2.0 Maps

General talk about the map making process.
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Scorch
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Post by Scorch » Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:39 pm

blender files? sorry to intrude on this train of thought but what are 'blender files'?

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Post by trepan » Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:41 pm

blender files (.blend) are the binary
files that blender saves by default.

http://www.blender.org/

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The Purple Panzer
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Meshes, bzedit, Mayans

Post by The Purple Panzer » Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:08 pm

It's funny, when I first heard that meshes were going to be in the game,
the first idea that jumped into my head was to use geo data to build terrain, for areas I know or places of historical significance - maybe this will work to some extent, if I put in enough flat surfaces to enable play. If I can't really do terrain in a playable way, I can see that this makes for some more interesting objects analogous to boxes, pyramids, etc., on the same basic flat playing surface. I didn't realize that that was the intent!

One way to extend bzedit to handle these would be to represent each mesh by an enclosing cube, perhaps colored differently. This would let map designers work out general placement, but they'd have to use something else to generate the mesh and to view the result in detail. This might be a simple bzedit change that would get us 95% of the way.

BTW, for map creation I generally write scripts to create map files, then use bzedit to examine the result and tell me what tweaks I need to make. So there are a lot of features there I don't use, but this is due to my odd way of working.

Apropos the general discussion of 2.0 map creation, I've found it frustrating, but only because I haven't had the necessary time (I run a business, have 3 kids, and am starting a Ph.D program in AI). I think that in the relatively near term enough examples will emerge along with notes on how to do things, that pretty soon everyone who wants to will be able to do what they'd like with the new format.

I'm still trying to figure out what non-aesthetic fun we can have with the new features, and how they might change play style. I'd also love to have some sort of "rule of thumb" scoring system to be able to estimate the performance hits of various features, so that I don't go too wild with them. Trepan, I remember images of a sort of Mayan temple - is that map around now? I'd be intrigued to see what its performance is, even if it's really bad.

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Yeah Panzer--that was my idea too.

Post by Gerbil » Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:27 pm

BZedit (or its progeny) could have "placeholdersfor objects. I do that now when I make an attribute that doesn't work right in BZEdit. I might name the box "(SHOOTHROUGH)" to flag something I have to change in notepad.

Or if I make an object in BZ world I will open it in BZEDit so I can name objects.

I already use "layers" but unfortunately they are seperate maps that are later merged. An irritating way to do it.

It seems such things should be able to be easily done.

There also seems to be little reason why BMP2BZW features couldn't be incorporated as part of an editor.
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Ok--in lieu of the "perfect" editor...

Post by Gerbil » Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:44 pm

Here's some things for a BZEdit based builder that I would love to have...

1) Multiple Map Merge Previews--meaning simply I want to make two, three or whatever maps and have the ability to merge them into a single map, output a map file made of the the merged maps yet still retain the original maps (or else have an "undo" feature that lets you revert the original map after the merged map is output). This would effectively act as a "library feature" allowing the import of commonly reused elements from other maps.

2) PNG2BZW/BMP2BZW like features built in. Would be nice to open an image file within the editor and be able to program in parameters and output the map right there in the editor.

3) A working "undo" feature.

4) A "placeholder" attribute (like shootthrough, passable, etc). This would actually add an object to the map but automatically preface it with the "#" character so it wasn't functional. It would be great to have a "toggle" that would allow you to "show placeholder objects", "hide placeholder objects" on the map display.

5) A "library" feature which simply opens saved world files from a dedicated folder.

6) Grouping and ungrouping with batch editing of groups. Multiple objects could be moved together from an "anchor point" and attributes could be changed for all objects in a group--such as 'height".

7) A debug option that would automatically remove identical objects from a map and perhaps also flag incomplete objects (kind of like "spellcheck") such as those maybe missing the "end" comment or telporter links that are out of sequence.
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Post by Sir Lance-A-Lot » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:51 pm

BZEdit...I would love to use a 2.0 based BZEdit - I wish I had the right type of tools to make it - or I would try.
I would need a C++ Compiler to re-configure it, right?
If so, is there any possible way I could find a "free" version of one?
(Microsoft XP)
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BZEdit

Post by Gerbil » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:58 pm

It is free. As far as I know JeffM2501 (Jeff Myers) has no problem with someone tooling with it as he has suggested people do so. I think David Trowbridge did one update to it. If you don't have the files I can send you Jeff's and David's.

Jeff could also tell you what he used to make it.
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Post by Sir Lance-A-Lot » Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:00 pm

ah I would love that. Thanks Gerbil. As for the tool used to change the Edit program, I am still looking.
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Post by Sir Lance-A-Lot » Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:06 pm

hmm...I Googled for a free compiler, and came across Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express Beta, which is free. It said I have to install the latest XP SDK, which I am in the middle of doing right now; it takes a while.
Anybody try it out yet?
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Post by RPG » Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:31 pm

You can use Dev-C++, a free C++ program from Sourceforge. It has a few bugs, though.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/dev-cpp/

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Post by JeffM » Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:33 pm

wow


talk about fragmented history and misinformation :)

BZEdit is in CVS. So it's just as available as bzflag. I have no say in what anyone does with the code. I released it to the project long ago.

BZEdit for windows uses MFC. So devC++ wont' work. It dosnt' come with the MFC classes and headers that are used by it. It dosn't have the class wizard used for the message maps, and I don't even think it has a windows resource editor. BZEdit was NOT made to be cross platform, like bzflag was, so it is heavly tied to the OS and dev environement. BZflag does NOT use MFC, so it does not have this issue. This is why bzflag works on a number of compilers. You need Visual Studio to work in it. Visual Studio ( Visual C++ specificly) is a Microsoft product. I use Visual studio .net 2003 ( aka VC7.1). There is a beta for VC 2k5 express that is free ( for now ). All other versions of Visual studio are comercial. The VC Express is beta, it's not stable, you can try it at your own risk. I have never tried to build bzedit in the beta. It may work. It may not.

David Trowbridge made the linux bzedit. It is a difrent app. David would not touch MFC with a 10 meter cattle prod. The 2 editors do share some common code, but only due to the fact that we worked together to design the classes.

Adding 2.0 support to bzedit is more then just "reconfigureing" it. You will need to know how MFC and the windows interface works. You will need to know how to program in C++, and use STL and templates. You will need to know how OpenGL works, and how 3d geometry and graphics work. There isn't just a line to change to add support for physics drivers or model importing. By the time your done learning all the things you need to learn, you'll know how the map format works, and would be able to make maps by hand ( a requirement to make any computer program, you have to know how to do it yourself, before you can tell the computer how to do it ).

Of course anyone is welcome to make changes, and submit patches for the project. I'd love to see the project become active, and someone take it over. But if you don't even know what a compiler is, or what MFC is, your in way over your head in my opinion. You are seting yourself up for failure, unless your ready for a learning curve, and willing to learn windows and openGL programing, and take the time to do it right.

It's like saying you want to modify this cool custom hotrod to run on a hydrogen fuel cell and have XM radio, and a DVD player, but then ask "where do I go to get a hammer?"
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Actually

Post by Gerbil » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:20 am

David Trowbridge released a windows port of a bug fixed "BzEdit". It corrected the "shootthrough"and I think base problems but it was a one time beta he never got back too and was dropped.

Very buggy and unstable in windows. Usable though if you take Jeff's (now Open Sourced) BZEdit,make a world and then use David's BZEdit to correct the shoothrough problems.

It just crashes a lot if you create objects in it in the Windows OS.

Was a good effort. it also "labels" objects with their attributes which is cool("shootthough", "passable", etc.)
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By the Way

Post by Gerbil » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:21 am

Even though David is a dev and a programmer, he's still a pretty cool guy ;)
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I am curious about BZEdit

Post by Gerbil » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:23 am

What is the issue that makes it hang so much? Is it a fundamental design problem or something someone could clean up easily?
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Post by JeffM » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:21 am

No that was grumbler, David Trowbridge is purple_cow aka capitan proton. He has never made or done anything to bzedit.

Grumber's changes were made to the code that is CVS, so every one has access to that code.

I have never seen it hang. so I do not know what the issues with that are.

When does it hang? can you duplicate it? This is the first I've heard of it "hanging"
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Post by SilverFox » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:36 am

I don't use it because it hangs repeatedly.

I haven't tried to isolate what action seems related to it hanging, but I do recall the program losing focus and/or saving to file and then not responding after that. If you're interested in working on it, I'd be happy to download it and do a little more scientific troubleshooting.

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Post by JeffM » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:39 am

noone can fix it untill someone gives a proper report.

The thing dosn't realy do anytthing special with focus, so it would be odd that that would cause it. There were some problems with older versions and deleting objects. but that's about it.
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Post by SilverFox » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:47 am

Like I said, I didn't spend any special attention to it, and just moved on. I'd be happy to collect specific info (like OS, when it seems to happen, etc, but not because I'm interested in using it, but to help identify a potential bug for the sake of the project)

The way you've spoke of this project in this thread, leads me to believe you're time investing in it is done. Is that right? If you're still working on it, let me know and I'll gather what I can and send it to you (I hate vague reports of "its broke" too, and don't want to be one of those guys). but on the other hand, its not worth my time, if the report isn't going to be heard or acted on.

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Details

Post by Gerbil » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:18 pm

Ok--on my pc it doesn't freeze up but here is what it does do...

You tool along and then you sense a slight hesistation as it adds your latest element--which it does. Thereafter there are certain objects you cannot mark on the map and when you add certain new objects the old coordinates of the object where you noticed the hesitation appear when you try to enter height, etc.

If you save changes adn log off then back on, the objects you couldn't get placed will be in their default starting positions but with none of the specific changes you attemped to make with them.

Please don't tell me its my pc--I have a 2.8 gig athlon with 128 meg graphics and 1.5 gig of ddr ram. I have seen this issue on every pc I have run it on (five to date) and in Windows 98 and XP.

The 1.6.3 bug fix does add the shootthrough and the like but it is waaaay less stable and has this problem almost immediately.

I am not sure but it sems certain map views mess it up. Certainly when you are zoomed in very close from above on an object it happens much more often.
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Post by JeffM » Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:46 pm

SilverFox
It all depends on how long things would take to fix. If they are super small one line bugs, sure I could fix them.

Gerbil
Ok that sounds like the instability in the world database system. That's a core problem. I never fully reviewed grumblers changes, or what compiler he built in so I can't say much about the 1.6.3 build.

I did try to build the current stuff in .net and it dosn't build, the projects are not set up right. When I made it VC 6 was the only thing out, so that's what it's set up for.
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No Apologies Needed

Post by Gerbil » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:55 pm

The bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

It's nice you made it. I estimate at least half of the map makers out there wouldn't have gotten into or stayed with map making if you hadn't.

I certainly would never have made a map--much less an elaborate one if an editor had not been available.

maybe someone will volunteer :)
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Bzedit tweek

Post by Saxiboy518 » Thu Mar 24, 2005 3:08 am

I really dont thiink that there was any problems with Bzedit i think it just needs some minor tweeking the only things people want are...

circle objects (primids boxes bases) and textures witch should just be download able a lot of people kno how to make them so there would be a good amount to download...

the teleports worked on all the maps i made... if u want to see a map i made look on server... www.lavastrom.com port# 5154


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