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 FefeRawft » August 12th, 2010, 8:35 pm

Simion32 wrote:"Experience the Donkey Kong Country 4 you want - Coming Soon!"

A little old, ehh? Either way, they never officially named it DKC4 ;)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 13th, 2010, 3:09 am

Ah well, we'll get there eventually. :lol:

At least I'm here keeping this project alive. ;)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Tiptup Jr. » August 17th, 2010, 12:38 pm

Yo Simion,

I'm really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but I cannot wait until this project's completion. I appreciate all the work you've been doing and cannot begin to imagine how much effort goes into something like this. I will literally turn myself into a human DKCLB billboard if you want, as well. 'Cuz this is that special to me.

~ur frand.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Jomingo » August 17th, 2010, 12:41 pm

Really, are we still quoting Kanye? It seems a little... tacky now. I don't know. Plus I don't know how closely other parts of the world care about American rappers/douchebags so I may be the only person here that knows what you're talking about. We need some new quotes....

... These are my shoes!
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Tiptup Jr. » August 17th, 2010, 2:26 pm

Yo Jomingo, I'm happy for you Imma let you finish, but I ALWAYS do the Kanye thing. It's just... my thing.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 17th, 2010, 2:29 pm

Might want to refrain from making useless posts here, as you might make everyone think there's been some huge update... ;)

EDIT: You do realize I get an instant notification every time someone posts in this topic, right? :P
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby WAZ__Up » August 20th, 2010, 6:03 pm

Simion32 wrote:EDIT: You do realize I get an instant notification every time someone posts in this topic, right? :P


woah! how do you get that? and where does the notification pop up? i want something like that xD
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 21st, 2010, 2:56 am

It's sorta off-topic but I'll post a general guideline here anyway:
Spoiler!
(1) Setup a GMail account. I use a specific account JUST for this purpose, and nothing else (so other emails I get do not send a notification).
(2) Download GMailAssistant. It works using the Java Runtime and works on basically any system you throw it at.
(3) Set your GMail account to use HTTPS only, for security; and make sure it allows SMTP in the settings. Also make sure your password is strong.
(4) If you registered at Atlas with a different email and you want to keep it that way, just set it to forward "@dkc-atlas.com" mail to the GMail account.
(5) Put a shortcut to the GMailAssistant JAR executable file in your startup folder. Then run it.
(6) Set the check rate to at least 10 seconds (google's servers tend to reject if you have this set too fast).
(7) Set up GMailAssistant with a profile to auto-log-in to your account with. Be sure to save the profile and have it store the password.
---------------------------------------

(8) Subscribe to any thread on Atlas or set email notifications for PMs. When you get the notification EMail from DKC-Atlas (getting forwarded to the Gmail account if necessary) it will pick up the new email and will bring up a small notification in the corner of the screen, and play the notification sound.

Note: .JAR is really just a .ZIP, so you can go in and modify files if desired. I did this to change the notify sound to a loud foghorn. ;)
Note: Since this piggybacks off of the forum's email notify system it will ignore your posts. Also, consecutive (more than 1) posts not by you are ignored until you read the topic. after that you'll get the notification again.
GMailAssistantSkinSimion32.png
What one of my instant notifications looks like.
Using the awesome skin I 'hacked' into the notifier program ;)
GMailAssistantSkinSimion32.png (27.39 KiB) Viewed 42160 times
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » August 22nd, 2010, 8:43 am

Whens DKCLB gonna be released?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 22nd, 2010, 9:03 am

It's nowhere near finished right now. There is no set release date. :roll:

This stuff takes time to work on, especially when I'm the only one doing anything.

This project is HUGE in scope. Somehow I think you just can't fit around your head just how complex the DKCLB will actually be when it is finished. It has been said several times over that this is one of the most ambitious fan game projects ever attempted... and that's definitely correct.

As I've probably already stated half a bazillion times now, I am working on NitroGUI which is the underlying interface that will support DKCLB, the DELTA Game Engine, and the DKC Resource Editor. It is imperative that I get NitroGUI working first, else this project won't have a leg to stand on!!
--------------------------------------------
NitroGUI is going along nicely, but I'm in the middle of tracking down a very pesky windowing bug at the moment. Yes, it is a "critical" bug. What happens is that after switching to full screen, newly generated windows somehow cause the program to temporarily 'hang' until you click on the window. But sadly this causes other things in window-based objects to malfunction as well.

Oh yeah, and after this bug is fixed I'll be adding fullscreen "context-swap" support to the window-based objects, allowing you to use fullscreen mode for editing productivity. ;)

Code lines of C++ so far, just for NitroGUI: 12,813 Lines
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » August 22nd, 2010, 9:20 am

Sound like hard work, I'm also working on something, I'm working on a DKC2 hack, its called "Donkey Kong Country 2 New Levels", I'm still working on it, it will take a few weeks to finish, i already got 4 levels done :)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Tiptup Jr. » August 22nd, 2010, 1:38 pm

Simion, I'm not just randomly posting for the sake of it, but keep in mind I have little technical knowledge of these things- You're doing all this stuff yourself so you'll be able to legally distribute it, so it will qualify as fair use and people won't have to use a ROM... right? Could you explain what exactly makes this process so epically long? :P
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 22nd, 2010, 1:58 pm

The programs require a ROM in order to operate, which you must obtain on your own. ;)


(1) I'm the only one working on the project now (CFH has delegated to me the task of building the DKCLB editor, too!).
(2) I have a life other than sitting here typing code, so there are several sources of delays. Especially college (though I'm good at not letting that particular one get in the way).
---------------------------------------
I cannot use any other language (VB is too slow) or switch the libraries or whatever else is involved in this project. This is the point at which I've hit the "perfect" combination of tools, libraies, and the programming language that can bring it all together to become the program that CFH and I have envisioned. Not just a half-ass effort, but the real deal.

It may take time, my friends, but it will be done. After 2 years of actual research and development, and even more years if you count what it took to get this idea started, I'm not stopping. I've said time and time again that I'm not going to quit developing DKCLB, and I meant it. No matter how long it takes.
------------------------------------
...yeah, that basically the only way I can explain it.

There is a lot of code in DELTA and DKCRE currently on standby that will be put to great use one this interface is completed. I apologize that it's taking so long to do, but debugging programs is a pain in the arse. :ugeek:

By the way: the Windowing Bug has Just Been Fixed!

EDIT2: Full-Screen Context-Swapping added to existing controls! ;)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Tiptup Jr. » August 23rd, 2010, 12:46 am

Yeah, don`t apologize! It`s really something of epic proportions. And, the longer we wait, the better it will be. Soo.

I`ll stop posting in this topic now. >_>
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » August 27th, 2010, 11:04 am

I got a few questions about DKCLB.

1. Are you going to be able to add new objects instead of change existing objects, like as many as you want?
2. Can you add as many levels as you want?
3. Can you edit the map screens, title screens, intro, etc.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 27th, 2010, 11:47 am

Yes to all three of your questions.

Intro editing might come a little later than the other features since it's more complicated to code.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » August 30th, 2010, 7:31 am

I got some more questions...

1. Can you edit all 3 DKC games?
2. Can you make DKC1 have stuff from DKC2 and 3, like the enemys, the archetype, the music, etc.

By the way, i respect your work Simion32 :)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 30th, 2010, 7:33 am

Yes to your questions, again. ;)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » August 30th, 2010, 8:37 am

So how much percent done are you with DKCLB.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 30th, 2010, 8:40 am

%2 ..... there is so much to cover, so don't expect it to get done really fast. :ugeek:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby EliasYFGM » August 30th, 2010, 9:06 am

I do really expect a new version of this DKCLB, the progress seems really good :D But just take your time ;) It's a pretty decent program specially with NitroGUI :mrgreen:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » September 1st, 2010, 10:16 am

Simion32 wrote:%2 ..... there is so much to cover, so don't expect it to get done really fast. :ugeek:


When ever your done, I'm gonna download it faster than you can say "donkey kong"

And I'm pretty sure you have to make NitroGUI first, right?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » September 1st, 2010, 10:25 am

Yeah, it is the first thing I've got to do before the project can go any farther.

Without NitroGUI there wouldn't be any viable interface for the Level Builder (the actual editor) to use (same issue with the DKCRE). Now DELTA is also dependent upon it, because of the heavily optimized drawing routines (which will get even further SSE2 optimization later).

So basically NitroGUI has become the underpinning of everything in the entire Delta Project.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Cosmicman » September 1st, 2010, 10:50 am

A couple decades ago I asked the same question and I think you said 2% ...
Seems like you have worked really hard plus you have progressed a lot, but still 2 % :( I totally understand why this takes so long though.

I'm sure the 2% is for the whole project, how about the percentage on just DKC 1 since I assume you are breaking it down first? Is it possible we might see a full beta for just DKC 1 ? DKC2 and 3 can wait ! :mrgreen:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » September 1st, 2010, 10:54 am

Simion32 wrote:Yeah, it is the first thing I've got to do before the project can go any farther.

Without NitroGUI there wouldn't be any viable interface for the Level Builder (the actual editor) to use (same issue with the DKCRE). Now DELTA is also dependent upon it, because of the heavily optimized drawing routines (which will get even further SSE2 optimization later).

So basically NitroGUI has become the underpinning of everything in the entire Delta Project.



So is that why your only 2% done with your DKCLB? because your working on NitroGIU first?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » September 1st, 2010, 11:00 am

>> Be sure to try out the latest NitroGUI demo over in the DKCRE thread, cosmicman. ;)

For DKC, I'd say somewhere like 30% done.

I actually have quite a bit of collected data myself, and Mattrizzle has done tons of research -- all that's basically left is to take what DKC provides and turn it into something useful.

The only thing that's missing for DKC is the overly-specific physics documents about what object does exactly what, and the speeds it uses, etc (especially barrel cannons which are, internally, still undocumented).

So is that why your only 2% done with your DKCLB? because your working on NitroGIU first?
No. Not in the least. the 2% is the entire project. Maybe it's more like 3-4% since I tend to underestimate/overestimate general percentages like this.

It's actually hard to give an accurate percentage because it is not exactly known what ALL needs to be done, the area of researching the ROM is quite foggy in that respect.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » September 12th, 2010, 7:33 am

I got one another question, Is there going to be easy tile editing, like if you click it adds a perfect tile.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » September 12th, 2010, 8:02 am

You mean like a "click and drag here to resize this platform" kind of feature? Yeah, that's one of the advanced features to be added later on.

When that feature is built I could also provide a "Right Click > Find Matching Tiles" option.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Saladin » September 15th, 2010, 7:56 am

Do you need any help? I wouldn't know about working with a GUI, and I'm working an unusual schedule, but I've done ROM hacking before. I could put in a few hours here and there trying to figure out whatever you don't know about the ROMs.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » September 15th, 2010, 8:08 am

Not to look the gift horse in the mouth, but I don't need any help at the moment. Thanks for the offer though! :)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Jomingo » September 15th, 2010, 9:22 am

Always beware of greek's bearing gifts....
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Saladin » September 16th, 2010, 1:49 am

Hey, I'm not here for theft or for credit or anything like that. I just want to see the project completed sooner.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » September 30th, 2010, 2:44 am

I got some more questions.

1. Are you going to be able to edit the error screen backgrounds, text, etc.
2. Is the program going to have a unfinished release, like have a demo of it where you can only hack DKC1 or something.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » September 30th, 2010, 5:09 am

Markster wrote:Are you going to be able to edit the error screen backgrounds, text, etc.
In DELTA, there are no error screens. If the game crashes, well, DELTA crashes with it - and you'll get the standard NitroGUI crash dialog allowing you to shut down the program. This cannot be changed.

Markster wrote:Is the program going to have a unfinished release, like have a demo of it where you can only hack DKC1 or something.

Levels designed with the DKCLB are not to be referred to as hacks - you are not hacking anymore when using DKCLB, since you're designing your own levels independent of any proprietary ROM files or otherwise. When you use DKCRE, you will be "hacking levels". When using the DKCLB, though, you'll just be "designing levels".

A DKC1-only release? yeah, that's definitely going to be one of the releases in the future. I'm still working on NitroGUI, so don't get your hopes up for a working DKCLB demo anytime this year. You will, however, be seeing DKCRE v0060 (Coming Soon!) once NitroGUI is nearing its first version (as not absolutely everything in the first version of NitroGUI is needed for DKCRE to work - I'm only including the bare-bones stuff first, then I'll work from there and add things as the need arises).

NitroGUI Mandatory GUI Objects Completed so far (total amount subject to change): 27 of 48
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » September 30th, 2010, 8:21 am

More questions

1. Can you have as many stuff on screen at once, like 100 kremlings on screen at once?
2. Since its probably not going to be released this year, will it be released next year, or later?
3. I ran NitroGUI demo on my computer and it just crashed, will you fix that in the next version of NitroGUI?
4. In the early release of DKCLB what kind of stuff will you be able to do?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » September 30th, 2010, 8:45 am

1. If your computer is fast enough to handle it, yes. Given today's computers I'd say that you should be able to get away with at least 100 simple objects (no AI objs or barrel cannons) onscreen before the engine might lag*. But again, this is an estimate and depends upon your system**.

*You better run it in Full Screen mode if you want to be able to handle object-intensive levels, since windowed mode causes Graphics to slow down.
**DELTA is designed for use on desktop PCs, not laptops.

2. First "working" version would likely be sometime next year. No idea when, though.

3. How should I know? I don't even know what caused it to crash on your PC. I can't fix something i have no idea how to fix! :roll:
All I can say is that I've already added a lot of checks to the program startup code since the demo was released - so when it fails to load, you'll get a dialog instead of a crash.

4. Cannot answer that - I have no idea.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » September 30th, 2010, 11:43 am

More Questions

1. Previously you said that DKCLB will work with DKC1, 2, and 3, well will later versions of delta run DKC 1, 2, and 3.
2. Do you have to have delta to run DKCLB levels, or can you have them on the ROM?

And about the release date, I'm taking a guess that it will be March 2011 for the early version.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » September 30th, 2010, 1:10 pm

Markster wrote:1. Previously you said that DKCLB will work with DKC1, 2, and 3, well will later versions of delta run DKC 1, 2, and 3.
2. Do you have to have delta to run DKCLB levels, or can you have them on the ROM?
DELTA is the game engine which will run DKCLB games/levels... so yes, it is required. It will be packaged along with the DKCLB (the editor) to prevent the need to do separate downloads.

Markster wrote:And about the release date, I'm taking a guess that it will be March 2011 for the early version.
There is no set date, and it's impossible for me to provide an estimate because my available free time fluctuates wildly during winter/spring. Sorry, but I can't answer that with a specific date.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » September 30th, 2010, 2:10 pm

I can't wait for DKCLB, Delta, and NitroGUI to be done, and i also cant wait for the next DKCRE release.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » October 4th, 2010, 7:31 am

I got more questions...

1. Will delta support game controllers in the future, I'm planning to get a USB SNES Controller to play DKCLB games/levels.
2. Will the first version of DKCLB have support for custom objects, music, etc.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » October 4th, 2010, 7:41 am

1. Game Controllers are Already supported by the input class, but this is in the (currently unreleased) revisions.


2. Custom objects? Probably not that early - custom objects require a plugin system, and also you'd have to know how to code the object into a DLL - which is a fairly hairy process.

Music can easily be changed by adding more SPCs, though, and you should be able to do that in the very first demo release of DKCLB.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby MP201 » October 15th, 2010, 4:14 am

*poke*
Still checking in.
How's it been going?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » October 15th, 2010, 7:03 am

Check the DKCRE thread for the absolute latest updates on the NitroGUI interface engine. It is in progress and things have been going quite well. ;)

I really need to post another alpha demo of the engine sometime soon, to see if Markster still has problems starting the application...

As far as I know, the engine should work flawlessly in Windows XP, Vista, and 7 as well. This is partially due to the portable nature of the allegro library.

[EDIT]
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » November 5th, 2010, 2:27 am

I got some more questions :

1. Will you be able to customize the controls?
2. Can you make beta objects, you know, like have 2 and 4 units of fuel, or even a horizontal dumb drum.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 5th, 2010, 6:54 am

DELTA will have configurable controls, and supports game controllers (really, you couldn't use one without being able to configure the buttons).

If you mean controls for custom objects, then yeah, you should be able to change what buttons to press (in the case of interactive objects only). Of course, there is no custom object plugin specification yet, so I'm not really aware of what all you'll actually be allowed to control with a custom object. All I currently know is that custom objects will probably be best coded in C++, but that's not even a requirement (I think).

As far as "beta" objects go... if the sprites are already there and the functionality is trivial (which it usually is) then that capability will be included. The fuel barrels will have a "# of units" property which can be from 1-5, defaulting to 5 for newly placed instances. The Horizontal Mini-Drum will probably be a separate object, though.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » November 11th, 2010, 12:13 pm

I got another questions, in the tanked up trouble type levels, will there be fuel tanks that lower down your fuel, like set the number -1, -2, etc.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 11th, 2010, 3:02 pm

Markster wrote:in the tanked up trouble type levels
It doesn't matter, you can put any object practically anywhere. But there's no guarantee it'll accomplish anything. ;)

Markster wrote:will there be fuel tanks that lower down your fuel, like set the number -1, -2, etc.
That is nonstandard and will require someone to do a custom Fuel Barrel object (probably along with a fuel platform object that works with it). Besides, it really doesn't make any sense to lower fuel when you GET another barrel.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Markster » November 14th, 2010, 1:58 am

I have tried your Delta v0.0.4.2d, the grounds are perfect, the physics are perfect, the music is perfect, even the tiles are perfect, this is really really good so far, i bet your engine will be 99.9% like DKC when your done, great job Simion32.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby WAZ__Up » November 27th, 2010, 2:17 pm

so, compared to that Japanese DKC editor released about 4 years ago (the badly coded '?????' one. I'm sure most of you have seen it), what makes this diferent than that besides alot more effort (and english!)? Why was it done so quickly while this takes a long time?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 27th, 2010, 5:49 pm

WAZ__Up wrote:so, compared to that Japanese DKC editor released about 4 years ago
It was ~2 years ago. There's no way it has been around for THAT long.

WAZ__Up wrote:so, compared to that Japanese DKC editor released about 4 years ago (the badly coded '?????' one. I'm sure most of you have seen it), what makes this diferent than that besides alot more effort (and english!)? Why was it done so quickly while this takes a long time?

Err... wrong comparison, first of all. You're comparing Apples to Genetically Modified Apples. :roll:

You should be looking at DKCRE, not DELTA/DKCLB, meaning this is the wrong topic to post in. But I disgress.

Why this is taking so long: The Delta Project, as a whole, got started off on the right foot but quickly ran into management issues. You see, CFH was supposedly going to make the editor for DKCLB by himself, but as time went on, this task became delegated to me. CFH was originally wanting to design this editor in Game Maker, but when I had to work on it myself, I realised that GM would have nowhere near what we needed to accomplish such an epic project.

In March 2008, the DELTA Game Engine saw its first concept demo. I had switched to C++, in which nearly anything I needed to do was possible without paying any lump sums of money - and it was fast, too.

Fast forward to roughly a year ago, when I realized that Microsoft's .NET wasn't going to cut the mustard - not only is it a runtime-compiled 'secure' language, meaning unnecessary slowdowns, it also limited what I could do with my program heavily. It was then that I embarked on one of the most arguably insane things ever attempted: build an entire GUI from scratch to fill the missing hole that is the .NET framework. At first I thought I might not need to go through with this, but after some experiments with the Allegro game library (used for drawing graphics) and a Win32 form (in just raw C++), I quickly learned of unstoppable glitches caused by conflicts between Allegro and any control on the form (other than a menu). As time went on, and the GUI grew, more and more it became apparent that I had found the only surefire way to make the editor and its engine come to life, without heavy game lag.

Not to mention, that in March of this year I had a catastrophic computer crash, meaning over half of the summer was spent recovering this PC to optimal working ability. When I finally started getting something done, college was back in session, meaning more heavy delays. That kind of huge delay shouldn't happen again, as all of my development data now has a dedicated HDD along with regular backups to CD/DVD.

Today, NitroGUI is going along well, and a DKCRE release is just around the corner. There is literally only ONE control that I still NEED to code for DKCRE, and once that's done, I'm going straight into the ROM editor development - DKCRE v0060 should get out fairly quickly from that point. But first, I have to deal with the incoming 'exam week speed run'.

What will make DKCRE v0060 better:
--High contrast, stable interface (with upcoming custom theme capability)
--DOES NOT require Microsoft's 3GB+ .NET Framework (compared to NitroGUI which only needs a few hundred KB).
--Compatible with XP, Vista and 7; has potential to be ported to Linux or Mac (ports may come years later, but at least it's possible).
--Display Sprite Graphics, with Animation (if animation is not in v0060, it is to be added in fairly soon after)
--Properly displays and edits banana groups (DKEdit still fails to get this correct).
--Includes the already-built data extraction capability, for DKC and DKC2 (maybe even DKC3 *hint hint*).
--Also includes the Sprite Viewer.
--Oh and by the way FULL UNDO/REDO, not to mention other standard Windows shortcuts.
--It's In English
--Etc...
Sage of Discovery
Bananas received 250
Posts: 2652
Joined: 2008

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