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Less Is More Graphics Mod

 
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Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/27/2015 7:33:20 PM   
berto


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The latest (20150609) version of the Less Is More Graphics Mod available here.

This Mod's guiding principle: Less Is More!

For your convenience, the LIMGM is packaged in the form of a JSGME mod package. If you don't use that mod enabler utility (you really ought to!), you should know that among the many folders included in this latest version of the Mod, just two folders are populated:

  • Gfx > Arrows
  • Gfx > Hexwar

    In this version, look for the modded files there, and only there.

    A recent screenshot, showcasing some of the most important features of the Mod:





    Which do you prefer?

    This:



    Or this (info question marks, no-move red Xs, done-move check marks all 50% smaller than stock):



    (The graphics look better in the actual game than they do in the compressed JPG images displayed here.)

    If you prefer the latter image, download this file and unzip in your Brother Against Brother > Gfx > Hexwar folder. Backup your original files -- HW_DirectionArrows.pcx & HW_DirectionArrows_a.pcx -- first!

    This is just a quicky first effort (not perfected). In addition to

  • reducing (or enlarging!) graphics elements

    we can also

  • give them a different color
  • desaturate them
  • sharpen them
  • reposition them within the hexes

    and/or

  • replace them with entirely different images (e.g., thinner movement & firing arrows)

    and even

  • blank them out entirely so that they don't show at all!

    Let the user modding of BaB graphics begin!



    < Message edited by berto -- 6/9/2015 7:53:12 PM >


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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/27/2015 7:52:50 PM   
    zakblood


    Posts: 19948
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    well it's a no brainer for me, the 2nd one, and thanks for doing it, already modded mine

    (in reply to berto)
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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/27/2015 8:33:47 PM   
    VegasOZ

     

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    Nice work. I also already modded mine and I took even more clutter out, but yours is probably about right for most players.

    (in reply to zakblood)
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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/27/2015 8:57:46 PM   
    berto


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    It's just a beginning, a quicky first try proof-of-concept when I had a spare couple of hours free this afternoon. There's lots more I want to reduce, change, and even eliminate too.

    < Message edited by berto -- 5/27/2015 10:00:16 PM >


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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/27/2015 9:18:27 PM   
    VegasOZ

     

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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: berto


    It's just a beginning, a quicky first try proof-of-concept when I had a spare couple of hours free this afternoon. There's lots more I want to reduce, change, and even eliminate too.


    Again, nice work... BUT, shouldn't you be hard at work in finishing up The Campaign Series Middle East???


    LOL

    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 5
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/27/2015 9:23:16 PM   
    berto


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    Multitasking? I have six computers (two of them virtual machines) and seven monitors here in the Man Cave.

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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/27/2015 9:31:05 PM   
    FroBodine


    Posts: 826
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    Excellent work, berto! I strongly prefer your modded symbols. I am not interested in making my own mods, but I would love to use your mod if/when you complete it. Thank you very much!!

    I'm not sure why all the symbols are so intrusive in the base game. The developers should use your version as the standard.

    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 7
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/27/2015 9:41:27 PM   
    Rosseau

     

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    Berto, I didn't know about Middle East. Ages ago, that community version of Divided Ground was my favorite JTCS game. If you need a beta, writer or proofreader, I volunteer.

    Also, thanks for the BvsB mod. I imagine the work involved in getting the sprites not so blurry at close to max zoom-in might be a hard effort. Anyway, we all owe you our thanks!

    (in reply to FroBodine)
    Post #: 8
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/27/2015 11:43:23 PM   
    shoelessbivouac


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    Looks good, Berto! smaller question marks look good. I would probably lean towards VegasOZ's smaller 'x' idea ... but I'm currently looking for a user-friendly software program that works to easily customize our "HD_DirectionArrows.pcx" file - contained within BAB's GFX folder.

    (I still like the latest beta 1.05 patch for streamlining the Command Radius for HQ's - it's well-defined while at the same time eliminating the unnecessary shaded area in between).

    < Message edited by shoelessbivouac -- 5/28/2015 1:06:08 AM >


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    Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours --R. Bach

    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 9
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/28/2015 12:51:55 AM   
    VegasOZ

     

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    http://www.irfanview.com/

    Recommended to me by Zakblood

    < Message edited by VegasOZ -- 5/28/2015 1:52:46 AM >

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    Post #: 10
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/28/2015 4:43:20 AM   
    zakblood


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    it's good everyone is sharing idea for the greater good of all, so thanks everyone for working together, i myself have 4 pc's and 2 laptops, and 2 tablets, so can test more than a few options and hardware and also operating systems at once, so if anyone wants any game testing, alpha or beta, i'm always interested so pm if needed, it's a hobby of mine so price is free and i put the hours in as if i was still at work

    (in reply to VegasOZ)
    Post #: 11
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/28/2015 5:40:09 AM   
    VegasOZ

     

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    I am retired and have all day to play computer war games, and I do spend all day playing war games. I have a modest i3 8GB Intel HD 4000 rig and therefore I'm sorta middle of the road or on the lower end of performance. So, I'm available to Beta Test (beta tested Ultimate General, still am) and I can give a perspective of a long time old gamer and a lower end to modest machine if that has any value. If I can run it, anyone can run it.

    Thanks to all for helping with the Mods. It can really make a big difference in some games when you can change things that really bother you and thereby save your enjoyment of this or that particular game.

    Beta Tester available...

    (in reply to zakblood)
    Post #: 12
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/28/2015 6:17:14 AM   
    zakblood


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    yes being retired makes life a lot easier imo, and have been since 2000 now, so 15 years of relaxation so always looking for something to keep busy with, testing and modding fills the time and tbh is more fun sometimes that playing the games not that i find them boring, but after 500 battles in this one alone and still not bored with it, and so many more in others games tested, there's not much left apart from modding your own or altering stuff for added pleasure.

    my spec's are old to new machines, so cover a wide gap in hardware term, but not done laptops as ones a i5 with a 17" screen with plenty of ram while the others i7 with less :) but both have SSD so are pretty quick, but are next to useless without power as the batteries drain to quick so is the downside of too much power v long term use for laptops...

    dual core, core duo E6850@ 3GHz with 6gb

    dual core Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 3gb of ram

    i7 2700k cpu with 16gb of ram

    i7 3960X cpu with 32gb of ram

    have 2gb 4 and 6gb vga amd cards, so a mixed bunch with screens from 22" to 27" with a 29" on it's way.

    WIN7/WIN8.1 and now win 10 BETA TESTER, and xp if needed but hardly ever used now...

    < Message edited by zakblood -- 5/28/2015 7:18:00 AM >

    (in reply to VegasOZ)
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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/28/2015 9:39:31 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16702
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: VegasOZ

    It can really make a big difference in some games when you can change things that really bother you and thereby save your enjoyment of this or that particular game.

    +1

    If the devs would junk the levitating casualty numbers, else allow us to toggle them off (instead simply displaying casualties above the units, no floating, then they vanish after one or two seconds) -- if they would do that, and together with the ability to mod the other graphics as we please, I would have no more complaints about this game's visuals. Whatever I don't like, I can and will fix!

    BaB is a good looking game. It just needs a few retouches.

    < Message edited by berto -- 5/28/2015 11:06:42 PM >


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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 2:16:13 AM   
    Gil R.


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    We've had the floating numbers in both "Forge of Freedom" and "Crown of Glory," and I don't recall there being complaints. Nor is there a large outpouring of dismay over their presence in BAB, either. So this might be a matter of individual taste. With that said, I'll ask Eric if there's a way to mod them out of existence.

    Which other graphics do you want to mod?



    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 15
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 2:52:12 AM   
    VegasOZ

     

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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Gil R.

    We've had the floating numbers in both "Forge of Freedom" and "Crown of Glory," and I don't recall there being complaints. Nor is there a large outpouring of dismay over their presence in BAB, either. So this might be a matter of individual taste. With that said, I'll ask Eric if there's a way to mod them out of existence.

    Which other graphics do you want to mod?





    I think the issue with the floating casualty numbers is maybe the size. I don't recall them being as large in FOF or COG. I also seem to recall that the floating numbers were white, maybe not, but in BAB they seem to be too prominent and are distracting.

    As far as the other graphics I think it is fair to leave it to the individual user to Mod it. My complaints have been mitigated by my own graphics mod. It is pretty easy to argue that the game is somewhat to very cluttered, which is a shame because the Maps are so outstanding. The "clutter" takes away from the Maps in my view.

    My personal graphic Mod has addressed all my problems and am now enjoying the game much more than with the stock graphics.

    If the DEVS were to make a change I would suggest it would be in the size of the "offending" graphics. The stock ones are too large and detract from the artwork of the units and the map.

    One could question the RED X by asking what it represents, or, how does the General "know" that those hexes are "dangerous". Is it "rumor" or scouting reports abstracted? It is not sighting, if it were then the units in that area would/should be visible.

    My only stock graphic suggestion would be to modify (as in reduce the prominence) of the movement hex grid. I did it on my personal mod by gutting the middle arrow so I can see the terrain under in the hex. I still get the directional information by the small "blank spot" at the edge of the hex outline (on my graphics mod) so I do not lose any information but enjoy the view a great deal more. Most games that I own have this issue handled by a shadowing of the "reachable" hexes and thereby do not obscure the terrain or other Map artwork. I did not like the movement arrow grid in FOF either but never complained because, for some reason, it is not as bothersome in FOF as it is/was in BAB. It may be because the base color in BAB is "field green" whereas in FOF it is not uniformly "field green" but several other textures. That's my theory.

    I don't think any of us mean to pester the DEVS with trivial matters but taste is a strange thing and I think it is clear that some of us do object to some of the graphic decisions, but we are free to change it so that solves it for those of us who desire to do so.


    Thanks

    < Message edited by VegasOZ -- 5/29/2015 3:52:35 AM >

    (in reply to Gil R.)
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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 6:01:48 AM   
    berto


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Gil R.

    We've had the floating numbers in both "Forge of Freedom" and "Crown of Glory," and I don't recall there being complaints.

    That was then, this is now. I never played those games.

    quote:

    Nor is there a large outpouring of dismay over their presence in BAB, either. So this might be a matter of individual taste. With that said, I'll ask Eric if there's a way to mod them out of existence.

    Sure, individual taste. I'd appreciate your asking.

    quote:

    Which other graphics do you want to mod?

    After the no-move red hexes, the info label question marks, the done-move check marks -- all way too large -- the firing and movement arrows come next to mind. Too thick, too visually overpowering.

    On-map unit stats (bar indicators), too large. Out-of-command star, ditto.

    As I see it, sure.

    Generally, any info marker as large as or larger than the units. Or too brightly colored (like the no-move red Xs). They draw too much attention to themselves and divert the eye away from the terrain and the units.

    The sprites are well done. I prefer to play in sprites mode, only switching to chit view when I need to make better sense of a confusing situation.

    Whatever you can do, you have my thanks. Whatever you won't do, I can mod most of it.

    _____________________________


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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 6:21:31 AM   
    berto


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: VegasOZ

    I think the issue with the floating casualty numbers is maybe the size. I don't recall them being as large in FOF or COG. I also seem to recall that the floating numbers were white, maybe not, but in BAB they seem to be too prominent and are distracting.

    Visually distracting, yes. But also consuming CPU cycles (needlessly, IMO), thereby slowing down the game.

    Scourge of War, a game with far greater graphics demands than Brother Against Brother -- on my "older gaming rig" (Windows 7 Home Premium, dual-core AMD Athlon 64 3800+, 4 GB RAM; ATI R5450 Radeon graphics card, 1 GB DDR3), I can run SoW fine, no problem. AGEOD's ACW II, no problem. Even PI's EUIV and CKII run acceptably fast.

    But BaB runs rather sluggishly. Controls are often unresponsive, tooltips are slow to appear, the game flow occasionally stutters.

    Too much graphics overhead? Less is more.

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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 8:11:15 AM   
    VegasOZ

     

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    I did mod my "firing line" to a clean sharp Red Line with a sharp point at the end of it and it is way better looking then the default. I basically took the existing "firing line" and skimmed off the top 1/3 and the bottom 1/3 and all the "arrow prongs". Then I pointed up the end of the line. It works fine in the game and gets rid of the default huge line. My Firing line is now like it is in Command Ops for those who own that game.

    I do get a tad bit of sluggish with BAB, also a modest rig (i3, 8GB, Intel HD 4000) but it runs reasonably well.

    I guess it would be fair to say that to those of us who have an objection it is mainly rooted in the size of the grpahics, too large and overpowers the great Map graphic work. Again, just my view.

    < Message edited by VegasOZ -- 5/29/2015 9:23:40 AM >

    (in reply to berto)
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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 9:03:25 AM   
    berto


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: VegasOZ

    I did mod my "firing line" to a clean sharp Red Line with a sharp point at the end of it and it is way better looking then the default. I basically took the existing "firing line" and skimmed off the top 1/3 and the bottom 1/3 and all the "arrow prongs". Then I pointed up the end of the line. It works fine in the game and gets rid of the default huge line. My Firing line is now like it is in Command Ops for those who own that game.

    Would you consider sharing your arrow edits? I have no vested interest in the "Less Is More" Graphics Mod. We can make it a player community mod, no problem.

    quote:

    I do get a tad bit of sluggish with BAB, also a modest rig (i3, 8GB, Intel HD 4000) but it runs reasonably well.

    My gaming rig is even more modest, hence the sluggishness I see is two tad bits.

    quote:

    I guess it would be fair to say that to those of us who have an objection it is mainly rooted in the size of the grpahics, too large and overpowers the great Map graphic work. Again, just my view.

    Well, my view also. That makes at least two of us.

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    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 9:27:02 AM   
    zakblood


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    +1 so lets call it 3, but i don't mind anyway as i've been editing stuff for ages, as i always play about and make it how i want it, no matter who else has a view either way on the subject

    as i'm old and naughty, quite old,

    but very naughty

    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 21
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 10:25:22 AM   
    VegasOZ

     

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    Here is my Firing Line graphic modded.

    Attachment (1)

    < Message edited by VegasOZ -- 5/29/2015 12:11:01 PM >

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    Post #: 22
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 10:31:33 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16702
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    No attachment to your post.

    Is it a .zip file? In any case, rename the extension to .txt, then you should be able to attach. But tell us what the original file extension was. (.zip? .pcx?)

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    Post #: 23
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 11:28:51 AM   
    VegasOZ

     

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    Here is my HW_Direction_Arrows files, modded.

    Attachment (1)

    < Message edited by VegasOZ -- 5/29/2015 12:29:29 PM >

    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 24
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 1:08:17 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16702
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    For future reference, a post about units being off-center in the hexes here.

    Another thing that could probably be fixed in a graphics mod.

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    Post #: 25
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 1:10:52 PM   
    zakblood


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    replied and agreed

    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 26
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 3:44:02 PM   
    ericbabe


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    Those look good. I may make them official graphics in a future patch if you don't mind my using them.

    Drawing the casualty numbers only takes microseconds.

    _____________________________



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    Post #: 27
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 5:03:53 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16702
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: VegasOZ

    Here is my HW_Direction_Arrows files, modded.

    Thanks for this, also the Firing Line graphic mod. Some interesting minimalism here!

    _____________________________


    (in reply to VegasOZ)
    Post #: 28
    RE: Less Is More Graphics Mod - 5/29/2015 7:34:03 PM   
    VegasOZ

     

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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: ericbabe

    Those look good. I may make them official graphics in a future patch if you don't mind my using them.

    Drawing the casualty numbers only takes microseconds.


    Thank you, and feel free to use my mod of your very fine game.


    (in reply to ericbabe)
    Post #: 29
    Less Is More Graphics Mod 20150530 - 5/30/2015 9:24:01 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16702
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    For the latest installment of the Less Is More Graphics Mod, I have

  • shrunk the out-of-command stars
  • thinned all arrows (move, attack, etc.) thusly (where the odd-numbered arrows are the original and the even-numbered arrows are their modded thinner counterparts):



    (Those are thumbnail images from my graphics editing software Corel PainShop Pro X7. The Less Is More Graphics Mod package only includes the newer, replacement .pcx files.)

    Here is a screenshot of the new, thinner move arrows:



    Note also the latest change -- the smaller out-of-command stars -- in addition to the earlier Mod changes of smaller no-move red Xs, reduced done-move check marks, etc.

    Here is a screenshot of the new, thinner attack arrow:



    And another:



    There's still more I want to mod, but that's enough for now. (Note to self: Next time, you really must make the no-move red Xs even smaller.)

    For your convenience, the LIMGM is packaged in the form of a JSGME mod package. If you don't use that mod enabler utility (you really ought to!), you should know that among the many folders included in this latest version of the Mod, just two folders are populated:

  • Gfx > Arrows
  • Gfx > Hexwar

    In this version, look for the modded files there, and only there.

    Note: You will always be able to download the latest version of the Less Is More Graphics Mod in the OP (post #1) of this thread.

    Note: Before applying the Mod, make backups of your stock files & folders first! (JSGME will do that automatically for you.)

    Enjoy!

    _____________________________


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  • Post #: 30
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