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Author Topic:   user-customizable tank mdls...
il_mutanto
Member
posted September 29, 1999 05:56 PM         
what about letting users add self-created tank models and skins? it works for quake, it works for pod. y not here?

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted October 02, 1999 03:52 AM           
Yup, that's the whole plan.

I'm not sure how I'll deal with getting mods between servers and clients... It'll be easy to make mods for single player. Since our textures are so large, I might not have auto-downloading, and just require everyone to have any new skins or flags if they want to be able to see them.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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il_mutanto
Member
posted October 02, 1999 07:59 AM         
the flags r only 17k...

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted October 02, 1999 08:27 AM           
17k is a lot to transfer over a modem while trying to play a game at the same time, though, especially if half the players there have their own custom flags that need to be delivered.

It may be possible to work out some form of super compressed format for transmission of flags over the net automatically. If transmitted flags were reduced to 64x64 pixels, that would be a 1/4 size reduction as is, and LZ compression (since they are 8-bit paletted as it is) or perhaps 3DFX's new 6-to-1 compression would make them even smaller.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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Dreamer
Member
posted October 02, 1999 10:57 AM         
il_mutanto, although being quite hyperactive on this bbs (V^^^^V), has a point there, i think. I can think of two other exchange possibilities, anyway:
a) LDA could promote the combined use of ICQ and TM.... Maybe the ICQ guys would even work together with LDA...? (as it means new customers for ICQ and thus more money for them)

b) (which i think is the better one)an 'official' TM user up-/download page could do the trick. Maybe just let the Server tell connecting clients which mdls and insignia are available on the server, and, if the client doesn't have some of those currently in use, dl them automatically from that third site without doing harm to the servers bandwidth...
In case the connecting client wants to use some files the server doesn't have, maybe just notify the server and force the client to use one of the standard files available for both client and server.

Both of these solutions should work with maps, too.

btw... LDA Seumas: ref. last night's net play-> there is a difference between AIFF and IFF Formats...

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Remember to live your dreams.

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G-Force
New Member
posted October 02, 1999 09:36 PM            
Well for the flags use Run Length Encoding (RLE) its supported in BMP's and will cut the flags down to 7 or 8k. Also the flags should also be placed on the side or front for the tank maybe resized.. but resizing a indexed image.. looks like ****. Just an idea but the tank mdl's and mdl's textures could be sent before you join the game like in quake. But the textures are in BMP 24 bit which are SILLY large, but couldn't you use TIFF and LZH compression to reduce the size?

Just some ideas I love this game and want to support it any way I know how

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G-Force
New Member
posted October 02, 1999 09:46 PM            
Oh yea if you don't know RLE..

1. Let B be the first byte if B>0 copy the next B bytes to screen

if B<0 repeat the next byte -B times on screen

if B==0 We're done!

2. Keep doing this until we're done.

Simple fast and only +1 byte if it can't compress.

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted October 03, 1999 02:12 AM           
Dreamer,

By IFF, I meant good old Amiga style IFF, as used in LightWave's .LWO object files, and in the Tread Marks .VED map files. All the chunk types are custom, but the structure should be plain IFF, I think.

G-Force,

I know the skins are really big (the price of high res true color textures), so auto-downloading them would be very tricky. That's part of the reason we put in the flags, to give a smaller way of identifying ones self. We will brighten up the flags so they are much easier to see, too.

Oh, and I do know how to do RLE compression... The .VED files use RLE for the EcoSystem map chunks, which compresses them like 10 to 1.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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Dreamer
Member
posted October 03, 1999 08:23 AM         
thx for telling G-FORCE the chunks r RLE'd.
really. anyway, thx. u could've told me before, though. btw, i love the new screenshots.

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Remember to live your dreams.

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted October 04, 1999 06:59 AM           
Not all of the chunks are RLE compressed, only the one that it makes any difference for. The EcoSystem map has only a handful of different values, with huge patches of the same value.

As soon as the full game is out we'll release the map editor, and probably the full specs on the map format too. I'd rather that user map creation be left until the full game is out anyway, as I don't think the Demo will be able to load user maps. Don't want people downloading tons of user maps and tanks to add to the demo and not needing to buy the game.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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G-Force
New Member
posted October 04, 1999 08:59 PM            
Ok cool so in the next version will it auto download new Flags.. well the thing is..

I need to see my NAME flying proudly from my tank with like the BLOOD of my enemies dripping from its fine banner!

Opps sorry went off on one of my little tangents. It won't happen again =D

I made the dragon for HL =D

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted October 05, 1999 11:33 AM           
Nice flag, G.

The next version of the Test might not auto download flags yet... There are a few tricky aspects to getting that to work quickly and securely, what with the client send to server, then server send to clients.

When I saw your message in my e-mail notification without the graphic, it did give me the idea to finally add names floating above the closest enemy tank. It looks good, and really helps with identification. Now the flags are more of a secondary symbol, since you can tell at a glance the name of the person you're duking it out with regardless of flags.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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