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Old 19 October 2021, 00:56   #161
UnnamedCourier
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Glad you got it working!
On a bit of a tangent, I looked at something else tonight. I had some parts to put into my real A1200, which also has loads of other games installed, so I thought I would try the saved game from Lemmings 2 that came with the Martin Good AGA levels.
It's a weird little package, it seems to have been used for testing, as different saves have different sets of levels completed. The most it has is 8/12 tribes complete though (It has a save for only Classic Lemmings done, then ones with 3, 5, 7 and then 8 (still marked as only 7) tribes completed). I think these must have been cheated into being rather than actually played through, although one did have a tribe with not perfect numbers of Lemmings saved, so maybe that was a real play through.
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Old 24 October 2021, 21:33   #162
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I finally managed to decode the complete map data structure of Hired Guns with the help of Dunny, Devlin and nivrig from the Official Commodore Amiga Discord server. Next step is to code a map editor with Windows Forms to see if everything checks out.
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Old 31 October 2021, 13:53   #163
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Started writing the windows map editor, and I noticed one thing related to the different graphic styles of the maps: As UnnamedCourier noted on the TheCuttingRoomFloor article, style 5 is just a copy of style 4 ("wet black bio-growth"). However, the Spaceport map actually uses style 5, whereas all other maps that have the "wet black bio-growth" look use style 4, as far as I can see. I wonder if the Spaceport was originally meant to use a unique fifth graphic style, but it was never implemented so they used a copy of style 4 as a placeholder.


Note that the style is stored in the map data from 0 to 4, but when presented to the map editor user, it has values of 1 to 5, meaning that the "public" style value is actually one less in the map data.

Last edited by Cherno; 31 October 2021 at 15:34.
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Old 01 November 2021, 13:04   #164
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Ahh, that's really interesting, I was already going down that path and had noticed it was just a pointless copy (and I think missing from the map editor distribution), I didn't notice it was actually used on the final level. It's also quite odd as the pre-release coverage shows that seemingly all the level graphics were done waaaay before the rest of the game (like early 1992, when the game didn't come out until the end of 1993). Maybe it was some last minute addition that wasn't finished in time. I always though it was kind of a weird graphical style for a space port, but I guess it's supposed to show that it's been corrupted by the evil monsters, etc...

The Windows map editor would be interesting to see!
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Old 01 November 2021, 13:47   #165
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Mayyyyybe the final level was not as important for a long time, when they still followed the original story of rescuing hostages and getting photographic evidence of the bio weapons on the planet. With the switch to the simpler fusion core collection quest, the Spaceport where the giant explosion is triggered got a lot more important and they planned to do a special graphic set for it, but ran out of time. Just theorizing here, of course

I'm happily plodding away at the map editor.
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Old 02 November 2021, 13:40   #166
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Got a first prototype of a map editor. Well, it's just a map view at the moment. Just for fun, I changed the style of the Abandonded Depot map to the Ice Cave graphic set.

I used Windows Forms because I was familiar with it, but it is not well suited to dynamic graphic processing and tile drawing in particular, so I will probably migrate this project over to another framework.



One thing I would like to know is the behavior of non-character things (items, containers, eggs) when the block below them vanished from a trigger action. Will they fall down? What if there's already something on the floor below? Also, what happens when a character drops down to the lowest map level where no block is?
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Old 02 November 2021, 16:44   #167
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Wow, that looks good! I haven't tested all the eventualities you mentioned there, but I know characters can walk on each other's heads. It acts like they are walking on a block, but I think it removes health from the walked on character. I don't know how this works with enemies. One thing I didn't realise until I was playing the CD32 maps was that you can actually happily walk through eggs, they don't block you from standing in the same space.
One of the maps also has a bug where you fall in the void, so possibly this is what happens if you fall through the map - you go back to the top again. Again not actually tested.

Also I've attached the official names for the different ambient sound and map tiles as found in the documents.
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Old 02 November 2021, 23:28   #168
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I made a test map (in the old editor ) and tested what I outlined above. Here are the results:
  • A character or monster can drop down on another character or monster, but the lower one will take a large amount of damage continuously. This is probably also true for "flying" monsters like Hoverbots or Bats. TODO: FIND OUT IF MONSTERS TAKE FALLING DAMAGE
  • Unhatched eggs stay in the air when the block below them disappears. When they hatch, the spawned monster will drop down.
  • Items will stay in the air.
  • Toggling a block at a character's or monster's location doesn't work. Hatched eggs don't block the effect, though. TO DO: TEST HATCHED EGGS, ITEMS, HYDRAULIC, ...
  • Starting on the lowest floor makes the character fall for second or two, before getting killed (not sure if that's always the case).
  • Falling into the lowest level from level 1 causes no damage, but the character is trapped in a bizarre void where seemingly random objects and terrain surround him or her. Desverger found himself on a non-moving two-cells-long lift with a Mounted Minigun on it that could be picked up, two pressed buttons that both gave the "blocked" message when used, no walls, some ceiling tiles near him, two static fireballs in the immediate vincinity, another container nearby as well as what looked like a shielded Leahdil that didn't do anything either. Some water overlays were also scattered around. Quite the sight!
    In both cases, the game gets corrupted, with flashing off-palette graphics and non-functioning character controls even for those who didn't embrace the void
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Old 03 November 2021, 00:26   #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherno View Post
A character or monster can drop down on another character or monster, but the lower one will take a large amount of damage continuously.
Only of level difference is 2 or more. If it's 1, move is blocked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherno View Post
a bizarre void where seemingly random objects and terrain
That same is on top, so better is to exclude players to move on two upper levels and place black squares, or see garbage on sky.
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Old 03 November 2021, 00:26   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherno View Post
I made a test map (in the old editor ) and tested what I outlined above. Here are the results:
  • Falling into the lowest level from level 1 causes no damage, but the character is trapped in a bizarre void where seemingly random objects and terrain surround him or her. Desverger found himself on a non-moving two-cells-long lift with a Mounted Minigun on it that could be picked up, two pressed buttons that both gave the "blocked" message when used, no walls, some ceiling tiles near him, two static fireballs in the immediate vincinity, another container nearby as well as what looked like a shielded Leahdil that didn't do anything either. Some water overlays were also scattered around. Quite the sight!
    In both cases, the game gets corrupted, with flashing off-palette graphics and non-functioning character controls even for those who didn't embrace the void
VIDEO OR BUST!!!
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Old 03 November 2021, 15:27   #171
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You shall receive! Beware, BIZARRO GUNS!

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Old 03 November 2021, 16:07   #172
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LOOOOL! This is absolutely epic!!!
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Old 03 November 2021, 16:42   #173
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This happens in actual game level, or you created a special place for it in your map?
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Old 03 November 2021, 16:48   #174
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I created a special map for it. I don't think there are any levels that have void cells on level 0, with the possible exception of the unreleased one from the dev release, which is described in the TCRF article. The terrain and things that are seen once glitched are not from the map, which is just the default new map (an empty area at level 11, solid walls below, nothing above) with some adjustments.
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Old 04 November 2021, 01:59   #175
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Wow, that's insane. It looks like it's trying to read more parts of the level beyond the area of memory the maps are contained in so you're seeing parts of the game code represented as a map or something. The bug in Chaosp.map is not as spectacular, one of the teleports puts you in a black void where it seems you just fall endlessly, you don't see anything while this happens. You can't do anything, but trying to move etc eventually crashed the computer.
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Old 04 November 2021, 08:13   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherno View Post
I created a special map for it. I don't think there are any levels that have void cells on level 0, with the possible exception of the unreleased one from the dev release, which is described in the TCRF article. The terrain and things that are seen once glitched are not from the map, which is just the default new map (an empty area at level 11, solid walls below, nothing above) with some adjustments.
What a shame, I hoped there is a special hidden way how to get there in some game map.
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Old 05 November 2021, 14:40   #177
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Map Editor is coming along nicely!

I added special icons for monsters, items, buttons, hydraulics, and water, so it's easier to see these different cell properties. Still no editing capabilities, I am working on getting the raw map data into the editor's controls and displays.

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Old 24 November 2021, 16:38   #178
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Looks good! Not checked in here for a while, I was looking into something else and just found this:
http://download.abandonware.org/maga...1992-06%29.jpg

An in depth article from June 1992 in the French Joystick magazine. This features that weird scary skull face that is in the development files! It also has a breakdown of an early version of the interface, confirming the resting tab (as if there was any doubt). Any French speakers able to translate?

There's also the next page that has just as many interesting things:

http://download.abandonware.org/maga...page%20033.jpg

Another early/placeholder character called Arnold (hmm, I wonder what his surname would be..)! This seems to be from the same build/preview pictures as the Amiga Power coverage, but with more pics used. Also early versions of the level background pictures and the map.
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Old 24 November 2021, 21:44   #179
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Nice find!

I am working on the editor each and every day, currently toiling away at the save map feature (Hundreds of byte adresses need to be filled ) After that come proper editing tools like copying, cutting and pasting cells, filters (hiding water indicators, for example), auxiliary (monster, items, eggs) browser...
BTW, I found out that the map editor (the "proper" one), when saving a map, calculates the lighting completely wrong. Basically, if a cell is to be lit (by sky or ceiling leight), a certain bit flag is set in the map data file for that cell. However, the editor just fills all cells, even if there are no lights anywhere and the whole map consists of solid blocks. Curiously, only floors get lit, and not walls.

The AGA version also has a strange way of rendering the horizon; Depending on where the character stands outside and which direction he or she faces, a second, different horizon in lighter color (lighter than black) is drawn in front of the proper one. I have not found out how exactly makes this happen.
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Old 25 November 2021, 09:09   #180
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Look at that cute teethy Rahl! Lovely!
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