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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> Scenario Design and Modding >> pwhexe.dat editor BETA Page: [1]
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pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 11/28/2010 1:07:30 AM   
dwbradley

 

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The attached zip file contains a pwhexe.dat editor for AE. As noted in the header and elsewhere in the package, this is very much a BETA release. Although I think it has some good usability in its current form it has far too little testing at this point to be fully trusted. I am hoping that folks here will wring it out a bit and provide comments that will allow iterations to make it a reliable tool.

So be careful with this. Read the instruction file before proceeding to use it. Read the file format documentation and get a feel for what is known and what is not known about the pwhexe.dat at this time. Fence off your work area by making a separate install of AE.

So, have at it, and as I note in the docs, many thanks to Dani Mendoza for being the impetus for this work and for the great help in getting it to this point.

Dave Bradley


edit: attachment change to latest BETA, version 0.5
Dave

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by dwbradley -- 12/16/2010 5:23:50 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 11/28/2010 3:50:37 AM   
Shark7


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And here is the first stupid question but I'm good for that...

What exactly does pwhexe.dat editor let me do exactly? As in features.

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 11/28/2010 4:02:18 AM   
Reg


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Very nice! And intuitive to use too.

I have a very quick look at it and though I haven't used it in anger I can start by posting my initial impressions of the user interface. (Others will have to comment on the effectiveness of the edits).

Pros:
* I love the lock feature that masks specified attributes. This will make editing many hexes much easier.
* I agree with your approach to pwhexe.dat file management.

Cons & Suggestions:
* It may be a bit of work but I think some sort of window to display what you are editing would make things a bit easier to maintain situational awareness around the hex you are editing. Not a biggie as you can have another window open with the map displayed.
* The only shape you can edit as a selection is a square. If you are editing a complex shape (ie a country) you will need to apply changes to multiple square selections and you might lose track of which hexes are edited and which aren't. Perhaps some sort of "edited" marker would be appropriate (this would be much more effective if combined with the graphical display above).

Bugs:
* The RR pulldown on the W hexside doesn't seem initialise properly from the .ini file ("None" instead of "00-None" etc). The pull downs are loaded the correct values when a hex with that data are read. The other hexsides seem OK.


All in all, a great little tool that shows great promise. Keep up the great work.





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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 11/28/2010 4:51:11 AM   
dwbradley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

And here is the first stupid question but I'm good for that...

What exactly does pwhexe.dat editor let me do exactly? As in features.



The map data file defines many aspects of each hexagon, such as the terrain, roads, RR, malaria, etc. If you think the map could be improved with changes here and there to this data you would use this tool. The best way to get an idea of what the editor controls is to read the .doc file in the package. It gives details of the file format which you need to understand in order to change things. This is definitely a tool for those working down in the engine room of the good ship Modder. Most users don't care about these things. That said, the tool and the whole idea of making map mod changes is not so hard to grasp and maybe, just maybe someone has some ideas concerning map changes and they can put this to good use.

Dave

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 11/28/2010 5:08:02 AM   
dwbradley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Reg


Very nice! And intuitive to use too.

I have a very quick look at it and though I haven't used it in anger I can start by posting my initial impressions of the user interface. (Others will have to comment on the effectiveness of the edits).

Pros:
* I love the lock feature that masks specified attributes. This will make editing many hexes much easier.
* I agree with your approach to pwhexe.dat file management.

Cons & Suggestions:
* It may be a bit of work but I think some sort of window to display what you are editing would make things a bit easier to maintain situational awareness around the hex you are editing. Not a biggie as you can have another window open with the map displayed.
* The only shape you can edit as a selection is a square. If you are editing a complex shape (ie a country) you will need to apply changes to multiple square selections and you might lose track of which hexes are edited and which aren't. Perhaps some sort of "edited" marker would be appropriate (this would be much more effective if combined with the graphical display above).

Bugs:
* The RR pulldown on the W hexside doesn't seem initialise properly from the .ini file ("None" instead of "00-None" etc). The pull downs are loaded the correct values when a hex with that data are read. The other hexsides seem OK.


All in all, a great little tool that shows great promise. Keep up the great work.






Thanks for the feedback. That's what is needed to turn mediocre stuff into good stuff.

Yours is the second suggestion for a window showing the hexagon currently being edited I have received (one by PM). For sure I thought about that when I was designing it. What you ask is possible but I deliberately avoided trying to do that in order to make the editor as simple as possible. You are correct that you would have to keep a window open in AE and scroll around in that, independent of the editor so you could keep yourself from going crazy trying to remember just what location is what (or some very good and lenghty notes). Then, periodically, you could save the pwhexe.dat file, close AE, copy the edited pwhexe.dat file over to AE, restart AE to check your work and iterate. Cumbersome? Yes, of course.

I can only say that I will accumulate feedback and try to improve the editor through a series of releases. My aim was for a utility of modest capability but I do want to make it correct and complete, within the original goal. We'll just have to see how this goes forward.

Thanks again both for the suggestions and the bug find.

Dave


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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 11/28/2010 12:46:59 PM   
Mifune


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Good show dwbradley, an excellent step in the right direction.

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 12/5/2010 10:32:49 PM   
akdreemer


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Nice try, I been waiting for someone to attempt this. However, when I use the editor then copy the pwhex.dat file to the program folder and attempt to load a scenario the program crashes. I think the map load or something is crashing? All I did was, as per instructions provided, change two hexsides on hex 50/70 (the hex east of Georgetown on the Malaysia Pen.). One was a change to minor rail to west and the other changed to a minor road to southwest. I then saved the hex then saved the file. I will email you the pxhex file if you like to see it.

< Message edited by AlaskanWarrior -- 12/5/2010 10:33:20 PM >


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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 12/6/2010 4:45:30 AM   
dwbradley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AlaskanWarrior

Nice try, I been waiting for someone to attempt this. However, when I use the editor then copy the pwhex.dat file to the program folder and attempt to load a scenario the program crashes. I think the map load or something is crashing? All I did was, as per instructions provided, change two hexsides on hex 50/70 (the hex east of Georgetown on the Malaysia Pen.). One was a change to minor rail to west and the other changed to a minor road to southwest. I then saved the hex then saved the file. I will email you the pxhex file if you like to see it.



Yes, please do. That's why it is a beta so that we can find these sorts of problems and fix them. Can you PM and attach the file? Thanks.

Dave

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 12/6/2010 7:08:41 AM   
JeffroK


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Well done Dave,

Except I was just starting to get stuck into the AI.

Maybe I'll try this next year


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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 12/6/2010 4:21:39 PM   
dwbradley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

Well done Dave,

Except I was just starting to get stuck into the AI.

Maybe I'll try this next year




Thanks. If I can get all the little problems fixed then it'll be ready for you when you need it. I see this as just another small tool for us to have in the AE toolbox.

Dave

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Post #: 10
RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 12/16/2010 2:51:26 PM   
JWE

 

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Fantastic job, Dave! Using this to do some tweaks in Borneo, Malaya and PI for the Japanese Centrifugal Offensive scenario. Works like a champ!

Thanks for doing this. Maybe I can finally get rid of the old XVI32 hex editor. Yippie!

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 12/16/2010 3:24:36 PM   
dwbradley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JWE

Fantastic job, Dave! Using this to do some tweaks in Borneo, Malaya and PI for the Japanese Centrifugal Offensive scenario. Works like a champ!

Thanks for doing this. Maybe I can finally get rid of the old XVI32 hex editor. Yippie!

quote:

Fantastic job, Dave! Using this to do some tweaks in Borneo, Malaya and PI for the Japanese Centrifugal Offensive scenario. Works like a champ!

Thanks for doing this. Maybe I can finally get rid of the old XVI32 hex editor. Yippie!


I appreciate the kind words. It is good to hear that it can be put to use making AE modding better for us all. I have a slightly improved version that mostly fixes errors in the present release. I am hoping to finish testing it and post as soon as later today, the gods of computerdom willing.

Dave

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Post #: 12
RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 12/16/2010 5:43:01 PM   
dwbradley

 

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I have a new BETA of the editor available. The first post in the thread has been edited to change the attachment to the 0.5 version.

The new BETA fixes several errors, including the west hexside RR error noted by several people. If you attempted to modify a west side hex RR value you could wind up with a flawed pwhexe.dat that would crash the game. Several other minor errors were fixed and the interface was changed to replace most of the pop-up messages with a little message area in the top right corner.

Some of the feedback I received helped me to understand the file structure a bit better so the coastwatcher bytes are now registered with the proper bytes in the pwhexex.dat. The .doc file in the package is revised to show the new understandings.

Thanks for the feedback, folks, and keep it coming. As I have said before, praise IS heartwarming and motivating, but constructive criticism will help us improve.

I hope that maybe one more round of feedback will suffice to allow me to release this as a non-BETA. So, since it is still a BETA please use it with some caution and check to make sure that you are getting the changes you expect.

One last note for this post. The most requested change was to add a graphical interface such that you could view the map artwork as you move about, changing locations. Believe me when I say I think this would be great to have. I would like it too. To do this would greatly change the size and scope of this tool. I just haven't been able to convince myself that it is worth the effort.

Dave Bradley

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 12/16/2010 6:20:48 PM   
Mifune


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Thank you again for providing such a tool and supporting it.

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Post #: 14
RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 3/21/2011 2:09:31 AM   
Bradley7735


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Thanks for the program. It works very well.

I did find a possible error.

When doing an update to a range of hexes, the program might give you an error reading close to this: "the ending value must be larger than the starting value"

I noticed this happens when the hexes start under 100 and go over 100. example: starting hex 42, 118 and ending hex 101, 140. Notice the first coordinates of 42 and 101, respectively. This would give me the error message.

If I broke that example down into two ranges of 42, 118 to 99, 140 and 100, 118 to 101,140 they would work. this is just an example, and I didn't test it thouroughly. But, I noticed it at least 7 or 8 times before I figured out that going over 100 seemed to trigger it.

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 5/20/2012 4:14:15 PM   
dbmsts

 

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I tried it, doesn't seem to be making any changes. The map looks the same.

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 5/20/2012 4:26:41 PM   
dwbradley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: dbmsts

I tried it, doesn't seem to be making any changes. The map looks the same.


Please do not take offense to this, but do you realize that the editor makes changes to the map data file and not the map art files (panels)? What sort of changes did you try to make? To see changes you would need to press the appropriate key to reveal differences (for those cases where a key exists to show the underlying data.

Dave Bradley

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 5/20/2012 4:35:45 PM   
dbmsts

 

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Oh!! So that's what's been happening. Well, the data certainly seems to change especially when I open the editor again, that's how I can tell that data is changing but the Art isn't. Is there any way of changing the Art also to correspond with these changes?

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 5/20/2012 8:35:22 PM   
dwbradley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: dbmsts

Oh!! So that's what's been happening. Well, the data certainly seems to change especially when I open the editor again, that's how I can tell that data is changing but the Art isn't. Is there any way of changing the Art also to correspond with these changes?



Yes, of course. If you look in the ART subfolder you will find the map art files. These are rather large .bmp files which can be edited with the paint program of your choice. There are a large variety of such programs available, some free and some not-free (or even very much not-free). My skill is limted in this arena so I would not be a good source for recommendations for an appropriate program. Perhaps you have artistic skill and can do these things easily.

Dave Bradley

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RE: pwhexe.dat editor BETA - 5/20/2012 11:54:34 PM   
wdolson

 

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There is even a basic BMP editor provided with Windows.

Bill

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