Problem Solving

It seems I've run into a problem with Anathema. Between the chapter 1-2 release and my work on chapters 3-4, I had to rearrange a bunch of resources to make them fit. In particular, I had to overwrite a couple dozen missions because there simply weren't enough resource files otherwise, and I would have had to split it into two plugs. Even before the EVN 1.1.0 changes, that would have been a huge hassle.

So anyways that all got done after a painful couple weeks of renumbering every mïsn and every dësc. Things worked fine. Then yesterday, I started a pilot from scratch to make sure there were no problems with the original Fed campaign. Welp, turns out there are.

I'd thought that the core campaigns all followed a system of offer text = index# + 4000, brief = index# + 5000, etc. But evidently they don't, and I'm getting conflicting dëscs. This leaves me with a few options. I can:

a. Go through the data files by hand, finding which resources conflict with mine, change my resources to fit in with the stock Nova dëscs, and do this for every campaign
b. Do option a, but only with the Fed campaign and offshoots, and disable the other campaigns (some were already gutted to make more room for missions)
c. Do option b, but in reverse: change the stock Nova dëscs so they go by my rule.
d. Split Anathema into smaller plugins, several for the stock campaign (just the changes to ships, outfits, and a few mission bits), and several for when you start the Anathema portion.

D is obviously the least work, but it has a few problems. First, you have to make people actually use the plugs properly. This can be done by putting each plugin bundle in a separate folder, and writing the directions on the folder names ("insert when you start a new pilot," "insert when you finish the Fed campaign"). Also, you can put in reminder missions that trigger every time you land, telling you something like "You haven't completed the Fed storyline. Please remove plugins XYZ" or "You've completed the Fed storyline. Please insert plugins ABC." The second problem is the simple hassle for the player. Having to quit to start the next portion, or having to remember which characters are where in the storyline, etc.

Still, I don't think I could get the other options done in a reasonable time frame. Does anyone have any other ideas, or have I pretty much exhausted my options?

P.S. Frustrating as it may be to be ground to a halt suddenly, it sure feels good to be working out the kinks on the forums again. 😄

This post has been edited by Archon : 23 October 2011 - 12:33 PM

IMO, I've waited this long for the final chapters of Anathema. A little longer wait just to prevent having to quit EVN in order to continue is fine by me. In English, that means I say do anything but option D. 😛

As for other ideas, everything that comes to mind is horribly inefficient compared to what you've already outlined.

Options A and B both sound reasonable.

@archon, on 23 October 2011 - 12:32 PM, said in Problem Solving:

a. Go through the data files by hand, finding which resources conflict with mine, change my resources to fit in with the stock Nova dëscs, and do this for every campaign

The application Duped by w00tware, makers of NovaTools, can locate the duplicate resources for you. ConText and ResStore, also by w00tware, can make it really easy for you to edit—in this case, change the ID of—the resources, in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet view can also help locate available resource IDs quickly.

And while I’m mentioning programs, I’ll put in a bump for Mission BitMap (Carbon) even though it may not be directly relevant to the task at hand.

(Just got internet access again after being down for most of the week.)

I only found a few dëscs that conflicted in my playtesting, but going through the conflicts will probably be rather time consuming just because some of the resources are supposed to conflict on account of overwriting text from missions I gutted. Also, I'm borderline OCD when it comes to the way I like to structure things, so there's a good chance it will be more work than it needs to be just on account of wanting to impose my own arbitrary system onto Nova.

I'll give ResStore and Duped a try this weekend, assuming I can get SheepShaver or something similar working on my iMac. Thanks for the tips!

@archon, on 27 October 2011 - 05:08 PM, said in Problem Solving:

I'll give ResStore and Duped a try this weekend, assuming I can get SheepShaver or something similar working on my iMac. Thanks for the tips!

All the w00tWare utilities run natively in OS X, at least in Snow Leopard. I don’t know about Lion.

It’s only NovaTools proper, being a modification to ResEdit, that requires OS 9.

@qaanol, on 27 October 2011 - 05:18 PM, said in Problem Solving:

All the w00tWare utilities run natively in OS X, at least in Snow Leopard. I don’t know about Lion.

I don’t believe any of them were ever updated to be Intel-native, which rules out 10.7 support, but they’ll run on any previous version of Mac OS X.

Hm, so they do. I'm running 10.6.8 and they seem to be working (although for some reason I had a little trouble extracting them). May take some doing, but I'm sure I'll get it figured out.

Also, I hope I'll be able to use these to re-ID Anathema's outfits. They're a total mess right now.

(edit) Well I went ahead with Duped, but I think it's lying to me. I can't get it to find any resource conflicts, even when I copied dësc 7000 from Nova Data 5 into Anathema Data 1. I've put the three data files with mission descriptions (Anathema Data 1, Nova Data 5, Nova Data 6) into the same folder, and run it both by telling Duped to run on the folder they're in and to run it on all three files together. I get the report telling me it's gone through all three and checked 1906 resources, but it's not telling me there are conflicts. Any idea what the problem could be?

Also, it seems to work fine when I tell it to just list the resources.

This post has been edited by Archon : 28 October 2011 - 07:53 PM

@archon, on 28 October 2011 - 06:07 PM, said in Problem Solving:

Also, I hope I'll be able to use these to re-ID Anathema's outfits. They're a total mess right now.

A strategy I recommend is to use ConText to make a spreadsheet, then do the following:

Duplicate the column that lists the resource IDs and leave it alone so it always shows the “original” ID. Renumber the resources as you see fit. Then use the two columns side-by-side showing old and new ID numbers, to let you find-and-replace all occurrences of Gxxx, Dxxx, and Oxxx, as well as ModMax targets.

I don’t have a simple one-step method for doing the replace, but perhaps something like, “Search for ‘Gxxx’, replace all with ‘TempGyyyNewValue’, and do so for all outfits. Then search for ‘TempGyyyNewValue’ and replace all with ‘Gyyy’” There’s probably a way to use macros to automate that process.

Finally, get rid of the duplicate column you made, and use ResStore to put the result back into plug-in files.

Note on ResStore: it needs a very specific file format. The text input file has to use Western (Mac OS Roman) encoding with Classic Mac (CR) line breaks. TextWrangler can easily save in that format. Also, you need to get rid of all the extra <tab> characters from blank cells when you copy out of a spreadsheet program. I just do a find-and-replace-all on <tab><line break> replacing with <line break>, and repeat until all the extra tabs at the ends of lines are gone.

This post has been edited by Qaanol : 28 October 2011 - 07:52 PM

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