Profile for Niemand


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Episode 5: 'Spiderweb Resistance'. in General
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Thanks Dikiyoba! I don't know if I'd remembered to mention it before, but I like the change to novel form; the scripts were nice but they just weren't as engaging in my opinion. I also quite enjoyed the busy atmosphere of the first chapter, and am looking forward to finding out what everyone, particularly myself, is doing.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
"Verbs for the weak!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Mac Editor v1.0.6 in Blades of Avernum Editor
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As prompted by Ephesos' former above comment (former comment above? abovely comment former?), I've just put up a version with a tiny fix so that the editor will shut up and run on 'millions of colors' displays. (It seems that whoever wrote the depth switching function never envisioned a display which only supports depths greater than 16 bits.) If it was running for you already then there's no reason to rush out and update, but if you were getting a dialog complaining about the screen depth with only two options, both of which caused the program to exit, this should help.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Mac Editor v1.0.6 in Blades of Avernum Editor
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I've just put up version 1.0.6 on my utilities page today. It now supports scrolling the terrain, creature, and item palettes with a mouse scroll wheel, and adds the ability to delete any town in the scenario; whether or not it is the final one.

EDIT: By the way; while I've tested the town deletion tool; it may not be bullet proof. I'd recommend that early adopters try it with caution, keeping backups of their work.

[ Saturday, March 15, 2008 16:35: Message edited by: Niemand ]

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Shadow Vale scenario archives in Blades of Avernum
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It looks like Tyran is probably just working on things.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
"Verbs for the weak!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
F-117 Stealth Fighter enters retirement in General
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One of the newer models (I think it was the YF-22) that I got to see actually had oddly zigzag edged doors on it that were supposed to help decrease the radar return off of the joins between the doors and fuselage. You can just see said jagged edges in this image . So it seems a combination of sharp angles and smooth curves may be useful for different stealth applications.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
"Verbs for the weak!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
F-117 Stealth Fighter enters retirement in General
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Given the bumbling tendencies of the US Airforce? I'm not so sure of it. They're still struggling to replace the F-15 with the F-22 (which never really seemed as good as the YF-23 anyway) and the F-16 and F-18 with the JSF.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
"Verbs for the weak!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A2 Template in Blades of Avernum Editor
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It's at the link I posted above, for one place.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
A2 Template in Blades of Avernum Editor
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Just so you know, Clint Peters already created a BoA duplicate of the outdoors and major towns of Avernum 2. It's currently hosted on Kelandon's site.

(I feel it's worth noting that I did not make use of it for the 24 hour contest, since I felt that it would be unsporting.)

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Disfunctional Item Abilities in Blades of Avernum Editor
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There's no reason that they have to be.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Disfunctional Item Abilities in Blades of Avernum Editor
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It looks like you're seeing a couple of effects here: First, negative strengths may not work; they should really, but i don't remember whether Jeff actually allowed them or not. Also, secondary statistic can't be affected by items; these include health, macig capacity, etc. (This solves the tricky problem that results from the following scenario: Suppose Hp boosting items are allowed. I put on an item the give +10 Hp, then get knocked down the 5 Hp. Then, for whatever reason, I de-equip the item. Should I die? Should I not be allowed to take it off?) As to the item not being curesed, I don't know, as that one should be very simple, so I can't see what went wrong.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Blades Forge !!! (to denote importance) in Blades of Avernum
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I've tagged Stairway. (I'd swear I had before, but whatever, it's labeled now.)

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
[PPP] Alas, friends, we look toward uncertain times in General
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As a stop-gap solution, could you export a large chunk of the data out of the SQL database? Then it could be stored elsewhere, allowing an immediate reduction of the size of the database and reintroduction of the data sometime later when it can be handled more efficiently, at the cost of having a large chunk of the data unavailable for some period of time.

Unfortunately, off the top of my head I can't think of any general solution to the sheer volume of data, especially since I have no idea what gains could be had from database optimization, even should you be able to devote time to such a thing.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Released: Blades Forge in Blades of Avernum Editor
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quote:
Nikki's avatar was 450x450.
Uh, I assume you're working on this, but I think you mean is. At least, it still is on the front page. Although you have successfully banished a number of people's avatars, including mine.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
"Verbs for the weak!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Dilecia graphic bug in Blades of Avernum
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A couple of standard questions: Whta platform (Mac OS or Windows) are you using? How did you open the scenario archive once it was downloaded?

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Analysis of Scenario Ratings in Blades of Avernum
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Inspired by TM's Scenarios-by-Level chart, I've finally gotten around to doing something I'd meant to do a long time ago: making a chart comparing CSR ratings of scenarios.

Disclaimer: The categorizations of scenarios, while subjective, are my estimates of community opinions, not my own opinions. As described below, I attempted to organize categories only according to patterns I observed in the data.

The chart to which I will be referring is here .

When I initially made this chart, it was simply in alphabetical order. However, I noticed immediately several distinct groups of scenarios: those with a small spread in ratings and a high average, a small spread and a medium average, and a small spread with a low average. Then, there were scenarios with high, medium, and low averages whose spreads were much larger. Having seen this, I began to sort the scenarios into the categories in the current chart. After I'd sorted all of the ones that seemed by eye to obviously belong to each group, I wrote a set of rules describing each group. Using made up numbers, (because I don't remember all of the real inputs to the calculation) supposing that the lowest average of a good scenario was 8 and the highest average of a medium scenario was 7, I averaged these and declared that the dividing line was at an average of 7.5. This is the list of actual rules that I derived:

  • ---'Controversial': Spread >3.0
  • 'Medium': Average >= 5.7
  • ---'Controversial': Spread >2.2
  • 'Poor': Average >= 3.7
  • 'Bad': Average <3.7
Note that 'Controversial-Good' scenarios should not be considered poorer than 'Good' scenarios for which there is 'Consensus', there is merely a greater difference among people's opinions, but the averages lie in the same ranges. Also the distinction between 'Poor' and 'Bad' was mostly for aesthetic reasons, but the division was placed in the relatively large gap between 9Var and UV.
In conclusion: I have no idea what this tells us, but I think it looks pretty.

A few final notes:
The source code of the program I wrote to draw the chart is available. The data I used was yesterday's data on Aran's CSR summary page . The program is very bare-bones, it reads in a plain text file on each line of which is a scenario name in quotes, then separated by spaces the minimum, average, and maximum ratings the scenario received. I'm hoping to either re-write it to parse Aran's page (or get him to port it to php and have it run directly from his data :P ).

I also tested the chart in every web-browser I have; it renders correctly in Safari 3 and Firefox 2, slightly less well in Camino, Opera, etc. Hopefully at worst only the rulers get screwed up, so everyone can see it more or less correctly.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Mac Editor v1.0.5 in Blades of Avernum Editor
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That's a good point; I use Rezilla but I hadn't thought to look at its code. Of course there's still the problem of pasting and saving sounds, but they may have solved that too.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Mac Editor v1.0.5 in Blades of Avernum Editor
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Thralni, the preview function deliberately shows the adjustment for the entire sheet, this is for previewing things like creatures, for which it would use way to much memory to generate all of the adjusts but it's often important to see the effect on all of the icons at once. Besides; it's pretty pointless to just copy a simply adjusted graphic into your cmg permanently when the game can do the adjust for you.

Believe me, I'm working on sounds. The trouble is that the ancient style sounds Jeff uses are very hard to work with; indeed I haven't been able to find a way to load or save them in a modern program.

Minstrel: Yes the Mac version accepts one out of range sound, number 174. Also, because of the cleverness of the resource manager, sounds in the cmg file override built-in sounds with the same numbers. That was how I replaced the party death sound in Stairway for the Mac version.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Mac Editor v1.0.5 in Blades of Avernum Editor
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I am working on a new version of Graphic Adjuster, but because I've had so much trouble trying to get the the current version to recompile properly anymore just on my system and because I've always hated some of the things I had to do to make it (you don't want to know how it handles multiple documents), I've started on an all new Cocoa based version. So far it can load and display the graphics in a file, but no more. It'll take me some time to reproduce the features the older version has, particularly since I want to seriously rethink the user interface.

As to use of Stuffit, we've all agreed that we should move away from it for scenario distribution, etc, but it's hardly a pressing matter. I do intend to go through my site and replace sit compressed archives with something else, (probably tar.gz, I'm thinking), but I haven't gotten there yet, and I can't say it makes me feel like doing it any faster to hear people complain that they don't like what I've got when it isn't near the problem some make it out to be. I'll get to, just not right now.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Windows 3D editor ate my scenario! in Blades of Avernum Editor
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For the record, it's probably not worth going into all this detail, since all this information is in the editor code for anyone who wants it badly. (And I suspect that not too many will, really.)

As to compiling on Windows, I don't really remember what I did, I'm afraid, but it seemed pretty simple at the time.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Windows 3D editor ate my scenario! in Blades of Avernum Editor
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Well, I wouldn't say I've identified the rror, just the function that it must be in. I'm working on it. Also I've compiled the Windows Editor in the past using Dev C++, so there no serious problem there.

I would be careful about adding sections via hex editing, remember that you have to keep the outdoors rectangular, correct the outdoor width and outdoor height numbers, and maintain correctness of the scenario starting location. It's not a procedure for the faint of heart. However, in case it helps:
The scenario data is indeed 7480 bytes, with the outdoor width being the 12th and 13th bytes and the outdoor height being the 14th and 15th. The x,y coordinates of the starting section are at offset 6374, each coordinat is a 2 byte field. Each outdoor section should be 12982 bytes, and begins with the outdoor section's name (which is 20 bytes long).

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Windows 3D editor ate my scenario! in Blades of Avernum Editor
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No, this is not quite right; you see, the entire scenario is never loaded in memory, and furthermore the outdoor sections must be written into the scenario file in a specific order, so the size changing function is enmeshed in its own save procedure, which is not the same as the standard one. It might be better to say that the change outdoor size feature is a save procedure. Thus the save operation used by changing the outdoor size is not the same as the normal save feature, and must be source of the trouble.

The function in question should be do_save_change_to_outdoor_size in Bl A Fileio.cpp.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Windows 3D editor ate my scenario! in Blades of Avernum Editor
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There's no reason that people should be forced to do that though. I'll look at the Win Editor code, compare it with the Mac code, and see if I can figure out why it tends to screw up.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Windows 3D editor ate my scenario! in Blades of Avernum Editor
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I'm glad to hear you were able to recover your work. This topic has, however, lead me to make the discovery that, unlike the Windows version, the Mac version of the editor seems to never leave backup files. On one hand I've never heard of a situation where it was needed, but on the other it could be good safety precaution.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Mac Editor v1.0.5 in Blades of Avernum Editor
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There seem to be some misconceptions here. It's true that the source is available in sit archives, but since any windows user can open them if he or she really wants to and no windows user has shown any interest in actually helping me do a windows port, they remain that way.
As to classic mac OS, that is even harder to support than Windows because I lack any of the tools required to create CFM binaries (especially since the better ones are not free). Furthermore, it is infeasable to support all version of OS X, much less classic as well. While I sympathize with anyone who likes classic Mac OS and/or can't get a newer computer or OS, there's nothing I can do to help them.

The above being said; I have already started work on a subproject to aid a possible windows port; namely creating annotated diff files to document the changes that I have made to the Mac version. Even when those are ready, however, there will still be a great deal of work to be done to implement equivalent changes in the Windows version. I would advise that the best route would be to tackle them incrementally; starting with the undo system which is both very useful to have and is entirely portable in its existing implementation. Trickier tasks like rebuilding the function button and object palettes should be left for later.

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Mac Editor v1.0.5 in Blades of Avernum Editor
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*Covers head with arms*
I have no time! no time!

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00

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