Parsing Nova Resource Files

A personal project.

Man, it's been a long time since I've posted around here.

Is there anybody out there who can tell me how (or point me to where I might be able to find out how) I parse Nova's resource files? I was playing Nova while taking a break from reading up on Adobe Flex development, when it hit me: a great way for me to learn how to use Flex and AIR to interact with files would be to learn how to parse Nova's resource files. It would require lots of in-depth programming and hacking, and it would be a long, painful project...but quite rewarding and fun.

I'm using Adobe Flex Builder 3 on a mac running 10.5 (soon to be running 10.6). I can do Windows if I need to; I'm basically willing to go to any length that costs me no more money in order to learn how to do this.

I've used programs like ResEdit and MissionComputer and EVNEW to edit and make Nova resource files, so I know it's possible for indie devs to learn how to do it, but there doesn't seem to be a tutorial on it.

Are they just cleverly-disguised files of another generic, readily-available format? Is there some simple trick to parsing them and getting the data out of them? Or is it as crunchy as it seems?

I would be very happy if I could either get access to MissionComputer's source code or perhaps Mr. David Arthur himself. There is no mention on his site at evula's domain of how to gain access to either of these things/people, and just a link here. So here I go, posting away at the Developer's Corner, hoping there's somebody out there with a helpful signpost.

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Dash

hmm.

David Arthur's email used to be in the bowels of the Ambrosia web site.

maybe it's as simple as Darthur or Davidarthur at ambrosiasw.com?

Try posting on his Mission Computer update release to get his attention or PM him.
Sorry nothing better.

Didn't you write for a webstory one time?
I too, am an oldie that just returned to find a ghost town. 😕

I recommend you check out this web page. There are lots of tools that can parse nova files different ways, like ConText and ResStore for converting nova files to and from spreadsheets, and Mish and Mash for converting mission descriptions to/from text files.

@REDchigh -

Yeah, I just thought to look him up on the forums, and I was literally just about to send him a PM/email when I noticed you replied here.

I'm not sure about writing for a webstory, but I did write a story on fanfiction.net and I did sign up to do some work on 3000 and Heretic...but that was all a long time ago. I may have written elsewhere or elsewhen, but my mind is like a colander; even the noodles sometimes weasel their way out. 😛

But yeah, I'll try tacking a post onto the end of his MC update thread if I don't get a reply.

Thank you.

@Geek -

Holy Magikarp, thank you. I will be tooling through these...tools...for a while trying to see if I can leverage them to further my campaign for world domination...I mean...did I say that out loud?

Thank you, also!

<EDIT>

SAD FACE IS SAD.

Half the links are to ftp.ambrosiasw.com, and don't work. I was really interested in ConText and ResStore as well as Mish and Mash. They seemed like they might be good leads...especially if the source is available someplace.

(Further edit: I looked around and I can't access anything on the ftp site because of a DNS error as reported by Cyberduck, the cute squeaky FTP client. Must be my local DNS here at work. I'll try again from home.)

</EDIT>

This post has been edited by Dash_Merc : 08 March 2010 - 05:54 PM

QUOTE (Dash_Merc @ Mar 8 2010, 04:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Are they just cleverly-disguised files of another generic, readily-available format? Is there some simple trick to parsing them and getting the data out of them? Or is it as crunchy as it seems?

Standard Macintosh plug-ins are just ordinary resource files with a few custom resource types. (This is farther from most people's experience now than it was when the game was first released. In 1996, or indeed any time prior to the release of Mac OS X, the workings of the resource fork were essential basic knowledge to anyone at all interested in how the Macintosh functioned.)

The Windows .rez files are a custom format originally supplied by Contraband when they did the port; you can find the specification in <{POST_SNAPBACK}> this post. It has the advantage of being cross-platform, as well as allowing much larger files without corruption.

QUOTE (REDchigh @ Mar 8 2010, 05:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

David Arthur's email used to be in the bowels of the Ambrosia web site.

I used to have an evula.net address, but I mostly received questions about plug-in development which had no real reason to go to me rather than the community at large, which is why I now direct people here. I find that people who need to get in touch with me can usually find a way. 🙂

QUOTE (Dash_Merc @ Mar 8 2010, 05:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Half the links are to ftp.ambrosiasw.com, and don't work. I was really interested in ConText and ResStore as well as Mish and Mash. They seemed like they might be good leads...especially if the source is available someplace.

Sorry about that; when Ambrosia redesigned their add-ons page, most of the download links on my site broke. While I've updated most of them (including even the list of old MissionComputer versions), I haven't got around to doing the same for the ResEdit and NovaTools page.

dash_merc-
you worked on 3000?

Maybe that's where I know you from, since that's MY TC!
Get back to work, we have a TC to churn out. lol..

Thank you David Arthur. That is incredibly helpful, combined with your PM reply. It looks like I need to do some research. 😄

Also, REDchigh: yes, I worked on 3000, but I can't remember what it was I was doing. I'd sign back up, but between work, my programming studies, and me making some sprites for a friend's college game project; I'm completely swamped for free time. I haven't even started making the sprites I mentioned, and the project is due by the end of this month. cringe

This post has been edited by Dash_Merc : 10 March 2010 - 08:30 PM

QUOTE (Dash_Merc @ Mar 10 2010, 11:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thank you David Arthur. That is incredibly helpful, combined with your PM reply. It looks like I need to do some research. 😄

Also, REDchigh: yes, I worked on 3000, but I can't remember what it was I was doing. I'd sign back up, but between work, my programming studies, and me making some sprites for a friend's college game project; I'm completely swamped for free time. I haven't even started making the sprites I mentioned, and the project is due by the end of this month. cringe

Hmm maybe in a few months- I doubt I'll finish it before november or so since I'm working alone

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