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Creating a Modding Tool

2

Comments

  • klatuklatu Member Posts: 108
    @AndreaColombo - re:WeiDU: I hope you're kidding xD

    Seriously though:
    I thought WeiDU was used to some extent in the making of BG:EE. I heard from @Miloch that the localization, especially the Asian encodings, might cause problems for WeiDU.
    Are there other issues?

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    @klatu - I was kidding ;)

    Two things I wanted to mention for your tool, though, are:
    @Miloch has already said it would be nice to have a full-featured BAM editor that comprised all functionalities that are now split between BAM Workshop I & II.
    One thing to keep an eye out for is the new BAM format the devs said they'd consider developing in the future, with fully 32-bit assets. If and when they start working on it, it might be a good idea to be in touch and ensure your tool is natively compatible with it and allows 32-bit editing.
    – The second thing is a feature request, in case you haven't already considered it: Could you implement a mass .BIFF extractor à la WinBIFF? The reverse (mass biffing that allows manual selection of the assets to include in each .BIFF) would also be handy.

  • CuvCuv Member, Developer Posts: 2,535
    I would like to request IETME be added in as a full area editor:D With all the UI functionality of IETME and all the little details from DLTCEP.

    As for the Biffs, don't worry about being able to recompile them just yet. WeiDU can already make-bif. That part can be ironed out later.

  • klatuklatu Member Posts: 108
    @Cuv
    I will take a look at IETME and what it can do.

    AndreaColombo
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    @klatu

    Thanks a lot for your answer. A BIFF extractor is the main thing, and it'll be great if your modding tool can have one. A BIFFing utility would be nice but I understand why it would be hard to implement; Generalized Biffing is a great tool and it will make do greatly.

    It will be super-duper awesome if you can include a full-featured BAM editor, and if said editor can be made compliant with the new format should the devs actually develop it (which I'm strongly rooting for).

    Your efforts are highly appreciated :)

  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    A question: did you take the NI source or you build this tool from scratch?
    It really looks promising (except that i don't like Java).

  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    klatu said:

    Oh, btw, it seems a few (4 or 5 in around 10.000) of the source BAMs are sorta... buggy (negative or zero dimension images, images without a color palette, pointers to outside the file itself, stuff like that). They can still be read for the most part, but some parts must be skipped to avoid errors.

    The most puzzling are negative indices into the frame lookup table, I mean... why? Bug or feature? Or am I doing it wrong?

    Now I have to wonder how the engine itself deals with those files?

    Which bam, you think, is wrong?

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    edited November 2012
    @Avenger_teambg - klatu has just recently switched to Netbeans programming language and re-started his project from scratch. Java doesn't seem to be involved any longer.

  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862

    @Avenger_teambg - klatu has just recently switched to Netbeans programming language and re-started his project from scratch. Java doesn't seem to be involved any longer.

    Nah, Netbeans is one of the most popular Java developing environments - i use it at work too :D

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    edited November 2012
  • klatuklatu Member Posts: 108

    A question: did you take the NI source or you build this tool from scratch?
    It really looks promising (except that i don't like Java).

    From scratch. I did take a look at NI sources to see how some things were done, especially the bifc decompression. But I have since written my own algorithms for that.


    Which bam, you think, is wrong?

    Can't say from the top of my head. Bam support isn't yet re-implemented. But you can go trough the list of bams in NI and note where it throws errors.

    AndreaColombo
  • IchigoRXCIchigoRXC Member Posts: 1,001
    @klatu have we lost you? The progress was fascinating, has BG:EE distracted you horribly much like it has done for everyone else (I am getting very little work done atm)

  • klatuklatu Member Posts: 108
    Nope, I'm still here and still actively working on this. Most of the progress is just not very photogenic, I'm afraid ;)

    AndreaColomboIchigoRXCCoM_Solaufeinlolien
  • CoM_SolaufeinCoM_Solaufein Member Posts: 2,599
    New tools are always a welcome sight in the modding community. I hope you get it done.

    IchigoRXC
  • KerozevokKerozevok Member Posts: 695
    edited December 2012
    @klatu Just a small request. If you can classify the effects by alphabetical order, that would be awesome, because currently it's a little bit chaotic to find what you need with NI & DLTCEP.

    Post edited by Kerozevok on
  • WispWisp Member Posts: 1,102
    Kerozevok said:

    @klatu Just a small request. If you can classify the effects by order alphabetical, that would be awesome, because currently it's a little bit chaotic to find what you need with NI & DLTCEP.

    The name of the opcode is rather arbitrary (though I guess there have been some attempts to keep them reasonably consistent across different resources/tools). The real identifier of an opcode is the number, which is what NI sorts them by.

  • KerozevokKerozevok Member Posts: 695
    @Wisp However with the older versions of NI, the effects were classified by alphabetical order.

  • klatuklatu Member Posts: 108
    @Kerozevok
    I find that both solutions in NI are rather... cumbersome.
    I can't say anything specific yet, but if I were to implement a feature like that as a list, I would make it possible to sort it either way and I would make it searchable to boot.

    Suggestions like this are very welcome, btw.

  • KerozevokKerozevok Member Posts: 695
    @klatu Ok ok... Good luck for what happens next. ;)
    Miloch said:

    (...) the most useful feature would be a visual editor for dialogues. I would be interested if you could actually do something like that.

    @Miloch DLTCEP does the job well, no ?... In my view the most useful feature is a save editor (NI is incompatible now), not for the cheat of course, but for testing a mod.

  • LordSoverignLordSoverign Member Posts: 12
    Will your tool allow us to add kits and expand some dual class options klatu? I honestly can't even rememberer what I used to mood the older BG I and BG II files to add new kits and mod per-existing classes. Yet I do remember that tool was really easy to use.

  • roxioroxio Member Posts: 9
    when we see first compiled release?

  • MilochMiloch Member Posts: 863
    Kerozevok said:

    Miloch: the most useful feature would be a visual editor for dialogues. I would be interested if you could actually do something like that.

    @Miloch DLTCEP does the job well, no ?... In my view the most useful feature is a save editor (NI is incompatible now), not for the cheat of course, but for testing a mod.

    DLTCEP is not the best for editing dialogues. Really, a text editor is, but the tool I mentioned above (Infinity Editor) seems to be the best out there.

    As for editing saves, DLTCEP should be able to do that, and I would be surprised why NI doesn't work. Shouldn't have to (or want to) edit saves for testing mods though - the CLUA console is good enough for that, or importing prebuilt (i.e. cheated) characters.

  • roxioroxio Member Posts: 9
    DLTCEP is good to dialogues it's not important at this time (WeIDU/NearInfinity - can edit dialogue too, soo? ) now we need:
    1. something to edit TIS files with no errors, tool who can extract to BMP/edit parameters/ import BMP to TIS / save
    2. something to extract & create bif files (winBiff is out of date & produce a lot of errors, dltcep only extract)
    3. something to decode/extrac/pack - PVRZ files.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited December 2012
    Hi, I'm a dungeon master of 11 years experience, an aspiring writer of longer than that, and someone with a passion for creating content. Unfortunately, I have almost no experience with programming. I am intelligent and I can figure a lot of things out if the interface is intuitive (I managed to do a bit of experimental mod creation for NWN 1 with the friendly editor it included, and I did some fairly basic stuff with RPGMaker2000 a while back), but other editors I have seen are a bit scary to look at and are not overly intuitive.

    If you are creating a tool that someone like myself can use with just a few hours of instruction, I am rooting for you. In fact, if I could use it at all even with a few days of instruction it sounds good. I don't even know what the total functionality is that you're going for (ground-up mod creation including zones, sounds, graphics, dialogue, class kits, etc., would be great obviously but I'm expecting too much), but the dialogue trees sound useful.

    This is probably the wrong place to ask, but are there any good resources out there to teach me about modding BG:EE? I realize Enhanced Edition is a bit young and untested in terms of mods, and that every passing patch is likely to break any mod you create. I'm here in the forums because I've been looking for such a resource. I don't know if I have the time to dedicate to learning programming, but if I get a good tool placed in my hands I could do a lot.

    IllustairCommunardDarksheerlolien
  • IchigoRXCIchigoRXC Member Posts: 1,001
    @LordRumFish This is a pretty comprehensive list, I do not know how out of date it is now due to the BGEE changes, but some mods are already compatible, and once things settle down there will be tutorials on transforming BG mods into BGEE ones.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited December 2012
    Thanks @IchigoRXC I will check it out.

    Edit: It looks helpful, though as you said I'm not sure how dated it is. I also noticed various broken links, which inevitably occur as a page ages on the internet. How much upkeep does it receive?

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
  • IchigoRXCIchigoRXC Member Posts: 1,001
    What is it people always tell me? Oh yeah, start small. Make a weapon, give it some lore, and get it into the game. Then perhaps a Kit and then move onto an NPC/quest giver. Good luck @LordRumFish, I will be excited to find a mod topic of your own one day, something glorious :)

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