Jump to content
Klofkac

D2k Mapping Manual

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hello there, I have always been lazy when it comes to writing any sort of documentations or manuals. For D2kEditor I never wrote any proper manual and rather relied on people figuring things themselves, or letting others advise and explain new users how things are done with the Editor. I myself do not usually read through manuals, since many times I even do not have any at hand, and this way I can miss some really useful information that can change things really lot.

Due to the fact a new member came into our community recently and he struggled with missing knowledge of some mapping mechanics, and seeing how he was asking here in forum and you spent so much effort explaining things to him, I finally decided to write up a Mapping manual, which should cover all needed information about how to create maps in D2kEditor.

I strongly recommend to read through it, because you could still find some useful information you possibly did not know for all the years. And also, I'd like to see your review and opinion, you can point out something what I forgot about and what I forgot to mention, or possibly, you could find any information that is not right.

EDIT: Uploaded a new version of manual: https://forum.dune2k.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=4259

 

Edited by Klofkac
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Mapping manual!

Sick, Klof! And right on time, too. :D
@AZ-Stalker You might wanna have a look at this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Hello there, I have always been lazy when it comes to writing any sort of documentations or manuals. For D2kEditor I never wrote any proper manual and rather relied on people figuring things themselves, or letting others advise and explain new users how things are done with the Editor. I myself do not usually read through manuals, since many times I even do not have any at hand, and this way I can miss some really useful information that can change things really lot.

Due to the fact a new member came into our community recently and he struggled with missing knowledge of some mapping mechanics, and seeing how he was asking here in forum and you spent so much effort explaining things to him, I finally decided to write up a Mapping manual, which should cover all needed information about how to create maps in D2kEditor.

I strongly recommend to read through it, because you could still find some useful information you possibly did not know for all the years. And also, I'd like to see your review and opinion, you can point out something what I forgot about and what I forgot to mention, or possibly, you could find any information that is not right.

Here it goes, please read on: D2k Mapping Manual.docx

D2k Mapping Manual.docx 868.69 kB · 3 downloads

See? This is whay it is lacking on my own manuals; I didn't ever think on adding images integrated.

I am aware at the "moving", when having selected a tile or even a big group of tiles, but by the time I really need it I always forgot.
I saw you added the "restriction" for spice painting (and others) that's a good thing to work with those old tilesets, in case the .ini I added later it's not there (or any modder it's using the tileset but are not aware of my .inis); it is a good addition.

Small typo here, I think:
"In order to transfer a selected block between maps or between multiple instances od editor, press Ctrl+C to copy current block to clipboard. "
Just before the 5º point.

The spice blooms finited the last time I counted the "2" was around 17 times; but doesn't really matter, unless the game goes really long and/or you have it literally in front of the player (you pop up really early) is still plenty of spice to gather, even if you pop-it before it is fully ready to release the max ammount of spice.

"Each type of structure (building, unit, misc object) has a specific Special Value, which is just an internal representation of such object in game’s map format. You do not need to bother about special values."
I think Fey found that you can add an Atreides sandworm, or a flying frigate (in circles) on these numbers withouth requiring a spawn. @Fey; clarify this to us; I could be wrong.
Although for the regular modder it's not that important, unless it really wants to do crazy stuff, but you cannot cover everything.

"Note that you cannot place buildings and units in multiplayer maps. If you place some, the game will ignore them and they will not appear in your map."
This is not 100% true; It needs a special .ini with some line commands to remove the starting VCM... or not; the early coop maps I played where the O9V1 and O9V2 and people used to place the 8 starting points surrounded by some turrets, just to kill the MCV as soon as the game started; back in time .inis didn't have anything special like the "NO MCV" or specific amount of money/tech; I played with a friend those coops maps, my friend once ignored my "order a MCV first, don't use money on other vehicles" on the O8V2, where mercs doesn't have a refinery, just the factories and starport; I had to restart the game.

I know nowadays it's a bit hard... and have some special rules or bugs or something; I have not much idea on multiplayer/skirmish/online stuff.

I think there is something core you are missing, the "assign a .mis file" and "unassign a .mis file"; just to let people know that you need a .mis assigned if planning on a campaign map and unassigning it if it is about a multiplayer map (except multiplayer with events on it).
It is because sometimes, dunno if when launching the editor the very first time or withouth loading a previous map, editor will start not using a .mis, so people then will get confused on why the error "no mission file assigned to this map" happens.

Edited by Cm_blast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

clarify this

That is correct, there are values for sides 0-6 sandworm spawners, freighters, and other random junk. I don't remember what they are, Klof, but I know how to find them again...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Fantastic! This is incredibly handy to have @Klofkac. Bump appreciated @Fey!

Good to see some new documentation floating around. You have my thanks and I'd encourage anyone with advanced D2k mapping and modding experience to keep adding useful content so that anyone without much exposure to these things that comes along in the future can more easily learn everything that's needed.

As a tiny update, I'm still around and working on my Dune things as left off in the initial thread. I'll report back when I have something presentable or more questions of course. Need to acquire more free time. :)

EDIT: Considering I'm still new at all this here, I don't think I have any game-changing feedback for you with regards to the content in the manual. But I really like the shortened format that is straight to the point and how you kept it moving forward. It's very digestible and doesn't take a long time to go through or reference. So nice work!

Edited by AZ-Stalker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your feedback. I created new version of D2k Mapping Manual, which you can download here: D2k Mapping Manual.docx

On 4/3/2020 at 10:42 PM, Cm_blast said:

Small typo here, I think:
"In order to transfer a selected block between maps or between multiple instances od editor, press Ctrl+C to copy current block to clipboard. "
Just before the 5º point.

Thanks for spotting this, I fixed it.

On 4/3/2020 at 10:42 PM, Cm_blast said:

The spice blooms finited the last time I counted the "2" was around 17 times; but doesn't really matter, unless the game goes really long and/or you have it literally in front of the player (you pop up really early) is still plenty of spice to gather, even if you pop-it before it is fully ready to release the max ammount of spice.

I added this, and also added information about limitation of 30 spice blooms in map. I hope I'm right.

On 4/3/2020 at 10:42 PM, Cm_blast said:

"Each type of structure (building, unit, misc object) has a specific Special Value, which is just an internal representation of such object in game’s map format. You do not need to bother about special values."
I think Fey found that you can add an Atreides sandworm, or a flying frigate (in circles) on these numbers withouth requiring a spawn. @Fey; clarify this to us; I could be wrong.
Although for the regular modder it's not that important, unless it really wants to do crazy stuff, but you cannot cover everything.

I added a note that you can place some specific special values for advanced modding purposes.

On 4/3/2020 at 10:42 PM, Cm_blast said:

"Note that you cannot place buildings and units in multiplayer maps. If you place some, the game will ignore them and they will not appear in your map."
This is not 100% true; It needs a special .ini with some line commands to remove the starting VCM... or not; the early coop maps I played where the O9V1 and O9V2 and people used to place the 8 starting points surrounded by some turrets, just to kill the MCV as soon as the game started; back in time .inis didn't have anything special like the "NO MCV" or specific amount of money/tech; I played with a friend those coops maps, my friend once ignored my "order a MCV first, don't use money on other vehicles" on the O8V2, where mercs doesn't have a refinery, just the factories and starport; I had to restart the game.

I added a note that it's possible to have buildings in multiplayer maps with use of advanced modding and hacks.

On 4/3/2020 at 10:42 PM, Cm_blast said:

I think there is something core you are missing, the "assign a .mis file" and "unassign a .mis file"; just to let people know that you need a .mis assigned if planning on a campaign map and unassigning it if it is about a multiplayer map (except multiplayer with events on it).
It is because sometimes, dunno if when launching the editor the very first time or withouth loading a previous map, editor will start not using a .mis, so people then will get confused on why the error "no mission file assigned to this map" happens.

I added whole new chapter about Campaign Missions and Multiplayer Maps and the difference.

On 4/3/2020 at 11:57 PM, Fey said:

That is correct, there are values for sides 0-6 sandworm spawners, freighters, and other random junk. I don't remember what they are, Klof, but I know how to find them again...

You are right. I just checked, and when I created a modded TILEDATA.BIN in order to allow placing whatever building/unit type for whatever side back in the day, I added special values for DH missile, Sandworm and Frigate for each side as well. I did not make them available in the editor (because they would not be useful anyway and they would only cause confusion), but they are there "just in case" for any crazy modding possibilities.

 

As before, I would like to ask you for reading through the manual and giving me your feedback. I'm going to include the manual with D2kEditor 1.4 release. Note that so far I did some more minor changes to D2kEditor 1.4, so expect another release candidate soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for pitching in and supporting this. I'd like to see this grow and be added to as you all continue to collaborate and pool your knowledge together. Doesn't have to be the same document, but it might help to start specialized sections after the start-to-finish introductory version. Like, for example, a section dedicated to expanded explanations of triggers and events with some key examples, or advice on setting up a good AI. Just some examples, but bit by bit, you could make this into an ultimate guide to making custom content for Dune. And if you package it up with links and files to important tools and resources - it might as well become the thing you point to everyone in need, both experienced and new. I see a lot of potential if this keeps growing and keeps getting added to, which is very exciting in my eyes. Keep it up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I added whole new chapter about Campaign Missions and Multiplayer Maps and the difference.

I read this part.
You may point that, although in multiplayer the "usual" it's not assigning a .mis, is still possible to do skirmish/online/coop maps with actual events. Armageddon did a map that way; it wasn't coop, but mean to play in practice mode; it had a 1 vs 4 or something crazy like that (he has too much skill) but on top of that carryalls carrying Death hands dropped over the player base, loosing building.

You can argue that this map could be done following the campaign style, but I think he also wanted the AI to play on easy (as it does with the online feature) to make the map even harder.

One thing with this:

7 hours ago, Klofkac said:

H = Harvester replacement (reinforcement that brings only harvester)

I am wondering if you can make this statement full true; I mean, a reinforcement that gives a harvester for the player it's marked with an "H" (whatever it's a remplacement or not), but there are missions over there done by other people with remplacements that give 2 or even 3 harvesters at once, not just once. On the editor will appear as "R". 

I am trying to say if it is really possible to your editor to recongize if a reinforcements only contain harversters showing a "H", even if the reinforcements were 10 harvesters. Although the "H" don't show "which/how many" units are delivered and with the "R" yes.

Honestly, I don't know what it is the better option. @Fey, what do you think? or you, @AZ-Stalker.

H = only 1 harvester Vs many harversters (but only that kind of unit).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Cm_blast said:

Honestly, I don't know what it is the better option.

I've only noticed the H method while digging through other people's maps while designing my second one. I have yet to place such a replacement event, so my experience is limited. But to me, if the H reinforcement drops 1 or 10 harvesters doesn't really matter much, because it is a harvester drop - and as such on the map editor view it would be easier to spot if it's always an H for harvester/s. But going by that logic, you could argue that a reinforcement of MCVs could be an M for example. It depends on how much different markers map designers would benefit from realistically.

Edited by AZ-Stalker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, AZ-Stalker said:

I have yet to place such a replacement event, so my experience is limited

if you right click there is an automated remplacement that will do the work for you; It is better if you know how to do it, but even myself I don't bother anymore and simply let the editor do the job from me, it works fine (same with events that trigger once, there is a automated way to create it).

Back to the topic, thanks for the answerd; sometimes I feel like I am imposing my ideas into future releases :P.

31 minutes ago, AZ-Stalker said:

But going by that logic, you could argue that a reinforcement of MCVs could be an M for example

Keep in mind the "H" still shows even if the event has nothing to do with remplacements. I can create an AI that gets 1 harvester every 3 minutes, even if that AI already has vehicles alive, and that still appears as "H".

MCV doesn't need an specific letter, since harverster remplacements appears on all the vanilla maps makes sense having their own letter, but MCV it's more ocasional (or carryall, saboteur).

Edited by Cm_blast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

You may point that, although in multiplayer the "usual" it's not assigning a .mis, is still possible to do skirmish/online/coop maps with actual events. Armageddon did a map that way; it wasn't coop, but mean to play in practice mode; it had a 1 vs 4 or something crazy like that (he has too much skill) but on top of that carryalls carrying Death hands dropped over the player base, loosing building.

Well, I would not personally complicate the manual too much. What you say is some more advanced hacky modding stuff, which I even personally did not know was possible. I want the manual to be rather basic stuff for beginners that are going to create maps for Dune 2000 for their first time, so I'm trying to point out the basic mechanics, how things work the "normal" way. If someone wants ro do more advanced stuff like this, probably this knowledge should be available here on the forum or in some more "advanced" documentation. But thanks for pointing out anyway, there are many things I still do not know.

8 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

I am wondering if you can make this statement full true; I mean, a reinforcement that gives a harvester for the player it's marked with an "H" (whatever it's a remplacement or not), but there are missions over there done by other people with remplacements that give 2 or even 3 harvesters at once, not just once. On the editor will appear as "R". 

I am trying to say if it is really possible to your editor to recongize if a reinforcements only contain harversters showing a "H", even if the reinforcements were 10 harvesters. Although the "H" don't show "which/how many" units are delivered and with the "R" yes.

Honestly, I don't know what it is the better option. @Fey, what do you think? or you, @AZ-Stalker.

H = only 1 harvester Vs many harversters (but only that kind of unit).

Well, the current logic behind H marker is that it is supposed to mark events that bring exactly one harvester in case player loses all his harvesters. Back in the very old times, before we ever knew how events and scripting in Dune 2000 worked, I believed, that harvester replacement was not achieved via scripting, being a specific case of reinforcement event that is scripted to appear under specific conditions and bring you one harvester. But I thought there were just coordinates X, Y stored somewhere that say "on this place, a player always gets new harvester when he loses all of them".

So the H marker is made primarily for vanilla maps where harvester replacement is scripted the usual way. If mappers do some other stuff in their maps, like harvester replacement bringing more than one harvester, or reinforcement that brings one harvester but not as a "harvester replacement" event, then, well, I cannot assume the editor would display those events in "right" way. I would have to add much more complicated logic to detect whether a mapper meant this event to be a harvester replacement or not, but I'm not going to do that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Klofkac said:

So the H marker is made primarily for vanilla maps where harvester replacement is scripted the usual way. If mappers do some other stuff in their maps, like harvester replacement bringing more than one harvester, or reinforcement that brings one harvester but not as a "harvester replacement" event, then, well, I cannot assume the editor would display those events in "right" way. I would have to add much more complicated logic to detect whether a mapper meant this event to be a harvester replacement or not, but I'm not going to do that.

I don't mean to identify the script done, but the units given.

108093752_HYR.thumb.png.6c01dd9072d4eeb08c80d9d310771205.png

1 harvester = H
2 harvesters = R

It's not something primary or mandatory; I was just wondering if it is possible to make your editor to know if the units given are harversters and only harversters (but more than 1) and still showing a "H". The conditions for this harversters to enter the map it's not relevant.

But again, to me it's not primary, it's not usual that somebody gives more than 1 harverster.

Edited by Cm_blast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

1 harvester = H
2 harvesters = R

It's not something primary or mandatory; I was just wondering if it is possible to make your editor to know if the units given are harversters and only harversters (but more than 1) and still showing a "H". The conditions for this harversters to enter the map it's not relevant.

But again, to me it's not primary, it's not usual that somebody gives more than 1 harverster.

I would rather leave it as it is, meaning H sign only for reinforcement with one unit, and that one unit being a harvester. If you make reinforcement with 2 harvesters, there will be R but you can see the list of units by moving mouse cursor on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

if you right click there is an automated remplacement that will do the work for you

I can't seem to figure this part out. Right click where and in what editing mode?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AZ-Stalker said:

I can't seem to figure this part out. Right click where and in what editing mode?

M4iynZl.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aha, now I understand. I thought the right click was meant as if clicking on a tile where you want the H to spawn and auto-fill the event. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AZ-Stalker said:

Aha, now I understand. I thought the right click was meant as if clicking on a tile where you want the H to spawn and auto-fill the event. Thanks!

I apologize for my lack of explanation, I didn't even tell you in which windown.
There is also the "add run-once flag" for making something to happens only once; I used to do it manually, but nowadays the editor work for me xD.

Which, Klofkack, your editor has some trouble with the run-once automated in this specific case:
image.thumb.png.2e30136d078703f10740f90f2fe29630.png

It doesn't work = don't do anything (altering the order, first the 2 - flag and then the building exist, in any of both "conditions" windows doesn't change anything).
If that flag number 2 it's not ticked, then it works fine, so it has to do with an already flag marked on that group of conditions.

Although I made up this just now, there are several times where I have a similar set up with other flags that have nothing to do with the run-once but are enough to not let me to do it automatically (I still do it manually just fine, just letting you know that can happen and if there is a way to fix that).

In case you are wondering on which ocassion I will ever use this specific set up; this example:
I want the player to build the deviator before loosing the heavy factory; if you building it's destroyed: mission failed.
If you build the unit, then you can let the building to be destroyed, because the tecnology it's already out: continue the mission.
And no, "unit exist" won't work the same because in this case the concept it's that once you already produced at least one deviator, it doesn't matter if later both the deviator and the building are destroyed, you can continue with the mission.

This is happening since early versions on your editor, I think; It's not too often that I do this, that's why I forgot to bring this problem until now.

Edited by Cm_blast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/6/2020 at 5:44 PM, AZ-Stalker said:

Thanks everyone for pitching in and supporting this. I'd like to see this grow and be added to as you all continue to collaborate and pool your knowledge together. Doesn't have to be the same document, but it might help to start specialized sections after the start-to-finish introductory version. Like, for example, a section dedicated to expanded explanations of triggers and events with some key examples, or advice on setting up a good AI. Just some examples, but bit by bit, you could make this into an ultimate guide to making custom content for Dune. And if you package it up with links and files to important tools and resources - it might as well become the thing you point to everyone in need, both experienced and new. I see a lot of potential if this keeps growing and keeps getting added to, which is very exciting in my eyes. Keep it up!

I would actually like to have the D2k Mapping Manual as a simple and short document that primarily explains how to use the editor, and some basic mapping mechanics. I want to distribute it bundled with D2kEditor, so that anyone who downloads the editor can read how the program should used - it's supposed to be like a (printed) manual that comes with commercial software or goods. So I would prefer to keep it as it is and not to go into much deep detail.

Regarding more advanced knowledge and modding tips, and some "hacks" that Cm_blast mentioned several times, it would be good to have some knowledge base here, ideally something like a Wiki. I remember that, in past, there used to be a Wiki on D2k+ website where was some useful information about various Dune 2000 file formats and other advanced modding stuff. The Wiki seems to be gone and no longer exists, unfortunately, no idea why. @Gruntlord6 any ideas about the old lost Wiki? But still, I found this Wiki archived, here you can see what was on the Wiki, might be useful: https://web.archive.org/web/20140110155910/http://d2kplus.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

Lot of knowledge seems to be scattered around this forum, there were many topics made through the years where various things were discussed about modding and stuff, something like recently, I posted there some new research about tilesets and tile attributes. The information and knowledge is here, but one must go through the forum and find the information, which is not much sorted or organized in any way. Althrough we do not have a Wiki where this information could be organized and maintained, I suggest to add some "knowledge index" on this forum that would contain links to all threads where any useful information about modding was mentioned and discussed. Pretty much something like index of all finished mods and tools that's already there.

23 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

It doesn't work = don't do anything (altering the order, first the 2 - flag and then the building exist, in any of both "conditions" windows doesn't change anything).
If that flag number 2 it's not ticked, then it works fine, so it has to do with an already flag marked on that group of conditions.

Although I made up this just now, there are several times where I have a similar set up with other flags that have nothing to do with the run-once but are enough to not let me to do it automatically (I still do it manually just fine, just letting you know that can happen and if there is a way to fix that).

The reason why it sometimes does not work for you is, that the program is performing a check whether such "run-once" flag already exists and won't let you add another one if there is already one. Simply said, there's fool-proof mechanism not letting you press F4 multiple times.

Unfortunately the check is not too much "intelligent" and it does not do much deep detailed check - basically all it does, it checks if event has any "not flag" condition in its condition list (in your case, the offending one is [x2]Flag()). For any such "not flag" condition it thinks it is "run-once" flag.

It's not that easy to fix, as I would need to implement much more complicated logic to check existence of run-once flag. The other option is to remove this check completely and let you press F4 repeatedly, which is less fool-proof, but would fix your issue. You can also work around it by temporarily turning off the negation checkbox, add run-once flag, and then add it back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...