Author Topic: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7  (Read 1177 times)

Offline Vagabond

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Hey everyone,

Where do we plan on putting new maps, tech trees, and scenarios that make it into V1.3.7?

I know we have split the maps & new tech trees into 5 different volumes (.VOL) files now. Below is their basic content. Things seem to be loosely organized. I don't know if there is a deciding factor on what ends up in each vol file.

Based on the lack of content in map02.vol, I think we could put new maps and tech trees in there.

Is it best to just place new scenario DLLs in the root Outpost 2 directory?

maps.vol - Contains Tileset wells, eden04.map, op2_art.prt, virmask.raw, and tutorial.map
maps01.vol - Colony maps, Eden campaign maps, Plymouth campaign maps, and demo tech trees, and one multiplayer map
maps02.vol - Contains 5 multiplayer geared maps.
maps03.vol - Contains a lot of multiplayer maps and the survival tech trees
maps04.vol - reserved for Greenworld tileset and associated maps
sheets.vol - Contains Eden campaign tech tree, plymouth campaign tech tree, a tutorial tech tree, and the Dynamix multiplayer tech tree.

Offline Arklon

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2016, 05:05:48 PM »
Missions are individually distributed as loose files that go in the base directory. Missions distributed with game releases have traditionally went in maps03.vol, but using .vol files is clunky. Eventually we want to hack the game to just use .zip files instead, and then make it so all files for each mission are each in their own .zips (to deal with things like custom tech tree dependency hell that has been problematic for survtech.txt), but we're not sure if that will make it in 1.3.7. I can see arguments being made for either just having loose files or putting them in maps03.vol until then.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2016, 07:54:18 PM »
Should we consider adding a maps05.vol file for the new content?
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Offline Vagabond

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 07:03:55 AM »
Placing new maps and tech trees in maps03.vol for the next release sounds good to me. Unless we get some sort of mod to place all 3 files in a zip for custom mods.

An alternative that would make more sense to me would be:
maps.vol - Stock tileset, op2_art.prt, color.bmp & virmask.raw
maps01.vol - All Dynamix created maps
maps02.vol - All tech trees
maps03.vol - All custom made maps
maps04.vol - Greenworld tilesets and associated maps

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 08:53:01 AM »
As mentioned in the other post, the greenworld and iceworld tilesets are rips from other IP's so the general push is to pull it from the official package. We can still make them available as a separate download though I don't know if the game just reads any .VOL file in the directory or if it looks for a specific set.

Otherwise I like the set proposal you can up with. I don't know if that's how it's currently structured or if we'd need to unpack and repack everything.

I deffer to Arklon/BlackBox/Hooman for advice on that one.
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Offline Hooman

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 01:58:49 AM »
I believe the game looks for a specific set of VOL files, which was updated in one of the mods. More can be added by updating that mod. There is code to unpack and repack a VOL file. I don't believe there is an add option, but that's a minor point.

I've never quite understood why the original VOL file was split. I suppose put custom stuff in a new VOL, though I don't know why the rest was split.

Offline Vagabond

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 11:59:42 AM »
Hooman,

I've successfully removed/added files using the current version of the OP2Mapper. I've also done it with the Vol Creator program, so I don't think it will be a problem to update them as needed. I remember the OP2Mapper being buggy about the process, but I don't believe I was using the newest version of the Mapper at the time, so it might be fine with the newest version.

In case anyone is looking for details on editing the contents of vol files, a little more info on the programs can be found here: http://wiki.outpost2.net/doku.php?id=op2_sdk:helper_programs.

Good to know about having to go in and mod further to increase the number of VOL files.

Offline Hooman

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 05:52:42 AM »
I remember there were some independent programs for working with VOL files. I think there was also a command line tool that could do it.

If we have control over the names of the VOL files, which we do since they're now loaded with a mod, why not name them more descriptively than 01, 02, etc.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 09:11:50 AM »
Because that makes too much sense?

Though I'm game. It's just a matter of deciding on what they should be named. I have a few thoughts but I'd like to get input from you guys about it. I'm hoping by May/June to get the 1.3.7 release out though I'm starting to think it'll be mostly a content update unless Arklon/BlackBox get that scripting thing they wanted done.
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Offline Vagabond

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2017, 11:11:28 AM »
If we can rename them without too much trouble, perhaps:

DynamixMaps.vol
CustomMaps.vol
TechTrees.vol
Greenworld.vol
Tiles.vol (Stock tileset, op2_art.prt, color.bmp & virmask.raw)

Maybe there is a better name for Tiles.vol? It is sort of a catch all file.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2017, 11:40:40 AM »
I would call tiles.vol art.vol instead.

Greenworld was going to be pulled from official builds. I don't remember the exact reasoning -- Hooman or Arklon could elaborate on that.
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Offline Arklon

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 03:45:09 PM »
Greenworld was going to be pulled from official builds. I don't remember the exact reasoning -- Hooman or Arklon could elaborate on that.
It's because it was ripped from Total Annihilation, which isn't abandonware in any sense, it's sold on GOG and Steam.

Offline Vagabond

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2017, 09:21:31 AM »
Leeor, Art.vol sounds better to me as well.

Greenworld is not included in any official builds. However, There needs a place to store all of the required tile images and maps. (Actually you could just dump all the info in the root directory of Outpost 2 and it would work, but it is nicer to have it all packaged in a single file). Right now, maps04.vol exists but is empty in official builds. Players overwrite maps04.vol with the file containing all the Greenworld information when they want to use the scenarios.

I haven't tested thoroughly, but it looks like all the scenarios and maps made using Greenworld v0.7 are compatible with Greenworld v0.8 (for v0.8, I'm referring to the modifications that include ocean and bridges by Mcshay). I think we could combine everything Greenworld together using the v0.8 tileset and then place the mod somewhere prominent in the forums or wiki for download. This would allow easy and quick access to all the content related to Greenworld.

Unless that would count as too much of an official endorsement by Outpost Universe? I'd be willing to do the legwork to get everything packaged together.

Offline Sirbomber

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2017, 02:43:26 PM »
I'm of the opinion of "honestly, who cares?" but the ocean, shore, and bridge tiles are already custom.  Why not just have someone go all the way and make custom replacements for the rest of the tileset?
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Offline Hooman

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 12:33:48 AM »
Perhaps we should do away with the fixed VOL file load list. Instead, we could have op2ext load all *.vol files in the root Outpost 2 folder. That gives greater freedom for adding and renaming VOL files. The op2ext project already has similar capability to load arbitrary VOL files from the "Addon" folder. We could update the DetectAddonVols function to work for arbitrary folders, run it once for the root Outpost 2 folder, and then run it again for the Addon folder.

Placeholder VOL files wouldn't be needed if it just loaded what was found, rather than a fixed list. That could simplify downloading not officially packaged addons.

There is a hardcoded limit for 32 VOL files in op2ext, though this seems sufficient, and is easily updated should we reach a point where that's not enough.


Sirbomber, that's not such a bad point. Though I don't volunteer for the work.  :P

Offline Vagabond

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Re: Where to place new maps, tech trees, and scenario DLLs for V1.3.7
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2017, 02:20:53 AM »
Hooman,

I like your suggestion. I think having placeholder files is confusing, so eliminating them is is a good goal.

I think 32 vol files is more than enough as well.

If for some reason we stick to hard coded file names, maps04.vol should probably be CustomTileset.vol.