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A Simple Request: Modding, and How-To

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Level 8 Human Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: Jacksonville
Posted on December 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Recently just got a copy of Tread Marks and been playing it ever since. I learned of its 'Mod-ablity' through some friends, and I have amazing ideas I would like to test out. I wish to make weapons, tanks, and new levels.
Basically, here is the question I'm sure someone has already answered. Can some1 link me a 'How To' guide on making these ideas real?

Level 13 Human bookkeeper
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Posted on December 10, 2010 at 2:24 am

howdy and welcome!

this is a good first introduction:
http://www.longbowgames.com/treadmarks/mods/

i don't mod, i'm just a pack rat. as such, i've been collecting "stuff" related to treadmarks for close to 10 years now...

i'm sure other people will chime in, but here are a couple of old posts ... from some where ... to get you started:

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Could you give me some tips on making a tank?

Except for the Mite the tank stats were kept the same to help keep racing fair. Of course this doesn't apply much now that TM is becoming more focussed on deathmatch.

Mass determines how much the environment effects the tank...splash push....and is the key difference between liquid and steel tanks.

Top speed is not a fixed limit....It can be exceeded going down hill.

Add acceleration if your tank is too slow on hills or you are setting gravity higher... to try for that WWII tank combat effect.

Armor is simply armor/hit points but with a damage gradient from front to rear .

Now that's pretty sketchy, so I'll comment on what creates the subtle differences that you observe.

All other stats being the same, it's the tank shape that counts.

On the bottom of each tank is a series of contact points. A contact points has to be touching the ground to drive the tank forward or turn....etc.

As for damage, the front can take the most damage and rear the least. There is a gradient around the tank. Given there more nebulous shape, a liquid tank might be taking a side hit when it appears to be taking a frontal hit.

When a tank takes splash/push it is temporarily disabled , having lost most of its contact with the ground. And as you experienced players know, the key to the dirtball attack is bouncing the opponent in the air That's why the dirtball was designed to just be reloading as the opponent is landing and regaining control...

Control is the key As soon as contact points touch down you can start regaining control, and that's where shape plays a major part.

The other major influence which is always changing and has a huge effect on tank performance is the terrain itself. As the terrain shape and roughness effects the ability of those contact points to be on the ground < to accelerate and turn the tank>, (and as no game has changeable terrain like Tread Marks) ....the terain creates a constantly changing set of parameters for the player to factor into decisions.

Jim

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How do I extract the heightmap from a .ved file?

Using Paint Shop Pro:

Open the .ved file as follows:
RAW format
Header offset: 40 bytes
Size: Probably 1024x1024 - most LDA maps are this size
Color Chanels: Single (Greyscale)
File Structure shouldn't matter since its greyscale, but I know Interweaved RGB order works.

If for some reason the file seems off hoizontally, open with no Header Offset and count the number of pixels not part of the picture at the top first row.

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How do I make a skymap for Treadmarks?

This can be acomplished using Terragen.

WHEN YOU ARE NOW READY TO RENDER Go to SETTINGS in the RENDERING CONTROL window. The RENDER SETTINGS window appears.

Don't touch gamma unless you specifically want to, but when you are ready to do the final render slide the ATMOSPHERE and CLOUD SHADING ACCURACY sliders to HIGH. Render times will now drastically increase even in the little preview window.

Click CLOSE. MAKE SURE DETAIL (just under the preview window) is all the way to the right (i.e. MAX).

Now look at the CAMERA settings. First place the camera and target where you want them by LEFT clicking in the little topdown picture of your terrain for CAMERA and RIGHT clicking for TARGET. The target will be changed manually though in a moment for skyboxes. Basically you want the camera near the middle so left click in the middle of the little terrain window.

Now set the ZOOM / MAGNIFICATION in CAMERA SETTINGS to 1. It defaults to 1.414 which will cause the images not to line up correctly.

GO TO WORLD FILE TO SAVE WORLD

Now, for the skybox,

Rencer each part of the skybox using these camera settings: Head, Pitch, Bank

0, 0, 0 save as: filename__front
90, 0, 0 save as: filename__right
180, 0, 0 save as: filename__back
270, 0, 0 save as: filename__left
0, 90, 0 save as: filename__up

All shots should be 512x512 typically and saved as .bmp files.

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these are old posts, so there are probably newer programs out there that do the same thing.

if nothing else, i'll comb through my old files and see what others have had to say in the past.

toodles,
harmless
:)

Level 12 Human Cyb0rg tank pil0t:|@- ҉҈҉҈҉-§¹Ç--҉҈҉-
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Standby In Winters's North
Posted on December 10, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Recently just got a copy of Tread Marks and been playing it ever since. I learned of its 'Mod-ablity' through some friends, and I have amazing ideas I would like to test out. I wish to make weapons, tanks, and new levels.
Basically, here is the question I'm sure someone has already answered. Can some1 link me a 'How To' guide on making these ideas real?



unlike harmless i'm a decently skilled modder, if you need any help or have any questions about modding TM i'll be glad to help you...

i'm one of the last and probably the oldest modder who still mods TM and finds it worth while...

Level 8 Human Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: Jacksonville
Posted on December 25, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Alright thank you both.
Lets start with something I think would be simple and then I can move on to more complex things, like tanks, weapons, sprites.
What are the best tools I can download and use to make a map. And if you wouldn't mind burning up your time, could you carefully explain how I would go about createing an exteremly simple map as an example?
Thanks,
Gret

Level 13 Human Sr Code Monkey
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: lost in the evil lands, of soccer-mom piloted minivans....
Posted on December 26, 2010 at 11:29 am

You can get the latest copy of TMapper here:

http://www.boomstickjoes.com/treadmarks/files/TMapper2.zip

http://www.boomstickjoes.com/treadmarks/files/TMapper2_New_Features.txt

You can load existing maps in TMapper to look around, but remember, you cannot redistribute modified stock maps (unless you get LDA's ok), and you should try to get permission before modifying and redistributing other peoples maps.

A simple map is easy to make. In any good paint program, create a square 256 color grey scale image (from 256x256 to 2048x2048 in size, 1024x1024 and 512x512 are standard sizes). Each pixel is one square meter, and each level of grey is about a meter high (although you can adjust the scaled height of the map, you cannot adjust the size of the map itself after you picked a pixel size).

You must have one spawn point that has no restrictions on it (it must allow all ent types and teams to spawn there). Without this spawn point, TM will crash. That spawn point is where the camera drops in when the map has finished loading. The text file about will explain some points on race maps and trees.

Level 8 Human Programmer
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: Jacksonville
Posted on December 28, 2010 at 8:38 pm

well that helps. but could you step by step it? I have the tool and im giving it the freshman try but I honestly don't really know where to start.

Level 13 Human Sr Code Monkey
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: lost in the evil lands, of soccer-mom piloted minivans....
Posted on January 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Unfortunately there use to be a tutorial (Kong wrote it), which I can no longer find. You can look around the old forum:

http://www.longbowgames.com/forums/archive/

There is ALOT of modding info there, but you may have to do a bit of digging since the search function is MIA.

My problem is that I haven't modded in a while so I don't remember all the details of making a map. I'm on vacation this week (my kitchen remodel is done, now is time to gear up for new floors which will go in this week or next week so I'm painter-man at the moment). Now that I got TMapper2 out the door, I'll try to get some time and make a map and a tutorial this week.

I do suggest you fire up TMapper, load a map (remember to save it to a different filename) and play with it. I believe the map name is set on the General Tab, the property name is 'MapName'. You will need to change that value as well. That is the name the game will display in the map selection screen.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on March 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Harmless, I put a copy of the tutorial page in a zip file if you want to post it somewhere.

grab here

Level 13 Human bookkeeper
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Posted on March 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm

thanks, will do.
i'll post a link here soon.

toodles,
harmless