Aquapedia (also the CTP)

Working on new maps for Multiwinia? Discuss!

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Kuth
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Postby Kuth » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:35 am

Had to do a little looking around before I found it. So for other newbs coming in curious? Here it is, the guide to modding Multiwinia. I'll have to check this out. I like the idea of getting to mod Multiwinia some way, since I love the game for its simplicity.

I had forgotten this was a texture pack :\ Though adding a few structures and combining this texture pack would probably create Multiwinia's first "Content Pack", which for a moment I thought this was, a community pack. Ah well, Land and sea textures are 2/3rds the content of a map anyway :)
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Postby zach » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:53 am

I figured I ought to post in this thread.

I approve of this effort. You may continue.
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Postby The GoldFish » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:15 am

The GoldFish, earlier in this thread (with Community Texture Pack in the title), wrote:The landscape textures are the most complicated of the 3 terrain textures, but are still fairly simple; they use a (generally?) 64x64 bitmap, which, starting from the top left, determines the color of a particular part of the landscape based on its steepness (X coord) and relative altitude (Y coord), so flat, low altitude triangles use colours from the top left region of a texture, and high, steep triangles use colours from the bottom right. I think the terrain section of the guide on the next game covers it all pretty well.


That link is for Icepicks very old Darwinia modding guide. Some of it applies to Multiwinia, some of it does not.

Because, I'd wager, of your unfamiliarity with Darwinia's map behavoir, I'll clear this up. Textures like this are additional content that can comfortably coexist with all existing content, and all future content, provided that there are no naming conflicts (hence the _CTP_ in all the texture names). A level designer can freely use whichever one of these they like, mix and match it with their own or other people's custom textures, with any map they make now or in the future, with any mod that they may be using. It's defined right in the map file, here's an excerpt from mp_domination_3P_1.txt...

Code: Select all

   landColourFile landscape_default.bmp
   wavesColourFile waves_containmentfield.bmp
   waterColourFile water_default.bmp


Custom buildings, on the other hand, do not function this way - there is no existing way for a level to define which shape files it uses for certain buildings. The means that does exist to specify custom buildings, as used by several Darwinia modders, are ghosted shp replacements via eg a mod folder, which will effect all maps, so this would be very all or nothing, plus very inconfigurable by the map author - only whichever specific buildings are specified by the shape pack modder. (There are ways around this, but it's not very ideal.)

Now I sort of agree, that custom buildings would be nice. The objective of this pack though is to give a metric ton of graphic content that is easily usable, and most of all safe, for all modders to use on their levels, which pretty much excludes custom buildings as things stand. On top of this, custom shape files like this are much harder to make and vary - I don't think we'd have anywhere near the same quantity of content at this point. Anyone in a more advanced position can put together building packs if they'd like to, but it's not something I'm interested in dealing with at this stage.

Also, I'd say that land and sea textures/colours are 2/3rds the LOOK of a level, and the last 1/3d is the physical landscape of the level. The actual buildings really don't give very specific major appearance changes, hey're more of a finishing touch. The level though, really, is all in the design. If people can make their levels look how they like, then I'll feel like I've done my job.

Also, hi zanzer, I'm glad you approve.
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Postby Kuth » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:20 am

Thanks for clearing that up GoldFish :)

I just assumed the map editor came with a list of objects that could be placed on a level. This is where 'custom' buildings would have been placed, but it seems I'm incorrect in this thinking.
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Postby The GoldFish » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:27 am

Well, you can place generic buildings with static shapes, as basic ornaments. Maybe that's what you mean, as opposed to custom looks to eg spawn points and such like.

If that's the case, I'm afraid I kind of jumped the gun and misunderstood what you were saying, or at least partially.

Regardless, this still isn't something that I'd like to particularly touch, mainly because I have no skill for it (and few people do) nor a repository of quality content to get the ball rolling.
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Postby briceman2 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:46 pm

Last edited by briceman2 on Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby briceman2 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:51 pm

Last edited by briceman2 on Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The GoldFish » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:43 pm

Hi Briceman, yeah, I know, you can use whatever size you like etc.

The main reason to use 64x64 textures is simply an assumption; I assume that elevation and slope are only determined out of 64 (maybe they aren't, even if they're not, would anyone ever notice) and there's not really any reason to use anything larger. Plus, since they're bitmaps (or more specifically, lossless and full of typically full of gradients), it helps cut down filesize to use smaller images. (So far the landscape pack alone is about half a meg once rarred)

So, it's not because the engine would go up in arms, it's just being sensible.

Also, re custom statues, I would have assumed this would be possible to do with a (graphics replacement) mod? I'm not sure what you're getting at really - if you want to rally support for an idea I'd suggest you post clearly what on earth it's about and how it works (read get the heeeell outta ma thread wid yo crazy ass ideas >:O) - I generally assume that you're suggesting that maps should be supplyable with a resources list, and the server-client map propogation also propogate any additional custom landscapes/shapes, and this function the same way a mod does (so people can supply custom over-ride shapes with their maps)

Also! I don't suppose you have any landscapes you'd like to throw our way? :P
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Postby Kuth » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:42 am

I was making some progress to getting ready to start modding/experimenting, only to be stopped short when I couldn't find out how to get level editing set up in Multiwinia.

I don't have a 'preferences.txt' file anywhere in the Darwinia directory. I presume this only happens after you finished the game? I"ve already finished it long ago, but do I have to complete the game again in order to get to modding Multiwinia?

I'd also like to contribute some land gradients eventually, but I'd like to test them in Darwinia... not possible because of the above.
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Postby The GoldFish » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:13 am

First I suppose I should say that you should use 1.42, rather than 1.5.X, since there are minor differences in the renderer, and 1.42 shares renderer with multiwinia. If you use vista with 1.5.X it'll scurry your preferences.txt off somewhere, so maybe that's your problem?

Also you can get a copy of the basic mod I've been using for these shots off of my crapmods webpage (my www link)
Last edited by The GoldFish on Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kuth » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:16 am

yeah that's it. Running vista with the version of Darwinia via download in the store.

Well... I guess I can't do any modding until I get my mits back around my old Darwinia disc... which is miles away at my home in another city. Unless Darwinia comes with a downgrade feature?
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Postby The GoldFish » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:22 am

You paste the 1.42 patch over the top of it. Instant downgrade.

Failing that it doesn't REALLY matter, just find prefs in saved games/something something something...
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Postby Kuth » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:23 am

I'll give it a look as soon as I get back to the apartment. Thanks again.
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Postby IronWill » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:40 pm

I am not concerned by mapmaking or modding on MWinia as there is nothing available to common players to do that in a simple maneer.

I would just suggest all developers and modmakers to change this dark background of Multiwinia by something more sexy, even if I don't know if community may have the hand on that kind of adjustments.

For exemple space backgrounds of Homeworld were certainly among the most beautiful backgrounds of space ever realized for video games : they made the ambiance. On the opposite we can conclude that dark/black is not the best choice for the background of a DWinia battlefield.

I think there is a real need to replace that black background by other psychedelic and nice-looking backgrounds.

(For those who do not know Homeworld, take a look at the backgrounds of these pics :)

Image
Image
Image

Ok, these backgrounds are beautiful but may not be the best choiche for DWinia : but you got the point. Goal is to be able to set up various ambiances.
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Postby The GoldFish » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:10 am

Uhm... what?

I guess you mean the uh, well, infinate black area past the waves outline? And like up in the sky, too, I guess...

There's nothing available for generic modders to touch that (and to be honest this isn't really the place to be suggesting it) but, really, you DO have a point - the black is pretty boring. The only (and possibly best) thing I can think to do with it would be to maybe have an artifical circular wall around the location you're in (which also coincidently blocks camera movement), with the water waking up around it as it would normal landscape. Then past that, render the Darwinia world map, soul repository and all (maybe muchly simplified so as not to strain processing too much.

The only issue with that is that, since it's all I guess taking place in Darwinia, the only thing to change would be the where the map you're in is on Darwinia's surface, changing the view. It would be hard to relate any specific map theme unless additional effects were thought of - I guess the darker upper reaches of Darwinia could be smoggy or something, and full of horrible dark viral beasts.

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