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Unfinished Business Map-File Editor
Readme v. 0.3
is designed to allow users to place characters in JA2:UB map-files that
can not be placed by the UB-editor.
The UB-editor lets users place enemies and bloodcats on the map. In the game, however, other characters appear such as civilians, NPC's, RPC's and so on. These types of characters bring maps and campaigns to life, but can not be placed in the UB-editor.
Adding these characters requires users open the map-files in a hex-editor and changing several byte values. This is a laborious process and it's easy to make mistakes, rendering the map-file unusable.
This program is an attempt to make this process easier, so more users can create the maps and campaigns they want to.
The program requires users to add bloodcats to maps that can be replaced by the program.
Replacement possibilities are: civilians, NPC's, RPC's, militia, bugs, cows, crows, Madlab's Robot, Hamous' ice-cream truck, Dave's Hummer, hicks and both enemy and militia tanks.
release is a beta version of the program. That means not all functions
described below are available yet. When you attempt to do something that's
not ready yet, the program will bring this to your attention.
Beta Release 3 - July 29, 2001
inventory not written (use UB-editor to set inventory)
future updates: I won't commit to an update schedule so don't ask ;-).
|ZIP contents and installation|
The zip-file (UB-MFE-beta.zip) should include the following files:
If any of these files are missing, please report it to me (see 'Contact and availability information' section).
For now the installation of the program is quite simple: just unzip it to it's own folder and start the program
1. Create map
the UB-editor and create a map. Place bloodcats that will later be replaced
by UB-MFE. Make a note of the gridnumbers of the bloodcats (the number
in the bottom left of the screen). I suggest you write them down with
a comment about what you'll replace them with later on. Remember to save
the map and reload it to see if your bloodcats are still there (sometimes
the UB-editor doesn't save them correctly).
2. Check for bloodcats
Start UB-MFE. Open the map-file. Click on the 'Search' button to search for the bloodcats in the map, or if you've checked the 'AutoSearch' option (default setting), this will be done automatically. All found bloodcats will be added to a dropdown list. Pick the bloodcat you want to replace.
3. Replacement character
The 'Replacement' section has a dropdown list of replacement characters available. Depending on the choice of replacement character the 'Additional' section offers more options concerning the in-game behavior and appearance of the replacement.
if you replace a bloodcat with an enemy tank, remember that JA2:UB only
allows a maximum of 32 enemies! The tank counts as 1, so you should only
place 31 enemies. Of course 5 tanks means 27 enemies and so on. On some
systems loading a map with more than 32 enemies in the UB-editor crashes
the editor, so be carefull when placing enemy tanks.
name: This offers a list of NPC's available. This list is influenced
by the 'Game used:' option. Selecting JA2 presents those NPC's unique
to the original Jagged Alliance 2 game. Alternatively selecting JA2:UB
offers a list of possible NPC for use in the Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished
Business expansion game.
about the inventory screen:
5: Save your replacement
you're satisfied with your replacement character click on the 'Save' button
to write the data to the map-file.
6: Check your work
Open the altered map-file in the UB-editor to see if the changes have indeed been made. Also, play the map in the game to see if the situations you've created come out the way you wanted them to.
really all there is to it.
|Other issues & options|
Configuration & readme
the system menu you'll find the configuration options and the readme file.
Clicking on these will bring up a new window that displays either the
configuration options or this readme document. Under the configuration
options you'll be able to set the exe-file to be used when setting the
character's inventory. Setting the exe-file's location folder also assumes
that a 'exe-location\data\binarydata' folder is present that contains
the ItemDesc.dat or Itmdsc25.dat file. If one of these files is not present
an error-message will be generated and the inventory screen will be unavailable.
Making hicks, Militia and other group-soldiers
To make hicks and other group characters (including Militia) select one of the 3 soldier body-type at the top of the list. Use the group-list to determine to which group they belong (militia is at the bottom). As mentioned above, most of the groups don't really do anything in the game. The most important groups are 'Hicks', 'Kingpin' and of course 'Militia'. Selecting one of the soldier body-types and group 'none' is not possible and generates an error.
There a several thing that could be done by UB-MFE, but are not available. That is because it is much easier to do and change in the UB-editor. These are the settings for 'face direction', 'attitude' and 'order'. Especially 'face direction' is much easier done when you look at the complete map.
UB-MFE only for JA2:UB maps. The program happily searches and replaces
bloodcats in JA2 maps, but there are some internal differences between
the two. This could result in your map becoming unusable, so don't use
you want to create enemy tanks: set the group to 'None'.
The Hummer, ice-cream truck and robot are for use with maps that will be used in JA2. In JA2:UB maps they can be placed, but only as decoration for the map.
same goes for most NPC's (those not found in JA2:UB). They only interact
with the player in JA2 maps. Placing Tony in an JA2:UB does not result
in another gun trader. He will talk to you but hasn't got anything for
sale (probably left his goods in Arulco).
and RPC names are read by the program from an ini-file (NPC-RPC.ini).
If you plan on changing the names for a campaign, open this files in a
texteditor (for instance Notepad) and replace the names as desired. This
not really necessary, but will make using UB-MFE a little easier.
Theoretically you could have bloodcats and bugs fighting on your side. This would be unrealistic and I don't know (yet) how this will work in the game. So for the moment that is not possible without hex-editing the maps yourself. Once again, check the posts on the Lords of the Bytes Forum (www.lords-of-the-bytes.com). If I get enough requests and/or have the time to try it out, that may be changed in a future release.
The program searches only for bloodcats, although other characters could be found by the program with some modifications. This is done for 2 reasons: 1: replacing bloodcats doesn't interfere with the enemy count on maps (32 enemies required in map-files, only exception are enemy tanks); 2: the gridnumber is found at least twice in the map-files, searching for additional values that are unique to bloodcats lowers the chance for errors significantly.
PROGAM (UB-MFE) IS DISTRIBUTED AS IS AND COMES WITH NO WARRENTIES WHATSOEVER.
|Copyright & credits|
- Unfinished Business Map-File Editor is copyright©2001 by Roadkill.
program itself is freeware. You can distribute to anyone in anyway you
want as long as you don't charge any money for it and inform me about
it. Just make sure you include the complete zip and don't alter anything
(hey, it's copyright by me ;-). The only thing that may be altered is
the included NPC-RPC.ini file. The original ini-file must be included
in any release in a folder named 'backup'.
thanks go to everyone at the Lords
of the Bytes and Bear's
Pit Forums for their input and information.
|Contact & availability information|
program will be distributed through Lords
of the Bytes, so check there regularly for any updates.
It will also be available from my own website at www.roadkill71.com.
Comments, suggestions and bug reports can be placed on the Lords of the Bytes Forum (by registered Lords of the Bytes members only, so if you're not registered yet, i suggest you do so). I will try to respond to all subjects concerning the program and iron out any confirmed bugs as soon as possible.
You can also contact me by e-mail: Roadkill
|Now go and have fun... Roadkill|