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RE: TOAW IV features - 10/17/2015 12:55:31 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

Don't know where to ask, so I'll try here,


You came to the right place, check out Page 1, Post 1 for an idea of some of the improvements. Short answer: TOAW IV is not a whole different game, and it is not a bunch of small fixes.

To your specifics: 1. TOAW IV will have new Map and Interface artwork.

2. change the awful layout and put buttons that aren't really needed to a drop down list ... All of the awful buttons in TOAW III have corresponding choices in the available drop down menus or by right clicking on the selected unit.

3. You want a drop down menu for weapon penetration ? Not sure what you mean here, but I might guess that you are referring to some players desire to see more specific statistics on weapons systems ? TOAW gives a base rating for Armor and Anti-Armor to units as a whole, and to each individual piece of equipment. In the Manual you can find the procedure by which these values are applied.

4. A real actual historical map to play on ? Sounds like a job for Superman ! Do you know of this being a reality anywhere ? I'd imagine that it has been at least considered somewhere over the past 30 years of computer gaming, but I don't recall ever seeing anything about it.

And, welcome to TOAW III, and IV !

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Post #: 151
RE: TOAW IV features - 10/17/2015 2:22:30 PM   
Lobster


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Only difference between TOAW multitude of buttons and WitE multitude of buttons is the mouse over in WitE. Otherwise the both have a plethora of pushable points. Add to that the WitE overload of popup boxes with their endless icons that are meaningless until you mouse over and there is really no difference between the two UI. Perhaps WitE is a bit more interactive. Dunno, put that one in the arcade pile long ago. Don't go to those games much.

Decisive Campaigns has a more friendly interface than either WitE or TOAW. Still, lots of meaningless icons until you mouse over. But it has tabs that actually tell you what they are, unlike WitE. Lots of information presented in a meaningful way.

Bottom line, unless TOAW is fairly completely redone, you are stuck with what you have. I don't see Matrix investing that much time and effort into the game. TOAW4 was most likely the last hurrah for this game and unfortunately all these years of work have come down to not much. The chances for a TOAW5 and a compete rewrite are probably little to none.

< Message edited by Lobster -- 10/17/2015 3:26:25 PM >


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RE: TOAW IV features - 10/17/2015 3:23:50 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jakers123

1. probably the thing that I dislike the most about Toaw 3 is the fact that graphics look unacceptably bad for a 21.st century game, even for a strategy, when I say that I am talking about the resolution which is painfully small,...


I'm always perplexed when I see these sort of remarks, since I'm not experiencing them. It must have something to do with the latest and greatest PCs. Perhaps it would help if we got a screen shot of what you're seeing.

I have seen some shots where the game appears in only one corner of the screen and I think in those cases the player is helped to resolve it via compatibility settings or such. Regardless, be aware that TOAW III has a feature that allows the player to temporarily reduce his screen resolution while playing. Perhaps that would help if no other fix can be found.

As to the buttons I can't imagine anyone being unable to decipher the buttons after about 10 minutes of use. Each one has a tool tip description if you hover over it. My copy of Word has way more but it doesn't keep me from word processing one bit.

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Post #: 153
RE: TOAW IV features - 10/17/2015 6:42:12 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay


quote:

ORIGINAL: Jakers123

1. probably the thing that I dislike the most about Toaw 3 is the fact that graphics look unacceptably bad for a 21.st century game, even for a strategy, when I say that I am talking about the resolution which is painfully small,...


I'm always perplexed when I see these sort of remarks, since I'm not experiencing them. It must have something to do with the latest and greatest PCs. Perhaps it would help if we got a screen shot of what you're seeing.

I have seen some shots where the game appears in only one corner of the screen and I think in those cases the player is helped to resolve it via compatibility settings or such. Regardless, be aware that TOAW III has a feature that allows the player to temporarily reduce his screen resolution while playing. Perhaps that would help if no other fix can be found.

As to the buttons I can't imagine anyone being unable to decipher the buttons after about 10 minutes of use. Each one has a tool tip description if you hover over it. My copy of Word has way more but it doesn't keep me from word processing one bit.


I totally agree with everything Bob says.

The basic layout of hexagonal turn based war games has not changed much at all in the 52 years I have been playing them. To my knowledge the current batch of the computer ones all have a way to adjust resolution including TOAW. And the biggest plus for TOAW is that it's scenarios can represent every conflict and do it well from the late 1800s covering modern weaponry, ie, indirect fire, to the present. The next iteration will include huge improvements to naval warfare. I challenge anyone to come up with a game that does things as thoroughly as TOAW4 will and does them as well as TOAW. For all but the most picky wargamers the UI is just fine.

Everything under the sun can be improved. But those same improvements can make half the people happy and half the people unhappy.

Anyway, to make a long ramble even longer it would help if you, Jakers123, could post some specifics and examples you see in other wargames that are not FPS or arcade.

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Post #: 154
RE: TOAW IV features - 10/17/2015 9:44:26 PM   
Rasputitsa


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Have come back to TOAW4 after sometime to be pleasantly surprised about what I had been missing. The choice of operating modes, the ability to set objectives and have Elmer do some of my work, whilst I can concentrate on the important bits. Much better and more realistic than shoveling dozens and dozens of counters around myself.

Sometimes Elmer does something I didn't want, just like an actual subordinate might do. Compared to the 'take your whole lifespan' monster games on offer, TOAW4 is a welcome relief and working well in a 21st century 'Windows 10' environment.

The UI is dated, but does the job, short on glitz, but functional, wish that some of the new games delivered as much old fashioned fun.



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Post #: 155
RE: TOAW IV features - 10/20/2015 10:52:28 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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Will we have the option of having no unit selected? My search attempts yielded nothing on this, but I may have missed it. I sure would appreciate being able to hit escape to un-select a unit to avoid a movement path being displayed for the last unit selected. Not to mention the errors I inflict upon myself.

Regarding, graphics. As a map designer for another company, I think the TOAW maps are excellent for a hex-based map, which is pretty much the default for a user editable map. Comparing this type of map to a hand-painted map like WitE or WitW is comparing apples and oranges. It would be neat to enable the use of a bmp/jpg/png map image in conjunction with the transparent hex based system necessary for maintaining terrain data. This would allow intrepid designers to paint their own maps or use real world maps. It's been done. although it would require quite a bit of recoding.

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Post #: 156
RE: TOAW IV features - 10/20/2015 10:59:05 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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quote:

Will we have the option of having no unit selected?

I'm no expert but I think maybe the game engine always has a selected unit that it performs actions on. I'm not sure it's
possible not to have a 'selected' unit. With the current game engine.

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Post #: 157
RE: TOAW IV features - 10/21/2015 4:49:51 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

It would be neat to enable the use of a bmp/jpg/png map image in conjunction with the transparent hex based system necessary for maintaining terrain data. This would allow intrepid designers to paint their own maps or use real world maps.


I found one example of this of this - http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1605901

Generally, for TOAW, we can use HexThingy or the ODD program to get the hex overlay, although both of those are separate files. These do, however, make it possible to have the designers map of choice display the appropriate hex overlay, which is then used as a guide to make the TOAW map.

With this process, my opinion is that there is no need to spend coding time on TOAW in order to allow it to lay a transparent hex grid over a map. It's only one step and can easily be done elsewhere.

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Post #: 158
RE: TOAW IV features - 10/21/2015 4:56:05 PM   
sPzAbt653


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An example using HexThingy. This program uses Google to overlay the grid, so its zoom-able and pan-able, etc.




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RE: TOAW IV features - 10/21/2015 4:57:21 PM   
sPzAbt653


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And an example of using the ODD program to overlay a grid on an imported image file.




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RE: TOAW IV features - 10/21/2015 5:08:29 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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Yeah, that's a good map editor (would be nice for Campaign Series), but I was speaking in terms of being able to actually play on a map image (e.g. WitE/WitW)rather than a map composed of individual hex graphics (TOAW). In HPS Point of Attack 2 you could select to play on either - an actual topo map image/painted map image or 2 different hex graphic versions. Options. No doubt those doing the current coding have the skills to do this, but whether the cost benefit is there is questionable as most users seem happy with the current method


quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

I found one example of this of this - http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1605901

Generally, for TOAW, we can use HexThingy or the ODD program to get the hex overlay, although both of those are separate files. These do, however, make it possible to have the designers map of choice display the appropriate hex overlay, which is then used as a guide to make the TOAW map.

With this process, my opinion is that there is no need to spend coding time on TOAW in order to allow it to lay a transparent hex grid over a map. It's only one step and can easily be done elsewhere.


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RE: TOAW IV features - 10/21/2015 5:10:26 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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Only those doing the coding now can tell us whether it is possible.

quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson

quote:

Will we have the option of having no unit selected?

I'm no expert but I think maybe the game engine always has a selected unit that it performs actions on. I'm not sure it's possible not to have a 'selected' unit. With the current game engine.


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RE: TOAW IV features - 10/21/2015 7:45:09 PM   
governato

 

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`Desert War' (HERE is the thread) allows designers to add a (map) overlay over the underlying hex map. `Flashpoint Campaigns', WITW and WITE do it too.. It would be great for TOAW as well.

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Post #: 163
RE: TOAW IV features - 10/21/2015 11:13:20 PM   
sPzAbt653


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quote:

I was speaking in terms of being able to actually play on a map image


Oh, ok, I misunderstood that part. Sorry about that.

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/2/2015 9:40:37 AM   
timmyab

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: governato


`Desert War' (HERE is the thread) allows designers to add a (map) overlay over the underlying hex map. `Flashpoint Campaigns', WITW and WITE do it too.. It would be great for TOAW as well.

I don't think you can edit the map in WITE can you?

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Post #: 165
RE: TOAW IV features - 11/2/2015 2:05:19 PM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nicholas Bell

Yeah, that's a good map editor (would be nice for Campaign Series), but I was speaking in terms of being able to actually play on a map image (e.g. WitE/WitW)rather than a map composed of individual hex graphics (TOAW). In HPS Point of Attack 2 you could select to play on either - an actual topo map image/painted map image or 2 different hex graphic versions. Options. No doubt those doing the current coding have the skills to do this, but whether the cost benefit is there is questionable as most users seem happy with the current method


quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

I found one example of this of this - http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1605901

Generally, for TOAW, we can use HexThingy or the ODD program to get the hex overlay, although both of those are separate files. These do, however, make it possible to have the designers map of choice display the appropriate hex overlay, which is then used as a guide to make the TOAW map.

With this process, my opinion is that there is no need to spend coding time on TOAW in order to allow it to lay a transparent hex grid over a map. It's only one step and can easily be done elsewhere.




Exactly how is WitE/WitW a map image? No more so than TOAW uses map images. As for Point of Attack, a tactical game, have you made a scenario for this game? Seems to me the coding to do this for TOAW would call for throwing out most of the current coding and starting from scratch. Matrix won't do that, too much time and money.

An easier way to produce TOAW maps would be great. Overlay a topo map with a hex field then apply terrain and presto, TOAW map.

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/3/2015 9:19:59 PM   
Nicholas Bell

 

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quote:

Exactly how is WitE/WitW a map image? No more so than TOAW uses map images.

I think we are not communicating well here. The WitE/WitW "map" is a single painted png file which is sliced into rectangular pieces to reduce memory overhead. A TOAW "map" consists of individual hexagon portions of a master BMP file. I don't believe anyone is talking about actually using an actual map for to play on.

quote:

As for Point of Attack, a tactical game, have you made a scenario for this game? Seems to me the coding to do this for TOAW would call for throwing out most of the current coding and starting from scratch. Matrix won't do that, too much time and money.

As a matter of fact I have. I was on the design team and created the maps and the map graphics too. I don't think the fact that it is a tactical game has any bearing on the coding issue. Nor will I disagree with the fact that it would require significant coding resources. But the point is that it has been done in more than a few games, so it is possible.

quote:

An easier way to produce TOAW maps would be great. Overlay a topo map with a hex field then apply terrain and presto, TOAW map.

In this we are in complete agreement. This is exactly how the map editor in John Tiller's games work. Furthermore, this was retroactively coded into his early hex-only map editor which is further proof that there is the potential, if not the resources, to make this happen for TOAW.



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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/4/2015 3:36:20 AM   
Lobster


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I really don't think it would be all that hard to modify the editor to handle importing a topo map. The hex field would already be there. Then it would simply be a matter of applying the tiles. However, it took years to get a patch and then get a graphics update and some odds and ends and AI improvements. I can't see anything more being done in the next ten years. It would probably be quicker to learn a programming language and do it yourself.

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/4/2015 4:07:02 AM   
larryfulkerson

 

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quote:

Then it would simply be a matter of applying the tiles.

Applying what tile where would be a much easier task if you have the "map" on the display to apply tiles to.

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/6/2015 4:46:09 PM   
ETF


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Will it be like more modern wargames "WE GO" system rather than the older style (and unrealistic IMHO) "I GO U GO" for combat resolution?
Sorry if this has been mentioned?

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/7/2015 3:52:12 AM   
Lobster


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Modern WEGO games like Master of Orion(1993)? WEGO has been around for some time. Nah, it would take too much investment I do believe. TOAW4 will be the same 'old' IGO-UGO it has always been. But who knows what the future holds.

< Message edited by Lobster -- 11/7/2015 4:52:45 AM >


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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/7/2015 2:38:47 PM   
Jakers123

 

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Btw. would it be possible to make a real-time game option? You already have that actually, for example when you use a much, much more powerful battalion or whatever and attack a much weaker one, you basically finish the battle right away and the smaller one usually runs away and you can chase him and attack him again and again, sometimes making a 10,20 hex long line into the enemy's territory (which is uber unrealistic btw.), but regardless, it shows that you can have ,,battles" and move again and have them again all in a single turn, so would it be possible to add another mode in which you would have realtime settings? If I am not mistaken, Hearts of Iron or Darkest hour (or some similar game if not them, played it long time ago..) have both mods and simply turn by turn is not realistic because for example you can't retreat during the enemies turn and that makes it incredibly easy for the enemy to simply envelope you and vice versa.

< Message edited by Jakers123 -- 11/7/2015 3:42:17 PM >

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/7/2015 4:23:31 PM   
pz501


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I don't post much about TOAW, but figured I'd throw my two cents in.

All in all I have to agree with what Lobster is saying: TOAW IV is most likely going to be a 'super' TOAW, and could be the end of TOAW as we know it. Any brand new features like We-Go, real time, map overlays, etc. will just have to wait until a brand new system comes along. For me this is no problem - adding things now will only slow the process down more, and run the risk of breaking the entire design.

Everyone has their wish list, (Mine is for a more flexible and multi-leveled chain of command for the Forces/Units instead of what's in place right now...I know I'm not going to see this in TOAW IV, and that's just the way it is.) but I think we have to realize that IV is based on a system that has been stretched to it's limits.

Another thread mentions that a 'gold' target date has already been missed - no surprise really since most games under development tend to miss these, and this game in particular has taken years to get this far. I'm hopeful that we might see something released by the 2nd or 3rd Quarter of 2016.

What I would like to see are some 'in development' screen shots (even using place holder graphics) now and then, along with more information about what new scenarios are being worked on (to be honest, a few have been mentioned), and how the integration of all the new features is going. Maybe Ralph can be persuaded to put on an appearance from time to time, or individual testers/designers can be given freedom to comment?

So far, with a few exceptions information about the game has been a little slow in coming, and maybe there is a very restrictive NDA in place that prevents this. Sort of curious though, since other games that were being worked on (Campaign Series: Middle East was good example) have been very informative and open about their progress when they were in development.

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/7/2015 6:15:58 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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quote:

So far, with a few exceptions information about the game has been a little slow in coming, and maybe there is a very restrictive NDA in place that prevents this. Sort of curious though, since other games that were being worked on (Campaign Series: Middle East was good example) have been very informative and open about their progress when they were in development.

I agree with you. I would rather employ the players themselves as the beta testers since it's them that's going to use it when it's
finished. WITP-AE does it this way. Michael is constantly making changes per the reports of the players and it's working great.
I think the TOAW IV project has suffered in that Ralph is flesh and blood and can't devote the time necessary to develop this thing.
He has to work for a living I guess. Otherwise we would be done now.

Thomas Harvey and I have been playtesting his scenario's, new ones, developed specifically for TOAW IV and the one I'm most
interested in is his Pacific At War ( version 3.62 ) and we've found a few anomolies like HQ units that can sail like ships and AA
units that can't move overland and have to be stationed at ports that have airfields. Things like that. Thomas has fixed them and we
restarted here recently and we're on turn 14 already ( there's about 190 turns in the game ). I'm the Jap player and I'm just about to
take over all of China and march my dudes into Burma and then India. It's exciting. I'm going to see if we can't move the AAR to the
public board when the final release happens. Which should be soon I'm guessing. Oh yeah, there's the Ralph problem. D'oh.

Anyway, he's used the same map, cut down, to build several smaller shorter scenario's that we've already playtested. Like his
Operation MI ( Midway ), the Battle for the Eastern Solomons ( Guadalcanal ), the Battle for the Coral Sea, and
he's now working on a semi-large version of the Battle for Leyte where the Japs are invading the PI. Those also had AARs
that need to be moved to the public board.

John Fogger and Thomas Harvey are playtesting FITE2 and it's going well so far. There's a special color scheme in use for
the FITE2 units and it organizes the formations remarkably. FITE has come a long way it seems. I've obtained a copy
of FITE2 and I've opened it up and have moved some units around and it's looking good.

I too think there should be some screenshot teasers. I'd like to get the playters opinion on the new look for TOAW IV. There's
been some discussion among the beta team members about the pros and cons of the new look. Mostly pro. It's been changed
for the better I think.

I'm working on a graphics mod for my Barbarosa '41 v.4.6 so that the units simply pop on the screen. I'm looking for a sort of
shiny plastic sheen on the counters. Plus I'm trying to figure out how to replace the simple green background with a splash screen
of some troops rushing out of a Landing Craft onto the beach under an overcast sky or something.

Maybe if we put up a petition to Matrix they will relent and let us post some screenshots. What do the rest of you say?

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/7/2015 6:34:05 PM   
pz501


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Larry,

This sounds like a great idea (open beta), as long as everybody realizes that some aspects of the design are, and must be, locked. Otherwise Ralph would be overwhelmed with requests and demands for different features. On the positive side, you move the testing and input away from a small, select group and open it up for examination by the end users. Not meaning to criticize, but I'm sure we've all seen examples of games being released after a ton of development that just made you wonder who tested this? And how did they overlook x,y, or z? Again, I'm not throwing stones - I have no idea who's doing what, and how the testing process is run, obviously.

I don't know who the controller is so far as open betas or NDA's are concerned, but I'd sign on to any petition being made to whomever that might be.

As you point out the WiTP-AE beta updates are a one man show, and he updates the .exe quite regularly taking user comments into account. This hasn't hurt that design one bit, and has improved it greatly.

As you also say, another benefit of an open beta would be for scenario designers to gauge the public reaction to their efforts, and make changes and improvements if those are of any merit.

Anyway, I love your ideas (hope you didn't violate any rules by saying too much), and I'd sure like to see them implemented.

< Message edited by pz501 -- 11/7/2015 8:00:52 PM >

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/7/2015 7:33:14 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

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Anybody know which file it is that you have to change to make a new splash screen? I thought it was innerPlaque.png but that didn't
change anything.

This is the picture I want to use as the splash screen instead of the plain green background.




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< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 11/7/2015 8:41:34 PM >


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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/8/2015 2:53:05 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson

Anybody know which file it is that you have to change to make a new splash screen? I thought it was innerPlaque.png but that didn't
change anything.

This is the picture I want to use as the splash screen instead of the plain green background.




neutraltexture_1152.bmp I made mine 1920x1080. The frame that will appear in the middle is something I have not found in the Graphics folder. I think it's hard coded. That is where cwtitle.bmp goes. It's the little picture in the middle of your splash screen. I use a 580x335 picture there if I bother to put one at all.






Attachment (1)

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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/8/2015 3:00:06 AM   
Lobster


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This is what it looks like when you start the game. Frame in the middle and at the bottom with buttons. Wish I could find a way to eliminate that middle frame. You can use different colored buttons to make them easier to see. Personally I'd use a higher definition photo than what you have there. But that's just me.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Lobster -- 11/8/2015 4:04:04 AM >


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RE: TOAW IV features - 11/8/2015 3:01:59 AM   
larryfulkerson

 

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Looks real good. Thanks for the tips.

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RE: TOAW IV features - 2/4/2016 3:17:29 PM   
Tamas

 

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Pinned so it doesn't get lost!

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