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RE: Modding Tool - 3/28/2016 10:32:59 AM   
Hermundure

 

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WOW, very nice work Sabran!
Cant wait to test it this evening :-)

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Post #: 31
RE: Modding Tool - 3/28/2016 10:55:49 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Well Hermundure, when you do that you can enjoy write functionality to the races subfolder. I've just published revision 10.

Only thing left to do before I consider 0.1.1 done is pretty up the races form a bit, group things a bit more intelligently and try to find a better balance between having to scroll and not using up too much screen space. Nothing that should require any actual coding though.

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Post #: 32
RE: Modding Tool - 4/4/2016 11:07:44 PM   
Shogouki


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Things still going well?

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Post #: 33
RE: Modding Tool - 4/5/2016 8:55:46 AM   
phi6

 

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Hey, this looks really interesting, been keeping up with this. Do you have any screenshots of what the tool looks like to use?

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Post #: 34
RE: Modding Tool - 4/5/2016 12:57:12 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Aye don't worry Shogouki, it's still happening it's just that at the moment I don't have anything new to show because the changes are going on behind the scenes in the form of improved code.

And phi6, you can download and use the tool now, if you don't want to risk problems just don't hit the main menu button that says "Output Changes to Disk" and it won't change any files. You can still browse a mod and see how it works.

All the same here's an example of the research screen with a component improvement, and the resource editor with it's location information.




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 35
RE: Modding Tool - 4/5/2016 1:27:45 PM   
phi6

 

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Looks great! I will definitely give this a try :)

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Post #: 36
RE: Modding Tool - 4/5/2016 3:33:37 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Ok I've published 0.1.1, so we now have a decent races form. Unfortunately there's just no way to shrink the form any more without making it really difficult to use or splitting bits of it into subforms, so I'll stick to the layout as it is. Might revisit it later as I go through 0.2.x if I have any bright ideas to make it prettier. The races form is by far the biggest one with over 4.6K lines of code behind it!

Next up will be policies. This should be a fair bit easier, the files are much smaller and a fair bit of code can probably be copied right out of the races form. The only minor issue I can foresee is the pirate subfolder, but that shouldn't be too difficult work with.

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Post #: 37
RE: Modding Tool - 4/7/2016 2:24:21 AM   
Shark7


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Man I could have really used this when I was making my test mod. Biggest problem I had was text errors.

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Post #: 38
RE: Modding Tool - 4/7/2016 11:24:26 AM   
Osito


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I have to say this does look very good. Congratulations on what you have done so far. Despite my original scepticism, I may have to start using it myself!

Osito

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Post #: 39
RE: Modding Tool - 4/7/2016 6:56:46 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Thanks Osito, people's scepticism was pretty much the reason I decided to publish from the get-go. If I end up in a coma or something at least you can use what's done so far!

And thinking about it whatís done so far is actually a good chunk of the entire project, Policies, Characters, Dialogue and Design Templates are the only folders left to do.

At that point (should be 0.1.5) itíll be a complete and usable tool for any mod. Still work to be done, need to link in image and sound files to the forms, implement data validation and user guidance (I currently anticipate 0.2.5 to be the last main build before a final release of 1.0.0) but those things are really bonuses to make things easier or more convenient, core functionality should be done in the near future.

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Post #: 40
RE: Modding Tool - 4/8/2016 10:29:33 PM   
Sabranan

 

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With Revision 5 I'm at a stage where the policies form is looking pretty good. It now works, and even allows you to output data!

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Post #: 41
RE: Modding Tool - 4/15/2016 8:35:07 AM   
Drybreeze


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I have had DWU working for awhile and have had some success in modding it (just started).
I found this thread and thought I'd give your program a go.
I downloaded and went to install this tool to try it.
Windows began downloading a huge file while installing the Microsoft NET framework. Since I have a very limited monthly internet cap I clicked "cancel" and it informed me helpfully that it would stop once it had finished... useful.
So the NET framework finished downloading and installing, and then prompted me to restart. I can open the launch menu fine by clicking "play" in steam, but DWU won't do anything when I click "Play Distant Worlds" on the launch menu.

I can't uninstall it and re-install it because steam tells me I'll have to re-download all the files again... (again: very tight download limit on my internet plan). So... yeah... I'm a bit miffed. Any suggestions on what I've done wrong or how to fix it?

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Post #: 42
RE: Modding Tool - 4/15/2016 11:41:50 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Hi Drybreeze, sorry youíve had such a bad experience with it!

Sadly, I donít get much control over how the setup program works because Visual Studio automatically generates it and having the .NET framework is a prerequisite of running the mod tool.

That said it can be interrupted by killing it in task manager or disconnecting yourself from the internet.

Reading the rest of your post though Iím not clear on whether youíve actually run the tool and had it output files? Thereís no way it could have caused an error like that just by installing it so Iíll work on the assumption that youíve loaded up a mod in it and run the output command.

The situation you describe can happen when DW canít load up a file, but it should store a crash log in:

%appdata%\Code Force Limited\Distant Worlds\1.9.5.12\DW crash log.txt
or
%systemdrive%\Users\YOURUSERNAME\Documents\my games\Distant Worlds Universe

That file should mention the name of the .txt file that it failed on and the line number of the file, which you can then open to see if itís done something wrong.

It would be useful to have a copy of the file that caused the problem (you can just zip it and upload it here), the line number it failed on and the exact name of the mod you were using. That way I can fix whatever caused it.

< Message edited by Sabranan -- 4/15/2016 12:07:59 PM >

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Post #: 43
RE: Modding Tool - 4/15/2016 2:05:35 PM   
mordachai


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Great work!

A request: that the form windows be resizeable and that the table-views (or whatever they're called - your controls within them) respond to resizing - which would reduce the issues of large forms. Big monitors require big windows :D

Really nice. I had a CTD a couple days ago when just playing around to see what the interfaces looked like - some drop-down. Sorry - it happened quickly (CTD without error message - just blink - gone). I wasn't focused on anything in particular, so I don't even recall where in the app I was...

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Post #: 44
RE: Modding Tool - 4/15/2016 10:17:04 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Thanks mordachai, I quite agree that it would be better if it was responsive to different sizes but that's something I'll have to do some research on before I can implement. It is something I intend to do, but not until my second pass over all the forms which will start to happen when I get up to 0.2.0. Right now I just want it all functional.

Regarding the crash, I have experienced this a couple times while debugging and I'm honestly not sure what causes it. It's always with the drop-down boxes, but it doesn't seem like anything should be causing it to crash and the debugger doesn't report any error message, it just stops. If you manage to find a way to consistently reproduce that problem, I'd sure like to know about it!

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Post #: 45
RE: Modding Tool - 4/16/2016 4:54:37 AM   
mordachai


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I'll let you know. I haven't really played with it since - been onto other things for the moment. Resize is nice - but if it's a whole line of research for you - then not worth it - more of a "if it's easy, it'd be nice."

Funny - my code toolbox includes good resize support - but lacks even serviceable drag & drop support. :P

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Post #: 46
RE: Modding Tool - 4/18/2016 11:11:51 AM   
Drybreeze


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Hi again,

I have discovered where I went wrong, and it was entirely my own fault (bad modding format in the resource.txt) which causes the game to launch once, show the error, and if the error isn't addressed the next time you run it, it simply doesn't load. The error can be found in the \Documents\My Games\Distant Worlds Universe folder, in the file "DW_CrashDump.txt" which conveniently tells you exactly where the problem is, right down to the last line number and problematic variable. Snaps for awesome mod-friendly programming, Slitherine!

So yeah, total coincidence that it was while trying to install your program Sabranan! Sorry about that! :)

EDIT > your response and Slitherine's support email both contained the same pointer, so thanks again!

< Message edited by Drybreeze -- 4/18/2016 11:14:15 AM >

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Post #: 47
RE: Modding Tool - 4/18/2016 6:16:18 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Splendid news Drybreeze!

I'm now done on first pass for the policies form, so I've just published 0.1.2. Next up is characters. Should be a fairly simple form, each line only has 15 variables as opposed to the 162 that the policy files have!

As always I'll publish new revisions as I get new bits of the characters form working, but it won't be included in the output to disk until it's actually functional.

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Post #: 48
RE: Modding Tool - 4/20/2016 11:40:03 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Published revision 3 for 0.1.2 today, so you guys have a look at how the characters form is coming along. No file output yet but I'll get there! The form itself works pretty nicely, although I do find it a little annoying that you can only examine one line at a time. Will have to come up with something so you can at least see the names of the others.

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Post #: 49
RE: Modding Tool - 4/23/2016 2:38:48 AM   
Shogouki


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Even with Stellaris on the horizon I'm extremely excited about this. Excellent work Sabranan and thanks!

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Post #: 50
RE: Modding Tool - 4/26/2016 5:25:58 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Just published revision 4 and the Characters form is now about done. It now outputs along with everything else and I've made it so when you open up the Character ID drop down box it'll show you the names of your characters. That should make it easier to switch between them if you've got more than a handful of characters per file.

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Post #: 51
RE: Modding Tool - 5/3/2016 7:41:56 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Finally found some time to do some debugging, and pleased to say that the characters form seems to be working perfectly. If anyone finds any issues with it please let me know, but as it is I present 0.1.3 in the OP.

As always, you shouldnít need to re-download the setup if you have a previous version thatís at least 0.0.6. Just run the program from your start menu and itíll auto-update.

I've not been able to get online as much as I'd like due to working a lot of extra hours (my manager being on holiday this week), but the nice thing is Iím on holiday next week, so plenty of time to work on the dialog form for 0.1.4!

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 52
RE: Modding Tool - 5/6/2016 5:37:25 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Ok, just published revision 1 of 0.1.3, there's no actual form or code changes but it targets .NET framework 4.0 instead of 4.6.1, so there should no longer be a need for a large download as long as you're running Windows 8 or 10. Windows 7 comes with the 3.5 framework so that or any prior OS will still require an update, but targeting those frameworks causes lots of issues to show up.

Thanks to Drybreeze for getting me to think about that!

I suspect you'll need to redownload the updated setup in my OP to be able to skip the .NET download, but the setup is only ~500 KB so it shouldn't cause any issues with metered connections.

For those of you who have already got the 4.6.1 framework, you don't need to do anything. It's entirely backwards compatible so it should continue to run as per normal.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 53
RE: Modding Tool - 5/7/2016 3:40:56 AM   
Drybreeze


Posts: 129
Joined: 4/15/2016
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Hotness.
/me downloads and trials.


EDIT > Just installed fine (super fast) no issues whatsoever.

Feedback:
Wow. Just wow.

First of all, it immediately notified me of an error in the Picard Era Mod that I pointed at, which is in Benzite.txt (race folder) - the variable:
quote:

CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceLeader ;0.6

was incorrectly written in the file as
quote:

CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceLeader 0.6


Very convenient - I haven't looked at this file at all yet, and your program directed me to exactly what the problem was and how to fix it. Nice work.

Then I've opened up research.txt to view it, and the way your editor allows me to cross-link parents and set resources and all this stuff from pop-down menus. Yeah, wow. Thanks soooo much for making this, it's going to make life so much easier.

EDIT 2 > One bit of improvement feedback - your program only allows 5 resources per component. I know that the TXT file says "maximum of 5" and no doubt that's why you've done it, but trust me when I say that the maximum is in fact 6. On every component. If you could please adjust it to allow that, otherwise my component.txt would in fact go backwards using your program. Over half my components use 6 resources (and honestly I wish I could have more but sadly the game actually doesn't allow more than 6). I have no idea why the text file remarks say there's a max of 5 when in fact it's 6, but test it, it's true.

< Message edited by Drybreeze -- 5/7/2016 4:07:45 AM >


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Post #: 54
RE: Modding Tool - 5/7/2016 4:54:20 AM   
ehsumrell1


Posts: 2508
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From: The Briar Patch Nebula
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Drybreeze

...First of all, it immediately notified me of an error in the Picard Era Mod that I pointed at, which is in Benzite.txt (race folder) - the variable:
quote:

CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceLeader ;0.6

was incorrectly written in the file as
quote:

CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceLeader 0.6



Hello Drybreeze;

Just FYI, the aforementioned error was in an early test version of our Picard Era Mod version one, based on
DW Universe version 1.9.5.6a. If you've used any files from that mod version as a reference model, I suggest
you download the latest current version of our Picard Mod here: http://www.mediafire.com/download/wkok33ub14ouixv/DW+Universe-STPE+Ver+2.zip

I wouldn't want to see you waste time hunting an error from an outdated mod file you may be using for reference in the
fine work you're doing.

In the DW release version onward I used (1.9.5.10), the section of the Benzite race text file you reference shows:
"'random character appearance chance: Minimum=0, Normal=1.0, Maximum=3.0
CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceLeader ;0.2
CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceAmbassador ;1.2
CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceGovernor ;1.2
CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceAdmiral ;0.8
CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceGeneral ;0.8
CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceScientist ;1.3
CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceIntelligenceAgent ;1.1
CharacterRandomAppearanceChanceShipCaptain ;1.2
CharacterRandomAppearanceChancePirateLeader ;1.0"


During DW Universe beta testing, we found out that syntax errors such as the aforementioned (missing semi-colons
or commas for instance
), causes game crashes if/when a command request requires interaction with a bad text file
(particularly within the 'biases', 'character' and 'races' file).

Please keep your excellent modding ongoing!

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Post #: 55
RE: Modding Tool - 5/7/2016 6:27:30 AM   
Drybreeze


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Oh I had no idea I was using an outdated mod!
The current one must be amazing because the one I'm using is already excellent.

Thank you for your kind words... I hope I can produce a mod even a fraction as nice as yours.

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Post #: 56
RE: Modding Tool - 5/7/2016 8:51:59 AM   
Drybreeze


Posts: 129
Joined: 4/15/2016
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After having tested your modding tool for awhile today, I have noticed a few things as potential improvements for your tool:

1) It likes to add the following line in research.txt entries
quote:

COMPONENT IMPROVEMENTS ;3,

For example:
quote:


PROJECT ;6, Cyclic Firing Sequencing, 3, 1, 0, 19, 0, 0.0,
COMPONENTS ;3
COMPONENT IMPROVEMENTS ;3,
PARENTS ;379, N

...and also blanks which the game doesn't like:
quote:

COMPONENT IMPROVEMENTS ;, , , , , , , ,

...which I must manually edit out of each entry it's added it into before the game will launch.

2) It doesn't add a comma after resource #9 in resource.txt, which means again I have to manually go through and add this on any entry that I've made 9 distrubution points for.

3) The modding tool outputs files (over-writing my own) even if I haven't edited them in the modding tool... for example resources.txt. It would be nice if it only output files that I actually modified in the tool, so that I didn't need to manually correct any issues it's written into files that I didn't use it to edit in the first place.

Even with these minor issues your tool makes things far simpler to address... just with a bit of "after editing" cleanup. It's a very nice tool.

< Message edited by Drybreeze -- 5/7/2016 9:44:22 AM >


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Post #: 57
RE: Modding Tool - 5/7/2016 2:37:00 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Hey Drybreeze, firstly, thank you so much for providing actual feedback! I've only had one other user do anything similar via PM, and this has been an issue. I've been the only one who really tests the tool and naturally I end up biased or missing potential opportunities.

1) Can you upload a research.txt file that ends up outputting the behaviour you describe? My own ones don't seem to do this.

2) I've changed a bit of code that could well be responsible for this, but again, in my own resources.txt I don't see this behaviour. Can you try it out and if it's still leaving out the comma let me have a resource.txt to play with too?

3) Done! Iíve stuck checkboxes next to the form buttons on the main menu, and some buttons to manipulate them on mass (select all, none or invert). For now, they automatically check themselves when you open a form, but you can manually alter them for any form thatís loaded into the program.

I will at some point deal with the components being able to accept 6 resources too, but thatíll require more work and will have to wait until Monday. Iíve got to get ready for work now!

That gives us revision 2 of 0.1.3, which Iíve just published. When you next run the tool it should ask you if you want to update, do so and itíll let you see what Iíve changed.

(in reply to Drybreeze)
Post #: 58
RE: Modding Tool - 5/7/2016 9:50:20 PM   
Capshades

 

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Oh I'd be happy to help with feedback, I was just going to wait until you have all components of the mod building process finished before trying to use it to work on my own mod.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 59
RE: Modding Tool - 5/8/2016 2:22:05 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Well, I couldn't sleep so I've gone ahead and sorted the component form so it can accept 6 resources and published it as revision 3. Couple bugfixes I noticed in the research form too, but sadly I still canít reproduce the issue with it putting random COMPONENT IMPROVEMENTS lines in. If you can find a way to consistently reproduce that behaviour Iíd like to know!

@Capshades

I understand that, I donít expect that people will use it to build mods just yet. Still, as Iím building it is an ideal time to get in there with feature requests or feedback on ease of use etc. Ultimately itíll be you guys using it, so itís in your own interest to let me know what would make things easier for you to actually mod! ;)

(in reply to Capshades)
Post #: 60
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