AE modding possibilities (Full Version)

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Mistmatz -> AE modding possibilities (4/25/2009 4:49:04 PM)

I assume many numbers and settings for ingame calculations are hard coded and cannot be changed by modders. Like constants in equations for example. It would be really nice if these numbers and settings would be accessible from the outside.

Simply put, a .csv file with this stuff read and processed at program start would be great and significantly improve the modability of the game. Of course this makes access and understanding internal formulas, which might be considered inteleectual property, easier.

Personally I'd sacrifice a cat or two for this feature because of the active modding community for this game it would easily pay off in the long run.

PS: This is not a great invention of myself, just something I noticed with more and more games where the developers/distributors want to benefit from an active community and actively try to make modding as easy as possible.




jwilkerson -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/25/2009 6:17:40 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mistmatz
Like constants in equations for example.


One problem is that in this code base it is not really correct to view things in terms of nice compact formulae. Some "decisions" that the code makes are based on accumulations of data in several "dimensions" and many, many hundreds (or thousands) of random numbers. So a literal implementation of your idea would be almost meaningless without all the code - because understanding exactly what all the "constants" mean would require exhaustive, detailed study of the code.

This being said, we are exposing much more in the editor than was there before.




Terminus -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/25/2009 6:19:20 PM)

Translation: No open-source WitP...[:D]




wdolson -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/25/2009 11:40:21 PM)

Some things that seem "simple" when viewed from the outside, are really 100 lines of code where a number is tweaked this way and that way depending on conditions (leadership, morale, fatigue, etc.) and randoms added left and right.

As Joe said, modders will have much more to work with in AE than the original game.  We have exposed what we can in the editor.  What isn't exposed would be very difficult to do in any meaningful manner.

Bill




Dili -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 12:30:25 AM)

It would be nice if scale exposed if possible.




JWE -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 12:38:06 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili
It would be nice if scale exposed if possible.

Sure. Scale is length overall (loa) x 0.165 + 45 = length in pixels.




treespider -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 12:56:21 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

It would be nice if scale exposed if possible.



So you mean hex scale? Its not really set anywhere... but is used in Joe knows how many different formulas.




jwilkerson -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 2:31:33 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: treespider


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

It would be nice if scale exposed if possible.



So you mean hex scale? Its not really set anywhere... but is used in Joe knows how many different formulas.


Well perhaps he means map scale - but this relates to all sorts of internal settings and cannot be easy reduced to one setting especially a variable (loadable from the editor) one - and that would dramatically slow down the game even if done.




Czert -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 7:59:08 AM)

Did matrix thought about making some old games open-source ?  Because some open-source games are taken much beyond original game.

I thinking about UV, but others games will be interesing too.




Terminus -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 9:47:56 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: jwilkerson


quote:

ORIGINAL: treespider


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

It would be nice if scale exposed if possible.



So you mean hex scale? Its not really set anywhere... but is used in Joe knows how many different formulas.


Well perhaps he means map scale - but this relates to all sorts of internal settings and cannot be easy reduced to one setting especially a variable (loadable from the editor) one - and that would dramatically slow down the game even if done.


Maybe he'd LIKE a slower game... There's no accounting for taste...[:D]




Dili -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 7:32:16 PM)

quote:

So you mean hex scale? Its not really set anywhere... but is used in Joe knows how many different formulas.


Yes hex scale, the objective was for smaller scenarios not the whole game , like Joe says whole game would mean a gigantic thing. I think a Guadalcanal-Solomons scenario will be better in a 2x Zoom scenario or a WITM one. But if it is all dispersed in code it is unworkable.




Terminus -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 7:36:40 PM)

This is, unfortunately, the case...




Alikchi2 -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 7:54:20 PM)

I'm not taking the new scale for granted yet; I still believe it'll the best and most important change from WitP. [8D]




jwilkerson -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/26/2009 8:10:14 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

quote:

So you mean hex scale? Its not really set anywhere... but is used in Joe knows how many different formulas.


Yes hex scale, the objective was for smaller scenarios not the whole game , like Joe says whole game would mean a gigantic thing. I think a Guadalcanal-Solomons scenario will be better in a 2x Zoom scenario or a WITM one. But if it is all dispersed in code it is unworkable.


Well, IIRC there were about 6 places that I changed that made the map "almost" work - but Don and Michael and James had to change some other places too - not sure how many - I'd guess maybe 18 total - but that isn't really the biggest issue - the biggest issue is the difference between the way a "variable" works and the way a "constant" works.

A "constant" winds up being baked into the underlying machine code. When the instruction loads, the constant loads with it. This means that all uses of constants are "fast". A variable on the other hand, must be separately loaded each time it is needed. It is loaded from memory into a relevant register. So this extra set of steps when done over and over again for activities like redrawing the map, where pixel counts for instance are used lots - would dramatically slow things down - I'd guess an order of magnitude - and that would be a show stopper. So the hex scale stuff has to be coded as constants.

It looks like the game was designed to support changing the scale in the code - hence we were able to do it without too much pain - but the scale changes need to be done in the code else the game will just run too slowly.

I would probably be possible to support two different map viewing scales, like is done in UV, but it would require redoing much of the viewing screen code. The various text elements are coded pixel by pixel, so these offset have to change for a different size screen - and probably by different amounts for different screens. The text on the screens just barely fits - and the change the screens almost means we have to have two sets of screens - and we were not up for doing that.

So bottom line ... changing the hex scale needs to stay in the code ... not the editor ... and changing the viewing resolution needs to remain constant until someone comes along who wants to recode all the screens.





Dili -> RE: AE modding possibilities (4/27/2009 12:11:43 AM)

Thanks for explanation Joe, so it would mean necessarely another executable. 18 changes doesn't seem too big, would them account for all changes necessary like ship speed, plane range, weapon/device range, etc?




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