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1
Introductions / Re: Hello
« Last post by leeor_net on July 23, 2020, 09:14:29 PM »
If you happen to be running a 32-bit version of Windows, you won't need to do much to get it running natively. Unfortunately, the vast majority of users are running 64-bit versions of windows which means you'll need to emulate an environment that Outpost can run it.

We used to offer it as a downloadable package but since Activision published Outpost 2 on GoG, we had to disable the downloads of both games.

That stated, since you have the CD, that'll make things a bit easier. You'll need to download DOSBox and a Windows 3.11 ISO file (I don't know how far I can go in terms of pushing links but suffice it to say a google search will yield good results for safe downloads of Windows 3.11).

You'll also need to get S3 SuperVGA graphics drivers for Windows 3.x. This is a reasonably good guide for setting up DOSBox and Windows 3.x (https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=9405).

After you've got Windows 3.x booting in DOSBox, you'll need to map your CD drive in DOSBox. You can then go through and run the setup program within Windows.

DOSBox can be a bit daunting to work with so I'd recommend a front-end. I personally like D-Fend Reloaded but you can find a bunch of other front ends here: https://www.dosbox.com/wiki/DOSBoxFrontends

One thing you'll want to do to help the game run as well as it can without bogging down your machine is to set DOSBox cycles to 'max' which will set it to automatically run as many cycles as it can on your machine. If you look at the DOSBox config file, look for
Code: [Select]
[cpu]
section and change
Code: [Select]
cycles=whatever
to
Code: [Select]
cycles=whatever

Hoping all of this helps.
2
Introductions / Re: Hello
« Last post by Hooman on July 22, 2020, 07:04:07 AM »
Hello and welcome.
3
Projects / Re: Cross Platform Outpost 2 Utility Library
« Last post by Vagabond on July 18, 2020, 08:23:30 AM »
Nice job with the animations. I'm unsure about framerate.

Yeah, you pretty much figured out the bitmap code I was writing. Hooman and I were discussing if custom padding was allowed in bitmaps and how to handle it when development stalled which led to the poorly formed functions inside the bitmap class.

I never investigated the proper color pallete settings for the shadows and suspect you are correct that they are custom set inside outpost 2 since there are only 2 colors involved.

Maybe someday we can look at porting your work back into the C++ project.

One of my goals for OP2Utility was to allow for developing some sort of command line frontend that would allow packaging custom sprites for use in game. So you could say replace the ConVec images or something. It gets pretty complicated though since different animations share the same color pallete and I'm not sure there was enough interest that someone would actually take the time to undertake drawing custom sprites. It would have complemented OP2Archive and OP2MapImager.
4
Projects / Re: OP2 Mission Editor
« Last post by TechCor on July 18, 2020, 06:48:11 AM »
Another minor release:

v0.5.2
https://github.com/TechCor8/OP2MissionEditor/releases/tag/0.5.2

The Visual C++ Redistributable is no longer required to run the editor.

Fixed an issue where dragging windows would not move at the same speed as the cursor for certain resolutions.
5
Projects / Re: OP2 Scenario Project for C#
« Last post by TechCor on July 17, 2020, 02:54:29 PM »
Hi,

There are quite a few OP2 projects at this point, so they aren't all getting attention. I will just give a general status update for my "ecosystem".

AI and mission triggers require hundreds of hours of investment with little reward / motivation, so these are on hold indefinitely while I have only weekends available.

The Mission Hub is on indefinite hold due to a lack of community interest in it. Technically, it is fully functional sans minimaps. Maybe someday I will put in that extra weekend to finish it.

Last few weeks:
OP2UtilityDotNet is now a pure C# project. I've extended the sprite and animation support so that they can be loaded into a renderer. I don't think I need to add anything else to this project.

I've created a new sandbox Unity project (Code Name: Terra Nova) on my GitHub for recreating OP2 functionality. Currently, it loads all the game animations and can play them back correctly. I've rebuilt the OP2 main menu to have the same look and feel as the original, including music playback and the "opening" animation of dialog boxes, but Preferences, Load Game, New Campaign, and Multiplayer dialog boxes are not present or functional.

Upcoming:
This weekend, I want to release a new version of OP2UtilityDotNet. The Mission Editor will be switched to use this version, which eliminates its native dependencies which some people have had issues with.

Then, I will continue working on the sandbox project.

Current focus for the next few months in the sandbox:
- Game Frame
- Class structure for statistical information such as population and morale.
- Class structure for different unit types.
- Reading data from "Sheets".
- Panel layouts (The right side of the screen during missions)
- Rendering the Tile Map
- Loading mission data with DotNetMissionSDK (.opm support only).
- Ability to create specific instances of unit types (abstract, non-functional - "Factory design pattern").
- Assigning animations to unit types.
- Rendering vehicles and structures at their starting locations.


Disclaimer:
This is just a hobby I do for fun. I make no promises about anything. :)
6
Projects / Re: OP2 Scenario Project for C#
« Last post by lordpalandus on July 16, 2020, 01:00:15 PM »
Been a few months since last update. Any progress?
7
OutpostHD / Re: Research Tree
« Last post by leeor_net on July 14, 2020, 11:07:59 PM »
Wanted to bring this back into focus as I'd like to see the research tree effectively completed. I could use some help fleshing out Computer Science & Engineering and Astronomy and help developing Social Sciences (which includes sociology, psychology, economics, law and education among others), Biology (which would also include things like medicine, genetics, etc.) and probably something along the lines of Humanities (which includes History, Literature, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Philosophy).

Social sciences and Humanities focus primarily on morale and efficiency improvements. Biology focuses on improvements in health, agriculture, genetics and so on (you know, where the Blight came from :-X )

So yeah, any help here is very much appreciated. Can use the link in the first post to see the current layout. Any questions please ask. And thank you for helping! This is a much larger project than I ever anticipated!
8
Projects / Re: Cross Platform Outpost 2 Utility Library
« Last post by TechCor on July 12, 2020, 10:00:30 AM »
Well. I managed to get all the animations rendering. Looks pretty neat.

Layer.frameIndex should probably be named layerIndex, but it is not really used anyway. Otherwise, the original code worked perfectly. Good job!

I'm curious as to how the frame rate is determined, but I'm sure it is all customized at the engine level.


I looked closely at the bitmap code to figure out what was going on with shadows.

First, BMPs were over-reading data. Took me a while to figure out this was going on.

imageMeta.scanLineByteWidth is too large and was being used to get the amount of data that needed to be read. I'm not sure what this property is actually used for, but the amount of data being read was 3-4 times past the end of the BMP for all BMPs.

Instead of doing this, I calculate the pitch and multiply the height by that to get the amount of data to read. Then, I iterate over the height and write the row using the pitch.

For the palette, I check if the image is a shadow, and set it to copy the first two colors.

Commit: Shadow fix
Commit: Merged method implementations that needed the shadow fix.


The only problem left is that the shadows are blue and lack transparency. I think the shadow palette must be handled at the engine level, ignoring the BMP palette. There doesn't appear to be any other explanation.

I also want to extend BitmapFile so that I can read the actual pixel color values in a usable format. The "pixels" property is the packed bytes and not easy to work with. Currently, I'm using a middleman to read the utility's output and load time is about 60 seconds 4 seconds to read all images when I don't render each one to the screen after loading 8).
9
Introductions / Re: Hello
« Last post by Blood Red Skies on July 11, 2020, 06:31:54 PM »

 Thank you!
10
Outpost 2 Programming & Development / Re: DisasterCreator
« Last post by Vagabond on July 11, 2020, 02:26:08 PM »
Yeah, shouldn't be a problem to include it in the next release. I'll try to give it another playthrough in the near future and let you know if I see any bugs. I've never really cared about the high scores for colony games either.

-Brett
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