Darwinia: Devastated Lands

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Derekristow
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Darwinia: Devastated Lands

Postby Derekristow » Thu May 15, 2008 9:03 pm

I started making a new mod called Darwinia: Devastated Lands. Eventually I will release it while in beta to see if people like it, and what I need to change. Here's a bit of the storyline:

It has been a few months since the viral outbreak, and Darwinian society has mostly recovered. Darwinia is now in a closed beta stage, preparing to open to the public. You are one of the lucky 10 beta testers who were selected. As you test the enviroment, things begin to glitch up. Now you have to save Darwinia before it's too late.

Currently there are only 3 levels, with 1 properly working. This is the first time I have experimented with modding, so it might not work very well to begin with, but I think I can hammer it out.
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briceman2
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Postby briceman2 » Thu May 15, 2008 9:38 pm

... keep at it! Just remember that modding Darwinia is not as easy as it should be -- Dr. Sepulveda didn't mention that the editor is only in alpha when he invited you to "make the next game"! So keep you cheer and don't let the editor or the engine get you down. There's still people here who can help you if you can't find the answer in the forums or the mod guides ( http://www.thenextgame.co.uk/guide.php ). If you haven't already done so, search for how to unpack the original game files from the .dat .rar file. You can place everything into a new mod directory and then use the editor to dissect the original game. Then hacks to the game files won't affect the originals.
Derekristow
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Postby Derekristow » Fri May 16, 2008 2:12 am

Thanks for the help. Before I was dissecting other mods to see what I needed to do. Actually I have a mystery bug. Whenever I create a new level, it won't show up on the world map. I can't edit them to fix a problem, and I would know what the problem was even once I got in. If anyone could tell me whats going on...

EDIT: I found out that my computer was glitched up and wouldn't create anything in the locations.txt file. I tested it on another computer and it worked fine. Now I just have to fix everything else. :roll:
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briceman2
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Postby briceman2 » Fri May 16, 2008 7:31 am

1) locations.txt shouldn't cause those problems you had. It is just a list of coordinates on the inside of the world map sphere -- one line for each level. IIRC if a coord is missing for a level number (levels are cross referenced by their ID number) then the coord defaults to (0,0,0) which will place the level beacon at the world center, up in the soul glow effect thingy.

2) So if you lost your locations.txt, you shouldn't have to fix anything at all. Just copy a dummy one (empty) into place and then rearrange the level beacons in the editor. EDIT: you must explicitly Save the locations of your levels after you drag them around. The engine will remember what you did until it exits, so you can't tell if you saved them or not. I usually hit the Save button a bunch of times to be sure. The editor has many quirks like this... the headaches go away after a while.

3) The more likely cause of your problems is that you were not using a profile and/or mod name when you were editing. If no profile is specified, then the engine stores everything in memory -- your levels will work as long as you don't exit the game, but no progress will get saved 'cause ther'es nowhere to save it. Similar problems can happen if you haven't set up a named mod directory for your levels. You can either create the mod dir from within the game, or by simply creating the appropriate dirs in the appropriate places for your OS. You can verify your profile and mod selections by looking in the preferences.txt file -- usually near the end.

4) Another thing that might cause your problems is if you *don't* clear your profile files between edits. The profile directory stores a copy of your mod's game.txt and a mission file for each level that's been played. Resetting a level will delete the working copy of the mission file in your profile. But there is no easy way to delete your game.txt... well maybe there is from within the game, but I haven't done it that way in years, so I forget. The problem is that game.txt stores the list of available levels, and the editor *only* updates the master copy in the mod dirs, *not* the working copies in the user dirs (profiles). So if you add a *new* level, your stale game.txt will not know about it. The only way around this is to either reload the mod (I don't do it this way so don't flame me) or exit Darwinia and simply delete the game.txt **in the users profile directory** (!not! in the mod dir).

5) The editor sucks in many ways. When you add new levels it tends to insert junk lines into the master game.txt. You should periodically -- like whenever you add a new level -- delete all lines between the Buildings_StartDefinition header and the Buildings_EndDefinition closer. It is very rare that any data is needed here at the beginning of a mod (when the player starts). The engine will put the appropriate values in there when the mod is run for the first time. Junk can cause weird mysterious bugs and crashes.

6) Search for redshirt2 decoders and you will be able to decrypt the saved game.txt and mission files in your working profile. Then you can see what the engine saves there, and how they differ from the originals as you play out your mod.

Good Luck!
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Postby hitm4n » Sat May 17, 2008 12:18 pm

Tons of love for good new mods. Keep us informed of progress and like the others have said, theres plenty help here if you get stuck.
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Postby martin » Tue May 20, 2008 1:02 pm

Wow, a new mod :O

I guess I shall have to dig out the darwinia disk and install in on my laptop :)
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