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Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« on: April 06, 2014, 01:48:34 AM »

This thread is for announcements that don't really belong anywhere and shouldn't require any in-depth discussion to be had.


Tonight I noticed that the built-in English translation was using Flame instead of Fire for the first magical element. I really wanted it to be Fire since that's the classical notion...

But still abbreviations were being used in places. I tried different ways of abbreviation, but nothing looked nice. The old way was using three letters, and there is no three letter abbreviation for Fire which looks nice. Which is why I suspect Flame/FLM was used.

So eventually I got the idea to use some special shifting characters as stopgap until a better menu system with positioning and all can be arranged (I intend to use Windows RES files for that which can be prepared with ResEdit.net) so that you can just put a > or a < in front of text to shift it left and right by one character width (technically the width of < and >)

I reckon that's okay because < and > would not appear acceptable within the text of any game. Not in English anyway. Needless to say this way you can make room and even format the text a little bit because it is already heavily formatted with tweaks for the original Japanese text.

Anyway, it worked very nicely. All the abbreviations are gone now, and I even removed the Attack/Defend lines over the affinities on the main equip and status screens because they seemed too cramped too me. I just blanked out their default translation.

I might even go as far to add a simple system for a generic recentering of all of the menu text before working on a RES file based solution. RES files are the same thing used to translate the tools pretty much, just not embedded in an EXE file.


PS: Oh yes. I also changed the Strength based affinities to Edge Brunt and Point. It's funny but the English language lacks a word for the non-edged and pointed part of a weapon (or anything for that matter) but I've settled on this for the game for now. The tools actually use Edged, Blunted, and Pointed, but there's not enough room at 640x480 in game for all of that whether or not it would be an improvement (of course authors are encouraged to alter the text to suit their own/every need)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 06:04:50 PM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 06:32:13 AM »

Here (attached ) is a preview accompanying the above post.


PS: I am so happy with this I will probably bump a be-all-end-all fix for in game menu layouts to the end of the list of priorities. It's a pleasant surprise. I don't know why it never occurred to me to do this before. The changes here that move lines of text to different lines are just achieved by blanking the line and tacking a replacement line to the bottom of one above it. Using that trick no information was actually hidden in the end. Which is a good way to let authors know that those texts even exists.


EDITED: The project seen in these screens came from http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/bbs2/index.php?topic=130.0 BTW. I've found it helpful for testing out many things.

EDITED: if you keep reading you'll learn that "Brunt" as seen in the attachment eventually evolves into "Area". The evolution takes more than one step.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 05:04:13 PM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 08:07:45 AM »


More randomness.

I just discovered a trick used by the King's Field sample/remake's shops. How it works is if you set an item to 65535 the shop will sell an infinite amount. It also screws up the translation performed by SomEx. Should be fixed in the next release/patch.

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 06:05:50 PM »

Strikeout: I actually woke feeling like taking another stab at "Brunt". I brainstormed a few words that might have alternative uses, but none of them did. So I repurposed a word that I think would have a good chance of being the English word for this if there was any need for it outside of video games with abstract play mechanics. So what I came up with instead is Knock. Think of it like blacksmith terminology for the flat side of a weapon used for knocking which may or may not be corrugated. Maybe with the advent of standardized action adventure gaming it will find its way into the vernacular. This trichotomy is certainly useful to games I think. I bet there were words for this at some point of human history, long lost. I suspect some extant languages may have a word for this. In which case if its five letters or less in English it could be borrowed. There may even be a word, but if so it's not on Wikipedia or in any thesaurus.

Anyway. I like the look of Knock. Brunt, while it had some points, I find too forced. Knock, people will know what it means I think, and next to Edge and Point probably even assume it is part of some well established terminology.

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 11:40:15 PM »

I also noticed that the Yes/No options are off in widescreen mode with do_fix_widescreen_font_height. That can't be helped, because that fix is necessary for text to look nice in widescreen, but what I did is a little fudge so Yes/No will be centered in the middle of the screen.

SOM's text layout personnel went to great lengths to tweak every bit of text to the pixel to get what they thought were the best layouts in Japanese with MS Mincho font. Unfortunately that just makes everything else appear to be "off".

Anyway, Yes/No prompts are huge part of the presentation, so it's important that they look nice. I usually work in 640x480 just because it leaves more screen real-estate to work with. So it took me a while to take notice of this.

Actually I noticed it, because I liked how the </> trick could be used, so I used it to lineup Yes and No so they'd be flush on the left. Only to later notice it wouldn't work in widescreen, and couldn't work. So I settled for centered.


EDITED: Also while I am here, and before anyone reads this. I am pretty comfortable with Knock as the third arm of the ineffable triad. But it occurred to me just now that maybe coining this term is even more fortuitous, because I think it would be a good trend if weapons with high Knock ratings were prized for their ability to "knock back" opponents. Where Edge weapons are generally best for cutters who must be able to jump while fighting to be effective. And Point weapons are mainly for thrusters.

Cutting and thrusting are special kinds of attacks that need not be associated with particular stats. But it would be the odd weapon that converts cutting attacks to Point damage. Probably the conversion would come with a cost in that it would not be as effective as cutting weapons dealing Edge damage but would still have its uses.

And Knock weapons would not generally be so good for cutting or thrusting but would knock the opponent around including stunning them and even knocking them out. It's a good balanced system I think. To cut effectively you need to be good at jumping while fighting, which is probably easiest to do using the Action button for auto-jumping. And to thrust you must use the Action button differently, coordinating lunges. Then there is Knock, for the uncoordinated amongst us.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 12:38:16 AM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 12:20:37 PM »

I've made some more changes to the built-in English for the next release. I'm beginning to be comfortable with pretty much everything. I must admit that I've been uneasy for a while.

The top menu now looks like:

Menu
 Use Item
 Work Magic
 Equip
 View Summary
 Arrange Inventory
 System

I've also changed "Knock" to Rest. This is the 2nd or 3rd of the Strength based ratings as mentioned above.

I like Rest because you can rest the weapon on its rest side, and because it also works as "the rest" or everything that isn't an Edge or a Point. I wouldn't mind if it was the third stat in the Summary screen so that it looks like 'and the rest'. I may arrange for that. On the other screens it's off to the side on it's own.

I also changed Effect back to Accessory. I don't think it was Effect for long, but I was reminded that the point of the built-in English is not to be neutral. Really every game should customize its text to fit within whatever series the game belongs to.

For the record, I base the built-in English on King's Field. Or what seems best for KF to me anyway.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 12:26:53 PM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2014, 06:01:32 AM »

I've added a little fix to some extended combos that enable recentering the vertical view axis and mouse. Now there is a 100ms window to release the combo buttons so that they don't have to be released at the same time.

I don't know if the mouse recentering function is so necessary anymore since for a while know the mouse automatically recenters itself if left still for very long.

The combos work by antagonistic inputs. So if you hold left and right down together then that recenters the mouse horizontally. And up+down recenters vertically, this also resets the view visually. Look-up+down also recenters. As does turn left+right horizontally.

This fix just eliminates a potential negative experience for the player.


PS: The original plan was to put the inputs on a delay so that they could be processed in advance. But I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon. So this is a nice afterthought for now, as part of the campaign of late to tie up loose ends.

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2014, 02:59:47 PM »

Eureka!

I finally cracked the nut that was Brunt->Knock->Rest and maybe even something I've left out.

I woke up knowing I was still unhappy with this today. I spent all morning brainstorming alternatives. Technically it's the only work I'll do today because I'm heading out in advance of storms.

Dun dun dun, the new (and final) term is Area!

I'm not sure why this never occurred to me. Surface seemed like the right word, but too long, and too wordy. So I'd just about given up, and I decided to see if there were any words in its definition that might function as a lead. I'm sure I'd considered it before. But just before it occurred to me something like all weapons that aren't cutting or stabbing (in the hopes of stuff rupturing) are based on their surface area...

So it makes perfect sense that damage is being channeled through some surface area.

In lieu of this I'll probably consider alternatives to Point before I'm done. But #2 is definitely the trickiest. I'm both convinced and relieved that it won't be changing. If fact I don't even want to think about it ever again!


Edge 1  Area 2
Point 3

Fire 4    Earth 5
Wind 6  Water 7
Holy 8

Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 06:47:03 PM »

Found a surprising bug today around locale selection. It turned out that do_use_builtin_english_by_default was being applied to Japanese computers!

I don't know how this managed to go so long without being caught by myself, but it was exacerbated by the fact that if there is not a LANG folder then the system locale is used, which is more often the case for me. Plus if there is a Japanese translation file in the LANG folder the bug was well hidden also.

So it basically wasn't setup correctly, but appeared to be correct under both of those conditions. It's only with an empty dummy LANG folder that the problem revealed itself.


Today I also added a trick to the Ex.ini file, so you can reset an extension to its default behavior (which can sometimes be more complex than a simple default value) by writing the extension with a . (period) directly in front of it. I've wanted to do this for a while, but could not arrive at a syntax that agreed with me.

I call this hiding the extension. Like on many computers files that begin with a period (.) are hidden. And I plan on adding the same functionality for whole sections at some point, but there's no rush.


PS: I also changed the English for the Arrange Inventory screen to say Pack and Unpack when asking for confirmation.

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014, 05:43:44 AM »

Here's a strange twist.

Because I was wondering how to translate the new do_start extension in the script file, I was wondering if the gettext plural forms could be used as a kind of a trick, so that each start_mode can be translated independently in one place. So in this scenario the 0 plural form would translate the SOM emulation mode 0, 2 for KF2, and so on.

That got me looking up the binary file format for the message catalogs since that needs to be added to the lib/swordofmoonlight.h portable file format library anyway. That looks like this BTW:

Code: [Select]
namespace msg /*SWORDOFMOONLIGHT::*/
{
/*For gettext-based script files*/

/*UNIMPLEMENTED: we'll need these*/
/*http://punt.sourceforge.net/new_svn/gettext/gettext_8.html#SEC155*/
/*http://www.gnu.org/savannah-checkouts/gnu/gettext/manual/html_node/Plural-forms.html*/

typedef swordofmoonlight_lib_file_t file_t;
typedef swordofmoonlight_lib_image_t image_t;

/*todo: helpers for searching for MO files*/
void maptofile(msg::image_t&,msg::file_t mo);
/*always unmap after map (even if image is bad)*/
inline int unmap(msg::image_t &img){ return swordofmoonlight_lib_unmap(&img); }

/*nplurals: we'll parse the header for you
//plural: you'll have to compute plural yourself*/
/*reminder: add Unicode logic symbols to Ex.number.cpp*/
int nplurals(const msg::image_t&); const char *plural(const msg::image_t&);

/*gettext: int returns the length of msgstr
//this length includes 0 terminated plural forms*/
int gettext(const msg::image_t&, const void *msgid, const void* &msgstr);
}

Anyway, the funny thing, and the reason I'm posting is in order to implement the plural forms part of the Gettext specification you have to be able to compute which plural form to use based on arbitrary formulas that depend on the world language. There are a number of examples in here:

http://www.gnu.org/savannah-checkouts/gnu/gettext/manual/html_node/Plural-forms.html

One of the longest used by Slavic languages looks like:

Code: [Select]
plural=n%10==1&&n%100!=11?0:n%10>=2&&n%10<=4&&(n%100<10||n%100>=20)?1:2;
So what's interesting is if not for the work done last year to add a calculator system (http://en.swordofmoonlight.org/wiki/SomEx/list_of_numbers) originally for the purpose of computing user provided damage formulas, there'd be no real way to do this at this time. But now, just in the nick of time, there is.

It's funny because this would've presented a huge stumbling block to implementing the Gettext specification from scratch. Which is necessary to do because the only real Win32 implementation on Windows isn't cutting it for SOM. I think because no one has ever used it with real-time applications like a game, or because it's not intended to be used with real-time applications.

There's no reason at all a Gettext catalog can't be used by a game in real-time, it just sometimes runs into problems due to however its implemented that drags the frame rate down to a crawl when it shouldn't be taking any time at all to translate each bit of text.


PS: I reckon in order to do this, since things like && and != are not part of the number calculator syntax I'll have to add extended Unicode logic symbols to the calculator, and then just substitute them for these digraphs when generating the formula.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 05:50:59 AM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 12:05:10 PM »


I just had a brilliant idea to let the tools be minimized by clicking on the title bar. It works well. It breaks from OS convention, but the classic look can't have a maximize button, or won't anytime soon, so that always looks funny since you can't have one or the other...

And you can't have a [?] button if you have the minmax buttons, so if I have to choose I definitely prefer a help button, although that's up to the language/theme pack.


I'm going to release a patch with this, but first I'm going to add a maximize button to the game window. For a while I always intended to add one (its currently greyed out) but I thought it would blow the game up to full screen. But what I realized, is I think it's better to actually just fill in the space with more letterbox.

Letterbox is already a feature, so this kind of maximize can be implemented in short order, and I think its more professional than stretching things out. There can be separate options for switching display modes on maximize (or just stretching out) added later. For now though changing the display resolution out from under SOM is just a reach too far. But this, this should work nicely.

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2014, 05:37:06 PM »

For the next release I am working a new project settings editor for SOM_EDIT. It can be seen in some recent attachments.

Things are going pretty well. Today I realized that since it uses a tree setup like SOM_MAP, it's going to have to have icons like SOM_MAP does. I don't seem to be very good at making icons, so it's something I try to avoid. But I realized as always in this world it comes down to me doing the work.

I don't like SOM_MAP's icons. I don't think they are befitting SOM, or really worthy of it. So before I could work on SOM_EDIT's icons, I had to make new icons for SOM_MAP...

I wanted to make something generic for the first icon set. If I could I didn't even want it to be fantasy based. But I could really think of anything not fantasy based that would be more generic. And anyway, what I ended up doing was just changing the background colour in the 3D views to white, and taking screenshots of SOM's models, and then scaling those down to 16x16 pixels!

This sounds nuts, but it actually came out quite well. The trick is picking the right models. They need to be generic, and fill as much space as possible, and look good on a white background. And ideally have good colour contrast.

I am quite happy with the ones I settled on. I think they are pretty generic, even to SOM, since they don't pick the models you might expect. I am especially happy with the choice for an enemy icon. It looks even better in the second screenshot, which adds contrast to it. It really captures the generic enemy feel I think, without being too specific. I like the NPC in that sense too...

The second screen is how the icons look in SOM_MAP. I can probably work on extensions to improve the colors, but I actually like the changes, especially to the enemy and NPC icon. The NPC becomes especially generic, it could be just about anything. It's not male or female. It could be a knight, a matron, or a priest.


In any event. These will be in the next release. The old icons will be relegate to the From Software language/theme pack for posterity sake. This is something I wanted to do way back on the first release that made improvement to the tools, but editing the icons was just too scary. I could see it going nowhere and consuming a lot of my time. This tack only took an hour or so and went along very smoothly.

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2014, 04:42:54 PM »

Here are the icons that will appear in the next release.

I made it so full color icons can be used, and they can be of any size. So the theme pack can make them larger or taller or whatever if it needs/wants to.

I think that maybe they could look better with some posterizing effects or something, but I didn't want to do anymore work since I think they look okay for the time being as is.

Maybe the sign and truth glass model are not the best, I don't know. I did tweak the green/yellow versions of those icons a lot to try to make them look better. Good enough is good enough in my book.


PS: I generally think that all icon sets should do the four colour icons this way. It helps to visualize them like little plastic people etc. laid out across the map and it's real simple to setup (desaturate->colourize)


EDITED: Oh and BTW. It really wasn't on SOM_MAP that the icons were loading up with a limited gamut. This (http://www.codeproject.com/Tips/152904/Load-a-color-bitmap-properly-into-an-imagelist) article explains the problem and a solution. I can't think of any justification for this behavior myself. Especially since LoadImage can and does load full color bitmaps AFAIK.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 04:59:31 PM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2014, 02:38:56 PM »

I noticed just now that a lot of the graphics say "Making tool" instead of "Making Tool", so I went to check the website and noticed that it doesn't seem to be there anymore:

http://www.fromsoftware.jp/main/soft/som.html

Maybe it's a temporary outage, but I doubt it.


You can still browse the old site with the files in the web folder here (http://svn.swordofmoonlight.net/web/som.html) but I won't make that appear as a website on this site since it's not From's website here.

Of course you can open if you download it, and this (https://web.archive.org/web/20120216111746/http://www.fromsoftware.jp/main/soft/som.html) works for now. Sites can retroactively pull themselves though by blocking certain kinds of crawlers I think.  Presumably all of the images and downloads are also on archive.org, but I don't know.

There are no snapshots on archive.org after 2012.

Maybe the website changed its timestamp for each snapshot.

The biggest loss would be if From' isn't selling copies of Sword of Moonlight anymore.


PS: I'm still working on a visual SOM file editor. It's worked out surprisingly well. It also occurred to me that it's the perfect final tool for the core tool suite. It's standard icon will remain the same I reckon. It makes sense since the icon is an arrow pointing into a map that is same as SOM_MAP's icon...

It suggest that this is where you setup everything that goes into the other tools, mainly represented by SOM_MAP since that's where everything comes together.

It doesn't just edit the SOM file, it represents the entire project, so it's perfect for visualizing the entire project, and opening even more tools up that aren't available in the main SOM_EDIT menu. It can be used to open the advanced tools up for instance, right from SOM_EDIT.


EDITED: The preview image browser doesn't work on archive.org's snapshot. It works, but the larger images are not archived. I went ahead and sent the following email off as the 404 page suggested:

Quote from: mailto:webmas@fromsoftware.co.jp
Webpage down,

http://www.fromsoftware.jp/main/soft/som.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20120216111746/http://www.fromsoftware.jp/main/soft/som.html

Does the below information remain valid?

商品名   :   Sword of Moonlight 〜KING'S FIELD Making Tool〜
販売価格   :   7,000円(送料・消費税込)
支払方法   :   代金引替システム(郵便局)
購入方法   :   ご希望の方は以下の記入事項をご記入の上、
E-mailにて shop@fromsoftware.co.jp までご注文ください。
記入事項   :   商品名、数量、郵便番号、住所、氏名、電話番号、送付先住所、氏名、電話番号
(注文者と送付先が同一の場合は「同上」とご記入ください。)

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« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 02:48:07 PM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2014, 12:46:55 AM »

Here is something random that caught my attention today.

If you look at this screenshot, and you're familiar with this tool, you might notice that the white and tri-coloured lines in the model view are minced up by the flat map tiles below them.

This is a common technique, albeit not perfect, since you might notice the lines going through the feet of the man, and the green line doesn't seem quite centered, although it is, but it doesn't appear to be again relative to the man.

Still, despite the deficiencies this approach tends to be preferred by modelers since it generally looks more pleasant. The trick is along the axis parallel to the point of view. The depth information for the lines is false.


It turns out that its pretty simple to distinguish the contents of the tiles from the tiles themselves polygons wise since SOM_MAP uses a different method of drawing them. After making a wholly new tool out of SOM_EDIT, I think I'm interested to try my hand at adding wholly new buttons to the already existing tools...

I think I may start by adding a handful of buttons alongside the two buttons on the right in this screenshot. One for pretty/dirty lines. One for no lines. One for no tiles. One for no non-tile components or whatever, and one for turning on/off colorkey.

That's five in total, and as it just so happens, that should perfectly with no room to spare. Actually there should be just a gap. It might be a good idea to separate the close button from the toggle group.
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