DUKE NUKEM II LEVEL EDITOR (and other stuff)

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Keening_Product
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Post by Keening_Product »

That plot is neat. I look forward to trying out the demo when I get a chance :)
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K1n9_Duk3
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Post by K1n9_Duk3 »

Nickssoft wrote:Also can you upload the latest version of Reduke? I have the v1.0 but I want the latest for a project I might be working on :begging

thanks buddy :christmas
You can find ReDuke beta 3 on my other website: http://home.arcor.de/k1n9duk3/files/reduke.zip

Beta 4 (unreleased) has a front end much like ScummVM and some minor changes. However, I could add a scripting system like the one in Duke2, which would allow you to modify more than just the texts and images for the menu and story screens. That scripting system would still use the strings from ReDuke's string files, so you could already change them if you like.

Other changes like enemy behavior or hitpoints will not be possible, though.
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Post by Levellass »

Aaah ScummVM; truly a great piece of code.
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Roobar
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Re: DUKE NUKEM II LEVEL EDITOR (and other stuff)

Post by Roobar »

Hey everyone! There's this RigelEngine for Duke Nukem 2 being in active development now:

https://lethalguitar.wordpress.com/2020 ... -released/

It seems that it's in early version, but plays really well! For me, the most interesting thing that offers so far is the wide screen support. But it also adds support for quick save/load, removing the sprites limits and some other things. And perhaps will add even more features in the future.

So this brought back my interest a bit at making levels with this editor for DN2 and I'm working on a second level. I was reading the guide of the editor and one section states that there are some CZone files:
• CZONE1.MNI
• CZONE2.MNI
• CZONE3.MNI etc.

However, I don't see these and I have the shareware and the registered versions of the game.

I was also wondering if it's possible to export and import images, or if it was just added as a feature, but currently not working as I tried that as well. The way I think this must work is extract an image, edit and import it back. But maybe there's another way? I'm not sure.
Edit: OK I've figured out how to export and import images.

I've also noticed that the music testing within the editor is also not working.
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K1n9_Duk3
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Re: DUKE NUKEM II LEVEL EDITOR (and other stuff)

Post by K1n9_Duk3 »

Yeah, I know about RigelEngine. I must have stumbled across it back in January 2018 or so when I was giving some feedback on Cosmo-Engine and helping the author fix some sound bugs in Cosmo-Engine. The author of RigelEngine was (and still is) watching the Cosmo-Engine project on GitHub and his avatar is obviously inspired by Duke Nukem II, so I checked his projects and found RigelEngine.

Anyway, back on topic:

The very first thing you're supposed to do when you start plaing around with the editor is extract all of the contents of NUKEM2.CMP to gain access to all the levels, tilesets, songs etc. The editor uses the standard open file and close file dialogs from Windows and those obviously don't allow you to open files that are hidden inside other files and aren't visible for Windows.

The CZone files should show up in the tileset selection window when you create a new level or edit the settings of the current level. This will also list files from within NUKEM2.CMP even if you haven't extracted the files. But for the CZone editor, the CZone files have to be extracted from the CMP file before you can open them.

The music testing feature requires external tools. Music playback needs an OPL (AdLib) emulator and I wasn't able to port any existing OPL emulation code to programming language this tool is written in. The most recent version of K1n9_Duk3's Enormous Tool supports my IMF to WAV Converter as well as Gerstrong's IMF Player (you can find downloads for both of them on my IMF tools page). The download for K1n9_Duk3's Enormous Tool should already include a zip archive of my IMF to WAV Converter, but it's an old version.

Extract the IMF tools into the same folder as Duke2Edit.exe and it should work right away. You might also want to check Duke2Edit.ini and make sure the "path" settings in the [IMFCONVERTER] and [IMFPLAYER] sections are correct. The way the level editor interfaces with these external programs is a bit of an ugly hack, but I just tested it under Windows 10 and it worked fine.

All of this was already explained in the readme.txt file that comes with the editor, but it seems that nobody reads readme files anymore. :old
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Re: DUKE NUKEM II LEVEL EDITOR (and other stuff)

Post by Roobar »

OK, I've managed to make 2 more levels. The first level also took some changes. Mainly more destructible rocks. My pack now contains 3 levels.

Download from here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/09lorqhp4psg8 ... P.rar?dl=0

Screenshots:

Image Image

Installation:

1. Extract all the files from this archive to a folder.
2. Copy and paste your Duke Nukem 2 files into that folder.
3. Run RigelEngine.exe
4. Play the first episode

My main issue with the editor is the tiny graphics from the tilesets/actors tab. I've spend probably more time staring at these than making the levels themselves, trying to find the actors that I want.

I have not tested the new levels with the regular version of DN2 because the editor is saying that they might crash because of memory limitations. And my levels are not even big. But anyone can feel free to test them and provide feedback.
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Re: DUKE NUKEM II LEVEL EDITOR (and other stuff)

Post by K1n9_Duk3 »

Yeah, levels 2 & 3 won't work in the original DOS version, but if you apply my memory fix to the DOS executable, you can at least get them to work in DOSBox. Real DOS PCs might not be able to provide enough free conventional memory to play these levels.

The memory usage of a level depends on the size of the music track used in the level and the amount of different enemy/item types in the level (loading the required sprite graphics is what needs additional memory). I wouldn't recommend creating levels that can't be played in the original game, but if that's how you want to design your levels, then so be it.


I admit that the interface of the editor isn't optimal. The tiny 8x8 pixel icons were the best/easiest solution I could think of at the time and I remember having trouble finding the actor icons I was looking for. My original solution to that problem was that you could switch into fullscreen mode by hitting ALT+ENTER and that would usually allow you to see the 8x8 pixel icons more clearly, assuming you still had the resolution set to the default 640x480 pixels and were using a relatively big monitor. I just tried this on my Win10 system and the editor tells me it can't switch to fullscreen mode. I had the default fullscreen mode set to 16 bit color depth instead of 32 bit and it seems like 16 bit modes are no longer supported, at least not on my system. You can change that setting in Duke2Edit.ini, so the fullscreen feature isn't completely broken and useless.

However, modern versions of windows have built-in accessibility options that can make my little fullscreen hack obsolete. As long as you're running the editor in windowed mode, you should be able to use the built-in zooming feature of Windows 10: hold down the Windows key and press + or - to zoom in or out. I'm not sure if this actually helps you all that much, since you won't be able to see the status line with the description of the current actor icon while you're zoomed in. Windows has some settings you can change, so maybe you'll find something that'll make your life easier.

Having an option to zoom in on the tileset (or at least the actor icons) directly in the editor itself or using a different kind of actor palette (perhaps something like the object palette in jMod) would be a better solution, but it would require a higher resolution for the editor, which would also mean that things will slow down to a crawl in the level editor, since it would have to draw thousands of tiny tiles more than in 640x480. And all the other parts of the editor would also need to be redesigned to make them readable and usable at high resolutions. I'm not sure if that's ever gonna happen.
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