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Battlezone 1 Patch Board / First things First...
November 30, 2009, 05:15:10 PM
This part of a post by Ken begs a question:

Quote from: Ultraken on November 30, 2009, 12:43:45 AM
On the other hand, it's all just ODF files.  If people are willing to come up with values that the community can agree on, I could include it in the package.  Getting the community to agree is the hard part.  :)

Now, I think anyone who's been around the various boards, both here and elsewhere, or been part of the 1.3 beta, or stood between Dx and Spock for any length of time, or or or...  

sorry, getting a bit off target...  hopefully you get the idea...

anyway, I think most will agree that the most controversy generated with the highest volume of BS thrown between attending monkeys has been...

(drum roll please)

when FIXING issues with the game bumped heads with CHANGING parts of the game.

C'mon, you have to admit that 99.999% of the controversy about the BZ2 1.3 patch has been the reaction of MP players coughVETScough to patch changes that affected unit performance and weapons balance.  Most of the complaints about BZE (Dx's BZ1) have been about similar changes to balance.

Every time things come to a head we see the same statement:  "Why can't you just FIX what's wrong and NOT change anything else?".

So, the question is, and it's all up to Ken, should 'extra' changes be made or should he take his own advice when it comes to anything other than bug fixes:

Quote from: Ultraken on November 30, 2009, 12:43:45 AM
"Run away!  Run awaaaaaayy!"  :-D

Flower Mound, TX – April 3, 2009 - FUNimation® Entertainment has acquired digital, broadcast, DVD and merchandising rights to the megahit anime series "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" from Aniplex and debuting on Japan's MBS and TBS nationally at 5:00 pm on April 5th.

Starting Thursday, April 9 at 10:00 a.m. CT, FUNimation will deliver high-quality, free, original Japanese dialogue accompanied by English subtitles, streaming episodes of studio Bones' new Fullmetal Alchemist via www.funimation.com as well as key video-sharing partners.

The first episode aired today, April 5, at 5pm in Japan.  Imagine my surprise at 9pm EST when I read about it in the past tense on Wikipedia...  Talk about up to the minute breaking news...  :lol:

I love this time period... and how the Internet is erasing distance and time.  I find as I become more and more hooked on anime as my main source of video entertainment that I'm watching more TV on the computer than on my actual TV...

I got hooked on BLEACH on YouTube, followed it to Dattebayo when they got serious about banning their fansubs from Youtube, which introduced me to the world of Torrents.  This took me to Naruto Shippuden, as I'd already watched Naruto (and Bleach) on Cartoon Network and was curious about the sequel.  I greatly respect Dattebayo for their decision to stop subbing Shippuden now that Hulu and Crunchyroll are streaming them...  it's a good sign for Anime fans that some effort is being made to provide current Japanese releases outside of Japan, even if it's subtitled instead of dubbed.  (actually starting to prefer that, if the subbing is done accurately and well.)

I've long been a fan of Big O, Inuyasha, Dragonball/Z, and the other Cartoon Network offerings.  Now Hulu and Crunchyroll as well as Funimation are taking us US Anime fans seriously, at least.  I've also been watching Guren Lagan (sp?) on SciFi, very strange show...

Of course, the DVR makes it simple...  don't know how I lived without it.  :)

Overdrive Terminal / when I ruled the world...
March 23, 2009, 06:04:23 PM
I'm a little drunk, sorry, but I post well in such times.

I know there's some controversy about this song, but for some reason it strikes a chord with me... (no, not an intentional pun, but I'll take it)

Coldplay - Vida la Vida

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field

For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

I could get all philisophical, likening the lyrics to looking back after half a life spent (I hope)...  but it would be lost on many of you...

I could get slightly depressed, given I've imbibed depressant liquid (orange flavored vodka, quite a time saver!) but I feel more thoughtful than depressed (oops, there's a tax ad on TV.  Now I'm depressed... :) )

Instead I'll be patronizing...

Right now many of you rule the world, but you don't even know it.  Many of you are thinking "When I get out of High School", or "When I'm done with College", or "When I get married", or some other silly thing that basically means "right now sucks and someday it won't suck", or that you just have to get through wherever your life is now and things will be wonderful, or some other such nonsense.

Take it from me, there's no place like now.  You should be making now the best time in your life, because it very likely is.  And next year will then be the best time of your life.  And the year after that...  that is, if you're doing it right.

Now, I'm not saying everything will suck in the future, or that everything is great right now, I'm saying that it's up to you.  YOU decide, at all times, how you will react to the universe no matter what it throws at you.  Your will, your mind, your heart, all determine who and what you are in this universe.

Some advice from an old timer:

Put aside your fears, your anxiety, your worries.  Learn as much as you can.  Love as much as you can.  Feel love and fun and pain and hurt and joy and sadness and...  LIVE   Make each moment something you'll never regret. 


I know, I know, I'm old.  Many of you are young enough that this won't apply...

As a fan of Battlezone did you/have you ever:

Have one of those huge Solar System posters with painted planets long before we even had decent pictures of the real things?  (can't find one on the net but I've got one on a shelf here, and here's the modern equivalent:)

Have the little green "army guys"?

Think "Major Matt Mason" was just about the coolest thing ever?  (remember, this is BEFORE video games of ANY kind, even pre-pong)

Suffer through early UHF reception just to watch "Space:1999" and see REAL looking space craft?  (no dig against Star Trek, which I ate/slept/breathed, but it was very futuristic while Space looked like NOW...)

Read everything Heinlein, Norton, or Asimov wrote?  The "Terra Calling" chapter of Norton's "Star Rangers" still gives me chills...

And people wonder why a game like "Battlezone" still holds onto me after a decade of playing...  :)


Maps and Modding / DLL wizards? OM in the house?
January 02, 2009, 11:27:36 AM
I've been working on adding support to the stock Strategy02.dll for several BZC specific items.  The biggy is using a Player life limit instead of Recycler existence to end the game.  I've got this working but don't know how to handle Teamplay when a Player hits the end of his life...

Right now when someone dies I'm doing the following to 'NewPerson', the newly created Player.:

   if((m_PlayerLifeLimit > 1) && (m_TeamLifeCount[Team] >= m_PlayerLifeLimit))
           //move them, change them, forget them
         Where.x = 5000;
         Where.z = 5000;
         Where.y = TerrainFindFloor(Where.x, Where.z) + 1.0f;
         SetAsUser(NewPerson, Team);

Unfortunately the part I like, the 'MakeInert', brutally assigns the person to Team 0 and a FIXME error is generated because there's nobody on Team 1.  I'm pouring over the rest of the DLL but I don't see how the game handles something like someone leaving, which is basically what I want to do.

I'd prefer to just dump the player on Team 0, maybe give him a rubber band shooter for a weapon, and let him run around as a ghost, but not if it's going to generate an error. 

Any of you DLL wizards have any ideas on how to handle this?

Battlezone 2 / Why Walkers?
December 29, 2008, 04:24:49 PM
Every now and then someone posts how stupid the whole "Walker" technology is...  which casts a shadow over games like BZ2, Mechwarrior, or any game that has giant, multi-legged robotic machines in it.

I have to admit that, while it feels amazingly primitive, the whole concept of giant walkers is somehow very attractive to me.  I know the Japanese love them, from GITS to Evangelion to Big O, their anime is full of them...  (watching Lionbarrel now, good mechs...)  Many sci-fi type games give at the very least a nod to Walkers, including them even if the game revolves around infantry combat, or hovercraft...  I know my favorite BZ2 unit, the Krahanos, gives me goosebumps when I lead a squad of them into battle...  :)

The real question is, does such technology make sense?  Why, if you can hover, would you need legs?  And why, if you can't hover, would legs be better than wheels or treads?

Now, in BZ/BZ2 the use of Walkers is explained by the limits of biometal hovering.  When a unit gets too massive it can't hover anymore, so the Ancient Cthonians used Walker technology for their most massive creations.

Many other movies and games show giant walkers as well, so the 'larger means leggier' rule of thumb does seem to hold.  If the technology has such a limit then it makes sense to have something other than hovercraft.

Still, why would legs be better than wheels or treads?  To answer this I give you "Big Dog":


I laughed out loud when I saw this, not out of derision but out of the joy of seeing the technology actually working...  :)   Watch closely when someone tries to kick Big Dog over, or when it walks on ice.  I found that very cool.

As to why legs instead of wheels or treads, watch when it climbs the hill of broken cinder blocks, or through the valley of small rocks and boulders.  I agree that treads and wheels can do a decent job of making over that type of terrain, but as someone who used to be an avid off-roader I can attest to the number of rims I bent, tires I blew, and times I scraped my frame, bent break lines, and blew U-joints that it's very hard on that technology. 

Look at Big Dog, and realize it's being done with hydraulics and simple sensors.  Consider how incredibly crude it is, how much of a first step it is, and where it can go from here.  Imagine something a decade from now, running over that broken terrain like a giant daddy-long-legs spider, dodging and jumping and scrambling up and down cliff walls, all the while firing rockets or big cannons or miniguns or heck, even tossing grenades with a few extra tendrils...   yeeeeha!

Anyway, to me walkers are a very logical extension to the techology of war.  At it's most crude you'd have the Mech's lumbering along on two legs, overheating and spewing rockets/bullets/mortars/shells.  At the other end of the spectrum you'd have the Matrix Squiddies, hovering, flying, leaping, tearing, all teeth and tendrils making up the ultimate killing machine.   Inbetween would be every other walker in every other game and movie ever made...



Overdrive Terminal / They've locked on to my tricorder!
November 13, 2008, 06:09:14 PM

Well I must've really pissed off the IT gods at work.  I mean, in our whole network who but I would be surfing a tiny little site dedicated to a ten year old dead game?

Bastards blocked BZUNIVERSE. 

"No business value" is what comes up when I try it.  It's not like I spent more than my break time surfing, but still...   to me it means some poor flunky in India probably had to actually surf here and see what it was about, then mark it as dead.

Bah...  back to Solitaire on breaks.  Idiots...   

Makes me feel a LOT less guilty about all the stuff I do behind IT's back...  :)

Modding Tutorials / Uncle Avatar's Scriptor Time...
April 22, 2008, 06:41:05 PM
This is my thread for discussing my own philosophies about BS-er's DLL Scriptor.  I think I have a unique perspective given that I was basically handed 25 stories and had to figure out how to duplicate them in the Scriptor (talking about the BZ1 SP missions, if you've been living in a cave for the last few years...)

I'm going to start with basic philosophies and techniques, getting into specific code later on...


My Scripts always starts with a 'Main' routine...  [routine,Main,1,true]   My background started with linear programming in Basic and I usually fall back on that to begin a project.  I've also found it helps with debugging/testing, and with keeping things straight as far as having a place to return to as the mission progresses if you keep one 'master' routine and have it control the rest.

Yes, yes... "One routine to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them..."

I use 'Main' to first set up the pieces present in the mission.  Being part of the 1.3 patch process and building/tweaking hundreds of units for eight races I learned the very very very VERY hard way that you NEVER just drop a unit in a map and save it.   This will make you cry when something changes, whether it's the patch or you tweaking the model or ODF, and the map no longer loads.

There are also things that don't change easily once a unit is saved inside a map, like ammo/hull/addammo...  where you'll find they keep their initial values even after you change the ODF, and only newly created tanks take on the new ODF values.  Far better to spawn everything needed via the Script.

So rule number one is NEVER drop a unit in a map.  Instead, spawn it via a position or path point.  I prefer path points but some people aren't comfortable in the Shift-F9 screen so make a list of positions instead.

Back to the Scriptor....  in order to speed things up when setting up your map I initially run Main at a very high speed...

//my stuff

//bad guys

etc....  I do have a set of pathpoint names but they've changed over the course of doing the missions, and usually now I default to the ODF name and a number.  I use paper maps to decide what goes where, and the pathpoint name helps me make sure I don't spawn the wrong item.  Set up your stuff, enemy stuff, nav beacons, set pieces, animals, whatever you need, then reset the run speed...


Back when I started scripting I'd set up other routines with a delay before kicking in, to give Main time to create everything.  Remember, all of the routines marked as active start all at the same time, so you could easily have a routine start up before whatever it's watching has even been created.  The easiest way to avoid this issue is to set up all of the sub-routines as [routine,subroutine,0,false] initially, and turn them on in Main when the time is right.


Now you want to get into the guts of an SP mission.  That means giving out objectives at the least, and playing a full blown cutscene at the most.  Do that right in Main, and then start up whatever supporting routine you need.

  Display,Obj1,white   //"Retrieve the Relic at Nav 1"
  StartSound,"Mission1-A.wav"  //"Commander, get out there and get that relic!"

Now, there are some tricks you can do if you want to keep things strictly inside of Main, such as shutting it off at this point.


You can then have the WatchRelic routine turn it back on and it'll pick up where it left off.  I tend to avoid this, though, as it's a sure way of having nothing further happen when some yahoo decides to do something odd and break your script, never restarting Main...   :)

At this point you might want to wait a bit and then send the enemy after the Relic.


Then you may want to wait a bit before upping the pressure...


And finally, set up a timer to end the mission.
  Display,Obj2,white   //"Enemy reinforcements arrive in:"
  StartSound,"Mission1-B.wav"  //"Commander, things look dark"

Now you've got the basic framework for whatever will happen in your mission.  It's laid out in such a way that you can go down it and fill in the missing routines and, when testing, jump around from section to section easily.

For example, you may not want to play the first 5 minutes over and over and over as you test the mission.  Easy enough then to put a


in there right after everything is set up, to jump you right to turning the enemy loose to get the Relic...  saves a LOT of time when you do this, as you can perfect each section and jump right to what you need to test, one after another.

So there you have the basic philosophy I use when scripting.  Make the general outline happen in Main, setting up the pieces, giving out the orders, playing the voiceovers and cutscenes, and controlling the flow such that you can jump forward in sections for testing.


So, was this helpful?  It only took a few minutes to type (love the spellcheck in Firefox... :) ) and if it's helpful at all I'll keep going...

Maps and Modding / MOD THIS...
April 14, 2008, 04:26:10 PM
Lol...  I've seen a lot of things around here but this is still a challenge:


I want my WMG!!!   :)   lol...

Maps and Modding / Team number list? Anyone?
April 10, 2008, 05:34:00 AM
Does anyone know, have, or can point to the list of what team numbers are what?    Is it different if you're in MP?  Is it handled by DLL or part of the EXE?  I know I've seen a list before but didn't grab it...

I've got to make one race an enemy of everyone, like 3way in FE, for an SP mission.

I personally think the Scriptor and/or DLL creation could use their own sub-boards.  I know there's been a lot of help given here and there, but it would be nice to have it all in one place.

Anyway, as a contribution to anyone wanting to learn more about the phenomenally easy to use DLL Scriptor by BS-er, here's some code that reads the difficulty level the Player has selected in the Options/Play screen and runs different code depending on that choice.  This is something I'd been trying to figure out for some time and am now incorporating into BZClassic to make the 'Hard' setting take you beyond the original BZ1 missions.

To read the Difficulty setting:

IFaceGetInt,"options.instant.int1"   //reads the difficulty they chose
  StoreResult,Difficulty                  //stores the result in the variable "Difficulty"

  Add,Difficulty,0                         //The Scriptor can't compare two values directly (no "if A = B")
  IfEQ,0,EASY                             //"Easy" reads as zero, if Difficulty + 0 = 0 Goto EASY
  IfEQ,1,MEDIUM                         //"Medium" reads as one, if Difficulty + 0 = 1 Goto MEDIUM
  IfEQ,2,HARD                             //"Hard" reads as two, if Difficulty + 0 = 2 Goto HARD

EASY:       //Go here if they chose '0' or 'Easy'.
  //place your code here, like this line that makes a Warrior
  GoTo,ENDDIFFICULTY     //When done with your code jump over the rest

MEDIUM:    //Go here if they chose '1' or 'Medium'
  //again, your code for medium goes here, like making TWO Warriors

  GoTo,ENDDIFFICULTY    //Again, you have to jump over the rest when done

  //your code for hard goes here, like making THREE Warriors

ENDDIFFICULTY:    //and here we are, all done.

Now, if all you were doing was making warriors you can condense it all down:

IFaceGetInt,"options.instant.int1"   //reads the difficulty they chose
  StoreResult,Difficulty                  //stores the result in the variable "Difficulty"

  Add,Difficulty,0                         //The Scriptor can't compare two values directly (no "if A = B")
  IfEQ,0,EASY                             //"Easy" reads as zero, if Difficulty + 0 = 0 Goto EASY
  IfEQ,1,MEDIUM                         //"Medium" reads as one, if Difficulty + 0 = 1 Goto MEDIUM
  IfEQ,2,HARD                             //"Hard" reads as two, if Difficulty + 0 = 2 Goto HARD

HARD:   //'hard' will make three warriors
MEDIUM: //'medium' will make two warriors
EASY:  //'easy' will make one warrior

//and here we are, all done.

Keep in mind that the DLL is run progressively, and the setting read at the time that the code is run.  That means with this code they can play on 'Hard' until they cry, and then drop down to 'Easy' to get through the tough part, going back to 'Hard' again to say they made it to the end on 'Hard'...   :)


Maps and Modding / So, mines don't use ammo?
January 12, 2008, 06:36:12 PM
Is there a way to make a mine actually use the ammo it shows?  So far it looks like the only thing they respect is their lifespan... 

Am I missing something?  I need a mine that uses ammo...

Maps and Modding / Make me a billboard...
January 10, 2008, 07:35:35 PM
Does anyone know if there's a way to have an emitter just hang a texture in mid-air?  Think of an 'electronic billboard' sort of thing, where the emitter puts up a texture which fades away, then the emitter puts it back up again...

I suck at effects and haven't had any luck figuring out if this can be done...

Is that an option for weapons?

That is, can we turn it off in the odf for a specific weapon?


hmmm, better add:

"If so, how?"


**Note that if we ever discussed this the brain cells present in my head at that time are LONG gone...
Public 1.3 Beta 2 Archive / Don't forget to...
March 05, 2006, 06:36:57 PM
Bringing up the 'fresh install' bit made me remember this.

Each time I work from a fresh install I have to go back into Options and:

1. Turn MP voices back on for AI units.
2. Re-select 'Broadband'.
3. Re-tune the 'Controls' settings back up to the 150% or so I like.

Make sure you're browsing through the options screens yourselves if you've done a fresh install...

I see it in the 1.3 pak file, and found it inspirational for something needed in the BZ1 mod.  I'm looking to find out where it came from to give proper credit.

Everyone will want to know who to hate later...    :lol:

Interesting.  Not BZ2 per se, but something to think about...

I'm home sick today, bored out of my mind, so I try the HALO for Windows demo.

Now, I'm a tech geek, pretty computer savvy, and pretty sure my system is up to the task of any current game.

So when the HALO demo bombs bigtime I figure it's something in THEIR game that's wrong.  Then I try the Far Cry demo.  Same thing.  Boom!  Bigtime crash, exception gathering, etc..  Hmm, maybe it's not "Them", maybe it's "Me"...

SO, off to Invidia, grab the 56.64 drivers which were a bit newer than mine (not by much, though) and toss them in.   Scandisk, Defrag, check my DX install.  Everything looks good.  

BLAM!  Halo dies again.  Far Cry starts but dies instantly when I move.


SO, I fire up MSI Live Update.  (I have MSI mainboard and vid card)  New version of Live Update, reboot, new VIA mainboard drivers, reboot, new VGA card bios, reboot...

HALO is very nice.  :)   I love the main weapon I used, the WartHog.  Seriously, you almost never have to get out of the thing and nothing short of a nuke seems to hurt it (beyond flipping it over).  It kills anything it touches and goes anywhere...  sweet.

Anyway, a lesson here.  It's not always the game.  No matter how up-to-date or high tech you think your system is there's always something...  Today's games require tomorrow's drivers...  VGA drivers are not the whole picture, there's also your AGP driver, etc. in the mix when gaming.