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 Post subject: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:14 am 
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Hello all CW'ers,

I am pleased to report that Custom Wars 2 development process is still running along, smoothly. Before we get too far ahead in just writing code, I need to make sure that the menus and the game work to standard.

In short, we need testers.

There is a download available here. Keep in note that unlike previous CW Tests, you'll need at least Java 1.6 to run this. (I am currently looking into dropping back CW to Java 1.5, but there is no promises yet. If many can't run the tests, then I might consider it.)

CWDist092409.zip

This is the download. It is an unofficial testing distribution so I can get a better idea of what you are expecting from the CW engine. This test has a fully working map editor and a pretty looking menu system, mostly cause I like tests to look pretty. Make sure you extract it and run the .jar inside.

Odds and Ends

Anyway, this program should be easy enough to pick up. It works with the mouse and keyboard.
Keyboard and mouse commands are...

Up - "Up"
Down - "Down"
Left - "Left"
Right - "Right"
Select - "Z" or left-click
Cancel - "X" or right-click
Scroll Menu (outside editor) - Scroll mouse
Zoom (in editor) - Scroll mouse

You can set a permanent background by making a picture called...
"bg.png" in the "/test" folder of the download. It works with "bg.gif" and "bg.jpg" as well.

The rest is kinda self-explanatory.

What do I need from you?

1) Your initial thoughts (a.k.a. first impressions): Did you like what you see? Would you change something about the way this menu looks? How do you like the presentation? Write a sentence or 2 about what your first thoughts were.
2) The pros: What did you like about the menu/editor? What are the strong points? Give a list.
3) The cons: What did you dislike about the menu/editor? What is the weak points? Give a list.
4) Suggestions: What would you like to see improved on the menu/editor? What would you suggest we remove from the menu/editor? Be specific if you can.
5) General comments: If you have any other general questions about this test, or CW2 in general, ask them here.

Other tidbits...

I thank you in advance for participating in these tests. You thoughts/suggestions are very important to the development of this game. There is a lot more information in the readme of the game.

JSR....


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:22 am 
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It looks pretty, but functionality is something else. It still takes some orientation compared to the basic editor which has a whole palette right there and all the options in the top tool bar, so it takes a minimal number of clicks to get anything.

The old CW editor, on the other hand, is more like the GBA editors. I wouldn't call it the best, looking or otherwise, but it had all the important features hotkeyed which made the process more fluid. The only thing that wasn't mapped, unless it's tucked away on a seperate key line which would be odd, was army color, but you could get there easily since the menus could be switched quickly with the left and right arrow keys.

I am, of course, biased towards the old editors, not because I especially like them but more because I'm used to them. My first impression with this editor is that it tries to be a hybrid of the old ones. While that's fine if done well, right now it isn't as intuitive as the old ones. To put it another way, the basic editor is oriented towards mouse controls while CW1 favors keyboard usage.

I wouldn't say CW2 attempts to cater to both audiences but the simplified controls make it more mouse-friendly; however, the interface is more like CW1 than the other editors. That's how it feels to me, at least, that there's a conflict in controls and interfacing.

So, it's a little rough but is otherwise coming along.

I should like to ask how it will support alternate tile sets. I would ask how it will support new terrain and units but I suspect that's further down the line.

Also, the map preview is neat but I'd much rather see the map right away.

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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:58 am 
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I had another idea for which everyone will hate me: scrap the map editor. Instead, expand support for a variety of other editors and their map files. StJohnston and CW1's come to mind first.

Of course, I have no idea what it would take to accomplish this, nor how much it took to make what's here now.

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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:30 pm 
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Yeah, support for other editors are being planned. St. Johnston's is already on board and you will be able to use cw1's .map files.

I dunno about just scraping the editor though... erm. I'll have to think about it. If the editor is not important, then I'll just push it further down the program list. There are more pressing things that need to be programmed in anyway.

Just so you all know. The real reason for the editor wasn't for the fact of creating a cw map, or even an AWDoR map. It was for when customized units and terrains are made for this game. I can't count on other editors to support custom content, but... I can count on this editor. This editor will automatically update the list to hold all custom content. So, unless the other editors can guarantee that they'll keep up with custom content, I dunno if scraping it will happen.

What I do know is cw1, Roma's Editor, and St. Johnston's editor will have compatibility with this engine. So you'll be able to use the editors without worry :)...

JSR...


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:19 am 
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I can pretty easily add custom stuff into my editor, but in my opinion, a working playable game should be made before things like map editors get thought about in too much depth...


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Oh, hmm, I suppose that would be an issue.

Still, I was under the impression that users would generate their own content. You don't want to be saddled with various complaints about this thing being in and this other thing being out and not being able to actually improve the engine as a result.

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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:12 pm 
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@StJ
Well, if you are willing to keep up with the custom content, then go for it. I'll leave it fully up to you. When the time comes, I'll help you out on tracking it down and the like. But for now, the game itself is the most important thing at this point. I'll explain the progress a little better below...

@DP
That is true about the custom content. It is possible that each user will have different content in their respective games. The good news for me is I don't have to worry about it...

Each user is going to be in full control of the content that will be put into their game. So each users game will be completely unique, depending on the mods they choose to support. All mods are going to be text based files, which means you won't have to get a whole new update every time you want a change like in cw1. All you need to do is send a text file containing the mod info (and any images related) to your friend, and boom... custom content added.

I am really planning to have a format where any user can create and edit these mod text files and create the kind of game that fits them. (Of course, there will be stationary mods so online play doesn't become too messy). Giving the users as much power over the game as possible without recompiling is my goal. It also means the programming team will be able to completely focus on the engine, and leave design work to the people who want to create it.

As for the project...

Stef & I have teamed up with Tapsi and we are working on combining MiniWars and CustomWars together into one single unit called "TacticWars". This prototype engine is already pretty fast since it is using slick (500+ fps). It'll have the sparkly menus I made plus the inner system the Tapsi made into one fully customizable engine. We are moving fairly quickly coding wise, but due to Tapsi having college and me having work it is hard for me to pinpoint a date of completion. :(

Don't worry about the name for now, it is a prototype version. So the name is more like a name for the engine rather than the game itself. For information about this engine and its progress, you can check up on the following sites.

Tactic Wars Group Discussion
Tactic Wars Repository

Please, ask me before editing anything here. But, you are free to look and gather information on what is planned for this engine.

-JSR


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:31 am 
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Hey that's great news was wondering who had killed Tapsi


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:52 am 
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Location: Wars World (duh)
first impresion: Moving animation... good. selecting map size before you start... bad.

I liked how i could change the army with out going to the sides menu. But otherwise i adored the old one (CW1). If you could just do slight modifications to the old map designer say allowing it to up date new data, like your new one can. And setting the army swich to the ,. or <> Keys, and maybe add the tiles that where in the original menu but never got coded than I think I'd be great. Why make people learn the new one when the old one (with a few modifications) would work fine? also I like how the old one fit to size when you full screened instead of making the pixials bigger.

(I know you worked hard on the new one so please don't take this to hard, JSR)

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(Luke 2:14, John 14:27)


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:42 am 
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Oh, no worries...

Yeah, you aren't the only one who suggested that I should just remake Urusan's editor or forget making an editor altogether. Also, someone also suggested that I allow you to resize the map from within the editor, instead of before you edit. Well, I am going to look into the window resize suggestion, to make it work a little bit more like Urusan's.

Urusan is working on a Python editor. He said that this editor will be able to handle custom content.
Map Editor Reloaded

I also have St Johnston working on an editor as well. He has also agreed to allow his editor to handle custom content.
AW:DoR Map Editor

So if all goes well, I shouldn't have to worry about creating an editor for the program anymore.

JSR


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:45 am 
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A couple of things I liked about your editor:

Odd as it may seem I liked that I could put down multple HQ.

I know there was more but I left my list at home so I'll put them up here when I find it.

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(Luke 2:14, John 14:27)


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:23 am 
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Multi-HQ battles are fun because it causes people to fight on two flanks at once and not just worry about swarming one side. Good examples of these kinds of maps are maps that have a valley and three distinct lanes (one hq top lane one hq bottom lane and daring properties in the middle lane to make it even more intense.) If one Hq is captured you lose still


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:20 am 
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Location: Wars World (duh)
I like the scrolling info bar, I'd definitely like to see that in the final incarnation.
the way the map preview loaded was time consuming, So I'd suggest ditching it.
I liked the incorporation of the CW logo, I definitely like to see that.
the unit colors 19 in total, small issues you have arsenic as gray it's actually green, It's not a big so you can ignore it if you want.
Which colors correspond to the old Jade Cosmos and Amber Corona?
what's with White Diamond?

I've always wanted to change what the outside of the map was like. Say I have a pipe going off screen, as it is now it looks like the pipe enters the ground,but If I was able to put a pipe on the outside of the map(it would not be visible in the actual game), then the pipe would look like it actually continued off the map. I'd also like the shores to look like there wasn't water of the edge of the map. this diodram might help if you don't understand yet. "O" are the map, "X" are the editable spots outside the map.
_XX
XOOX
XOOX
_XX

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(Luke 2:14, John 14:27)


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 Post subject: Re: CWT: Calling all arms (and legs...)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:18 am 
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-Scrolling Info Bar is in...
-The map preview was just for fun, but since it annoys people... I'll have it load up the old way in the next version :P
-Arsenic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenic_(color) definitely gray.
-Jade Cosmos... closest to Teal Gravity (teal) or Jade Asteroid (jade).
-Amber Corona... closest to Scarlet Flare (orange)
-Gray Diamond... Was just to give the neutral army a name. Especially since I wasted time coloring the units :P
-Edge of map editing: I'm guessing you want the option to say if a tile continues off the map, or not. It would be annoying to have to check for that for each edge of the map. It might make loading times longer, just for something aesthetic... but, I'll consider it if I continue to build my own editor, but it probably won't be high priority.

JSR


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