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ECWolf help
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Ringman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:12 am
   Subject: ECWolf help
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Hey guys! Its been a loooong time. Anyway, I've been working very slowly on a project using ecwolf. I don't want to get into all the details just yet. I will say the plan is to move to a commercial project, using a custom built engine, but the current portion I'm working on using ecwolf will be released as a freeware demo to help promote the commercial project. The plan is to use crowd-funding, and HOPEFULLY get the funds necessary to move to full production. Unfortunately, I don't have an estimated finish time, but I'm getting dangerously close to finished on the demo. However I'm running into a few snags with ecwolf. There's things I'd LIKE to do, but aren't absolutely neccessary, but I don't quite know how to proceed with some of these features. I'm using version 1.3 at the moment.

Anyway here's my questions, I'm hoping some of you can give me answers:

1. Can you make the status bar a permanent overlay (not in the borders) with only things like the health, ammo, keys, score, and lives being displayed? I want something more modern looking than the huge bulky thing that wolf has. I don't need the face, or the images of the weapons, and I don't want it quite so big. I know you can make some changes to the status bar, but I'm not sure if its possible to have it always displayed as an overlay, and be able to re-arrange and remove all those other elements.

2. Is it possible to offset 3d directional sprites so that they align flush with a wall? It looks like I MAY be able to do some trickery using a spawner thing that spawns the 3d sprite with a set offset, but that seems a bit messy. I'm not desparate for this feature, but it'd be nice to have.

3. Is there a way to do translucency in sprites using an alpha channel or something similar? I wouldn't want the whole sprite to be translucent, just parts of it. Again not a necessity.

4. I was messing around with global lighting, but I can't seem to get it to look right. I'm pretty sure i need to use some kind of color mapper, but its a bit confusing. Also I assume if I can get that working I could do fog by inverting the colormap.

5. can you do in game messages via a trigger? I saw StartConversation( tid, faceTalker ) but it says this isn't very developed at this moment. I don't need something like strife, but something closer to a status message that pops up.

6. Is it possible to do animated doors similar to rise of the triad? I saw a trigger for a door, but I assumed it just worked like any normal door.
7. Can you make a melee attack for an enemy that behaves similar to the lost souls in doom. Like a dash attack. I know its possible to transfer stats to an object spawned, much like hitler from the mech suit. So I'm not sure if you could do such a thing to a projectile spawned, and then from said projectile back to the original monster on impact.

8. Can you make a melee weapon for the player that causes enemies to be "pushed back"?

9. Can I remove screens from the intro sequence? I just want the title screen and not all the other garbage. Also is it possible to have a doom like menu that overlays over top of the title screen?

10. can you completely remove an actor from the game on death, as in not have a body corpse (and not just make the corpse invisible) so it subtracts from the current object count.


Again, not all of these are necessary, in fact none of them REALLY are, but I'd really like to polish the demo as much as I can, since it is still representative of the final game itself.

I may have more questions in the future, but that's what I have so far.

Thanks a million!

EDIT:
I'm aware there's an ecwolf forum, but I know more people on this one, and am hesitant to post this everywhere just yet.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:38 pm
   Subject: Re: ECWolf help
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1. Using A_Overlay, you can overlay sprites onto weapons. From there, you can use A_JumpIfInventory to determine the sprite overlayed. This is a peculiar solution, and I think it would be best if I just made a .pk3 with the required code to explain things. I'll have it up soon.

2. You need to use a spawner as predicted, but yes, this can be accomplished.

3. Unfortunately, no translucency. I don't believe its planned either.

4. This is a bit confusing, but try http://maniacsvault.net/ecwolf/wiki/Creating_Maps_With_Global_Light_Levels_And_Flats

5. Unless you use an unnecessarily complex overlay system like mentioned previously, no.

6. ROTT isn't fully supported yet, but when it is, yes. I'll try to make "door entity" in the file of examples.

7. Perhaps. I can't yet reply, but I'm going to try this.

8. There's no knockback yet, sadly.

9. I don't have much experience in this, but I believe so.

10. If the last frame of a death animation is
DEAD A -1
then change it to
DEAD A 4 (Or whatever frame duration you want it ot have.)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:11 pm
   Subject: Re: ECWolf help
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7. Well, I tried, but the Lost Soul multiplied occasionally when attacking the player. I guess that's off the table.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:25 am
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Wow. Thanks for all the help so far.

1. This is awesome, I really would appreciate this as this is one of the more MUST HAVE features. Currently I think the default status-bar set-up can be a huge deterrent to newer gamers. While the commercial project is aimed mostly towards retro-gamers, I'm trying to make it as accessible to modern gamers as I can.

2. A spawner could work, but will be a bit annoying. I was reading about the UWMF, which allows you to specify the x and y coordinates of an actor using non discrete (doubles/floating point) values. However all my maps are currently in the normal wolf 3d map format. WDC can do the conversion, and it seems like that would be an easier solution. Sound reasonable?

4. I followed those rules exactly, but everything came out poorly color-wise. The different settings of light levels/visibility didn't make much of a difference either. It may be a palette issue, but I suspect its solvable using a colormap. I tried supplying a colormap, but it seemed to be ignored. I think I'll probably crack open operation serpent or some similar mod that uses a shading system.

5. You say this is not possible without a complex overlay system. It doesn't need to be all that complex. I just want a message to show up when you cross into an area that goes away when you press any key. I guess I could use a voice-over instead, but I think that might scare people to have this dis-embodied voice just start talking to you with no accompanying visual feed-back. The only other thing I can think of is a sprite that appears with the message, but I don't really like that idea either as the message won't follow you around if you move. I'm just trying to provide an "in game tutorial" of sorts since most people don't read manuals anymore. Stuff like "Secret areas can be accessed by activating certain walls, give it a try on the wall in front of you." or something similar. Also I'd like to tell players when they need a certain key to open a locked door.

6. Right now I don't really need ROTT-like support. I more or less need a set-up that is a directional 3d sprite that animates when you "activate it" and goes from blockable to not blockable, then activates the floor code in the adjacent room. It almost looks like some combination of triggers may make this work. The 3d sprite could swap between 2 actors (a la a spawner) and one is blockable, the other is not, and the trigger activates the floor code. However, I'm not 100% sure that a trigger can be made to activate a floor code. The other issue is, can you make an actor that animates and change states upon "activation". If I can do number 2, it may be a compromise. 2 reasons for wanting this feature, one is to have custom door animations, but the other is so that I can have doors that have arches over them so they don't appear to reach the whole way to the ceiling (like most REAL doorways). Having directional 3d sprites "flush" with the walls is a way to cover this up.

other questions:

11. Can you do auto-save areas that make timepoint auto saves, and autoloads similar to zdoom?
12. Is it possible to make sprites block a monster's vision?
13. Can you make ROTT-like switches that change the wall graphics, like an elevator switch, but also do things like activate shooters, or spawn enemies or what-not.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:15 am
   Subject: Re: ECWolf help
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1. I get it completely. I've been planning on making a grenade counter for my mod using this method.

4. Truthfully, I have no idea how it works either. I've been working on an enhancement mod, and I haven't really tried this yet. However, when all else fails, crack open an Executor mod!

5. You'll need to make sprites for each message, and overlay them as described in the first example.

6. Currently there are no "activate-able" sprites, so the doors will have to be automatic.

11. Not yet, but hopefully soon. I'm not sure if its been requested yet, so that might be a good suggestion.

12. Sadly, no. For now, all sprites can see through one-and-another.

13. Shooters/enemies? No yet. You could use a door that blocks off automatic shooters to accomplish this, though. But: ROTT switches are supported. First, you'll need to add 64 map symbols to the 4rd plane. Then, on the door/pushwall you want to trigger, place the x coordinate of the switch in the high-byte, and the y coordinate in the low-byte. For the actual switch, you'll need both sides to be a switch texture. For reference, check out "Coffee Break".

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:21 am
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Good call on the door idea for shooters. A pushwall could work as well, and then it would be easier to hide. I currently don't have plans for shooters or switches, but its good to know its possible.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:11 am
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Can't help much with ECWolf, but just wanted to say that it's good to see you around Ringman! Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:43 am
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Off-topic:
@ronwolf Yes, I live. I am a father now, so time for hobbies is rather limited. Its a hard sell to the wife for me to work on any kind of project that takes away time for her or my son unless there's some kind of money incentive. So that's why the commercial effort. I'm not expecting to make a lot from this whole thing as its still going to be a retro-game with a custom designed retro-engine, but I'm hoping to make some extra scratch from it and have fun in the process. We'll see.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:59 pm
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A pushwall would look better, but I'm not too familiar with triggering them via switches. However, they should work just as well as doors, you just might need to indicate their direction in the translator.

There's a small possibility that I could fix the lost-soul problem. I'll check back; they may be possible!

As for being a father: Congratulations!

I'll be sure to check out your game when it's released-it sounds interesting!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:59 pm
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Ringman wrote:
13. Can you make ROTT-like switches that change the wall graphics, like an elevator switch, but also do things like activate shooters, or spawn enemies or what-not.
It sounds like you're going for a feature reminiscent of Wall Patches. But I don't know how that's done in EC-Wolf.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:54 am
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I'm not entirely sure if it can be done... I will have to do further research.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:46 am
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Ringman wrote:
I will say the plan is to move to a commercial project, using a custom built engine, but the current portion I'm working on using ecwolf will be released as a freeware demo to help promote the commercial project.

edit: Nevermind, found the answer.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:08 am
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I tested the depth shading. I used DefaultLighting, DefaultVisibility and a program called fogger, https://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?t=58906&p=1033372 to generate my colormap. While the effects are interesting, I don't think I'll be using it for the demo. There's just too many little issues with it. For one, you can't switch colormaps depending on the level you are on. Heck it'd be even cooler to switch it mid-level, or adjust the Lighting/Visibility via trigger. Unfortunately you can't.

Also I tried compiling the source code. The documentation on this is a bit out of date, and even though I was able to get it to compile successfully, the exe would fail to run. I gave up, after spending a boat-load of time re-compiling it with no success. If anyone's done this with the latest version, let me know if there's something obvious I need to do. I was building the exe with visual studio, and may have had better luck with MinGW.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:26 pm
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Ringman wrote:
Also I tried compiling the source code. The documentation on this is a bit out of date, and even though I was able to get it to compile successfully, the exe would fail to run. I gave up, after spending a boat-load of time re-compiling it with no success. If anyone's done this with the latest version, let me know if there's something obvious I need to do. I was building the exe with visual studio, and may have had better luck with MinGW.

I'll update the document tomorrow when I'm not so tired, but the instructions haven't really changed. You should use SDL 2.0.5 (2.0.6 and newer aren't fully supported at the moment since I need to redo my changes to SDL mixer as they rewrote the core of that library), but that's about it. Latest development version requires SDL_net as well.

Are you getting anything more specific when you try to run your binary? Possibly make sure you run it from the command prompt as it may give you more detailed info.
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