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Home » Stars! Clones, Extensions, Modding » Stars! Extensions » Planet mover (remapping tool)
Planet mover (remapping tool) Wed, 24 July 2013 15:55 Go to previous message
XyliGUN is currently offline XyliGUN

 
Ensign
Stars! V.I.P


Messages: 325
Registered: July 2004
Location: Russia, St.Petersburg

There are a bunch of games, which are played with remapped universe. But if you try to setup such a game, you will most likely have a difficulties, since Stars! itself does not allow stars moving, and can only place them in random location. Due to limitations, which currently available 3rd party tools has it could be a real pain and time consuming task to setup such a game. Even more the most popular tools allow you to move stars up and down and sometimes move them a bit left or a bit right, and once you need to significally move a HV, then you are in a real trouble. And if you need to have lets say 8 players start locations in the specific areas or place (see for example game like this) then you have to create a lot of test games until one will be more or less like one you need, then do some magic with moving stars up and down. And even when you pass thru all of these steps and found a good seed, move planets to more or less good location, you will then have some (pretty minor, but still) issues with your fleets initial location, their waypoints and with initial in game events pointers.

OK, one with the knowledge of the Stars! file structure can workaround all of these limitations, but even with these knowledge you have to manually edit about 20 blocks in each player m file, then edit about 20 blocks for each player in hst file, then make changes in xy file as well. I was doing such setup for Wheel of life IV and believe me that a lot of manual work. I was trying some available scripting alternatives, but they hardly can do what you really need to do.

At a time when Wheel of Life V was being created I finally come up with a tool (StarsPlanetMover), which just takes planet ID, target planet X and Y coordinates (which are not limited by height or width, other then size of universe of cause) and... moves it with all its' content to the new location, then updates all references to that planet (like orbiting fleets, waypoints, in game events). The game was remapped successfully and as far as I know it was played without any issues up to the end. Now I think its' time to publish this tool, may be within a week (just need to make some minor polishing like command line validation etc.), since it will make setup of such games much much easier. And this may open a lot of possibility to setup remapped games.

Some technical details: yes, tool works thru encryption (no passwords required either players or host, but SAH games have no host password anyway), and updates xy, m, hst files. As to security concern as I've already mentioned, while decompilation of such a tool is possible, but a smart beginner level developer can get decryption code from this forum much much easier within a minute or so (I can't give you more details, but Ron know what I'm talking about).

Comments, ideas, objections are welcome!

PS: If you need to remap some game right now, let me know.



"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something."
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love

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