DKCLB General Discussion Topic

The dream tool of any hardcore DKC player, the DKCLB aims to make editable in unison all elements from the original DKC Trilogy, and allow customization of it all, too! Powered by the Delta Suite.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 13th, 2008, 3:53 pm

Krow1 wrote:When will this be completed?
I can't really answer that question, because I honestly have no clue. :|

Basically however long it takes me to hack all 3 DKC's and program support for their features into the engine. It will take any amount of time.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Stone » June 13th, 2008, 8:54 pm

Simion32 wrote:I suppose I can make it so that you can control K. Rool, that would be awesome! He wouldn't have tons of moves, though.


Woah, including controllable K.Rools (and maybe other bosses) sounds like a nice idea. I think that should be expanded to a Multiplayer mode. One person is controlling the boss, while one ore more players try to beat him. Of course, the matches have to be similar to the boss fights in the game, but the level they are fighting in could be changed to increase the fairness.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 16th, 2008, 5:05 am

Simultaneous Update for the DELTA Game Engine and the DKC Resource Editor
This download contains both the Engine and Resource Editor for your convince. DOWNLOAD: *please check the releases sub-forums*
If you would like to see details for the DKC Resource Editor, click HERE
You must extract graphics from a ROM verified to be "Donkey Kong Country (U) (V1.0) [!].smc" before this engine will function properly.

New features for DELTA:
-The engine is now state-based; you can switch between the startup screen and the main game.
-Ability to set application priority. This will help a lot if you have things running in the background. It's not guaranteed to always keep the engine from hiccuping, though. The default setting is Very High, you might want to lower this.
-The game window should no longer conflict with the windows theme you are using, thus eliminating the "graphic shift" effect.
-You can scroll around Oil Drum Alley using the arrow keys, with all backgrounds and foregrounds rendered at their correct positions. Hold down CTRL to speed up the scrolling.
NOTE: The menu item "Windows Classic Mode" in the View menu does nothing, it's a relic from attempting to fix the window sizing.

EDIT: Added some error-checking to prevent bad program crashes. ;)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Cosmicman » June 16th, 2008, 2:41 pm

I'm extremely happy with the new update, everything ran smooth exceeding all expectations. The extraction process was very enjoyable, the delta engine felt right, I did not have any issues at all. The disclaimer seems to be incomplete, no big deal, just something i noticed.
This is shaping up to be the most amazing DKC tool ever. Feels like a step closer to the real deal. :mrgreen: Big thumbs up!
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 16th, 2008, 3:15 pm

Cosmicman wrote:The disclaimer seems to be incomplete, no big deal, just something i noticed.
Yeah, I added that in so that people know that we aren't trying to pirate software. I need to work on it bit more, but I feel it's good for now. ;)

Cosmicman wrote:This is shaping up to be the most amazing DKC tool ever. Feels like a step closer to the real deal. :mrgreen: Big thumbs up!
Indeed it is! The factory backgrounds are positoned exactly as if you were playing the real game... I even compared it to ZSNES through screen shots, and it's spot-on! I even surprised myself with how well the extraction tool is working. Heck, before long I'll have enough info to make the ROM-Editing portion of the Resource Editor. :D
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby BlueTronic » June 16th, 2008, 3:30 pm

Simion32 wrote:Heck, before long I'll have enough info to make the ROM-Editing portion of the Resource Editor.

Oh, boy! I can hardly wait! :)

*Continueously clicks refresh button*

About how long do you think it'll take? A month?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 16th, 2008, 3:39 pm

Kong-Fu wrote:Oh, boy! I can hardly wait! :) About how long do you think it'll take? A month?
I have no clue. :lol: Actually, I don't yet have all of the information I need yet. I still need to hack DKC's physics system (I've been putting it off, I know) and also I need to add sprite generation to the extractor. So without this info, I have no general idea how long that would take.

However, I do already know how to edit level terrain, I could easily throw that together in about two or three days (without interruptions, of course) if that was my current "work target". It wouldn't be too user-friendly, though. ;)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby BlueTronic » June 16th, 2008, 3:47 pm

OK. No pressure. ;)

Refresh... Refresh... Refresh... Refresh...

:lol:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Stone » June 16th, 2008, 5:38 pm

Oh no, I've just tested the new version with the error-checking, now I can at least see the factory before my PC gets the bluescreen :D
It's about time for buying a laptop, but at the moment prices for the 9 Cell Battery are ridicoulous high at Dell germany. :cry:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 17th, 2008, 8:12 am

Stone wrote:Oh no, I've just tested the new version with the error-checking, now I can at least see the factory before my PC gets the bluescreen :D

So, I'm guessing that something in the Windows GUI is messing up. Did the previous demo work? Try changing the priority level to 2, that's what I think is messing it up. I should have made the default "2 - Normal". Of course, it might also be that you don't have certain windows updates, or something. CFH got it to work (Vista). I don't see why yours would crash (You're using Windows XP, I assume) when it works perfectly on my end (Windows XP Media Center Edition).... :?

EDIT: Wait, I think that the "dkcdh.exe" is what is crashing your computer. You said that it crashes right after loading, so that may be it. Could you rename the "dkcdh.exe" to something else such as "test.exe" and then run the engine? What happens when you do that?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Stone » June 17th, 2008, 11:28 pm

I could always start the DELTA Game Engine, but it bluescreened right after choosing File -> Start in the first version (without extracion)
In the version with the error-check (with extracted data) I got the bluescreen shortly after seeing the Factory.

Oh, I see there's a new version. Maybe I can test it today. :)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 18th, 2008, 8:41 am

Stone wrote:Oh, I see there's a new version. Maybe I can test it today. :)
I hope it's possible to find out what on earth is causing the bluescreens...

You computer likely does a bluescreen instead of displaying the "blah.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close" message.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Stone » June 18th, 2008, 9:05 am

Maybe it's that dodgy Starforce copy-protection that I need to run my favourite racing simulation (and nice that due to the anti-cuss function I've learned a new word, dodgy! ;))
I still have those windows error reports in my Temp folder, but I don't know whether you can do something with them, or not :?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 18th, 2008, 9:12 am

Stone wrote:I still have those windows error reports in my Temp folder, but I don't know whether you can do something with them, or not :?
No, I likely wouldn't understand them at all. I'm a game/software programmer, but I wish Microsoft could make their errors make a little more sense, as I can make no sense of a windows error report. :P
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Qyzbud » June 18th, 2008, 2:39 pm

Just thought I'd leave a note to say everything worked just fine at my end. My only concern was that the music (spc file) took a surprisingly long time to load... something in the vicinity of 60 seconds for the first load, and perhaps a quarter of that whenever I loaded the engine thereafter. Note: by 'loading' I mean closing/reopening the entire application; when I just stop/restart the engine's state, the music plays straight away.

Hang on- just now I tested this again (stopping/restarting the engine), and I got the 'encountered a problem and needs to close' Windows error. It seems that the music will play over itself when the engine is opened/started again after this happens. I just had about four Fear Factory tracks overlapping because of this... it's a very cool echoey effect, but it's probably an issue that needs to be addressed somehow.

The graphics scrolling is top notch though; just as it should be. It would look cool as a 3D effect if the foreground graphics scrolled more quickly than the terrain vertically as well as horizontally, but that's not how it was done in DKC (and of course the graphics' dimensions don't allow for this), so don't take this as a suggestion!

Anyhow, great work, I'll have things set up for you to host this project (and others) here at DKCA very soon. :)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 18th, 2008, 3:19 pm

Qyzbud wrote:I got the 'encountered a problem and needs to close' Windows error. It seems that the music will play over itself when the engine is opened/started again after this happens. I just had about four Fear Factory tracks overlapping because of this...
This is actually a known issue. The music is played by dkcdh.exe, which was built via game maker. However, I have not found out how to detect if more than one instance of the program is running.

When the DELTA Game Engine doesn't close correctly, dkcdh stays running, thus you will experience music overlapping because there are two dkcdh's running at that point. Each consecutive time that the engine fails to correctly close, it will add one more music "track" to the overlapping effect because the dkcdh's were never closed.

However, I have no clue what actually caused the windows error dialog.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Qyzbud » June 18th, 2008, 4:17 pm

Simion32 wrote:I have no clue what actually caused the windows error dialog.

Makes two of us, unfortunately... I'll let you know as soon as possible if I work it out. It seems to be to do with switching between the title screen and engine modes, but that's all I can tell you, sorry.

Just curious; what does the 'dh' stand for in dkcdh.exe?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 18th, 2008, 4:22 pm

Qyzbud wrote:Just curious; what does the 'dh' stand for in dkcdh.exe?
Delta Helper. The entire name stands for Donkey Kong Country DELTA Helper, thus it's abbreviated dkcdh.

EDIT: It seems to be caused when you try to switch between the Start Screen and Engine modes a certain amount of times. This could be a memory leak, because it seems to me that an error would occur after enough memory is leaked via improper unloading of graphics. I'll need to check on the Graphics loading/unloading code to see what's amiss.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 24th, 2008, 3:35 pm

Well, I've been hacking DKC's physics, and I'd just like to say that it was MUCH simpler than I thought, even with acceleration/deceleration. I have only gotten the horizontal speeds hacked, but since I know how it works, it won't take me long to do the same for vertical speeds.

There are four main variables: Target Speed, Current Speed, Amount Of Drag, and how Slippery the level is (By drag I mean what pulls DK down when he stands on an icy slope). Drag is usually zero unless DK's standing on a slope in an ice level. Slippery-ness is usually 8 for normal levels, or 64 in Crystal Cave levels. I didn't bother to check Snow Glacier levels, though.

It does something along the lines of this mathematical equation:
Current Speed = ((((Target Speed + Amount Of Drag) - Current Speed) / Slippage) + Current Speed);
Please note:
-Dividing ALWAYS gives a WHOLE NUMBER, without any remainder.
-Everything is done in HEX, so it gets just a little bit more confusing. ;)


However, I haven't yet figured out how it actually uses the speeds to position objects onscreen. I'll figure it out soon enough. Once I get the physics/sprites hacked, that means BIG progress for the DELTA Engine! :D
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Cosmicman » June 26th, 2008, 8:21 am

You finally jumped on the physics, I'm glad to hear it is much simpler than you thought. Can't wait for the next update.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Kiddy14 » June 26th, 2008, 8:29 am

Jomingo's post in the DKC Custom Level wrote:It would be cool to make our own Minecart/Roller Coaster levels.

Jomingo's awesome idea led me intrigued.

Many hackers usually put a lot of enemies in the same screen, leading to some "color glitches". Is the LB also going to deal with those color glitches or it would be powerful enough to display them correctly. You said it would be posible to have levels somewhat bigger than the average ones :?:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Stone » June 26th, 2008, 9:41 am

I think the limit was 32768 x 32768, one level alone would be bigger than all DKC1 levels together, I think
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 26th, 2008, 9:55 am

Kiddy14 wrote:Many hackers usually put a lot of enemies in the same screen, leading to some "color glitches". Is the LB also going to deal with those color glitches or it would be powerful enough to display them correctly. You said it would be possible to have levels somewhat bigger than the average ones :?:

Since every graphic will be stored in a seperate image, there will be no color glitches because palletes won't be used in the first place. It should also be able to handle even extreme amounts of objects, like 50 objects onscreen at once!

And Stone is correct, the maximum level size is 32768 x 32768 pixels.

Since object positions need to be at or under 2 bytes (to save RAM memory), an object's position will have a total range of 65536. Positions will have an actual range of -16384 to +49152 since objects should be able to be placed outside the level border. However, DK cannot move outside the horizontal border.

EDIT: I also have developed an extremely efficient method of rendering bananas, so that it won't slow the game down.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Kiddy14 » June 26th, 2008, 10:02 am

Cool! I can see it:

100 kritters + a flat jungle level + a cartwheel = Total awesomeness

:D

This level size info gave me another doubt (sorry I'm annoying :oops:):
Will you be able to customize the screen to something a little "widescreeny"? You know, for those "widescreen" monitors (even though I don't have one, it would be cool :D )
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 26th, 2008, 10:14 am

Yes, as soon as I get the normal camera stuff working, I want to add more camera modes. that will be one of them. Essentially, you might need a slightly faster computer to play levels in wide mode, because it would need to render a little bit more than normal. I think that most of the trilogy's backgrounds would allow for this.

I'll need to get a list of all possible screen sizes; I don't want the wide camera to mess up, so I need to know the exact screen scales. I also plan on somehow adding a full-screen mode later on, where it would look sort of like ZSNES does when in full-screen mode. After getting the "exact" scaled modes, I'll add stretch modes so that you can use your entire monitor screen.

Kiddy14, you aren't annoying. ;)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Stone » June 26th, 2008, 10:26 am

16:10 , 4:3 and 5:4 are most common screen ratios afaik, so the rest is strechting :)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Kiddy14 » June 26th, 2008, 10:28 am

Oh... then cool! :)

I think somehow the wide-screen would change some gameplay factors right?

Like in Krockhead Klamber, in the SNES version the zingers to the left at the beginning of the level cannot be seen, only heard; but due to the kinda "wide-screeny" display of the GBA, in the GBA version you can actually see them.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 26th, 2008, 10:37 am

Kiddy14 wrote:I think somehow the wide-screen would change some gameplay factors right?
Yeah, it probably would. You'd have to design levels with widescreen players in mind.

So instead of a base ratio of 224 x 256, I'll have to calculate how wide it will be, to create base ratios that will display more, like say 224x320.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Cosmicman » June 26th, 2008, 10:39 am

So we can build really long levels, I was always wondering if we could place multiple checkpoint barrels ? Sorry If this has been discussed before.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 26th, 2008, 10:40 am

I'll have to implement a multiple checkpoint system, really easy to do. There are several cases where multiple checkpoint barrels would come in handy!
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Stone » June 26th, 2008, 10:43 am

Simion32 wrote:There are several cases where multiple checkpoint barrels would come in handy!

Watching your Barrel Hijinxs hack, I would recommend something like one checkpoint per 512 pixel :D
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Kiddy14 » June 26th, 2008, 10:54 am

From what I see in this video, 2 midway barrels would get the second to absrob you =P Of course, this is only in the actual game =P

And that video also gave me another doubt (thankfully I'm not annoying :)):
Will we be able of using other kong colors? I mean, I would love to be playing with a green Kiddy and a red-headed, purple Dixie! Of course, since the LB doesn't have color limitations, we can edit them to have the blue Diddy have a red mouth instead of a blue one (as if he had eaten tons of blueberries)?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 26th, 2008, 11:03 am

Kiddy14 wrote:Of course, since the LB doesn't have color limitations, we can edit them to have the blue Diddy have a red mouth instead of a blue one (as if he had eaten tons of blueberries)?
I consider that an annoying graphical glitch, I'll have the Kong's graphics extracted as if Diddy's mouth was red in the first place. You'll be able to use the differently colored Kongs, or you can recolor them yourself.

Stone wrote:Watching your Barrel Hijinxs hack, I would recommend something like one checkpoint per 512 pixel :D
It has now changed dramatically from that video... and is a bit easier. Since it's an actual hack I'm still only able to use one halfway barrel, though. :x
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 26th, 2008, 12:05 pm

Really because the first half of the level shouldn't be as hard, and I was running out of ideas. Maybe I'll remodel parts of that section into the last part of the level.

Remember, DKC doesn't have every possible barrel cannon in its objects, so that limits the barrel course possibilities severely. Such as, there are very few barrels that shoot left, one of them that does fires at such an insane speed that you could use it to go from the end of Mine Cart Carnage to the halfway barrel in one second! Also, you have to take into account aesthetics; to my knowledge there isn't a barrel in the game that points up and shoots down, for example. I wouldn't want to have DK go through the side of the barrel unless absolutely necessary, because it would look weird.

That's the kind of stuff the DKCLB will overcome. You'll be able to have the barrels shoot whatever way you'd like, with a ton of advanced options. There will also be defaults, so that memory is saved. For example, all 256 possible auto-barrel cannons will be defaults.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby BlueTronic » June 26th, 2008, 12:21 pm

Huh? :( I meant how come you can only use one Halfway Barrel just because it's a hack? I know you can't only use what objects are in that level, because you used Zingers when in fact there are none in Jungle Hijinx and one hack video used a Clambo in the caves. Still I would've loved to see you get shot from Mine Cart Carnage to the Halfway Barrel in one second! :) Is it ever you used in the game? Would it be possible to get a video of that insanely fast barrel shoot?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 26th, 2008, 12:31 pm

Well I suppose two checkpoints would be possible with an ASM hack, but the game isn't coded to do that. And, the checkpoint barrel for each level is its own object.

That barrel IS used in the game, it's the one that shoots you through the wall in Poison Pond, with the Expresso token nearby. Edit: Unfortunately the barrel doesn't have a long enough range to shoot that far. There's no point in doing a video of it now...
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Qyzbud » June 27th, 2008, 9:45 am

Ah, Simion... your progress over the course of this LB's development has been astonishing. Imagine if there were two of you! ... Simion32- :? ;) -Simion33

About your "extremely efficient method of rendering bananas"; I wonder if it's anything like what Rare did. The *single* bananas (as opposed to bunches) seem to be far more closely 'linked' to the level terrain itself than they are to the active objects of the level (baddies, tokens, tires, etc.), so it would appear that Rare originally took a somewhat unusual approach to the banana implementation.

Anyhow, exciting stuff. 8-)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 27th, 2008, 9:53 am

Banana Formula: bananaimage = images[((globalimagenumber+(X+Y))% 8)];

That is what will save tons of memory. Change the globalimagenumber, and all bananas will automatically be drawn at their correct animation frame depending on where they are positioned. That's what rare did, I would assume. That's also why the banana arrows form a "wave" pattern from the bananas being rotated.
Qyzbud wrote:The *single* bananas (as opposed to bunches) seem to be far more closely 'linked' to the level terrain itself than they are to the active objects of the level (baddies, tokens, tires, etc.), so it would appear that Rare originally took a somewhat unusual approach to the banana implementation.
The bananas are not normal objects, rather they are laid out in maps which are separate from the actual level data.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Kiddy14 » June 27th, 2008, 10:56 am

Mmm... well here's another doubt I have :oops: :

Since for making the LB you have to extract the DKC resources, and you made a previous post about the Kong's speed, I wanted to ask this (admins, if this is going too off-topic, please split it):

Well, I've been noticing this since I started playing DKC2. There are some sprites where their "frame-rate" depends on the actual speed of the object while some don't. Example: All of Dixie's walking/running/carrying sprites animate faster the faster she's walking/run, blah... but they get slower the slower she moves. Diddy, on the other side, has his walking sprites animated at the same "frame-rate" whereas he is walking slow or fast.

How will the LB display the sprites with the different speed? Sorry, I'm getting to "tecnique" with this stuff =P
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » June 27th, 2008, 11:37 am

Kiddy14 wrote:How will the LB display the sprites with the different speed?
I'm sure that I can have the animation speeds handled the same way. All I need to do is trace code that's using the object speeds - since the animation speed is reliant on how fast the object is going, there is likely to be code nearby that sets the animation speed.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Goe » June 30th, 2008, 8:24 pm

there are some things i'd like to know...i don't know if you have said them before my questions, but i haven't time to read the 5 pages:

who will be the playable characters? I guess Donkey and Diddy, but i havent heard of it
who will be the animal buddies?Could us mount them, turn into them or both things?
who will be the enemies? are you going to use enemies of the 3 games?what enemies
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » July 1st, 2008, 1:11 am

Who will be the playable characters: All previously playable Kongs, including but not limited to Donkey, Diddy, Dixie, and Kiddy.
Who will be the animal buddies: All animal buddies from all 3 games, you will be able to transform into or ride any of them.
Who will be the enemies: All enemies from all 3 games.

Everything from all 3 games in the trilogy will be available, and possibly more!
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Tiptup Jr. » July 2nd, 2008, 12:41 am

I'll finally be able to accomplish my dream DK/Dixie and Diddy/Kiddy combos!

Spoiler!
YES! :D
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Jomingo » July 2nd, 2008, 3:55 am

I always wondered what it would be like to have a team of DK-Kiddy.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » July 2nd, 2008, 4:44 am

Tiptup Jr. wrote:I'll finally be able to accomplish my dream DK/Dixie and Diddy/Kiddy combos!

Spoiler!
YES! :D



Don't forget the DK/Kiddy combo, unless you already accomplished that.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » July 4th, 2008, 7:56 am

I have devised what I will do for the next stage of development. Hopefully I can make this project go a little faster with a general plan of action. Here's what I plan on doing, in order:

-Document and create proprietary level format for use in DELTA.
-Add routines to DELTA to enable the reading of this special format.
-Upgrade DELTA's game engine with bananas, objects, and DK (with blank test sprites).
-Add sprite generation and the rest of the graphics to the DKCRE. I'll be able to get the sprites done much faster because of Mattrizzle's recent discovery.
-Integrate collision detection and physics.
-And finally, add code to the DKCRE which will generate levels in the proprietary format.

Currently I'm working on the first step, which is pretty much straightforward. Just posting to let you know what I'll be working on up until the next demo.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby cfh » July 5th, 2008, 7:45 am

The emergence of the Japanese editor has really gotten me excited about the Level Builder again. I'll continue the GUI as soon as I come back from Europe in 4 weeks. :)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Tiptup Jr. » July 6th, 2008, 9:53 am

Don't forget the DK/Kiddy combo, unless you already accomplished that.


Yes, that can already be done by swapping DKC with DKC3 after you get the six Stop n' Swop bananas. Noob. :roll:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » July 6th, 2008, 11:28 am

Tiptup Jr. wrote:
Don't forget the DK/Kiddy combo, unless you already accomplished that.


Yes, that can already be done by swapping DKC with DKC3 after you get the six Stop n' Swop bananas. Noob. :roll:


Huh? I may sound even more like a noob, but did you make that combo without cheating? I don't even know what the "Six Stop n' Swop bananas" are, please explain everything!
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