How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Discussions, requests and appeals to lay open the Z source code

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Eastwind
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How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby Eastwind » 2009-09-08, 04:00

Hello,

It s quiet long time I haven't post here , and so I read back some of the old post from this section . It seems there is really a will to make an open source Z remake . I mean the rip of the graphics from immo ( viewtopic.php?f=5&t=389 ) , the Meekly WinZ.exe decompilation results ( viewtopic.php?f=5&t=569 ) , the code processing map from Ballwin and so on , and not forgetting all the work that port Z to windows xp , the improvement of zed editor , and the Mod of map , in the same open mind spirit .

The road to an open zed is in front of us . Now I just would like to ask a question , how can we (users ) help you (developpers ) for this same dream come true ?

I m sure there is a lot of users that would like to help , but don't know how to . It s sure that lambda users aren't developper , and haven't big way for dealing with algo ,and path finding problem , but the will for help remain unchanged. Based on the post , it s seems the questions is to :

- Find a 2D open source top bottom engine
- Understand the Z graphic format fully
- Understand path finding of Z engine
- Implement it to open source engine


Is there some other thing users can do ? I mean maybe classifying all object from a map in a list (like classifying the animals that s in environnement , the nature , the tree ... ) , making specific screenshot or video from some of the move of some of the vehicule , robot , explosion ? that is needed to see the a particular effect for understanding the Z graphic format ?

I dream of a model for Z community ,like Wikipedia, where each users can participate and contribute from his level to the growing of the whole project in the benefit of all . Can someone tell me this is not just a dream ?
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Re: How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby Meeky » 2009-09-08, 09:09

Hi, Eastwind!
Glad to hear you again!
Well, among the accomplishments you missed high screen resolution mod :roll:
Also Ballwin very soon will present to the community ZMap project - an open source Z Editor :wink:
It means that there is no secrets on internal structure of level-defining files (*.map, *.dat), as for graphics format - it’s also hardly a secret now.
So at present time we have a solid foundation for a future Z-remake!

In my opinion, best thing ordinary game funs can do is to spread awareness of the game, so that more people and consiquenly more programmers can know of it. As for myself - I'm too old for it, but I can share the knowledge I gained, while reverse-engeering the game.
WinZMod - mod for playing Z with high screen resolution
ZEdMod - ZEditor mod allowing to edit single player levels
ZGFX - Utility for extracting Z graphic
ZStats - Small utility for fine-tuning unit statistics
Z-Remake - XNA project on 2D IceCream Engine
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Re: How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby Eastwind » 2009-09-09, 10:06

Thankx for update the news

The progress is really big , that's great ! Correct me if i m wrong , but if their is no secret of the file format and level structure , this can mean there is a way to use standard open format (like .png ) for the futur open source z engine ?


In my opinion, best thing ordinary game funs can do is to spread awareness of the game, so that more people and consiquenly more programmers can know of it. As for myself - I'm too old for it, but I can share the knowledge I gained, while reverse-engeering the game.
Yeah best thing is to spread and share the knowledge :) , What about the idea to setup a wiki on zzone ?
Also , there is a need to find an tutorial for explain howto create graphics in Z like style for common people :)
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Re: How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby Meeky » 2009-09-10, 06:43

Eastwind wrote:Thankx for update the news

The progress is really big , that's great ! Correct me if i m wrong , but if their is no secret of the file format and level structure , this can mean there is a way to use standard open format (like .png ) for the futur open source z engine ?
I'm not sure with an answer. What do you mean? Surely we can convert graphics to any format needed.
Eastwind wrote: Yeah best thing is to spread and share the knowledge :) , What about the idea to setup a wiki on zzone ?
Also , there is a need to find an tutorial for explain howto create graphics in Z like style for common people :)
Wiki is a good idea. What do mean create graphics? For new units, terrain types or what?
WinZMod - mod for playing Z with high screen resolution
ZEdMod - ZEditor mod allowing to edit single player levels
ZGFX - Utility for extracting Z graphic
ZStats - Small utility for fine-tuning unit statistics
Z-Remake - XNA project on 2D IceCream Engine
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Re: How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby Eastwind » 2009-09-13, 16:57

My question about the open format is this one , for the open source Z version , we can directly use the open format in place of the original closed one , it ll be good base for the game , made easy to contribute (see exemple below )


For the graphic , I especially mean all the graphic that can be easily moded :

- The videophone /webcam where robot are talking directly with you
- The Flag



for exemple I draw this : Image

It 's a mix between a Though and a GNU , a GNU robot

Inspired by : Image
Term Unit X Fee software Comic story : http://www.commandprompt.com/TUX/zero/f05.html


As I m a big fan of both Z and Free and open source software , what I hope is to play an open source Z , where there is map moded in the spirit of the battle of Free and open source software against closed software like theses :
Image
Storming redmond : http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.0 ... fox3_f.gif

Image
Software war map : http://mshiltonj.com/software_wars/

But I m sure there is other fan who would like to mod Z in their spirit , and so the mod and the experience gained need to be easily shared inside community ( wiki rulez ).

So what is needed now is :
- a tutorial for transform the draw by fan in the pixel art style of Zed (like GNU Robot )
- setup a wiki for share all our improvement (code , graphic , music ... )
- An open source engine for the Open Z ( what do you think about the SnowballZ engine ? , see my test here : viewtopic.php?f=5&t=483&hilit=snowballz )
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Re: How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby BallWin » 2009-09-14, 22:06

Eastwind wrote: Based on the post , it s seems the questions is to :
- Find a 2D open source top bottom engine
- Understand the Z graphic format fully
- Understand path finding of Z engine
- Implement it to open source engine
Is there some other thing users can do ? I
Meeky wrote:Also Ballwin very soon will present to the community ZMap project - an open source Z Editor :wink:
It means that there is no secrets on internal structure of level-defining files (*.map, *.dat), as for graphics format - it’s also hardly a secret now.
So at present time we have a solid foundation for a future Z-remake!
Well, guys... :cheers:

Before I start, you should know some the prophetic:
1) I badly speak in English
2) I not the programmer, I'm the game-designer
3) I wish to speak openly and fairly (and I do not wish anybody to offend)

The main message, is short:
- Project Open Source - game editor ZMap is almost ready. You can download now build. (Thanks Meeky for its help). The link I give only here (even in its Russian segment Internet will not be). Estimate result of operation for today. Pay attention, that shades from hills not everywhere are handled correctly. We also wish to correct it to release...
Image
That is realised:
- ZMap reads levels for game Z (Z95) any formats (including made in ZEditor)
- The level map much more similar on game, than in the official editor
Image
- There are no limitations on screen resolution and quantity of the colours installed in system
- Instead of a minimap high-grade browse mode is used - you see all map entirely, with all objects and units. This real map of level. Click of the left mouse button transfers you to the specified point of preview
Image
- The show mode of "a permeability map" is realised, now to discuss problems AI and to control movement of units it is possible visually
Image
- The mode of loading for this level of the textures made by the user is realised. For example, you can alter textures for planet DESERT and immediately look result of the operation
- Dark blue and red start commands are shown at level at once (green and orange while are designated by flags on forte)
- It seems, it while all...

That we achieve:
- The project purpose - to receive the tool of the complete control over production of maps for levels Z. It is necessary for production add-on EXCELLENCE. Levels which are made by me and are presented at this forum, only preparations for this purpose add-on. They are created with usage ZEditor and ZTools. I consider these levels insufficiently beautiful. The measurement standard is game Z.
- At this stage I do not consider possibility of immediate development of new game. I think, it is premature.
- By means of ZMap we can make more than add-on. We can create high-grade continuation of game (Z, instead of Z SS). Already now it is possible to draw the new planets, new units and many other things. But such big operation without the aid of community cannot be fulfilled.

Why Open Source?
Is too big operation for one (and even two) the person. Especially if they work free of charge. If they are engaged in it constantly instead of taking a walk with children in park... :roll:
- I do not think, that I either Meeky or Antares we know all better than other people. Something for other people without fail turns out better (especially drawing)
- I am not the apologist of projects Open Source. I not ??????????, that they will sometime win Microsoft. We will not be naive. But I think, that such form of the project at some stages is useful. Probably even is the best.

Than it is possible to help right now?
- To draw new icons for panels tools (16x16 && 32x32 && 38x48 && 64x64)
- To offer ideas of new planets (graphics solutions interest)
- To offer ideas of new units (first of all a drawing)
- To offer ideas of new functions for ZMap
- All can be discussed the rest after appearance at a forum of an initial code of the program

====================================================
Eastwind I liked your operations. The figure <http://www.commandprompt.com/TUX/zero/f05.html> has especially liked... :cheers:
But I have not understood, how it can be applied in Z? The robot with horns on a helmet not seems to me good idea... It approaches for modifications where instead of robots beings from the Hell are used, probably. :?:
Last edited by BallWin on 2009-09-23, 08:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby Arriga » 2009-09-16, 18:30

Hi everybody! I think Eastwind has opened an interesting topic now. There are many users here (and not here) interested in a Z remake who, unfortunately, can't figure out how to mess with the game's algorithms; however, I think that many users might offer their help: right in this topic Eastwind has shared with us some of his drawings which (imo) are examples that anybody can deal with some parts of the remaking. As you've already said (now that it is possible) how about drawing new planets? And later (when, if it will be possible) why not drawing again some parts, for example, of the interface?

I agree with the idea of a Wiki; it would help very much the community itself, as well as the developing of new parts of the remake. On the other side maybe there are not so many people wishing to help... Anyways I'm optimistic and I'd say it is not only a dream. :cheers:

====================================

Now, a brief question about this new (awesome!) game editor: will it be possible to draw canyons (such as in level 13 Hot'n'Steamy)? And I don't know if the link you've posted is already a final download of the editor. Is that executable supposed to work? :roll:

Thanks Ballwin!
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Re: How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby BallWin » 2009-09-17, 12:38

Arriga wrote:Now, a brief question about this new (awesome!) game editor: will it be possible to draw canyons (such as in level 13 Hot'n'Steamy)?
Yes, sure! The new game editor should make much more than old Zeditor. Differently it is senseless work :wink:
Arriga wrote:And I don't know if the link you've posted is already a final download of the editor. Is that executable supposed to work? :roll:
It is the not final version. This version fact-finding. You can see a condition of the project by the present situation.

The program works. All declared functions are executed.
To load a level to you it is necessary to select "Load Level" (interface of the program while only in Russian, therefore look the correspondence of titles in the previous message). Then open a folder with a level Z.
Arriga wrote:Thanks Ballwin!
Thank you :cheers:
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Re: How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby Arriga » 2009-09-17, 20:41

BallWin wrote:
Arriga wrote:And I don't know if the link you've posted is already a final download of the editor. Is that executable supposed to work? :roll:
It is the not final version. This version fact-finding. You can see a condition of the project by the present situation.

The program works. All declared functions are executed.
I've got problems with running the executable: as I open it I get the following error:
"C:\...\filename.exe; It is impossible to run the executable because its configurations aren't correct. A new installation of the application might solve the problem" :roll:

However I think this program will deserve a dedicated topic.

Now, about Eastwind issues: I think that this topic should give the Z community great hopes: I mean, Eastwind opened this thread wondering about the organization of the community itself and the chance for ordinary users to help. Just a week later we get a wonderful gift that give us (almost? maybe not :) ) full power dealing with maps and planets. Maybe by the end of the year, with the help of a Wiki community, we shall give all Z players the chance to have new gaming experiences. :cheers:
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Re: How to help for progress of an Free & Open source Z ?

Postby BallWin » 2009-09-18, 20:34

Arriga wrote: I've got problems with running the executable: as I open it I get the following error:
"C:\...\filename.exe; It is impossible to run the executable because its configurations aren't correct. A new installation of the application might solve the problem" :roll:
You should install additional updating for Windows:
--Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86)
The program will work :cheers:

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