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#1 sigget

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 01:03 AM

The purpose of this forum is for us to have a place where we can gather our combined knowledge of what works and what doesnt when modding this game. Information such as format descriptions, tips and tricks, and so on.

If everything works as they're supposed to you should be able to edit all the posts made here. And please do! Try to keep the number of posts _very_ low and instead alter the posts already made.

By creating threads we can introduce the concept of chapters.

So lets create THE ufo:am documentation together!

#2 Slaughter

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 01:15 AM

And before everyone start posting, we have to decide the structure of this forum. I will add some thoughts on the matter soon, and please do the same everyone! I will pin this topic as our "brainstorming" spot...


#3 Aralez

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 01:27 AM

Maybe we could do a thread for every txt file, e.g. listofpeople.txt, listofcreature.txt, and in this threads we post the tips, explanations etc..

#4 Slaughter

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 01:37 AM

Structure:
I suggest we split it into categories, and that each new post in each category get a number. Say that category one is VFS. Every new post to this category should be named:
1.00: VFS - Virtual File System
1.01: How to create VFS
1.02: How to unpack VFS

2.00: Gamedata.vfs - The main data file
2.01: Main categories of Gamedata
2.02: Armor reference

And under each subject/post there should be a index in the first post, and under categories. I will make one post to show you what I mean.

Categories:
1: VFS - This category should include VFS information of all kinds
2: Gamedata.vfs information
3: Localizationpack.vfs information
4: Savegame information
5: Configuration information
6: VFS tool information/guides
7: Alpine information/guides
8: Modding guides

These are just some of the things I can think of. Please supply your own thoughts on the matter.


#5 Aralez

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 02:03 AM

Will siggets reference files be here as well? They could be used as headers to the threads.... (Maybe write-protected) and the tips and tricks would be under it...

#6 sigget

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 02:27 AM

This is the a structure Fnurg and i put together for the ufo spec site, we've spent some time discussing what a good structure would look like and this is what we've come up with so far. I strongly believe that even though it was the key to start modding the vfs file spec and so on should be put in an appendix as its not very likely modders will ever need to see it.

This structure was made for a web page and has a small amount of large chapters, i think it would be a good idea if we could go with a larger set of short chapters.
Introduction
   News
   Tools
   Authors
   Contributions
   Contact

Global
   Fonts
   Music and Sound
   Light configs
   Difficulty
   Events & Progress

Strategic
   Biomass
   Bases
   Dogfights
   Research & Development
   UFOs

Tactical
   Battleground
      Special scenes
      Generator
      Kulisy
      Tilesets
      Ublocks
   Items - Weapons, Ammo, Armor
   Monsters
      AI
   Squad Members
      Level
      Attributes
      Skills
      Training
      Inventory structure
      Experience
   Particles

Interface
   Global
   Strategic
   Tactical

Rendering
   Vertex programs
   Geosphere
   .
   .

Localization
   .
   .

Savegames
   file1
   file2
   .
   .

Modding Refs
   Quick Mod Guide
   Weapons/Items
   R&D
   AI
   .
   .

Technical Refs
   Vfs Reference
   File Formats
   .
   .


#7 Slaughter

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 10:23 AM

Well, then I leave you and Fnurg in charge of setting up the structure sigget. I don't really know the structure of things, and a more detailed version of what you just posted seems like a good thing. So, are you two good to go on taking the responsibility of this?


#8 sigget

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 12:12 PM

Havent heard from Fnurg for a while, but im sure he'is up to it. Are you Fnurg?

#9 Fnurg

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 01:09 PM

Hiya chaps,
Sorry i havent been around for a while.  No access to a computer for a few days. Been suffering VDU withdraw symtoms :(

Yea. I'm certainly still up for working on this documentation.

perhaps we should follow Slaughters method of posting. A topic for each section such as "Gamedata : Weapons" and "Localization : Languageindex" or something like that. We could use the structure that we created as a guideline for what topics should be posted and yup, extend it to include smaller "chapters". the "Items - Weapons, Ammo, Armor" under tactical would be huge!
Alternativly, mabey the file-by-file reference that Aralez suggested would be best?

We also need to work out what the posts should contain. I think the opening post should have an overview of the file contents and structure. For example

- What the file does (short description)
- The structure of the entries (much like the c-style structs you have with file format reference docs) with meanings, ranges, data types and such.
- Links to other files referenced/needed (links to other topics)
- List of ammendments to this post

And of course siggets suggestion of keeping posts down to a bare minimum is essential. who wants to wade through 4 pages of posts? :(

#10 sigget

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 01:39 PM

Im not into the idea of a file by file reference, the context will get lost with that model. It could still be useful as an appendix with file by file comments and links into sections related to the file.

Suggested Structure. We will have to edit this as we go along, no matter how much we plan it will never be perfected until we get some real hands on experience. Whats important now is that we get a good enough structure so that we can start writing. When we're satisfied this structure should be copied into an index topic and have each row replaced with a link to the right post. So that we can get a full view somewhere.

1. Introduction
   1.1 Philosophy
   1.2 Tools
   1.3 Contribute!

2. Gameplay
   2.1Introduction
   2.2 Phases
   2.3 Research

3. Items 
   3.1 Weapons
   3.2 Ammo
   3.3 Armour

4. Soldiers
   4.1 Level
   4.2 Experience
   4.3 Attributes
   4.4 Skills
   4.5 Training
   4.6 People (Soldier templates)

5. Enemies
   5.1 Equipsets
   5.2 AI

6. Tactical Battleground
   6.1 Vegetation & Land Areas 
   6.2 Tilesets
   6.3 Ublocks
   6.4 Kulisy (stageprops)

Appendix A - File by File Reference
   A.1 share
   A.2 strategic
   A.3 tactical

Appendix B - VFS specification

This structure and the whole documentation will require ALOT of editing so dont be afraid to change it and add to it!

#11 Fnurg

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 02:22 PM

Apart from this structure will have a topic for discussions, this topic, and a topic for a TODO list, detailing whats left to do and what is currently begin researched, so that its easy to see where one can start contributing without redoing something thats already been done.

Proposed Structure

1. Introduction
  1.1 Philosophy
  1.2 Tools
  1.3 Contribute!

2. Gameplay
  2.1 Introduction
  2.2 General Configuration
  2.3 Difficulty Settings
  2.4 Phases
  2.5 Events
  2.6 Research
  2.7 UFO Missions
  2.8 Bases

3. Items 
  3.1 Weapons
  3.2 Magazines
  3.3 Ammo
  3.4 Armour

4. Soldiers
  4.1 Level
  4.2 Experience
  4.3 Attributes
  4.4 Skills
  4.5 Training
  4.6 People (Soldier templates)

5. Enemies
  5.1 Internal name list
  5.2 AI
  5.3 Equipsets
  5.4 General Creature Settings

6. Tactical Battleground
  6.1 Vegetation & Land Areas 
  6.2 Tilesets
  6.3 Ublocks
  6.4 Kulisy (stageprops)

7. Graphics
  7.1 Models
  7.2 Effects & Particles
  7.3 Interface Windows
  7.4 Slideshow Animations

8. Ingame Text
  8.1 Localization
  8.2 UFOpedia (Glossary)

Appendix A - File by File Reference
  A.1 share
  A.2 strategic
  A.3 tactical

Appendix B - VFS specification


#12 Slaughter

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 04:06 PM

That looks like a good structure. I have setup this forum to show all threads regardless of how many there is, and it is sorted ascending. This can be changed of course.

I think I will add a forum section for mods soon, and move stuff into it. One forum for released mods threads, one for this reference, one for general mod discussions and so on. I will also have a mods section for the site, with one section for Alpine, one for other mods, one for tools and so on. Sounds good?


#13 sigget

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 04:09 PM

Yepp, sounds great!

Have you seen how our avatars and signatures are cluttering this thing? We'll probably have to stop using them.

#14 Fnurg

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 04:19 PM

nOOO! How could you censor a squirrel drinking guinness?  :o

:(

Anyway, yea Slaughter. Nice idea with the forums

#15 Slaughter

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 06:32 PM

Good, then I will go for it. And yeah, the signatures are kind of messing things up. Even though the squirrel is cool! :(


#16 sigget

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 07:08 PM

Now that i see what that squirrel is doing i want it everywhere! ;P used to think it was a hamster chewing on a nut or something....

#17 Fnurg

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 07:21 PM

hehe. Yea, its not very clear is it :(

A lot of people think it was a squirrel smoking crack :(

#18 Fulby

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 07:58 PM

Slaughter, on Dec 10 2003, 06:32 PM, said:

Good, then I will go for it. And yeah, the signatures are kind of messing things up. Even though the squirrel is cool! :(
I note there's a little "Enable signature" check box at the bottom of the post message box, does that work on a post by post basis or does it change the user's global profile?

If it's post-by-post, you could try overriding it for this forum.  Or occasionally run an SQL query on the forum database which turns off that flag on all posts in the Modding Reference forum.

Fulby

#19 Slaughter

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 08:01 PM

Good idea Fulby, I'll take a look...


#20 sigget

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 11:26 PM

I added a section 9 today, not too sure its the right way to go, and then i saw that there was also a subsection called bases under gameplay, so now we have two subsections called bases, which one should we keep?

Im going out of town for the weekend, see you on monday!




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