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New BEL maps


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#1 herbert3000

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:43 AM

Hi everyone,

I decided to release two unfinished maps for BEL. The static maps are finished (SEC, VOL, explosions), the things that need to be done are the mission scripting and the briefings.

 

Bunkers_Screenshot.jpg Attached File  Bunkers.zip   8.13MB   175 downloads

 

Pilot_Screenshot.jpg Attached File  Pilot.zip   3.1MB   95 downloads

My plot for this map was that the Allied pilot was shot down and the Commandos have to rescue him.

 

If someone would like to finish the maps, I'd be very happy :D



#2 JONUCI

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 12:50 PM

Thanks for your share.Looks so good,I like it. :thumbsupcool:



#3 Salvadorc17

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:29 PM

Really cool maps, is always good to see something new for the game, make me feel nostalgic.



#4 xelono

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 12:19 AM

Goods maps! thanks :)



#5 Salvadorc17

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 02:41 AM

Bunkers mission dont work on BCOD, any extra missing file from game?



#6 Lexx2k

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 06:12 PM

Looks great, Herbert. I know it is painful, but I think you should add more grass clutter to your maps. Put them around rocks, in corners, a little bit here and there, etc. Getting some more details into the scene. Bigger bushes can also be used for cover (need to crouch).

 

This kinda sparks the commandos-mapping-mood in me again. If just the process and the tools wouldn't be so tedious...

A less buggy mapper and an asset library with predefined hit boxes for vanilla objects would be super fancy.


Edited by Lexx2k, 07 September 2017 - 06:13 PM.


#7 Salvadorc17

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 08:08 PM

A less buggy mapper and an asset library with predefined hit boxes for vanilla objects would be super fancy.

You mean to do a map editor modification, that allow select from the object library and put those with already defined hit boxes, and height values, that would be really useful and considering hes creator of the tools, hes the only one that can achieve it.



#8 Maurice1976

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 03:19 PM


an asset library with predefined hit boxes for vanilla objects would be super fancy.

 

You know, this actually got me thinking: it should be possible. If the Map Editor is going to be like it is currently, you could do it in a form of post-processing. You simply build the map but don't add all those POINTs yet, just export the VOL file. Then have a utility that scans the VOL file for names of images it knows and have it add the points to the VOL file for you. The main issue would then be to make an asset library, which can be a huge undertaking in its own right. It did get me thinking, though; my current programming efforts revolve around Excel VBA (I don't have any other programming setup), but it should be able to import a VOL file, have some macro code check it and add any missing points and then produce an output VOL file. The Excel sheet could hold the asset library in one of its sheets. The advantage is that you can manually edit it, easily - and not just the asset library, but also the VOL file, before you export it.

 

So I decided to check something: how did the developers do this? Did they have an asset library themselves? The answer appears to be no:

Points and boxes.png

 

For the people who know the BEL missions by heart, they will recognize this barbwire fence from the mission where you have to destroy the villa, mission 4. The barbwire is located just south of the bridge, to the left of the railroad. I examined the VOL file of that mission and manually edited the MCE file to recreate the setup in the Map Editor. Although the barbwire graphic has been used 5 times there, the bounding box with points is different for each one of them. It's also somewhat unclean, I would personally make the bounding boxes a bit tighter. Also note that I highlighted the first POINT of each box; they're not the right-most one, in all cases, although I thought it was always recommended to do so.

 

As a bonus, while examining the setup in mission 4, I suddenly spotted a graphical glitch :p. If you look at the two blue frames, you'll see that they're both the same graphic, just mirrored along the X-axis with respect to one another. The mirrored one is the top one, but they forgot to mirror the graphic of the shadow underneath it :p. I don't know how often I played through that mission, but never saw that one before until now.

 

Still, I think it might be worth it to explore the original (BEL and BCoD) VOL files and extract any and all images that have a POINT section and use that as the start of an asset library.

 

Edit: I've ran into a challenge with setting something up like this: the names of the objects aren't unique across the missions. For instance, mission 1, 3 and 20 each have a "MURO0002.RLE" definition, but these are different graphics, shaped differently. As a result, the POINTs around them differ, too. As such, the name of a graphic itself isn't a proper discriminator. It also means you can't just lump the graphics files of all missions together into a single large graphics directory, as you have different files with the same name. Need to think this one over.


Edited by Maurice1976, 13 September 2017 - 09:55 AM.


#9 Lexx2k

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 04:54 AM

That's probably why it would be easier to make a custom graphic pack of sorts. Only problem with that one is, you'd distribute all original graphics outside of the main game with it. This could make problems with copyright. Question is: Would anyone care about it at this point.

#10 Maurice1976

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:25 AM

Good points. I've been wondering that as well.

 

Over this weekend, I've been going over the original graphics, been compiling them. There's over 13.000 of them, across the BEL missions (main missions and training missions) and the BCoD missions combined. I've made a master graphics directory, by simply copying everything in chronological order of WAD files into a single directory; first BEL, then BCoD. I am currently in the process of going over them all to figure out the real (i.e. identical graphics) and the fake (i.e. different graphics, but same name) duplicates. With 13k images, that's a daunting task, but I've imported the full name listing in Excel, which helps truckloads to identify all those duplicates. I keep track of the FASE source for each file in that list, where I renamed the BCoD source from FASE000x to FASEE00x to distinguish them from the BEL missions. So far, I've analysed about 9.000 out of the 13.000 images.

 

Once that task is completed, I can see about analysing the various VOL files and categorize the following entries for each of the graphics files mentioned there:

- If they have points and if so, what they are;

- If they have a radius and if so, what it is;

- The offset between the graphics file and the polygon;

- Mirroring in X and Y direction (and its effects on these offsets);

- Association with other graphics files (as some polygons have multiple tiles)

 

Not all graphics files have these (for instance, the basic land and water tiles don't have them), so I expect a somewhat smaller list than 13000 expanded entries :p. For a number, I do expect multiple entries with regards to the points (as I already found out with that barbwire fence in the villa mission), so in those cases it's a matter of making a choice.

 

I plan to make the Excel code in such a way that it can import and export the files in both VOL format as well as CME format - though I need to explore that one somewhat further, as its layout differs from the VOL files and not all entries in that file are clear to me at this moment.

 

I suspect once this task is done, it might be worth it to personally make some custom graphics which logically combines a few, mostly for the buildings. As it is, I've already found a trio of wall graphics, which occur within a single polygon and aren't used anywhere else. Why they used three graphics files there instead of one is a mystery to me. Then again, the more I am analysing these graphics, the more I am wondering how crude their approach has been on this aspect. Anyway, it should be easy to add the points of these custom graphics to the Excel file once made. Adding them is a one-time chore for a lifetime ease of adding them automatically instead of manually ;).

 

Update: Completed the scan of all doubles. Of the roughly 5800 duplicates, only some 4000 are real duplicates. Of those, some 2200 would need to be renamed to give all files a unique name. On the other hand, Windows has already added a (2), (3), etc ... to the filename, so I might just hang on to those. Probably also a lot easier when other people are possibly going to use it. Will just need to keep track of that in the macro code I am going to write.

 

Next step is to write that macro code which is going to gather all the POINTs and such from the VOL file for each graphics file that has them.


Edited by Maurice1976, 11 September 2017 - 09:21 PM.


#11 herbert3000

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 10:51 PM

I plan to make the Excel code in such a way that it can import and export the files in both VOL format as well as CME format - though I need to explore that one somewhat further, as its layout differs from the VOL files and not all entries in that file are clear to me at this moment.

 

Attached File  MapEditorFormat.cme.txt   750bytes   6 downloads



#12 Maurice1976

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:20 AM

Thanks! That saves me a bit of work :).

 

As an aside, I've already identified another aspect that could be automated: adding shadows to all objects that should have a shadow. However, since no explicit relation exists between an object and its shadow - they're defined independently from one another in the VOL files and the names aren't always matching up to the object they belong to - getting not only the explicit link but also the specific offset towards the object it belongs to, might be a lot of work ... still, it's something that you can benefit from forever, after doing it once. Will see if I can create such a list with relative ease. Combined with setting up object points, this could really speed up map creation process; make the map, put objects in it and then have the tool generate both shadows and the POINTs for you.

 

Been playing a bit with trains late last night; managed to combine the armored train graphics of the BCoD mission into one and attach it to a moving train. Just need to fiddle with the offset :p (it was slightly off the center of the rails). There's a fair number of train carts ingame, might be nice to make them into actually usable and moveable train wagons.



#13 Lexx2k

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 02:26 PM

While you're mentioning trains... I really wish someone would use my train in another mission. :>

 

FbtZZXm.png

 

Spend hours working on it, then only used it in one tiny and short mission. Still feels like a waste to me... but I also didn't wanted to make yet another mission with rails and trains... already made too many of 'em for my mission pack. :)


Edited by Lexx2k, 12 September 2017 - 02:28 PM.


#14 Maurice1976

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 02:51 PM

Well, I wouldn't mind using it :). I've been messing around a bit with the armored train, as I wrote. That locomotive would make an excellent start of that convoy. That being said, it might be a while before I get around to it. In the mini campaign I am planning, trains only appear in mission 4. And before I can start making maps, I am still in the process of aligning my workspace :p.

 

In return, would you be interested in the ANM files and WAD files of the train wagons as I make them? I still need to close the open door on the side ... but I guess I can borrow some metal plating from the other armored transport :p. And have you explored animating trains yourself? I mean, I recall the one where you had to capture the german officer at the trainstation, but that one used only existing train models, as far as I know (just mirrored).


Edited by Maurice1976, 12 September 2017 - 02:54 PM.


#15 Imp

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 06:11 PM

While you're mentioning trains... I really wish someone would use my train in another mission. :>

My own (test)program loads your png nicely. I assume you have picture and mask bmps for mods?



#16 Salvadorc17

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:16 PM

My own (test)program loads your png nicely. I assume you have picture and mask bmps for mods?


Will be cool if you share all your work, this way we maintain the community purpose of spread the game related stuff.



#17 Maurice1976

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:28 PM

Spent my evening tinkering with the armored train, mostly getting frustrated with MSPaint botching up the graphics :p (actually only used it to easily reduce the canvas size) and twiddling with the offsets, but take a look: Armored Train.jpg

 

Fully functional (well, not the guns, of course, but it's considered an actual train ingame) and moving!

 

However, there's a small glitch: sometimes the armored carriage overlaps a tile that should be before it, or fails to overlap a tile that should be beneath it. When it happens, though, it's only briefly, albeit noticable. Not sure if that can be fixed, however. Edit: I suspect it has something to do with the bounding box defined in the MACRO file. The box for default wagons is defined with 4 vertices, at (150, 25), (-150, 25), (-150, -25) and (150, -25), along with a 135 degree rotation, which I think works to rotate that box so it lines up with the wagon. Since I didn't create a macro for the armored vehicle (which is broader), I guess it shows clipping errors. Will have to experiment a little with it.

 

As an aside, I see it should be possible to upload attachments, but I don't see a button to do so? Edit: Herbert to the rescue ;). Uploaded the image to this post instead of posting a link :).


Edited by Maurice1976, 13 September 2017 - 09:56 AM.


#18 herbert3000

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:53 AM

To upload an image (or any other file), click "More reply options" and then the "Choose Files..." button (requires Flash).

 

You can examine the bounding box in-game by pressing SHIFT + F6 (pause the game with SHIFT + O, the letter, not zero). Only works with an EXE that has extended debug options (= Demo and Chinese version of the game).



#19 Maurice1976

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:00 PM

Thanks once more! That suggestion proved useful, as I found the Chinese version elsewhere on these forums. With that, I was able to reconstruct the total formula they use to project the bounding box that they've defined in the MAC files (and by the way, the one for VAGON contains a minor bug, as its fourth collision node is listed with an x-value of 140 instead of 150. Minor typo, I guess, but it does deform the bounding box around that train car slightly ;)).

 

With that formula known, it's easy to reverse the calculation; this will make it possible to take a graphics file, plot the projected box points (ground plane only) and calculate the actual box point coordinates that need to go into the MAC.

 

Update: Indeed, it worked! I managed to properly calculate the box for the train and set it accordingly. It resolved the clipping issues! :)


Edited by Maurice1976, 13 September 2017 - 06:34 PM.


#20 Lexx2k

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 03:19 PM

 

While you're mentioning trains... I really wish someone would use my train in another mission. :>

My own (test)program loads your png nicely. I assume you have picture and mask bmps for mods?

 

 

Well, it's all in my mod files. Should be LEXXBON1.WAD, I think. Don't know where my sources are, but they should still be around somewhere as well. I've also made a mirrored version of the train (going from north west to south east). Wasn't a big deal, as it only required a fixed swastika at the front to make it work, though.

 

I've also made other stuff such as the SDKFZ without turret, and the tracked Camion. Nobody ever commented on these, so I guess folks didn't even noticed, heh.

 

8XzTVKS.png

i0bpX1H.png


Edited by Lexx2k, 14 September 2017 - 03:26 PM.





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