Author Topic: So, areas... (BGII)  (Read 2344 times)

Offline Andyr

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So, areas... (BGII)
« on: July 31, 2004, 08:57:34 AM »
I'm in the process of using and abusing areas. I've been taking some from IWDI and resaving and renaming them for BGII. Have done this before and got it to work, but to be honest most of the time I have crashes I don't understand!

Can someone give me a hand with my area cleaning, point out what I need to get rid of from the file? I want to keep the doors, walls etc, but need to clear the actors and monster rest spawns, and it's around these points that it normally ends up crashing when I test. Am using NI to remove actors and so on, is that the best way?

I hear you can guess what's wrong with an area by when it crashes during loading (eg how far around the little orange bars are) - CRE errors, WED errors and so on. Anyone want to inform me? :)

Finally, anyone got the skills to perhaps make a few minor graphical alterations to some of the areas I'm making? I can send files if need be. I offer my eternal praise... :)
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Re: So, areas... (BGII)
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2004, 10:32:05 AM »
I might try a hand in graphical variations. I am proficient with Photoshop, yet sometimes I have the program in front of me and I get bored. How many megs is the .jpeg file you might send me (I advise you not to use bitmaps for the web... they're huge)?

The other part might be useful if you use DLTCEP. I believe there is a feature called "Delete all spawn points", etc.

-Galactygon

Offline Andyr

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Re: So, areas... (BGII)
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2004, 10:55:24 AM »
Hmm, may try DLTCEP then. I'm not sure how big the file would be - you'd work from a .JPG? I guess then I can get a BMP out of IETME and then convert it, yes?

Thanks for the offer. :)
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Offline Bons

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Re: So, areas... (BGII)
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2004, 11:22:36 AM »
I'm in the process of using and abusing areas. I've been taking some from IWDI and resaving and renaming them for BGII. Have done this before and got it to work, but to be honest most of the time I have crashes I don't understand!

That is the Bitch Goddess of New Areas, young Andyr. Many have felt the bitter sting of her touch.  Be proud to tell the tale of the time your area crashed that you don't understand!

Quote
Can someone give me a hand with my area cleaning, point out what I need to get rid of from the file? I want to keep the doors, walls etc, but need to clear the actors and monster rest spawns, and it's around these points that it normally ends up crashing when I test. Am using NI to remove actors and so on, is that the best way?

Wall polygons are in the WED. When reusing an area, it usually doesn't have to be changed. In this case, since you're using an ID1 area, you have to package the WED, the .TIS/TIZ, and any additional overlays referenced for the areas that you're keeping. Editing the area: I know I've used NI for this. I've used IETME and DLTCEP, too. I don't have a favorite, since I've never gotten a new area into the game without some screaming or crying. In this case, since you're only trying to get rid of actors and spawns, I'd look to make sure all animations, ambients, items referenced in the legacy containers, etc, that are still in the ARE file are available at loading. Otherwise, it's Crashville. Still, I've usually done this business from scratch, so I don't have a lot of experience in reusing areas to glean modding best practices from.

Quote
I hear you can guess what's wrong with an area by when it crashes during loading (eg how far around the little orange bars are) - CRE errors, WED errors and so on. Anyone want to inform me? :)

You know, I think someone actually described this once up a time on TBG in the IETME thread. Crap. Uh, as I recall from my blessed crashing experiences, when there was something wrong with the WED, the crash happens about a third to halfway through the orange bar loading. Same thing for tp2 worldmap editing mistakes. CRE, ITM errors happened in the last tick, I believe.
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Offline Andyr

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Re: So, areas... (BGII)
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2004, 11:34:44 AM »
Thanks, Bons. :)

I deleted creatures but it didn't occur to try ambients. Will give that a go.

If anyone is interested in exactly what I'm doing (out of wanting to help, suggestions of good maps to use, or just because they're nosy) then what I'm trying to create is a small temple to Umberlee on a small island. So I'm planning on having an exterior map which is a small, rocky island with a simple pier and a boat (how you got there). The main bit of the island will be small and have a temple entrance and not much else. The interior area is the temple - It's going to be underground, so I'm going for a stone - hewn look, and is going to be larger than most other temples as I'm using it as a mini - dungeon. As a temple to Umberlee it's going to be mostly humans living in it (with maybe a few sea trolls), standard temple fare like braziers and tapestry.
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Offline Meira

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Re: So, areas... (BGII)
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2004, 12:00:26 PM »
In my experience with NI you can break your area pretty easily, but perhaps I just had bad luck / didn't really know what I was doing. Based on my experience (which is not that wide) I would recommend DLTCEP but there at least used to be things that you can only do comfortably with IETME. I'm led to believe though that never versions of DLTCEP can do more than the one that was available when I banged my head on Area Editing (last autumn/winter).   ;)

I noticed that often when it's the door causing problems the area wont crash until that door becomes visible. I would also advise that you do doors last (or at least as late as possible) because they break quite easily and in a way that forces you to return to previous save. Ie. the broken door cannot be fixed or at least I don't recall being able to do so. But since you're not going to fiddle with the doors you can hope that they don't cause any problems.

But you still might want to consider making a new save file whenever you have completed a major editing step. So that you can return to the older version when your latest file is broken beyond repair.

And yep, non-available ambients can crash it too.  :P

Good luck!  ;D
     

Offline Smoketest

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Re: So, areas... (BGII)
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2004, 04:26:09 PM »
NI doesn't hold your hand if you're new to editing the IE or some part of it, so you can really mess things up. I like it because it doesn't limit me like other editors tend to do, and I know my way around filetypes, or can figure them out when the need arises. While the interface can be tedious at times, I still prefer it over DLTCEP's.

Lots of things can happen when you move an area, since references to various other files can break if those files aren't moved as well. AREs can refer to WED files (header), CRE files (Actors, Spawn Points, Rest Spawns), ITM files (Containers), BCS files (header, Actors, Info/Trigger Points, Containers, Doors), WAV files (Ambients, Doors), DLG files (Doors), and BAM files (Animations). There are also a host of string pointers into dialog.tlk, but it won't break the area if these point to incorrect or missing strings. There is also a MOS file for the overhead view and various BMPs for path searching, lighting, height calculation and so on.

You should be able to remove safely most things except doors, and their associated exits, in ARE files. I only remove doors if the WED file being used doesn't support them, as is the case in some of the dream sequence maps in BG2, which have leftover artifacts from when the maps were copied from BG1 and edited.

Probably the best way to move an area is to load it up with IETME, which extracts all the pertinant files (ARE, WED, TIS, MOS, BMPs), then copy those to your target override folder. Then you can edit the ARE and remove the aforementioned things that give the area 'life'.

The latest beta of NI is better than the latest non-beta release, in some editing aspects, so you might consider that if you don't have the beta. Supposedly Jon Olav will get back to work on NI "soon", as he's got a pile of bug reports and feature suggestions sitting in his inbox.

Offline Andyr

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Re: So, areas... (BGII)
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2004, 06:22:47 PM »
Thanks, Wistrik. I know about the various area files, am guessing my latest woes must have been ambients or something. :)

The previous areas I've taken were BG1 random encounter ones, which are simpler as enemies are spawned by script not as actors and there's no ambients or anything. ;)
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I am unfortunately not often about these days so the best way to get hold of me is via email.

 

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