map editing problems...

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Garth's Equipment Shop
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map editing problems...

Post by Garth's Equipment Shop »

I need some tips on getting ACK to run faster using the Launcher. I know I can run it from DOSBOX directly and just crank it up but I want to keep using the Launcher which is convenient.

For some reason the Map editor is lagging a lot for me right now. Don't know if this has anything to do with it but I am using a lot of those set later map tile graphics so when I draw my maps I have to chose from the secondary tile set each time I place a tile for most spaces and obstacles [primarily walls and floors that do nothing special but of which I have a wide variety of.]

Anyway, each time I press A once A is set to one of these universal obstacles or spaces and I choose the tile I want it seems to stop and think for quite a while before placing the tile and then snapping out of it so I can move the selection box again to a new spot. Has this happened to anyone else?

What could I do to run this thing in super turbo just for map editing purposes?

Also, sometimes I need to take out a whole row of graphics I've already drawn for a map and then move all the remaining tiles down one row to fill in where I took a row out. Is there a quick and easy way to do this without having to redraw the whole room?
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Post by Garth's Equipment Shop »

I tried changing the target in the dosbox shortcut to....

"C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\Adventure Creation Kit\dosbox.exe" -conf "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\Adventure Creation Kit\ACK\dosbox.conf" -noconsole -c "ACKMOD -m MSXMG"

This was supposed to load up just the mapeditor in DOSBOX and then I could just use the DOSBOX shortcut for speeding up the processor. But the above did not even load DOSBOX successfully. It says ACKMOD wasn't a valid file name.
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Post by Garth's Equipment Shop »

The slow map editor problem has been solved. I hadn't thought of applying dosbox keyboard shortcuts while running ACK editors from the launcher. Since it runs without the console it is easy to forget it is actually running in dosbox. So I experimented with different cycles hitting ctrl-f12 till I got the performance I was looking for.

It wasn't until I got it up to 50,000 cycles that the lag started to go away! 50,000 is about right for normal editing for normal tiles that already have a set picture. But I found that it wasn't until I bumped the cycles up to 100,000 that the lag went away for drawing with dynamic tiles with set later graphics. 100,000! Unbelievable!

It would be nice if one could use cntrl-c and cntrl-v to copy and paste tiles already drawn on the map without having to reset the current slots on the right side of the edit screen. This would make quickly eliminating a row and moving the row above it down a lot quicker.
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Post by Garth's Equipment Shop »

Tried modifying DOSBOX shortcut again to make one that just runs the mapeditor directly in order to apply my own settings to just the mapeditor but having trouble figuring out the proper syntax for the target line.

I read in the manual about using ackmod -m [advname] to run the editor but it doesn't seem to work for me. One thing I am a little confused about is whether to go with the path before it's mounted in dosbox or the path after mounting in dosbox.

And how should the ackmod -m [advname] line fit into the rest of the target line in the dosbox shortcut? I tried to simplify the path by moving the Adventure Creation Kit folder to the root of C: but still get the same error. Dosbox loads but in the dosbox window it says it could not run ackmod. I also tried to put "c:\Adventure Creation Kit\ACK\ackmod -m MSXMG" in quotes and still no luck.
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rld
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Re: map editing problems...

Post by rld »

Garth's Equipment Shop wrote: Anyway, each time I press A once A is set to one of these universal obstacles or spaces and I choose the tile I want it seems to stop and think for quite a while before placing the tile and then snapping out of it so I can move the selection box again to a new spot. Has this happened to anyone else?
I've noticed this when you have more than a few "set later" graphics terrain spaces on a map. If you place 10 or 20 of these, there is a *very* noticeable lag when you place additional "set later" graphics tiles.

In addition, when you go to delete the tiles, there is also a lag. It's interesting to place about 20 of these and start deleting them, because the first one takes longest to delete, the second one deletes a bit faster, and the delay drops progressively with each tile, until when you just have a few of them left, the delay is almost nonexistent.
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Post by Chris H »

I'll have to see if I can improve this. The game engine doesn't struggle because it keeps both tilesets in memory, but the map editor currently uses a brute-force method that involves disk-swapping between tilesets as needed, which as you see is horribly inefficient. I should be able to improve this... nothing should ever need more than about 12,000 cycles or so (and generally the default should be fine).

- Chris
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Post by Garth's Equipment Shop »

Thanks Chris. I noticed another quirk or two though I'm now not sure if it has to do with running it at 100,000 cycles or just related to the bruteforce method you adopted to add set later tiles. The editor seems to occasionally lose track of one of my set later tiles [not always the same one] and whereever that tile has been placed, all of them disappear at the same time but usually are still there when I exit out of the map editor and then return to see what was saved. Not really a major bug since it doesn't do any permanent damage to a design but can be annoying.

I got an idea for another feature as I was placing the same tile over and over again to fill in all the unused space in between the important stuff which I did first. Basically the all purpose floor tile but the idea I have could apply to many things. How about a "fill tool"? Does the program have a way of knowing detecting all the tiles that in a room that are identical to the currently selected tile? And better yet could the program determine all like tiles that are contiguous to it? That would mean you could easily fill in a group of any tiles that are touching eachother with something else. Or if that is too much how about just an option to fill in all blank spaces on a room or world map with the tile of your choice?
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