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DKCLB General Discussion Topic

PostPosted: February 23rd, 2008, 1:57 pm
by Simion32
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CLICK HERE TO BROWSE DOWNLOADS:
DKC Level Builder - Program Releases
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Please report all program bugs in the appropriate bug reporting topic once it is created by me.
Also, please discuss the bugs there, too, instead of in this topic, to keep things organized.


The DKC Level Builder is a project that CFH and I are I am working on. It's goal is to enable the creation of customized Donkey Kong Country levels (or even a whole customized DKC game!) and to improve on the concepts which DKC introduced. There will be support for fan-made content, such as the ability to play any music you want during levels, new game elements, or even user-designed graphics for use in a custom DKC game. Expect to see a LOT of customizable options.

Just to clarify something: The game engine portion of the DKCLB will be handled by DELTA, while the actual level builder kit is called the DKCLB. The editing will happen using DELTA's editor.

History (pre generic/fully-legalized/seperated DELTA era): If you're wondering where I came up with the name DELTA; Delta is the fourth Greek character, meaning it's a reference to the phrase "DKC4". Also, in terms of geography, a delta is where a river meets an ocean or bigger body of water. That represents the 'ocean of possibilities' which can be had using the DKCLB.

I am attempting not to include any content from the DKC games when you initially download it (this may exclude some demos). Users will have to get their own copy of a ROM, which must be DKC version 1. All content can then be extracted from the ROM (with the exception of SPC's which must currently also be downloaded from the internet). This is to keep copyrighted materials out of the situation.

MEDIA LINKS: My YouTube Channel, The DKC Level Builder YouTube Channel

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

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 23rd, 2008, 2:43 pm
by cfh
Yay, a thread for the level builder!

I have a lot of ideas for making a simple and intuitive yet powerful interface, though I have to admit I haven't made as much progress as I'd like on it. :oops:
Simion, on the other hand, has been working hard to create an amazingly accurate game engine!

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 24th, 2008, 4:54 am
by Jomingo
I'm glad to see this project is still moving forward! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished project.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 27th, 2008, 6:08 pm
by Qyzbud
Good stuff, this project deserves everyone's support. I'd be happy to host/promote it however I can through DKC Atlas and the forum here. I can't wait to hear any progress reports you fellows post.

Keep up the excellent work! :D

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 28th, 2008, 8:03 am
by Jomingo
Definately, this is probably one of the most ambitious DK projects ever attempted. Everyone here should put there full support behind this project.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 28th, 2008, 8:42 am
by cfh
Thank you :D

Feedback motivates us to continue working hard on this project!

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 28th, 2008, 8:44 am
by Jomingo
Your welcome, I can't wait to see the next update.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 28th, 2008, 8:56 am
by Tompa
Just played it some again, heh. Are you supposed to be able to jump in the air when going to the right? :D

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 28th, 2008, 9:00 am
by cfh
The latest demo is pretty glitchy as it is unfinished; when we decided to switch to C++ we just released what we had to fill the wait.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 28th, 2008, 9:06 am
by Tompa
I love glitches so I really don't mind that much.

Are you using memory addresses while making this?

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: February 28th, 2008, 10:52 am
by Simion32
Tompa wrote:Are you using memory addresses while making this?
If you mean the speeds the game uses, then yes. I haven't quite figured out how it works yet. I plan to figure out exactly how the physics work, and then make an accurate yet efficient physics code for use in the game engine.

I am working on an IPS patch which should stop all enemies from moving, in doing this I learn the location of a lot of addresses. I suspect that this patch is going to be quite useful to Qyzbud in the mapping project. I had planned on having this done earlier, but there are a LOT of addresses to find. Also, by using this patch I could do some advanced debugging, and could insert my own code into the game if need be. In fact, this patch uses a small bit of custom ASM code to ensure that Donkey/Diddy are not affected by the hack.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 3rd, 2008, 10:35 am
by BlueTronic
Features that should be available if not available already:
*Uploading a custom track to replace the normal music in your level.
*Uploading a picture to replace a sprite or background.
*Assigning certain attributes/abilities/physics to objects, or characters (Ex: Stregnth, speed, gravity, automatic movement, immunity, AI commands).
*Uploading custum sounds for sound effects.
*Being able to take an object/character, level environment, or music track/sound effect from one DKC into a different DKC (Ex: Featuring the Ghost Barrel in a DKC 2 level).

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 3rd, 2008, 11:14 am
by Simion32
Kong-Fu wrote:Features that should be available if not available already:
*Uploading a custom track to replace the normal music in your level.
*Uploading a picture to replace a sprite or background.
*Assigning certain attributes/abilities/physics to objects, or characters (Ex: Stregnth, speed, gravity, automatic movement, immunity, AI commands).
*Uploading custum sounds for sound effects.
*Being able to take an object/character, level environment, or music track/sound effect from one DKC into a different DKC (Ex: Featuring the Ghost Barrel in a DKC 2 level).

You will (or should) be able to do all of that, but I have not even gotten the new physics engine done yet (heck, I haven't even figured out how DKC's physics work yet, as I've been working on the speed zeroing patch). Plus, I have to deal with making a clean windows GUI, and make sure that it behaves correctly.

You will be able to use any element in any type of level, whatever graphics you want, whatever music/sound effects you want. BUT! The physics will be fixed. Even if there are different physics for each DKC, you will not be able to modify these. The game engine will NOT be open-source.

The catch is that you won't be allowed to distribute copyrighted material (excluding sound effects for now, as there is no possible way I can extract those from the ROM, at least not yet...).

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 3rd, 2008, 11:21 am
by BlueTronic
Just the physics are fixed? Or can you still do stuff like modify stregnth (As in being able to kill a Zinger with a roll attack) , AI (As in assigning objects custom movements), or actions (As in getting a Gnawty to emit barrels)

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 3rd, 2008, 11:28 am
by cfh
If we allow custom music and so on, we will have to look over every single level that is uploaded to the official site for copyrighted stuff :|

Anyway, it will be a good feature.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 3rd, 2008, 12:03 pm
by Simion32
Kong-Fu wrote:Just the physics are fixed? Or can you still do stuff like modify stregnth (As in being able to kill a Zinger with a roll attack) , AI (As in assigning objects custom movements), or actions (As in getting a Gnawty to emit barrels)

Ya, you should be able to do things like that still, I just mean that the physics will not be modify-able. For gravity, you will be able to modify a "gravity percent" option, but this will affect the whole level. Also there may be a gravity direction option.

cfh wrote:If we allow custom music(...)

I haven't quite worked out what to do about that... :?

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 3rd, 2008, 1:12 pm
by Qyzbud
Gravity direction option? Ooh, I can't wait to play; SUPER... DONKEY KONG COUNTRY... GALAXY! </phony Italian accent>

Regarding custom music:
Maybe this could be an optional extra download, not hosted on your site? Something that users can discuss and send to one another, outside of the official level builder site. Perhaps the official level builder forum can feature a 'custom soundtracks' thread.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 3rd, 2008, 2:26 pm
by Simion32
Qyzbud wrote:Gravity direction option? Ooh, I can't wait to play; SUPER... DONKEY KONG COUNTRY... GALAXY! </phony Italian accent>

Regarding custom music:
Maybe this could be an optional extra download, not hosted on your site? Something that users can discuss and send to one another, outside of the official level builder site. Perhaps the official level builder forum can feature a 'custom soundtracks' thread.


I just knew someone would mention that. :lol:

Actually, 360 degree gravity would be quite difficult to program. I was thinking of something like being able to walk on walls, or even something sonic-esque such as loops. I may or may not be doing 360 degree gravity. It just depends on how things work out.
360-degrees would be required to make a loop in cart track, maybe for a roller coaster stage.

As for the music, I think I will let people use their own music if they want, but it won't be distributed directly. Basically, what you said.

Oh, and that patch has been giving me a lot of trouble lately... there are some areas in the ROM, that are treated as if NOTHING is there. If I make a function in this spot, and have some other code jump to it, it acts as if it had never jumped at all. The snes9x debugger just seems to ignore it, while ZSNES will freeze. More on that later - hopefully I'll figure out where I can put my patch code.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm
by Qyzbud
A loop-the-loop mine cart track is something my thumbs have been aching for!

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 16th, 2008, 4:17 pm
by Simion32
I've been attempting to design a logo for the Level Builder, and this is what I came up with:
DKCLB.PNG
Newly Designed Logo
DKCLB.PNG (72.03 KiB) Viewed 77889 times

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 16th, 2008, 4:39 pm
by Kowbrainz
Hmmm... in my opinion I think it might look a little better if the "Level Builder" text was created to look more like the wooden country logo. Perhaps also put DKC and level builder closer together so you can put the text logo on any sort of background if need be.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 16th, 2008, 4:50 pm
by Simion32
Well, I did do the entire thing using MS Paint. :roll:

Making the"Level Builder" wooden would be quite difficult, But I understand what you mean. Those letters were desidned using the + pad that's on move-able barrels in DKC2... but it seems that this clashes with the rest of the picture.

I still have the separate images, so I can redesign the logo however is needed. I just wanted an 'adventurous' background.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 16th, 2008, 4:55 pm
by Qyzbud
I think it looks damn nice.

Will critique soon.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 17th, 2008, 3:14 am
by Jomingo
That looks really good. Especially considering you did it all in MS Paint.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 17th, 2008, 4:34 am
by Banjoster
Oh wow, I do look forward to seeing the final Project! :)

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 10:38 am
by Simion32
DELTA Concept Demo:
DOWNLOAD: *please check the releases sub-forums*

OK, here's what the GUI looks like. Please comment, and if there's anything you think I should add to the GUI be sure to post it! I would also like to know if this works on your computer, or any way in which it could be improved.

Features:
-Should be compatible with Vista. Don't use compatibility mode!
-You can test SPC music tracks and sound effects in this demo.
-Zoom control.
-Simple graphic with a timing/rendering test in the upper-left corner.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 10:43 am
by BlueTronic
Wait... where do you put it? How do you set it up? I confused

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 10:44 am
by Simion32
There's no installer, just run it. You need WinRAR to extract it, though.

EDIT: I put a notice about WinRAR beside the download links.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 10:46 am
by cfh
WinRAR can extract .RAR's, by the way. >_>

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 12:19 pm
by Qyzbud
Heh, there was nothing wrong with the installation process, and things are operating pretty smoothly on my end. You've got the audio all worked out, by the sound of things. It doesn't seem to happen all the time, but I've had the theme music playing over the top of its self once or twice if I click on its menu option while things are loading. Not an issue, just an observation.

When zooming/scaling the graphics, it seems that some graphic shifting occurs when switching between 2x/3x and 1x... Changing to 4x and back to 1x clears this up. This is pretty good, though. Nothing to complain about.

So you've got key mappings underway already? That's great, I hope Super Smart Joy controllers will be supported. :D

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 12:41 pm
by Simion32
Qyzbud wrote:It doesn't seem to happen all the time, but I've had the theme music playing over the top of its self once or twice if I click on its menu option while things are loading. Not an issue, just an observation.

It happens when two instances of dkcdh.exe are running in the background at the same time, as that's what plays the music.

Qyzbud wrote:When zooming/scaling the graphics, it seems that some graphic shifting occurs when switching between 2x/3x and 1x... Changing to 4x and back to 1x clears this up. This is pretty good, though. Nothing to complain about.

Graphic shifting? What's that? (I'm not familiar with the term.)

Qyzbud wrote:So you've got key mappings underway already? That's great, I hope Super Smart Joy controllers will be supported. :D

I'm unsure wether to use Allegro or game maker for the game pad. I suppose Allegro would be better, seeing as it's in the main engine.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 1:42 pm
by Qyzbud
Graphic shifting isn't a technical term, I just mean that some of the graphics (at the very bottom) appear to shift/reposition when zooming in and out.

This is what I'm on about:
delta-gfx-shift.png
delta-gfx-shift.png (15.26 KiB) Viewed 77573 times

I think maybe the jungle leaves in the background aren't quite large enough to span the entire height of the window, so there's some empty space at the bottom that just takes on some 'left over' pixels that occupy that screen area when the engine is zoomed.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 1:51 pm
by Simion32
I think that's because your windows are using a different windows graphical style. The engine bases its sizing upon how the window would look in Windows XP, I never thought about how it looked with Windows Classic style. How do you suppose I would fix that? :P

This is how mine looks:
*picture removed by me*

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 2:41 pm
by Qyzbud
Ah... yes, good point. I did tweak my XP to a more simple appearance - Classic style, as you said. I don't know how you would go about making it multi-style compatible... but maybe there's no need to. I mean, it doesn't really affect anything. Maybe you could make the background graphic just a little bigger, so that if windows stretch a little, there is still a graphic there to cover the space.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 2:50 pm
by Simion32
Well, this means I can keep the internal screen size as 224x256, but still render the bottom 16 pixels to account for that. Although, this may make some bonus levels easier to find when playing. Maybe I can have a setting to adjust the displayed area.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 3:38 pm
by Qyzbud
I suppose you have the option of using a Super Game Boy-esque graphical border, or just a plain coloured one, to frame the display. That might help to ensure that nothing extra can be seen in other window style modes. Might mean a bit more work though, I don't know.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 24th, 2008, 4:02 pm
by Simion32
I've got it: I can use the registry to detect the current in-use style. Then, when using windows classic style, those few pixels will get 'subtracted' from the bottom. In fact, the window height is actually determined by a small math formula, so this is a very easy thing to modify/fix. Of course, it won't harm the game play. Originally I didn't plan on rendering any graphics below the window area, so this seems like the most logical option.

OK, I've got to get to work on extracting DKC1 levels. After that's done I'll be able to move on to level formats and all that technical stuff. :geek:

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 12:01 am
by Stone
I would like to play DKC with a resolution like 320x224 (something widescreeny, you know ;) ), if something like this is possible :roll:

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: March 25th, 2008, 7:03 am
by Simion32
In terms of windows size, it's possible, but I don't know if it would be possible to adjust the "camera" so that it would account for the wider screen. I will give it an attempt when I get the camera working.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 12th, 2008, 4:18 pm
by Simion32
In the Awesome ROM hack thread, Cyclone wrote:Simon - I am not at all criticizing you level builder so don't worry. :) But i'm curious. How is your editor going to work? The program your developing is a standalone piece of software right in that It doesn't modify the original rom? If so how come you choose to do it that way? You seem have vast knowledge in rom hacking. In any case the demos you released show great promise not to mention the PAR codes!

The first thing that comes to mind is that I'm doing it this way because it allow several things to be done which could not be done using the ROM.

Did you notice how Super Demo World: TLC requires that you expand the ROM before applying the patch? That's because FuSoYa made a SWM hack that took up more memory than SMW originally did. However, you can't expand DKC, which is already at the 4MB limit (you can get it expanded more than that, but doing so will crash the game). Rare literally used everything they could - I only found about 2K or so of empty space. So this means it would be very hard to do things other than level-editing with running out of room. Not to mention the fact that (most of) DKC's graphics are compressed.

To make it short and simple, it would take about 100 times more effort and knowledge to make a ROM editor. ;)

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 12th, 2008, 4:55 pm
by Cyclone
Thanks for your reply Simion. I guess having your own code is definitely better. Would make it easy to modify add your own graphics and whatnot. The SMW editor was way too complicated to modify the looks of sprites (you have mess around with pallets using weird tile editors). The only thing I’m wondering is how/if you would be able to match the physics, animation speeds etc to perfectly mach the original game.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 14th, 2008, 1:34 pm
by Cosmicman
hi, i'm extremelly happy to see a project like this in the works, i will be a supporter until the day this project is completed.

i think sticking to the original physics of the game will make it more joyful, creating new moves like walking on walls etc will just kill it for me, im looking forward for that dkc classic feel, just being able to place any objects from maps from all 3 games in a single map.

well, i can provide help, including custom sprites, plus some things i would love to see.
example # 1: donkey kong and kiddy kong in the same map, or donkey kong and dixie, or diddy and kiddy
example # 2 : being able to play with cranky kong ( i can do a very good job creating realistic movement sprites mainteining the classic rare feel )
example # 3 : being able to choose any of the kongs at the beginning of the game would be great too. donkey kong and kiddy kong in the same level, amazing!

regarding help with those sprites PM me... my respect and special thanks to everyone involved in this project, dont give up.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 14th, 2008, 2:23 pm
by Simion32
Cosmicman wrote:creating new moves like walking on walls etc will just kill it for me

Agreed, I also think that would ruin it. That idea was somewhat inspired from Super Mario Galaxy. I do want to have the possibility of loop-able mine cart track, at least. You will get to make your own levels, so there's no need to worry if a feature is included or not.
Cosmicman wrote:well, i can provide help, including custom sprites

I don't really need any custom sprites, because all sprites and graphics can be extracted from a ROM of DKC using one of my special tools. You *should* be able to submit custom graphics once the main Level Builder site is up and running.
Cosmicman wrote: example # 1: donkey kong and kiddy kong in the same map, or donkey kong and dixie, or diddy and kiddy
example # 2 : being able to play with cranky kong ( i can do a very good job creating realistic movement sprites mainteining the classic rare feel )
example # 3 : being able to choose any of the kongs at the beginning of the game would be great too. donkey kong and kiddy kong in the same level, amazing!

You will be able to do both #1 and #3. Playing as Cranky Kong would be pretty darn cool, as long as his sprites are good. :)

News: The DKC Resource Extraction Tool is nearing its first version. You can expect it to be done very soon.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 14th, 2008, 2:44 pm
by Cosmicman
^^^ amazing news, i would say too good to be true :mrgreen:

I don't know if is possible to use the same physics from other kongs and insert them into a walking version of cranky, or if you could use the rambi physics instead you could make him playable in a wheelchair, it would be crazy to see him riding the mining cart level in the wheelchair :lol: yeah, im insane and im going off with ideas but im sorry, i had all these ideas stuck in my head for over 12 years, i have to vent :cry:

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 14th, 2008, 2:58 pm
by Simion32
Cosmicman wrote:I don't know if is possible to use the same physics from other kongs and insert them into a walking version of cranky, or if you could use the rambi physics instead you could make him playable in a wheelchair, it would be crazy to see him riding the mining cart level in the wheelchair :lol:

I think either way would be fitting. Maybe both? I think making the sprites would be the main problem.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 14th, 2008, 3:58 pm
by Qyzbud
This is all sounding awesome, Simion... I can hardly wait. :D

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 15th, 2008, 1:18 am
by Stone
I think its maybe to early to ask, but what's about throwing partners? I don't know if Donkey barrel-throwing sprites are suitable for holding and throwing Kiddy...

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 15th, 2008, 6:50 am
by Cosmicman
Stone wrote:I think its maybe to early to ask, but what's about throwing partners? I don't know if Donkey barrel-throwing sprites are suitable for holding and throwing Kiddy...


You can do that in dkc 2 and 3 pressing the A button on the snes...

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 15th, 2008, 8:04 am
by Kiddy14
I think what Stone means is that, while we already know Diddy can throw Dixie and viceversa, and the same with Dixie and Kiddy. But DK and Kiddy don't have any kind of those sprites, neither DK or Dixie, nor DIddy or Kiddy.

Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

PostPosted: April 15th, 2008, 10:47 am
by Cosmicman
Oh, yes, that won't be easy but I'm willing to help, I started working on such sprites, will upload some samples soon.