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Author Topic:   Lets build a FAQ
The Weatherman
Member
posted May 01, 2001 01:23 PM         
Hey y'all,
I have another hare-brained scheme that requires community support. I am trying to cobble together a FAQ that addresses issues like - where to get mods, connection trouble shooting/optimizing, modding basics (extremely basic), server hosting, etc. I was thinking that most new users look first for a FAQ before trying to slog through a forum. Jim said he may post this on his site and I will post it on a page I will be setting up. What I need help on is the modding and server hosting sections. Can anyone help me out? Please e-mail me info on these ? and anything else you think would be helpful and I and try to edit and organize it into a neat FAQ (with credits, of course ) . I will also be combing the forum for questions and answers, too. I don't have gobs of time to devote to this but I am shooting to have something presentable in about 2 weeks.

Thanks and Y'all rule-
johnsan@che.utexas.edu


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JVortex
Member
posted May 01, 2001 06:18 PM            
ill try to give ya a hand where i can on that. i already have a sort of faq-ish thing on making models. and ive been planing on making a faq/ instruction thing for ent files.

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SuperUnknown
Administrator
posted May 01, 2001 10:40 PM            
That reminds me,I need to get that server info to the guy(whatshisname)so he can put those servers up.If you still want them.........?

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The Weatherman
Member
posted May 01, 2001 11:55 PM         
JV- I tried to find your faq thingy but could not. Is it okay to use it? If so, please send me a copy.

Super - Maybe we should hold of on that until we see more traffic. There are plenty of cool personal servers and I am worried that the Netgames servers may not be getting enough hits to keep them interested as is.

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SuperUnknown
Administrator
posted May 02, 2001 04:32 AM            
Fine with me.I'll email the dude and say we want to put it off a little while.

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=DNX= Matrix
Member
posted May 02, 2001 05:01 AM            
Add a Question and its answer below this post - and ill add them all to the DMF ROUGH GUIDE !

done

-=[/2]=-

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Random Chaos
Member
posted May 02, 2001 02:31 PM            
Would be nice. I've worked on some of this...never got too far - takes a lot of work. I have basic mod info in progress...for LDA, but I was cut off on working for them before I finished. Only got a couple pages done though.

Its a very time consuming process. So many commands that have to be at least breifly described.

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JVortex
Member
posted May 03, 2001 01:09 PM            
oh, the faq-ish thing that i have on modeling isnt on my site yet. its actually an email that i wrote to somebody. ill have to alter it a bit yet before i post it.

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The Weatherman
Member
posted May 03, 2001 01:46 PM         
Here is an outline of topics I will try to address in the FAQ:
Questions:
Mods -
--What are they
--Where can I get them
--How do I use them
--How do I make them - weapons, tanks , maps
----Beginner - use Blandy's prog or text editor
----Advanced - EEK + modeling info
Multiplayer
--How do I connect to a game
--What should my settings be - game play optimizing
--Why can't I see weapons/tanks/maps
--How do I tell if there are people online
--Useful keyboard commands
Server hosting
--How do I set up a LAN game
--How do I set up a internet game
Trouble Shooting
--Game Freezes
--No picture
--No sound
--I suck
What does ? do
--Tank options
--Graphics/sound options
Where can I go for more info
--LDA's TM site
--Tech support email
--The forum
--Personal TM pages

I feel that I can write something good on most topics except servers and advanced modding. Please send me any questions you think should be added, suggestions, or any answers you may have.

[This message has been edited by The Weatherman (edited May 03, 2001).]

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The Weatherman
Member
posted May 04, 2001 02:48 PM         
Here is the section that I have on Mods. Please look it over and make corrections/ suggestions.

What are mods?
-Mods are user created weapons, tanks, or maps. This includes completely new objects or modifications of stock objects. Mods are made of 3D model files, textures, and a ".ent" text file that tells the game how to assemble all of the files to make the mod and how the mod works. ***Note: Mods only work with the full version of Treadmarks.***
You may notice that some servers have many weapons or tanks that did not come with your TM installation. There is a web page with screenshots of many established mods here: http://www.dnxworld.homestead.com/roughguide.html

Where can I find mods?
-Mods are found on personal TM pages or FTP servers. Here are some pages that host mods: http://server2049.virtualave.net/jvortex/html/TM/TMIndex.htm hosted by Jvortex
FTP : 206.152.117.189 login "Treadmarks" password "LDA"

How do I use mods?
-Mods are installed into the TM root directory in a folder called Addons. The Addons directory has the same structure as the root directory and the game overrides existing root directory files with those in the Addon directory. This allows you to experiment with settings in the Addon directory without the risk of corrupting the stock game files. Most mods are downloaded as ".zip" files that extract into folder named Addon. Simply drop this folder into your Treadmarks root directory and the mods are installed. ***Note, Treadmarks must not be running when you modify the Addon folder!*** Be sure to look for readme files in the Addon directory for more information on mod characteristics, installation, and troubleshooting.

How do I make a Mod?
-The easiest way to make mods is with a user-made program like Blandy's "Tread Marks Mod v1.2" which can be downloaded from http://icb.cjb.net/. This program finds all entities in your Treadmarks root directory and provides an easy interface to change their settings.
-More advanced mod makers will want to make their own 3D models and write their own .ent files. Lithium has a free program for making 3D models here: http://www.geocities.com/lithunwrap/ . JVortex has published an Entity Entry Key (EEK) that tells what most of the commands in ".ent" files do. Get the EEK here: http://server2049.virtualave.net/jvortex/dloads/TM/other/EEK.zip
Further questions on modding and map making are addressed in the Treadmarks discussion forum here:

I hope this doesn't display too messily

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coax
Administrator
posted May 04, 2001 03:40 PM            
Weatherman you need to start writing for the TM BIOS site. Your mod info looks very well done, i had some mod info posted on my site made by NOPER but your stuff is much more up to date. Do you mind if i post it on my site full credit being given to the author of course.

------------------
LDA Players, Information, and etc...


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The Weatherman
Member
posted May 04, 2001 05:28 PM         
Thx Coax. I don't have any problems w/ this material being re-posted although I am compiling it for posting on the LDA site. I have used some lines from Nopers post and ideas from all over the Forum. I was planning to credit the information to "contributers to the TM forum" or something. Several times I have found that what I thought we my original ideas were actually posted a long time ago

Modders - any fleshing out that you can offer for this section would be most appreciated. If you have additional information on your websites, send me a link and I will add it. EDIT - the link, not the info, unless permission is given.

[This message has been edited by The Weatherman (edited May 04, 2001).]

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Rex R
Member
posted May 05, 2001 02:17 AM            
[minor pendent mode] lithium's tool does not actually make the 3-d mesh, merely applies a texture. you need a 3-d modeling program such as; lightwave, 3d studio max, milkshape etc. to actually make an object
[minor pendant mode/off]

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The Weatherman
Member
posted May 05, 2001 12:43 PM         
Thanks for the info, RexR. I have never tried to make a mod at the model/texture level...
Could you expand on this a little? For example, I don't know the extensions for 3d models, textures, etc. . I also was wondering if anyone had a handle on the directory structure - ie. weapon .ents here, weapon models here, tank models here..... Maybe just "this folder contains blah". This would probably be useful for tacking onto the EEK, too. If this is too deep for a FAQ, maybe somebody can keep the info as an inFAQ

I will try to knock out the M-player FAQ next...

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Rex R
Member
posted May 05, 2001 02:35 PM            
well in TM all 3d objects are lightwave (.lwo) files and usually go into the addons\objects\(usually the name of weapon/tank)folder along with the .luv(lightwave UV? info)if any(not mandatory to have a .luv file) and textures(if any) are in windows .bmp format(not sure if there is a prefered bit depth) which goes into the addons\art\textures folder(AFAIK all objects require a texture, may not be texture mapped, in which case you can recycle another .bmp). as the .ent entries I'll leave that for another post

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JVortex
Member
posted May 05, 2001 05:39 PM            
as far as the model area of everything i have that tutorial thing almost done. well, almost postable anyway. it should be up by the end of today or tomorow at the latest. give my site a peek and the link will be in the news area on the main TM page. youre welcome to use info from there if you want to.

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Let the rocks roll and the battle commence. BZ The RPG. Check out the site! Loads of Tread Marks support and AddOns. (Under Heavy Construction) The non-TM areas of the site have been resurrected!

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The Weatherman
Member
posted May 08, 2001 11:33 AM         
Cool, Rex, I will include some of that info into the FAQ as a "entities are composed of" paragraph. I also read JVortex's info and there is no way in heck that I can boil that down to the FAQ level (it is for newbies, after all ). What I will do is place a link to JVortex's site as a for more information.

Thanks for all of the good info, gents.

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