Another Bug in Hera?

Game crashing... I can't seem to fix it.

I just got into the world of Ares development via Hera ( maybe I missed the rush... lol). I'm doing a few practice scenarios before I embark on my big project which will be a prequel to Ares.

So I took the stock "While the Iron is Hot" scenario and changed it up. It pits you as the Gaitori (still allied with the Obish) against the uppity young Cantharans who dare try to expand towards Gaitori and Obish space. Demeter Alpha is the same, Demeter Beta is the same (besides just changing the planet sprites for fun). I added a big asteroid-sprite planet object next to Demeter Beta that the Cantharans are supposedly strip mining for 0.7500 resources, no problem. I added a bunker station in the middle, no problem. I gave both sides the ability to create Assault Transports from their bases, no problem (unless you count digging for the number 860 for like an hour before finally finding it :D). I completely re-did the mission briefing, no problem. I took out the time-condition where you get a message and a Gaitori Carrier warps in to oppose you from the original scenario, no problem.

Everything was good. I've played through it several times, but without fail, every time the Cantharans build an assault transport, and it is about to die, the game crashed of an "Error Type 2" and quits. Me killing the assault transport with Gaitori ships as opposed to it being killed by the bunker station's defenses yields the same result. Is there anything I can do about this? I guess I could change the bunker station to a flak drone and the assault transports to engineering pods, but I would rather bend the bugs to my will than change my scenarios to make them happy.

Update: I managed to work my way around that problem, but here's what's happening now. I'm working on my Prequel mod. To start, I made a new scenario with Hera and chose the "Use Factory Info" option over the "Start from Scratch" option. I converted the first three levels to my first three levels, then decided it would be easier to make my own levels than change the factory ones into mine. So I deleted all the factory scenarios. The rest of the data (objects, actions, text strings, etc.) is all still there. But when I drag my scenario into Ares to open and test i out now, none of my levels appear when I try to play.

How do I fix this?

In your first scenario, I'd have to guess that you were missing an explosion that is specific to the assault transport. I don't know, I thought there was only stuff like FAE small, FAE medium, etc, and I haven't touched Hera in literally a year and a half.

In your second scenario, I'd have to tell you to go with what worked the first time, which was the "start from scratch" option. Keep in mind that when you do that, you need to have all the files that are necessary in order for the scenario to run in the file, so it doesn't crash.

@tobasco, on Jan 4 2009, 05:02 AM, said in Another Bug in Hera?:

But when I drag my scenario into Ares to open and test i out now, none of my levels appear when I try to play.

How do I fix this?

As far as I remember drag 'n' drop doesn't work in Hera.
Edit copy 'n' paste does work.
When you paste a scenario from one plug into another all of the elements within that scenario will be copied and assigned new ID numbers, creating duplicates (with new ID numbers) of any objects that may exist previously in the plug you are pasting into.
Hera is VERY finicky to use!

I also think your crash in your first scenario is due to the game trying to create something that it can't find.
Check and see what the Assault Transport's Die Actions are to see if it can be debugged.

I actually meant when I save my scenario in Hera, then quit Hera, and drag my scenario icon into the Ares icon to run it and test it 😉 It will open, but when I hit "Start New Game" to try and play a level, no levels show up ingame.

That copy/paste duplicate with new IDs explains a LOT though... lol. So Basically I should start with factory data, not copy and paste anything, and just convert levels? I don't want to start from scratch and then find every single sequence, sprite, etc. and transfer it over, resetting IDs as needed. That sounds like a pain in the rear. And since I'm only importing a single sprite for the entire plug, it seems the most logical route.

Which brings me to another problem. I made a PICT file with a bright green background for a sprite. It's not animated, so it's just one picture. I imported it into Hera without problem, but when I use it, I get a thin green line around the graphic.

The sprite is a station. Upon further investigation, I noticed that the green pixels are pixels that were originally #00FF00, but were darkened when they sort of blended into the dark parts of the station that they surround. How can I fix this?

A few years ago I posted an empty template file in the add ons area which you could use as a starter file for a scenario. Or you could use the ares factory scenario file and delete all of the levels, this would leave you with all of the objects.

You would be better off not going the route of trying to reset IDs. It doesn't matter what the ID of each element is. Ares will keep track of all the IDs with respect to each other.
I would suggest that you build all of your levels and objects within the scenario file and not copy-paste things.
Also, make a backup file every time you make a change. Using Hera is fun 🙂

As to the spriet issue, did you remember to use the Ares colour table to create the Picts? Try using a blue screen instead of a green screen (or even a black screen) as it'll be on a black background in the game. You may find also on close examination of the edge of the station image that you have stray colour pixels between it and the green background. I suggest that you work in indexed colour confined to the Ares Colours and not rgb.

I'll fire up the old Ares stuff and look at some of the ships I was working on (the battlestar sprite in my Plug "It's War" started life as a high res rgb image if I recall correctly.

Excellent, thanks Lord Commander.

So this is kind of becoming my "teach me how to use Hera" thread. In which case, I have another question:

How can I implement new galactic starmaps? I made one, I just don't know how to use it.

Also, I just hit this bump: the color table file included in the Hera folder isn't compatible with my version of Photoshop (CS). I took a screenshot of the color table that's included in the help file for Hera, and I've moved it over to my computer with Photoshop, but how do I make that image into a color table?

This post has been edited by Tobasco : 07 January 2009 - 07:58 PM

And here's another question:

I have ships (4 Ishiman Cruisers) that are initially hidden. Their Initial Target is set to the player's ship. When I unhide them, however, they immediately switch target to the station that they are positioned by, thus defeating the purpose of the initial target. The idea is for them to come attack the player out in space. Instead they defend the station. How can I overcome this behavior?

Hate to double post, but I need these questions answered.

While it seems that you have the attention of a few old-timers, I'm afraid that this board no longer gets much traffic, so it'll be days and weeks between replies. Nevertheless, I'll bite:

@tobasco, on Jan 8 2009, 12:46 AM, said in Another Bug in Hera?:

How can I implement new galactic starmaps? I made one, I just don't know how to use it.

The answer to your question lies in two separate sections of the Hera Reference file (Hera -> Hera Documentation -> Hera_reference.html); specifically, the "Starmap Locator" and "Resource IDs" sections.

Quote

To use a custom starmap (recommended for single player scenarios) place a 256 color PICT resource which uses Ares' color table into your scenario file using ResEdit or Resourcerer. The PICT must be 533 by 364 pixels.

Quote

PICT 8000: Starmap presented to player at beginning of single player scenarios, 533 x 364 pixels. Must use the Ares color table.

So, you're going to copy your custom starmap into your scenario's resource fork as a PICT resource, setting the ID to 8000. If you're not familiar with ResEdit, you can find its documentation here.

@tobasco, 12:46 AM:

Also, I just hit this bump: the color table file included in the Hera folder isn't compatible with my version of Photoshop (CS). I took a screenshot of the color table that's included in the help file for Hera, and I've moved it over to my computer with Photoshop, but how do I make that image into a color table?

Are you sure that it doesn't work?

Try Mode -> Indexed Colour -> Palette -> Custom -> Load -> "ares color table"

This should convert the image you're working on to the Ares colour table. Then you just hit File -> Save As -> Format -> PICT (or PICT Resource, for the starmap and other ingame pictures).

Excellent - I got the sprite working. Thanks to all who contributed to that success 😉

Also, ResEdit is what I was afraid of. Lol oh, well. I'll learn it.

Now Initial Targets? Do I need to go through and set a condition for every single ship to have its own destination?

Really hate to bump, but I need this answered, preferably before the boards get reorganized 🙂

@tobasco, on Jan 18 2009, 02:02 AM, said in Another Bug in Hera?:

Now Initial Targets? Do I need to go through and set a condition for every single ship to have its own destination?

Yes!

Questions will always be answered, er eventually.
It's kind of dusty in Aresland these days.

@lord-commander-anic, on Jan 25 2009, 12:51 AM, said in Another Bug in Hera?:

It's kind of dusty in Aresland these days.

Except for in the Briefing Room, of course. They're busy hammering away on something they call "Xsera" like a bunch of mad scientists. And let's not forget ATT... 🆒

I can't wait for Xsera 😄 If I felt like there was something I could do to help, I would.

So a million conditions it is... but if that's the case, then won't the ships just change their target back to something else as soon as they reach the object I send them to? The idea is that they guard something. It's similar to the "Shoplifter" missions from the original games. Maybe I'll take a look at the factory scenarios there.

Thanks all 🙂

@sundered-angel, on Jan 25 2009, 07:17 AM, said in Another Bug in Hera?:

Except for in the Briefing Room, of course. They're busy hammering away on something they call "Xsera" like a bunch of mad scientists. And let's not forget ATT... 🆒

Yes..., something big is coming this way, I can feel it, coming right at me....

@tobasco, on Jan 25 2009, 09:21 PM, said in Another Bug in Hera?:

I can't wait for Xsera 😄 If I felt like there was something I could do to help, I would.
then won't the ships just change their target back to something else as soon as they reach the object I send them to?

Thanks all 🙂

No. The ships will stay at the location to which you send them to once they reach that destination. If you send a ship after a target (an enemy or friendly) which is destroyed your ship will inherit the destination of that destroyed object. If that object had no destination then your ship will remain at the location of the destroyed ship, or at it's initial location if the destroyed ship is destroyed before your ship has a chance to go to the location of the destroyed ship before it was destroyed.....

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