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Rob
11-16-2000, 09:00
I am going to start making a map editor for STW. I have begun the process of de-ciphering the map files. The progress report so far is that I can make small hills using a hex editor http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

Obviously there is still a lot to do in terms of understanding how these files work and developing a reliable method of editing them.

I am starting this thread really just to let people know what I am doing, and so that people can post suggestions, information etc. to me.

Wish me luck on my quest! http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

BanzaiZAP
11-16-2000, 09:10
Best of luck, Rob! Keep us posted! If you need someone to act as backup and do graphics work, testing or anything, let me know.

-- B)

Kurando
11-16-2000, 09:12
Damn straight we wish you luck! Go get 'em Rob!!

Rob
11-16-2000, 09:18
Two encouragements within 12 minutes of my post http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

I'm impressed http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

The Black Ship
11-16-2000, 10:34
Make that 3 Rob. Do this and I'll buy you a six-pack- your choice http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/wink.gif

Yamaga Shimazu
11-16-2000, 15:52
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rob:
[B]I am going to start making a map editor for STW. I have begun the process of de-ciphering the map files. The progress report so far is that I can make small hills using a hex editor http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

YES ! http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif
Count me in for the support AND for the testing http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/wink.gif

11-16-2000, 20:42
Good Job Rob !!!

If you need any testing, counselling on the shape of the maps, rely on me.

You are honoured rob!

------------------
Honour to Clan Kenchikuka.

Visit my resource centre at:

http://terazawa_tokugawa.tripod.com/terazawatokugawa

chicken
11-17-2000, 03:44
Go Rob. Are you going to try to make any new graphics when you make this map editor?

Good Luck anyhow.

Rob
11-17-2000, 05:26
I'm not sure if it's possible to introduce new graphics without replacing existing ones. I'm no artist, so I won't be making any new graphics myself.

I would advise anyone who is interested in making new graphics for Shogun to have a look at the .TGA and .LBM files (you can view them with ACDSee or any good graphics package) to get an idea of how they work. Creating new unit graphics should be possible by editing these (remember to make backups before doing anything).

Rob
11-17-2000, 20:13
Progress Report:

I'm making some progress on understanding the map files. I've written a very basic little program that can generate a totally flat map (yes, TOTALLY flat http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif ). With a little more work I should be able to change the heights to anything I want. The idea I am working on at the moment is a way of taking some kind of height map (possibly a bitmap file) and using that to generate a map.

You can see a screenshot of the flat map here (http://www.btinternet.com/~rjknight/editor/shot.jpg).

I haven't figured out how to change the textures properly yet, but I know where the information is stored and I haven't really given it that much attention yet anyway.

Can't for the life of me understand how trees and models (bridges, castles etc.) work, but I haven't dug too deeply on those either. (note: the trees in the above screenshot come from copying model & texture data from Totomi).

[This message has been edited by Rob (edited 11-17-2000).]

DrNo
11-17-2000, 23:07
Great Rob, keep up the good work.

TosaInu
11-18-2000, 02:23
Hello Rob,

Great work!
I was about to write a detailed how to make maps today, but when I started up the demo I made a mistake. Thanks to that mistake I learned something :-).

In the bdf file you can enter the map you want to use. I typed Tami Kochi (wanted to check some textureID).

The map the was showed was not Tami Kochi, it was a map that looked much like a map I've seen before and used as a base for a new map.
I could never reproduce the event that gave me this map. And now it was here again. What happened? Tami Kochi was NOT in my maps folder at this very time, so shogun used some kind of default map.

I also discovered another feature today: ctrl mouse click changes the height of the entire map. I'm convinced that the editor can do a lot more than I know; 'just' figure out how.

About textures/models. The editor is not wysiwyg. There are about 126 textures. Some textures have models attached! Some examples:
4 gives smooth green.
8 gives dark dense wood.
7, 6, 5 gives different kinds of wood and makes a smooth transition from dark green to smooth green.
38 gives the monastry.
37 gives a house.
30,31,32 gives a castle.
26 gives a road.
44 gives 4 trees.

There is a Model mode. Models can be included that way, but not saved? Did the devellopers disable something?

Beware for the texture ID 0 (127): this is a null texture and messes everything.
There are two layers in shogun: 1st is water, on top of that is the 'wireframe' that binds the landtiles.

Changing textures can be achieved by choosing no patch moused and using - = to change ID and [ ] to change direction.

Some trees can be included using mode tree bit. Mousclick inserts them backspace removes the last and - = [ ] to change size and type.

Question: is it possible to track tiny differences between 2 jjm files using the hexeditor?
For example: is it possible to track a hexcode that is responsible for one changed texture?

I'm really looking forward to try your work.


Ja mata
Toda TosaInu

P.S. did you find a possibility to import maps from the full game into the demo?
P.S. 2 is your flat map available?

Rob
11-18-2000, 04:25
Thanks for the info on models & textures!

The flat map is now available for download.

Also, I have written a small program that converts full maps into demo-compatible maps. Hopefully this will be useful.

Some URLs:
Flat Map (http://www.btinternet.com/~rjknight/editor/flatdemo.jjm)
Map Converter (http://www.btinternet.com/~rjknight/editor/mapconv.exe)

To use the map converter, simply run mapconv.exe. Type in the name of the map file (include .jjm) and it will produce a file called output.jjm. This should be a demo-compatible version of the original map.

It is a good idea to place mapconv.exe in your maps folder so you don't have to type the full path.

I have not used the .bdf files before. Normally to view my maps in the demo I rename them to Tutmap1.jjm and load the tutorial. This can cause problems with the .hgt files. Sometimes the .hgt files get confused with all the re-naming.

This shouldn't be an issue if you are using a different method to load the maps.

TosaInu
11-18-2000, 06:31
Great job Rob! Thanks.

BanzaiZAP
11-18-2000, 07:21
Just so'z ya know'z, I'm cracking into those TGA and LBM files, so I may have a demo unit/textures soon. More info as it happens.....

-- B)

Rob
11-19-2000, 08:28
Progress report:

I can change the textures properly now. Not figured out how the models work yet.

Now that I can edit tile heights and textures, I am getting close to being able to start planning the editor interface. Any suggestions on what it should look like would be most appreciated. I don't think I will be able to make a full 3D editor like the demo editor, at least not in the first version. But if there is no other good way of doing it I will just have to learn how to do 3D graphics. I've been meaning to do that for ages anyway http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

Oh yeah, did the map converter work ok?

TosaInu
11-19-2000, 20:28
Hello Rob,

Good to hear that you make good progress!
If you know how to handle textures, than you can insert some models. Don,t know a bout bridges, couldn't insert them myself thusfar. Perhaps it is a road texture that is submerged in water? But why then is there a model mode in the editor (can included models, but can't save them)?

Unfortunately the mapconverter does not work properly.
Converted maps also don't work anymore with the full game: so I guess it's not because of an unsupported texture. It might not be first priority, but if it's hard to make your editor 3D, then the demo editor might be a usefull second tool, so a mapconvertor might be usefull.

Last friday I was about to make a detailed write up about how to make maps. Then I discovered things I didn't knew, and....

I will write one soon.

I uploaded your flatdemo to my site: some people encountered serious problems finding this forum/topic.

------------------
Ja mata
Toda TosaInu

Rob
11-20-2000, 16:01
Damn!

Well that's weird because the map converter seemed to work for me. I have converted quite a few maps with it and all worked OK. Could you tell me 2 things:
1) Does the map editor give any error messages?
2) What is the size of the files produced by the converter?

I will have another look at it today. I really ought to test these things properly before releasing them http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

Bridges are models AFAIK, but I haven't done anything with water yet, so I can't be 100% certain.

Thanks for the feedback!

TosaInu
11-21-2000, 03:26
Sorry Rob,

The flatdemo seems not to work with the convertor at all. I forgot to type the .jjm extension for the other maps I tried to convert. The mapconvertor works fine, very good indeed!

This way you can use any of the full game maps as starting material in the demo editor.

Don't be frightened by some weird displayed textures!
If you load the map to the full game everything is fine.

This converter is a must have tool for map makers!



------------------
Ja mata
Toda TosaInu

Kraellin
11-21-2000, 12:58
excellent! good work rob! that will save a ton of work in editing!

just remember to save your maps to different names, guys. we dont want 10 diff totomis out there.

K.

Rob
11-21-2000, 19:19
That raises an interesting question. What happens if two people have different versions of the same map?

Is there any checking done to prevent this?

Also, I will have a new and more user-friendly version of the map converter ready some time tonight.

Kraellin
11-21-2000, 22:55
rob,

the only data i have on if the game checks maps for the same version or not is by going to the multiplayer chat room. if you have a map that no one else has, they can see the map name when you host but cant join your game. that could just be based on map names though. there's a simple way i can test it though. i've got an altered version of tutmap3 i can load into the full game dir and simply go to the chat room and try it with someone. i'll let ya know.

K.

IRONLUNG
11-22-2000, 09:03
Great work guys! keep it up.



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IRONLUNG http://smiles.kpd.ru/icon2.gif

Kurando
11-22-2000, 12:45
I agree IL, this is just what the community needed!

Slychaos
11-22-2000, 23:06
Thanks for pointing me in this direction Rob, from what I read you've been doing some sterling work.

When I get more time I will be taking some in depth looks into these posts and map editing, I hope I can provide you with some support.

A heartfelt thanks from me.



------------------
SlyChaos
HOST OF CHAOS (http://www.host-of-chaos.fsnet.co.uk)

Kraellin
11-23-2000, 04:38
ok, here's a thought, rob. what if rather than making a new editor we simply took the existing demo editor and 'fixed it'. it does work after all. it's just not that user friendly. would it be possible to simply make it more user friendly and also trim its file size a bit? we dont NEED a demo game, just an editor. would it be possible to trim away the demo game part and just leave and modify the demo editor?

the game creators might even support such a thing or help in some way on this also...dunno. does anyone have a line in to any of the folks that made the game? and if so could you give us an email addy or something to try and contact them? if nothing else maybe they'd provide some docs on the current demo editor.

looking at it the other way around, rob, would it be possible to strip out the editor functions in any way and combine them into a stand-alone editor that could also then be made better? i know this tends to get iffy regarding legal stuff. most software agreements say pretty stongly 'no reverse engineering of any kind allowed without written permission'. but again, just another reason to get ahold of the creators themselves. i'd be happy to write them if anyone has a known workable address for them.

K.

11-24-2000, 17:30
I believe that's exactly what the promised editor was supposed to be- 'they said' that they are going to refine the one they are using (

Yamaga Shimazu
11-24-2000, 19:47
Answering to Jaydee:

"cheers guys, keep it up, i'm really becoming worried here that we will end up going the same way falcon 4 did..."

Well, falcon4 still lives and rules among the flight sims though is becoming rather old and all of this thanks to unofficial patches.
I believe this is the way stw will evolve from now on.


"oh, hehe, speaking about that, maybe somebody should go get iBeta guys hooked on shogun for a few realism patches http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/wink.gif *sigh*"

I have tried, more than once, unfortunately the ibeta is busy elsewhere, thus the "rp group" which has come out doesnt even have its own messageboard anymore at ibeta's site.
The involvment of ibeta in the stw development phase is impossible at the moment. Hasbro answered to the f4 players and allowed ibeta to work on it.
This is not going to happen with stw for there is no workable link with the programmers, dreamtime or ea at all.
Sadly....for if there was the chance (and i tried contacting them too) we would have already started.

Stay tuned though, we are moving in this direction and feedback, suggestions, programming hints and the like will be very much appreciated.

Rob
11-25-2000, 15:55
I don't think it's possible to modify the existing demo editor, in the sense of 'patching' it.

It certainly is possible to make tools that work outside of the demo editor. For example an external texture tool, which could be used to modify a texture without screwing all the other ones up http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif . But this would require you to constantly flip between different editing tools.

What I would envision for this is a top-down (2D) view of a map, allowing you to copy and paste textures onto the map. This wouldn't be used for altering heights etc. only for textures.

Of course, I would have to find the texture images first, something I haven't done yet... http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

Let me know whether you think this idea is worthwhile.

The Daimyo
11-26-2000, 18:14
Looks like some of you have really strained some cells trying to figure this one out. Good Job so far. I'd like to add a few things here, that may help matters.
First off, my background as it pertains to this sorta thing - I've been designing game mods and TC's for about 5 years or so now, and have experience with about 10 different A list games when it comes to making new toys for them. I dunno if that will help here, but here it goes.
After having had a thorogh look at the game files and trying to figure out what applications made what, I've come to some conclusions.
1 http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif We need plugins for the software that made the maps from scratch if we are really going to do anything innovative here. We can pull and push those hills and trees around all day but it's not really doing much when you take a step back and look at it overall - compared to everything else out there. Not to mention, distributing the mods is going to be hectic, and may require us all to do some major teamwork and provide some educational measures in order to avoid the 1001 posts from the newbies that DON'T know how to follow the directions for a manual installation of the altered files.

2 http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif Richie and the rest of the Dev. Team have already stated that they will include a map editor and similar applications in future upgrades. I'd hate to see you all break eggs over doing this since it's really not going to net much more than a learning experience for a few. I want it now, but apparently we're being ignored for the moment concerning this. The almighty Tournament Leagues and Ladder play have taken the spotlight for the moment. http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/frown.gif

3 http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif We need to push #2 out of the way for a second. Hehe...

There's other issues to address here, but I think the most pressing of them for the moment is that WE ALL need to get the cooperation of the Development team on this matter in order for this or any other "Mod" project to really see some fruit.
Why Them? Well, because we're not supposed to be hacking the game to make new toys for ourselves to play with, then distributing them (royalty free or not), due to the sensitive nature of this game online right now.
If someone hacks the Shogun.exe and the couple of other important files, then it's going to open up a barnstorm of shit for all of us. We're already starting to see some hackers cheating online, and it's going to get much worse if we show people how to do anything close to it.
I'm not trying to say we should really stop trying to be innovative, hell no, I'm mearly suggesting that we try and go through the proper channels first, and maybe, just maybe - we'll get the cooperation needed to make this happen, and make it happen a whole hell of a lot easier than they way it's going now.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather be using 3D Studio Max, Paintshop Pro, WorldCraft 3.3, or similar software to put together the maps, textures, and etc. than using a hex editor and acdsee ANYDAY of the week.
Let's see if we can put together an official request for action or a requisition for plugins and tools so that we can do this right.

The folks in other game communities have had to do the same on a few occassions - such as with R6's Rogue Spear, where all of the interested players and mod makers signed an official petition (around 5,000 people in 1 month!) to get the tools and plugins they needed so that they could make maps and other great mods. I don't see why we can't get the same kinda action going here. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard. http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif



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The Daimyo
Miaowara "Kakizaki" Tomokato
@http://www.planettotalwar.com

Kraellin
11-27-2000, 03:35
the daimyo has touched on an area that maybe i shld clarify...legal stuff. and some of you may be wondering about this. first off, you CAN make maps to your heart's content. there is NO legal reason why you cant. if you try to package and sell those maps...you cant. a precedent was set not too long ago dealing with that. i think it was one of the blizzard software games. a group of players got together and made a bunch of mods, packaged them and put them on the market for sale. blizzard sued and won, citing proprietary product rights. blizzard won. on the other hand, if you dont try and make money off the maps and simply post them for use, there's no problem.

the license agreement also prohibits any kind of use of their code, or disassembly or reverse engineering of any kind. that belongs to them. it does NOT prohibit you from making NEW code that would work with their code, unless your code is altering theirs. and even then it becomes a VERY gray area legally. but, if you're not selling your code that alters their code, i doubt it would ever come to court. there's no profit in it.

as to getting the development team to do something re tools, patches, mods, i think that's prolly not a practical view at this point. from all rumors i've heard the main team is already moving on to a new project...something to do with the roman era. what few are left behind to handle shogun are doing the localized patches and new patches. that richie asked rob to start a new thread about mods somewhat confirms the rumors. my thinking is that they want to tweak the existing engine for the new project, the rome thing, not shogun.

remember here too that EA is NOT the development team. there are actually 3 companies involved in shogun. EA is simply handling the marketing and distribution. dreamtime is handling other aspects (i'm not sure what) and creative is the actual dev team, the coders, designers, studio folks and so on that actually made most of the game. creative is the group that needs to be contacted for any re-coding, patches, tools and so forth and frankly, they've been very careful NOT to be seen anywhere. there is no web addy or email or any other form of contact listed for them in the game, the manuals, the totalwar web site or anywhere else i can find. it would seem they dont want to be bugged by consumers and frankly i dont blame them much. we players can be a rather rude and surly bunch when it comes to our games.

the overall point here is that it isnt likely that we'll get many new mods out of the creative group other than a few patches to fix obvious goofs or tweak a few ratios here and there. the creative team doesnt want to be bugged, the other groups dont have the authority to change the code and there is little profit motive or incentive for a dev team to alter or add to an existing already sold game. we may not like that but that's the long and short of it. if they did nothing but pander to us on shogun and didnt put out any new products, it's pretty obvious they'd be out of business.

it would be nice if a small portion of their team could be dedicated to shogun stuff. that could work, and thus keep the create going on shogun itself. i'm just not sure how practical this would be from their point of view. coders dont come cheap. if i'm a game company president i'm going to put my resources where they'll generate the most survival potential to my organization. and i'm certainly NOT going to put my full team into tweaking a game that is already a decent seller. however, the online community is a relatively new market arena and i do think that some companies are missing the boat by not keeping a team devoted to their online products. the longest running online game i know of was island of kesmai. it ran for 15 years! it did this by keeping folks interested. someone at the dev team was always devoted to keeping the game NEW, with new features or areas or mobs (monsters).

but that was a pay game. most of the online games out there are not pay-as-you-play games. i would have loved to see railroad tycoon II do a LOT more with their game and they did put out an expansion set that did improve the game but that was it. shogun may yet do the same thing; patches, then an expansion game. i just wish creative would let us know so we act accordingly.

in liew of that, i think the best thing to do is to move along like we have been. make maps, make mods and have fun ;) if someone can get ahold of creative and we can work something out with them then fine; i'd love to see that happen, but i'm not going to stop everything else while waiting for that to happen.

K.

Yamaga Shimazu
11-27-2000, 16:39
Exactly kraell, u have touched the point.

The EA, Creative and dreamtime are just doing their job and there's nothing wrong with that.
Instead of putting effort into improvements, they will just improve a little and put everything they have in an totally new (in the name) project that has the benefits of the old engine.

Our cooperation as players stops there. All the fixes and new ideas suggested will be put in the new project leaving stw behind...after all, from a company manager's point of view, that's already been sold...it's time to make new product and earn some new money from it.
(Curves of profit and loss are done just to calculate expenses at the beginnning and then the incomes projected for every subsequent month after the release so, believe me, they know what they are doing here).

I also completely agree on the "stealth" of the programming team. As we know, EA only works for the distribution and Richie as web manager, is something like the public relations between players and boss.
Richie has not answered to any of my mails and, of course, i was unable to find a workable address to any of the programmers (i looked hard to Matteo Sartori who is italian like me and maybe would have heard some reasons) so here you go Kraell, we are left unheard.
There is no way to directly talk to any of the developing team and as to me, i have been unable to talk to Richie either or whomever is in charge there.

The erado's site has a list with all the pleas of players, much of those are our same we posted in here (we are a bit more concrete though http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/wink.gif ).

What i think is that they are getting our pleas for the next game while most players are convinced they will serve the purpose of bettering this one.

From my experience, i seldom saw more than 3 patches for the same game, and accordingly, most of them are related to online gameplay and corrections in the use of bandwidth, so there's not much room for real improvement...the technical one.

The only chance then, lies in an unofficial patch/editor.
As to the legal issues: of course noone wanna earn money from something like that.
I believe that ppl putting effort in improving games are doing it out of LOVE and not greed. http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif
From a manager's point of view, i would encourage unoifficial improvement by giving some instructions and tips...after all, its their game keeping to breathe and to sell...and they have no expenses, only a free earning from the unofficial stuff.

As an example, working onto the same model, changing just the sprites and fixing the bugs would let us play ANY battle, from ROME to Greece and this without any problem of development...just changing the sprites.
Do they need 3 more years and a new box, manual and ad campaign ? I don't think so http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/wink.gif


Stay tuned, events will probably see an escalation when the 1.13 is released.

Kraellin
11-28-2000, 05:27
thanks yamagawa (did i get that right?) and i agree that nothing's likely to change till the 1.13 patch. and after that come the localizations, so, it's going to be a while.

since richie posted on their web site that he'd like to see some threads about desired mods, perhaps he is the go-between for the dev team. if that is so, and even if he isnt answering mail, perhaps he is reading it. with that in mind, it might be a good idea to send him some mail requesting that the dev team release some docs on the editor. we dont need the source code, just some docs about how to use it....these bridges are driving me nuts! aaarrrrrgggghhh! did they disable being able to place them in the editor? do you need a special keyboard? lol.

as a side note to bridges (and off topic here a bit) i found a way to look at a map from beneath the water line. it's really quite funny to see your troops all drowning in the tutorial ;)

oh, and rob, heights are near infinite. whatever the cap is on it i cant find it. and, it goes both ways. you can build a mountain to the heavens or a hole to hell. that may explain a bit about why there are 48 bits in the textures or heights or whatever it was you were telling me about. each tile/texture can be stretched one HUGE amount and that data has to be kept track of somewhere.

K.

Rob
11-28-2000, 05:34
I have been having some... interesting experiences with bridges.

The bridges on Anegawa can be moved about, but I can't create new ones.

I can't move the bridge in Mikawa at all. The weird thing is that the Mikawa bridge appears to be implemented as a model, whereas the Anegawa bridges are implemented as textures. I don't know if I've got that right, maybe I am jumping to the wrong conclusion. But certainly the bridge textures used in Anegawa are not present in Mikawa. Perhaps there is more than one way of making a bridge?

Of course that you can't save models, which is a bit of a problem http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

I will soon be posting some more info about the internal workings of the map file, hopefully this will help people spot details I have missed.

Kraellin
11-29-2000, 00:34
rob,

i noticed very similar things regarding those two maps. the textures under the bridges are diff in the two maps, but the same within each map. in anegawa the textures are 126 104 and 125 with 104 being the middle texture while in mikawa i believe they were 82 84 83. with 84 being in the middle. notice that in both maps the banks are in sequence, 125 to 126 and 82 to 83. 82 and 83 are almost exactly alike and so are 125 and 126 and i had thought, perhaps, that this was a 'signal' to the code to add a bridge at this point. i had even thought that perhaps one edge of each tile had to be aligned to face the other 'bridge edge' of the other tile before it would add a bridge, but in practice this has not been the case.

i am also convinced that you DO have to add 'water' into the map in order to get a bridge i'm just not sure what other requirements there are to this. when importing anegawa (or whichever one has the 3 bridges) i only initially had one bridge show up in the editor. after saving it IN THE EDITOR and reloading the other bridges showed up.

in mikawa i was able to stretch that bridge all the way across the map by altering the height of the overall map. and then to stretch it back smaller again. so the stretching feature is done automatically based on the conditions existing.

but getting the code to add a bridge is still eluding me. i've tested several theories all in vain. i've tried adding models at appropriate locations and then dropping the land down so that water would be under the bridge. you cant add models to a water tile. if you do the model will either show up off to the side or under the water, but still wont save.

also, one rather significant fact i've found is that water or sea level is NOT a tile. it's a plane that extends all the way from corner to corner and edge to edge. it is the reference point against which all other tiles are set or measured. think of a mountain sitting on a flat plate. the plate is sea level and CANNOT change shape or height. you can alter the mountain up or down or even below the plate, but you cannot move the plate. even if you raise or lower the entire map at once using cntrl-click, the plate will NOT change. you cannot add models to the plate. you cannot change the texture of the plate. if you drop a portion of the land below the plate you can actually go underwater with your view of the land and by doing that you can see the bridges overhead. a bridge will NOT drop below the plate if you move the land below the plate.

i've tried overlapping water just a bit from the middle tile so that it covers a portion of the adjoining tiles and underlapping it so that it doesnt. no go. i've tried having no water present at all, just the same textures that those other maps used, like anegawa. no go. i've tried placing bridge models on the right spot and dropping the water line. no go. i've tried adding models in the right spot and 'stretching' them using the < and > keys. no go. i've even tried using the 'high' (the blank textures above 127) textures of the same numbers as the other maps to invoke a bridge. no go. btw, those dont seem eraseable. once added and saved they cant be erased.

another clue to all this seems to be the 'locked' heights you get on some tiles when you add water. i began to wonder if they purposely locked those heights because by adding water there was a signal that there was a bridge being asked for here. the odd part of it is that it will lock an entire row or column of tile heights and i still cant add a bridge. perhaps that locked row is the only place you can add bridges. i dont know.

if the models cant be saved then why even have them? to preview how a thing will look? and if it's only for preview then why add an enlarging tool since there is no way by adding any texture to also have it enlarge? and why add a model rotating tool that rotates other than 90 degrees at a time since by adding textures to get models you can only rotate that tile by 90 degrees?

i've almost begun to believe that they disabled the model saving ability for some reason, but that seems just about as odd as not including docs for an editor ;)

i've tried adding models and saving using the F9 and F12 keys...no go.

there also seems to be more than one demo game version...or did you guys patch your demos? tosainu and i seem to have diff versions. he can alter his batinit files and load other maps that way. i cant. i have to alter my map names to tutmap3.jjm. he mentions using the f5, f6, and f7 keys to eliminate some of the icons before saving a map. when i do that nothing disappears from the screen, though in the screenshot they will be gone. for me to remove the view of those things i have to use controlkey and some other keys (i forget which right off hand).

i wonder...is it possible that they did models similar to the way they did army units? could there be a text file somewhere that is saving the info on models. doesnt seem real likely since in converting a map from the full game and porting it over to the demo you arent also porting over a text file, but hey, i'm starting to reach for the desparate here ;)

K.

Rob
11-29-2000, 01:52
Well I haven't investigated models too heavily thus far. I had come to believe that all models were simply attached to textures. There certainly is 'free space' at the end of the map file to include model data (meaning, there is some data in the map file which I don't understand and may be related to models).

But presuming that the bridges are attached to textures seems wrong considering that different textures are used for the same effect. There may be some totally bizarre reason for this, since the developers never intended for us to know about it and therefore the map files need only make sense to them, not the rest of us http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif

AFAIK models can't be saved. But I am curious about whether there are any maps that actually use models at all. My theory is that placing models in maps was just to allow the developers a means of testing the models in a WYSIWYG style. It's the only way of seeing what a model looks like 'in-game' since the textures don't show their models.

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Honour to Clan Akai Ken

The Daimyo
11-29-2000, 12:02
I'm sure half a million Valve fans (Half-Life's makers)are glad that Valve and Sierra don't subscribe to what you were talking there Kraelin. If that kinda attitude about games is going to start going around, then a lot of game companies are going to sink or go over to Playstation 2. (EEK GAD!!! http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/eek.gif )
I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm just saying that it's not a good idea for the game's makers to renig on their deal with the players (consumers) who have held the torch for this game and the CA/DT teams (despite EA's bumbling support). I'm referring to their previous mentions of future releases of add-ons and tools for map creation and so on.
I presume that htey already know this, but perhaps there is something that is holding this back, something similar in likness to their decision NOT to include an open TCP/IP interface so people could play this game WITHOUT the damnable EA Servers.
I think that the couple of new features that we are all looking for are not too hard to do. Given the plugins and a couple pages of notes from the makers, I'm sure that there would be a slew of new features and add-ons made by the players within a month.
We all understand, or can call on logic to serve the purpose of understanding, CA/DT's need to make a new game(s) for mass retail, but we also understand that it is becoming standard practice to continue making new stuff, and patches - for games months after their release if they sold well to begin with. I'm going to guess that STW has sold near or over the 500K units mark by now. (Correct me If I am wrong!Ha!)
I understand that this game is the flagship at the head of what could be an armada of great games to come from these companies. I also understand that they are standing in knee deep murky water when it comes to their track record concerning tech support, patching turnarounds, online play, and replayability with this particular game.
If they ignore the current set of problems, and do not proceed to supply the demand of the players' need for more, then folks will be disallusioned, me included. This will result in poor attendance from this group next time around for sure.
Let's see what "THEY" have to say about this. (If THEY manage to come by here any time soon http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif )

Chin Up, Feet Forward....March!
http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/biggrin.gif


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The Daimyo
Miaowara "Kakizaki" Tomokato
@http://www.planettotalwar.com

[This message has been edited by The Daimyo (edited 11-29-2000).]

Kraellin
11-30-2000, 04:06
the daimyo,

you seem to think that i was saying the dev team will do nothing more with the game. i'm not. and frankly, i hope they do tons more. all i was saying was that it sounded like you were saying we shld all sit on our butts and do nothing in the way of editors and mods because they 'might' do something and i dont agree with that at all.

now, if i read the intent of your original post incorrectly, well, ok, then i stand corrected. to wait and see what they are going to do before we do anything though is, to me, silly. and that's sort of what i thought you were saying in your original post.

K.

Yamaga Shimazu
12-01-2000, 06:46
the world is moved by 3 things:

ideas

money

weapons


i am for the first one.
http://www.totalwar.org/ubb/smile.gif