, and maybe I missed 2 in the statistics. So if it ain't a thousand, it's somewhere very close!

I trust Klof's 'max entities counter' could confirm for sure. :D

It's just to make sure, I know there is a campaign which mission 9 doesn't work because of that, knowing exactly how many walls needs to be removed to make the map playable would be nice (it's not any mission of mine); I am curios since from I saw on the editor had an interesting concept and wanted to give it a chance.

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Posted (edited)

New suggestion: markers for ownership on walls.
I just recently tested a map where I didn't realize that AI number 2 had walls around AI number 1 that shouldn't have, so AI number 2 not only had units patrolling where it shouldn't, but also it was building more units that needed to protect the bigger-than-expected area. <-- It took me around 15 minutes in gameplay to realize, since the AI starts as inactive before that moment.

I used debug mode to sell all the buildings of this AI and then pressing the "H" letter (will go at any building left) to see myself if I could find the problem; it was some pieces that I deleted and redraw multiple times, and for some reason I used the wrong side the last time I paint them.

So I would like to have some kind of marked for walls; you can do a on/off options, so during off you can takes screenshots without making the imagen look bad (to show off whatever map the author it's working) but the option to activate it so the walls can be tracked and see quickly if I am placing the correct or wrong walls.

I don't know what kind of mark you may add. A small square or a dot in the middle of the graphic, or the letter with the side & color; I don't really know if you can code something like this; If not possible, as an alternative solution you may use the "unknown" buttom to show off the actual values of the walls; these values can be colored with the side. So any Harkonnen wall will show the number 204 in color red. At least this would be better that not having anything.

Edited by Cm_blast

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On 5/1/2020 at 1:17 PM, Cm_blast said:

New suggestion: markers for ownership on walls.

Here you go.

aJvbK8B.png

And one more thing, just started making a built-in mission launcher.

6V06TOQ.png

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Here you go.

 

Did I draw circles that way on 1 ocassion? it sparks my mind with a "I saw that imagen before"; anyway, I guess the "unknown" part now it is on one of the two menus.

Thanks; Did you try with all sides?. just checking if all the colors are fine.

Also, do you think you can add an outside black line around the circle?
image.png.1bd05fbf8a0eb19eae8e5a257582ab71.png

Like that; I did that in paint really quick, just to give you the idea. I think that any figure with 1 color (or a gradient kind) with an outside black line usually pop-up a bit better (like when you place text on top on an imagen), not really that important but if I place 2-3 columns of walls all togheter maybe it looks a bit better in the bigger scale (always, of course, if you can do that). Circle can be slightly smaller just to not increase with the outline too much (I mean, same size, but the exterior with the outline; a bit less of the green circle), 1 or 2 black pixels around should be enough.

Anyway, thanks for this feature. On my last mission I keep changing my mind and the ownership due some parts of the map don't behaving as expected and I end having wrong sections of walls from the wrong side.

3 hours ago, Klofkac said:

And one more thing, just started making a built-in mission launcher.

A mission launcher integred into the editor, I guess. I also guess you may pick there the list of maps, using the open in editor to open the map quickly... thats... that's actually usefull; not that much from my own maps because I suck at naming, but when looking for an specific map from Feda or Fey, I don't know the name of the file, so opening from there would be much easy.

Feda mentioned something about working on a new launcher too, but he wanted to release his campaigns before 2020 started and... well, I still have no idea how much work he has done xD.

Edited by Cm_blast

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8 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Thanks; Did you try with all sides?. just checking if all the colors are fine.

Also, do you think you can add an outside black line around the circle?

Yes this should work for all sides. I just did not have time to find a mission where many different sides have their walls close to each other for better demonstration.

Yes, adding black line around the circle is the simplest thing. I personally like it how it is now, but if you think it would look better with that...

8 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

A mission launcher integred into the editor, I guess. I also guess you may pick there the list of maps, using the open in editor to open the map quickly... thats... that's actually usefull; not that much from my own maps because I suck at naming, but when looking for an specific map from Feda or Fey, I don't know the name of the file, so opening from there would be much easy.

Feda mentioned something about working on a new launcher too, but he wanted to release his campaigns before 2020 started and... well, I still have no idea how much work he has done xD.

Yes, this is integrated into editor, it's open from the main menu.

Actually the launcher is quite simple and does not have much interesting appearance, but I think it can be useful and nice-to-have thing. I will work on this a bit further.

My main idea and goal behind the mission launcher is to make switching between different modded files easier. I mean, for some campaign, the author would edit graphics files and also fiddle with settings of units (add new unit type, fiddle with armor and health etc). So in order to play the campaign you need to manually replace the data files, and then again back them up or replace with other files made for other campaign. I guess this is exactly what was the main idea of the new mission launcher too.

I have my own ideas about technical solution how to handle replacement of game files. So I suppose it would be good to discuss this with @FedaYkin.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Here you go.

These are all fantastic additions! I've been struggling with the wall ownership as well. The dot itself can be much smaller, just needs to be big enough to be noticeable. This size seems like it's a bit too large. Oh and thank you for your efforts on the mission launcher! This is truly turning out to be the best time to map/mod Dune, especially for a newcomer like myself. Anything you can do to streamline or simplify something in the software, like you did with the walls, notes and all the other cool stuff, please do - you have my gratitude for the time and energy you're putting in Klofkac, and I'm sure everyone here feels something similar. The community is getting a new breath of life because of projects like this, and I hope it continues onward as the tools continue to improve.

EDIT: Regarding the black line around the circle, I can see the logic behind the suggestion but I also thing this fits the aesthetic within the editor well, because the circles are currently in the same style as the squares for event coordinates. Fits nicely as if it was always there. :)

EDIT 2: Prehaps ignore my earlier comment about the circle size. The more I observe it, the more I think it fits well as it is already. If it can be toggled on-off as in show-hide, then there shouldn't be an issue. And I see a Walls tab, so I'm guessing it can.

Edited by AZ-Stalker

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6 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Yes, adding black line around the circle is the simplest thing. I personally like it how it is now, but if you think it would look better with that...

I actually don't know how it will look better, I feel will do, but hard to tell.
I wish there were a few more modders here because they could think on a even better way to show it (shadow, transparent, a square...).

6 hours ago, Klofkac said:

My main idea and goal behind the mission launcher is to make switching between different modded files easier. I mean, for some campaign, the author would edit graphics files and also fiddle with settings of units (add new unit type, fiddle with armor and health etc). So in order to play the campaign you need to manually replace the data files, and then again back them up or replace with other files made for other campaign. I guess this is exactly what was the main idea of the new mission launcher too.

Yes, Feda had in mind to alter how the missions are stored, so for example, instead having all in 1 single "missions", you would make "Ixian campaign", and inside you will have the missions and the "template" that alter the tech to produce sonic tank + deva + deviator so no switching files would be required.

I want to show this, from another modded game, the Streets of Rage Remake. A fan game that took 8 years to develop and later shutdown by Sega itself (because it was too good); of course, you can create your own "campaigns", so you rip yourself backgrounds from a figthing game (or other beat em up), and use the in-editor to add enemies and stuff.

But then, if you are giving tribute to an specific game, you need to rename your characters and recolor them to match the game it's based on.

With time people create this
https://2img.net/h/oi55.tinypic.com/2evamjc.jpg

You pick one, you select "set palette", and the program will search the palettes, stored in the "palette/custom" folder and overwrite the original palettes (and originals are moved into a "backup" folder, I think.

After you are finish, you hit "restore" and game come backs to vanilla values.

Later, like here with Dune 2000, people went much afar; altering sound efects and even the graphics (there is one that switch 1 main character for Sonic, Tails and Knukles moving together, like in sonic heroes, so somebody created a much advance tool, you pick which palette, you pick which data (similar case, but here don't overwrite anything, data wasn't suppose to be extracted, but people always find a way) so you could play an specific mod with an specific set of palettes and data (new sounds, sprites...) with a single tool and never overwritting anything. <-- Although in my case the programa delete alllll the palettes, took me a few hours to download every single mod to retrieve them.

This is the imagen
https://i.servimg.com/u/f97/19/47/50/76/screen10.png
I didn't use it too much because loosing the palettes once was enough, but you get the idea (and yes, that mod was mine xD).

And the last thing (although nobody has made a mod in a while) somebody started creating a new tool for that.
https://sorr.forumotion.net/t755-utility-gms-sorr-mod-manager

So this is something I told to Feda some time ago, maybe there is a way to do something like this: a tool you pick a mission, and you open an extra windown or option that sais "IX-template", so the game loads with that other template instead the vanilla one.

6 hours ago, AZ-Stalker said:

The dot itself can be much smaller, just needs to be big enough to be noticeable. This size seems like it's a bit too large. Oh and thank you for your efforts on the mission launcher! This is truly turning out to be the best time to map/mod Dune, especially for a newcomer like myself.

Feel free to not agree with my in anything. I would love if we were at least 4 guys saying to add or not to add things, so it's not just myself asking personal things (some more needed than others, like the size of the circle) and you may think that a square or a triangle are more easy to see, or the circle withouth the outline but a bigher color... I don't know. People will have ideas I didn't ever think of.

6 hours ago, AZ-Stalker said:

EDIT: Regarding the black line around the circle, I can see the logic behind the suggestion but I also thing this fits the aesthetic within the editor well, because the circles are currently in the same style as the squares for event coordinates. Fits nicely as if it was always there. :)

You are right; I didn't ever think on the actual squares scripts shows without any outline.

6 hours ago, AZ-Stalker said:

EDIT 2: Prehaps ignore my earlier comment about the circle size. The more I observe it, the more I think it fits well as it is already. If it can be toggled on-off as in show-hide, then there shouldn't be an issue. And I see a Walls tab, so I'm guessing it can.

It only cannot be too big since when I am creating a base I may have the thing turn on and would be hard to see the wall itself if I am editing, but yeah, the actual size (if an outline it's added or not) seems correct.

Answer @Fey  the circle over the wall better with a black outline or looks better to you this way?
I don't really mind either way.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Cm_blast said:

the circle over the wall better with a black outline or looks better to you this way?

As long as the dot can be toggled off, I think it's fine. It SHOULD be glaring and obvious and stuff for the sake of determining the wall's owner, if toggled on. :)

Oh, uhh, and I like it better with the black outline. Stands out more. So, uhh, yeah.

Edited by Fey

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Posted (edited)

@Klofkac Yes, I had a similar idea for automatically loading modded files. It is actually already implemented for a while, but I had other stuff to do and didnt clean & improve the code. I am also working on a automatic colors.uib per mission feature, which would fix the problem of not being able to easily use custom colors unless you use the not-so-reliable indexes or force the user to copy colors.uib every time.

 

While the colors feature is not yet implemented, I did the per-entire-campaign feature by using a special CanpaignData folder. That folder will contain a directory for every campaign that has modded files. The creator has to provide a small .ini file in which he defines all filenames that are modded. Then, inside the CampaignData/<campaign_name> directory, besides the ini file they will provide the correct kind of folder structure with the modded files inside. The launcher reads the ini then uses that info to copy and paste the modded files from the campaignData folder to the right folder structure. Of course, the launcher will first back up the files. I dont remember if I did it when opening the launcher for the first time or before loading a modded campaign, since I implemented this a while ago (I think I forgot to tell Cm and Fey, lol xD).

 

All of this is happening when clicking on a custom campaign in thw mission launcher, so basically if you click lets say War of Assassins, the command delegate will install all the modded files right there. When you close the War of Assassins window, the normal files are put back in place.

 

I still have to stress test this a bit, but last time I checked it worked pretty well. Maybe there could be a better way to do it, but that's how I did it back then. Feel free to give me more suggestions about it if you have any!

 

Btw, I also looked into getting audio briefings for the launcher, as I wanted to do that for my new campaign. I scrapped this because it was too much effort to record and voice-pitch edit so much audio, but the feature itself is pretty easy to add, and I am thinking to maybe add it as well. 

 

I am actually not that far from finishing that campaign @Cm_blast, i just didnt update you guys anymore since I was such a slow ass xD. 

 

Another feature I am planning to add and I consider absolutely essential is an auto-updater. However, for this I need someone who can host the files on a server. I am thinking that maybe we can host them on d2kplus, but I need to contact Gruntlord about this. Actually, maybe this would benefit the editor as well @Klofkac, if you'd want to implement an auto-update functionality and if Gruntlord can host our files on d2kplus. It's always easier to just click a button to get the newest version compared to downloading and unzipping stuff.

Edited by FedaYkin

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1 hour ago, FedaYkin said:

I was such a slow ass xD.

Nice to see you're still alive and well. :P

Whenever it is that you're finished with sorting the "automatic modding" code, please do let us know IN GREAT DETAIL how to pack up our campaigns going forward! Poor Cm is going to have to do so much updating. 😅

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6 hours ago, Fey said:

Nice to see you're still alive and well. :P

Whenever it is that you're finished with sorting the "automatic modding" code, please do let us know IN GREAT DETAIL how to pack up our campaigns going forward! Poor Cm is going to have to do so much updating. 😅

Definitely. Will write a manual for creators on how to use it. Should be pretty simple so don't worry. The configuration .ini will be a template, so you can't go wrong with it. You'll also have my new campaign as a model to look at, since I am using modded files for it (to get Sards for emperor without palace and to get custom colors in missions + the Caladan Ships tileset).

 

Well, regarding packing up old campaigns, you only really need to do anything for the campaigns that have modded files. The normal ones will work like before. So Cm will have to pack only the modded ones.

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8 hours ago, FedaYkin said:

@Klofkac Yes, I had a similar idea for automatically loading modded files. It is actually already implemented for a while, but I had other stuff to do and didnt clean & improve the code. I am also working on a automatic colors.uib per mission feature, which would fix the problem of not being able to easily use custom colors unless you use the not-so-reliable indexes or force the user to copy colors.uib every time.

 

While the colors feature is not yet implemented, I did the per-entire-campaign feature by using a special CanpaignData folder. That folder will contain a directory for every campaign that has modded files. The creator has to provide a small .ini file in which he defines all filenames that are modded. Then, inside the CampaignData/<campaign_name> directory, besides the ini file they will provide the correct kind of folder structure with the modded files inside. The launcher reads the ini then uses that info to copy and paste the modded files from the campaignData folder to the right folder structure. Of course, the launcher will first back up the files. I dont remember if I did it when opening the launcher for the first time or before loading a modded campaign, since I implemented this a while ago (I think I forgot to tell Cm and Fey, lol xD).

Well, I was thinking about simething similar, but with a few differences. Here's how I'm thinking about the solution:
- There will be no need to have any .ini file. The launcher will just automatically browse through the "CampaignData/<campaign_name>" folder structure, and replace all available files into their respective locations in the game folder. It should be easier this way.
- There will be no colors.uib per individual mission, but I wanted to have a more generic solution, and enable ANY individual modded file per specific mission. So in other words, there will be three different levels of data files, used with this priority:
Original game files < Campaign-specific files < Mission-specific files
This way you can also have different graphics, sounds, settings etc. files for different missions within same canpaign. This can be pretty useful.
- The launcher will copy and replace data files just at time when you launch the mission, so that no file operations happen when you just browse through different campaigns in the launcher. The launcher will compare file modification date and time, and if the modification date of target file equals to source file, no file copying will happen. I hope this could be pretty reliable, as there's so low probability two different files would have exactly same modification date and time.

Also wanted to ask, where the mission files (.MAP, .MIS, .INI) would be stored - will they be stored in the Missions folder along with all original and other missions, or they will be stored under "CampaignData/<campaign_name>" folder, so the launcher needs to copy the .MAP, .MIS, .INI files to Missions folder before launching it?

13 hours ago, FedaYkin said:

Btw, I also looked into getting audio briefings for the launcher, as I wanted to do that for my new campaign. I scrapped this because it was too much effort to record and voice-pitch edit so much audio, but the feature itself is pretty easy to add, and I am thinking to maybe add it as well. 

Eh, I'm not really a big fan of this. My spoken English is pretty poor and I feel just too shy to send recording of my voice into the world. If you're native English speaker it might not be a big problem, but still. Furthermore, the audio files would just take up too much space and the download sizes would be too big.

13 hours ago, FedaYkin said:

Another feature I am planning to add and I consider absolutely essential is an auto-updater. However, for this I need someone who can host the files on a server. I am thinking that maybe we can host them on d2kplus, but I need to contact Gruntlord about this. Actually, maybe this would benefit the editor as well @Klofkac, if you'd want to implement an auto-update functionality and if Gruntlord can host our files on d2kplus. It's always easier to just click a button to get the newest version compared to downloading and unzipping stuff.

I'm not planning to implement this. I do not release official "stable" versions too often, just see, there's for example 1.2, 1,3, 1,4 released within several years, so updating editor version once per year or two is not a big deal. Also the implementation of auto-updater feature would cost some effort, I'm not sure if it's worth it. And I do not find this much reliable, especially having some stable hosting where it would be guarantedly available and updated long-term. Just see Gruntlord6 being very seldom active, looks like D2K+ side does not get any updates too often.

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1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

Well, I was thinking about simething similar, but with a few differences. Here's how I'm thinking about the solution:
- There will be no need to have any .ini file. The launcher will just automatically browse through the "CampaignData/<campaign_name>" folder structure, and replace all available files into their respective locations in the game folder. It should be easier this way.
- There will be no colors.uib per individual mission, but I wanted to have a more generic solution, and enable ANY individual modded file per specific mission. So in other words, there will be three different levels of data files, used with this priority:
Original game files < Campaign-specific files < Mission-specific files
This way you can also have different graphics, sounds, settings etc. files for different missions within same canpaign. This can be pretty useful.
- The launcher will copy and replace data files just at time when you launch the mission, so that no file operations happen when you just browse through different campaigns in the launcher. The launcher will compare file modification date and time, and if the modification date of target file equals to source file, no file copying will happen. I hope this could be pretty reliable, as there's so low probability two different files would have exactly same modification date and time.

Also wanted to ask, where the mission files (.MAP, .MIS, .INI) would be stored - will they be stored in the Missions folder along with all original and other missions, or they will be stored under "CampaignData/<campaign_name>" folder, so the launcher needs to copy the .MAP, .MIS, .INI files to Missions folder before launching it?

Eh, I'm not really a big fan of this. My spoken English is pretty poor and I feel just too shy to send recording of my voice into the world. If you're native English speaker it might not be a big problem, but still. Furthermore, the audio files would just take up too much space and the download sizes would be too big.

I'm not planning to implement this. I do not release official "stable" versions too often, just see, there's for example 1.2, 1,3, 1,4 released within several years, so updating editor version once per year or two is not a big deal. Also the implementation of auto-updater feature would cost some effort, I'm not sure if it's worth it. And I do not find this much reliable, especially having some stable hosting where it would be guarantedly available and updated long-term. Just see Gruntlord6 being very seldom active, looks like D2K+ side does not get any updates too often.

I just checked my stuff from december and apparently I was wrong about the ini file, I didnt add a list of files to copy in the ini, and actually did exactly as you said, paste the entire substructure of the campaignData folder to the game.

I just checked right now to see what did I use the ini for, and I saw this is the content of my test .ini

[CampaignData]
CampaignFolder=WarOfTheLandsraad

[CampaignOptions]
PlayAudioBriefings=true
UseCustomMusic=false
IsModded=true

So apparently I used it just to point to the correct directory for each individual campaign in the launcher, with some additional options which were pretty much just a draft, such as the audio briefing or usage of custom music files. I agree that the download size would increase considerably, but that is not necessary a reason to not have such a feature. I am not planning to get audio myself either, but who knows, maybe some native speaker really feels, at some point, to record himself for his own campaign and use it. However this is definitely not a priority at the moment for me, it's just something I noted down and found out not to be very difficult to implement.

I am not yet sure the best solution for the .map .mis and mission .ini locations. So far I had them stored in the missions folder, not in the special CampaignData, since I had no reason to copy them over and over again.

I agree that the per-mission approach instead of per-campaign is much more flexible. At the time I considered the fact that most people have a set of modded files that they use the entire campaign, but I can clearly see the benefits of being able to have different mods for each mission of the same campaign, you are right.

Regarding the auto-updater, I understand your point. I personally will invest the effort into it, since I think it would be worth it for the mission launcher that we all have now. At the moment, for example, my old campaigns have some bugs that Cm noted down. The only way to update it would be to create either a new reply to the main topic with a download link to a zip file somewhere on mediafire or idk, or a new topic with the same link. Of course people could just paste it in the folder and play the fixed version, but then people who come for the first time and download the mission launcher will always have the broken versions. The main post of the mission launcher could be updated, but it's pretty much the same concept: having to edit some old post to get some updates, and that also required funky to be available and do the updating, since it's hosted somewhere on his server.

Another reason I am aiming for the auto-updater is because I want to offer other people the possibility to get personalized campaign screens like it currently is for Rise of the Mercenaries and War of Assassins. That means I'd have to release new versions of the executable every time someone wants to add them. Creating tons of download links and forcing people to manually download and unzip launcher is something I want to avoid. There are already a few from Cm and Fey's smuggler one which definitely deserve their own campaign window. Using a campaign window allows you to maybe even write some lore stuff and immerse the player into the story better. But this is possible only if Gruntlord agrees to host them and update them, as you said, which is why I said I first have to contact him and see if he is fine with this, since it requires a bit of effort on his side as well.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, FedaYkin said:

I am actually not that far from finishing that campaign @Cm_blast, i just didnt update you guys anymore since I was such a slow ass xD. 

Nno problem; it's taking me a month to do a single mission xD.

17 hours ago, FedaYkin said:

Another feature I am planning to add and I consider absolutely essential is an auto-updater. However, for this I need someone who can host the files on a server. I am thinking that maybe we can host them on d2kplus, but I need to contact Gruntlord about this. Actually, maybe this would benefit the editor as well @Klofkac, if you'd want to implement an auto-update functionality and if Gruntlord can host our files on d2kplus. It's always easier to just click a button to get the newest version compared to downloading and unzipping stuff.

Klof's it's right, he took 1 year bewteen 1 version of the editor and the next.
And yeah, d2kplus it's not really a site active nowadays. When Gruntlords appear I ask him if I would send my multiple mods, not just 6-7 new, but updates on my olders versions there, like the New house and the first butlerian one, (I think those two still use the old "overwrite" style).

So after I send him tons of stuff, he only uploaded 2 on august and 1 on septembre, but I don't know where the rest is coming.

9 hours ago, FedaYkin said:

Well, regarding packing up old campaigns, you only really need to do anything for the campaigns that have modded files. The normal ones will work like before. So Cm will have to pack only the modded ones.

I'll say that whatever you or Klofkack do, has to be retrocompatible.
Nobody should assume that people are going to the trouble to redo anything on old works; even if I, myself, do it, there are still plenty of people with work done that nobody will touch. Not even yourself Feda, how many stuff you had to redo and you never did it, despise the amount of years? it doesn't matter that today you are into the modding scene, because during War of Assasins you still never touched your old works.

This is not a "fix it now!", just a warning to avoid "authors are the ones that need to change this or that" because you'll never know which day I will wake up, release a new mission of campaign and say "this is my end; I am not going to touch an editor again"; would be a shame not being able to play maps for some kind of update.

So, whatever it's the outcome, needs to be retrocompatible: I mean, if I want to play Fey campaign, I can still do the manual modding myself (Because that's another thing, it doesn't matter how well your program work on your pc; you'll never know what will happen on other computer).

Like I say on a post early, somebody created a tool to let you pick which palette of enemies, which data (sound effects), and which palette of heroes to choose for the Streets of Rage Remake, but that program on my computer delete all my "palette" folder. I had to go the trouble to download around 100 of mods to recuperate all the enemy paletes... Never used the tool again.

Imagine Fey using a new launcher that instead overwritting and/or creating a back up, does something wrong and overwitte files without a copy of them or simply decide to delete the "mission" folder.

3 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Well, I was thinking about simething similar, but with a few differences. Here's how I'm thinking about the solution:
- There will be no need to have any .ini file. The launcher will just automatically browse through the "CampaignData/<campaign_name>" folder structure, and replace all available files into their respective locations in the game folder. It should be easier this way.
- There will be no colors.uib per individual mission, but I wanted to have a more generic solution, and enable ANY individual modded file per specific mission. So in other words, there will be three different levels of data files, used with this priority:
Original game files < Campaign-specific files < Mission-specific files
This way you can also have different graphics, sounds, settings etc. files for different missions within same canpaign. This can be pretty useful.
- The launcher will copy and replace data files just at time when you launch the mission, so that no file operations happen when you just browse through different campaigns in the launcher. The launcher will compare file modification date and time, and if the modification date of target file equals to source file, no file copying will happen. I hope this could be pretty reliable, as there's so low probability two different files would have exactly same modification date and time.

I guess it would be impossible to create a launcher that loads (or trick the game to load) new files instead any kind of overwritting.
Like we have with the text.uib, just a different name for templates and that's it.

Or as alternative, being able to have a moded template.bin into the folder of that specific campaign, so the game still search for the same files on the same path, but not from the vanilla path.
So, when normally it loads from -- dune2000\data\template.bin 
the launcher will trick the game to load from -- dune\Ixian campaign\data\template.bin

It can be a "launcher/game search for template.bin into <Ixian campaign\data>, if no file it's found, then load the vanilla one. Just like you said in your post, if I understood well, just skipping the overwritte part.

Leaving the overwritting behind. Any automatic overwritting has always some risk of malfunction on specific condicions/computer, so I will find better if the program malfunction and doesn't load the map because it doesn't find my custom template.bin (because for whatever reason doesn't find the path even if exist) that the vanilla template.bin being deleted (could even simply being moved into the modded campaign, so the modded campaign has the original template, which it is also bad).

Besides the example I wrote before, the tool that deleted (or moved) my whole palette folder, forcing me to download a thousand of mods, there is also the current palette manager; it only overwritte the palette of the enemies, so I need to move the "data" folder manually... and although it works there is in some conditions that the program mess up and doesn't do the operation well and either the vanilla or the modded palette it's gone <-- the game include a back up on the original, but just to be sure today I have 1 back up of the enemies, 1 back up of the heroes, those enemy palettes into all the individual mods (so a second copy) and also a back up on the back up...

But maybe what I am saying it's impossible to realize.

PD: I will read the rest later.

Edited by Cm_blast

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Posted (edited)

There is no reason why old campaigns wouldnt work anymore. This whole discussion is only for modded campaigns startimg from now on, or rather said, from the release date on. Campaigns that arent modded wont even touch the new system, they will be loaded normally just like it is now. The point of updates is to introduce new stuff and obviously keep the old stuff working lol.

Just because its hard to find a host doesnt mean the autoupdate feature is not useful. We are used to do stuff manually and unzip stuff for years, but keep in mind not everyone does this on a regular basis. There are users who arent very engaged into computers and technical stuff, who would love to just double click something and have it all there. No need to know where to download an update from or where to unzip it. Even I, personally, would love to just get any updates without having to open a forum, check a topic, click a download link, unzip the whole thing after browsing to the right location. My point is: if a reliable host can be found, I see this as a very useful feature that would benefit everyone.

Regarding the fact that you are afraid automated tools might break the game, well that is a risk that, on paper, always exists, whenever you are automating literally anything. However, the actual risk percentage is pretty small in our case, from my point. First, the backup files will be present, and then, there would be no file deletions and no folder structure changes or anything like that. Worst case i can see is if the tool crashes for whatever reason while restoring the normal files, which leaves modded files in there. If that ever happens, which should be very rare to almost never happen tbh, you can just simply restore backed up files. The benefits of this automation outrange the risks by far.

Edited by FedaYkin

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