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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog - picture heavy
« Last post by Andy ONeill on Yesterday at 06:46:35 AM »
Map Editor

Added support for custom resources.
This is a first cut at the moment.
This is a thing called a resource dictionary which is in plain text. You can edit it in notepad and it's then read at run time.
It's located in your user appdata / generalstaff/maps/CustomResources.xaml

Always find you want more?
Then this might be for you.
You can override many of the resources used within the map editor using this functionality.
What do resources do?
They define pictures, shapes, and colours used through the app.
Want a different background to woods?
You could do that.
The various building colours and shapes are all resources.

There is a teeny tiny catch in that you will probably need some help from me to know what to change.
I'll put guides together on how to do some stuff - eventually.

CustomCanvas
There is also a new layer - "CustomCanvas" which you can add anything you can define to.

Basic stuff is pretty simple once you get past the fact you're doing mark-up.

Say you want a star fort kind of a thing and of course there are no star fort buildings in the editor.
You could potentially "just" incorporate a picture in your background image in one way or another and go with that.
Maybe that doesn't suit though.

You find a suitable picture in a book or online and start with a picture.
You can then convert that to xaml using Inkscape. This is a little fiddly but not far from rocket science.
As a flavour:

You paste your picture into inkscape.
Choose trace bitmap.
Click the button and it generates vectors for you.
It just looks like another layer.
In this case I clicked the "simplify" button which loses a load of fiddly bits. Some of which you might have kind of wanted.
Drag that aside. delete the original layer and save as xaml.
Go grab the data from the path (or paths) in there and you can use that as a Geometry in the custom resource dictionary.
A geometry is a long string of co--ordinates which looks kind of weird but you're just cutting and pasting it.
The longest part of this process is likely to be finding a suitable image.
In my case I pasted in, surrounded that in a geometry tag and I could then use it




To get the above, I filled in some of the walls and erased some twiddly bits from an online picture.
I just used Paint for that step.
I wasn't terribly careful but the import process smooths bits out a little anyhow.
It will also probably lose some detail but maybe that doe

The custom dictionary has angle brackets in it, so I can't post the content.
It looks like:



The string in the geometry tags defines the shape of the fort. It is way bigger than that, I've substituted ... for most of it for clarity here.
The Canvas.Left and Canvas.Top define where the fort goes on the canvas - which fills the board.
If you want precision, you can use the measurements from the start terrain visualiser as described in the last post.

I intend processing paths using their "Tag" in order to apply terrain types to them.
Assuming I get that working, this would be a significant advantage to the approach.
Still probably not everyone's cup of tea but if you really really wanted a specific shaped fortification then you can do it.
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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog - picture heavy
« Last post by Andy ONeill on Yesterday at 02:36:08 AM »
Map Editor


Alter line width.
As the heading suggests, this is only applies to line types.  Even then it's probably then only really useful for rivers.

You alter the size using the scroll wheel when over a particular drawing option.
There is also a tooltip appears with a representation of the width.
The upper rectangle is what you'll get when drawing with a mouse ( this becomes 0.5 pressure ).
The lower rectangle is  the maximum width which you'll get at the widest if you click one of the widening buttons for a river ( 1 pressure).
In this picture you can see the tooltip and a few rather random bits of river I've scribbled just to prove you can do the different widths.
It works this way because you can set it prior to drawing and it's relatively quick to set rather than adding extra post processing via a context menu.
The tooltip only appears for line type drawing options.



Terrain Visualiser
When you drag the start "sight" you'll see the (X,Y) location appears as a user message.
This is intended for advanced user customisation scenarios and debugging.
As a sort of side effect, if you somehow got the two sights mixed up then moving the "end" one gives no message.
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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog - picture heavy
« Last post by Andy ONeill on June 21, 2018, 07:16:18 AM »
Terrain Visualiser

Added minimum and maximum elevation to the left of the terrain graph.
This is min and max for the whole maps for context - so you get an idea how whatever slice you're looking at fits in.

You now get a pink line above the part your mouse is over.
I considered adding some sort of a scale but that'd be very complicated because the user can pick whatever elevations they like.
I'm also not so sure about how useful that would be without a load of horizontal lines across the whole thing.
I may come back to that later but.... shelved until and unless I can think of a good way to do it.



The window tries to size itself to fit what you pick. If you pick a very long slice then the window could be quite wide.

My experimental map which has some terrain on it only has those three hill/cones on it.
This is with a map of the northern lake district.


And Isandlwana


A friend of mine has South African links and has visited the battefield on several occasions.
It's well looked after and pretty much as it was back in 1879.
Other than the things like the memorial, cairns, fence round the site and the car park.
I was surprised when he mentioned the car park.
There are now a couple of zulu villages nearby.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Isandlwana/@-28.3513158,30.6442408,14.93z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x1ef1bbc774f6dc39:0xf740fe2436bd3a34!8m2!3d-28.3586111!4d30.6513889!5m1!1e4


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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog - picture heavy
« Last post by Andy ONeill on June 20, 2018, 09:02:51 AM »
Buildings

Added 3 more building types.
You can use these separately of course but I built a church with these as an example of combining buildings.



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General Staff Support Forum / Re: The road ahead
« Last post by Andy ONeill on June 20, 2018, 05:01:58 AM »
I've been looking into how to support import of elevation from DEM.
First step in any piece of development is a "reality check" look at the practicality.
With other things I already have an idea without any research so this is often just "yeah, I can do that by..... ".
In this case it's weird stuff working with third party data that's "free".
Free sounds good until you try and work with it and "free" software or interfaces often come at a cost elsewhere.
Totally free often means there's no money to make it easy to get that data and no support if you hit any problems.

There are several problems inherent to working with this data.
I already knew this was going to be way harder to write than the google api support.
That's why I chose Google as the primary third party supplier.
What I hadn't particularly considered is how hard it might be for someone to use one of these DEMs.

This particular post is therefore an explanation of why I'm shelving the work for now.

The long explanation:

Elevation data ( DEM ) is available from a number of sources.
These vary but you register as a user then you pick an area you want your data from.

Looking at one of these - ALOS World 3D 30m.
You start off with a map of the globe and drill down from there by clicking on a square.
I tried to find Waterloo.
Took me two goes to find roughly the right part of europe.
Then you click on a square from that.
A couple of goes and I'm looking at:


The numbers at the top are latitude and longitude.
They seem to be the bottom left of that square, the pin marks that spot in google:


Finding a specific location is really hard.
Downloading a world of data and supplying it via our own front end would be another project and is not practical.

Next...
I loked into how I'd work with the data.
When you download a file for a square it comes as a tar compressed file.
A user would (you) then uncompress that file to get a geoTiff format file.
A tiff might be a sort of picture file but this is a data file which sort of re-uses how image files work internally for metadata.
You can't just display a geoTiff.
That needs re-processing to extract the data and then processing again in order to give a graphical representation.
Once I wrote code to do all that then the user could pick a rectangle out a displayed picture and I grab the grayscale from that.
Setting aside how hard it would be for someone to work out where they drag that rectangle on a huge chunk of europe....

Writing these steps are a fair bit of work and the last is technically problematic.
There's a high risk the last step only gives 255 shades of grey.

Summary:

Looks to be a lot of work.
Will be so hard to use maybe nobody actually uses it.
Shelved for now.

 





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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog - picture heavy
« Last post by Andy ONeill on June 20, 2018, 02:40:20 AM »
Trees

There are now several different tree shapes.
Each tree randomly picks which shape it will be as it's created.

Change drop shadow to sepia ( was saddlebrown ).

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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog - picture heavy
« Last post by Dr D Ezra Sidran on June 19, 2018, 10:21:26 AM »
I would just like to point out that that is an accurate Order of Battle Table for the Continental Army at Trenton and, yes, there really was a Colonel Sargent.
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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog - picture heavy
« Last post by Andy ONeill on June 19, 2018, 08:50:18 AM »
Map Editor

List of terrain in terrain edit:
Removed display of id ( this uniquely identifies the piece of terrain but is only internally meaningful ).
Standardised font used.

Buildings

Added another house and courtyard to building templates.
The templates now have a value for default height and width they set as they're chosen.
Hence the latest house can have a bigger height than width and the courtyard is much bigger.

You can now use the mousewheel in combination with a modifier key to alter the size of a building.
You need to have edit terrain selected ( like with rotating a building ).
Mousewheel scroll + Ctrl alters width
Mousewheel scroll + Shift alters height
Once you alter the size, the building will remain that size even if you change to a different template.
( This is necessary so when a saved design for a map is reloaded any altered sizes will be respected ).
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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog - picture heavy
« Last post by Andy ONeill on June 18, 2018, 11:52:40 AM »
Map Editor

Building options.

I've added a mechanism which allows me to define different buildings.
A Building row has a combobox in edit terrains which allows you to pick from the defined buildings.
I've added another building. 2 so far.
You click a building picture in the combo to pick it and the building on the map changes.



You can still only rotate a maximum of 30 degrees either way.
That is because of the shading, which could look weird otherwise with the shadow on the wrong side and different to everything else on the map.
These are not light sourced 3d objects, because they get very graphics expensive very quickly AND they are harder to build.
They're built from shapes which have a gradient on them.
Although the shadow outside the building can be rotated the shading on the roof panels is fixed like a picture.

This limitation isn't necessarilly going to apply to all building so I'm thinking of making each define how far it can be rotated.
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General Staff Support Forum / Re: Changelog - picture heavy
« Last post by Andy ONeill on June 17, 2018, 08:09:03 AM »
Map Editor

Styled up the Elevation Shapers options so it's similar to the drawing options.

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