EV Character Limit

So, EV Classic for EVN feels chunky. I'd all but decided to just write my little plug-in for EV, but when I tried to test out the first mission it reminded me of the horrible character limit! Those mission boxes sure are tiny. So, two questions:

1. Does anyone know the exact limits for the different mission descriptions (the offer box seems to be smaller than the briefing box, so I don't think they're all the same length)?

2. Is there any possible way to get around these limitations (other than just switching to EVN)?

I believe the Ditl and Dlog resources handle things like text-boxes, buttons, and menus; but I'm entirely sure. It's been a few years since I've used resedit.

@reclusiveone, on 20 July 2012 - 08:48 AM, said in EV Character Limit:

I believe the Ditl and Dlog resources handle things like text-boxes, buttons, and menus; but I'm not entirely sure. It's been a few years since I've used resedit.

Those two do handle text boxes, buttons, etc. However, they won't tell you what the text limits are, nor will they allow you to change those limits; they're hardcoded into the engine. I think the Nova Bible specifies what the limits are for EVN, but I don't know how to find out the limits for EVC.

Oh, now I feel dumb. I must've interpreted character length limitations he encountered as a result of small text-box sizes because of this:

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Those mission boxes sure are tiny

The character limit for descs is 8192 characters, as encountered by myself. This includes returns characters and such, so if you get near this limit don't be surprised if Nova decides to cut you off mid sentence.

Upon re-reading he's in stock EV, not EVC for EVN. I feel stupid now.

Yeah, I didn't actually mean the character limit for the desc resource itself or anything, but actually displaying it in-game. I wrote a test mission and it just cuts it off. I guess if I think about it it is probably a matter of lines rather than characters, but still I'd need to know how many characters to line.

Anyway, any hope for a workaround? ditl and dlog? Is it possible to somehow change the size of the boxes or add a scrolling capability?

@harimogura, on 21 July 2012 - 07:08 AM, said in EV Character Limit:

Yeah, I didn't actually mean the character limit for the desc resource itself or anything, but actually displaying it in-game.

At least I was half-right. Anyway, I'd love to say that you could add a scrolling functionality with a little bit of tinkering. If memory serves, EVC uses very basic text-boxes created by the OS (like java). Unfortunately, I can't confirm this because the only OS 9 I had access to died last year.

Scrolling isn’t an option, as the code simply isn’t there prior to EV Nova , but by adjusting the DITL and DLOG resources you should at least be able to make the boxes bigger.

Hey that sounds promising! I don't suppose there is a guide or any kind of info for editing those is there? It seems like Mission Computer includes a way to edit them, but it looks a bit confusing. I'm not sure what is what in there. Any help will be very much appreciated.

EDIT: Actually, I seem to have figured it out a little bit. I stupidly didn't realize that the ditl and dlog stuff was in EV Titles. You can totally make them huge! Has any plug-in ever done this before? Seems like something people would have definitely wanted in the past.

In any case, I'm still experimenting, and not quite sure what all the different boxes are for. ("Single Mission" and "Desc Dialog" (the ones that seem to be the ones I'm after) have 9 and 5 boxes respectively. They're not labeled so I don't know what most of them do.) So, advice or knowledge from anyone with experience screwing around with these two resources is still very much appreciated.

Oh, and what is the difference between ditl and dlog by the way?

This post has been edited by Harimogura : 22 July 2012 - 06:50 AM

@harimogura, on 22 July 2012 - 04:49 AM, said in EV Character Limit:

Has any plug-in ever done this before? Seems like something people would have definitely wanted in the past.

Occasionally, but mostly for EV Nova. Screens were usually a lot smaller back when significant numbers of people were playing the first two games.

@harimogura, on 22 July 2012 - 04:49 AM, said in EV Character Limit:

In any case, I'm still experimenting, and not quite sure what all the different boxes are for. ("Single Mission" and "Desc Dialog" (the ones that seem to be the ones I'm after) have 9 and 5 boxes respectively. They're not labeled so I don't know what most of them do.)

Unfortunately, EV’s dialogue boxes don’t use standard system controls that an editor can show, but rather ‘user items’ — empty boxes that the engine fills in at run-time. So there’s really no alternative to working out what each one does other than guessing from their positions, or by trial and error.

Also, the engine recognises the boxes by their item numbers, so make sure you don’t re-order them.

@harimogura, on 22 July 2012 - 04:49 AM, said in EV Character Limit:

Oh, and what is the difference between ditl and dlog by the way?

DLOG creates the box, and DITL supplies the contents. In MissionComputer (as in ResEdit) a single editor handles both resources simultaneously, regardless of which one you clicked.

@david-arthur, on 22 July 2012 - 08:02 AM, said in EV Character Limit:

Occasionally, but mostly for EV Nova. Screens were usually a lot smaller back when significant numbers of people were playing the first two games.

That makes sense. I guess I'd better break out the old clamshell to make sure things looks reasonable before deciding on a final size for the boxes.

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Unfortunately, EV’s dialogue boxes don’t use standard system controls that an editor can show, but rather ‘user items’ — empty boxes that the engine fills in at run-time. So there’s really no alternative to working out what each one does other than guessing from their positions, or by trial and error.

Yeah, but some of the positions don't seem to make any sense at all.
Posted Image

I mean, what could those two boxes at the bottom be for?

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Also, the engine recognises the boxes by their item numbers, so make sure you don’t re-order them.

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I mean, what could those two boxes at the bottom be for?

If it’s outside the box, it doesn’t show. They could be for features that Matt removed before the game was released.

Did EVC have any scrolling capabilities whatsoever? I'm just asking because I believe that the screenshot you posted is of a mission briefing description, and that the two boxes at the bottom are the scrolling arrows.

@reclusiveone, on 23 July 2012 - 07:53 AM, said in EV Character Limit:

Did EVC have any scrolling capabilities whatsoever? I'm just asking because I believe that the screenshot you posted is of a mission briefing description, and that the two boxes at the bottom are the scrolling arrows.

It certainly looks that way doesn't it? The original scenario didn't use scrolling at all, and I can't recall any plug-ins that did either. And as DA has said above that the engine just wasn't programmed to handle scrolling, I'm guessing that they're artifacts from when the game was being developed. Probably Matt Burch planned to possibly including scrolling whenever he was setting up those boxes, but decided not to actually implement it for whatever reason.

That's got to be it. EVO and EVN have their fair of share artifacts of intended features too.

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