Hellcat cockpit in the WC2 style

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Hey guys,

Sorry for the away time! Unfortunately, had a crazy crunch period at work that took all the energy I had to pull through. Guess that's the downside of working in the telecom industry... I'm glad it's over though, and that i can finally get back to the really interesting stuff (this community and our WC-related projects :) )

So, here's a quick summary of where was I before the insanity started:

- Managed to work a bit more on my WC2 bytecode disassembler. Although i was making good progress, I was clearly still some time away from getting it all 100% documented. I think more work still needs to be done on this until the mechanism / commands for triggering animations is fully understood, so it's probably wise to push the converter for WC animations a bit down the feature list. I mean, we know how to convert animations, but until the mechanisms for triggering them in-game are understood, the converter isn't going to be particularly useful...

- So, given the above, i decided put away the animation converter for a bit and focus on my web-based WC2 ship converter. I ended up playing a bit with pure javascript, but ended up deciding to use the GWT. Looks like Java is the ideal language for this, at this point: it integrates very well with Matlab, which is pretty much my WC-Research platform of sorts, and with the GWT i can compile the same Java code to Javascript and run it on a web page. Hopefully i'll be able to avoid re-implementing algorithms in multiple languages from this point on.

Anyway, i think the WC2 converter, is relatively close to a first release. I'm going for a very simple load-file-then-export-ship mechanism at first, then incrementally add functionality to it. Each milestone will include a sample source files for conversion.

(note: the WC2 converter works perfectly fine offline... i can also make a zip file for offline use).

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.
Try using the image above as a guide (thanks for posting it Chris!). Note that each tile is 160x120 pixels large and the rotations are in 30-degree steps. Let's call this "standard" resolution. It will be the first mode supported by the converter. Also, i'll aim to include the target VDU components in the next unused 3 tiles, so we can generate a ship file from a single image.

Also, can we up the resolution, or is it fixed?
You *can* up the resolution, my test scripts my Dralthi uses "double" resolution mode, which is 320x240 size-tiles. But, you need to tweak the ship stats (including length, scale factors and so on) to make it work... and even then, i think it could use one or two EXE-based tweaks to really polish it up.

So, in short, I would recommend converting "standard" resolution ships for now.

I'll upload my Dralthi soon, even in its incomplete form it should be fun to play around with :)
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Additions to Armada would be great. I actually really like the strategy part and sometimes just do quick combat, so it'd be neat even if the strategic component were expanded with more ships.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Armada should actually be easier to get these into. Armada already shares the WC3 engine so theoretically it should be somewhat easier to just drop the WC3 and 4 ships into Armada, though some tweaking might need to be done on the textures.

There was some work on done on an editor at one point but I'm sure there's other tools out there for tweaking Armada as well
https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/ARMEDIT
https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/Privateer_1_TRE_Format
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I'm fairly sure that HCl imported a number of WC3 ships into Armada - many years ago. Mainly there had always been interest in the other direction (Armada to WC3/4/P), but I think this was done as well. The trouble is that any such work was - like the subject of this thread - done merely as an exercise in curiosity to see what can be done. None of it ever came to fruition in the form of any proper mod.
 

Whiplash

Captain
Thanks for the links guys. I'm interested in possibly porting a Hellcat or similar ship to Armada, preferably as a replacement for the Wraith, which in my book is downright useless.
 

Whiplash

Captain
I'm fairly sure that HCl imported a number of WC3 ships into Armada - many years ago. Mainly there had always been interest in the other direction (Armada to WC3/4/P), but I think this was done as well. The trouble is that any such work was - like the subject of this thread - done merely as an exercise in curiosity to see what can be done. None of it ever came to fruition in the form of any proper mod.
Any indication how this was done?
 

Whistler

Commodore
Thanks for the links guys. I'm interested in possibly porting a Hellcat or similar ship to Armada, preferably as a replacement for the Wraith, which in my book is downright useless.
Useless?! I'll have you know I throughly enjoy the shield killing Leech missiles they fire, and they produce a day faster than Banshees. ;)

If you're going to replace a fighter, a better candidate might be the Gladius.
 

Whiplash

Captain
Useless?! I'll have you know I throughly enjoy the shield killing Leech missiles they fire, and they produce a day faster than Banshees. ;)

If you're going to replace a fighter, a better candidate might be the Gladius.
I'll have you know the Wraith is a right royal pain in Gauntlet mode...
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
At least y'all aren't talking about wanting to ditch the Phantom...glad to know I'm not the only one who has a little bit of love for that particular craft.
 

Whiplash

Captain
At least y'all aren't talking about wanting to ditch the Phantom...glad to know I'm not the only one who has a little bit of love for that particular craft.
The Phantom works well enough; it's fast and agile enough to take on anything bar the heaviest Kilrathi ships. The main problem I have with the Wraith is the armament: Reaper cannons fire slowly with a low projectile speed, particle cannons have much too short a range.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Any indication how this was done?
Unfortunately, no.

I was able to spend half an hour just now trying to search through the archives of the internet o find out what HCL's website used to say about this. Even with the Wayback Machine, it's a bloody nuisance to try to find this kind of thing, because you need the URL. Sadly (and ironically, I suppose), the WC CIC actually got in the way of this, because whenever HCl released something, they would mirror the file, so that every news article about HCl releases only ever includes his email address and a link to a file on the CIC server. In the end, I was able to use a CIC news update to identify the oldest URL for the Unknown Enemy website, which had a links page that I used to locate a URL for HCl's website back when it was hosted on his university page. Whew! And all that effort... for nothing, essentially. It turned out that on the subject of Armada, HCl never really got into much detail of how he's importing ships. He did release a few ships for Armada, and I assume that you can probably find these releases somewhere on the CIC website, too. But they are the end poduct, and probably do not give that much in terms of hints as to how to do it.

This made me appreciate, once again, how amazing it is to have the CIC these days hosting pretty much the entire WC fan universe. I hadn't thought about this aspect in ages, but really - that entire early period until mid 2000 (I think it was in August 2000 that the CIC rolled out solsector.net) was characterised by constant hosting-related musical chairs for most fan websites. HCl's website went through three or four different hosts, often with extensive data loss in transition. The UE website moved at least three times, in the space of less than three years, before finally winding up on solsector... and staying there stably ever since. Other sites, such as Locke's workshop and Thomas Bruckner's website were eventually lost in near totality, because they never made the switch to solsector.net - while every website that did get CIC hosting is still up today, safe and sound. Chris, Kris, LOAF, everyone - a huge, heartfelt thanks to you guys! We take the CIC's efforts for granted far too often.

By the way, why anybody would want to replace the Wraith is beyond me :p. It is by far the best human fighter in Armada. Now, the Phantom, on the other hand... ;)

(seriously, though - as much as I adore the Wraith, I wouldn't want to offend Phantom lovers too much. The simple reality is that the Phantom is a challenging ship to fly, a compromise between the Arrow and the Wraith. I always had the impression the ship had some advantages that I personally just wasn't able to tap into, due to my personal flying style. The Wraith worked far better for me)
 
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Whiplash

Captain
Unfortunately, no.

I was able to spend half an hour just now trying to search through the archives of the internet o find out what HCL's website used to say about this. Even with the Wayback Machine, it's a bloody nuisance to try to find this kind of thing, because you need the URL. Sadly (and ironically, I suppose), the WC CIC actually got in the way of this, because whenever HCl released something, they would mirror the file, so that every news article about HCl releases only ever includes his email address and a link to a file on the CIC server. In the end, I was able to use a CIC news update to identify the oldest URL for the Unknown Enemy website, which had a links page that I used to locate a URL for HCl's website back when it was hosted on his university page. Whew! And all that effort... for nothing, essentially. It turned out that on the subject of Armada, HCl never really got into much detail of how he's importing ships. He did release a few ships for Armada, and I assume that you can probably find these releases somewhere on the CIC website, too. But they are the end poduct, and probably do not give that much in terms of hints as to how to do it.


By the way, why anybody would want to replace the Wraith is beyond me :p. It is by far the best human fighter in Armada. Now, the Phantom, on the other hand... ;)

(seriously, though - as much as I adore the Wraith, I wouldn't want to offend Phantom lovers too much. The simple reality is that the Phantom is a challenging ship to fly, a compromise between the Arrow and the Wraith. I always had the impression the ship had some advantages that I personally just wasn't able to tap into, due to my personal flying style. The Wraith worked far better for me)
Well, HCL posted as recently as March last year.. isn't someone still in touch with him?

Briefly back to the Wraith; I find it incredibly hard to score kills with in Gauntlet mode. It presents a huge target profile compared to the Arrow or Phantom, and the weapon loadout just feels unbalanced. The combination of short range for the particle and slow refire rate for the reaper makes most fights an exercise in frustration. I guess it just doesn't suit my flying style.
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
isn't someone still in touch with him?
I sent an email to him earlier this week but he didn't reply yet.
As he was always responsive when I contacted him previously, I'm sure he will get back to me once he finds the time to.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Well, HCL posted as recently as March last year.. isn't someone still in touch with him?
That's not the issue. HCl, like everybody else, has lost a fair amount of data. His current website doesn't include a lot of things that he had done in the past. There was a time when hard drives were not bottomless pits ;). He undoubtedly has more materials in his backups than are currently up on his website, but he nonetheless doesn't have everything from that crucial 1997-1999 period.

Briefly back to the Wraith; I find it incredibly hard to score kills with in Gauntlet mode. It presents a huge target profile compared to the Arrow or Phantom, and the weapon loadout just feels unbalanced. The combination of short range for the particle and slow refire rate for the reaper makes most fights an exercise in frustration. I guess it just doesn't suit my flying style.
It may also depend on what you use it for. I never bothered much with the gauntlet, instead focusing on the strategy mode, and a lot of multiplayer sessions. Both the strategy mode and multiplayer have always tended to be against smaller odds (even with Proving Grounds, it was rarely possible to get more than a couple of players on a LAN). It may well be that in the gauntlet, the Wraith is more problematic.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
This made me appreciate, once again, how amazing it is to have the CIC these days hosting pretty much the entire WC fan universe. I hadn't thought about this aspect in ages, but really - that entire early period until mid 2000 (I think it was in August 2000 that the CIC rolled out solsector.net) was characterised by constant hosting-related musical chairs for most fan websites. HCl's website went through three or four different hosts, often with extensive data loss in transition. The UE website moved at least three times, in the space of less than three years, before finally winding up on solsector... and staying there stably ever since. Other sites, such as Locke's workshop and Thomas Bruckner's website were eventually lost in near totality, because they never made the switch to solsector.net - while every website that did get CIC hosting is still up today, safe and sound. Chris, Kris, LOAF, everyone - a huge, heartfelt thanks to you guys! We take the CIC's efforts for granted far too often.
You're welcome! Some of it is us being the right people obsessed with the right series at the right time. :) If you know the CIC staff, many of us are hoarders who meticulously collect the things we're into. Losing all the amassed knowledge of the WC community is something we've long been afraid of, so we've cooked up a variety of ideas to help preserve things. SolSector definitely worked out.

I sent an email to him earlier this week but he didn't reply yet.
As he was always responsive when I contacted him previously, I'm sure he will get back to me once he finds the time to.
Yesterday was his birthday, so he's probably just having a busy week. :)
 
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