Questions

For those of us who are curious and like to poke around in the game's data files and scripts as well as glitching. Caters to anything from unit/building stats to level data to telling how to glitch and stories of game errors.
AquaSide
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Questions

Post by AquaSide » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:41 pm

Hey guys,i got some questions about UA.
1:Does anyone know a program that can edit the vehicle shape?
2:Does anyone know a program that can let me make levels easily?
3:When i tried to make a level selection map,I did everything and edited all the level selection files but,when i started UA it showed only
17 levels out of 44 level :? does anyone know the reason? I used Ultimate Paint and XnView.
If the reason is because of the tools i used to make the MASKE file can someone tell me a program which can help me insert the true color
for each level?

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Re: Questions

Post by Ormu » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:14 pm

Hello,

1) At the moment... not really. Hex editor can be used but it's difficult. There is a plugin for Blender that allows modification of the wireframes ("skeletons", SKLT chunks/files) but not texturing, animations or particle effects. It can be used to modify the HUD wireframes. We are working to develop full support for UA models.


2) One of the leaked prototype builds should include the level editor ("windsgn.exe") that was created and used by the original developers. I haven't tried it yet so I don't have more information. Other than that, there aren't complete editors available. There is, however, a random level generator.

So far all modders have used a text editor. The levels are plain text files and the format is easy to understand. The hard part is to visualize it in your head.


3) Several possible reasons exist. Are all those levels in open/available state? Go to the saves folder, then to the active save folder, open user.txt and see the begin_levelstatus X sections. Status 1 = hidden, 2 = available, 3 = completed, 4 = disabled or something strange.

If that doesn't help, check the color palette once more. Are all level numbered and named correctly, and do the numbers match the colors in the mask file?
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GoldStar611
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Re: Questions

Post by GoldStar611 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:16 am

You should take a look at the level creator.exe program at http://files.metropolisdawn.com/?m&dir=modder-tools

It was made in visual basic 6.0 so you might need to track down the Microsoft runtime for it.

To edit the vehicle shape can range from hard to impossible. Currently it is possible to extract the wireframes/skeletons then import them to blender, slightly modify, export from blender then replace the skeleton in SET.BAS using a few different scripts. You can't delete or add new verticies because its all tied to texture mapping and we don't have the scripts to edit those yet. I haven't even tried it yet because its not mature enough at this point.
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AquaSide
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Re: Questions

Post by AquaSide » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:23 am

Nope,Ormu
First, i copied the colours and painted the levels randomly then the weird thing was that each level took another colour than its original one.

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Re: Questions

Post by CharlotteLabyrinth » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:40 pm

Hello AquaSide, welcome to Stoudson Corporation.
AquaSide wrote:First, i copied the colours and painted the levels randomly then the weird thing was that each level took another colour than its original one.
It is hard to discern a cause of your problem without directly looking into your modified MASKE.iff file. :P If possible, would you mind uploading an image of your file?

In any case, you could simply assess the colour palette of the MASKE.iff file to determine the index of colours assigned to each level.

It is very straightforward - for example, the first colour of the palette corresponds to the level L0101.ldf; while the second and third colours correlate with L0202 and L0303, and so on. The same numbering rule applies to every other level in the game.
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AquaSide
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Re: Questions

Post by AquaSide » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:58 pm

Here you go :D
Btw i removed the training missions and i didn't add them and the demo and debug missions.
Attachments
normal.bmp
normal.bmp (301.05 KiB) Viewed 368 times
MASKE - Copy.bmp
MASKE - Copy.bmp (301.05 KiB) Viewed 400 times
Images(3) - Copy (2) - Copy.bmp
Images(3) - Copy (2) - Copy.bmp (301.05 KiB) Viewed 400 times

AquaSide
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Re: Questions

Post by AquaSide » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:41 am

These are WHITE and done files.
Does it look good?
Attachments
WHITE.bmp
WHITE.bmp (301.05 KiB) Viewed 368 times
done.bmp
done.bmp (301.05 KiB) Viewed 368 times

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CharlotteLabyrinth
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Re: Questions

Post by CharlotteLabyrinth » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:40 pm

Hmm... The colour schemes for those level masks are identical to the standard index of colour palette used by UA, but the positions for each level are indeed peculiar.

I believe the palette structure of your MASKE.iff file had been somehow altered in some ways, so in order to make it work you will have to restore your original colour palette for your MASKE.iff file. There are multiple ways of solving it, even possibly using the newly 'modified' palette index of yours but let's just do this in a simple and conventional way. :D



Open your pristine backup of the vanilla MASKE.iff file (the unchanged vanilla mask file that was used for the original UA) by using XnView, and then press Ctrl+M to bring up the palette of it.

Now first let us check if the file has the correct palette, are the first four colours of the palette index in white (254, 254, 254); green (0, 254, 0); red (252, 0, 0); blue (0, 0, 251); in that order? :?: If so, it is the original palette; save the palette data to somewhere by using the 'Save' button (by default, the palette data will be saved as 'palette.pal').

Next, open your modified MASKE.iff file (the modded mask file for your mod) with XnView again, and press Ctrl+M to bring up the colour palette to check if the colour structures are in a different order. If my assumption is correct, there will be a huge discrepancy in the colour palette - with every valid colour being clustered in the first few rows while the rest of the colours are in black.



Now please follow the next instructions carefully one by one, a simple mistake can results in an irreversible consequence :!: :

While at your modified MASKE.iff file, press Ctrl+A and then Ctrl+C to temporarily copy the current image data of your modded mask file. Next, press Ctrl+M again to bring up the palette of your modified MASKE.iff file (it should be in the 'wrong' palette) and then click 'Load' button to load the palette data that you have just saved from the vanilla MASKE.iff file before, and press 'OK' button.

You will immediately notice that the colours are completely distorted! But stay calm, and simply press Ctrl+V to paste the previously copied image data. This will restore all the colours back to its normal status, while the palette has been fixed now. Finally, press Ctrl+S to save the image data, and then try this new MASKE.iff for the game to see if all the levels are now displayed correctly.


You may also need to recalibrate the structure of the level orders as well. To determine which colours correspond to which levels, simply refer to the index numbers of the colour palette as I mentioned above. :mrgreen:


Warning: Do not use Ultimate Paint to save this file again before manually setting the correct palette for the software! Unlike XnView, which can automatically load and use the unique palette data from each opened file, Ultimate Paint uses its standard palette 'upaint.pal' for every file opened with it by default. These two programs can be used to do the same job, but that doesn't mean they are mutually compatible in all parts.
;----------------------------------------------------------
;
; Vielleicht der niedlichste Hubi, Knuddel.
;
;----------------------------------------------------------

Personal Declaration: I always use different usernames across different websites. Hence if you ever see my username is being used outside of Stoudson Corporation, I absolutely have no affiliation whatsoever with that!

Ormu
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Re: Questions

Post by Ormu » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:28 pm

Looks like the palette is the problem. I opened your mask file in XnView and noticed that the color palette of your mask is very different compared to the palette of the original mask.

The colors used in your mask file are colors 0-41 in the palette. However, default UA level numbers are not 0 to 41. They are not in an order either.

The mask works so that the index (position in the palette) of every color in the mask determines the level number which the particular color points at. For example, if you want to define the area of level 15 (L1515.ldf; it's Parasite City in original UA), you must pick color nr. 15 from the palette and paint the desired area in the mask file. Note that the first index is 0. It's good idea to use it as the background color.

Changing the palette is not enough in this case, because the pixels in the file still have wrong color indices (0 to 41) and will point to wrong or non-existing levels.


edit: Ultimate Paint doesn't indeed seem to load the color palette from the file by default so using it to edit the level mask may not be recommended. There is a "Load" button in the palette window, but I don't know what file formats it supports.

XnView should work for conversion, and GIMP should be OK for editing. There is also a plugin for GIMP that adds direct support for ILBM (IFF) files but I haven't tried it.
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GoldStar611
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Re: Questions

Post by GoldStar611 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:30 am

for the record, this level map looks pretty awesome. A North American map mod!
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