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Topic Subject: Campaign & Graphics Editor: Progress Report
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posted 02-08-02 01:46 AM EDT (US)   
Hi,

In case anyone is interested: I'm working on a Campaign & Graphics Editor. I will use this thread to post my progress reports. This is the first report.

I'm starting with the graphics editor, since the ILB file format is almost completely decrypted and I guess there is a higher demand for it than for a campaign editor. Yesterday I took the first hurdle: I was able to read some (but not all) ILB files, and display their contents on screen. I can also export each individual image to a .BMP file. I have uploaded a screen shot (130KB) of how the editor looks right now.

Next:


  • To improve the graphics import code so that all ILB files are read correctly (note that I cannot use AoWRead for this, as it throws away all image information and only keeps the pictures - in wrong format, besides it's written in C++ whereas I am using Delphi)

  • To figure out the remaining unknown fields in the ILB file format

  • To implement 'save' capability

  • To allow new/imported .BMP images to be dragged and dropped onto a library

  • To add 'new' capability to allow for libraries to be built from scratch (not required per se)

After that, I'll move on to the campaign editor. But that will probably be in a number of months' time ... I expect progress to be rather slow, as I have a full-time job, a wife, a baby girl and a social life. Still, I think we'll get there ... some day.

UPDATE:
The current version of AoWCGE is v0.3 alpha 5. It was released on January 9, 2005 and is available here or here.


SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race

[This message has been edited by SmurfHero (edited 09-12-2005 @ 08:04 AM).]

Replies:
posted 02-08-02 02:13 AM EDT (US)     1 / 199  
Looking nice so far, and I'm sure there will be a great deal of interest in it. Your timetable will probably have it out just around the time AoW2 is released, but unless the Dev's make major changes in the library structure it should be at least a good start on an AoW2 tool as well. Hang in there, and keep us posted.
posted 02-08-02 08:52 AM EDT (US)     2 / 199  
Look good, keep up the good work.

Lord o Maps
Download the latest Dark Lord Mod.
posted 02-08-02 05:16 PM EDT (US)     3 / 199  
What are you useing to code the promram. And can you do a bata vrsion of it?

Lord o Maps
Download the latest Dark Lord Mod.
posted 02-08-02 10:28 PM EDT (US)     4 / 199  
looks good...when do u think that u will release a beta or alpha?

| To[x]icity | Acolyte Studios |
"Great spirits have always suffered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
posted 02-11-02 02:39 AM EDT (US)     5 / 199  
A small step for a Smurf, but a giant leap for Smurfkind: all unit graphics libraries are read correctly now. I think I'll leave the rest of the graphics types alone for the time being, and concentrate on providing full functionality for unit graphics first.

As for a beta (or rather, alpha) version: I hope to have something ready by early March that at least allows for replacing unit bitmaps and saving the result as a valid unit graphics ILB file. I'm using Borland Delphi 6 Personal for this project (in fact, I'm using this project to learn programming in Delphi), which is publicly available from http://www.borland.com. Anyone good a Delphi?


SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race
posted 02-12-02 01:37 AM EDT (US)     6 / 199  
Even more progress, without writing a single line of code ... Yesterday I found out that the unknown data fields in the unit ILB files all have equal values. So, although I still don't have a clue what they mean, I now know exactly what values to put into an ILB file when I save it. I am now certain that I will be able to finish the unit graphics editor (if I keep my health of course). Still, there's a lot of code to be written, and a lot of bugs to be found.

SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race
posted 02-17-02 05:29 PM EDT (US)     7 / 199  
SmurfHero:

Could you get in touch with me by email, or on ICQ at 114234019? There are some questions I'd like to pose that I don't want to bring up here at this time.

ChowGuy

posted 02-18-02 02:30 AM EDT (US)     8 / 199  

Quoted from ChowGuy:

Could you get in touch with me by email, or on ICQ at 114234019?

Sure, but your email address is not publicized and I don't have ICQ.

Edit: Never mind, already found your email address.


SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race

[This message has been edited by SmurfHero (edited 02-18-2002 @ 05:37 AM).]

posted 02-24-02 11:59 AM EDT (US)     9 / 199  
A little earlier than expected: I have finished a first version. Well, sort of anyway. You can read ILB files with it (just unit files for now), export them to a single BMP holding all of the images, change the images with any drawing program, then import it back into the graphics editor and save it as an ILB file. Voila.

You can grab it at my homepage. Let me know any success, failure, bugs, graphics, ... Anything.


SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race
posted 02-25-02 00:18 AM EDT (US)     10 / 199  
Could you allow the opening of multiple files from the Open Dialogue?
posted 02-25-02 09:07 AM EDT (US)     11 / 199  
Bug. When you save it, it only saves the frst line.

Lord o Maps
Download the latest Dark Lord Mod.
posted 02-25-02 10:37 AM EDT (US)     12 / 199  

Quoted from LordOfMaps:

Bug. When you save it, it only saves the frst line.


Could you send me an email that describes exactly what you did (which lib you opened, did you export & import, etc) please? Or post it here if you like.

(Note: the images are automatically numbered when imported: 101, 102, ... , 112 or something for the first line, then 201, 202 etc for the second etc.. At least, they were when I tested it. Works great if you press "Generate" in the DevEd!)

Quoted from LPetrazickis:

Could you allow the opening of multiple files from the Open Dialogue?


Sure! As soon as I'm really, really bored :-)

(BTW How do these stupid smiley images work?)


SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race

[This message has been edited by SmurfHero (edited 02-25-2002 @ 10:50 AM).]

posted 02-26-02 03:22 PM EDT (US)     13 / 199  
Just do the face you did with out the - for the noes.

Lord o Maps
Download the latest Dark Lord Mod.
posted 03-18-02 04:35 PM EDT (US)     14 / 199  
.

LordofMaps...cant think up w/ a rhyme, but oh well.


I squee'd like a fangirl when the Frostlings were announced for AoW3. True story.
posted 03-18-02 10:02 PM EDT (US)     15 / 199  
I can't even seem to be able to use the editor. I run it, and try to open a file. I get a "This program performed an illegal operation..." thing.

I try to save something, it gives me an "Invalid page fault" thingie.


| To[x]icity | Acolyte Studios |
"Great spirits have always suffered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

[This message has been edited by badman69mt (edited 03-18-2002 @ 10:05 PM).]

posted 03-19-02 01:19 AM EDT (US)     16 / 199  

Quoted from badman69mt:

I can't even seem to be able to use the editor. I run it, and try to open a file. I get a "This program performed an illegal operation..." thing. I try to save something, it gives me an "Invalid page fault" thingie.

Hey, that's not what I had programmed it to do ... What ILB file(s) did you try to open? It currently only works with unit gfx files (and even then some cause errors, but almost all should read correctly). Maybe can you contact me by email please?

Anyway, I'll try to find some time to finish v0.1 this weekend so that you guys can play with it and create some new gfx. (I'm creating a new unit myself right now, it's fun!). It should also read & write/import & export faces gfx, so that you can create all gfx for a completely new unit.


SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race
posted 03-21-02 09:47 PM EDT (US)     17 / 199  
i have a small question and a possible suggestion. Now, if this is a lot to ask, just tell me.

You know how when you extract the sprite frames from the ILB, they come out in BMP format? Well, I was wondering, does the background color of the picture matter? And if so, would it be possible to change the format from a 1 layered BMP to a 2 layered PSD(Photoshop). The first layer being the background layer, the second being anything on top of it.


| To[x]icity | Acolyte Studios |
"Great spirits have always suffered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

[This message has been edited by badman69mt (edited 03-21-2002 @ 09:49 PM).]

posted 04-08-02 02:34 AM EDT (US)     18 / 199  
Eight steps backward, seventeen steps forward, two more backward (or something like that) ...

I have been struggling with a mysterious bug that caused the editor to crash at "random" occasions. What was making things worse was that Delphi wouldn't give me any indication of where the error occured in my program. Finally I had to decide to just rewrite huge parts of the code and see what would happen ... I even had to cut out the subwindow feature and display the pictures in the main window instead.

After the dust had settled, I found not only that the crashes had disappeared, but also that the editor could read much more .ILB files than ever before! I've tried most of the files and many are read correctly, such as:


  • All unit files (as far as I can tell)

  • All faces files

  • All structures files (tower, guild, mine, etc)

  • Almost all places files (dungeon, monster lair)

  • Most altars (altar of lightning, etc)

  • Some terrain (water, ice, rocks, etc) - couldn't find grass, wasteland etc though

  • Some city files (only human cities found so far)

  • Some magic effects (like storms)

  • Pictures in the campaign story book

  • User interface parts (like menus) - pretty useless but fun nevertheless

  • Probably some more that I forgot in all the excitement

Being able to read these is almost equal to being able to write them: I just have to write the code ... (which is almost completed).

Unfortunately, when I then tried to re-add the subwindows, there was a new error (although not half as bad as the first one) so for now I'm stuck with using the main window. But, all in all, I think I made quite some progress this weekend.

Now, as for this week's trivia:

Quoted from badman69mt:

You know how when you extract the sprite frames from the ILB, they come out in BMP format? Well, I was wondering, does the background color of the picture matter? And if so, would it be possible to change the format from a 1 layered BMP to a 2 layered PSD(Photoshop). The first layer being the background layer, the second being anything on top of it.

As I don't have the .PSD file format description, I have no idea of how to implement this. But there's an easy workaround for this: just select all background coloured pixels (there's a menu item for this, but I don't know which one off the top of my head) and press 'delete'. Then (if you wish) add a new layer containing your favourite background colour and put it behind the first one.

Quoted from LordOfMaps:

Well every thing works good but I think that you need to make it so that the user can pick what color will be the transparent color. Oh and please make so that it can read ushadow.

You'll love me for this: the editor now automagically finds the correct background colour in your .BMP file when it converts it to unit graphics (taking the upper left pixel colour as the background colour). Also, ushadow.ilb is read correctly now.


SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race
posted 04-11-02 00:58 AM EDT (US)     19 / 199  
What is the state of progress on your actual campaign editor?

I need it to make a new campaign. I have a thread on the "map-making" forum if you want to take a look.

posted 04-11-02 01:44 AM EDT (US)     20 / 199  

Quoted from Beren V:

What is the state of progress on your actual campaign editor?

I've almost started ... I expect the graphics part to be mature enough for people to play with Real Soon Now (tm). After that, I'll start with the campaign part. It will probably take many weeks (if not months) before there anything useful though. In the meantime, start making those maps!


SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race
posted 04-12-02 00:51 AM EDT (US)     21 / 199  
Oh, I'm making the scenarios... one of them is funcional (I think that I am going to submit it).

I have a threads up in the map-making section and a new thread in the 'stories' section.

posted 04-17-02 09:27 AM EDT (US)     22 / 199  
I've got a few problems

quote:

You'll love me for this: the editor now automagically finds the correct background colour in your .BMP file when it converts it to unit graphics (taking the upper left pixel colour as the background colour). Also, ushadow.ilb is read correctly now.

Didn't work for me. I made this sky dragon, but when I loaded it in DevEd the background was visible. When I deleted the file and made a new one DevEd reportet an error at loading. Maybe this was my fault, not sure.

Anyway, keep up the good work.


Lord Dragatus, 30th member of BTOOIC, The One Who Killed the Cow.
posted 04-17-02 09:48 AM EDT (US)     23 / 199  

Quoted from LordDragatus:

Didn't work for me. I made this sky dragon, but when I loaded it in DevEd the background was visible. When I deleted the file and made a new one DevEd reportet an error at loading. Maybe this was my fault, not sure.

Assuming you are using v0.1 instead of the alpha thingie: would you mind sending me your .BMP file so I can track down the problem?


SmurfHero - Leader of the Smurf race
posted 04-19-02 08:04 AM EDT (US)     24 / 199  
Er... yeah, I am using v0.1. I tried it again, and now it worked. Well, almost. Background was fine, but the 6th line was missing. DevEd still reports problems loading the files, but after a few tries they work.

Hero portraits work fine.

I'll send you the bitmaps I used in a few minutes.


Lord Dragatus, 30th member of BTOOIC, The One Who Killed the Cow.
posted 04-20-02 03:04 PM EDT (US)     25 / 199  
Hey, SmurfHero, did you get the .zip files that I send you?

Also, how do you set the x and y of the .bmp file that your graphics editor creates? I'm doing things with faces right now, and the file seems to get truncated!

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