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Rachek

Modernized, rebuilt-from-the-ground-up scenario editor coming soon. Anyone interested?

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Rachek   

Huh. There's a tool devoted specifically toward detecting Mono compatibility problems. So, I used it, fixed some other things that apparently aren't supported, and got a (hopefully) working version. It can be found here:

 

https://dl.dropbox.c...orTestFixed.zip

 

Considering the whole point of this test is identifying compatibility issues, the fact it didn't work is actually a good sign!

 

As an aside for programmer types, anyone have a clue why memory mapped files wouldn't be supported by Mono? Seems like a bizarre thing to not handle given they're supported by most major operating systems. Oh well.

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Rachek   

I've managed to track the problem down to the display of message boxes. It looks like that isn't supported across operating systems. I'll remove the messages and see if that lets it run properly.

 

EDIT:

 

Okay, I've removed the message boxes and updated the file. It can be redownloaded at the previous link. Now, it should either work or just close itself. Either way, the log will tell me of any issues.

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BoAScenEditor.exe

I tried on Windows XP and I got a Net Framework initialization error, I needed

v4.0.30319 Net Framework. It seems I need to update mine.

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Kelandon   

More fatal errors.

 

Oh hey, wait, I did it again and now it's not dying. It didn't do anything, but it didn't crash, either.

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Rachek   

BoAScenEditor.exe

I tried on Windows XP and I got a Net Framework initialization error, I needed

v4.0.30319 Net Framework. It seems I need to update mine.

 

With any Windows version since XP, .NET v4.0 is automatically installed. Before that, you have to do it manually at the Microsoft website. Takes just a few minutes. I think I'll probably include the distributable installer whenever this thing gets closer to working properly just for those that need it.

 

 

Well, I'm realizing that there's just no support whatsoever for some fairly basic features so I'm having to make alternatives. Definitely a good thing this is coming out at this point rather than later.

 

I think it might be good for anyone that tests to also give me a copy of the EditorConfig.dat file. It has some more information that might be helpful. As it is, once I can get the test program to work everywhere, I'll be ready to make the real thing.

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I am having major issues with the speed of my internet connection, I am pursuing this issue with my ISP. Until this is fixed I won't be able to easily update.

For dotNetFx40_Full_setup.exe, the link is:

http://www.microsoft...s.aspx?id=17851

 

Running BoAScenEditor.exe lead to a simple screen:

(Image deleted, it is no longer needed.)

 

I take it this indicates success for a test on Windows XP. The RGB color bars are split in half, is that meant to happen?

 

Contents of trace_634999248243177500.log:

*** Program started at 26/03/2013 20:00:24 ***

Host OS

Operating System: Microsoft Windows NT 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3

PlatformID: Win32NT

Loading config files...

Initial Setup

Setting up the environment...

Made directory tree

Printed scripts

Blades of Avernum located at C:\Program Files\Blades of Avernum

Detected OS: Windows

ARGB Format: 0xFFAABBCC

 

 

Contents of EditorConfig.dat file:

[string]

directory.bladesInstallation C:\Program Files\Blades of Avernum

system.os Windows

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Rachek   

Yes, if you see that screen, the test was successful. Thanks!

 

The colored bars were supposed to be split. The left has three solid colors, while the right has a gradient. I've mostly been worried that the colors could get mixed up between platforms, though it's looking like all of them use the same ARGB format which simplifies my job quite a bit. I can remove some unnecessary code that should speed up loading and converting images greatly.

 

 

I've been putting together one last version using input from ξ that should be fully compatible with both operating systems. Once it's done, I'd appreciate it if you could try it again as I don't have access to an XP machine to test this on. I definitely want to make sure this will run in as many places as possible.

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Rachek   

I have one last version to try out. Barring some new issue, it should work. I've had to make my own dialogs, so with this one you should especially run it in a directory other than Blades of Avernum to make sure the folder browser is functional. It should also be able to better handle error conditions so if anything does go wrong it should do more than just hang.

 

It can be downloaded here:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/26820555/BoA%20Editor%20Files/Releases/0.0.0.2/BoAScenEditor.zip

 

While waiting for results on this I'm starting preliminary work on the editor itself. At the very least I've figured out what to avoid when it's running on Mono. I don't really have any sort of an ETA there, but I should have something soon.

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This time it was run from its own directory: "C:\Program Files\BoAScenEditor", it found the BoA installation successfully.

I have uploaded a new version of picture:

(Image deleted, it is no longer needed.)

 

Note how the color bars are now uniform, not split into halves.

Contents of EditorConfig.dat file:

[string]

directory.bladesInstallation C:\Program Files\Blades of Avernum

system.os Windows

 

Contents of trace_635000206741093750.log

*** Program started at 27/03/2013 22:37:54 ***

Host OS

Operating System: Microsoft Windows NT 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3

PlatformID: Win32NT

Loading config files...

Initial Setup

Setting up the environment...

Made directory tree

Printed scripts

Blades of Avernum located at C:\Program Files\Blades of Avernum

Detected OS: Windows

ARGB Format: 0xFFAABBCC

Image conversion took 8.2619 milliseconds.

Resource access took 45.9712 milliseconds.

Startup complete with no errors.

Edited by Ishad Nha

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i'm not sure whether it's my system (winxp sp3 32 bit), folder structure (F:\games\avernum\blades_of_avernum) or game installation (installed some years ago, survived few system wipes and reinstalls), but the editor can't detect my boa copy no matter how many times i point it to its folder.

 

even if the editor's placed in the same folder as Blades of Avernum.exe it still can't detect it.

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One, it is looking for the main BoA folder, not a program.

Two, if that does not solve the problem, create a new BoA installation at this address:

C:\Program Files\Blades of Avernum

Then run the test program again.

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C:\Program Files\Blades of Avernum

funny, i copied the folder there and renamed it, and it worked. afterwards, when i renamed my original folder from blades_of_avernum to Blades of Avernum it started working there too.

 

it doesn't seem to accept any custom naming of the game's folder, it has to be exactly "Blades of Avernum" or it'll fail. the error message could mention that. i assumed it checks for the exe because of one of the posts above that said it'll check for the exe to confirm the game's presence, not the game folder's name.

 

The editor tries to find the main executable (or at least a file with the correct name) to determine if it's located the installation directory, and then accesses the resources from there.

 

installing the game allows you to change the folder name, so maybe this kind of detection isn't the best since that can be easily customized.

 

the editor works fine now.

 

*** Program started at 2013/03/30 5:06:11 AM ***
Host OS
Operating System: Microsoft Windows NT 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3
PlatformID: Win32NT
Loading config files...
Initial Setup
Setting up the environment...
Made directory tree
Printed scripts
Blades of Avernum located at F:\games\avernum\Blades of Avernum
Detected OS: Windows
ARGB Format: 0xFFAABBCC
Image conversion took 9.3286 milliseconds.
Resource access took 3.2072 milliseconds.
Startup complete with no errors.

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Rachek   

Yeah, really the fact that Blades of Avernum is installed is kind of irrelevant. The editor will be completely standalone in the end. At the moment it just checks for a folder named "Blades of Avernum". It could even be empty - it just needs a folder. I was thinking that having it know where BoA was installed would be useful, but really that won't be needed so I'll be removing that fairly soon. As it is, it's a good excuse for testing the folder browser. I think I've got the kinks worked out in Windows, but I'm still working for compatibility on Macs.

 

Speaking of, I've managed to convince (con) a friend of mine to lend me his old MacBook for a while so I might actually be able to test this stuff on my own. Maybe. I'm still trying to figure out how to work it.

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Kelandon   

I wonder if this project is finally dead. I kept predicting its demise. Rachek, signs of life?

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Rachek   

Ha, no! It's still going. Somewhat slowly due to work/school/life, but definitely kicking. I've been hesitant to just say, "Hey, still alive! No, nothing yet!" ad nauseum. Just rest assured: until I say so, this project should be assumed alive. Anyway, after being unable to get Mono to work myself I've pretty much given up on C# and have switched to Java. That, at the very least, should be readily supported by everyone. I'm having to do quite a bit of tinkering with my existing code to translate it properly, but I'm getting there.

 

I haven't the slightest ETA at this point as I've never worked with Java extensively before, but the good news is that now that I don't have to constantly check for compatibility I can generally move faster. Technically I tried to make my own editor in an endeavor roughly like this about two years ago but gave up due to being too busy. It was quite functional and able to load all of the data types, the scenario data, and display town/outdoor sections, if not fully capable of editing, and I'm going through its code to use in this project. Once I get the hang of Java, I feel this should take off rather quickly. Honestly I'm more focused on this version than I ever was on the old one just because I went and told people about it. Having other people interested really does help.

 

While I'm thinking about it, is Java regularly used/available on Macs? I'm just assuming it is, as Java is about as common as Flash in some ways. Though at this point, if it isn't, I really don't know what to do otherwise.

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While I'm thinking about it, is Java regularly used/available on Macs?

Yes. If you launch a Java application and do not have Java installed, OS X installs it for you.

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Rachek   

Just an update: got a lot of work done over the holiday weekend. I have a basic GUI and it's fully capable of reading all of the data from BAS files. Right now I'm working on the code needed to load and display graphics and their individual icons. After that it'll be relatively trivial to start making things like a map editor and such.

 

I'm not sure when it will be in any way presentable, but I've got some of the more complex things taken care of. It seems to be going pretty smoothly.

nikki. likes this

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sylae   

Sorry if this was mentioned somewhere (i don't recall reading about it and a couple Ctrl-F's returned nothing), but do you plan on releasing your source code?

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Rachek   

Sorry if this was mentioned somewhere (i don't recall reading about it and a couple Ctrl-F's returned nothing), but do you plan on releasing your source code?

 

Once I get it at least marginally working, probably. I'm not using anything proprietary so far so I don't see any reason why not. I'd just rather wait until I've got it working and have cleaned up my experimental and thoroughly spaghetti-ish code before I inflict it on anyone else.

 

As far as the working bit goes, I'm quite far off from that but definitely chugging along. I just wanted to show what I currently have. I'd let everyone play with it but for the moment it doesn't actually do much and I'm afraid it'd be too disappointing.

 

 

 

java_preliminary.png

 

 

 

That's about it so far. It can fully read a scenario and I have some basic preliminary work on converting the data structures into a format that's more Java-friendly. I just finished the code to let it load graphics, hence the retro background and scenario icon. I'm thinking that next I'll be working on getting it to read the scenario data files and start on the insanity that is custom objects.

 

It won't be much longer now I'm thinking before I'll get it to the point you can start to play around with it.

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Rachek   

Sorry for the double post, but I'm not sure if just tacking this onto the end of my previous post would mark the thread as unread and such.

 

 

Anyway, just a status update for the skeptics out there. Work is taking up a good majority of my time but things are coming along nicely.

 

The editor can now import custom and default floors and creatures (ala corescendata.txt) so I've put together the beginning of the town editor. I put together a simple but robust method for handling informational and error messages so you can see a bit into the debug output in this screenshot.

 

 

java_town.png

 

If you can't tell, that's Willow from A Small Rebellion, with only its floors. The debug output window shows all of the debug messages I've programmed in. I've been testing a performance bottleneck involving repeatedly accessing the same sheet having to jump through several hoops, so I put in a cache. All of the cache hit and miss messages show its progress toward caching all of the floors in the town. Then I reloaded the town for a great speed boost, with it having 100% cache usage. Considering the rendering engine will need to keep up with the changes people make in near real time, it needs to be at least somewhat robust.

 

 

 

Right now I'm going to work on implementing terrain and item processing, so I can get corescendata2.txt loaded and finish up properly displaying the town. Then maybe editing would even be possible.

 

I'll keep you updated. Not too much longer now, folks. I'm hoping to get this to the level of the original editor and then go from there. Fortunately I have enough of a framework that most of the remaining core work is essentially copy/paste with some tweaking.

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Kelandon   

Anyway, just a status update for the skeptics out there.

*waves hand* Hi! That's me!

 

Good work so far! It looks nice, and I'm hopeful that it will perform nicely when it's done. If it's ever done. I am a skeptic, after all. Anyway, keep it up, and I look forward to the someday maybe release.

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Rachek   

*waves hand* Hi! That's me!

 

Oh yes. You're my number one skeptic. Keep it up, by the by. The fact that you consistently point out that you don't think this will happen spurs me to try to prove you wrong. Sort of like constructive criticism, just more pessimistic. =D

 

Depending on how insane work is I expect I might have something that could be played around with by this weekend. Maybe. It won't be pretty or great but it'd be more substantial than screenshots.

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Rachek   

Oh, well, bad news. There's probably going to be a bit of a delay. I managed to work a bit too efficiently as a contractor and worked myself out of a job. I've been laid off - just after leasing an apartment and getting into college. So, I'm going to be madly focused for a while on not going massively into debt and maybe, occasionally, eating. To reiterate, I'm not abandoning this or anything, I just need to devote myself completely to getting my affairs in order.

 

Still, I find working on this entertaining enough that I'll probably work on it regardless. I just can't guarantee anything at this point.

 

Sorry folks.

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Kelandon   

And this project begins to go the way of many ambitious BoA projects....

 

I hope you get on top of stuff soon and my skepticism proves unwarranted.

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