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Author Topic:   New flags available upon request
Neo
Member
posted June 14, 2001 01:50 PM            
A note on flag importance, nationalism/internationalism, and new flags:

Although the TM community is relatively small, one of the things that first drew me in to the game was its internationalism and international appeal.

I learned to play the game on the NGI Demo server (as did many other players). One of the things that most appealed to me about the demo was that even though it had a fan base of only about 20 or 30 players, many of those were international. [Some people in the NGI Demo affix country code abbreviations to their tank names; i.e. "Herm (FR)", "Poddz (SWE)", "Hut (PL)", etc., and some even chat in languages other than English.]

I feel that this is a very positive aspect of the NGI demo community and should be encouraged within the full version--and also (especially) in the new demo.

As such, I have taken it upon myself to design 89 TM flags (and their associated *.ent files) representing 28 nations. Also, I will design and create new flags for any nation not yet represented, if a person from said nation so desires. I realize that TM players only represent about 5-10 countries. However, all indications are that the community will be growing domestically as well as internationally. I feel that these flags alone could actually help increase international diversity, and I think the international community would appreciate the ability to represent their home country (even in such a small way).

I think that friendly and constructive international competition can add a great deal of excitement to anything, and TM is especially well-suited to it.

I am aware that the flags are useless in multiplayer if both the server and the client do not possess the files that contain them. Therefore, I will provide the flags to anyone demonstrating an interest in them. Hopefully as the community grows, the flags will become widely distributed, so that they are visible to anyone in the multiplayer. This might require that they are eventually placed on a web server that is accessible to players and servers alike. I encourage anyone with the ability and desire to help out with this, to do so in any way they see fit.

I know the idea of using national flags will not catch on with everyone, and that is OK. Individualism is arguably more important anyway--but it would still be cool to have a TM Olympics some day, with each player representing his/her home country--even if they are not using that nation's flag.

This has been a public service announcement from Neo.

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coax
Administrator
posted June 15, 2001 02:34 AM            
sweet, that be cool. Can you give us a list of flags?

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LDA Players, Information, and etc...


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Neo
Member
posted June 15, 2001 03:35 PM            
No problem. I'm sure nobody wants to go through detailed descriptions of 89 flags. so here is an abridged version:

Australia - 2 flags
Austria - 4 flags: 1 lšnder(regional) / 3 national
Belgium - 7 flags: 4 regional / 3 national
Brazil - 2 flags
Canada - 7 flags: 5 provincial / 2 national
China - 2 flags
Denmark - 2 flags
Deutschland (Germany) - 6 flags: 4 lšnder (regional) / 2 national
Finland - 2 flags
France - 3 flags
Hungary - 3 flags
Italy - 2 flags
Japan - 5 flags
Luxembourg - 3 flags
Mexico - 2 flags
NATO - 1 flag
Netherlands - 1 flag
Norway - 2 flags
Poland - 5 flags
Portugal - 3 flags
Russia - 2 flags (Also 2 former USSR flags just for fun )
Scotland/Nova Scotia - 1 flag
South Korea - 2 flags
Spain - 3 flags
Sweden - 2 flags
Switzerland - 6 flags: 5 Cantons (regions/states/provinces) / 1 national flag
United Kingdom - 2 flags
United Nations - 1 flag
United States - 3 flags

There are 89 flags in total, comprising roughly 1.48 MB.

A few general notes about these flags:

1) As you can see there is quite a bit of inequality in the numbers of flags-per-country. Therefore please note that nations have different proportions for their flags. Most flags are either 2:3 or 1:2, which makes them hard to use as TM flags, as TM flags are in 1:1 ratio (square) [to my knowledge, the only country with a 1:1 flag is Switzerland--the Swiss flag therefore works beautifully as a TM flag.]. This is why I have made at least two examples of the national flag in many cases: a stretched version and a "exact proportions-on-a-white-background" version. Some nations' flags simply work better as TM flags and therfore need fewer versions.

Also bear in mind that I began this solely as a work of interests: I like flags, and I like TM, so I made TM flags. Anyway, I made more flags for countries which had more flags availible. Many of these flags are "COA" flags: "coat-of-arms". Since I find these interesting and cool, I made a lot of them. However, some countries do not have COA flags; or at least, I don't know about them. In any case, this explains why some countries have fewer flags than others.

2) During testing of the flags I found that in the game, the tank hoists the right-hand side of the bitmap of the flag. I had to flip all the asymmetrical flags so that the hoist side of the flag was accurate. [imagine a US flag hoisted backwards, with the stars flappin in the breeze; it looks ridiculous.] Anyways this flipping of the .bmp causes the flags to appear backwards in the game menu. If anyone knows of any way to correct this, let me know. Also, I'm not sure if the flag's image appears as a mirrored image or if it just gets hoisted on the right-hand side of the flag. If anyone knows this, let me know.

3) I'm not sure exactly how the *.ent files operate and what they do with regards to the flags. I basically just took one of the stock flag *.ent files and made 89 duplicates and just changed the names around--works fine, but I'm not sure if each *.ent file should be custom made for each flag-- but that seemed ridiculous to me. However, some of the flags appear a bit "cartoonish" and could use better shading effects. Does anyone know the details on how to make them look better?

5) Most of these flags are basically just modified, enhanced, and fitted 256 color versions of flag images downloaded from various internet sources, therefore they are easy to make.

6) I actually enjoy making these flags (can you say...no life? lol ) so if anyone does not see a country here that they would have liked to have seen on the list, let me know and I will whip up several versions of that country's flag.

6) Maybe I should repost the opening message from this thread in a more traveled discussion. I have the feeling that you're the only who's gunna see all this, coax. lol.

7) Maybe I need to make shorter messages on this topic

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Rex R
Member
posted June 16, 2001 02:26 AM            
flags don't have to be square, they can be most any shape provided that you have the proper mesh(or so I surmise). its easy to make flags that are not square, retangular(don't even need to make any meshes, look at the team flags in ctf) triangular flags would need a new mesh

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Neo
Member
posted June 16, 2001 03:18 AM            
Hmm...Good point, Rex. I didn't think of that--I'm not much for mods, meshes, .ent's, etc. though, so that explains it.

However, I can already see some issues that would arise with/when custom-shaping or custom-sizing the flags:

1) The fewer files for people to download and install, the better. Although I'm sure even 89 separate meshes still won't be a lot more data, it will be easier for all intents and purposes to simply use the stock flag shape.

2) Designing the shapes for them will (I would think) end up becoming excessively time-consuming. How many people will really care if their US flag is in 10:19 ratio versus 1:1?

3) I have no idea how to do it. I don't know how to change meshes. I'm sure I could learn, I've just never had the time, and when I did, I spent it making flags. lol.

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Rex R
Member
posted June 16, 2001 05:10 AM            
well for the non square-rectangular flags you include the line scalematrix = x, y, z in the flag ent IIRC the example is from team1flag.ent by adjusting x and y you can make the flag nonsquare(think you would have to distort the flag texture, start with a non square texture resize to square, which should distort it, then tm would undistort it when it applied the texture. not sure haven't tried it) anyway you would have no more files than you do now(1 flag ent, 1 flag texture)

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Neo
Member
posted June 16, 2001 05:48 PM            
I'm not sure if that would work. The team flags are a different size (128x256) than the tank flags (128x128). They use a *.lwo and *.ent that apparently just stretch the dimensions of that flag.

I tried squeezing a 2:1 ratio flag (United Kingdom) into 128x128 and then tried to stretch them with just the ScaleMatrix addition--no changes yet. I will look into modding the *.lwo file it refers to, but I don't even know how to do that.

Thanks for the input Rex, it is a tremendous help.

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Rex R
Member
posted June 17, 2001 02:40 AM            
well give a day or 2 and I'll send you a modified mesh to play with. lets see 2x wide as it is tall. ok to send it to your forum address?

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Neo
Member
posted June 17, 2001 03:39 AM            
That would be great--my forum address is fine. Thanks, Rex. If the 1:2 height:length ratio mesh works, I may employ you in making me a 2:3 mesh as well, because Most flags are either 1:2 (e.g. UK) or 2:3 (e.g. France).

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Rex R
Member
posted June 17, 2001 09:29 PM            
well after going bug-eyed playing with a mesh, decided to try my original idea with scale matrix works fine. it should be in your box shortly

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Neo
Member
posted June 18, 2001 02:52 AM            
Good work, Rex, thank you very much. The flag and the *.ent worked beautifully. I tested them out, then modified some of my own *ent.'s. The flags work beautifully--however, they are not changed from the original 128x128. In other words, the scale-matrix seems to have no stretching effect on the sizing of the flags in-game.

I wonder if I could resize the *.bmp files to 128(high)x256(long) for 1:2 ratio flags? Or would the mesh simply not support it?

Looks like I may be going with just the original files. They don't look half bad....

Regardless, thanks for the work, Rex. I appreciate it. Let me know if you have any thoughts on this.

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Neo
Member
posted June 18, 2001 02:56 AM            
Oh also-- I've been testing the flags in the old 1.5 (?) demo, because I "temporarily misplaced" my TM cd. Anyway I wonder if that could have any effect......?

[Looks like I gotta buy the game all over again ]

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Rex R
Member
posted June 18, 2001 03:12 AM            
the demo might be the problem(now that i think of, it most likey is) think the ability to scale flags was added along with ctf. I do know that I can make a flag look like its a mile long and the 1 i sent you the ellips(red oval) comes out round (in game not at the flag selection screen)with my setup. as to game cds what you mean you're one of those ppl who didn't have ver 1.001? according to lda ver1.6 can use either cd for its cd check(have not tried it)

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Neo
Member
posted June 18, 2001 07:36 PM            
I think the first ver. I had was 1.5. I was wrong, my demo is ver 1.0.1, so evidently I had ver 1.0 somewhere along the line, at least in demo form. You're right though--I think the flags will simply not expand in the demo. I guess I'm gonna have to buy a new TM cd. Good thing it's only $30. Well worth it.

P.S.: 100th Art & Modeling post!

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Neo
Member
posted June 23, 2001 03:29 AM            
OK kids, heres the deal, in case anyone is interested:

1) I created 5 new flags. They are as follows: Ireland, Israel, Red Cross (for anyone who wants to play medic I guess, lol) and 2 flags for Scotland. Also created their associated *.ent files.

2) I completed work on the updates for the remaining *.ent files. All the flags are now properly fitted to their country's specified proportions, or as best I can approximate.

Keep in mind that I am working blind, since I have no TM cd with which to test the flags and their entities. Anyone willing to help me out here? I eventually plan on putting the flags on public html or ftp server for download. Before I ship them off, however, I want to make sure they're gonna work perfectly and look pretty. Therefore, if anyone is willing to help me "beta-test" these things, please email me or just post a reply on here. Thanks.

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Dreamer
Member
posted June 24, 2001 04:59 AM         
Neo, that sounds pretty cool...

But:
a)I don't think the flag selection menu inside TM is really made for that many addon flags

b)Everyone will need each and every flag from that pack, since TM doesn't allow anything but .ent files to be transferred from servers to connecting clients.

That means:

c) We need to tell LDA about a)and b) and ask what they can do about that

d) You'll need someone to host your flag pack.I might be able to whip up something in my flags section. I like Flags

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Thx, man, you are almost the first one to really care about tank decoration here...

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Neo
Member
posted June 24, 2001 10:56 AM            
Well I have tested all of my 95 flags in the old 1.0.1 Demo (see above about my cd) and the addon menu there had no problem displaying them all perfectly, in addition to the stock flags. I'm assuming this means that it would work fine in Full 1.6 version, but I could always be wrong.

About hosting: I have a new personal TM site up on server: http://www.100megsfree4.com/neos/
Eventually I plan to put the flags up there. If you're still interested by then, you can either just link to that or you can mirror it for me, either way would be cool. I wanted to get the flags thoroughly looked at and checked before I made them fully public, however. Of course, my lack of TM cd causes a problem here, hence the beta-test requests.

Thanks for the input, Dreamer. You were definitely right about the lack of interest in tank decoration. It's like a ghost town in this art & modeling forum. Sad...

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Dreamer
Member
posted June 24, 2001 06:07 PM         
quote:
It's like a ghost town in this art & modeling forum. Sad...

Well, maybe you haven't been around long enough to remember what this forum used to be for...

Btw. Where have those old posts gone? RC? Jim? anyone?

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Neo
Member
posted June 26, 2001 08:54 PM            
See, I told ya. Like a ghost town...

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LordDrow
Member
posted June 30, 2001 02:43 AM            
Hi folks. I am around and reading like mad. Been lurking here and there. Now going to start posting and playing fairly frequently.
Hope all finds you well.

L8tRz,

LordDrow

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Neo
Member
posted June 30, 2001 02:59 AM            
omg, Dreamer look! A living, breathing person!

hehe, Welcome LordDrow. Hope to see you online soon.

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=DNX=goku
Member
posted July 23, 2001 02:44 PM            
hay Neo will you send me them flags you can send it to my e-mail address: sugardog1@att.net

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Dreamer
Member
posted July 25, 2001 07:27 AM         
Neo - could you send me your flag pack?

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