[TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.3

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ergie
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[TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.3

Post by ergie »

Distant Worlds / Character Randomizer 0.3


Thanks to
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Thanks for the source code supplied from Ken Getz (common dialogs Windows API examples) and ALKO (alfred.koppold@freenet.de) for his class to read PNG files.
Thanks to the web "http://deron.meranda.us/" for their names (male and female) and surnames list, that I have used to generate the character names.
Thanks to Myros (tm.asp?m=2985698). I have used his potraits to make the application, and I supply them with it as example.
And of course thanks to Matrix Games and specially Erik Rutiks for making this marvellous game.

Purpose
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"Character randomizer" is small application to create a randomized "[Racename].txt" file for using in Distant Worlds Universe.

A screenshot of the application:

Image

And a screenshot of a game using the file generated by this application:

Image

Important NOTES
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*Configure options.ini for the first use with the correct paths. They can be selected from the application itself. The default setup are the files supplied in the rar
*Always make a backup of the original files of the game. In this application, a backup of the "[Racename].txt" file is mandatory if you intend to use it without customization.
*The portraits folder should be copied to "[DWU Installation]\images\units\characters" to allow the game read them, or in the appropiate customization folder
*The "[Racename].txt" generated file should be copied to "[DWU Installation]\characters" to allow the game read it, or in the appropiate customization folder
*I wont be updating the application regularly, as it works for me (I made it for my personal use really) and dont want to make nothing complicated. So dont ask for features, because I really dont have much time. Just wanted to share with the community. Sorry :)

Limitations
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Lots, I suppose, as I made it for my personal use, and probably wont update it a lot. The main one: I initally made this for Humans, so there's no way to specify race specifical portraits in the portraits folder, although this can be done using you imagination... :)

How it works
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It has some easy rules to function properly. I supply one example with everything working, (the paths for each file, should be configured in each Computer, but by default it uses the supplied by me). But anyway:

-1º) We need a folder with some png portraits. The name of this files should be preceded with "F" is its a female portrait or "M" if its a male portrait. If you dont specify this, it will take them in a randomized way.

-2º) The application looks for the 2nd and 3rd char of the png file name to determine if the portraits are in a category:
"LE"->Leaders, "DI"->Diplomats, "GE"->Troop Generals, "SP"->Intelligence agents, "SH"->Ship Captains, "GO"->Colony Governors, "SC"->Scientifics, "AD"->Admirals
This means for instance:
"MLeader89.png" - Male Leader Portrait
"FDiplomat43.png" - Female Ambassador/Diplomat Portrait
"FAdmiralAckbar.png" - Female Admiral portrait
**This two rules can be avoided and wont be used if we use the checkBox "Use any Portrait for any character. All characters will be generated randomized"**

-3º) The application uses a Male names file, a Female names file and a Surname file. This three files can be selected from the application itself, and should have the same structure than the supplied files (thats a txt list, easy) If you dont want to use lists of names nor surnames, it has a built in random names generator using the rules supplied in the file "rules.dat". It can be selected marking the checkbox "Use built in random name generator". You can play around with the rules, but beware!, it has not a complete error control. Some tips:
(CV) -> Consonant/Vocal -> always used
CV > Consonant/Vocal -> Optional. Using * after creates a random sequency of CV strings
literal in downcase - > Always used

-4º) The races are specified in "Races.txt", that is a txt list of the races that you want to show in the combo "Race". Default races are the game base races.

Once we have this steps ready, we press "Load Character Data", and the files will be buffered to make the "[Racename].txt" file. The frame Characters will be activated, and the we can specify how many of each type will be available at the beginning of the game.
**This option wont be used if we use the checkBox "Use any Portrait for any character. All characters will be generated randomized**

When we hare happy with the setup, we press "Generate" and the file will be created. You'll be prompted to open it and check the generated file. After that you should move it wherever you have the game and the file "[Racename].txt" and launch it with a fresh start.

Downloads v0.3
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http://www.mediafire.com/download/eakxm ... yErgie.rar

I have added an installation package just in case some library is not registered in your system. Its developed in VB6 and uses common Windows libraries and the vb6 runtime, but in any case:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/737fu ... yErgie.rar

Log File(not known bugs right now)
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0.2
Bug corrected: As stated in this thread tm.asp?m=3637221 the value '?' in the order of appearance can be '0' too, this make the game to have lots of characters at start, as its a dice roll and '0' is allowed. Corrected assigning order to the characters
Bug corrected: The skills and traits are now randomized so the characters don't have all of them
0.3
Added pirates as characters. I forgot them as I never play as pirate :)
Renamed some portraits, so there are some portraits of each type in the supplied example
Compiled in other machine (just in case Norton AV marks the file as suspicious). I really cant do anything about it, just open a support ticket to Norton with the details anyway


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tjhkkr
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by tjhkkr »

It maybe just my Norton Antivirus, but it always knocks off the executable for suspicious activity...
Not sure it is anything on your end, but I thought I would let you know.

It was a great idea; I was going to generate pirate characters that way...
Well, NAV will not let me...
Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.
ergie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:53 am

RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by ergie »

Problably its reported as I use some api functions (to browse files and folders), but I can assure you there's nothing in the exe dangerous. I work for a small programming company and false positives are a big headache to us.
If you have some virtualized machine, you can try it (in a controlled sandbox enviroment), so when you are comfortable and 100% sure that is safe, use it.
I have Norton installed in my system, and doesnt report anything. And at work I've tried it with Avg and avast. But who knows.

Can you provide me with the details of the detection to open a support ticket with Norton? Thanks

Btw I forgot pirates totally!! Time for an update :)
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tjhkkr
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by tjhkkr »

I will try it on my 64-bit machine and see if it has the same issue...
I always set NAV on maximum heuristics... could be that.
But that has saved my hide more than once...
I will let you know...
Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.
ergie
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:53 am

RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by ergie »

* Updated 0.3 *
Added pirates as characters. I forgot them as I never play as pirate :)
Renamed some portraits, so there are some portraits of each type in the supplied example
Compiled in other machine (just in case Norton AV marks the file as suspicious). I really cant do anything about it, just open a support ticket to Norton with the details anyway
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DeadlyShoe
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by DeadlyShoe »

Nice tool. Makes the hardest part of making characters finding portraits :)
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Blackstork
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by Blackstork »

Mmmmm... I have an idea....
It also could be very tough goal to do, because amount of job is immense....

But.. we could collaborate, and i can do graphic portraits (using stylised vector illustration) for each race (as in my mod), but in highter resolution so there could be much more details. Different cosmetic differencies could vary and create assortment. I am not sure, but if stylised, graphic look will suffice for it with time it could be done....
As tool, this is really cool tool, but because me being sick of EVE which i played more than 10 years, i can not stand those EVE portraits anymore, and they actually break my immersion, even for humans :P
As finding pictures for each race is impossible, and having hi-end realistic illustration or 3d modelling is almost impossible and very tough time-wise project... the only solution to make it really golden is to create well stylised, simple but assorted graphic, race-specific portraits
Alien Immersion (WIP) : tm.asp?m=3651979
Beyond Extended Universe (WIP): tm.asp?m=3657646
ergie
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by ergie »

I've never played EVE, and as I said, the portraits supplied are from a mod from Myros, and just used as an example :P
Anyway I have been playing around with your idea too. Browsing around I found a Jagged Alliance Portrait Creator, made by some talented people:
http://forums.roguetemple.com/index.php?topic=2970.0
I think that's what you're suggesting. I've tested it, and the results are fantastic, but of course the style is the jagged Alliance one. But as far I know you can change the face parts to some more suitable with Sci-Fi theme.
The bad: I'm an awful drawer, pictures and me are totally incompatible, so... lol
And about a big Project, although I'm highly attracted by it (really), Im afraid that I dont have much time to help. With 20 years less maybe but now... family and RL are "eating" all my time. Anyway if you manage to go ahead with that idea, I would help if posible.
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Blackstork
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by Blackstork »

Yes, thats what i meaning.
I have very detailed drawing of Keskudon already (ive done it for my mod, but since the interface PNG cant "eat" so much details i removed them.
Generally we could do it. Yes this will require alot of work to be done, but its fun mod, and we do if we can... no serious commitment. But if you up to try we could to it... We could start with Keskudons (race from Haree mod), or any race i did already for my Alien Immersion mod: tm.asp?m=3651979.
All you need is manage randomization of different parts of image via transparent PNG layering (same as it works on JA mod).
Alien Immersion (WIP) : tm.asp?m=3651979
Beyond Extended Universe (WIP): tm.asp?m=3657646
ergie
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by ergie »

Ill check your mod during this week (Looks nice btw!) and try to get some time to study how the randomized parts could be done. But as I have said, I cant promise anything :)
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Blackstork
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by Blackstork »

There nothing more to see than race specific ui panel and soundtrack in my mod. (Thanks BTW! :) ), later I will upload picture of Keskudon for example. The thing is to randomize few types of png layers from the stock. That's a lot of work but it could be amazing feature. We could try and experiment for now, I may do it after I finish all races for my mod, which actually necesarry prerequisite to project we talking about. Also it could be more real if more people will collaborate to make it. (We are talking about almost 40 races)
Alien Immersion (WIP) : tm.asp?m=3651979
Beyond Extended Universe (WIP): tm.asp?m=3657646
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Blackstork
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by Blackstork »

Image Image

Here example.... it could have some layers and be done as constructor, combining different details in something unique.
Doing more complex drawing is possible, but alas , moere time consuming, and i dont think that doing in such scale something more than that in terms of detail level / quality will be possible from my side. all that after all races released for my mod, which create base style for each race imagery.

Also i could work this with digital painting (those bitmaps or Haree78 race art) then it will become really more fancier stuff. Again, this will be time consuming then , and adjusting bitmap layering is harder than adjusting vector layering. Vector allows easier "LEGO" building process.
Alien Immersion (WIP) : tm.asp?m=3651979
Beyond Extended Universe (WIP): tm.asp?m=3657646
ergie
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 0.2

Post by ergie »

Ok, Im downloading this file and run some tests making separate and loadable png layers of dressing, eyes, mouth, etc. (changing colors, moving some randomized number of pixels face parts, etc). I have to separate first the layers with paint.net and then will introduce some variants with a little vb.net application. Be patient as I dont know if will have time to do it anyway :P
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tjhkkr
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 3.0

Post by tjhkkr »

Downloaded this and used it. It is working MUCH better.
It is nice to use for the Empires/pirates where there are no pre-existing names/characters...

And I may even build a macro to concatenate something like the Old Republic File with the random character file so that there can be a mix. [8D]
Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.
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Blackstork
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 3.0

Post by Blackstork »

Eegie already developed this program that it generate protraits like described above, he joined mod dev team of Beyond mod, and those Dhayut portraits there built by his generator.
Alien Immersion (WIP) : tm.asp?m=3651979
Beyond Extended Universe (WIP): tm.asp?m=3657646
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tjhkkr
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 3.0

Post by tjhkkr »

I am sorry; what I mean is that I would have a pre-existing character file for a race and then from there use this tool, and then with a program concatenate the random Character file with the pre-defined characters...

Padme -- preexisting
Frederico -- random
Joe -- random
Anakin -- preexisting...

giving it the flavor with some random characters.
And fear not, I am not going to altar the basic tool and call it my own, just build one my own tool to take the output file and merge it, sort it...
Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.
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Blackstork
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 3.0

Post by Blackstork »

Ergie builds tol that generate custom characters with randomzining factors.. we are working alot on this matter, its part of new charaacter system of Beyond mod, where characters have different faces, names, special racial affinities, and much more, when in order to see all race potential you need to learn tendensies of their character appearance

Atm he working on module that will randomize things abit using some input
Alien Immersion (WIP) : tm.asp?m=3651979
Beyond Extended Universe (WIP): tm.asp?m=3657646
ergie
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 3.0

Post by ergie »

ORIGINAL: tjhkkr

Downloaded this and used it. It is working MUCH better.
It is nice to use for the Empires/pirates where there are no pre-existing names/characters...

And I may even build a macro to concatenate something like the Old Republic File with the random character file so that there can be a mix. [8D]
Im happy you like it m8. It was an old idea since i joined the community, although im not very active
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Blackstork
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 3.0

Post by Blackstork »

awesome tool ergie, esp. what it become with all your updates and improvements for beyond since that my post about randomizing eyes and ears... i tried abit Ergreagd... its awesome, cant wait for update. This will provide major boon with all art, its exciting :) :P
Alien Immersion (WIP) : tm.asp?m=3651979
Beyond Extended Universe (WIP): tm.asp?m=3657646
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Tanaka
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RE: [TOOL] Character Randomizer 3.0

Post by Tanaka »

Has anyone made a characters mod? Is there a way to have just a bunch of characters that will randomly show up for any race?
Image
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