ARMEDIT in 64bit Windows?

delMar

Rear Admiral
I tried to contact the author of ARMEDIT via email but the @earthlink email address is down.
Is there some contact information of PositronAMG available?

I wanted to ask him if he was willing to share the sourcecode of ARMEDIT (provided he still has the sourcecode).
Sourcecode always contains knowledge that might not be documented elsewhere (programmers primarily love programming, not documenting)
And, having the sourcecode available would allow anyone to pick it up and port it over to modern operating systems.

Most tools from the DOS era of WC suffer that same problem, btw.
And if the original developer loses interest (or just lacks the necessary time), all knowledge is lost.
 

Whiplash

Captain
I may need more help after all; the DATA.TRE file apparently saves successfully, but the game crashes when I launch it.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Most tools from the DOS era of WC suffer that same problem, btw.
And if the original developer loses interest (or just lacks the necessary time), all knowledge is lost.
We have lost so much over the years, it's just not funny. So many people have come and gone. This was all before the days when open source was in vogue. It's not that anybody wanted to keep their source secret, they generally just didn't see the point of making it available. Nobody else will do anything with it, and when your hosting was limited to a few megabytes... you know.

I don't think it ever occurred to anyone that there might come a time when not the games, but the tools created around the games might be an object of interest, and that they are worth archiving for their own sake.
 

Whiplash

Captain
Has anyone managed to use this editor successfully with Armada? I'll post screenshots of my error messages if that will help. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
Sorry for hijacking your thread.
Yes, please post some error messages and maybe also some info about the changes you made...
 

Whiplash

Captain
Not
Sorry for hijacking your thread.
Yes, please post some error messages and maybe also some info about the changes you made...
Not a problem!

I went through the following steps:

1) Backed up DATA.TRE as recommended.
2) Unzipped the contents of ARMEDIT into the Armada root folder (this was an assumption on my part, the instructions are unclear).
3) Opened DOSBox and ran INSTALL.BAT from there. It executes, and shows something along the lines of "257 items to unpack", but I am not sure whether this completes successfully. The window stops responding and never goes back to command prompt. I manually closed this.
4) Running ARMEDIT.exe works fine, and I can make changes to DATA.TRE and save them, with a "Success!!" message (actually several of them) displayed afterwards.
5) Running the game however results in a crash, with some hex error codes and a "Program halted" message. I will post a screenshot later.

I started small on the changes; All I tried for starters was to change the DF missiles on the Arrow to IR's by changing the weapon ID from 0 to 2.


Anything I may have missed or did wrong?
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
I won't be able to try this until this evening.

Another thing you could try: save an unmodified file. It should stay identical to the original. If that also crashes, it's not your fault.

I remember reading something about issues with the last weapons slot. Maybe you might want to try changing something else first?
 

Whiplash

Captain
Save an unmodified file? What do you mean by this?

I read about the issues with the last weapon, but from what I can tell the crash occurs when you try to delete it. Will see if this makes a difference though.
 

Whiplash

Captain
Sorted! It was much simpler than I thought. Following the instructions in the readme file did not do the trick for me, so I fiddled about a bit. Here's how it works:

1) Backup Data.tre in case something goes wrong.
2) Unzip the files to the Armada root folder.
3) Using DOSBox, navigate to the Armada folder, and run the following command: "Tresplit data.tre". This will unpack DATA.TRE so that it becomes editable.
4) Run Armedit.exe, and edit to heart's content. Select "Update Data.tre" when done.
5) Run the game; it should launch normally.

Voila! I've tested it sucessfully by equipping the Arrow with a mass driver. Hope someone finds this useful!
 
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Whistler

Commodore
Sorted! It was much simple than I thought. Following the instructions in the readme file did not do the trick for me, so I fiddled about a bit. Here's how it works:

1) Backup Data.tre in case something goes wrong.
2) Unzip the files to the Armada root folder.
3) Using DOSBox, navigate to the Armada folder, and run the following command: "Tresplit data.tre". This will unpack DATA.TRE so that it becomes editable.
4) Run Armedit.exe, and edit to heart's content. Select "Update Data.tre" when done.
5) Run the game; it should launch normally.

Voila! I've tested it sucessfully by equipping the Arrow with a mass driver. Hope someone finds this useful!
Fun! Must test too! :D
 

Whiplash

Captain
Fun! Must test too! :D
Indeed! I've already discovered a few very interesting things. The stats for the guns, for example, are identical to what you find quoted in the Voices of War manual. The ship stats for shields, armour etc are also very comparable. However, the Yaw/Pitch/Roll settings are identical across the board; 2dps for every single ship out there. I wonder whether this is a problem with the editor? Surely all ships can't have the same handling? I'm convinced an Arrow feels more agile than a Banshee.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Indeed! I've already discovered a few very interesting things. The stats for the guns, for example, are identical to what you find quoted in the Voices of War manual. The ship stats for shields, armour etc are also very comparable. However, the Yaw/Pitch/Roll settings are identical across the board; 2dps for every single ship out there. I wonder whether this is a problem with the editor? Surely all ships can't have the same handling? I'm convinced an Arrow feels more agile than a Banshee.
This is indeed something that has always mystified me. Here's the funny part - because I've only ever used the editor for research rather than modding, the most blatantly obvious solution never occurred to me. I suggest you try actually changing those numbers to something else. Change the YPR to 10/10/10 for a particular ship, and change it to 0.5/0.5/0.5 (if floats are possible, otherwise just 1/1/1) for another. If this is a problem with the editor, then presumably either this will generate an error, or simply produce no visible change to manoeuvrability.

However, I've always suspected that these numbers are in fact accurate, and simply reflect a different approach to manoeuvrability taken by Armada sometime towards the end of the project. The game feels wildly different in steering to all other WC titles. I don't think we can attribute that entirely to the higher ship velocities and the AI. I think there's some significant difference under the hood. It may be, for instance, that they decided to level out the Y/P/R to give the game more of a "space" jetfighter feel, where your turning radius is a function of mass and speed rather than a function of the wing surface and airflow over control surfaces (which, of course, is what Y/P/R ultimately emulates for that WWII feel, although the in-game technical explanation is that manoeuvrability is controlled by manoeuvring jets).
 

Whiplash

Captain
O yes, I fully intend to tweak those numbers. If they do affect the handling, I could effectively come up with an entirely new flight model by modifying top speeds as well.
 

Whiplash

Captain
Right, quick update for anyone who may be interested in the ship, missile, and gun stats. Here they are, exactly as ARMEDIT extracted them from the DATA.TRE file.

Now on to some tweaking!





 

Whiplash

Captain
Interesting point regarding the guns, especially: A few weapons that are mentioned in the manual and also present in the data, are never actually fitted to any ships. Note the plasma gun, matter disrupter, and ionic pulse cannon. I'd love to see if they work in game.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Interesting point regarding the guns, especially: A few weapons that are mentioned in the manual and also present in the data, are never actually fitted to any ships. Note the plasma gun, matter disrupter, and ionic pulse cannon. I'd love to see if they work in game.
Yeah, I remember seeing that. The Shok'lar seemed to be the main victim. The manual gives it the sonic accelerator and the matter disruptor. Instead, it gets the neutron and the laser. The neutron doesn't change anything, because it's identical to the sonic accelerator, but the change from the heavy, short-range matter disruptor to the light, long-range laser is significant . It is debatable, of course, whether the result would be better or worse. The Dralthi also ended up quite different, as the manual gives it the mass accelerators. Would the Dralthi be better with short-range, relatively slow mass accelerator, given that the weapon is significantly weaker than its Confed counterpart? Probably not, but the game would be more enjoyable by virtue of the Dralthi and the Arrow being more distinct from each other.
 
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