RnDBook

All about creating levels and level sets, custom elements and custom artwork.

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Alan
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RnDBook

Post by Alan » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:25 pm

http://ambience.artsoft.org/rndbook.zip

This may well be the first level set that turns RnDs into a real working application.....an EBook! If you think about it, RnDs is a perfect medium for it as it has lots of pages (levels), font definition, bookmarks (cool!) and loading of other books (level group).

It isn't totally serious and I don't expect anybody to use or even read it (you should read the Wizard of Oz though because it's unintentionally hilarious), it's more of an exercise in the RnDs GUI than anything......


Can handle very large books (65x58x999 characters). You can get about 2 pages from an average paperback into 1 RnDBook page.

A nice readable font, a bit small though (use fullscreen)

Semi-hacked level format :-)

Text convertor supplied,

Comes with five classic novels (all public domain and copyright free), and only 1.5MB zipped.

Looks like a Windows app... ;-) In fact you should turn on the fading as it now looks like XP style fading.


This first big problem was size. In the old days RnDs used to save old levels in their old format (single bytes), but since the new level chucks arrived(?) it doesn't do it anymore (load BD level 1 then save it, and see it double in size)

So, that would mean any EBook I made would be twice the size as the text file,pretty useless! I defined the steel_chars as uppercase letters, then made 26 CEs that where indestructable lower case letters (so I could place them in the border)....I didn't think ahead so it was a big waste of time :-(

I needed to use V1 type caves, or it was game over!

Of course I couldn't make the empty level using RnDs, so I had to hack an old one (BD level 1). I resized it in a hex editor.....which was a bit nasty (I crashed RnDs a good few times)

It now meant I couldn't use the CE lowercase chars as these are all over $FF,(as well as the steel ones) so I decided to use normal elements (you can't play the level so it doesn't matter). And then it struck me! I could define the characters at the actual ASCII placements.......for example the first chatacter is 32 (space), this is the red key_1 in the cave format,so by following this page I managed to slot them all into their right places. This has some great benefits:-

You can open a RnDBook page in a hex editor and read it,

You can also type straight into the level,in upper and lower case,and save it.(it has no pesky borders in the level either, so the text is uninterrupted) In fact you could say that these RnDs levels are now 100% plain text, but with a RnDs V1 header!

Making the convertor was obviously easy after setting this up. ;-)

Have fun!

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Holger
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Post by Holger » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:09 am

Just finished reading the last chapter of "War of the Worlds" by H. G. Wells (not the whole book, only the last chapter)! :-)

This (RnDBook, I mean, not "War of the Worlds" ;-) ) is the most creative "misuse" of R'n'D so far, and it's just perfectly done! It really looks like a little eBook reading application, not like a BD style (or any other) game anymore! Way cool! :-) :-) :-)

> Comes with five classic novels (all public domain and copyright free)

This is a great idea, to use well-known classics without violating a copyright (which we "touch" every now and then here with a game like R'n'D that focusses on classic games :-) ) -- well done, Alan!

> This first big problem was size. In the old days RnDs used to save old
> levels in their old format (single bytes), but since the new level chucks
> arrived(?) it doesn't do it anymore (load BD level 1 then save it, and see it
> double in size)

You're right here -- maybe I should re-introduce this feature back again, using 1-byte encoding for levels using only the lower 256 game elements, and using 2-byte encoding only for those levels really using those elements above 256.

> Of course I couldn't make the empty level using RnDs, so I had to hack an
> old one (BD level 1).

Good idea! :-)

> I resized it in a hex editor.....which was a bit nasty (I crashed RnDs a good
> few times)

Oops! Although I did some preventions to not crash on "hacked" levels, apparently I wasn't totally able to avoid this! :-o Could you send me one or two of those levels which have crashed R'n'D, so I could see how to replace the crash with an error message, to make level hacking (and testing them) a bit easier in future versions!

> You can open a RnDBook page in a hex editor and read it,

Indeed! (Just tested!)

This is really a cool idea -- it's nearly a plain text file! :-D

Another amazing "funny misuse" level set, and highly recommended to try it out and be surprised! :-)

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Alan
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Post by Alan » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:39 pm

Oops! Although I did some preventions to not crash on "hacked" levels, apparently I wasn't totally able to avoid this! :-o Could you send me one or two of those levels which have crashed R'n'D, so I could see how to replace the crash with an error message, to make level hacking (and testing them) a bit easier in future versions!
It is a very hidden bug this, I have to admit, but you can make this yourself very easily. The reason it's hidden is: If you have RnDs open whist editing a level in a hex editor it is a big time saver (you just flip to the next level and back to refresh it). If the map data is smaller than it should be (which is bad), when you flip between levels in RnDs it doesn't crash (you see weird elements though). But, if you "RG:" or if you exit RnDs and restart it at the broken level, RnDs crashes.

I reckon that's why it slipped by you.

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Post by fang q » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:23 pm

Wow. No further comment is needed. You are just amazing Alan. I have not been here long yet I still realise that.

EDIT: Some of (the more important) graphics don't work for me? I just get random elements on my screen.

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Alan
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Post by Alan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:39 pm

EDIT: Some of (the more important) graphics don't work for me? I just get random elements on my screen.
Ooops, that doesn't sound good. Not sure what you mean though.....are there letters missing?

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Post by fang q » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:36 am

Actually all the lettters are missing/broken/not working. The only graphics I can see are the Windows-type graphics.

I can see all the font_lower.pcx graphics in the graphics folder but they don't work, apparently. What version of RnD does it require?

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Alan
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Post by Alan » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:41 pm

I can see all the font_lower.pcx graphics in the graphics folder but they don't work, apparently. What version of RnD does it require?
3.2.4, but you wouldn't see anything in any other version I think, because the text uses the preview area...... odd.

I always use the latest build for everything I do (I've never known a pre-release to be unstable so I've always used them.)

fang q
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Post by fang q » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:55 pm

Ah so there is the problem :oops:. I use 3.2.3. Where can I download the latest version?

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Alan
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Post by Alan » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:04 pm


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Martijn
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Post by Martijn » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:28 pm

link to the zip file doesn't seem to work...
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