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  #1  
Old 2006-09-09, 00:22
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Unhappy All-in-one editor, etc?

Ok, I'm sorry for bugging all of you smart people( ), but is there somewhere an all-in-one type of program to edit LBA/LBA2 files...? I want to make mods and other such things, but I as of yet don't know which programs are good for doing what...Heck, I'm not quite sure what an HQR file actually is....

Ok, so maybe what I'm really asking is how do you mod...? I know that's a rather abrupt question, I'm really sorry about asking somthing so obvious...but...I don't know how...!!!
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Old 2006-09-09, 00:37
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- ContiX: A .HQR is a archive, just like .ZIP or .RAR, which can contain one or more files (usually referred to as items in the case of .HQR archives), which however, only have progressive index number in the .HQR files, and no file names.
Most of these files/items are compressed with one of the two compression algorithms/types, of which only Algorithm/Type 1 is supported by both LBA 1 and LBA 2, while Type 2 is only supported by LBA 2.

As for what programs are good for doing what, check this excellent thread by ChaosFish.
Also, I'll make my LBA File3D Editor into a 2-in-1 editor called LBA Character Manager, which will edit both the File3D files (FILE3D.HQR in LBA 1, RESS.HQR item #47 in LBA 2) and the colors of the body models (currently of LBA 1 body models only, as alexfont only wrote a specification for that).
I'm not estimating any release date for it yet, so just stay tuned for more information about it.
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Old 2006-09-09, 02:59
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To add from what OBras said, HQR mean High Quality Ressource. At that age, yes it was a really high quality.

Well we don't have yet tutorials for specific mod things, except from translations guide and not much.

What I advise you first, is to take a look at the thread OBras post and read it carefully all programs descriptions and try all the programs the way you could choose the better one for your mods.
Also you should check the LBA File information project to know what is inside each HQR/OBJ/ILE file. Note that this project are integrated with LBA Package Editor.

If you have any problems about how to do a certain modification, we are here to help you, thats why this forum was created

Btw, what kind of modifications you wanna make?
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  #4  
Old 2006-09-09, 06:05
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As I mentioned in the "Twinsen Costume Change" thread, I had a few ideas for a "LBA2 Expansion Pack" and I finally realized I'm never going to get around to making it if I never learned how to mod....My main idea was to change his Tunic(as per my thread), and after I heard there were programs to make new rooms and such, I wanted to make a few additions here and there...(Like a few more room in Twinsen's house, and maybe a few more rooms here and there in other levels...I don't know what I'd put in them, but it would be kind of nifty...)
Maybe change a few people's outfits...
Nothing HUGE....although huge would be nice, too...
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Old 2006-09-09, 06:17
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You want change exactly what we don't have yet tools for that at the moment (one of the difficult mod parts)

Will be difficult to change character outfits without a program, this means by Hex Edition. You can always follow the specification I made for LBA1 that its almost similar to LBA2, but will be like running in the dark.

I advice then to make new rooms since its a easier task that we have a tool for it and also it will take some of your time.
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Old 2006-09-09, 13:16
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Isn't it that way that you can only modify existing rooms?
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Old 2006-09-09, 16:15
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You can modify and make new ones with LBArchitech by Zink.
Anyway, for this rooms work perfectly under the game, a scene file for that specific room need to be done. Without this you will have be able to make connections with multiple rooms.

One side not for people who wanna mod. Just start first with LBA1 and not with LBA2. LBA have more tools and less complications. So then after you mod a little LBA1 you could then pass to LBA2. Anyway, lots of things are incompatible with LBA2.
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  #8  
Old 2006-09-11, 03:28
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Ah...Makes sense....
Since I wrote that last post, I played and finished LBA1 again, and I thought up a few more ideas....
Is there a way to add more weapons into the game? I know that one of the best parts in the game is where you finally get something other than the magic ball(not that it's not awesome anyway!), but...is it possible to make an addition that would add extra islands? I know you can do that, or you're supposed to be able to, in LBArchitect, but is it possible to add them into the storyline?

Ok, so what I am thinking about now is (*cringes at the analogy*) make LBA1 more LBA2-like. As such, is it possible to extend the storyline farther?

Jeez....I just realized how massive a project this would be..... Much larger than I originally thought.....
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Old 2006-09-11, 05:07
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I suppose your talking about changing things in LBA1.

In LBA1 you can't add new weapons like you have in LBA2. Simply because the engine doesn't handle that. In LBA2 you can't add, but instead you can modify. The only problem is that lots of things must be changed for this effects, inventory items, Twinsen 3D models, bullets animations, etc..

I made a program called LBA Story Coder, that is a tool to work with scene files (SCENE.HQR) together with LBArchitect. This program let you code the "actions" in a determinated room/island you create with LBArchitect. This "actions" are music playing in that specific scene, the sound ambience we ear (like the water and ferry sound in the harbor), what dialogues text this scene will use, how many actors (characters) exist and what actions they made under the scene (where they walk, what actions it did in certain situations), tracks for each character to follow and make is way in the scene, and zones that make special actions like changing to another room/island, objects text informations, specials zones for character actions, etc..

In resume with this two programs you can change for example the look of a room an add a new door using LBArchitect, and with Story Coder you will code that scene to enable that door to be connected with a certain room.

See the following example:


This screenshot was taken in a opensource version of LBA1, called TwinEngine.
This scene is in Proxima Island, near Baldino's House. If you see well at inferior corner, it have some changes in the room design (that rocks) and also the fisherman who isn't there in the LBA1 original version. You also can see the so caller Zones, the colorized squares. The one in front of Twinsen is a Zone that makes the engine change to another scene when Twinsen enter in that space.

Well this was just little explanations the way you start knowing a bit of LBA inside. It isn't exactly a easy engine, and for that age, I can say it is indeed well done and very well concept for is proposes. You will not understand alot of things fast and you will probably need some help trying understand some of the meanings we have in the programs.

I confess my program could be difficult to understand for people who see it for the first time, but don't be panic, I'm working a help file to help all people take the vantage of using the program.
Other things, is that in my program, a little part of the opening files that is important, isn't saved back if you want it to use in the original game, but this are things you will after understand better when you better know the program and his proposes.

Its impossible to change LBA1 to be LBA2-like. For that a totaly new engine need to be done.
About the storyline, YES you can but you have limitations. The engine only handle 150 scenes, e.i. only more 30 scenes from what we have in the original game. Other limitation for example is the fact that we need special flags (like in game variables to record states) to make the story line and only few are still unused.

Hope all this helps , and fell free to ask something you didn't get.
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  #10  
Old 2006-09-11, 19:57
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*Jaw-dropping noise*
Wow.....

Ok, here's yet another question - is it possible to change the physics for the way the Magic Ball bounces, etc...? That being the case, is it possible to "add" more weapons by having the physics change for whatever it is instead of physically adding things?

For example, could you change the magic ball so it acts like a grenade? Meaning, when you switch to it, your magic points are reduced to zero(so the ball doesn't bounce) and where it hits, there is an explosion..? Or something to that degree?

I'm also assuming that it isn't possible to add onto the game engine itself beyond those 30 scenes? Therefore, is it possible to have a game with two engines...? or something like that...?
Ok, I'm confusing myself - I don't even know exactly what a game engine is, to begin with...I have vauge ideas, but nothing strong enough to make any sense....
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Old 2006-09-11, 20:36
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The game engine I was talking about is the core of LBA1&2 games and ofcourse all others. Is the application that provides lots of tecniques to manage all the resources we have in the game. In a simple word, its what makes us play.

Its impossible to change the physics. The magic ball bouncing is indeed maded by the engine and we can't change it. Only again, if we recode the game.

Isn't possible make something like a grenade, but its possible force the magicball to a certain part of a scene that will take all magic points. You want something like we have in LBA2, I'm seeing

LBA1 only handle 150 scenes because the format they made in the LBA1 saved game, which only handle 150 scenes.

For the things you want to implement in LBA1, a new application (engine) need to be made.
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Old 2006-09-11, 22:30
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So there isn't any way of somehow re-writing portions of said engine without having to completely re-do the whole thing ...?

Is is possible(*cringes*) to write LBA1 using the LBA2 engine? Or are they the same somehow? *hides behind nearby rock*

Hey, I liked LBA2 a lot.... Even so, I liked LBA1 a lot too...

Ok, here's a question - is it possible to add something to Twinsen's behavior menu that says what room you are in, or what area or something? It might make the game easier to figure out....I know I got lost a lot.... And if I ever figure out how to add rooms and such, it would be nice to know where the heck you were...

And, as another thought, is it possible to add on to existing rooms? That being the case, you could make "more" rooms without needing to add any scenes....?

*cringes*
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Old 2006-09-11, 23:52
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It will be possible if we had the LBA source code, but it will be a huge work to do. We can do such thing with TwinEngine, but it is uncompleted at the moment and it most be completed before add new features to it.

Its possible using LBA2 to turn into LBA1 but lots of things need to be done and we don't have yet enough tools do to such thing.

Again , the menu is maded by the engine and not with adicional files or such so, it must be a recode of the engine to show that thing.

You can do lots of rooms but if you want any interact in the game it them, you need a scene for each one. Making a room without a scene doesn't make sense, if you want it play in the game.

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  #14  
Old 2006-09-12, 18:37
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So all of the improvements that I've thought up with, barring a few little ones here and there, are way out of our league, currently....?

Ok, now for the insane question....how is LBA1 programmed? Meaning, how do you make an open-source version? Yes, I know that TwinEngine is open source, but how did is it done...?
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Old 2006-09-12, 19:22
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Yep, that's right. The thing you can dream about , is change the story, rooms, characters, bricks, sprites, images, etc..

LBA1 was programed in C and also in Assembly.
TwinEngine was done by Reverse Engineering of the Executable file. Its reversed in Assembly and then transformated/coded in C/C++. Its a huge work. Yaz0r that is a great RE guru start it some years ago.
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  #16  
Old 2006-09-13, 02:25
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Wow....How long did that take...?
Isn't there a program somewhere that could do that for you, or did he have to do it by hand....?

I know a TINY bit of C++....Lets see...I know the "cout" command....and...that exhausts my knowledge of it...
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Old 2006-09-13, 02:27
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Its really a difficult task that you must work on this for years to start get something usefull in few time.
Yes, exist a program that reverse to Assembly language, the IDA Pro. But you must know very well Assembly to reverse it, and isn't easy.
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