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RE: Modding Tool - 9/5/2016 9:38:30 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 8 is up with the resources form's create/insert/delete all working.

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Post #: 151
RE: Modding Tool - 9/5/2016 10:39:48 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 9 completes my work for today, having the Race Families form working as it should. That's all the root files done (the biases are changed as you create new projects in the parent forms)!

I decided not to include an insert function in it since the order of race families is totally irrelevant, and coding two forms to reference each other when the controls are all generated on runtime turns out to be a damn pain.

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Post #: 152
RE: Modding Tool - 9/6/2016 9:34:36 PM   
Landris

 

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Just wanted to stop being a lurker for second to say it's an awesome tool and it's appreciated. Even if I haven't been doing any modding recently I'm much more likely to in future knowing this is here to help!

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Post #: 153
RE: Modding Tool - 9/7/2016 11:52:26 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Thanks Landris!

Also, just a quick note for anyone trying to update yesterday, I spent much of the day setting up a new NAS so updates were probably a bit on/off. My poor Seagate BlackArmor kept dropping the network connection and would then just sit there doing nothing for hours and hours like a petulant child.

My new QNAP device has so far been a dream come true! The old device literally had no options for converting between a static volume and RAID, this thing can do it on the fly. The old one had no software for transferring files from the device itself, meaning I had to run file copying by hooking my laptop up to the router and using it as a go-between, even between drives in the unit. The new one can do it from the device itself and can recognise windows shares. That means transfers of around 100MBps, which let me transfer the whole 2.91TB of data from the old system in about 8.5 hours.

It's even managed to host the update folder in the same location, removing my worry that I'd have to push an update specifically to change the update path and break automatic updates for all previous versions.

Right now it's in the process of rebuilding the RAID 1 array so it's in a "degraded" state, but so far it doesn't seem to be actually hurting access speeds. In any event that process should finish today sometime and put me in a much happier place regarding NAS setup.

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Post #: 154
RE: Modding Tool - 9/7/2016 6:53:49 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Ok, revision 10 is up and this is a big one.

Characters can now be created/deleted. Again thereís no insert function because the Character IDís arenít actually used by the characters file, itís just an index for my tool. It doesnít matter what order you load them in, as long as you set an appropriate appearance order for each one.

Next up, race creation is now functional. Iíve spent most of the day on this and I need a break now, so Iíll have a go at tackling deleting a race tomorrow.

Upon creating a new race, race biases are automatically created for you (defaulting to 0) as are dialogue, characters, design templates and policy files. For this reason, if you create a new race and want to output the race form, itíll force you to also output those other forms as well. Not doing so would create a situation where youíd end up with an isolated race file and we just canít have that (especially the race biases).

This update has created a new rule for mods, while it would normally just be ďbest practiceĒ itís now become essential if you want to load a mod into my tool. You have to have standard and pirate policies for any race (even for races that canít be played as standard/pirate empires). Just blank files are acceptable, so long as theyíre there.

There's some new error checking too, itíll now drop files in subfolders that arenít actually going to be loaded.

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Post #: 155
RE: Modding Tool - 9/10/2016 12:04:03 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Races can now be deleted. Doing so will remove any race biases for that race as well as dialogue, characters, design templates and policy files so itíll ask you for confirmation first and force you to output those forms if you want to output races.

Otherwise you could end up with references to a race that doesnít exist and that would certainly screw up your day.

The ďAllowed RacesĒ part of the research file hasnít been forgotten about either, if you delete a race any reference in there will be cleared for you.

I may be up for implementing other features if theyíre easy enough to do, or maybe larger ones after I publish 1.0.0. Depends on how easy/intelligent the suggestions are. 0.2.1 is now ready for download!

For now, the remaining work is:

(0.2.2) Making it as obvious as possible what does what and what the effects will be.
(0.2.3) Restricting entries into textboxes to what DW supports.

Then itís onto graphics for 0.3.

But thatís game, set and match for the actual features. We now have a fully functional modding tool for DW:U!

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Post #: 156
RE: Modding Tool - 9/10/2016 12:20:17 AM   
Sabranan

 

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And I have my first bugfix already, just noticed that if I loaded a blank mod folder in to the tool it would fail. Sorted now, so if you want to create a brand new mod by copying the DW files, you don't have to copy them over yourself. Just create a blank folder (in the DW:U \Customization folder) with whatever name you want your mod to have and load that into the tool, it'll populate it for you when you output!

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Post #: 157
RE: Modding Tool - 9/10/2016 2:54:27 AM   
Capshades

 

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Woooooo! Still going to wait for 0.2.3 before I start using it lol

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Post #: 158
RE: Modding Tool - 9/19/2016 12:30:33 PM   
Sabranan

 

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So, for revision 2 of 0.2.1 we have the characterís form tidied up, itís laid out a little better and it now enables/disables buttons and fields more appropriately as you create and delete characters.

It also has tooltips implemented for all of its buttons and fields, with the lone exception of the races selector (since that already has a header telling you what it is). This is a basic blueprint for how the other forms will be changed for 0.2.2 so let me know if itís giving you any issues!

Finally, Iíve sorted the tab index. This means when you press the tab key (or shift & tab for reverse) it should now go through the controls in a logical order, whereas before it would jump all over the place.

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Post #: 159
RE: Modding Tool - 9/19/2016 4:01:12 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Dialogue form up now with revision 3, again itís been tidied up (and shrunk considerably), some tooltips added and the tab order set. Iíve also set it so the variable buttons now tell you exactly what variable they reference.

On another matter, a couple people have privately asked if Iíll accept donations so now seems a good time to address it.

Iím not in a position where I ďneedĒ the money or anything like that. Iím literally just a guy working on this in my spare time, but if people want to buy me a drink or whatever to say thanks then I have no problem with that. Since Iím at a point in development where people have offered I figure I might as well give them an easy way to do it.

The best way Iíve found to do it is by a simple PayPal send money link, so Iíve made one specifically for this tool. Iíve put the link in the ďaboutĒ section of the tool as ďbuy me a drinkĒ, that way itís obvious but not in your face.

If youíre donating, be sure to leave it set as a gift as opposed to goods & services. No need to have part of your donation taken by PayPal if youíre not actually buying something! It should default to GDP since Iím in the UK, so just be aware if youíre based elsewhere thereíll be a currency conversion going on.

Just to be clear, this tool is free and always will be. Donating is of course optional and I donít want anyone to feel pressured or anything.

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Post #: 160
RE: Modding Tool - 9/21/2016 9:05:08 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 4 has design templates upgraded. Just like the others, it now has tooltips all over to make sure it's obvious what you're doing.

It also now has "Clear" buttons for the optional tactics variables, before there was no way to unset them and now there is.

Wasn't too difficult a form since most of the controls are the same thing but for different components.

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Post #: 161
RE: Modding Tool - 9/22/2016 2:04:05 AM   
darkriot

 

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Good work! This is going to help all of us modders! I am having some trouble with it tho. It won't read my mod files and will just use default files even tho I specify my mod folder to use. Any suggestions I could try?

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Post #: 162
RE: Modding Tool - 9/22/2016 7:52:39 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Hi darkriot,

First, just confirm you're using the latest version for me? The version is listed under the "About" box on the main menu, as of writing this post the latest is 0.2.1.4.

You may be able to see what's going on in the "Input Info" box (this replaces the "Version Notes" box when you've selected a mod folder). Pay particular attention to any orange or red lines, these indicate warnings or errors respectively.

If you can copy/paste the input log and the mod path youíre using (should be listed under the "Recent mod folders" once you've selected it via the "Specify mod folder" at least once) into a reply here I might be able to advise you a bit better.

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Post #: 163
RE: Modding Tool - 9/23/2016 1:00:20 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 5 pushed today, with the policies form tidied up.

Iíve stretched it a bit horizontally so itís no longer vertically bigger than the screen on a 720p display, it should fit a lot better now. Iíve added tooltips to the fields I felt needed them, a lot of the stuff in policies is blatantly obvious just from the title and feels like Iím insulting peopleís intelligence by putting tooltips on them!

Iíve also set a lot of fields that were just using numbers to use drop-down boxes. These are the fields that referenced priorities, theyíre stored as numbers in the text files but those numbers actually represent priorities (e.g. Low/Normal/High) so itís easier to just view them that way.

On top of that the Design Templates form has had a bugfix, if you had any redundant subfolders folders in the design templates folder it should no longer cause strange output. It also loads the pirate versions of design templates in a more intelligent way, previously certain situations could cause it to just load in the standard races.

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Post #: 164
RE: Modding Tool - 9/23/2016 1:32:53 PM   
Shogouki


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Yesss! Modding urges intensify!

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Post #: 165
RE: Modding Tool - 9/26/2016 5:13:42 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Small patch today for revision 6, the policies form now has an indicator as to whether you're editing a pirate race or not. Simple fix but important for ease of use.

More importantly I've been fighting a minor issue which would corrupt the order of your recent mod folders. Finally tracked it down and solved it. Now it's not a huge issue, but since it stores those values in the windows registry (don't worry it can only effect the registry key that the tool itself creates) I've made it an obligatory update because I don't want to be doing anything bad to people's systems no matter how minor.

(in reply to Shogouki)
Post #: 166
RE: Modding Tool - 9/27/2016 7:57:39 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Tiny update for revision 7, correcting a problem in revision 6 that made the colour selection act strange in the races form.

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Post #: 167
RE: Modding Tool - 9/27/2016 6:23:50 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Not got much time tonight so I've just gone over the "Always Displayed" section of the races form adding tooltips. Minor changes really but it is actually quite helpful knowing exactly what can be entered into certain boxes there and then as opposed to having to go reference the modding guide or a race file.

That's revision 8 for ya!

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Post #: 168
RE: Modding Tool - 10/2/2016 12:43:00 PM   
Sabranan

 

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So, didn't have enough time to post about revision 9 before I left. It was just some typo correction and when you output, it displays the output path on the confirmation dialogue now so there's no confusion.

For revision 10 (just published), there's a new bit of code to solve an issue with some mods that have research projects in the wrong order. Now it'll try and put them right for you.

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Post #: 169
RE: Modding Tool - 10/3/2016 9:23:32 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Having tried to load in a few mods over the past couple days that have things (research and components mostly) out of order I decided to just go the whole hog and deal with it. That involved building subs to sort multidimensional arrays, which was a big pain but I think it's worth it.

So for revision 11 the tool is now capable of sorting any root file (the races/policies/etc don't really have an order beyond alphabetical which is automatic) in order of whatever its projects are. So if your mod involves research lines that jump from project 50 to project 1074 (thank you Starfall) the tool can now handle that.

If you're missing any projects then you're still stuffed, but I haven't come across any mods that skip projects so we should be ok.

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Post #: 170
RE: Modding Tool - 10/4/2016 9:45:18 AM   
Sabranan

 

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For revision 12 you no longer have to have matching policies for each race, the tool will just create blank versions for any you're missing. That applies to all subfolders. So far, it's meant that it successfully loads every mod I've thrown at it which is great.

It also sorts out a minor bug where it reported out of order components even if they weren't.

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Post #: 171
RE: Modding Tool - 10/5/2016 9:15:00 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 13 has the races form tidied up with some tooltips added. It also has the Periodic Change Cycle Event updated to be a drop-down box along with a minor bugfix for Victory Condition 3, which wasn't loading all the facilities if the condition was set to "Build Specific Galactic Wonder". Could have caused a crash if you tried to open a race containing something outside the range it was loading.

And that's the subfolder forms done. I anticipate the root forms being somewhat easier to apply this process too since they don't really have layers and most of them work fine the way they are. Should just be a matter of opening up the form and putting semi-intelligent tooltips on the controls.

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Post #: 172
RE: Modding Tool - 10/6/2016 9:55:25 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 14 contains the governments form tidied up a bit. I've taken the old wall of text that served as a reference and stuck the component parts of it into tooltips, should be much easier to figure out what each setting does.

I also noticed a small bug that could cause issues in the races form if you had extra spaces in the scripted research lines, I've fixed that now.

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Post #: 173
RE: Modding Tool - 10/6/2016 8:34:32 PM   
Sabranan

 

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So I asked myself this evening, when would you need to search by a research or component index as opposed to searching by name?

NEVER! That's when.

Having the indexes in the selector field is a total waste of time. Especially now they're guaranteed to be in the correct order, they're not even needed for testing. The only exception is when scripting research orders for races, but in every other event you don't need to know the index of the component or whatever until after you've loaded it.

I've removed the indexes where I could so it now displays as:

"Wave Weapons" as opposed to:

"0) Wave Weapons"

Now you might be thinking, why remove potentially useful info?

The reason is it enables a very useful search function which only supports the first "word" in the box. Nobody is going to know off the top of their head that research project 188 is Target Tracking, but they'll probably know Target Tracking is in there somewhere. Which means we can now do this:




By starting to type in the name of the project into the box.

I've tried to apply the same principle wherever a research project, component, resource, fighter, facility, government, plague or race is referenced.

Where they arenít, Iíve limited the drop-down boxes so you canít type in them (hence the grey looking ďIndustryĒ, ďCategoryĒ and ďSpecial FunctionĒ boxes in the image above). That should help prevent mistakes and make it clearer where the search function will work and where it wonít.

Meet revision 15.

Attachment (1)

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Post #: 174
RE: Modding Tool - 10/6/2016 10:42:34 PM   
Capshades

 

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Awesome work, this is really coming along. It's rare for someone to stick with this kind of project for this long.

By the way, will we be able to modify the actual game text (GameText.txt)? Or will that have to be something done outside the program?

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Post #: 175
RE: Modding Tool - 10/7/2016 8:31:27 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Yeah the fact that so many of these projects get abandoned and left in a barely-working state (if you see any release at all) is one of my primary motivations for keeping up with it. It happens all the time and I know it annoys me.

As for the other files Iíll most likely leave editing them outside of the program unless I can think of a good reason to put them in. I've had a quick look at GameText.txt and obviously it's far too big to fit on a form, which means grouping would be required.

Realistically it's always going to be easier to search for values you want to edit in a simple text editor than it is to find the correct group and then the value on a form, but normally that's more than counterbalanced by the other conveniences the tool gives you. In these cases though, they're just lists of values with no references to anything outside the current line. When modding is literally just a matter of "search value", "edit value", there's nothing I can program to make that process any more efficient.

What I will likely do is make it copy over those files from the original source when you output a mod (assuming you don't have them there already of course).

Beyond that, I may look into it in a bit more detail after I publish 1.0.0. No promises though!

(in reply to Capshades)
Post #: 176
RE: Modding Tool - 10/11/2016 8:19:50 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 16 is up, with the resources form tidied up and tooltips added.

Furthermore, Iíve decided not to have the resource locations as a separate form, since that means editing resource locations requires the user to open the form, make the edits and close the form for each resource they want to change the locations for. That can build up the time it takes quite a bit if you want to change the locations of lots of resources.

So theyíve been merged together, just be aware the locations wonít appear until youíve selected a resource to edit.

Iíve also been playing with the spacing and size of the fields for the locations, so it should (just about) fit on a 720p display now.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 177
RE: Modding Tool - 10/12/2016 11:16:23 AM   
Cepheiden

 

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Hello and thank you for your work.

It seems you have made quite a few changes and additions over time. Could you attach a list of all the functionalities of the mod tool in the first post?
As in, which files / categories it can edit and to what extent. That would make it much easier to understand the capabilities right away.

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Post #: 178
RE: Modding Tool - 10/12/2016 8:29:02 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Hi Cepheiden, I rather like the idea of having the OP include a basic overview of the tool so I've gone ahead and edited it. I expect I'll improve it somewhat as time goes on, but for now it should at least give you some idea of what to expect.

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Post #: 179
RE: Modding Tool - 10/13/2016 1:42:59 PM   
Cepheiden

 

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Great, thank you!
Now I got all the information needed from just the first post.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 180
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