THIS SOFTWARE IS DONATIONWARE. IF YOU DON'T WANT ME TO DIE OF BOREDOM, SEND ME A REGISTRATION FEE CONSISTING OF: 1) SOME MAIL 2) A $0.00 CASHIER'S CHECK A POSTCARD FROM WHERE YOU LIVE WOULD BE REAL NICE, TOO.
Use at your own risk. Don't sue me if this program screws up your computer. Its not even guaranteed to do anything.
How to run
Unzip the archive (duh). Then, run install.bat. Be sure you have ~10 megs on your current drive before doing this. Also, if running from the CD, you have to make a full install in order to edit the DATA.TRE file.
How to use
BACK UP DATA.TRE! This program has been fully tested and debugged on reads, but its writing performance has not been fully evaluated.
The interface is pretty easy to understand. There are a few small problems.
- In the weapon edit window, the Gun ID variable should not be used because its not fully implemented (its pretty dumb to screw with this anyway).
- The regeneration rate for shields may be a little confusing. Lower = faster and higher = slower. Got it? (This is not a bug, this is how Armada does it).
- Editting the guns and missiles might be a little hard to understand. The ID field corresponds to the ID of the gun or missile you want. For guns, look it up in the gun editer. Missiles: Dart DF(0), Javelin HS(1), Spiculum IR(2), Pilum FF(3), Leech(4), Paw DF(5), Stalker HS(6), Claw IR(7), Fang FF(8), Chaff pod (9), Torpedo 1(10), Torpedo 2(11).
- Editting the positions of guns and missiles is also a little complicated. X, Y, and Z describe where the gun or missile is located in relation to the center of the ship in 3-D. A and B are the 2-D coordinates of the gun on the left VDU. The values of X, Y, and Z for missiles should be divided by 256 to get a value in the same units as the guns.
- DON'T delete the last gun/missile; this causes the program to crash. Hard.
- DO NOT add guns past the bottom of the screen; although they are added (if the program doesn't crash), its cheap. Limit guns to under 20 and missiles to under 20.
- WARNING* Since I'm developing on a really slow machine (DX2 66), I haven't had the chance to fully test the writing module. So, be careful.
Most of these have been fixed in this release.
- Trashed screen and crashed computer
- On earlier builds (I think this problem's fixed), the editer sometimes started up with a screwed up background. This SHOULD be harmless (yes, its real ugly), but might mess up some areas of memory. This problem is very rare.
- Windows 3.x
- Sometimes when this program is running in Windows, it just crashes back out with an error message. I dunno what this is caused by. The problem is quite rare, and will only occur the first time you run it in Windows.
- Editting windows
- This is not a bug. I just haven't gotten around to painting the background of the windows. Sorry.
- Screwed up variables
- This problem should be completely fixed, but I have not extensively tested the editer, so I don't know if this happens. If you get ANY negative values (except on "special" weapons, such as the leech and chaff pods), then send me some mail describing the problem, and I'll get on it.
- Sometimes, the program causes EMM386 to complain about an exception. Oh well. This is harmless, unless you're in Windows, or your computer's too slow and you don't have time to wait for it to boot up.
- Deleting the last gun/missile
- This just doesn't work. I'm not planning on fixing this.
- Consult Armhack.txt (by Matteo Borri). You can do most of the tricks with the editer. One thing to remember is that his figures are in hex, while the figures in the editer are in decimal. This is important when editing the missile identifier. If you want a torp or flashpack, use 2 (instead of 02, what's the difference?) and 25 (instead of 19) for a missile. Also, if the recipe calls for FF FE or FF FF, substitute -2 and -1, respectively.
- Some stuff I cooked up
- Blind scanners
- There's a way to make the shields/armor on the target display to blank out. Its got something to do with the bytes after TARG in the object file for the ship. You have to directly hex edit the files output by Tresplit to do this. Null out some bytes and keep trying.
- Most excellent cloak
- This might (very iffy) be a feature in the next release or so. If the pointer in the ship's IFF file to the object information is off by a few bytes, the ship becomes invisible and can't be damaged by guns. However, impacts (collisions, missiles) can still hurt it. E-mail me and I'll mod a ship for you.
- Changing debris fields
- In the ship files in the object directories, you can change the stuff that falls off the ships when they're severely damaged. This is done through the *DEB? strings. Change them to KILDEB? for Kilrathi metal and CONDEB? for Confed metal.
- If Armada's getting old, then update all the weapons and ships to Wing Commander 3 or 4 specs. This should make the game more fun.
- This isn't really a trick, its a suggestion. Try not to make the ships too powerful. My method is to either make thick shields or high regeneration rate. Its far too easy to create an invincible ship, and there's no point to that, unless you want to breeze through the Gauntlet. The true challenge is to make a powerful, yet realistic, fighter. Example: Don't give a Reaper cannon autofire. Too cheap. I changed my mind about the Ionic Pulse. Its a fun gun to use, if you don't extend its range.
- Blind scanners
Well, this is gonna be the final version of the editer, unless I receive mail demanding a 3-D object editer.
Coming soon: Proving Grounds network performance enhancer (great for use with Kali)! Send me mail if you want to help me test this.