Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

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Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Veqryn
Administrator
we have a bunch of utility programs that come with TripleA

such as:

CenterPicker
PolygonGrabber
AutoPlacementFinder
PlacementPicker
TileImageBreaker


I was thinking of doing some work on them, improving them a bit.

One thing I want to add, is to have it pop up instructions on how to use them right at the beginning.

I also want to have the placement picker and auto placement finder ask you questions of how big you want your units to be, etc.


What else can I do to improve them?
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Rolf Larsson
Most issues are with placement and autoplacement picker I guess, so for autoplacement picker:
- question: allow overlapping of units (can be done with unitsize 0.5 and later selecting unitsize 0.66 , too)
- question: allow overlapping of placements on borders with selecting %value or max pixels
- question: allow overlapping of placements on borders when adjacent territory is seazone with selecting %value  or max pixels
- zero pixels between placements, so that a 96x96 territory can have exactly 4 placements of 48x48 (don´t know if it already is like this)

The rest has to be done once during map creation progress I guess, autopolygongrabber maybe, but not really necessary. Highlighting the territory which is wrong or causing problems maybe, allowing to save or doing autosave with polygongrabber instead of just quitting to desktop automatically.
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

hepster
This is a good project.  I will think on it while I run the placements and get back to you.  But better instructions and directions would be beneficial.

One thing,  it'd be nice if the program indicated which territories already had placements done while running the program.  Or showed the existing placements in a very transparent fashion for each territory that was done.  It's always frustrating when you are trying to align placements on the border of a territory with the ones you just did in a previous territory, but you have no idea where exactly those were unless you take screen shot of the preceding terr. just before you save the changes.

Another nice feature would also be to be able to decide whether the extension bar for placements went left or right of the last placement.  Could be very beneficial for places like Europe where extension bars simply pile up over one another over multiple terr. (may not be within the scope of what you are planning).

I'll take a closer look and get back to you.
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Edwin van der Wal
Everytime I used it I did some code changes before running it... It had to do with the focus I think... so I can click on territory, type, enter -> click on territory, type, enter

I removed my last eclipse so don't have it anymore, but just usability wise there could be improvements :)
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Edwin van der Wal
In reply to this post by Veqryn
Maybe also a new wrapper/tool/template that creates the map for you... + a new basic tutorial

So basically you can create a map by using what is there, for example:

follow the instructions and:
Run tool -> creates basic map folder with everything that is needed
Run Centerpicker, PolygonThingy, PlacementPicker, TileImagebreaker

And then you can run your map..

Come to think of it, we are still missing the autoconnectionfinder (in java) right? and maybe some other stuff which is in the tmapc that can't run on Mac :)
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Veqryn
Administrator
dude,... why didn't you submit a patch?
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Edwin van der Wal
Veqryn wrote
dude,... why didn't you submit a patch?
lol, good point :) that it was too trivial to fix I guess.
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Veqryn
Administrator
screen shot of the new placement picker

by default, it works just like it did before

however, you have 3 new options you can turn on:

1. show all placements (current selection is red, all others are yellow)
2. show overflow bar (a grey bar extending where the overflow will be)
3. show incomplete territories (it will ask you how many is the minimum number of placements you want per territory (default is 1 minimum), and show all territories that do not have that number in green)

I put in a minimum of 2 placements, so you can see that Malta is green cus it only has 1 placement.

fucking kick ass


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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

hepster
That is an awesome improvement Veq.  Truly awesome.

Question?

Do you still have to press and hold 'Ctrl' while you are doing the selections or placements?  If so, something detailing that should probably be added to the instructions section.
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Bung
In reply to this post by Veqryn
They only thing I remember was that it was a real hassle manually positioning all the decorations: ipc numbers, flags, territory titles. I didn't mind tinkering so much with placements after auto-placement-picker to make it perfect, but with those decorations you really have to do everything from scratch, it sucks hard. Any kind of tool to do that would be helpful for future map developers I'm sure.
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Veqryn
Administrator
totally agree bung, it is probably the most time consuming part of map making, and the most un-fun

here is our new map maker, that will now be available from the "Engine Preferences" section in TripleA (cus it ships with triplea)

basically, you fill in some details, then it runs the utilities individually (passing those details along to them)


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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Edwin van der Wal
Oooh, I like where this is going :) ... I guess you don't need to run them in 1 go? and I guess the connectionFinder is the thing that is still missing (because there is no java version for it?)
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Edwin van der Wal
Veqryn,

I tried it, works well (maybe explain a bit more about the memory settings in the first dialog) also maybe explain what sort of folder should be created and where (and that they should move the images there) as well.

But most importantly.. can you make it so the utilities use the "map folder" and their default folder to look for stuff or save stuff -- so when I start up centerpicker I don't have to navigate a  whole bunch to:

1) find the image
2) find the centers.txt
3) optionally find the polygons.txt
4) find the folder to save centers.txt

If you do that it beats creating batch files to run things :)
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Edwin van der Wal
Veq: request for the PolygonGrabber..

Just reading through the source and your comments, and now I get it why I never got islands to work :) On mac CTRL-click and rightclick are the same maybe use SHIFT click or ALT-click to add territories together?
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Veqryn
Administrator
In reply to this post by Edwin van der Wal
if on the first screen, you click the "Select Map Folder" button, it will remember it for ALL the map utilities
it works for me: if I have clicked that before starting the center picker, my center picker automatically starts out in that folder

about the polygon grabber, are you sure CTRL + left click = right click?  cus these utilities were designed by a guy on a mac (sgb)....

how do you know if shift is down or alt is down?
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Edwin van der Wal
Well about the CTRL-Click, this is configurable on Mac of course but default behaviour on a current Macbookpro is CTRL-Click (or two-finger click) = rightclick.

If you use a mouse (for example on an iMac) you have a rightmousebutton.

I guess you can check the ALT-Down the same way in the code as CTRL-Down is checked now.
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Zim Xero
I just ran this new feature to make a map for "Stellar Forces"

Veqryn (and Edwins?) map maker = Ferrarri with no options
Wisconsins map maker 1 & 2....    = Gremlin with all options and a blown engine.


Made it easy to make a map for the first time, after several failures with the others.  Thanks
'thats the way it is' makes it neither desireable nor inevitable
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Veqryn
Administrator
In reply to this post by Bung
Bung wrote
They only thing I remember was that it was a real hassle manually positioning all the decorations: ipc numbers, flags, territory titles. I didn't mind tinkering so much with placements after auto-placement-picker to make it perfect, but with those decorations you really have to do everything from scratch, it sucks hard. Any kind of tool to do that would be helpful for future map developers I'm sure.
DONE

i agree, this is the worst part of map making
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Re: Improvements to map utility programs? (eg: center picker, etc)

Veqryn
Administrator
In reply to this post by Veqryn
ok, i put together a really really in-depth readme/tutorial on how to make a map or map skin

you can find it here:
http://tripleamaps.sourceforge.net/old/doc/map_and_map_skin_making_overview.html

it will be included in the /docs folder of the next triplea

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