Monday, November 26, 2012

Removing Dependencies

Partially based on a not too friendly conversation I had with a user about this, I'm going to remove WM's dependency on the VB Power Packs. I didn't like using them for only a minor graphical flair so I'm switching to the more acceptable practice of using the Graphics class to draw lines (which I should have done in the beginning). This will be implemented in the final WM version which will also accompany the releasing of the source for WM and PrC. Don't think that's wholly a good thing. The more I look at the code in WM the more I hate it. It's full of bad coding practices, commented code, not documented, etc. It's not a good example of my coding ethics today. There's still the possibility of implementing xml with it, but that will take time to hunt down all the text I want to be changeable. PrCMDI will continue to be closed source.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back to it a little

Remember back in the day when WM was being created and all the functions and properties were still being discovered; And how I had to release a new minor version just to update the description of a thing? Well say "screw you" to all that now. PrCMDI's going all xml and going to be using external strings to represent everything now. I recently helped a modder add quadruple and quintuple AP growth on weapons and armor and he'll have to manually edit the weapon/armor data using the raw data editor in WM. There's no option for greater than Triple AP growth in the drop-downs on the weapon or armor tabs because the unmodded game ignores values that are greater than 3. Well, now PrC (and eventually WM) will allow for additional changes like that. For example attack effects only range from 0 - 35 (23h) right now. However, if one adds a 37th effect to the executable, they'd have to edit the raw data in WM. There's no way to do this in PrC so enemy attacks couldn't have this. The new xml feature will allow you to add a 37th effect to the menu if you're awesome enough to know how to do that. I've already added all the texts and tested it. It works great! If I need to make a change to a damage formula or get a description wrong I just change the text in the xml and it's reflected in PrCMDI. This xml is also going to store things like text characters and element names so WM/PrC will be easier to use in other languages. It will also store battle variable and opcode descriptions so you can change them around if you wish. Point is, this is going to make WM/PrCMDI much easier to use. This will be WM's last version and I will likely release its source along with it. The source looks sloppy, but consider that I wrote the majority of it three years ago. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Birthday WallMarket!!...almost

Four years ago, WM was in the middle of beta testing. It's gone through a lot of iterations and bug fixes to get where it's at. It still has some issues, but I'm still proud of it. I created it because I wanted to start a new game of FFVII and I learned there wasn't a tool that would let me have more materia links on the Buster Sword. After googleing my way on to the forums at qhimm I discovered what it was partly known and contributed much to what wasn't. Good times. Back to the point of this blog. So in the interrim between Skyrim and Black Mesa: Source not much has happened at all. I keep picking up PrCMDI and deciding that lots of things need to be restructured. Real life work is picking up, my daughter is starting to walk, lots of things are happening that demand my attention. This being a personal project is lowest priority to me. It still has the potential to be the greatest modding tool FFVII will ever see, but it's going to take a while in the making.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Overdue update

For those of you who haven't been watching very closely let me break it down to what is on the table now. I've been discussing strategies with other VB.NET users who are supposedly knowledgeable about such things and they think that 32 drop-downs with 800 entries (the action lists) is poor design. They don't know the specifics yet, but I'm really not certain anything else will do. I've played with the idea of a listbox that the user can click on to enable editing, but that seems a bit clumsy and adds extra clicks that I don't think the user should have to do. On the other hand, populating each listbox does take forever for each enemy form loaded.

Since I finally got time to play Skyrim I've been doing a lot of that and mostly neglecting PrC. I'll get back to it when I'm satisfied with my killing sprees in Skyrim.

I've also been "commissioned" to see how the texture effects can be safely extended from 15 fps to 60 fps without having to alter the animations themselves. What I've found is that the graphics plugin handles all of that. Since I've gotten Aali's OpenGL driver I can't see how the delivered plugin handles it. It looks like the exe dumps some values in specific places that the graphics driver reads and does things with. I have to do more investigating....

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Check it out....

Nearly a full month's time gone and hardly a single line of code written. *sigh* Well, the good news is that I'm just a few hours away from being finished with my last undergraduate class of my life. I've got the final to take this afternoon so I'll be burdened by one less thing in life.

Speaking of life, my daughter is finally getting to that six month mellow period. We've started sleep training and it's going surprisingly well. She had a rough night the first night, but she got better the next few nights. Her naps seem to have gotten better too. She was taking four or five less-than-hour-long naps before and since we started making her sleep in her crib she has taken at least one hour-and-a-half long nap per day. Yesterday was the first time she got over four hours in three naps. :D Non-parents and parents of normally sleepy babies wouldn't understand, but this is a big milestone for all of us.

Anyway, back to PrCMDI! I've had many long nights thinking up a strategy for what I want to do with it. First of all will be save files that are NOT scene.bin files. That will open up the possibility for a lot of features like saved histories, comments, and just a bunch of other things. That will make saving and distributing changes super easy compared to how it is now. This way you won't have to compile the scene.bin and compare it to an original one. You'll still be able to compile the data into a scene.bin, but the raw data save will keep the data much better organized.
I'm also still super happy with the way it's being organized now. The current PrC and WM are just these massive classes that handle the data and are interdependent on each other. PrCMDI already has a dozen individualized modular classes that only raise events to each other. I'd like to get most of the code off of the form classes like they are now and concentrate solely on display from there.

Oh yeah. Bosola also suggested some helpful changes to WM so I might be adding those in soon. I might re-write WM again too. It would still look about the same, but the code needs a lot of untangling.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Got a few more....

4280|Gil Stolen
4290|Item Stolen

Used in conjunction with Attack Property 6 and 7 to know how much gil/what item was stolen in case the player defeats the thief.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

More reason to make the xml-based text files

So I've been prodding around in the code looking for new things to discover. Lo and behold I found two interesting things:

1. 9X damage calculations do NOT use the secondary equations
2. secondary damage equation X6 DOES NOT EXIST!

This is why I wanted to add the xml that will allow the user to update their descriptions of various things like damage formulae descriptions.

EDIT: I forgot to mention. 9X is ONLY used by Manipulate to determine if it will "connect" or not.