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Track Editor 1.1 Update
Topic Started: Dec 27 2013, 01:10 PM (4,461 Views)
Kenny
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Hi guys,

Some of you probably already know that I actually managed to compile the source files of the original Re-Volt Track Editor quite some time ago.
But after I did some changes here and there I didn't really feel like releasing it publicly because I felt like the overall result wasn't worth a big update.

However due to some recent breakthroughs I had, that situation changed and here is the update the editor finally deserves :P

Every released patch includes all necessary files to run the editor so for installation you can safely delete all files in your old "editor" folder in the root directory of the game (don't forget to backup your tdf folder inside if you saved any tracks in the editor!).
Then simply extract all files from the zip archive in the "editor" folder and you can launch the editor from there.

I very much recommend to read through the changelog (included in every patch) if you want to know any more about the development of the patches.

Download link:
1.1a150301
changelog (online view)

Older releases:
1.1a15.0222
1.1a14.0117
1.1a13.1227

PS: moved previous text here to my next post
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MythicMonkey
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Kenny, you're brilliant. Not only that, you are one heck of an asset to this community. B)

Keep up the great work and thanks for all you do! :TU:

Mythic :)
"The Truth SHALL Set You ALL Free. If You Only Allow YourSelves To See The Beauty That I, Myself Have Seen. So Shall It Be." ~ Excerpt from Mythic's Journal

Winner of the Only Mythic Racing Challenge - LivingWithGames!
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kay
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I really liked it! especially the customizable part :) (although not much)
Nicely done, keep up the great work!
It wouldn't hurt visiting my blog or Re-Volt frontend's :)
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Dave-o-rama
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...and, playtime! Thanks, Kenny! Hopefully, I'll be back with some cool stuff.
hi-ban about strike21's constantly getting banned
 
Already banned? Wow! You Are Faster Than My Twin Mill!

martensan on RVZT
 
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Kenny
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moved from first post ->

Now I don't want to go into details here what has changed and been fixed, you can read all that in the included changelog (I kind of took the 1.2 changelog as a template for the format and version numbering).

Regarding the "installation", simply extract the archive with the editor folder in the game root folder and launch the TrackEdit.exe in the editor folder.
It is safe to overwrite all existing files, however if you don't want to end up with some useless files I recommend to delete the old editor folder before extracting the new one (backup any existing .tdf files if you have some or care for them!).
If you don't want to run the editor in fullscreen or in 800x600 you'll have to manually edit the settings.ini or add the required parameters when launching for now.

A major fix that I would like to mention here though (because I think its somewhat ridiculous) is that the original Track Editor always assigned the wrong surfaces when compiling the tracks so the parts where the cars are racing are actually always MATERIAL_DEFAULT instead of of some other surfaces.

Here's a comparison (thanks to jigebren's nice blender plugin), this is the compiled ncp file from the original editor:
[ximg]http://imageshack.us/a/img812/561/xv54.jpg[/ximg]
And this is the compiled ncp file from the updated editor (the difference ingame is noticeable but not really visible):
[ximg]http://imageshack.us/a/img513/3824/c9gs.jpg[/ximg]

To those of you who might ask "Are custom modules finally possible?" the response is "Somewhat." ^_^
I made a tool that is able to extract and repackage the rtu file so it is already possible to modify the contents.
However before I release that tool there are some major things that need to happen:
- I need to remove quite a few hardcoded things from the Track Editor and make it load the information dynamically, most of the information of how the modules are linked together is still hardcoded
- I need to cleanup my tool and how it loads the files for repackaging, most of it is still a mess but the repackaging process itself works nicely
- Someone needs to create a tool that is able to display and modify .fan, .fob, .pan, .lit and .taz files (or add functionality to already existing tools) because otherwise we are only able to modify the geometry of existing modules

Regarding future versions I'll be probably mainly aiming to fix some of the known issues (see changelog) and the just mentioned things.
So if you have any suggestions they are welcome but are probably not going to be considered for now (unless they are not hard to do).

Also don't expect any frequent updates from now on, I'll be pretty busy with real life stuff at least for the next 3 months (but still going to be here every now and then) and the plans I have for the next version will probably take quite some time to do as well.

tldr;
Download link 1.1a13.1227, read at least the changelog :P
(since I don't have a server for myself, mediafire will have to do for now, however feel free to upload it somewhere else as well)

<-moved from first post



kay,Sunday, Dec 29 2013
04:03
(although not much)

Yeah, sadly the Track Editor doesn't offer much customization. And adding some is not only difficult because of the way the user input is built up (keyboard only and the constant switching between the menus is frustrating for the user) but would probably also kind of destroy the whole simplicity concept of the editor.
Besides I don't really know what I could add anyway, everything to give the track the last touch can be done ingame with the MAKEITGOOD mode.

Quote:
 
Hopefully, I'll be back with some cool stuff.

The more testing the better ^_^ (I'm still clueless about that crash that Vaidux described over at ORP)

@mythic: thanks ;)
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Dave-o-rama
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So, I did some things with this Track Editor and have some things to say about this beautiful new update.

I'll start with some of the Known Issues since I'm not sure where else to start:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Changelog
 
The Color Dialog Box only shows up in window mode and is not visible in fullscreen

Works perfectly fine here. I have my editor set to fullscreen, but it looks like it temporarily shifts to window mode (while staying at the same resolution) to show the color dialog box. When I get rid of it, some screen flickering happens then everything is back to normal.

Kenny
 
When compiling, during the optimization some material surfaces are incorrectly applied

Now, this while the editor is compiling the track, or when you're compiling the editor? Because if it's the first one, there's no real noticeable error when it comes to the surfaces (although this is really only an issue with the Dreamcast .rtu file).

By the way, were those surface properties embedded in the Dreamcast .rtu file, or were those things you threw in for the fun of it? Because that got me thinking about how we could spice up lego tracks just a little more if we could figure out a way to make one type of track piece a different surface type from the other, kind of like the Dreamcast does...

Some text
 
The compiled track has some invisible walls below ground

Ah, yes. The dreaded invisible walls. They aren't a problem when the track is taken from the PC .rtu file, but things get a little messy when you start exporting tracks using the Dreamcast .rtu file. Then, those invisible walls start popping up all over the place.

Another thing I noticed with them was that when I exported a larger-scale track, the invisible walls are less of an issue. But when I exported a 0.75 scale track, those pesky little buggers were everywhere and they even threw off the AI cars.

Reversed Mode Stuff
-------------------
So, the track I made and played with in the new editor wasn't capable of reversed... uh... stuff. I had reversed mode on in the config menu the whole time, and when I went to export my track, it gave me that reversed error, but I had no idea that it still exported the regular version until I went and read the changelog. :lol: Maybe you should put something in the reversed error message about how it still exported the track anyway, just not in reversed so that way people don't go and turn off the reversed setting in the config menu like I did ;)

The Track Walls and How They Work... or to be More Precise, Don't Work
----------------------------------------------------------------------
So, I experimented a little with the module color and color modifier options. I first found out that the color modifier doesn't take negative numbers, and that it converts negative numbers into weird positive numbers. For example, I put in -32 for a color modifier, and the editor read it as 224. This means that the track walls can only go from dark at the bottom, to light as you reach the top. At least in theory.

Also, I know from working with track walls and RVglue and stuff that they're kind of picky. But I can't help but notice that they should be doing this:
Spoiler: click to toggle


Other Suggestions
-----------------

  • Magically make a miracle potion that will get me some driving skill
  • Implement some option that will allow people to choose whether stuff like the lamps, boxes, track floor, etc. is exported into the final track or not (Kind of like the legosplit option in RVglue)
  • There was something else, too, but I honestly can't remember what it was. Oh well.
Whew. That was a lot.
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martensan on RVZT
 
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Kenny
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Thanks for the thorough report, now lets see...

Color Dialog Box:
Dave
 
Works perfectly fine here.
I know that it sometimes works the way you described it and sometimes it doesn't for some reason.
I don't know what the problem could be but since I have not many options on how to launch that Dialog I can't really do anything about it.
Thats why I'm open to suggestions for different ways to set the colors ;)

Dave
 
Now, this while the editor is compiling the track, or when you're compiling the editor? Because if it's the first one, there's no real noticeable error when it comes to the surfaces (although this is really only an issue with the Dreamcast .rtu file).
Its when you compile the track. Because during the optimization the editor tries to merge (collision) polygons where its possible to do to save space and polygons in the compiled track.
However as for the collision polygons, there is currently no check if the surfaces of 2 polygons that can be put together are different so they'll be merged no matter what (actually I already fixed that for the next update :P)
You can kind of see it in the second picture I posted in the first post.
On the left side you can see 2 modules with green surfaces, these are crossroad modules and are assigned correctly. However if you check the track flow you'll notice that the modules in between these 2 modules are crossroad modules as well, they just have the surface type of their previous module because the faces got merged.
And its just (more) noticeable in the dreamcast rtu because of the more apparent surfaces.
Dave
 
By the way, were those surface properties embedded in the Dreamcast .rtu file, or were those things you threw in for the fun of it? Because that got me thinking about how we could spice up lego tracks just a little more if we could figure out a way to make one type of track piece a different surface type from the other, kind of like the Dreamcast does...
The surfaces are included in the rtu file, I just kind of dynamically changed the surface types during conversion of the rtu file.
However I think it would be better to keep the surfaces theme dependent instead of changing them "on the fly".

Dave
 
Ah, yes. The dreaded invisible walls. They aren't a problem when the track is taken from the PC .rtu file, but things get a little messy when you start exporting tracks using the Dreamcast .rtu file. Then, those invisible walls start popping up all over the place.
Really? I didn't notice any difference between the 2 rtu files, especially none that would involve the racing experience.
But since I'm planning to fix that sometime anyway I'm going to take a look at the dc collision files as well.

Dave
 
Maybe you should put something in the reversed error message about how it still exported the track anyway, just not in reversed so that way people don't go and turn off the reversed setting in the config menu like I did
Well I tried to hint at that in the error message but if you can think about a better message that is within the approximate same length I can of course replace it :P
Here is the message:
Code
 
Reversed Error (only normal mode available):
Track doesn't form a loop, or has a step in a pipe.
The cursor will be placed at the last valid position.
Also as it says, the cursor will be placed at the last good position that the editor was checking so you only have to go backwards in the track to see with what module the editor had problems with and try to change that into a module that the editor accepts.
Basically any gaps are bad but also as I wrote it in the changelog, the jump module pretty much forces a one way in the track so if you have that placed anywhere you'll need to replace it.
But its probably better to change the default to off so the user doesn't get annoying errors (besides I think only a small percentage of people generally drive tracks in reverse mode as well).

Dave
 
So, I experimented a little with the module color and color modifier options. I first found out that the color modifier doesn't take negative numbers, and that it converts negative numbers into weird positive numbers. For example, I put in -32 for a color modifier, and the editor read it as 224. This means that the track walls can only go from dark at the bottom, to light as you reach the top. At least in theory.
Urgh, the colors. Well first of all allowed values are only 0-255 so the editor automatically forces outside values into that range. As for negative values, I might try to look into that.
In case you are interested, here's how the colors are calculated:
Code
 
red = (Height * ColorModifier.Red) + ModuleColor.Red
green = (Height * ColorModifier.Green) + ModuleColor.Green
blue = (Height * ColorModifier.Blue) + ModuleColor.Blue

So if you use the color modifier (its values are higher than 0,0,0) its best for the overall result if you set the module color to something dark and the color modifier not too high, otherwise you can get some weird results like you posted (is that first screenshot with modified values as well or are those original ones?).

Dave
 
Implement some option that will allow people to choose whether stuff like the lamps, boxes, track floor, etc. is exported into the final track or not (Kind of like the legosplit option in RVglue)
The lamps and boxes are part of he track walls so if you disable them, they are disabled as well.
Besides making an option specifically for those things would be troublesome if new themes are created because the option would either not work (if the theme's walls don't contain such things) or you would have to set up the walls similar to the original themes.
As for the track floor I guess you mean all the parts that get filled in the empty spaces in the editor? That might be an option to consider although I'm not sure why you would want a track without them.
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Kenny
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Hey guys, here's a new update 14.0117, changes are all written in the included changelog.

Also please let me know if I should continue posting updates on both here and on ORP or only keep everything in one forum.
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kay
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both of course, that goes without question ;)

thanks for hardwork!
----
startup error (only happens after this update)
Posted Image
works fine afterwards
It wouldn't hurt visiting my blog or Re-Volt frontend's :)
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Kenny
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Urgh you are right, I forgot to update the variable names in the theme.txt's :P

Anyway I fixed and reuploaded it so you just have to download it again (and replace everything or just the theme.txt's)
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Kenny
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Hey, I finally released a new update 15.0222 (also to be found in the first post now).
The amount of changes is rather small and definitely not near the number of changes I wanted to make for a next release but I figured it was time to show some activity again :P

The trackzone problem mentioned by nevermind (see ORP topic) should be fixed now and I also added functionality for command-line file loading like he suggested.
However the latter required me to change all relative paths in the code to absolute ones so it would definitely be helpful if you could check for any bugs regarding correct file writing (or rather writing in the correct paths).

With that being said, don't expect the next update to come anytime soon (unless there is a critical bug included in this one), working with the current/original codebase is getting more and more annoying so it might very well be that the next update includes some more serious changes (not sure yet though).

edit:
To avoid unecessary multiple consecutive posts I'll edit this here:
New public release 15.0301 which is meant as a hotfix and therefore contains no new features or anything like that.

For more info look into the changelog.
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stormraider
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Hi Kenny,

how does the TrackEditor compare with Windows 10?
Can anyone help me to get the Editor started without Graphicerrors etc?

I cant read the menu properly. :(
“How to succeed? Try hard enough.”
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Kenny
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Hi, judging from the pictures that you posted I'm guessing its a compatibility issue with Windows 10 (compatibility with older DirectX versions has been getting worse ever since Windows 8).

Unfortunately I don't have Windows 10 (and don't plan on getting it), so I can't investigate this issue myself. Maybe someone else who has Windows 10 can confirm whether they have these graphical issues as well? If not then it could also be an issue with your graphics driver or a combination of those things.

Also I have stopped working on the editor some time ago due to various reasons, but I'm thinking about sharing the source with some people mainly for preservation purposes, though any further modifications are also welcome.
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