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RE: Modding Tool - 6/18/2016 4:09:32 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Iím definitely open to suggestions on appropriate graphics!

For 0.2.5 I want to basically tidy everything up and make it look pretty, so I certainly wouldnít mind replacing the buttons with some kind of decent image. Quite possibly a DW or at least space themed background image for the forms and splash screen too.

Ultimately I want every form to fit well on a 720p screen, which is obviously going to require some tweaking at the moment. But that means background images neednít be that large, and with jpeg compression you can get perfectly reasonable large images at less than 1MB.

The application icon could pretty much be done anytime; the file is going to be tiny (it only needs to be 256 x 256 pixels at most after all) and itís no trouble at all to actually set that up. So Iíll include that as soon as I find or get sent one I like.

So yeah, if you or anyone following this wants to contribute pictures or artwork for the tool feel free to post it in this thread or pm/email it to me.

Naturally anything I end up using in the app will be credited appropriately (note to self, an ďAbout this AppĒ form would be a really good idea), so if anyone sends me stuff be sure to include the name youíd like to be credited as!

(in reply to Drybreeze)
Post #: 121
RE: Modding Tool - 6/20/2016 5:34:41 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Couple of changes for Revision 15.

The application itself now uses an icon, I need to make sure it actually gets implemented properly on publish so for now Iíve just set it to a generic NASA image of a galaxy. It should appear both as the icon before launch and in the top left of the Main Menu title bar.

If anyone has any better suggestions for an icon Iím all ears!

Iíve also made a very basic ďAbout this AppĒ form, its main purpose will be to hold the credits section. At the moment the only entry is the above NASA image.

I also realised that even with the ability to set whatever image you like, people still might need to set the image indexes themselves. Iíve tried a more advanced method with the Component formís Pictureref field, so weíll see how that goes.

Edit:

I'm currently updating my NAS from 2TB to 6TB drives, and while it does function during this performance might suffer so you might have trouble updating during this time. I expect the whole process to be done in about 10 hours!

< Message edited by Sabranan -- 6/20/2016 5:51:46 PM >

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 122
RE: Modding Tool - 6/29/2016 8:14:53 AM   
Shogouki


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Things still going well?

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 123
RE: Modding Tool - 7/12/2016 6:22:12 PM   
Sabranan

 

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So I've pretty much taken an enforced break due to being ill, fighting with my NAS and dealing with some personal stuff.

I was off work for more than a week and that was down to what was basically an oversized cold. Most people just coughed a lot and got a bit of a sore throat, for me it was bad enough that I actually had trouble breathing.

As for the NAS apparently you can't just stick in a new drive and extend the volume oh no, you have to make new volumes and copy the data back and forth 3 times. I wouldn't mind except that I've got damn close to 2TB of data and it takes all day to do a single copy.

The nice part is I am now better and my NAS is rocking a pair of 6TB drives.

Bottom line is I'm back and continuing work on the tool. Right now I'm working on extending the changes to the Component Image to every other image, I'll push an update once it's looking good.

(in reply to Shogouki)
Post #: 124
RE: Modding Tool - 7/13/2016 1:26:06 AM   
Capshades

 

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Good to hear, glad you're back and healthy again

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 125
RE: Modding Tool - 7/13/2016 7:38:22 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Ok, Iíve just published revision 16 which has all the image references used showing the image and allowing the user to set it to something else, with the exception of the 3 in the races form. I think Iíll wait until Iíve redesigned it before I bother with that, itís too big as it is!

It also shows the actual index number so you can set it. If you want to set it to a different index and replace the image, just make sure you set the index number first, then select the file you want to replace it with.

(in reply to Capshades)
Post #: 126
RE: Modding Tool - 7/15/2016 12:41:48 AM   
Sabranan

 

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So for 0.1.6 we have all the images in the forms except the races form, and the start of the sound replacement. The sound effect in the components form is now working pretty well.

Ideally I would have liked it if you could press play, then the play button would turn into a stop button until the sound finished or it was clicked, then turned back into a play button. Sadly it wasn't to be, because VB can't seem to actually detect when a sound is playing.

So I've gone with just having separate play/stop buttons, it works fine and the program doesn't seem to mind if you hit stop while there's no sound playing anyway.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 127
RE: Modding Tool - 7/16/2016 1:04:59 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Very tasty update in revision 1 for 0.1.6 (that's nothing whatsoever to do with sound) today, I now have the create/delete/insert project working in the research form. I wanted to see if I could make it work and several hours later here we are!

Creating a project is pretty simple as you might expect, it just adds a new blank project on to the end of your project list. Set the values and output, job's a good'un.

Inserting/deleting a project was more difficult. I believe I've solved it but please double check what it's doing and report any bugs to me (and keep backups).

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 128
RE: Modding Tool - 7/17/2016 5:06:46 AM   
Sabranan

 

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So revision 2 was a minor bugfix for an issue introduced by revision 1 when trying to load files.

As there's only 2 locations involving sound files the latest update puts us on 0.1.7. It has the weapon sound effect in the fighters form done. It works just like the one in the components form, in fact since the files are stored in the same folder it was really just a copy/paste job.

I've also introduced some more error handling into the input process, it'll now detect if your research projects are out of sequence and tell you where it happened so you can go fix it. Ideally I'd like to just read them in and sort it, but sorting a 3 dimensional array with potentially over 400K entries turns out to be rather complex not to mention time consuming on the CPU.

That is everything for the 0.1 release.

My plan for the moment is to work on:

- Redesign the design templates, races and policies forms and place image/sound handling into the races form.
- Setting images up like the sound files so selecting a file in the mod folders image folder doesn't screw it up.
- Make images display their progress in output like the sound files do.

Thatís the stuff Iíve put off for a while because of the amount of time itíll likely take. It needs doing though, so when it is all done Iíll publish 0.2!

0.2 is where the real fun begins. The basic plan is as follows:

0.2.1.0 Allow create/delete/insert for every form that could do with it.
0.2.2.0 Create proper user guidance on forms (tooltips/labels) to make editing more intuitive.
0.2.3.0 Implement data validation to restrict entries by user.

There might be more too that Iíve forgotten. But pretty much by the time I get to 0.3 I want it to be as functional and easy to use as itís going to get. Then in 0.3 Iíll be looking at graphics, by which point there shouldnít be any more coding to do so itíll literally be choose image, place image.

I also realised I forgot to update the OP when I published 0.1.6. Up to date now!

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 129
RE: Modding Tool - 7/17/2016 8:20:44 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 1 of 0.1.7 has the design templates form redesigned. It now shows all the variables on screen at the same time rather than making you choose which one to edit.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 130
RE: Modding Tool - 7/22/2016 12:06:30 AM   
Shogouki


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sabranan

So I've pretty much taken an enforced break due to being ill, fighting with my NAS and dealing with some personal stuff.

I was off work for more than a week and that was down to what was basically an oversized cold. Most people just coughed a lot and got a bit of a sore throat, for me it was bad enough that I actually had trouble breathing.

As for the NAS apparently you can't just stick in a new drive and extend the volume oh no, you have to make new volumes and copy the data back and forth 3 times. I wouldn't mind except that I've got damn close to 2TB of data and it takes all day to do a single copy.

The nice part is I am now better and my NAS is rocking a pair of 6TB drives.

Bottom line is I'm back and continuing work on the tool. Right now I'm working on extending the changes to the Component Image to every other image, I'll push an update once it's looking good.



Ack! Sorry to hear that you were ill but I'm glad your doing better now. And yeah, copying 2TB of data 3 times over is a bit extreme and time consuming!

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 131
RE: Modding Tool - 7/23/2016 7:16:59 PM   
Capshades

 

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Really, really looking forward to 0.3!

(in reply to Shogouki)
Post #: 132
RE: Modding Tool - 7/27/2016 2:52:53 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 2 has my first pass at making the races form a little more presentable. I've decided to group similar fields together and give the user the ability to select which ones to make visible, while keeping certain fields that are more common visible all the time. Seems like a reasonable compromise between forcing the user to select from a list every time he wants to edit a single value and having everything on the screen at once.

It's defo smaller than it was, so hopefully it'll be easier to use.

(in reply to Capshades)
Post #: 133
RE: Modding Tool - 7/28/2016 1:04:59 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Just published revision 3, much the same idea as revision 2 but for the policies form. This one really lent itself well to this kind of shrinking due to all the checkboxes, which take up very little space individually but due to the way they needed to be separated nicely it ended up making the form much larger than it needed to be. The form is smaller than the races form now even though it had more fields to work with so Iím pretty happy with that.

That means the only thing left before I can publish 0.2 is to sort out the images. At the moment you can choose a file in the mod folder for sound files and it just switches to using that file, but it doesnít yet work for images. I also need to make it so that it outputs debugging info when itís handling images.

The nice thing is the code is already done because itís the same as the sound files, just with different folder paths and file extensions. Might even get it done tonight at this rate!

< Message edited by Sabranan -- 7/28/2016 1:05:26 AM >

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 134
RE: Modding Tool - 7/31/2016 4:51:24 AM   
Sabranan

 

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So that was a lot more complex than I thought.

It is done though, so with revision 4 I have the races form updated to include the race image (and the alternate image too), it shows file copying info in the output log for images and setting images to the output location shouldnít cause crashes.

I still want to go over it to make sure I havenít screwed up anywhere, but once Iíve done that Iíll publish as 0.2!

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 135
RE: Modding Tool - 7/31/2016 10:45:02 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Couple of minor issues later and weíre on 0.2, another major milestone passed!

0.2 will be all about quality improvements. The create/insert/delete project will be expanded to the other forms, and then itís just about restricting what the user can enter into each textbox and providing tooltips or error messages telling them why they canít set their reproduction rate to ďpoopooĒ.

Of course most of it is pretty intuitive anyway, but itís easy to make mistakes or put in values that are too high/low for DW to deal with.

The other thing I want to do is set the tab indexes more intelligently. Right now theyíre just at their default values, so pressing the ďtabĒ button might move you to the next logical field to edit, or it might select almost anything else on the form. Another thing to resolve before 0.3.

That said though, aside from the ability to create and delete items itís all perfectly functional. 0.2.1 will have that completed too.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 136
RE: Modding Tool - 8/3/2016 10:47:25 AM   
Sabranan

 

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As it turns out images licenced under GPL mean you have to have your source code available. Since I donít, Iíve decided to remove the start/stop buttons and replace them with icons licenced with a free licence that only requires attribution.

Dead simple update, but obligatory since it removes a potential GPL violation.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 137
RE: Modding Tool - 8/6/2016 8:20:15 PM   
Capshades

 

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Have you found all the unstated restrictions on mod changes? I know people have found a lot of them, like the upper effective limit on colony growth rate tech, gold having to be in the game regardless, etc...

Might be nice to include on the input restrictions

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 138
RE: Modding Tool - 8/6/2016 9:05:57 PM   
Sabranan

 

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I've found or been told about a fair few of them I think, but it's hard to locate unstated restrictions!

Limits on things like how many research projects or components you can have are saved as constants in the program, so if I find out later that there's a different limit to the one I've set it's dead easy to change.

I recall Drybreeze mentioning the gold issue, but I haven't looked into it properly myself yet. I haven't heard anything about the colony growth limit, but I'm not sure I could really handle that even if I knew the limit. Even if a user had that ability on more projects than they needed to hit the cap, they might intend it to be that way or the player might still not be able to hit the limit because of racial restrictions on the tech.

(in reply to Capshades)
Post #: 139
RE: Modding Tool - 8/8/2016 1:33:27 AM   
Landris

 

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I can't be sure, but I think your editor removed a line it shouldn't have from research.txt, namely in a tech that had two "ABILITIES" lines, it removed the first of them (the tech that enables resupply ships).

I should also mention great work so far, it's looking fantastic, super useful!

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 140
RE: Modding Tool - 8/8/2016 6:06:51 PM   
Sabranan

 

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That would be the Accelerated Construction tech, but the base game research.txt only has one "ABILITIES" line (and with techs that have two abilities, they're contained on a single line), so I'm guessing this is a modded research.txt you're editing? I haven't actually encountered this but if two abilities lines work properly in game I'll look at how I can handle that.

As it stands though the tool expects the abilities to be on a single line, so it would remove one or the other if you had two. I'll see what I can do about it this evening.

(in reply to Landris)
Post #: 141
RE: Modding Tool - 8/8/2016 6:13:06 PM   
Landris

 

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Ah yes you're absolutely right, it's a modded research.txt but I didn't realize that particular thing wasn't in the base game. The two "abilities" lines do work in-game. In case it's helpful, I'll put it here, it's from Research Unleashed (and also present originally in the AI Improvement Mod). Maybe it could condense them into one line? Although not sure if that's worth the coding effort.

PROJECT ;106, Enhanced Construction, 2, 32, 1, 3, 0, 0.0,
ABILITIES ;Resupply Ships, 3, 3, 0, 1
ABILITIES ;Increased Construction Size, 2, 2, 400, 0
PARENTS ;105, N

Thanks!

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 142
RE: Modding Tool - 8/8/2016 6:54:09 PM   
Sabranan

 

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It's not as difficult as you might think to deal with, the program reads both lines already but because it's only expecting one ability line the second simply overrides the first.

Anyway, should be sorted now with revision 2. You'll get a note in the input log about it if it happens when you load a mod.

(in reply to Landris)
Post #: 143
RE: Modding Tool - 8/9/2016 7:03:38 AM   
Nightskies

 

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Hello, Sabranan (and others interested in the project). Let me tell you about my day. It started with a solid, satisfying workday. Then relaxing at home, a bit of reading and a little coffee causes inspiration to continue my presently personal mod project. I get annoyed at the Firepower functionality. So I start searching the internet for a way to make my own formula for firepower.

Instead, my focus comes to this thread. Read to page 3, and started getting excited. Read to page 5, register to forum, then hesitantly downloaded your work. After fiddling with a test folder for a minute, I get a little emotional. This won't just save time. It will preserve coherency for making adjustments across the board for other big changes and finding errors, especially when it comes to racial design templates and characters. A mere 10 minutes of work using this on my project and one of my biggest annoyances with it gets fixed.

Sir, you deserve a drink at least. I'm hoping I'll find time to also help you get this done- even if not, it's a great help as is.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 144
RE: Modding Tool - 8/9/2016 7:02:27 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Itís wonderful to hear Iím making modding easier for people, it's the whole point of this project. So thank you for your kind words Nightskies!

(in reply to Nightskies)
Post #: 145
RE: Modding Tool - 8/12/2016 4:53:56 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 3 is up, and allows creating, inserting and deleting components in the same way as research projects work. Itís a pain in the ass to actually code it to catch the various possible references to components in the research and races forms but it does work really beautifully!

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 146
RE: Modding Tool - 8/20/2016 1:13:00 AM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 4 is up, a few things to note:

The input process now detects if there are multiple prioritize build wonders stored in a policies file. Iím guessing this was allowed in older versions of DW, but since Universe doesnít support it the tool will use only the first entry and inform the user in the debug output.

The facilities form now allows creating/inserting/deleting facilities, just like research and components.

The remaining root folder forms now all support creating new projects, although not deleting or inserting yet.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 147
RE: Modding Tool - 8/22/2016 8:10:34 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 5 is up, fighters can now be created, inserted or deleted.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 148
RE: Modding Tool - 9/5/2016 4:50:57 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Iím on holiday this week, so I should have plenty of time to at least get us up to 0.2.1.

Revision 6 is up now, which gives the plagues form create/insert/delete functionality. I expect to do 3 more revisions today (for resources, governments and race families). Thatíll be all the root forms done, just leaving creation/deletion of races left.

Race families could be a bit of a pain due to the way the fields are all generated on runtime, but weíll see!

Creating and deleting races is a unique one because on the one hand thereís no need to do insertion (the order is irrelevant), but on the other hand creating a new race means creating new policy, dialogue, character and design templates files. Hoping to get that done either today or tomorrow, and thatíll be core functionality finished for every form!

In other news, revision 6 has pushed me past 30,000 lines of code for the project! I think I can honestly say I never expected it to get that big when I started, but there it is.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 149
RE: Modding Tool - 9/5/2016 7:36:32 PM   
Sabranan

 

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Revision 7 is up with the governments form create/insert/delete all working.

(in reply to Sabranan)
Post #: 150
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