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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 5:07 pm 
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That was in the most recent version out yesterday or something... not the current one. But if the problem was still there, I guess it's just as well I mentioned it... :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 5:10 pm 
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Diedel wrote:
I have been able to fix TGA alpha channel handling in DLE-XP and add non-alpha TGA handling, and I have finally gotten D2X-W32 to render these textures properly.

Edit: Jeff, problem - your tga texture waterf4.tga has the data in the sequence a,b,g,r. The stuff output from some D3 texture conversion tool has it b,g,r,a. Do you know enough about TGA textures to tell me how to distinguish these? PSP 9 must know how to, as it displays both properly.


I assume that you're using "D3 Image Tool"? I'm afraid I don't know jack about TGA files, but it looks like that if I use that program to batch convert all of my TGA files to TGA files ( :o ) it resaves the channels in the order that DLE-XP expects and everything is grand. It's a fairly painless and complete workaround. BTW, I was using Paint Shop Pro 8 for modifying/saving them originally.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 5:43 pm 
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Jeff250 wrote:
Rotation rate in preferences seems to have no effect on rotatation rate.


I figured this out-- In DMB and DLE the "rotation rate" is applied differently. In DMB, it affects the rate of rotating the view of the world and rotating a selection (an object, cube, block, etc.). In DLE, it affects only the rotation rate of the selection.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 5:48 pm 
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http://www.myfileformats.com/search.php?name=tga


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 8:17 pm 
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It's probably late to be asking this after all the work you've done Diedel but I'm wondering if it would be at all possible to allow DLE-XP to function as DMBII did?

Meaning, I'm more comfortable working with the overlay popup menu utilities and having a full screen to work with then having my view cut in half in either direction. I don't mind the texture palette being on the left and being able to drag it to the side when you don't need it. All the other functions however are much easier to manage in windows for me.

There was kind of a system down for how I did everything and DLE-XP doesn't allow me to manage things how I'm used to doing them. Everything is still there true, but like was mentioned when you first started working on DLE-XP, it's more of an aesthetic problem.

We probably discussed this before and you said you would have to do a lot of extra work or something and weren't willing to do it. It just would be great to have a "Classic DMB" option in the preferences tab that reverts to the windowed menu style but still allows all the new features DLE-XP has to offer.

I don't know if anyone else has felt the same as I do. I'm probably just stubborn about how things look. So much so I'd rather still use DMBII sometimes...


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 8:21 pm 
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Tyranny wrote:
It's probably late to be asking this after all the work you've done Diedel but I'm wondering if it would be at all possible to allow DLE-XP to function as DMBII did?

Meaning, I'm more comfortable working with the overlay popup menu utilities and having a full screen to work with then having my view cut in half in either direction. I don't mind the textures pallette being on the left and being able to drag it to the side when you don't need it. All the other functions however are much easier to manage in windows for me.

x500.
When I said that I didn't like DLE-XP's layout, this is what I meant, because I do find the things to be much more manageable (and convienient) when they're in windows. That's why I use DMB2 over DLE-XP.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 9:21 pm 
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Change is hard ppl.. I know... lol :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 9:36 pm 
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I know I'm on a roll here ;), but it would be grand if the "show frames" tick in the texture tab showed all of the frames of textures other than just doors, like teleporters, energy sparks, etc. It would make replacing animated textures with TGA's a reality. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:58 pm 
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Only thing that irks me about DLE-XP is that my monitor is really too small for it... but IMO I just traded one set of advantages/disadvantages (windows; you get the full space for the level view but have to move stuff around because it gets in the way) for another (nothing in the way, but view space limited).

So, I elected to live with it, since one day I might have a better monitor... heh...

Can understand those who are too set on the DMB2 system to want to change it though. When you're used to an interface, even its drawbacks become advantages. Weird as that sounds.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:15 am 
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Jeff250 wrote:
Jeff250 wrote:
Rotation rate in preferences seems to have no effect on rotatation rate.


I figured this out-- In DMB and DLE the "rotation rate" is applied differently. In DMB, it affects the rate of rotating the view of the world and rotating a selection (an object, cube, block, etc.). In DLE, it affects only the rotation rate of the selection.

That's a bug I will fix.

I will look into the 'show frames' issue.

Tyr,

it might be feasible, but if you would think it over you would find that the current layout preserves more editing space and more overview over your editing tools than DMB2 does. With DMB2, you either overlay a part of the mine view with all the dialogs, or have to make the mine appear smaller to have some free screen space for the dialogs. You will also always need to align the dialogs manually somehow to have everything accessible you need. I am thinking particularly of the texture selection, alignment and lighting dialogs: These three are often needed in conjunction, and for me it was a major pain to open them and position them somewhere where they wouldn't hinder my work. In DLE-XP, you have them all at once, nicely aligned at the bottom or side of the screen.

DLE-XP also offers the option of a full screen view, and you can also resize the texture and tool panes to make more of the mine visible.

I feel that the main gripes you and others have with DLE-XP are rather a matter of getting used to something new after using another layout for 10 years.

Hack,

I must say that you're claim is almost a litte ... outrageous. You prefer constantly having to open and move around small, separate windows over having everything accessible at one side of the screen and with a single mouse click? D'oh. If I hated something about DMB2, than it was its dialog window mess.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:23 am 
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Keep in mind that with all of DLE's added options that any windows would be bonkin' huge too.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:44 am 
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Maybe not. I would omit some stuff that's in the DLE-XP dialogs (like standard structure creation buttons), or add another dialog (e.g. for texture colors, making that 4 dialogs if you want to have full access to all texture properties while in "DMB2 view mode").

Re animated texture frames: There is a problem. While door frames have subsequent texture ids, other's don't. Take the energy sparks (id 353) for example - the next texture with id 354 is the fan. And the texture id table is some hard coded dat file I cannot find the source of currently. This will at least require some deeper investigation.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:05 am 
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I believe that that information is stored in the D2 HAM in the ECLIPS section. It can be viewed with HAXMEDIT32.

For example, ECLIP element #3 refers to changing wall texture #354, creates the sound "121- alt fan", and has eight frames, 1601 through 1608. Although I can't verify the last part, from what you said, and the sound it makes, it certainly looks like the fan. :)

edit: Or, if nothing else, could you allow the user to just enter arbitrary texture numbers to replace?

edit2: Or, I suppose I could (hopefully) just use a hex editor to modify texture indices being replaced in the pog. :twisted: Perhaps the most fun of the three ways.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:30 am 
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I need source code and data to change stuff in DLE-XP. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be available. Maybe I'll find something in the Descent Network's D2 API descriptions.

I would love to do w/o external texture replacement tools to change animated textures, had been thinking of that already myself.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 6:20 am 
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Well I use DTX 2 - Descent Texture/Sound/Music Editor for Descent II to replacing textures.

I don't REALLY understand how DLE-XP works in that since. :(


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:00 am 
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I actually like how DLE-XP implemented rotation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but DMB2 had some wacky deal where rotation was connected to zoom. So, if you were zoomed up real close on something, you'd rotate around some axis outside your view, whereas in DLE-XP, you'd continue to rotate around that zoomed-in object - which only makes sense.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:56 am 
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Many, if not most animations aren't simply stored as incrementally tagged textures, as it is with the doors. Instead, Descent uses two extra indexes, one saying a texture has frames, and the other saying which textures make up these frames to animate stuff.

This is not trivial to bring into DLE-XP.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:42 pm 
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No problem-- I found everything I needed by playing around in a hex editor. ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 7:13 pm 
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From memory, DMB2 and DLE-XP are identical in camera operation; it's just that the tools with mouse movement shortcuts in DLE-XP are the ones you should more frequently use.

The main problem with DMB2 is that it doesn't always do what you think it's doing. When it appears to 'zoom in' you may in fact be moving the point of focus forward; thus when you rotate in one direction it spins around this point in the middle of nowhere rather than what you're actually looking at.

DLE-XP I think still has the camera pan operations, but they aren't emphasized as much any more.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 7:59 am 
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I don't mind having to manually move the windows around. I've been doing that for 8 years and by now it's just second nature. Despite there being more room to view the level with the current setup, the classic setup "feels" better. Obviously it's your call whether you want to do it or not.

It just seems like a good idea for those of us that are anal about adapting to the new scheme. If it is too much extra work for you though where it takes you away from doing stuff you'd much rather do I can understand not wanting to do it...

The classic style allows for me to not have to drag anything to get it off the screen. If I don't need a particular tool it isn't in my view. When I need it, hotkey it up on the screen, move it and start working. The current style I'd have to drag the utilities bar back into view, hotkey to bring up the particular tab and start working with what seems like far less visible working area then I would have normally. It's true I could fullscreen it to remove the menus and texture frames and then hotkey fullscreen away...but it doesn't "feel" the same :P

Like I said when you first started working on that project, A lot of it comes down to personal tastes.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:18 am 
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I have looked into this and it would require quite some work. So chances I will implement a DMB2 style UI in DLE-XP are pretty slim.

Btw, Tyr, when did you create/publish your last D2 level? It doesn't make much sense to me adding features to DLE-XP for ppl who don't even use it. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:14 am 
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I've been asked to build one for a friend here recently and found I'd much rather work in DMBIIv2.6 at the moment. Which is why I brought all this up to begin with. I have conflicting interests considering I designed the logo and helped you work out some issues in DLE-XP's infancy.

No reason to build when you're really not interested in playing all that much. Now that I'm playing again I've had the urge to build.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:34 am 
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Actually, I have already prepared all dialogs and started to create the data exchange code dialog <-> application. But there's a lot of work in the details (e.g. updating all visible dialogs when you change something in one of them that affects others). So if I find the time, I will finish a DMB2 style UI in DLE-XP. ;)

I want to hear that ppl actually use before I do so, though. I don't want to experience the same thing I experienced with D2-Entropy: First, ppl were bugging me to build it into D2X-W32, and now nobody plays it.

It's a sad thing that ppl stick with the same few levels they've played the last 10 years instead of trying imo exciting new game modes offered with the gameplay of D2 ... but, ahhhh, I guess I'm a voice in the desert ... :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:31 pm 
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Diedel wrote:
It's a sad thing that ppl stick with the same few levels they've played the last 10 years instead of trying imo exciting new game modes offered with the gameplay of D2 ... but, ahhhh, I guess I'm a voice in the desert ... :D

You're not entirely a voice in the desert... I agree that it's sad that ppl never try new levels... but that's getting a little off-topic here.

BTW, I for one would really like to have a DMB2-style interface... then I could use DLE-XP for all my level-building needs. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:13 pm 
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You ppl continuing to use DMB2 just because of its interface, despite all the improvements DLE-XP brings, makes me I think you should have it your (the hard) way.

Doesn't look like you guys using any of the advanced DLE-XP/D2X-W32 features anyway. Afaik Sirius is the only exception.

So apparently DLE-XP is my personal toy, and I like it the way it is (or I would have made it different).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:44 pm 
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Haven't even managed to get a real CTF game going yet. I'm hoping that, come D2 Revival, I can convince people, though. Not that we know yet when it'll be set, but we are getting closer...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:46 pm 
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Diedel wrote:
Doesn't look like you guys using any of the advanced DLE-XP/D2X-W32 features anyway. Afaik Sirius is the only exception.

Actually, I'm adding cool D2X-W32 features to my levels as well. However, I only use DLE-XP for doing that stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:47 pm 
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Hack,

You're only using DLE-XP to add D2X-W32 enhancements to levels? Now that's surprising. :P

Sirius,

you should try to convince a few to play D2-Entropy. That's the most fun game mode at all in Descent, imho.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:06 pm 
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Diedel wrote:
Hack,

You're only using DLE-XP to add D2X-W32 enhancements to levels? Now that's surprising. :P

Yeah, that's what I'm doing. You know, I probably should try to give DLE-XP more of a chance than I do... Although I do have a problem: zooming in only works to a certain zoom level. Beyond that it won't work. This is a major problem for me, as I find it impossible to do anything in any level of a decent size with depth perception on high because of this.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:36 am 
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My comment was ironic. But you can try to use DMB2 to add D2X-W32 features to levels, if you like. :P


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 2:18 am 
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ROFL!

I think there is a slight misunderstanding, perhaps... I think he means the only time he tends to use DLE-XP is at the point where he has to, basically.

I would go for the Entropy as well... although I haven't even seen CTF in action yet, sadly. I also have a suspicion there is about one Entropy level out there, and you made it. (At least, I hope you made one! :) Otherwise there would be a problem...)

Eventually (probably some time within the coming few weeks) I may make an Entropy level, but I do need to play the mode a little first to get some feel for how Entropy levels should work. If that makes any sense.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 2:45 am 
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I know of four entropy levels: There is TombZ of DeZtruKtion, miKro TombZ and Bio Hazard made by me, and Seatropy by Dark Falcon (if I remember right). TombZ is pretty large, Bio Hazard medium to large, miKro TombZ is small. Seatropy is medium sized.

The thing about entropy levels is that it is about conquering rooms, and that you need at least a virus lab to be able to conquer other rooms. So on the one side, a team needs at least a virus lab close at the start of the game. On the other side, the rooms should not be close to each team's start locations (like a home base in CTF), or it will be very hard to conquer any rooms as they are too easily defendable. Other than in CTF you do not need to restrict the number of routes to the enemy base. Imo a good entropy level has a virus lab close to each team's base, and then some rooms spread over the level or near the center. That will on the one side allow each team to have the resources they need to conquer rooms for a long while and allow them to defend at least some basic property while making sure there will be a lot of action.

In D3-Entropy, fuel and repair centers usually are team-owned as well, so if a team loses their fuel and repair centers, they're at a disadvantage already. Use this information to maybe place each a fuel and repair center for each team closer to the center, but still somewhere closer to the initially owning team than the other.

In D2-Entropy, you can also have conquerable rooms that are initially neutral (DLE-XP labels such rooms "unowned", and "neutral" means "cannot be conquered").

Ofc it is possible to have fuel and repair centers that are neutral (in the DLE-XP sense) and can always be used by both teams. It might be a consideration to add at least one such fuel center, though that would certainly be no requirement to keep an Entropy game going.

Imo good CTF levels that are not too restricted in the number of access routes to the enemy area lend themselves well to an expansion to Entropy levels.

So much for the theory. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:27 am 
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Diedel wrote:
Doesn't look like you guys using any of the advanced DLE-XP/D2X-W32 features anyway. Afaik Sirius is the only exception.


Well, you've seen that concept level I sent you. :P

Unfortunately, I can't use any new features until they're 100% free of gameplay bugs.

The wind tunnel ship freeze can also be experienced in straight tunnels as well, as in your level "Speed," if I really try hard to reproduce it. Also, wind tunnels still have that annoying bug where the menu, automap, etc. become unavailable while I'm in them, so it makes the ship getting caught on a side ultimately lead to having to concussion myself to death (fortunately, I have that side I'm caught on) before I can quit.

Cameras on my system make my gameplay jerky (which is much different than strictly lowering my framerate) despite what I set the camera FPS to (not sure how it affects others'), so if I wanted to include them in a level and play it, I'd have to disable them.

Also, you've seen my issue with the transparent TGA's. I know I'm pressing the engine, but I can't help but feel that's what I'm supposed to be doing. :wink: Fortunately, that's strictly a visual bug, so not so important in justifying adding it in a level, and the custom TGA's can easily be added, changed, or removed at any time.

Unfortunately, I've never played entropy, neither D2's nor D3's, so I'd probably be a pretty inept developer in that respect. :oops:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:46 am 
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Jeff,

ok, Sirius and you are using the new D2X-W32 features.

When I said, almost nobody used the new features anyway, then that was in reply to ppl demanding me to change the heck out of DLE-XP w/o anybody even really needing it, and I am not gonna waste my time on the whimsies of some ppl I probably will never be able to satisfy only to find out they don't even use my software.

I found speed boosts working sufficiently well. Ofc, if you are trying to run into a wall in a speed boost tunnel, you might be able to in my levels if you try a lot of times.

Cameras are more of a gimmick. If you use "full screen" cameras, jerkiness will be greatly reduced. Unfortunately, there's only two ways to render cameras: One works on all systems supporting OpenGL, but is rather slow, the other one is fast, but windows-specific and pretty complicated to implement (you need to create a separate render context with all the initialization stuff and have the driver render to a texture - which would probably require a lot of the D2 renderer to be adapted), so I choose the further approach.

So the working features you have are transparent walls, teleports, TGA textures, and with let's say: minor restrictions, speed boosts.

To make speed boosts work flawlessly, each corresponding pair of walls need to be absolutely parallel, that's the whole trick. Unfortunately I haven't found out why you don't slide along a speed boost tunnel's wall when hitting it.

But if you don't like that stuff, don't use it. I am pretty happy with it though.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 8:45 pm 
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I apologize for going all out like, but I was fairly frustrated. I do think that it is important that new features are 100% bug free. Your improvements to the speed tunnels have been greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:26 am 
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Yeah Jeff,

I'd have appreciated a simple bug report more than a rant, but you're one of the ppl really dedicated to DLE-XP and the new D2X-W32, so I easily forgive you. ;)

Still working on speed boost improvements. I am experimenting with changing the movement direction when stuck at a wall so that the ship will be heading for the destination side center again. If it works, this will be a better solution as the speed boost will not need to be cancelled any more.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 7:09 am 
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Interesting. Devil remains useful for one thing - if you can get it to work; to this day it appears to be the only level editor that lets you alter reactor shield settings.

Not normally something I want to do, but when weird results crop up that set it to have -2^24 shields, generally something needs doing...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 2:43 pm 
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Sirius wrote:
Interesting. Devil remains useful for one thing - if you can get it to work; to this day it appears to be the only level editor that lets you alter reactor shield settings.

Shouldn't you be able to do that in the "Advanced Object Data" settings in DMB2? (BTW, those do NOT seem to work in DLE-XP :? )


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 3:26 pm 
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Oops. Fixed.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:30 pm 
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Yeah, I thought so too, but firstly, it didn't seem to fix matters, and secondly, the advanced object data showed there was nothing wrong(!!)... but maybe the two problems were the same.


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