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Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers

 
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Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 7/31/2014 9:17:56 AM   
berto


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Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers


Something I've always hated about JT 2D graphics (in all of his games): terrain markers (mines, trenches, IPs, etc.) as counters, as in:





Don't the terrain markers look too much like unit counters? At a glance, how does one easily distinguish the actual fighting forces from the terrain markers?

Here's the same screenshot with terrain markers made "transparent":



Isn't it now much easier to discern the actual combat units?

In future games, and eventually too for JTCS updates, we have implemented Transparent Markers like so:



You can still have the old-style markers-as-counters if you want, but you will also have the option to make them transparent.

Note the Ctrl-M hot key assigned to this feature. (Ctrl-M used to toggle the top-level Menu, but was retired when we fixed the top-level Menu in place.)

(In the previous screenshot, the sharp-eyed among you might notice a few new Options listed. We'll have more to say about those in future Coder Diaries.)

Here's an example of Transparent Markers in action:



And here's another, near the end of a particularly brutal meeting engagement:



Look at all of those wreck markers!

You haven't heard much from the Dev Team or me lately. On vacation? Yes, some of us. (The lucky ones, present company excepted. For me, it's nothing but Nose to the Grindstone, and All IT All the Time. ) Hard at work on Middle East, the next game in a lineup of forthcoming JTCS sequels? Yes, all of us, more or less.

If you think we've exhausted the possibilities for this game series, think again. Already, there's a growing list of new features. Don't worry. No radical changes. The more things change, the more the game series remains essentially the same.

We'll have more to say about the new features, and the Middle East game, in the coming months. When do we hope to release Middle East? For now, we're looking at a Q1 2015 release. With still more sequels later that year and in the years to follow.

What about the Campaign Series -- East Front, West Front, Rising Sun? Will there be new updates, will these new features be implemented in those games too? Yes, in part. Where appropriate, some but not all new features will be retrofitted onto those games also. When?

You might know that, soon, we will be releasing a JTCS 2.02 bug-fix update. For various reasons, we are being conservative with the JTCS changes, fixing what really needs fixing, but holding back on the non-essentials and/or the stuff with the potential to break things, hence requiring lots of testing. Which we don't have time for right now. No, we need to focus on new game development now. We can't keep patching, patching, patching endlessly the older games in the series for free. Gotta pay the bills, gotta push out new games for sale. We're sure you understand.

I'd really like to be posting this newest Coder Diary in a new forum devoted to the newer games in the sequel series. But they say it's not time for that just yet. By posting Middle East & beyond stuff here, we don't want you to expect implementation of that stuff in the older JTCS games any time soon. Later rather than sooner. Sorry.

So, when will we release the anticipated JTCS 2.10 mega-update, the update with many if not all the new features, but more importantly a thoroughgoing overhaul of the game data (and possibly some graphics spiff-ups too)? For now, we are looking at sometime in 2016. It's a long time to wait, sure. But we're also sure you'll enjoy the new games released earlier in the meantime. Speaking of time...

Until the next time...

< Message edited by berto -- 7/31/2014 11:21:32 AM >


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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 7/31/2014 2:17:55 PM   
Zap


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Hi Berto,

SO applying the button makes all transparent. I kind of liked the wreck symbols. I do like however, the other transparent symbols shown on the map. To have that choice is a good addition.

< Message edited by Zap -- 7/31/2014 3:23:18 PM >


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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 7/31/2014 5:08:44 PM   
wings7


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From: Phoenix, Arizona
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berto and all, excellent, excellent idea!

Patrick

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 7/31/2014 5:19:22 PM   
berto


Posts: 18156
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From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zap

SO applying the button makes all transparent. I kind of liked the wreck symbols. I do like however, the other transparent symbols shown on the map. To have that choice is a good addition.

No, sorry. It will be all or nothing. All traditional opaque, or all new transparent.

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 8/1/2014 11:31:14 AM   
MrRoadrunner


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I play the majority of the time in 3-D. But, I like the transparencies. It adds an interesting touch and looks outstanding. Look forward to seeing them in the update.

RR

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 8/1/2014 12:45:46 PM   
Crossroads


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quote:

ORIGINAL: berto

[--- SNIP ---]

You might know that, soon, we will be releasing a JTCS 2.02 bug-fix update. For various reasons, we are being conservative with the JTCS changes, fixing what really needs fixing, but holding back on the non-essentials and/or the stuff with the potential to break things, hence requiring lots of testing. Which we don't have time for right now. No, we need to focus on new game development now. We can't keep patching, patching, patching endlessly the older games in the series for free. Gotta pay the bills, gotta push out new games for sale. We're sure you understand.

I'd really like to be posting this newest Coder Diary in a new forum devoted to the newer games in the sequel series. But they say it's not time for that just yet. By posting Middle East & beyond stuff here, we don't want you to expect implementation of that stuff in the older JTCS games any time soon. Later rather than sooner. Sorry.

So, when will we release the anticipated JTCS 2.10 mega-update, the update with many if not all the new features, but more importantly a thoroughgoing overhaul of the game data (and possibly some graphics spiff-ups too)? For now, we are looking at sometime in 2016. It's a long time to wait, sure. But we're also sure you'll enjoy the new games released earlier in the meantime. Speaking of time...

Until the next time...


Go Berto!

Yes, the efforts are all on the new 'Modern Wars' titles, Middle East first, more to follow!

As for Campaign Series, less time to work on them, but no worries: less time is still better than no time at all.

And instead of having you all wait to see any new stuff coming out until 2.1 comes out in 2016, we thought we'd chip in some new stuff to 2.02 in a form of an User Modification:

quote:

Campaign Series: The Forgotten Battles is a mod focusing on minor nations, and the battles they fought, buried in annals of history, but forgotten no more! When installed, this Add-on modification will absolutely not affect any stock or custom scenario. Worth a repeat: none of the existing games you have or are about to start will be affected.

Forgotten Battle 2.0 proudly presents the World Premiere of the first 2D Project results to EF. New and enhanced graphics and a thorough upgrade to their OoB is provided for:
- EF Russia
- EF Germany
- EF Italy
- EF Rumania,
- EF Hungary
- EF Finland,
- EF Slovakia, and
- EF Poland, including the addition of LWP organizations and units for a full 1939-1945 unit roster timeline.

While 2.0 is still mostly about East Front, we are looking forward to try more new things out with West Front and Rising Sun too.

Included in the WF add-on are:
- WF Polish Army in Britain and WF Polish Army in France OoBs.

Rising Sun? Stay tuned!

Campaign Series: The Forgotten Battles continues to be a User Mod. It will have its issues and errors, which, when reported to us, we will fix if not sooner then later. It is packaged to go under Campaign Series User Modifications folder (/Mods), and it should be installed and uninstalled only via the JSGME mod management tool. Your continuous co-operation and support is appreciated


My emphasis on the last paragraps are there for a reason though! The new stuff has not gone though the usual Quality Assurance routines, we just don't have the time for it at the moment. Regardless, I hope it serves as a reminder for things to come for the Campaign Series as well.

We hope the free 2.02 UPDATE will keep everyone happy, until the new titles are out!



< Message edited by Crossroads -- 8/1/2014 1:47:46 PM >


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Visit us at: Campaign Series Legion
---
CS: Vietnam | CS: East Front 1939-1941 IN-THE-WORKS
CS: Middle East 1948-1985 Fully reimaged v2.0 available now!

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 8/1/2014 10:15:50 PM   
Warhorse


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EF Bulgarians(Axis)just completed! Not sure if they will make it in, but revamped the campaign files for them as well, also made all the Divisions, instead of all generic.

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Meine Ehre heißt Treue
www.cslegion.com

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 8/2/2014 12:57:57 PM   
kool_kat


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From: Clarksville, VA.
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quote:

ORIGINAL: berto
You might know that, soon, we will be releasing a JTCS 2.02 bug-fix update. For various reasons, we are being conservative with the JTCS changes, fixing what really needs fixing, but holding back on the non-essentials and/or the stuff with the potential to break things, hence requiring lots of testing. Which we don't have time for right now. No, we need to focus on new game development now. We can't keep patching, patching, patching endlessly the older games in the series for free. Gotta pay the bills, gotta push out new games for sale. We're sure you understand.


Hey Berto:

Also, from a JTCS player perspective,I would like to see the patching come to an end! Get the night features working properly and don't "break" existing code... and I believe you'll have a lot of "happy campers" in JTCS land!

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Regards, - Mike

"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." - Albert Einstein

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 8/2/2014 2:42:32 PM   
Crossroads


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mwest

Also, from a JTCS player perspective,I would like to see the patching come to an end! Get the night features working properly and don't "break" existing code... and I believe you'll have a lot of "happy campers" in JTCS land!


Trust me no-one wants that more than us! The thing is, this old lady has such a depth of features some of the bugs are really hard to find. Once found, Berto the Magician seems to always have the touch to squash them sooner rather than later.

The Night scenario bug that was considered critical by us, and worth a new release (2.02), has been with us since 2.00. It is just that we missed it, and no one else saw it either for a good few months until recently. Now, with two patches later, we hopefully have the solid foundation to last the journey until 2.1 in 2016...

Also, this is the foundation the 'Modern War' titles are being built upon, so having the 2.00 out is really important for the QA tasks for those releases as well.

Thanks everyone for your continuous support for the series


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Visit us at: Campaign Series Legion
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CS: Vietnam | CS: East Front 1939-1941 IN-THE-WORKS
CS: Middle East 1948-1985 Fully reimaged v2.0 available now!

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Post #: 9
RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 8/2/2014 2:58:55 PM   
berto


Posts: 18156
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: mwest

Also, from a JTCS player perspective,I would like to see the patching come to an end! Get the night features working properly and don't "break" existing code... and I believe you'll have a lot of "happy campers" in JTCS land!

We would be very happy for patching of JTCS to come to an end ... until the anticipated 2.10 "mega-patch" release in 2016.

Some of the new features being added to Middle East & beyond? Trust me, many if not all of them you will want to see added to the earlier JTCS games also!

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 8/2/2014 4:26:10 PM   
budd


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is there a 2.02 patch i missed, by the above sounds like 2.02 has already been released. Looked around couldn't find anything in the members area and the auto updater don't work.

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Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 8/2/2014 5:00:54 PM   
Crossroads


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quote:

ORIGINAL: **budd**

is there a 2.02 patch i missed, by the above sounds like 2.02 has already been released. Looked around couldn't find anything in the members area and the auto updater don't work.


No, not out quite yet. Give us two-three weeks to process it through the release procedure. And no, this won't affect any on-going games, no need to keep a separate version on a side.

_____________________________

Visit us at: Campaign Series Legion
---
CS: Vietnam | CS: East Front 1939-1941 IN-THE-WORKS
CS: Middle East 1948-1985 Fully reimaged v2.0 available now!

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 8/2/2014 5:05:58 PM   
budd


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thank you sir for the info, looking forward to it.

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Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 13
RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 11/27/2014 11:22:22 PM   
MausMan2


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Berto,

I appreciate these coder diaries being posting for modern wars. –can’t wait to get into what you guys are doing for the Middle East game.

I like this option to apply transparent markers. I do my own bit of graphics mods for my copy. My question is can the square outlines seen in these screen shots also be eliminated in the new transparent mode?
thanks,

Bill

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 11/28/2014 12:07:23 AM   
berto


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From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: online

Indeed, no more marker outlines, as you can see in the screenshots here.

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RE: Coder Diary #21 -- Transparent Markers - 11/28/2014 7:56:09 AM   
76mm


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great addition, thanks!

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