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 Post subject: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:11 am 
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DBB Ace
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Hello. I've been using DLE-XP versions 1.11.69 and 1.11.81 to make a 30 level set (24 + 6 bonus).

My problem is with the behavior of the robots. They seem to move around too much. They start chasing me before I even enter the room they're in. I was thinking that for the most part, they should at least wait until they see me before chasing. Sometimes, they are in the next room, and they barge in before I even enter that room. Or when I enter the room, they're scattered all over-- way off from where I placed them.

In many of my levels, I have it set up so that you have to come back past a robot maker after getting a key, and a trigger down near the key turns on the robot maker (pretty common obstacle in D2). And when I come back, they're not centered around the robot maker. They are like way down the hallway and stuff... or they'll start coming all the way down a shaft toward me before I come back up to pass the robot maker and be 'surprised.'

I definitely notice a difference in behavior compared with the original counterstrike.

Now when I try to change the AI, it doesn't take. I change the AI combo-box from 'normal' to something else (say 'stationed'), and it automatically goes right back to normal. In other words, the editor is not accepting the data change.

Second Question: The diagnostics tab says 20,000 segment limit, but it still won't let me exceed something around 900.

Some questions about the editor:
- Am I using the latest editor? Again, I have DLE-XP 1.11.81 as the latest one I could find (and I like to use 1.11.69 sometimes bc the zooming is different).

- Is D2X-XL an editor or just a game player? If D2X-XL is an editor, then I think I would rather use that, right?

Anyway, thanks in advance for your help. I have a couple more questions by the way, but I'll ask them later.

~ Mike

**EDIT**

Okay, I just noticed there are two different combo-boxes (drop-down boxes) in which you can select behavior. One is more to the left and says "AI," while the one I was trying to change says "tactics." I'll mess with the AI box now. But I still want you guys to respond to the other questions about the editors and the segment limit.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:19 am 
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Part of that depends on skill level - robots seem to move more on Hotshot or above than they did on lower skill levels. There isn't really any way to stop them from reacting to what you're doing if you somehow tip them off to your presence - a lot of noise will sometimes do this. In D2X-XL they tend to act even more aggressively than usual - I've had them start firing when they can't even see me.

D2X-XL is not an editor, though, it's just a version of the game.

The "Tactics" box under the AI tab changes the default behavior for that robot type using a .HXM. I notice it doesn't seem to save as well - looks like the adjacent checkboxes do, but that doesn't. If you want to change per-robot behavior, the other one you found is the place to do that.

DLE will warn you if you try to exceed 900 cubes in a level, but I have yet to see it prevent you from exceeding it. The reason for this is that Descent 2 only used to support 900 cubes for a level (actually 899, realistically, the last one had a bug with it); the major source ports can now exceed it, but the people playing with DOSBox wouldn't be able to load the level.
Are you getting an error message when it's blocking you? If so do you mind sharing it?

1.11.81 is the latest version so far, yes.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:53 pm 
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DBB Ace
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Thanks for the prompt reply.

The error message reads something like "too many segments for this level version." But since you said that you have yet to see the editor actually disallow it, I'll have to experiment to determine if it actually refuses to write-out. It could be saving regardless of the error message, so I'll do a quick test to determine if that's the case. However, when I upload the mission, I'll want the DOSbox people to be able to play it. And so far, I've been able to complete my levels while adhering to this 899 limit, so its not a problem. Though in the future, I'll probably want to exceed it.

Anyway, I'm going to experiment to figure out more information about the editor. So although I have more questions, I can't think of which ones I should ask first at this time. I should experiment first before asking since I've figured out many things myself by just having the patience to mess with it.

So let me explain what I ultimately want to do (and I should change the title of this thread):

On my next mission set (or even this one), I want to modify a few robots. I would like to extend the hulk family for aesthetics, that is, to simply modify the textures and weapons of the medium/super hulks and have them in my missions --> without replacing the medium/super hulks (I'm willing to replace other robots though -- and not every hulk has to appear in the same level either). So imagine if there was a dark gray one that shoots flash missiles... or a gold colored one that shoots smarts... a few variants that is. I understand that if I edit a robot's weapon/texture in DLE, it affects all the robots of that type in the whole level (or mission set- what is the scope by the way? One level or whole mission set?). I was able to alter the medium hulk's texture in Rbotedit, but writing that into DLE and thus into my mission files is obviously not trivial. I've heard people on this board explain that in order to do this, I would need to, IIRC, modify the descent.hog file. I'm willing to learn it. Even writing some source code, in the event that it is necessary, shouldn't be a huge problem for me. Understanding the file system-- shouldn't be a problem at all given that I have the resources to learn how the system works. I think I need to understand the system in general to do this.

So, I'm not expecting any answers right now except maybe for you to explain what you know about editing or adding new robots. Again, I do understand its not that simple, and it cannot be done in DLE alone.

Considering this, I'll have to learn how to use HAXMEDIT, Rbotedit, Hoggle, etc.

Again, I'm just laying out my thoughts as of now. Don't worry if you're confused about exactly what I'm asking.

Thanks for the help. You guys are good. And its also cool that there is still a Descent community nearly 20 years after it had come out :)


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:54 pm 
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OK, no problem.

When you modify robot stats in DLE, it writes it to a HXM file; this has per-level scope. In the mission .HOG, there will be a "level1.rl2", and this is matched by "level1.hxm". If you're adding an external HXM file (e.g. what rbotedit produces), you would just have to name it that and import it.

There are ways to create .HAM files, which have different scopes:
* Vertigo HAM (often dubbed V-HAM by Descent Network): These files end in .ham and have mission-wide scope. They basically replace the Vertigo robots.
* Mission HAM: Only supported by Rebirth and maybe XL (though XL encourages a different approach using the "mods" folder). Basically a modified descent2.ham retitled to <mission name>.ham and imported into the mission. That allows you to change pretty much anything but is non-standard. Scope is the entire mission again.
* Descent 2 HAM: Modify the descent2.ham file in the base Descent 2 directory. Changes to this will affect all missions you play and can be considered cheating if used in multiplayer.

For what you are doing I would recommend just creating a HXM file - nothing you have listed so far can't be implemented that way. You can retexture one of the hulks and save it over another robot's slot if you need to - you will need a copy of the HXM file for every level you use it in, but that shouldn't be a problem, especially if you wanted to change things from one level to another anyway.

HAXMEDIT32 and rbotedit are probably going to be required, yes. An external HOG manager such as Hoggle is optional but a lot of people prefer to use them. If you actually wanted to edit the geometry of robots there are different tools for that, but generally significant drawbacks to all of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:14 pm 
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DBB Ace
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Cool, thanks a lot.

I'm going to get the necessary external software and work on it, but I can't find HAXMEDIT32. I've found several sites where its offered, but when you click on it, there's a 404 no found message. I can't seem to find it anywhere. Then I came across this thread (http://www.descent2.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2673) indicating that I need someone to PM it to me.

Is there a way anybody can PM haxmedit32 to me or even email if necessary? Or show me a site where it is currently available for download?

Thanks again...


**edit**
I use DLE-XP on my Windows7 laptop... in case its relevant.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:29 am 
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You can download the Descent Manager Robot Construction Kit (that's where HAXMEDIT32 is included) at my website:
http://pumosoft.3d-get.de/documents/destuff.html

There I have many Descent tools up and running, ready for download. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:48 am 
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DBB Ace
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Thanks Pumo. I'm almost there!

I just ran rck03b.exe, and it gave a font error: "can't find tahoma in system/system32 directory." So I copied and put tahoma.ttf from my windows XP machine in the system32 directory. And it still gives the error. The splash screen starts, but it isn't until I click the 'start' button on the splash screen that it gives the font error.

The first error was msvbvm50.dll (or something like that), but the copy-over from the other computer worked.

Its just that tahoma font error I can't get past. I wonder if I have to have the installation directory in a special place relative to the other game/sourceport files. I extracted the files to simply c:\<name> (I forget the name- I'm on a different computer now so I can't check).

I'm used to installation trouble. I'm sure I'll get it to work shortly. But any kind of tips would still be helpful.

Thanks again guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:48 am 
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You need the descent manager dll pack(s). There are two of them iirc, not sure which one is relevant to the robot construction kit though, but once they are installed the errors should clear up.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:10 am 
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DBB Ace
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I see...

I downloaded dp2003 and dp1105 from Pumo's site (the link he provided above). I'm guessing they're the ones. I'll try them out.

Thanks


**edit**
I just installed it, and I'm still getting the tahoma font error.

**edit edit**
Okay, I just got the tahoma error to go away. I'm almost there!

Now, when I try to run HEXMEDIT32.exe, it says "No Descent versions yet registered. You need to register at least one version of descent." And then I have a box to browse. What file(s) do I pick? I forget where I installed descent2 from the actual disk. I can't find it. Perhaps I need to put the disk back in? Is that what its looking for?

**yet another edit**
Nice, I got it to open. I had to move the descent 1/2 installation files from one computer to another since I can't seem to locate my disk right now. As of now, I got haxmedit32 open and am viewing a screen with all the robot models.

I'm going to experiment now, but one question first: What file would you recommend loading in order to import a medium hulk for this tweek? I think I remember you saying I should modify a copy of one of the descent system files.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:09 am 
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DBB Ace
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Whats up,

I've been playing around with haxmedit32, and its hard to figure out. So let me ask a question:

Through the tutorial, I noticed there is an example that imports a .pol file. However, I was under the impression that for the hulk idea, I would create a .hxm file using Rbotedit, and then import it to haxmedit32 in order to stick into my level. I don't know how to make a .pol file using rbotedit. I, however, have already created several .hxm files of texture-modified hulks using rbotedit. Just to be clear, I can use these .hxm files in haxmedit32, right?

Let me get the general process of what I want to do straight before I further experiment with haxmedit32:
- In general, I open a copy of descent2.ham in haxmedit. Secondly, I import the .hxm file I made with rbotedit. Then from there, its a matter of getting the modified robot in one of the slots in descent2.ham used to hold a regular non-modified robot. Finally, I would rename that copy of descent2.ham <levelname>.hxm to include with the hog/mn2 files that constitute my level. Is this generally correct?


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:32 am 
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If your plan is simply changing texturing of robots, you're doin' it the hard way. :P

If you are just modifying weapons, AI and textures (not replacing the actual model of the robot) you can do it all from RbotEdit, without using Haxmedit at all.
Haxmedit may be only needed if you're planning to replace robot 3D models or adding custom vertigo robots (that is, robots that are added beyond the ones that are available on descent2.ham).

For doin' your modified robots on RbotEdit:

Go to file, and then to load robot from ham. Open descent2.ham file.
Press N or P (that stands for Next and Previous) to navigate to the robot you want to modify.
Once you're there, go to tools and start modding your robot (go to 'textures' to change the texturing of the robot and to 'robot info' to modify weapons, AI, strength, sounds).
After finishing your modifications, got to file -> save as hxm.
In the hxm information window, in the replace robot field select the one you've just selected by N/P and modded. Make sure Joint Area and Swap Bitmap have the same name as Replace Robot.
Press OK.

Done, now you have a nice .hxm file with your modified robot ready to use. :)
Be sure to name the .hxm with the same filename of your level file (i.e. if your level is 'mylevel.rl2' save the .hxm as 'mylevel.hxm') and add it to your mission HOG file.

If you need to add more robots to the .hxm file, just repeat all steps again, just select another robot to modify this time, and save it over your .hxm file.
When saving to an existing .hxm file with robots on it, you will notice that on the Replace Robot/Joint Area/Bitmap Swap it may appear an asterisk (*) indicating that robot is already in use, so always be sure to save over the same robot slot you were modding.
i.e. if you selected a Medium Lifter to modify it, save it over the Medium Lifter slots.

Hope this helps. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:22 am 
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DBB Ace
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Awesome! Thanks.

I just did everything except for the last step where you said to add the .hxm file to the .hog file. I created the hxm file, but I'm stuck on the "add it to hog" part.

So let me clear these two things up:

- How do I add the hxm file to the hog file? Do I do it through DLE-XP? Or do I do this in RbotEdit? If the answer is RbotEdit, then since I already closed the program, do I re-load the hxm file - or do I redo the whole process over again by loading the descent2.ham file? If the answer is to use DLE, then where in DLE is this at?

- Secondly, when you say to rename the hxm file the same name as the mission file, I noticed there are two names. For example, one of my levels is called prisonfacility.hog, but the rl2 file is named prisonfa.rl2. When renaming the hxm file, do I use prisonfa.hxm or prisonfacility.hxm?

Anyway, thanks a lot for your help.

**edit**

Nevermind, because...... I GOT IT!

I just fought a golden hulk that shoots smart missiles.

Now, in case others in the future want to hear the answer you would have given had I not yet figured it out, then I'm going to briefly explain what I did.

It turns out that I have to name the hxm file the shorter 8-char name (named after the rl2 file rather than the hog file you name yourself when saving in DLE). In the above example, I needed to rename it prisonfa.hxm in the Windows Explorer-- otherwise, DLE crashed when I tried to import. After renaming, I then opened DLE, began to open prisonfacility.hog, and when the HOG manager came up, instead of clicking 'open,' I clicked 'import.' The window that then came up was to browse for the file. I had to go to the bottom to select file types before the hxm file showed up in the window. Once the prisonfa.hxm showed up, I clicked 'open.' And it appeared in the HOG manager along with the fl2 and clr files. Then I clicked 'open' in the HOG manager, and saved the mine in DLE again (not sure if this saving was necessary, but I did it anyway). Finally, I put all 3 files (hog, mn2, and hxm) in the missions directory in rebirth, and it worked. The modded hulks even show up in the editor after I imported the hxm file into DLE. They're sweet looking!

My modded med hulks are the same color as the class-1 drone. This gold color for the hulk worked out perfectly because the class-1 drone happens to have the same eye shape as the hulk (or at least very very similar). Otherwise, I would have had the alternatum to either use different eyes that aren't as mean - or have the orig med hulk brown texture around the eyes. I might have to settle for this with the silver hulk I'm going to next make.

Anyway, thanks to you guys, Pumo and Sirius, for all your help. You da mans! I want to rep you guys if this forum has that feature. And I do have to rename this thread, which I will do shortly.

My next project is to modify the diamond claw's texture (to have more orange) to use on the other cloaked lifter. This way, I'll actually have an uncloaked heavy lifter just like on the cover of The Infinite Abyss. This won't be as easy, and I'm not worried about it now... because now, I got me some serious hulk play to engage lol.

My missions will be uploaded one day when I finish all 30 boards.

Anyway, thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:12 pm 
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DBB Ace
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Question: When I encapsulate all my levels into a single multi-level mission, will the per-level scope we previously spoke of still remain? I'm figuring that in addition to there being a single hog and a single mn2 file for the whole level set, there will also be a single hxm file. Our previous discussion of per-level scope was not in this context of level encapsulation, so you can see why I'm wondering about the per-level scope again.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:37 pm 
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Per-level means there is one .HXM for every level. The .HXM should not be separate; it should be imported into the .HOG, and there should be one for every .RL2, with the same name.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with AI, DLE, RbotEdit, HXM files - modify/replace
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:09 pm 
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DBB Ace
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I see, but why is it that when I, say, download an encapsulated mission (with multiple levels), there is only one hog and one mn2 file that I place into the missions directory (the rebirth/missions folder)? And when I do this, I never see rl2 files in the Windows Explorer. I see them in the hog manager, but never "physically" in the Explorer. Is there some kind of encapsulation going on where that single hog file contains all the other hogs for each mission?

Second question: how do I have more than one modified robot in a level? I noticed that in RbotEdit, once I press N or P and then go back to the robot I previously modified, it is back to default. So how do I create 2 mods like this in the same level? Assume I want to modify both hulks (for ex, brown to gray, and red to gold, and change the weapons to flash and merc respectively) in one level. Do I create 2 hxm files and import both of them in the hog manager? Or do I somehow get both mods all in one hxm file during one run of RbotEdit? I'm not sure how this works.

Anyway, thanks for your replies.

(note: I changed the title of this thread from "Re: help with AI in DLE-XP" to a more descriptive name)

*edit*
I see that I only changed the title of this one post. I still can't figure out how to change the title of this whole thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:33 pm 
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It works roughly like this:
mission.mn2 - plaintext description of the level's properties
mission.hog - container file which holds the data for the mission
-> level1.rl2 - level file, required
-> level1.hxm - custom robot data, optional, per-level
-> level1.pog - custom texture data, optional, per-level
-> mission.ham - replacement HAM or V-HAM, optional
-> mission.txb - briefing, optional

There are also a few others I haven't listed here that work differently (custom music, D2X-XL data) but that covers most of what you'll probably see. DLE tends to automatically save .lgt and .clr files per-level which are only used by D2X-XL.

RbotEdit doesn't retain data unless you export the modified robot to a new .HXM file - it doesn't modify the HAM you opened, for instance. When you switch the robot ID like that it will basically wipe everything out and reload a new robot. You definitely can make multiple mods for a single level, but you need to use File -> Save -> Hxm to do it, and you won't be able to see the modified versions until you open that HXM afterward.
RbotEdit does not allow in-place editing of robots in a .HXM - that's probably its main weakness. You can do that with HAXMEDIT32, though, and that's probably the main reason I used it, because the UI is otherwise pretty slow to work with.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:39 am 
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DBB Ace
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Thanks. In terms of multiple mods per level, I tried saving to the same hxm once for each robot like you said, and I got it.

Here's another robot mod I would love to do: uncloaked heavy lifter (as seen on the cover of Infinite abyss). Since he looks just like a diamond claw without legs and a little more orange, I imagine this would be accomplished by somehow editing the diamond claw's textures to be exactly that- more orange and without legs. I'm guessing I would do this tweek in Polyedit, or is it Polytron? I forget the name. Its the one that came bundled with Pumo's robot construction kit. Anyway, after getting the new textures (a pog file I suppose), I imagine I would then just rbotedit the cloaked lifter with them. I'm just wondering how hard this would be and if I could actually pull this off. I wouldn't be creating textures. I'd just be using a modified version of the diamond claw's on another robot. Could you tell me what this would entail? How difficult?

Note that I wouldn't be using the diamond's polymodel. I would be using the diamond's (modded) textures on the uncloaked lifter polymodel.

I think this would be sweet.

Oh, and this would also fix the problem in Rbotedit of not being able to find a face/eye texture that matches, in color, the body texture I select. For ex, say I make a medium hulk purple (using the purple mini-boss's texture). Then I can't find a purple face with eyes that look like a hulk's eyes. So it would be neat if I could re-color his original textures (while keeping the per-level scope of course, which I imagine is true).

Anyway, thanks a lot man. You're a great help


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:06 pm 
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It appears to be the same robot as on the Descent 2 box... which looks like a brown Medium Lifter to me? If it has the same model, I would start with that and change the textures using RbotEdit. I'm not sure if the red-tipped texture on the claws has a brown version - it may be possible to make one somehow but could require some Photoshop work. If you do have to make one that is where a POG will come in, and you'll need to be careful with the palette as well.

The cloaked lifter, from what I recall, doesn't actually have the same shape as this - it was something weird that isn't used for anything else. (There is also a cloaked diamond claw, which does share the model shape of the original in that case - just different textures.) Even if it did, I'm not sure the texture alignments would match the original - you may find the eyes don't show up or are the wrong orientation, for instance. There are a couple RCK tools that can be used to fix this:
PolView32 (has iffy controls, but probably workable)
Polytron32 (generally best not to use this on stock Descent 2 models, it breaks them in DOSBox and they stop rendering properly)

PolView doesn't have any capability to alter the geometry, just the textures. Modifying geometry of stock D2 models can pretty much only be done in a reasonable time with Polytron, and it will wipe out most of the BSP tree, which isn't very easy to rebuild.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:46 pm 
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mike8887123 wrote:
Here's another robot mod I would love to do: uncloaked heavy lifter (as seen on the cover of Infinite abyss). Since he looks just like a diamond claw without legs and a little more orange, I imagine this would be accomplished by somehow editing the diamond claw's textures to be exactly that- more orange and without legs...


I made a pretty good approximation of it once by putting the diamond claw's textures onto the regular Medium Lifter model with RbotEdit. Putting the Diamond Claw's textures on the medium lifter doesn't need any rotating or remapping.
So all you should need to do is modify the colours of the Diamond Claw's textures and put them into a POG -- for that matter you could probably even change the colours of the medium lifter's textures instead, and do away with the HXM altogether. In fact, that would probably be a better idea if you want to use the "regular" D2 robots because I think the Bulk Destroyer and the BPER at least use several of the same textures.

Sirius is far more of an expert on all aspects of Descent editing than I am, though... I still can't get the Robot Construction Kit installer to work because of the Tahoma font error. Stupid arbitrarily-coded font-obsessive installer...

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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:31 pm 
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Okay, I see that it involves things that I don't want to get into. I can just change the texture of a medium lifter for now. Maybe I'll get into how to alter the color and make a pog file later. Thanks Sirius, and thanks Alter-fox.

Alter-fox, I believe I fixed the font error by downloading/installing the DLL pack Pumo told me about. His post about it is on this thread too.

Sirius, I have a problem. I just made level 18 of my set... its a decently extensive fire board- very closely around 1300 segments. When I run the game, the electricity isn't there when I first start (the spawn arcs), and my weapon projectiles won't show up when I fire- nor will they hurt the targeted bot. I'm talking about the polymodels that come out of my guns (the lasers, bullets, missiles, etc), not the power-up weapons. This happens sometimes on counterstrike (like in level 12 when the hornets are swarming). I'm guessing this is a RAM limitation on the computer playing the game. Am I correct?

I have 3GB ram on my XP machine, and it handles it well except for if I die and re-spawn (obviously because all the stuff I drop adds that much more stuff to the board). However, it starts like this on my Windows7 machine without me dying (which is okay because I only test the levels on that machine anyway). See what I mean? It really isn't a problem being characteristic of only one of my levels. I'll remove some things, but my question is more about what the cause is? Is it in fact what I hypothesize, that is, I need more RAM? Or perhaps its a CPU issue. And how would I go about beefing up my computer to handle it better? I could add more RAM I believe. I'm pretty sure I have space for more. Another inquiry is what additions in the level make this happen more than others- power-ups? Robots? Textures?

The part I'm worried about is that I still have to add most of the lights, so I hope I can do that without it messing up.

I forget how much RAM I have on my Windows7 (HP) machine, but again I do have 3GB of buffalo RAM on my trusty XP machine (which is a Dell Inspiron 530).


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:27 am 
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Your memory isn't a problem - it sounds like what you're running into is D2's object limit (350 objects if I recall correctly). If you reach that limit, new objects can't be created - and weapon fire counts toward that - so shots start disappearing.

That's one of the problems with extremely large levels - it's very easy to add more items than the game will actually support reliably. If you cut down to ~300 objects (robots + powerups + a few odds and ends like the reactor and those red mine things) you should be OK though.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:49 am 
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Otherwise you could convert the level to D2X-XL type which increases that limit drastically -- but there are reasons you might not want to do that.
As far as installing RCK goes, I'm not sure I want to run an installer that's so outdated that it can't recognize a font file that's actually exactly in the place where it's looking for it. Especially if there's a reason those programs don't just come in a zip... I'd be afraid of an installer built for such an old system doing something that completely screws up my still-relatively current one.

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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:39 pm 
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Cool, thanks guys. I think I'm okay for now on the robot mods and limits. My problem as of now is the texture alignment. When I bend segments, as you know, it stretches the textures. Then I click the red button under "textures alignment" that says "reset texture." This fixes the stretch, but then you can see a line between textures. So I use the button called "align texture to child sides." It works great, BUT it screws up everything else in the whole mine. All the secondary textures are now crooked. The doors and grates are sideways and stuff. How do I get this problem solved, that is, how do I get textures aligned without messing up everything else? Did I assemble the mine in the wrong order? Should I have aligned everything and THEN added secondary textures? Do I have to just go in and fix every crooked texture by hand now? I really have no problem doing this, but I'm wondering if there is an easier way.

And what is the difference between "align texture to child sides," and "align texture to marked sides?"

In terms of textures, I think there is a significant amount of learning I still have to go through.

Thanks.


**edit**
Okay, I just started using "align texture to child sides" all over the place. And I just fixed the messed up textures by putting all 0's in the boxes under 'texture alignment.' This works fine except for one thing: the align function fixes the area I'm at, but it makes the other area I previously fixed have lines again. The messed up 2ndary textures have nothing to do with what I'm saying. I'm saying that fixing the lines in one area makes the lines in other areas reappear. How do you expert guys fix this problem? Or is it just a limitation that I should leave alone? Because my levels are fine- they just have some lines. I think I noticed that counterstrike has some lines anyway. Maybe I should settle for the lines?

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:28 pm 
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No... that shouldn't happen. It's never happened to me in DLE-XP... although I am using an older version for most of the time because I don't like the "stretched" view of the mine in the newer versions, I still don't think that's supposed to happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:35 am 
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The behavior of texture alignment can get very, very complex. Some things that may pay to keep in mind:
* The "Use 1st"/"Use 2nd" checkboxes are relevant here. If you have either checked, it will use that to determine whether a neighboring face to the current one should be aligned - if they share the same primary or secondary texture, respectively. I believe checking both will enforce both textures to be the same; I don't recall what happens if neither is checked.
* Marking sides should constrain what sides can be aligned to those that have been marked. Possibly in conjunction with the "align marked sides" button but I'm not sure whether that is needed - I rarely use it.
* "Align all sides" will make alignment wrap around corners. It can sometimes also affect more faces than you intended to, so use with caution.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:03 am 
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Sirius wrote:
* The "Use 1st"/"Use 2nd" checkboxes are relevant here... I don't recall what happens if neither is checked.

I forgot about those... If neither is checked I think it aligns every texture adjacent (including doors... ouch :lol: ). I'm not 100% sure though because my memory is not perfect and it's been a while since I've mapped in DLE.

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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:38 am 
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Cool thanks. I haven't been on here in a bit, but let me make a list of things I still have to do to my levels:

Btw, I'm okay with the texture alignment. That's just something I have to accept will sometimes take time. But the things I've been thinking about are ...

1) the lighting: I noticed several places where you can mess with light in DLE. I noticed F5 toggles between some kind of lighting-oriented view. I noticed a lighting tab, and I noticed light adjustment controls under the texture and segment tabs. I noticed trying to use constant-on strobe produces an error that freezes the level. The problem is that without any attention to the lighting, a mine will have weird spots such as dark doors and grates when your headlight is off. And I noticed a lamp texture won't light up the area on its own. What is the general trick to get the lighting to be normal? Do I do it segment by segment?

2) if I use the polyview program, can I change the color of a robot? For ex, remember when I noted the hulk's face not matching a chosen texture for its body (with the same eyes)? I'm guessing this change would have per-level scope. What kind of file would it create? And I'm sure I would import it the same way I do hxm's in the hog manager.

3) I noticed certain segment geometry produces holes in the wall where you can go into the black 3-space outside of the mine. And sometimes your ship gets stuck and acts screwy when near it. At first, it seemed to be when I move two vertices to the same coordinate (or move one to where another is). Then I noticed it when a segment's face was real thin. Its not a huge deal since I just move something and it usually goes away. But is there some kind of rule to follow for this?

Another thing is the illegal segment geometry warnings in the diagnostics tab when you 'check mine.' I noticed quite a bit of them after doing things that don't seem deviant or cause problems. Do you guys ignore many of these warnings or should I address them? Everything seems fine with the errors.

Again, I'm just laying out my thoughts as of now. Feel free to comment. And thanks a lot for all your responses guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:24 am 
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1) Pick light textures by applying them to a face (the obvious bit which you're probably already doing)
Then switch to "Lighting" tab (the top-level one, not under Texture) and click "apply". This is the bit that actually lights the level. Press F5 to see shading; F6 to see animated lights if you have any.
The Lighting tab in the Texture view is used for adding animated/"flickering" lights. If you don't use it the light will be always on.
If the mine looks like it's darker than you expected, you have several ways of fixing that:
* Scale the brightness of the light texture. You need to (temporarily) set a side to have that light texture as its primary texture, since this is what the brightness slider (in the texture tab) works on. We could probably improve the UI here :)
Most light textures have 30-50% brightness by default in DLE.
* Scale the lighting "brightness" of the whole level. There's an option for this in the Lighting tab which is set to 100% by default.
* Increase the "render depth" of the lights. This typically is mainly useful if you have only a few super-bright lights that you need to cast light across long distances. It works in cubes (segments) - a render depth of 6 will light up to 6 cubes away.

2) PolView can be used to change colors, yes. It can also be used to realign textures as far as I recall, which is what's going to fix the misaligned eyes (it might take a while to get the new ones in the right place, but it's at least possible). This actually edits the .pol so you can use it for either HXM (per-level) or HAM (per-mission or global) depending which you import it into.

3) Generally speaking, try to keep sides reasonably flat - the more warped the cube, the higher the risk of things going funny. Triangular faces always cause problems.
Illegal segment geometry warnings don't always mean the cube isn't going to work in-game, but you probably should check it out if you don't want to fix it immediately. Sometimes it can prevent you entering the cube, cause lasers/missiles that enter it to vanish, or allow you to fly outside it, as you just saw. I suspect it might also be possible for it to cause robots to get stuck but am not sure since I haven't tested that. Personally I usually try to avoid having any warnings for a level, but it's not compulsory.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:24 am 
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The lighting sounds complex. I'm nowhere near ready to do lighting, but when I do I'll have what you wrote, and it'll just take some time to learn. Thanks..

In reference to #2, is there a way to just change its color without having to realign anything? If I could change its color, then why bother changing the texture to another robot's texture? I'll just modify the color of the robot's original texture. Can I do this instead of realigning?

Another thing I wanted to mention here and was wondering if you've noticed--- there's a texture in counterstrike that appears nowhere in DLE's pallet. Its the white ceiling in the beginning of level 19. It looks exactly like the texture called "rock346" (which is in DLE) but with all the green taken out so that its just white. Take a look. Rock346 is a very light pastel green like you'd see in the ice levels (I'm pretty sure its also on the 4 pillars in the starting room of level 1). So the green one is available, but the white version is not. Is there a way to replace a wall texture in DLE with a modified one? Because that's what I'm thinking they did in counterstrike. I'm guessing this is just a matter of modifying and then importing the texture file just like I do the hxm ones. What would this entail?

Lastly, I noticed in DLE that I can't get a robot to spawn more than 1 of another robot. In the "qty" box (quantity box), under the objects tab, it automatically changes the number back to 1 after I refocus the mouse pointer onto another window control. I could do it in rbotedit, but that wouldn't have the per-robot scope I get by doing it in DLE. Oh, and speaking of robots spawning/dropping things, are there only certain power-ups that robots can drop? Because I noticed they won't drop, for ex, a gauss cannon when I program them to in rbotedit or DLE, but they'll drop superlasers, afterburners, and converters.

Thanks man...


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:27 pm 
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mike8887123 wrote:
Another thing I wanted to mention here and was wondering if you've noticed--- there's a texture in counterstrike that appears nowhere in DLE's pallet. Its the white ceiling in the beginning of level 19. It looks exactly like the texture called "rock346" (which is in DLE) but with all the green taken out so that its just white. Take a look. Rock346 is a very light pastel green like you'd see in the ice levels (I'm pretty sure its also on the 4 pillars in the starting room of level 1). So the green one is available, but the white version is not. Is there a way to replace a wall texture in DLE with a modified one? Because that's what I'm thinking they did in counterstrike. I'm guessing this is just a matter of modifying and then importing the texture file just like I do the hxm ones. What would this entail?


The texture is the very same, but you see it in a different color on level 19 as it uses a different color palette (without the green tones) designed for Baloris Prime levels.

D2 includes 6 palettes in total with different shadings for several textures. Even if they are the same, they look slightly different on each palette option.
To change the palette of the level, go to 'settings' tab in DLE, and on the D2 PIG field, select the PIG file you want to use (each PIG file represents a different color palette).

A quick guide to PIG/Palettes:

Groupa.pig -
It is the palette used on levels 1 to 4 of counterstrike. It's a mostly neutral one, that makes the ice textures looks slightly greenish (like rock346), the lava and red rock ones well balanced (they look orange/reddish enough), good grays, etc. Most green textures are a bit more blueish than usual on this one.

Water.pig -
This one is used on levels 5 to 8 of counterstrike.
It has better greens, and most importantly, it has very nice blue/cerulean tones for water and water-ish textures. It's the best one for water levels.
The lava may look a bit more pinkish, and the ice textures (like rock346) are white with slight purplish tones.

Fire.pig -
This is used on levels 9 to 12.
This one has the best reds of all palettes, very intense and beautiful if you ask me. :)
It also has the best lava textures, and a not so bad water color and nice greens here and there.
However the shading of very orange textures (like the ones on Baloris Prime levels) are a bit more yellowish and dull, and it totally lacks good shading for greenish/blueish textures (like ices).

Ice.pig -
Used on levels 13 to 16.
This has the best Ice texture colors. i.e. Rock346 has a subtle green/blue shade to it, some interesting blueish ones, and also features the best purples.
The water is a bit greenish on this one. It's not very good for red/orange/yellow textures.

Alien1.pig -

Used on levels 17 to 20.
This one features excellent orange, brown and golden colors. It has also very nice lava colors.
Ice looks white (exactly as you saw it on level 19), water looks purplish, greens and blues are not very good.

Alien2.pig -
Used on levels 21 to 24.
This last one is designed for use with strong green shades, mainly. It has the most intense green colors of all the palettes, but again,
it lacks good shading for red, orange, yellow and blue. Water is purplish again, and ice is white.

So, a resume for best use of the several palettes:

Groupa - General purpose
Water - Cerulean,green, optimized for water levels
Fire - Red, optimized for fire levels
Ice - Greenish/blueish white, optimized for ice levels
Alien1 - Orange,brown,golden, optimized for desert levels
Alien2 - Intense green, optimized for alien and mossy/forest levels

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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 1:47 am 
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mike8887123 wrote:
In reference to #2, is there a way to just change its color without having to realign anything? If I could change its color, then why bother changing the texture to another robot's texture? I'll just modify the color of the robot's original texture. Can I do this instead of realigning?


I probably misunderstood you. What I was talking about was replacing a textured polygon with a flat-shaded one or changing the color of a pre-existing flat-shaded polygon. That takes model editing of the kind PolView32 can do.

Editing the texture itself does not require model editing - that would be a custom texture, which you can import into a .POG using something like DTX2. (Sometimes you can use DLE, but only if the texture happens to be one that can also be used in a level; not all robot textures can.)

mike8887123 wrote:
Lastly, I noticed in DLE that I can't get a robot to spawn more than 1 of another robot. In the "qty" box (quantity box), under the objects tab, it automatically changes the number back to 1 after I refocus the mouse pointer onto another window control. I could do it in rbotedit, but that wouldn't have the per-robot scope I get by doing it in DLE. Oh, and speaking of robots spawning/dropping things, are there only certain power-ups that robots can drop? Because I noticed they won't drop, for ex, a gauss cannon when I program them to in rbotedit or DLE, but they'll drop superlasers, afterburners, and converters.

It should be possible, there are robots in the original game that drop Gauss Cannons. The number box in DLE appears to be a glitch with the program - I'll check it out but it looks like you can more easily get it to persist by typing in the number than clicking the up/down buttons.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 9:09 pm 
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Thanks. I didn't know that. I just made an ice level with ice.pig, and blues do seem deeper. I'll consider this from now on.

Anyway, I can't figure out how to put all my individual levels together into a single mission. In other words, when one level has been beaten, you go right to the next (and freespace to warp works). How do you do this?

In terms of trying to figure it out, here's what I've done: I went to the missions tab, and it has a big white listbox with the name of the level currently loaded as the only entry. I'm guessing this is how to specify the levels and order. But I can't figure out how to get another level in the box. I was trying the import function in the hog manager, but importing the other level's hog file didn't work. I don't know if what I'm doing is the right approach. How do you guys do this?


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:51 am 
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You want to import .rl2 (or .rdl for D1) files instead. First export all the contents from the "source" .hog, then import those into the "destination" .hog. The mission manager should then be able to find all the levels.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:54 am 
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Sorry to jump around from topic to topic Sirius. I wrote that last question (about the mission accumulation) without even seeing your previous post (about the polview/texture stuff). This is because the thread bumped to page 2 without me noticing. I just saw your last post now.

So if I look back, I have 2 topics going: 1) robot textures and 2) missions (lighting is on the back burner).

Anyway, I'll try it again and look for and import the rl2 files. The thing is that when I hit 'import' in the hog manager, I can't find rl2 files. All I see is hog, mn2, hxm... the same ones I can see in the windows explorer normally. In fact, I can't see any rl2 files in the windows explorer. From what I understand, they're inside the hog files. I'll try again soon. Maybe I didn't click the right file type in the browser window.

One thing I want to ask now though: if I made one level and its bonus level in separate files, how many walls should I reserve in the levels in order to, later, set it up to teleport to the bonus level? In other words, how many walls (triggers) does it take to hook a bonus level up to another level? I'm sure its just a trigger set to 'teleport,' plus the 2 illusionary teleport walls for the visual. Are there more? Some of my levels are maxed out on walls.

Thanks...

*edit*
Okay, I just noticed you mentioned the 'export' function. I didn't try that yet. I see now. I have to export the rl2 from the hog and then import it (with the hxm too???) into the destination hog file (which will be the file that holds all levels). I'll try this. It sounds easy now that I understand I have to get a file that is already inside a hog.

Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 10:49 am 
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Yes, if the level you're importing has an HXM (or POG) you'll want to export and import that too.

You need two walls for a typical teleporter, which are exactly the ones you mentioned. The trigger will be added to the "entry" wall. Once you do this a special "secret object" will be added to the mine: this is the place you'll return on leaving the secret level. I don't believe it counts toward the object cap.

Then you get to deal with the fun of hooking up secret exits to secret levels in the .mn2 ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 10:39 am 
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Sirius wrote:
You need to (temporarily) set a side to have that light texture as its primary texture, since this is what the brightness slider (in the texture tab) works on. .

You just need to untick the primary texture check box and only tick the overlay texture check box to make DLE look at the overlay texture.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:49 pm 
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That's quite the jump in time Dietfrid...

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 Post subject: Re: Help with the AI in DLE-XP
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:17 am 
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I have to admit that I didn't check the time stamps ... this wasn't my biggest time jump here by far though. :lol:


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