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Author Topic:   The EEK (Entity Entry Key) Finally Available
JVortex
Member
posted April 02, 2001 12:54 AM            
Its finally up. this document contains most of the entity parameter commands and brief descriptions of what they are and how they work. it is on my site in the ENT Files area. hopefully this will help people to better understand how they work and encourage more and better addons.
i kno that this thing is far from complete and needs everyone to help with it by adding in their own notes and probably correcting a few mistakes in there. please everyone who knows anything about modding d load this file and put your $0.02 in. then email the changes back to me so i can repost it.

Thanks All

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Let the rocks roll and the battle commence. BZ The RPG. Check out the site! (Under Heavy Construction) Beware of the non-Tread Marks areas, they have pop up adds, AAHHHH!!!!!

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peeeto
Member
posted April 02, 2001 08:00 AM         
thanks, JV -
i'll d/l it, check it out & add to it when i get time...

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JVortex
Member
posted May 11, 2001 08:07 PM            
i just went thru the EEK and updated a lot of it. the entries now have many more things in plain english. now that i know more of what im doing its a bit easier to describe what the entries are. everyone who wants give it a look and ADD TO IT AND EMAIL ME CHANGES!!!! i still have yet to hear anything from anybody on this.

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swisher
Member
posted May 12, 2001 12:17 AM            
I've looked at it extensively. I've researched every possible entity keyword and will add to it when ENTegrety is complete. Almost there...

I've got it to chase all entites for a weapon. It uses keyword files with embedded edits. It not only checks that all of the files (.ent, .bmp, .lwo, etc.) referenced are present, but also that every word of every file is valid. AND that every argument on every parameter are valid (i.e., numeric, string, entity, .bmp, .wav, valid option [alpha, 0, 1, whatever]). And that the correct number of arguments are passed (3 for some parms [radius', etc.], for example). If a file is referenced in the base Tread Marks directories and the Addons folder, it is pointed out, too. The entire program is driven via rules files: WeaponRules.txt, ExploRules.txt, ExplosphereRules.txt, etc. These rules files are simple .txt files editable in notepad or whatever. The program works for all weapons now, but as long as there is a rules file for the class, it will check those as well. All we have to do is create rules files for all classes (shrubbery, tree, etc.) and the program should work fine. Saemus' design is awesome! What a brillant programmer -- really.

Output of the program is an error report that will be in the form: WeaponNameENTegretyresults.txt. The output file will be available in .html after the initial release. Via an .ini file, you'll be able to choose the program you'd like to launch to view the results after an ENTegrety run (notepad, netscape, etc.)

I've also figured out how to launch WinZip to automatically create a distributable .zip file containing all of the files (with sub-directories intact) used by the weapon. I'm even including a thorough description file in the .zip describing how to unzip the file; this file will be dynamic in that the author's name and the weapon name will be included in it.

I have about 30 more hours or so to go. I'm really excited. It's so fun to write software for fun -- doing it at work just ain't the same.

I've said weapon over and over, but there is no reason the program won't work for all .ent files in all of Tread Marks! Nothing is hard-wired in the program. It is driven entirely through the rules files -- inspired by the very .ent files I'm validating. Basically, once the core code is written, I may never have to touch the code again -- simply maintain the Rules files. I've even considered allow a Sync function to suck the most recent rules files from the net and have them be updated on the user's PC.

Well, back to it.

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Swisher
BWL/MG

[This message has been edited by swisher (edited May 12, 2001).]

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Dreamer
Member
posted May 12, 2001 05:04 AM         
Swisher, one of my current project is still an automatic mod installer - looks like you go first... right?
Please do implement such an option - shouldn't take too much work. If I were you, I'd think about a completely proprietary distribution file format or, since it's relatively easy to code, gzip - hardcoded into your prog, so ppl don't have to have winzip or similar progs.

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JVortex
Member
posted May 12, 2001 06:25 AM            
well holy crap! these TM support files are getting way cool. as long as there is a way to integrate all of them together (which i hear there will be) this will make for a hell of an editing package!

with blandy already expanding his prog to include the EEK i have gone thru and added a lot to it (and im still waiting on LDA to email me back his copy of the EEK with the propper descriptions, thattl be GREAT). i did notice today that there are a few parameters left out of the EEK that need to be added in. if theres gonna be 2 programs that use the EEK ill need to go thru it and revamp it a bit i think. im not 100% certain on what u would need (if anything) but i have a decent idea.

Blandy is already implementing a bmp previewer into his editor so u can see the various sprites and textures, will make it i bit easier than browsing thru the folder. does ANYONE know enough to make an OpenGL (or other) program that would be capable of showing previews of the ent's in action? a way to preview explo effects or projectiles. or even just a way to get your bolton and secmesh coords set would be a great time saver. i think this is a something that would have to come from LDA as it would probably need to use TM source code, but im not sure.

btw swisher, great name for the prog!

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Dreamer
Member
posted May 12, 2001 06:58 AM         
Seeing the ents in action would probably require extremely much guesswork, but concerning the coords... I might be able to do sth. in java/vrml for that, if there's interest in that.

Now for sth. completely different.

Click here for a more detailed pic
The ramp again. And again. And again. I'm totally sick of the Ramp. Folks, someone send me a 1024*1024 terrain bitmap and texture/tree/mesh recommendations for map maker testing.

[This message has been edited by Dreamer (edited May 12, 2001).]

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swisher
Member
posted May 12, 2001 08:36 AM            
Dreamer -- excellent suggession about gzip. GlPro (the language I'm using to write ENTegrety) supports it. Where do I learn more about it?

Is gzip basically a self-extracting thing? Do you think it would make the mod files too large?

The map editor looks awesome! Is JAVA your coice? I'm using it extensively at work now. Really powerful. I would have chosen it for ENTegrety, but I don't have a fancy IDE (Integrated Development Environment) at home.

BTW, I'd be honored if you would be the only "pre-beta" tester. After that, JVortex, JL, and RC for heavy BETA. Once you get the initial cut, we'll discuss fine-tuning off-line.

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Swisher
BWL/MG

[This message has been edited by swisher (edited May 12, 2001).]

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Dreamer
Member
posted May 12, 2001 09:47 AM         
beta->I'd be honored...
gzip->haven't had a look at it yet, but since the algorithm is public and lots of ppl use it, it can't be too hard to implement.
editor->please take into account that the editor will probably never generate previews of such a quality - way too much CPU load.
java->not really suited for the number of calculations I've got to perform on the maps, but a fascinating tool, plus I do believe that java has a lot of cross-platform potential, especially gui-wise. I still remember Seumas' words about a possible Linux port of TM.

[This message has been edited by Dreamer (edited May 12, 2001).]

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swisher
Member
posted May 12, 2001 10:32 AM            
Idea: I'll create an Uninstall_Weapon_NameOfNewWeapon.xnt (where Weapon could be tank, map, etc.) file that could be used to remove an unwanted mod. I (or someone else) could easily write a simple program to read the file (simple .txt format) and delete all of the files listed in it. Of cousre, the only files included are those in the Addons folders. I'll store it like:

Weapon: NameOfNewWeapon (used to display for confirmation of uninstall).
Addons\Entities\Weapons\WeaponName.ent
Addons\Entities\Smoke\WeaponSmoke.ent
Addons\Entities\Explo\WeaponExplo.ent
Addons\Art\Textures\WeaponTexture.bmp
... etc.
Addons\Uninstall_Weapon_NameOfNewWeapon.xnt

Obviously, I have access to all file names during an ENTegrety run, so creating this file is as easy as pie.

This file will be dynamically written before the zip process and included in the zip file.

A user would have to either: run the TmModUninstall.exe and select the file from a list OR associate the .xnt file extension to automatically launch TmModUninstall.exe

Should be cool.

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Swisher
BWL/MG

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JVortex
Member
posted May 12, 2001 03:09 PM            
something that only was useful for doing coordinates i think would be useful. for me especially as after launching TM and closing TM and launching and closing and so on, my comp eventually becomes too unstable to use and i have to restart. makes it a pain when trying to make a mod and get positioning of something just right.

if it was java based then all it would need to do was use a browser window so it should be able to be connected in with the other programs right?

im a lot looking foreward to a map editor. heres a couple things involving maps...
1) would a map editor that made mainly flat ground with just hills (much like crater depth parameters) be all that difficult?
2) i can see how the spawn points could easily be a point and click opperation, but what about laying down textures? is that going to be a pain?
3) the main thing im after is being able to lay in many objects on the terrain. TM doesnt really care how many objects you put in there right?

a track editor that was that "limited" would still be capable of making some pretty good maps. im mainly thinking of the 4x4 evolution style of maps. theyre fairly basic compared to TM but are full of objects instead of having way detailed terrain. the maps really work out nicely that way. too bad there isnt a way to port in the 4x4 evo maps. theyre about the same with the checkpoint tags, AI routs and tiled landscapes. im sure it probably couldnt be done tho.

i like the idea of ENTegrety doubling as a validation checker and a mod manager. that sounds great! any way to tell it to make an addon folder from the stock files? would be nice for people learning how to tinker. im certainly looking foreward to all of this. any ETA on a map editor beta?

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Dreamer
Member
posted May 12, 2001 04:27 PM         
swisher-> hmm... you can uninstall. Why not add an install option and call the thing mod-handler instead of uninstaller? My dreams in that direction paint something as easy to handle as .umod files (Unreal (Tournament) Mods (for those who might be not familiar with this suffix)).

jv-> nope, I don't aim for browser integration. This might be added (way) later, but right now, the whole concept is that of an easily portable standalone prog (I'm trying to avoid using anything that relies solely on windows tech&api for that reason)
The point and click interface is about the hardest thing to do for that map editor - it's going to take some time for me to get into that stuff. Right now I would be really grateful if TM just stopped crashing when trying to load my output files.

As for a prog that helps with positioning - I could easily do that in VRML, without even any java involved, but all models would have to be converted to VRML first... Then again, I'd be glad to host beta models, too, in a seperate section of my site (even password protected, if ppl want, which would mean transferring the finished models to me for VRML conversion and web upload, positioning the bolton points (probably with dummy boltons) over the 'web and then reading the current bolton coordinates from the web page and writing them to your local file. If you want that, I can supply you with it. I won't go and write a lightwave to anything else converter for that, though.

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JVortex
Member
posted May 12, 2001 04:54 PM            
when it comes to vrml im pretty well lost for the most part. would it be easier to have people convert to vrml first then send to u? if so what is best for conversion?

i dunno, im just rambling off some ideas. i tend to get ahead of myself at times. would something like that work for boltons as well as the other cooridnate systems? er... the other stuff like secmeshes and secents and smoketrails and stuff? just wondering.

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Dreamer
Member
posted May 12, 2001 05:12 PM         
ppl sending unconverted models would be the best option, IMO, as I'd have to edit them anyway (e.g. for exact placement of user-interaction sensors and stuff), plus there are pretty few free tools that convert anything to VRML.
As for conversion - 3DExploration from http://www.righthemisphere.com is quite cool, and worth its money - there's a free trial version for download at their site, too. That's what I use and I think it's about as good as converison programs can get (reads almost every conceivable 3d format, including things like Quake maps and Halflife player models and writes about half of them)

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Dreamer
Member
posted May 13, 2001 05:20 AM         
hoowoo! TM has stopped crashing...

I believe it's a bug in the crashing algorithm...

This is pretty cool...

Motivation levels rising again...

[This message has been edited by Dreamer (edited May 13, 2001).]

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Ragnarok
New Member
posted May 13, 2001 05:32 AM         
cool.

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JVortex
Member
posted May 13, 2001 05:41 AM            
well its always a good thing when TM doesnt crash.

out of curiousity... did TM crash after making that post?

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Dreamer (BWL/MG)
Member
posted May 13, 2001 07:53 AM            
The problem was that TM kept crashing every time I tried to load a map generated by my code... Looks like I have found the bug. Thus, I should soon be able to create valid maps from scratch (until now, I only used TM maps for input and immediate output - hard enough (for me));
}

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Ragnarok
New Member
posted May 14, 2001 11:17 AM         
Hmmm... maybe use Java3D for a preview? Should interact pretty well with VRML, methinks. But then again, it may be too slow - considering that a decent display for a TM map should have at least 128*128 vertices in the map... I'm looking forward to the first maps coming out of this baby...

Ought to consider retexturing NOPers maps - they look a little crappy with those not-quite-right mappings...

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Dreamer (BWL/MG)
Member
posted May 14, 2001 04:02 PM            
FYI - DM Flyboy, one of NOPer's maps, has been retextured and is now available for download at my site.
IMO it's finally playable now, so you might just as well go and have a look.

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JVortex
Member
posted May 14, 2001 04:56 PM            
well hell, cool. ill give it a look.

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Random Chaos
Member
posted May 17, 2001 11:17 AM            
Refering to Swisher's remark about Uninstalling:

This should have to take into account the possibility of shared files. When such exist, don't delete anything other then the Projectile, Spewer, Weapon, and Racetank files.

Explo's, Sounds, etc can be shared between several different zips (example: Both my Kangaroo Mine and Sheep Mine have the same explosphere entity).

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swisher
Member
posted May 20, 2001 02:29 AM            
Yes, RC, I too thought of this. What I may do is only allow the .unmod file to be created if EVERY file in the Addons for a specific mod is named with the main mod name. For example, the 240mm weapon would have to include "240mm" in every one of its files: 240mm.ent, 240mmSound.ent, 240mm.wav, etc.

I'll throw out a warning message if all files don't have main keyword in it, and will disallow the .unmod creation.

BTW, I've got the WinZip interface working. I'm working on entire mod packs now. You select any number of .ent files (weapons, let say), and I'll create separate zips and then a final master zip with all of the individual files (not the other .zips) in it for easy creation and distribution of mod packs.

I've also included image and sound preview while the files are being validated.

Tanks and trees are supported now, too.

Ability to add your own ReadMe file (240mm_ReadMe.txt) into the final zip file is there now, too.

Soon...

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Swisher
BWL/MG

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JVortex
Member
posted May 21, 2001 08:11 AM            
wow, ok that does it, im getting impatient.

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