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jbl89

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About jbl89

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  1. Vondell's Current Projects

    I sent that version to Vondell, but there seems to be a minor hiccup when the files got packaged. Sorting that out with him right now, will share - if Vondell gives permission - when it works as expected (full tile version though, so there's just some space on one side of the tile)
  2. Vondell's Current Projects

    It was very surprising too. I thought I had mixed up the offset at first, hence I checked it with the rocks you see. But for some reason, you can place it where you see it in the picture or actually next to the tank. Another observation (also for the regular Marine Mania tank filter): why does the maintenance guy just hammer in the air, quite far from the tank filter
  3. ( if wrong forum, please move ) As promised, I'm writing a short tutorial on configuring a tank filter, what to think of and what graphics you need. Out of this scope: everything related to creating the proper graphics. That's the same as for any user created content, with one thing to keep in mind (read tutorial). In this scope: making a tank filter, the way Blue Fang did it (you could always change some locations etc). Now, tank filters are not that hard to create, but this shouldn't be your very first project because they're a bit special. You should've at least made a normal (scenery-like) object so you have an understanding of the file structure. Let's take a look at the original files which matter. Since redistributing the original files is (probably) not allowed, I'll list where you can find everything. It's all found in c:\Program Files (x86)\microsoft games\zoo tycoon\xpack2 . ZTD files are actually ZIP files, you can rename them but it's not required. They can be opened and files extracted from them with free programs like WinRAR . Always keep the same directory structure as within those files. How does the original tank filter work? (you can skip this, just putting it as additional information) config3.ztd contains a file named filter01.cfg fences6.ztd contains fences/filter; which includes the icon for the tank filter. object05.ztd contains objects/filter; which includes all graphic files for the tank filter. scenery6.ztd contains scenery/other/filter1.ai; which is the configuration file for the tank filter. Not very relevant, but mentioning it: freefrm6.ztd contains freeform/unlock02.scn; which is a file listing when some (in this case Marine Mania) animals, objects etc. become available in-game. Taking a look at the graphics This all seems pretty basic. We have an icon; and we have some animations ( idle, used, off ). The animations are the same as for any other regular object. You have 4 views (NE, NW, SE, SW). Nothing shocking. A bit surprising: the icon is in the fences-folder by default. This makes sense though: the filter is listed in the fences tab in-game. Contrary to most objects, the filter only has 1 icon for an in-game menu. Since this is a special object to make; don't use APE at all. Using APE is a bad practice. The alternatives for creating those graphics are ZOOT (by MadScientist and updated by Jay) or ZT Studio (by myself). So we need these graphics: one icon a filter has 4 states ( officially idle, used, broken, off . But I create folders named regular, decayed, broken, off because it's a bit more obvious) for each of which you need 4 views (NE, NW, SE, SW) Now, I just discovered an interesting feature of tank filters which you should keep in mind when designing. To see this in action, simply build a tank filter in Marine Mania and position the tank filter to two different sides of the tank filter (don't actually place any tank filter). See what happens? Filters auto-rotate. And I'd really recommend the filter to be an entire tile. I was actually just testing a filter which was on half a tile - longest side attached to the filter. Marine Mania allowed me to place the filter both directly next to the tank wall; as well as leave half a tile in between. Filter was still functioning. But obviously, this makes no sense and gets confusing. Taking a look at the configuration We're naming our filter vdfilt01 This is a little more tricky. filter01.cfg was used to create this file, named filterVD01.cfg (so basically just a custom name). Content below. ; Start the filename with 'filter', then a short unique name, end with .cfg extension ; filter VD (for Vondell) 01 (first filter).cfg => filterVD01.cfg ; List unique object names of filter(s). ; One per line below [filter] [filter] vdfilt01 ; Describe where this file is located for each new/unique filter ; Copy this block each time and change the name. [vdfilt01] f = scenery/other/vdfilt01.ai Now, based on the official filter1.ai, I came up with this file, vdfilt01.ai. Content below. There were a lot of comments in the official file, I added a bit more. ; This used to be the random string from APE. ; Thanks to ZT Studio, we no longer need random names like 5DF35026 nor hex editors to fix it ; I recommend a prefix (based on author), a name which says something and in this case (more filters may come?) a number. ; This should be alphanumeric and (max) 8 characters [vdfilt01] ; Everything below is mostly a copy of the original file; ; but with some values changed and a little more documented. [Icon] Icon = fences/vdfilt01/SE/SE [Member] habitatfences highfence fence aqua [FilterSounds] ; Just keep the original sounds. ; 1700 is default for both. For decayed, I'd recommend keeping that value. ; For healthy... Our filter's better ;) cHealthySound = scenery/building/filter.wav cHealthyAtten = 650 cDecayedSound = scenery/building/filterb.wav cDecayedAtten = 1700 [Characteristics/Strings] cInfoImageName = objects/vdfilt01/off/off [Characteristics/Integers] ; Default ID for a filter is 6471. ; For custom content, this is usually 19000. Trashcans is one of the only exceptions I know of. ; If you want to take a maintance worker to take care of a trashcan; the ID is hardcoded. ; For filters, this is not the case - contrary to what other configs of user created tank filters do. cNameID = 19000 cHelpID = 19000 ; Default: 200 cPurchaseCost = 450 ; Now, as for footprints... something you need to keep in mind: filter objects auto-rotate based on the side they're attached to the tank. ; If you'd go for say x = 2 and y = 1; you'll notice the filter still auto-rotates. ; However, you can place the filter directly next to the tank; or even leave some width in between (half a tile) ; Another minor thing: obviously the maintenance guy will hit the exact same spot as the regular filter when fixing it. ; But hey, the maintance guy even stands a long way from the original tank filter. So don't bother. cFootprintX = 2 cFootprintY = 2 ;Bad Habitat Type cHabitat = 9414 ; Default height is 2. cHeight = 1 cUseNumbersInName=1 cSelectable = 1 cNeedsConfirm = 1 ; initial health. Default: 10 ; Impatient to wait? Decrease these values for testing. ; You can set the starting healthy to be the same (or lower) as decayed health. ; Interesting enough, even filters which are 'off' can still decay and get broken (but they keep showing the 'off' graphic) cStartingHealth = 10 ; health point where the decayed anim is played. Default: 5 cDecayedHealth = 5 ; time in seconds before health decays one point. Default: 200 ; Speed this u p to something much smaller to test graphics. cDecayTime = 200 ; time in seconds between cleanings. Default: 50 cFilterDelay = 100 ; cost billed to the user ever time it filters. Default: 50 cFilterUpkeep = 50 ; amount of water cleaning done while fully efficient. Default: 10 cFilterCleanAmount = 15 ; amount of water cleaning done while decayed. Default: 5 cFilterDecayedCleanAmount = 5 [Animations] ; For the animations, you need to keep idle, decayed, off, broken on the left (=key). ; As for value, you can give names which make more sense to you. 'idle' and 'used' didn't make too much sense to me. ; In Marine Mania, animations for off and broken are shared. However, it's a different state. idle = objects/vdfilt01/regular/regular.ani decayed = objects/vdfilt01/decayed/decayed.ani off = objects/vdfilt01/off/off.ani broken = objects/vdfilt01/broken/broken.ani [EstheticBonus] ; man v = 9503 v = 0 ; woman v = 9504 v = 0 ; boy v = 9505 v = 0 ; girl v = 9506 v = 0 ; Now, the sad part: copy language part from custom content. ; Everything below is stuff we need if we changed the ID to 19000 (custom content) [defaultLCID] LCID = 1033 [Global] ; This used to be the random string from APE. Type = vdfilt01 [1033] ; This really makes no sense; cGeneralInfoFileName is usually something like below but not even needed in objects. ; Anyhow, I just leave it in. cGeneralInfoFileName = objects/vdfilt01/texts/1033.txt cLongHelp = Purchase a modern tank filter. cName = Modern tank filter cTheString = the Modern tank filter So why did I mention unlock02.scn? Because in MM, it says to make the filter available in there; I think it was after 3 months. But above config, using ID 19000 = custom content, makes that part unnecessary. Our filter is available right away. In the end, you have these files ( change 'vdfilt01' to your own unique name) fences/vdfilt01/SE: contains an icon (N) and a SE.ani file objects/vdfilt01/broken : this folder contains NE, NW, SE, SW and a broken.ani-file objects/vdfilt01/decayed : this folder contains NE, NW, SE, SW and a decayed.ani-file objects/vdfilt01/off : this folder contains NE, NW, SE, SW and a off.ani-file objects/vdfilt01/regular : this folder contains NE, NW, SE, SW and a regular.ani-file scenery/other: contains the vdfilt01.ai file and don't forget the filterVD01.cfg file This briefly sums it up. :) Questions? Remarks? Shoot! :)
  4. Vondell's Current Projects

    I was thinking it might be a nice little project for today to write up a short step-by-step tutorial and see if I can get your filter working. It seems only 10-15 mins to get it working anyhow, then some more to write the tutorial. Update: had some delay since I needed to fix some graphic stuff (more than 255 colors and I got my own way of taking care of that); need to to some minor rotation fixing as well. Anyhow, currently having the working filter in the background and working on a write-up of the process while testing if it works as expected. I'll publish it soon. But let's all be thankful to Vondell for providing the graphics. :) Update 2: seems like the rotation fixing is not going smoothly. But I've discovered why. The size of this particular filter messes up things. To see a particular feature of the (original) tank filter: create a tank, then try to place (but do not click) the filter on any side of the tank filter. If you pay attention, you see an interesting feature: the tank filter's animations turn as needed. So the small border is always aligned to the tank. Now, when I try to do this with Vondell's tank filter, it works too... But! For some reason it even works when further away from the tank. If you leave some space in between (half a tile) rather than place it right next to the tank, it still works (I tried the money cheat to make the tank murky, it still cleaned. The screenshot below is not bad rotation fixing. After placing the working filter, I could still place rocks). Based on this finding, I'd say it's best to keep tank filters on 1 entire tile (or just maybe the behavior is slightly different if we go for a filter which is only a quarter of a tile) rather than half a tile. Update 3: tutorial can be found below. Also, if anyone's interested, I got the filter above working, but it's on 2x2 (so full square) instead.
  5. Vondell's Current Projects

    I was the first to release a tank filter back in the days :) It's actually quite easy if you start from the original's filter files (or one of the released ones). You can change some stuff about decay or how efficient the filter is if I remember correctly, and it's obviously easier than a fence. The filter1.ai file actually lists all information on the parameters in comments. If I'm not mistaken (not checking anything custom right now), it only needed 3 or 4 (idle, decayed (used), off = broken ) "states". Marine Mania has graphics for 3 states, the config file lists 4 states. I'm not entirely sure if you can change cNameID and cHelpId (or whatever it is) to 19000 and add custom strings; or if you need to keep the original ID. Oh, and there should also be a filter*.cfg -file ( C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\zoo tycoon\XPACK2\config3.ztd has the one from the original filter). But the last step might not be necessary if you use ID 19000. filter01.cfg -> xpack2/config3.ztd filter graphics -> xpack2/object05.ztd (non-icons) filter1.ai -> xpack2/scenery6.ztd Absolutely looking forward to more scenery!
  6. General oddities you've noticed?

    DJ Pluffs (or Puffs?) released the Marine trashcan at some point, it's completely included in MM. Other interesting graphic is a testbox with Blue Fang logo. I've stumbled accross the drain before; but the backdrop is slightly new to me - although it's not surprising if you take a look at screenshots from beta MM which featured a lot of remarkable things including smaller foliage. Old dino dig site? I'm interested in that one. I thought something along those lines actually existed in game (decorative only)
  7. General oddities you've noticed?

    I made it happen - accidentally - by putting a swing to close in the wrong direction next to a tank. I actually probably played the game a lot less than most people on here. It''s not a matter of how much you play sometimes, but how much you look at the files (probably done it more than most players). I've seen very few glitches - except for bad path finding - when only using *original* content. As for the beta (and user created animals which are incomplete), you can have any animal turn into a lion attacking the guests instead of the actual animal. Seems to be a fallback. Another oddity: notice how all animals have shadows beneath them. This suddenly disappears and even the shape of the elephant changes when it uses it's swinging toy. (likely one of the very first animations). As for unused stuff, I'd suggest discussing it in the old "beta" topics (binoculars, temperature...) Maybe we should stick to oddities here. Such as: why is the small burrow looking very similar in size to medium burrow?
  8. How do you layout your new zoo?

    My structure's generally quite boring. I also start from the walls. Exhibits of 10x10 squares (enough to reach highest compatibility). Sometimes I do merge exhibits of animals which are compatible (tigers) or something. The corridors in between are 5 squares. Outer sides are usually for plants, sometimes statues or observation stands. Middle is mostly for statues and other decoration; anything else is used for benches, signs. As for buildings, I add some animal houses and only restaurants, no separate food stands. This keeps junk to a minimum and fulfills all needs except gifts - for which I use both big stores or the small cart. Another thing I do, is have the doors of the exhibits close to each other. Zoo keepers just coming in to fill the food, don't have to walk that far before they can go to the next one. However, sometimes adaptation's needed for marine shows or because guests are bad in path finding. One thing which did seem to help to attract more people to certain regions, was to have a marine show at the end of the place where you want people to get too eventually. This usually causes some initial losses, but it gets better over time. Start with a limited amount of grand stands to minimize your losses and just make sure there's room for expansion.
  9. Zoo Manager

    Glad we got your attention here, Synchron. Point taken. However, you can see the replies, and take into account that this game is about 15 years old. Take it as a challenge to create something which will last as long. Yes, it's gotten more quiet in here. But a lot of game communities vanish after only a few years. Also, try to learn from the mistakes from ZT2. It should be *a lot* better rather than a clone :)
  10. Binoculars?

    See the post above yours, Ashea. That looks like the binoculars from the beta version, which indeed had them.
  11. Vondell's Current Projects

    It would be nice to actually see the banana flower too. Vondell, maybe you could consider another primate and have it climb this tree, similar to the Orang Utan and its tree. That would make people go bananas ;)
  12. New tool: ZT Studio

    When I designed things myself ages ago, I abandoned APE as soon as ZOOT was released. And even before ZOOT was released, I made it a habit to copy the configuration from an existing animal. As long as you kept the animations the same as those for the original animal (something 90% of the designers did), you only had to change some settings. There were also less things corrupted and the structure was way easier to dig into. So I'm used to a completely different work flow from way back. Feel free to ask if anything's not clear. I also updated the Wiki page on GitHub. Some things I just do but forget to mention or write up. And with Vondell's Red Panda, I also just tackled the animations from scratch.
  13. New tool: ZT Studio

    Start from the original animal, not from what APE generated (I'm assuming you're doing that since you refer to F7E772A3 ). In your case: Prepare - always copy the original files (for example, all files from T-Rex), keep the naming first. - now you have for instance c:\temp\animals\trex (or something like that), which contains all original .pal files and icons and animations Recolor - open any animation now from trex - on the right side of the main window, right click the color palette, choose to export it (to .PNG for instance) - recolor the palette in any program you'd like - very important step: go to Settings -> Palette tab -> make sure ZT Studio is forced to add all colors (even duplicates) - on the right side of the main window, right click the color palette and choose import from PNG - see if your T-rex looks nice enough or repeat the recolor-steps. Bonus tip: make sure real/complete black stays black (= shadow for the animal) Rename (to unique name) - use ZT Studio to convert all files from ZT1 to .PNG (batch conversion) - now rename your folder and trex.pal to for example mytrex and mytrex.pal - use ZT Studio to convert all files from .PNG to ZT1 (batch conversion) Why? This allows you to not have single .pal-files for each single view in each single animation (= the crappy APE way) But, why? Having one color palette allows you to simply recolor this; and all animations will be recolored at once. What's left? In most (all?) cases, icons and plaques use a separate color palette file. Adjust that graphic manually, recoloring is a bad idea here because these color palettes also contain the background of the icon. Configuration Again, I never use APE because it generates utter crap. I always start from the original .AI-file from the animal. But if you really want to, I think it's safe now to use APE to adjust those settings, as long as you don't do any more graphic manipulations.
  14. New tool: ZT Studio

    It's only the palette on the right side of the main window which offers some of the extra features for now. This guide should help you. It's easier starting off by opening an animation from the original T-Rex so it loads the palette on the right side. There, you can export/recolor/reimport by right clicking https://github.com/jbostoen/ZTStudio/wiki/How-to-easily-recolor-an-official-animal-or-object
  15. Red Panda (by Vondell)

    View File Red Panda (by Vondell) The Red Panda is an original new endangered animal, compatible with Zoo Tycoon 1 (no expansion packs needed). You might also hear this little critter's unique cry once in a while. From Wikipedia: The red panda (Ailurus fulgens), also called the lesser panda, the red bear-cat, and the red cat-bear, is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. It has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs; it is slightly larger than a domestic cat. It is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, and insects. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day. - Design by Vondell - Configuration by Jeff (to admins: please test this animal once more, I'm using a slightly different version which was stable in my game. Vondell's been active for a bit, but I'm sure he's okay with publishing this first version of the Red Panda) Submitter jbl89 Submitted 04/09/2017 Category Animals  
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