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TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA

 
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TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/21/2011 5:50:45 PM   
parmenio

 

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I thought I might as well throw this out there and let people take a look. I've sat on it for a year waiting for 3.4 against which it's been rebuilt and it now only writes out 3.4 version .SCE files.

Download V0.0.4.0 from here

There's a PDF help file included in the install which describes the functionality. It is currently an OOB editor, although it preserves and saves all other XML sections. Testing against 3.4 has also been minimal. My recommendation would be work and save as XML for the time being and use TOAW itself to import the scenario XML file as I ended up with some totally corrupt scenarios writing 3.2 .SCE files

The section below describes the limitations of V0.0.2.0 and some progress was made in areas of linking to the Viewer and Equipment Editor for example and I can't remember if I fixed limitation 4 or not.

Limitations

1. Can't currently create scenarios. If you dump out an empty "New Scenario" from TOAW, the Editor will automatically create a single Formation and Unit for both forces but nothing else will be set. In fact's it an OOB editor at the moment and not much else.

2. Doesn't currently handle unassigned units. They'll be added to a Formation called "Unassigned" and by implication written back out belonging to that formation (so no longer being unassigned as far as TOAW is concerned).

3. Doesn't handle split Units. You'll get a crash.

4. Changing deployment fields is currently disabled for units. So you can't change location or status. I had some crashes with TOAW when it attempted to read "my" scenarios where I'd been playing with the data.

5. Activation Turn for a formation. Doesn't appear to be supported in the XML. You can set it when the Formation orders are changed appropriately but when saving and loading SCE files the changed value will disappear. Obviously while working with XML only, the value will be saved and reloaded correctly but it can't be "got" back in to TOAW.

6. Linking to the Viewer and Equipment Editor. This is more in an Alpha than Beta state. If "Linking" is turned off in the "Options" tab, then the two "Apps" should function exactly like their stand-alone brethren. With "linking" on the idea is to keep the apps in sync but for performance reasons probably only tied to the "save" in the Viewer's case. That is, once you save a scenario in the Editor the idea is that the Viewer will "rebuild" its information or alternatively (again for performance reasons) it could be a requirement that the user actions a reload rather than it being automatic.

7. Not so much a limitation but a point to note. Loading performance for SCE files (and saving for that matter) slows considerably with larger maps. Obviously while beta testing this editor, there will be a need to edit, save and check the SCE files in TOAW but once past that stage, it's probably going to be better practice to work with the XML at the start or (depending on your workflow) to develop the OOB against a scenario that has a small empty map.

8. Adding equipment. This is an area that I think needs some usability improvements. It feels a little clumsy adding equipment at the moment so I'm open to any suggestions that people have in this area.
Post #: 1
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/21/2011 7:12:54 PM   
MarGol


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Looks great so far, keep it up!

Did you figure out the sce-format yourself, or did Ralph give a helping hand? I'm curious, since a while ago I tried to understand it better myself. I think we discussed it before, but the ability to read old sce files was broken somewhere when going from ACOW to TOAW 3, and I think I came to the conclusion that 300x300 scenarios work while 100x100 don't. I mention it in case you might have other clues into this...

(in reply to parmenio)
Post #: 2
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/21/2011 7:40:53 PM   
parmenio

 

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A helping hand it was..... 

Without Mr Trickey's assistance in enhancing the Scenario Viewer, this would have been a non-starter.

(in reply to MarGol)
Post #: 3
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/21/2011 10:59:32 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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I do appreciate your efforts with this and want to encourage you....however I can see a need for an editor for SAL, and PBL files as well.  Not to cheat so much as to modify ongoing games.  I'm in the midst of a hot-seat FITE game ( turn 6 ) and I've found a coastal fort that is one hex away from it's intended position and I don't want to start over but this little discrepancy is nagging me ( I'm a perfectionist you see ).  An editor would be great for this purpose but the TOAW built in editor is brain dead in this regard as far as I'm concerned.  The original TOAW editor was developed in the dark ages and is showing it's age I'm afraid.  

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Post #: 4
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/22/2011 12:30:13 AM   
Panama


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An editor for PBL files would be abused to no end. The effort that has gone into making PBEM games secure would be thrown out the window, all for naught. That can of worms should remain closed.

(in reply to larryfulkerson)
Post #: 5
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/22/2011 5:21:31 AM   
1_Lzard


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panama
An editor for PBL files would be abused to no end. The effort that has gone into making PBEM games secure would be thrown out the window, all for naught. That can of worms should remain closed.


Hear Hear, Larry! Mess with people's pbem games and there would be a riot, LOL!




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Post #: 6
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/22/2011 10:00:43 PM   
ColinWright

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panama

An editor for PBL files would be abused to no end. The effort that has gone into making PBEM games secure would be thrown out the window, all for naught. That can of worms should remain closed.


I'd vote the other way. The prospect of people cheating at PBEM doesn't disturb me all that much -- I just wouldn't play matches with anyone who did that.

On the other hand, it would definitely be helpful for playtesting if one could fix glitches as one went along.

I suppose the ideal would be the option of having 'locked' or 'unlocked' matches -- but failing that, my choice would be for allowing editing at the cost of letting those who wish to cheat do so.

The scenario list indicates when a scenario was last edited -- surely that could be made tamper-proof for those who are concerned about cheating. Look and see: if '________1944' suddenly shows as having last been edited on 12 January 2011, you know something's up.


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(in reply to Panama)
Post #: 7
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/25/2011 4:27:14 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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From the What's New for version 3.2:

5. <Shift><Ctrl>F4 will create an OOB dump, for the active side only. This may allow a functionality for creating derivative scenarios based on various points within a played game, AAR writing, unit sorting, etc. Be creative!

So, this avoids cheating because each side can only dump their own forces. But, if they both cooperate, then they can be combined to form a new scenario. Somebody could create a tool to facilitate this if they were clever enough.

(in reply to ColinWright)
Post #: 8
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/25/2011 4:50:48 PM   
parmenio

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

But, if they both cooperate, then they can be combined to form a new scenario. Somebody could create a tool to facilitate this if they were clever enough.


It's been nigh on a year since I tested it but my Beta editor does allow import and export of OOB data.

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 9
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/26/2011 4:14:52 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: parmenio


quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

But, if they both cooperate, then they can be combined to form a new scenario. Somebody could create a tool to facilitate this if they were clever enough.


It's been nigh on a year since I tested it but my Beta editor does allow import and export of OOB data.


But in this case there would be two OOB files - unless someone had combined them in some fashion. That's the clever part.

Probably need an additional ability to dump the other parts of the scenario too (map, events, replacements, etc.). Since those will have changed since the start of the game (weather, bridges, front-lines, executed events, on-hand pools, etc.). Some of that could be edited by hand, but it could get tedious doing the map changes.

(in reply to parmenio)
Post #: 10
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/26/2011 8:02:18 PM   
parmenio

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

But in this case there would be two OOB files - unless someone had combined them in some fashion. That's the clever part.



Right-click on one force, import OOB 1, right-click on the second, import OOB 2. Now admittedly it currently uses ".force" as the file extension but it still imports (and exports) TOAW-compatible OOB files into a scenario.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

Probably need an additional ability to dump the other parts of the scenario too (map, events, replacements, etc.). Since those will have changed since the start of the game (weather, bridges, front-lines, executed events, on-hand pools, etc.).


Now that's the missing bit. No way currently to do that unless Ralph helps out.

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 11
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 2/1/2011 12:00:58 PM   
Anthony

 

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Hi

I think i can shine some light on the split unit issues.

I initially missed the fact that divided units have a "PARENT" and possibly a "NEXT" XML attribute
The "PARENT" attribute describes the ID attribute of the Parent unit and the NEXT attribute refers to the UNIT ID for the following sub-unit (maybe)
(NEXT might only be required for unit split into three parts ?)

I also strongly suspect that the ID for split units MUST start from 2000 and work backwards.

To check this, I manually added these attributes to XML produced by your editor BETA and the file loaded and worked fine


See XML produced from the "Germany 1945 (Race to Berlin)" scenario for an example of the PARENT/NEXT attributes

<UNIT ID="1997" NAME="1st/XCVII Corps" ICON="Infantry" COLOR="108" SIZE="Battalion" EXPERIENCE="veteran" CHARACTERISTICS="20010001" PROFICIENCY="56" READINESS="100" SUPPLY="100" X="14" Y="29" EMPHASIS="Ignore Losses" PARENT="109" STATUS="5" REPLACEMENTPRIORITY="0">
Cheers
Anthony

(in reply to parmenio)
Post #: 12
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 2/1/2011 7:43:33 PM   
parmenio

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthony

I also strongly suspect that the ID for split units MUST start from 2000 and work backwards.



Anthony,

Yes. You are correct - that is exactly the way it works. Unfortunately, I didn't realise this until I'd implemented my data structures which are also used in the Scenario Viewer (common code). I found it accidentally editing an existing scenario (can't remember which one) that had them. It remains an issue as I hadn't (haven't) decided on an appropriate solution yet.

Andy

Edit: IIRC, I think it's a deployment issue - i.e. you can choose to split the units when you are deploying them (perhaps someone can confirm). Not sure how the TOAW Force Editor handles them if you decide to re-edit.

< Message edited by parmenio -- 2/1/2011 7:48:15 PM >

(in reply to Anthony)
Post #: 13
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 2/2/2011 2:26:20 AM   
Panama


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quote:

ORIGINAL: parmenio

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthony

I also strongly suspect that the ID for split units MUST start from 2000 and work backwards.



Anthony,

Yes. You are correct - that is exactly the way it works. Unfortunately, I didn't realise this until I'd implemented my data structures which are also used in the Scenario Viewer (common code). I found it accidentally editing an existing scenario (can't remember which one) that had them. It remains an issue as I hadn't (haven't) decided on an appropriate solution yet.

Andy

Edit: IIRC, I think it's a deployment issue - i.e. you can choose to split the units when you are deploying them (perhaps someone can confirm). Not sure how the TOAW Force Editor handles them if you decide to re-edit.


Once a unit is placed on the map you can right click on it and divide it. Then the divided parts appear at the end of their formation's screen. You can redeploy them then. At least this is how I've done it. Don't know if there's another way. Normal restrictions apply.

(in reply to parmenio)
Post #: 14
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 2/17/2011 1:39:04 AM   
ralphtrick

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: parmenio
quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay
Probably need an additional ability to dump the other parts of the scenario too (map, events, replacements, etc.). Since those will have changed since the start of the game (weather, bridges, front-lines, executed events, on-hand pools, etc.).

Now that's the missing bit. No way currently to do that unless Ralph helps out.

It's on the list, I don't think it's too difficult, it just hasn't been a priority. The simplest way is probably to allow you to open a single player (NOT pbem) SAL file and allow you to create a SAL file from an XML stream. You can do that right now for SCE files using the .Net nterface, so it's not that difficult in theory. I can release it before 3.5 if you need it before then.

Ralph


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(in reply to parmenio)
Post #: 15
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 8/12/2012 6:18:02 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ralphtrick
I can release it before 3.5 if you need it before then.


hi Ralph, I've just picked up this game and am playing around with it. The kind of feature you describe is just what I'm looking for, any news on progress?

(in reply to ralphtrick)
Post #: 16
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/15/2014 3:58:53 AM   
JSP13

 

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Hi,
I'd just like to say that a scenario editor that can add .sal files and make adjustments to a scenario in progress would be very useful for me as well. It'd allow me to make adjustments to improve historical realism when I'm playing through them (I usually play against the PO or myself).
I hope this features gets implemented in a future patch.

Thanks for your help,
JSP13

< Message edited by JSP13 -- 1/15/2014 4:59:28 AM >

(in reply to 76mm)
Post #: 17
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/15/2014 7:34:45 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JSP13

Hi,
I'd just like to say that a scenario editor that can add .sal files and make adjustments to a scenario in progress would be very useful for me as well. It'd allow me to make adjustments to improve historical realism when I'm playing through them (I usually play against the PO or myself).
I hope this features gets implemented in a future patch.

Thanks for your help,
JSP13


I believe you can convert a .sal to a .sce if you were just using the PO or Hotseat. It was only PBEM that prevented it.

(in reply to JSP13)
Post #: 18
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/15/2014 11:27:48 PM   
sPzAbt653


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A .sal can be converted to a .sce for editing, but this resets current turn to turn 1. I've used it for testing specific things, but its not a playable scenario or save after this is done.

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 19
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/16/2014 2:08:33 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

A .sal can be converted to a .sce for editing, but this resets current turn to turn 1. I've used it for testing specific things, but its not a playable scenario or save after this is done.


Right. You then have to edit yourself to get the events, replacements, and reinforcements back in synch.

(in reply to sPzAbt653)
Post #: 20
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/27/2014 7:55:05 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panama

An editor for PBL files would be abused to no end. The effort that has gone into making PBEM games secure would be thrown out the window, all for naught. That can of worms should remain closed.


There needs to be a means of accessing PBM files if I am ever going to run another Grand Strategy game.

Personally I never play against anyone I don't already know, and as such cheating is not an issue.

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Post #: 21
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/27/2014 7:57:49 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

From the What's New for version 3.2:

5. <Shift><Ctrl>F4 will create an OOB dump, for the active side only. This may allow a functionality for creating derivative scenarios based on various points within a played game, AAR writing, unit sorting, etc. Be creative!

So, this avoids cheating because each side can only dump their own forces. But, if they both cooperate, then they can be combined to form a new scenario. Somebody could create a tool to facilitate this if they were clever enough.


God can you imagine how cumbersome this would be?

I used to create scenarios from PBM in COW all the time. It was a matter of five minutes to go from the end of one scenario to one ready for the changes input from the strategic actions in the following turn.

The above makes it like building a scenario almost from scratch. All units would need to be redeployed. Any changes to the map (broken rails, destroyed urban, hex ownership, etc.) would need to be re-done.

In short, so much work that I've just not bothered. It would be trivial to allow- as per Colin's suggestion- and "open" PBM match.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 1/27/2014 8:59:06 PM >


_____________________________

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Post #: 22
RE: TOAW III Scenario Editor BETA - 1/27/2014 8:57:44 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

From the What's New for version 3.2:

5. <Shift><Ctrl>F4 will create an OOB dump, for the active side only. This may allow a functionality for creating derivative scenarios based on various points within a played game, AAR writing, unit sorting, etc. Be creative!

So, this avoids cheating because each side can only dump their own forces. But, if they both cooperate, then they can be combined to form a new scenario. Somebody could create a tool to facilitate this if they were clever enough.


God can you imagine how cumbersome this would be?


The important point is that that was not a "would be". It was an "is". This could have been done since 3.2 came out. It's not something that's been proposed for the future.

quote:

All units would need to be redeployed.


Not true. The dumps contain the deployments.

quote:

Any changes to the map (broken rails, destroyed urban, hex ownership, etc.) would need to be re-done.


That's true. You can't dump the map XML from the game, unfortunately. So, any changes would have to be done in the editor. Automatic ownership would usually do most of the hex conversion thing, though. I don't see this as much more onerous than all the turn adjustments that would have to be made regardless.

(in reply to golden delicious)
Post #: 23
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