Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Dev Diary #6 - 2D View: NATO and unit icons, chits explained

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> John Tiller's Campaign Series >> Dev Diary #6 - 2D View: NATO and unit icons, chits explained Page: [1] 2   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Dev Diary #6 - 2D View: NATO and unit icons, chits expl... - 1/16/2015 4:12:45 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
So while Berto has maintained the dialogue on the direction we’re taking with his Coder Diaries, I’ve tried to open up the possibilities for modifying – modding – the various aspects of the game with the Developer Diaries.

quote:

A quick recap:

- Dev Diary #1: Weapon and movement sounds
- Dev Diary #2: Having fun with Battle Generator
- Dev Diary #3: Adding new units with –X (no encryption) option
- Dev Diary #4: Creating a new Dynamic Campaign Game
- Dev Diary #5: Modding the background music


This time, let us have an in-depth look at the new 2D views and the new unit counters that go with them.

I reckon this posting will go on for a while. First, the in-depth look at the NATO icons file. Then, let us look at the 2D unit graphics. Finally, let us fool around with chits themselves, perhaps trying out a few alternatives.

quote:

Disclaimer: All pictures used here are work-in-progress, subject to change, and often; still contain some tiny little irks we are yet to touch upon


As explained in Berto's Coder Diary, in "Middle East", the game views and the respective file sets are:

quote:

- 3D Normal View: *3d* files, such as Icons3d.bmp, Bases3d22.bmp, …
- 3D Zoom-Out View; *4d¨* files, such as Icons4d.bmp, Bases4d22.bmp , …
- 3D Extreme Zoom-Out View; *5d* files, such as Icons5d.bmp, Bases5d.bmp, …
- 2D Zoom-In View; *7d* files, such as Icons7d.bmp, Icons7d22.bmp, …
- 2D Normal View; *6d* files, such as Icons6d.bmp, Icons6d22.bmp, …
- 2D Zoom-out View; *2d* files, such as Icons2d.bmp, Icons2d22.bmp, …
- 2D Extreme Zoom-out View; *1d* files, such as Icons1d.bmp, Icons1d22.bmp, …


The two new 2D modes are in bold.

So as you can tell from the two example files, depending on the view and zoom level chosen, the game engine picks the related bitmap files with the right scale and uses them for drawing the map and units and terrain elements there.

In “Middle East”, there’s not that much new on 3D side of things so I will concentrate solely on the 2D files and how they play together.

As with the JTCS games, East Front, West Front, Rising Sun, the 2D view can be used with two alternatives: either with NATO symbols, or with 2D Unit Graphics. You can toggle between the two with Ctrl-i combo.

Let us look at the files related to NATO icons first.

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/21/2015 1:10:38 PM >


_____________________________

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!
Post #: 1
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/16/2015 4:35:36 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
The NATO icon sheet Icons7d.bmp, and the scaled down 6d, 2d and 1d versions of it.

In addition to the new 2D zoom levels, there’s also a few changes how the bitmap files are used.

quote:

With JTCS, the NATO icons were in the two Icons[]d.bmp files: Icons1d and Icons2d. To make these two files a bit more difficult to deal with as far as modding is considered, these files also included the Russia (00) and Germany (01) 2D graphics. Luckily, the rest of the number of nations have got their own neat data files for storing this nation specific data.

For instance Italy (02) has the 2D chits and unit graphics stored in Icons2d02.bmp, while its 3D unit bases are stored in the three files of Bases[3,4,5]d02.bmp, for each of the 3D Zoom levels.


In “Middle East”, 2D chits and unit graphics will be in nation specific files similar to Italy example above for all nations.

NATO symbols remain stored in the Icons[7,6,2,1]d .bmp files, Icons7d.bmp being the master file as it’s got the 100% sized symbols.

quote:

Fun fact of the day: At the moment there's 411 individual NATO icons in place, and Mike's not done yet!


There’s an empty area at the top of the file, as some old stuff is not needed anymore. Some map markers remain here, but the important thing now is that this is about NATO icons.

The Icons7d.bmp consist of 12 columns of 64x64pixel grids making up one line within the file.

Each individual icon sits centered within its 64x64 grid:



How to point to each of the NATO symbols

In Icons7d.bmp (and in the rest of them), NATO icons begin on line 8 of the 64x64 pixel grid system, and the first NATO icon there’s got the offset 0. Next column on line one is offset 1, then 2, and so on.

These offsets are mapped in the Platoon OOB files as follows:

#17: NATO symbol offset
#18: 2D Unit graphic offset


For instance, as you can see from the snippet above, Armored icon is the seventh symbol of the first row, with offset 6.

Let us look at a platoon file and a tank, then:

quote:

Platoon08.OOB - French Platoon data

P080001 3 3 2 40 0 0 88 27 9 2 2 3 10 0 1 278 23 P080001 4 40 0 1 16 8 48 1 70 12 2 1 1 M8 Light Armored Cars Section , M8 AC ,
P080002 5 4 5 40 0 0 58 32 16 2 3 1 10 0 1 6 82 P080002 3 33 0 1 16 8 48 1 70 12 5 2 2 M5A1 Light Tanks , M5A1 , Stuart
P080008 3 4 5 40 0 0 58 32 16 2 3 1 10 0 1 6 82 P080002 3 33 0 1 16 8 48 1 70 12 5 2 2 M5A1 Light Tanks , M5A1 , Stuart
P080003 5 6 6 35 0 0 56 34 18 1 3 1 11 0 1 6 1 P080003 4 33 16 1 16 8 48 1 70 12 6 3 3 M24 Light Tanks , M24 , Chaffee
P087037 4 6 6 35 0 0 56 34 18 1 3 1 11 0 1 6 1 P080003 4 33 16 1 16 8 48 1 70 12 6 3 3 M24 Light Tanks , M24 , Chaffee
P080062 3 6 6 35 0 0 56 34 18 1 3 1 11 0 1 6 1 P080003 4 33 16 1 16 8 48 1 70 12 6 3 3 M24 Light Tanks , M24 , Chaffee
P087038 1 6 6 35 0 0 56 34 18 1 3 1 11 0 1 6 1 P080003 4 33 16 1 16 8 48 1 70 12 6 3 3 M24 Light Tanks , M24 , Chaffee
P080004 5 2 3 40 0 0 93 49 4 3 2 3 3 0 0 53 83 P080004 2 48 0 1 88 8 48 1 62 12 3 2 2 Ferret FV 701 , Ferret FV 701 ,
P080009 4 4 6 50 0 0 36 11 13 1 2 1 10 0 1 6 0 P080009 3 33 0 1 0 15 48 1 62 12 6 3 3 H39 Light Tanks , H39 ,
P080063 5 4 5 35 0 0 60 30 15 1 3 1 11 0 1 6 76 P080013 4 33 0 1 16 15 52 1 85 12 5 2 2 AMX-13/75 Light Tank , AMX-13/75 ,
P080013 3 4 5 35 0 0 60 30 15 1 3 1 11 0 1 6 76 P080013 4 33 0 1 16 15 52 1 85 12 5 2 2 AMX-13/75 Light Tank , AMX-13/75 ,
...
...


The easiest way to study them is to use Arkady’s excellent Unit Viewer, see here:



I will return to 2D Unit graphics in a while, let us continue with NATO icons.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/18/2015 6:34:30 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 2
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/16/2015 4:45:14 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
Umm, that was quite boring? Let us move on.

Modding the NATO icons

Finally let us mod something here! How about I create an alternative NATO icon sheet, with all-white NATO symbols.

So while I personally prefer the color coded NATO symbols, let us have an alternative in place in case we at times would prefer to use it instead!

To get that done, I simply open up the Icons7d.bmp in GIMP graphics editor in my case, and patiently go over each of the NATO icon there, and fill all the icons with white color:



That took me some 20 minutes, and once done I save it in a directory I decided to name "White NATO Icons Alternative".

quote:

You guessed it, this will be a JSGME enabled mod, so under the MODS directory it goes.


There’s a few directory changes with Middle East (Berto: how about writing a Coder Diary about them at some time?), sufficient to say is that the final directory structure I will use is:

\MODS\White NATO Icons Alternative\Middle East\graphics\*.*

Having created the master file in Icons7d.bmp, I will next downscale it to 6d (75%), 2d (50%), and 1d (50% as such, but I need to lose the NATO boxes and only leave the symbols inside). That is actually a bit of a pain, as a nasty little thing called Anti-Aliasing will kick in.

So, I will stop at this, have a glass or three of red, and continue tomorrow!

To be continued: Downscaling the NATO icons7d file to 6d, 2d and 1d.

quote:

I reckon this posting will go on for a while. First, the in-depth look at the NATO icons file. Then, let us look at the 2D unit graphics. Finally, let us fool around with chits themselves, perhaps trying out a few alternatives.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/17/2015 11:04:47 AM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 3
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/16/2015 4:49:03 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

I reckon this posting will go on for a while. First, the in-depth look at the NATO icons file. Then, let us look at the 2D unit graphics. Finally, let us fool around with chits themselves, perhaps trying out a few alternatives.


This is one of the mock-ups I put together when fooling around with 2D graphics. What I did here is I moved the rows of NATO icons a good few pixels up, so instead of being centered within the chits they'd be higher up to allow for a little flag or insignia perhaps, or a description such as the abbreviation for the Israel Defence Forces like done here:



Also, I made the chits a bit larger (48x48) to allow for some additional graphics such as the lining shown here. More of this in the coming posts!

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/21/2015 2:08:21 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 4
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/16/2015 5:05:22 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
Scaling down the graphics is the next topic though. A lot of pain, not much fun. But need to be done.

_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 5
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/17/2015 9:00:42 AM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads

Scaling down the graphics is the next topic though. A lot of pain, not much fun. But need to be done.


Preparing the zoom-out versions of the NATO icons in Icons7d.bmp

What needs to be done is simple enough:

quote:

- For 2D Normal View (6d), scale down the icons7d.bmp (2D Zoom-In View) by 75%
- For 2D Zoom-Out view (2d), scale down the icons7d.bmp (2D Zoom-In View) by 50%
- For 2D Extreme Zoom-Out view (1d), copy the icons2d.bmp (2D Zoom-Out View), and get rid of the boxes framing the icons.


That is right, while Extreme Zoom-Out (1d) is 25% of Zoom-In view, there's a litte trick with the NATO icons in it: the 2d file symbol contents can be squeezed into small 1d chits as-is by just leaving the rectangular borders out.

Unfortunately, when you compress stuff, you lose information. And here's why it all becomes a bit of a pain:

The ugly magenta background color in the images I've posted?

It defines the transparent background color, in this case magenta. Yes, there is an option: the color present at pixel at 0,0 defines the transparent color. That exact color, and that color only. When the engine first draws the map, and then draws the chits, and then draws the graphics inside chits, the images in these 64x64 pixel grids (in Zoom-In view) are drawn for the parts that are not in the exact color code of the color chose to present transparency (in the pixel at 0,0).

This is why magenta is often chosen: if the colors "leak" into the completely drawn map view, you know there's an issue somewhere. And why they leak is that it is impossible to compress pictures without losing information.

Consider the task of having two numerals and then merging them into one. "0.0" and "1.0" for an example.

quote:

The graphics tool will use a method for that known as anti-aliasing. With anti-aliasing in place, the compression will done using an algorithm that comes up with the best presentation for merging two numerals (think pixels with colors). There's a few options for Anti-aliasing algorithms in graphics tools, all with their strengths and weaknesses, but I will simply talk about anti-aliasing in general.

With anti-aliasing ON, the obvious result in this simple scenario is 0.0 and 1.0 become 0.5. Accordingly, if 0.0 is black and 1.0 is white, 0.5 is a middle level grey.

Without anti-aliasing, what your graphics tool often specifies as No Anti-aliasing / No Interpolation option or Nearest neighbour interpolation option, you instead define that no new information is to be brought in. If 0.0 is black and 1.0 is white, then the single merged pixel will be either black or white, never grey. Why would you do that? To prevent color leaks in scenarios like how transparency is defined here.

In this image, I've compressed the 100% Icons7d.bmp snippet into 50% size, first with anti-aliasing ON, then OFF. I then scaled the compressed 50% versions back to 100% size so they are easier to see. What you see here though is first the 100% sized snippet, then the resulting two 50% sized compressions of the original snippet:



When you look at the resulting images in detail, you can see how the NATO icon edges have been smoothed (that's the "anti-aliasing" in action) in the second sample.

There is some dark magenta hue there where the icons meet with the background color, while the icons themselves have been carefully transferred into smaller ones, maintaining a lot of information.

So when you take the resulting image into play, you have nice looking smaller icons, but the edges leak some ugly magenta hues into map as well, for the magenta hue there is not the exact magenta present at pixel 0,0.

Solution? Either choose a background color not in magenta but say in beige or light grey, that fits with the maps, and these "color leaks" won't be that visible. Or fix the smoothed edges manually, and keep the magenta background to see if there indeed are "any leaks" anywhere. We chose the latter approach, as the chits and icons need to be spot on. Lots of manual work to fix these, no two way around it.

Of course, if the compression is smaller, with anti-aliasing off you might get away with the loss of information. Clearly, in this case it is not an option. For instance, if you look at the armored light AA unit (second image on second row), it is still very much recognizable in the middle with 50% reduction in size, where as in the third sample it is no longer a fighting unit but a smiling polar bear (?) instead.

There is no two ways about the loss of information in scaling up and down these graphics file. When modding, choose your method, and be prepared to pay the consequences.

Again, a lot of boring stuff here probably, but I thought it worth sharing.

If (when!) you see "color leaks" in any of the games you play, now you know why!

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/18/2015 6:35:37 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 6
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/17/2015 9:18:58 AM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
But at the end of the day, all is good: we've got the four sets of all-white NATO icons in their respective Icons?d.bmp files. I will include them as a mod when Middle East ships out, so you get to play around with them all you like. Just fire up JSGME, enable the mod, and there you go:



I've converted the printscreen into jpeg and compressed it a bit, but doesn't look half bad does it?

Mod #1 done and dusted, yay!

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/18/2015 6:36:38 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 7
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/17/2015 9:24:26 AM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

I reckon this posting will go on for a while. First, the in-depth look at the NATO icons file. Then, let us look at the 2D unit graphics. Finally, let us fool around with chits themselves, perhaps trying out a few alternatives.


Next up: 2D unit graphics it is! Mike's done a huge job at replacing the existing 2d Zoom-out view (as what the legacy files represent today) into these new, beautiful unit graphics!

I will not create a mod this time, just explain what the files are so if any of you decided to do a mod you will know how it all pans out. Luckily (or rather: because that is how we wanted it!), the system is quite straight forward to undestand and to modify

quote:

ORIGINAL: berto

Several of us on the Dev Team are old-time board game geeks.

Dang right! So if you still have your Avalon Hill Arab-Israeli War chits around, start scanning those unit graphics!



Til later

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/17/2015 11:08:56 AM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 8
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/17/2015 1:59:27 PM   
berto


Posts: 19699
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads




The new 2D chits and icons are so lovely. Warhorse and you are doing a heckuva job!

_____________________________


(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 9
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/17/2015 2:39:52 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: berto

The new 2D chits and icons are so lovely. Warhorse and you are doing a heckuva job!


Warhorse, mostly. Four hundred and eleven (411) individual NATO symbols in place, and counting!


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to berto)
Post #: 10
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/17/2015 2:47:24 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads
Warhorse, mostly. Four hundred and eleven (411) individual NATO symbols in place, and counting!



With that comes the ability to identify the units when playing with NATO symbols. So important on a platoon level game like this where you really need to be able to tell one unit type from another.

And, with the effort in place for 2D graphics, see my post above, and what a neat litte trick it is:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads
That is right, while Extreme Zoom-Out (1d) is 25% of Zoom-In view, there's a litte trick with the NATO icons in it: the 2d file symbol contents can be squeezed into small 1d chits as-is by just leaving the rectangular borders out.


Having done this, even the good ole 2D Extreme Zoom-Out view is coming out really nicely!



Again, screenprint compressed to jpeg format, what-you-will-get-is-so-much-nicer-than-what-you-see (WYWGISMNTWYS) here

And, with enabling the White NATO Icons Alternative mod we just made (with JSGME of course), the view above would be using white NATO icons only


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/17/2015 4:11:08 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 11
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/17/2015 5:16:00 PM   
Warhorse


Posts: 5698
Joined: 5/12/2000
From: Birdsboro, PA, USA
Status: offline
Looking good!! Also, I AM making a document, with a list of all those Military symbols, so you all may know what those little guys all are! I've got it mostly filled out, still filling in some blanks as I get to it.

_____________________________

Mike Amos

Meine Ehre heißt Treue
www.cslegion.com

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 12
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/18/2015 3:26:25 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

I reckon this posting will go on for a while. First, the in-depth look at the NATO icons file. Then, let us look at the 2D unit graphics. Finally, let us fool around with chits themselves, perhaps trying out a few alternatives.


OK, on to 2D Unit Graphics, the last topic for this weekend. Chits? Next weekend!

As for the graphics files involved: could not be easier. The unit graphics and chit design go into one nation specific file. You want to modify the UK / Commonwealth unit graphics? Icons7d09.bmp it is!

quote:

Icons7d09.bmp

Icons <- Prefix
7d <- Scale level. 7d, 6d, and 2d. 1d? The generic NATO symbols from Icons1d.bmp are used
09 <- Nation ID. UK retains it nation ID of 09 from West Front.
.bmp <- 24bit bitmap file it is!


What you'll see per nation is something like this:



On the top left corner is the chit design the particular nation will use.

quote:

In the legacy files you'll find for instance with West Front there's three rows of them, portraying unselected and selected chits and stacks with variations. Those have not been in use for quite some time, only the first offset is. For stacks, and highlighted chits within them, it is the job of the engine to draw them. Plenty of space to used for something later on!


On the top right corner I've left some original legacy chits in place for comparison. Not in use.

Then, some nation specific graphcis and insignia.

On line four, the unit graphics. Similar to Icons7d.bmp with NATO symbols, 12 columns of 64x64 grids make one line. First position of first line is offset "0", the first position of line two is "12" and so on. Just like with NATO icons.

Magenta color for transparency, you should be familiar with it by now.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/18/2015 6:38:13 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 13
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/18/2015 3:38:41 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
Similar to NATO icons, there's a parameter within the Platoon OOB files that point to Unit Graphics.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads
These offsets are mapped in the Platoon OOB files as follows:

#17: NATO symbol offset
#18: 2D Unit graphic offset


quote:

Platoon09.OOB - UK - Snippet

P090022 2 3 6 40 0 0 80 40 9 1 2 1 11 0 1 7 144 P090017 3 161 0 1 8 8 85 1 85 12 6 3 2 Scorpion 90mm , Scorpion 90mm ,
P099023 4 8 15 50 0 0 51 24 30 2 4 1 10 0 1 14 6 P099023 4 33 16 1 0 15 48 1 68 12 8 3 3 M-10 Wolverine , Wolverine ,
P099024 3 8 15 50 0 0 51 24 30 2 4 1 10 0 1 14 6 P099023 4 33 16 1 0 15 48 1 68 12 8 3 3 M-10 Wolverine , Wolverine ,
P099025 4 8 15 40 0 0 60 20 31 2 4 1 12 0 1 14 7 P099025 7 33 16 1 0 15 51 1 68 12 39 13 10 FV4101 Cromwell Heavy AT Gun , Charioteer ,


Let us have a look using Arkady's Unit Viewer: parameter visible between the two chits. First parameter listed is the Unit Icon offset (6 for the seventh icon on first row), second NATO icon offset (14, ie the fifteenth graphic from the beginning. They start from 0, remember.)



So let us have some fun with this as well. How about a... Panzer Leader Mod?!

No, not a mod. Just testing how it would play out.

First, off to Imaginative Strategist for their awesome PL and PB counter art. Let us borrow a US Wolverine Panzer Leader counter and use it here.

While there, I got me a new nice avatar picture: A Swedish built armored Lansverk AA platoon

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/18/2015 6:43:49 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 14
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/18/2015 3:52:45 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
First thing to try would be to cut a M-10 Wolverine counter from the counter sheet, and to color the background with the magenta hue representing the transparent parts of the graphics. I will not do that though, for anti-aliasing. Because, if anti-aliasing is bit of an issue with rectangular forms such as NATO icons, with free forms it is often an absolute nightmare.

See here: since the black-on-green counter is really not all that simple, but has antialiasing, for those smooth areas where colored edges meet, changing the background green into magenta will not cut it at a click of a mouse.

There's more than one shade of green in the original picture, as the edges are smoothed, therefore as you apply magenta over the olive green background they start to stand out:



So instead, if rectangles are what will work, I will simply choose a rectangular square, and will not apply transparency at all. Instead I will color the chits with the same color as the rectangular shape here. They are then a perfect match when terrain, then chits, then unit graphics are drawn to the map by the game engine. Should work so much better!



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/21/2015 12:59:05 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 15
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/18/2015 3:54:16 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
So this is what I did:

quote:

So instead, if rectangles are what will work, I will simply choose a rectangular square, and will not apply transparency at all. Instead I will color the chits with the same color as the rectangular shape here.


Or rather: I will color the chit in the same color:



Second and third chit in the picture? Not used by the engine. I've simply put them aside for now. More of this when talking about chits themselves on the last part of this thread.

See how the first chit is a bit darker, as I filled it with the color used in the PL counter.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/21/2015 2:04:57 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 16
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/18/2015 3:59:20 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

They are then a perfect match when terrain, then chits, then unit graphics are drawn to the map by the game engine.


And this is what it looks like:



Neat, our very own Panzer Leader counters!



If we would follow this path, that is

quote:

ORIGINAL: berto

Several of us on the Dev Team are old-time board game geeks.


Huh?



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/21/2015 1:00:46 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 17
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/18/2015 4:01:14 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

I reckon this posting will go on for a while. First, the in-depth look at the NATO icons file. Then, let us look at the 2D unit graphics. Finally, let us fool around with chits themselves, perhaps trying out a few alternatives.


That's it for today. We touched upon the chits already somewhat. There's a bit more to them than just these nation specific files, though. More to come.

Til later!

_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 18
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/26/2015 3:24:37 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

I reckon this posting will go on for a while. First, the in-depth look at the NATO icons file. Then, let us look at the 2D unit graphics. Finally, let us fool around with chits themselves, perhaps trying out a few alternatives.


OK, into third and final part of this little Modder's Guide to Unit Counters! Having covered the global NATO map symbols graphics, nation specific unit graphics, let us finally frame our art, in this case into unit counters.

When designing the unit counter art, the stage is really yours. With the new 2D Zoom-In View, there's room for up to 49x49 chits with no overlapping with fully stacked hexes. If you don't mind a little overlap, heck they can be even bigger, especially if you opt for a non-rectangular shape.

Let us recap and have a look at the first rows of the French Icons7d08.bmp:

At the moment there's only one chit offset to consider, the 64x64 square in the first row. What we have there as a new default chit is a 44x44 sized standard chit. No frills, no thrills, but a clear and simple blank unit counter that is easy to look at, and at this size does not cover too much of the terrain details in the hex it occupies.

Then next relevant markers are the un-identified French unit counter with a question mark on it, the French objective marker, followed by the Loaded/Unloaded and national insignia icons that go into Hex Infobox for an instance. To create an alternative look and feel, we would simply just provide an alternative blank unit counter in the first offset of the first row.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 19
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/26/2015 3:27:30 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads
To create an alternative look and feel, we would simply just provide an alternative blank unit counter in the first offset of the first row.


Something like this, for instance. What you see here is a few alternatives I have been playing around. Again, only the first offset is used, the other designs I have put aside so I can easily switch one into play.





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 20
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/26/2015 3:34:15 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads
Something like this, for instance.


And this is how it will pan out, if you choose say the large chit with the tricolor in the background. To show some alternatives you can do, the Egyptians here have an oversized chit too, with an outline and national flag in it. For comparison, the Brits are here with their standard chit.



That is quite a difference to standard French units:



So for the maximum effect, with minimum effort: go for the chits!

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/26/2015 5:07:08 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 21
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/26/2015 3:52:02 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
And what a better way to wrap this all up is by having a closer look at the screen capture of the Operation Musketeer Revisited.

2D View - Global NATO Map Symbols

NATO map symbols reside in Icons7d.bmp and its variants. It is a global placeholder for all map symbols in use. Each unit has a parameter pointing to the map symbol in its' Platoon*.OOB file. For a platoon level game you want to have a good idea of what kind of a unit you are looking at, so our very own Warhorse has put some 400+ individual NATO map symbols in place as of now, and counting!

If you want to modify the unit symbols on a global level, say you want to revert to an older military symbols than the current Allied Procedural Publication 6A (APP-6A) symbols, this is the place to go.

2D View - Nation specific Unit Graphics

The nation specific unit graphics reside in Icons7d[00-99].bmp files, where the 00-99 is the nation ID, 08 for France for instance. Again, you have 64x64 grids available.

These are nation specific + unit specific, so if you want to implement an Avalon Hill Arab-Israeli Wars unit counter mod for selected countries, this is the place to go instead!



Also, if you want to create nation specific map symbols, a WW II era example might be that you'd want to play your Normandy scenarios with German units on WW II era map symbols, Brits and US on their respective map symbols, this would be the file to go.

In the example above, I have included a little map symbol next to unit graphic to see how it would look like.

2D View - Nation specific Unit Counters (chits)

Finally, the chits themselves. They are nation specific as well, and reside in the same files as the unit graphcis. There's only one blank unit counter in use, so what ever static information you want to have visible on all unit counters, this is the place to put it. Again, with 64x64 grids there's plenty of room to play with, although with square chits the practical maximum is 50x50 or thereabouts (49x49 to be exact). So if you are really serious about having a NATO APP-6 based platoon simulation, you will whip out the standard chits we provide, and put in the APP-6 affiliation symbols instead. Or, the friendly / hostile ground symbols at least:





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/26/2015 5:10:23 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 22
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/26/2015 3:54:48 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
And that's it for this Developer Diary! Hopefully you've enjoyed it, it is a tad boring at times, but as a modder guide that's the way they go.

As a disclaimer, please remember everything shown here is still work in progress.

So rest assured, if there's something you don't like as how the end product will look like, to change them into something more to your preferences instead could not be simpler. If it's the chits themselves, just chuck in something completely different!

NATO symbols or equivalents, or nation specific unit icons, more work, but there you can dive in really deep.

I hope these mock-ups (for that's what they are!) shown in this thread give you some ideas.

Til Later!



< Message edited by Crossroads -- 1/26/2015 5:15:00 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 23
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 1/26/2015 4:20:10 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads
I hope these mock-ups (for that's what they are!) shown in this thread give you some ideas.


And here's one more for the road: Large, outlined Israeli chits with the white NATO symbols mod in place





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 24
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 2/2/2015 3:34:43 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads
So rest assured, if there's something you don't like as how the end product will look like, to change them into something more to your preferences instead could not be simpler. If it's the chits themselves, just chuck in something completely different!


Meanwhile, lots of mock-ups of mod ideas in this thread, less so on actual look-and-feel (which is still work in progress, mind!). Here's how the current alpha looks at the moment:

quote:

Oued Fodda, Algeria]:[H2H][HIS][CSL]: A routine duty of the French in Algeria was patrolling the major roadways during the day. While typically uneventful, ambushes of varying degrees were common as the war progressed. One such ambush occurred as a company from the 4th Motorized Infantry Division was patrolling in the El Attaf region. While the patrol itself resulted in little, the return trip back to Chlef airbase found the company under attack by a well organized ambush by FLN units in the Oued Fodda area. [ALL][NONE][1.00]


Wreck counters (WR) mark the spot of the ambushed armored cars .

Dismounting from their trucks, men of the 4th ID spread out in search of the enemy, while the mortars team take up firing position outside Ouad Fodda. Vulnerable to any hostile action, the trucks quickly retreat out of the harms way.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 2/2/2015 5:06:21 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 25
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 2/2/2015 4:05:29 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
Or how about this: previously - ambushed! Now - ambusher

quote:

[Tel al Ful, Jerusalem, Jordan]: [SIDE A][HIS][CSL]: A battlegroup of the 10th Mechanized Brigade had advanced over the treacherous roads and tracks to arrive at their objective along the Jerusalem - Ramallah highway at the abandoned town of Beit Hanina al-Jadid, a small community nestled beside the dominant terrain feature north of Jerusalem, Tel al Ful. Down to six Shermans and a handful of mechanized infantry, the battlegroup consolidated their positions while they waited for reinforcements. Elements of the Jordanian 6th Tank Regiment had other plans. [ALL][NONE][1.00]


With the new Visible Hexes option in use, the forward element of the mechanized infantry covers the three routes of possible enemy advance; only finding out they are all full of enemy armor. Outnumbered, the determined IDF forces manage to repel the first push of Jordanian M48 Pattons into village. Early days still, hold the positions, no counter attack despite of the enemy flag in the town center!




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 26
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 2/2/2015 4:26:44 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
Outnumbered, the IDF Shermans engage the Jordanian armor. The outpost is lost, but with a cost to enemy. X marks the spot of four burning enemy Pattons.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 27
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 2/2/2015 4:28:44 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
And so it ends. Cautious, indeed! I don't know how I would have fared against a more determined push into village...

How about turning that AI aggressiveness up a few notches and playing again?




EDIT: Side B was Computer with FOW. I must have clicked the parameter while taking the screenshot.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Crossroads -- 2/2/2015 5:29:43 PM >


_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 28
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 2/2/2015 4:44:14 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads
How about turning that AI aggressiveness up a few notches and playing again?


Nice! AI send a full stack of M48 Pattons to flank the village, while advancing in force to town center. A Major Win for AI by margin of 2 pts...

I guess I forgot to turn my own aggressivess up a notch too. Having said that, my Sherman M50s took a severe beating the few times they came from their hull down positions. Should have used the infantry more aggressively instead. They are quite deadly in urban surrounds you know...





Attachment (1)

_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 29
RE: Developer Diary #6 - 2D NATO symbols and chit sets ... - 2/2/2015 5:54:06 PM   
Crossroads


Posts: 16208
Joined: 7/5/2009
Status: offline
Maybe I could do a little DAR while playtesting one of the "Middle East" scenarios? Anyone interested to see that?

_____________________________

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!

(in reply to Crossroads)
Post #: 30
Page:   [1] 2   next >   >>
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> John Tiller's Campaign Series >> Dev Diary #6 - 2D View: NATO and unit icons, chits explained Page: [1] 2   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.192