Hellcat cockpit in the WC2 style

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
With about 10 years of experience in professional software development I wouldn't consider myself junior grade. :)
Nonetheless, I have started gathering descriptions of data-files and started to work on a new editing tool (independently from the above quote, upon which I have just stumpled recently).
It's good that you posted this, it reminded me of the message you posted on my profile. I didn't reply to it, because I wasn't sure if you'd even be notified about a message appearing in my profile, so I figured instead I'd simply dig up the editor you asked for and post about it. As it is, I haven't located the backup CD *yet*. It's here somewhere, though, because I don't throw out that kind of stuff - so hopefully I'll find it for you in a couple of days.

Keep in mind, my editor probably won't be that useful. As I recall, it's based on HCl's research, so there's a good chance you have most of this stuff already. All that was new to my work was that I was doing it in... Visual Basic, and therefore, it had a rudimentary visual interface. But hey, I'll post it anyway, maybe there will be something useful in it for you after all. In any case, it's definitely high time someone got to work on a real editor for these games :).
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
That looks fantastic, HCI. Great work as usual. :)

Have you considered taking renders of Howard's Tiger's Claw or Hornet models and placing them in-engine? Would be pretty cool to see up-resed WC1 ships in there. :cool:
Yeah importing some new models is definitely a possibility :) If I have a PNG with the various angle renders, I can set my second-stage converter to read from that PNG instead of the PNG generated from WCP model data (which is really all that the first-stage converter does, it produces a set of images from a 3D model, and puts them together in a giant "tile" in PNG format). So yes, setting up the converter to read a new PNG directly will work, we even made a quick test with an unfinished model some time back.

The only thing that probably wouldn't be directly convertable is engine exhaust coordinates, so that could take some trial and error to get right.

We should probably try pursuing something along these lines once the Dralthi is done (speaking of which... better get back to work :p)
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Sorry, I didn't mean to leave the thread so abruptly but I again have seldom time to post in tranquility (damn baby :-p).

(...)
Sadly, while I have all the WC1 & WC2 ship stats stored in a text file, I never bothered to write out the alternative loadout stats. You can certainly get at them with a hex editor, though.

Weapons are a different issue. As far as I can recall, there has never been an editor for weapons in any of these games, and the stats were therefore pretty tough to get. It is possible to check out at least the WC2 weapon stats by opening the EXE up with a hex editor - I know this for certain, because I have a text file sitting here with all the gun stats.(...)
Oh please, post the ship and weapon in-game stats (or PM them to me, as you prefer), I'd love to see them.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Sure, no problem. I'll post them here, so that anyone else can download them as well. The WC2 guns file, by the way, contains a nice summary of the Reaper gun, how it evolved from a slow, limited-range heavy-hitter in Academy to a fast, light weapon on the Excalibur in WC3, with Armada in-between. Of course, the stats from these three games are not quite comparable, but you can sort of see the trend.
 

Attachments

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
In the above quote, I meant the Armada Wraith.

Second, wow, those stats: they differ much more from the maunals than I would have thought. The Sabre with much less shields than the Rapier (but faster recharge), interesting design choice. And, sigh, now it's official: my beloved neutron gun just sucks when compared to the particle cannon. Stupid "do it all" gun. I'm also astonished that the damage difference between the laser and the MD is so low. The MD always seemed much more potent than the Laser.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Second, wow, those stats: they differ much more from the maunals than I would have thought. The Sabre with much less shields than the Rapier (but faster recharge), interesting design choice. And, sigh, now it's official: my beloved neutron gun just sucks when compared to the particle cannon. Stupid "do it all" gun. I'm also astonished that the damage difference between the laser and the MD is so low. The MD always seemed much more potent than the Laser.
Keep in mind, this is WC2. I have never done any research on WC1 guns, but I'm pretty sure they would be more similar to their description in the manual (except possibly gun ranges, these may be more similar to what we see here). In WC2, the introduction of the new particle cannon required some re-balancing of other weapons. They effectively added a supergun to the game, but because it was used on so many different ships, the gun could not actually be crazy-overpowered. So, in order to make it convincingly good, without being too crazy, they squeezed down the other guns closer together - the laser lost its range, the neutron lost its damage, and the mass driver lost a bit of everything :). I wonder also about gun speed. Now that I think about it, I don't remember there being any particular speed difference between guns in WC1. If that's the case, then introducing gun speeds would have changed a lot here, too.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Keep in mind, this is WC2. I have never done any research on WC1 guns, but I'm pretty sure they would be more similar to their description in the manual (except possibly gun ranges, these may be more similar to what we see here). In WC2, the introduction of the new particle cannon required some re-balancing of other weapons. They effectively added a supergun to the game, but because it was used on so many different ships, the gun could not actually be crazy-overpowered. So, in order to make it convincingly good, without being too crazy, they squeezed down the other guns closer together - the laser lost its range, the neutron lost its damage, and the mass driver lost a bit of everything :). I wonder also about gun speed. Now that I think about it, I don't remember there being any particular speed difference between guns in WC1. If that's the case, then introducing gun speeds would have changed a lot here, too.
Huh, I hadn't thought that they changed the values between WC1 and WC2, the games feel so similar. So, any chance for the original WC1 gun stats? ;-)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Huh, I hadn't thought that they changed the values between WC1 and WC2, the games feel so similar. So, any chance for the original WC1 gun stats? ;-)
Well, there's always hope :p. But no one has ever extracted them as far as I know. To be honest, I don't even know if anyone has tried...
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
I finally managed to do some more work on the WCA Dralthi. Basically, I managed to implement the stats and do the necessary tweaks to account for the "higher-resolution" mode being used (which, as a side effect, ends up making the ship look larger than it should). Reducing the bitmap size parameter on the ship file (and adjusting the hit radius somewhat) seemed to do the trick, and the ship seems now to have the correct size in-game. Oddly enough however, the ship on-destruction explosion is still smaller than the ship sprite, even though the ship was scaled down. Not only that, but the explosion size seems to *decrease* as the ship radius *increases*. Strange...

I'll look into the ship stats chunk again and double check things, maybe there's one parameter in there that I should be editing and i'm not (although there are not many unknown values in there at this point). Still, I wonder if i didn't hit a WC2 bug, it certainly feels like one... i would expect the explosion radius to increase as the ship radius increases, not the opposite. Well, i guess it should be possible to work around this, either via EXE hacking or simply by importing higher-resolution explosion sprites to match.

In the meantime, i'll see if I can start coding the various regions for Howie's cockpit :D
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
Really looking forward to seeing this live :)

Question from the editing side of things:
Did this already require you to do some EXE hacking, or where you able to make the changes by just changing resource files?
You know, there's that editor of mine for which I'm constantly adding to the "wishlist"...
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
Hate to nitpick such excellent work, but shouldn't there be a kilrathi pilot in the Dalthi mkIV like the other kilrathi ships in WCA?
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Really looking forward to seeing this live :)

Question from the editing side of things:
Did this already require you to do some EXE hacking, or where you able to make the changes by just changing resource files?
You know, there's that editor of mine for which I'm constantly adding to the "wishlist"...
The work so far only involved changing resource files, no EXE hacking as of yet. Still, getting SO2 to support the full 62-angled ships will require EXE hacking, but i'll try to keep it to a minimum where possible (probably mostly bug-fixes and changing things that are hardcoded to be user-configurable). When I do start hacking the EXE though, i'll be glad to pass you the necessary information so you can support any custom parameters if you're interested :)

If you're interested in adding support for ships to your editor at some point, let me know, i'll try to post some more up-to-date information on these soon. This work importing new ships and cockpits ended up involving a lot of research on ship and cockpit files, as not everything was known when i started, so i can go through my scripts and make a summary of the new discoveries soon (I'll probably prioritize solving the issues that came up though, i can't wait to get the Dralthi ready :D)

Also, just to expand a bit where i'm going: I currently use a few Matlab scripts for ship converting since, given my background on data analysis, it tends to be the language i'm most productive with. When things stabilize though, my plan is to convert these scripts to a combination of HTML5 + Javascript and release them to the community, these days HTML5 and JS are pretty much suitable for both online and offline use. Anyway, if you're interested in defining some kind of interface between our two web components at some point, let me know, I think it could be fun!
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
[...] it tends to be the language i'm most productive with
That's really the most important thing when choosing a programming language.

I'd love to have ship support in the WC-Workshop.
I guess I'll try to come up with something useful first and then I will bug you about any new information you have :)
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Just a thought - do you guys think it would be possible to transfer the Kilrathi cockpit hand from Armada? It would be a nice touch for the Dralthi cockpit to come with a Kilrathi paw :) Here's a crude mockup:




...I guess it doesn't work so well with the Terran legs, but these could be altered too.

Apologies for the shoddy workmanship, I changed the colour of center console slightly as it was so similar to the cat hand it was hard to see!
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Guys, sorry for reviving a slightly old thread, but if somebody could give me an example of the various angles for the ships, I'll see what I can do about rendering out my ships for use in the game.

Also, can we up the resolution, or is it fixed?
 
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