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 » July 6th, 2008, 11:38 am

gamer_boy997 wrote: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!
He was only kidding. In other words, it's not possible. The "Six Stop N Swop Bananas" do not even exist. Tiptup just used a reference to something in the Banjo series that lots of noobs make pointless fake theories about.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » July 6th, 2008, 11:41 am

Simion32 wrote:
gamer_boy997 wrote: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!
He was only kidding. In other words, it's not possible. The "Six Stop N Swop Bananas" do not even exist. Tiptup just used a reference to something in the Banjo series that lots of noobs make pointless fake theories about.


Sorry, I'm not a 100% DKC fan, so I obviously misunderstood. I was getting curious for a minute, "wow, can you really do DK and Kiddy together?". Anyways, thanks for clearing it up.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Jomingo » July 7th, 2008, 5:06 am

Yeah, he was just poking fun at the "stop N swap" feature that was supposed to be in Banjo Kazooie. Google it to find out all you need to know.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Tiptup Jr. » July 8th, 2008, 3:31 am

Wow, I didn't mean to rise false hope there. I thought everyone would get the joke. :lol:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » July 8th, 2008, 4:31 am

Sorry that I didn't get it. I have rarely even played Banjo Kazooie, the farthest I remember getting was a little after beating the first boss. :lol:

EDIT: I have a lot of quetsions. How much do you need the ROM for? Do you need it to create levels, play the levels on the computer, or play the levels on the SNES? Also, I tried downloading Demo #2, and the Delta, but it says it needs to find the program that created it, what is the program? If I know, I can just type the program in.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » August 3rd, 2008, 7:58 am

Ugh... I can't run any of these, it just opens another tab and asks if I would like to run it again, is this a RAR/ZIP problem?

EDIT: I can open Demo #1, but if that requires RAR to extract, shouldn't the other ones work?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 3rd, 2008, 8:01 am

What on earth....?

Post a screenshot. I have no clue what you're talking about. :?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » August 3rd, 2008, 8:03 am

Nevermind, I got the latest demo to open, but when I click on the resource editor, it says, "Waiting for user input...", and when I click on the game engine, it says, "You need to exatract with the ROM first! DELTA will now close." How do I solve this?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 3rd, 2008, 8:10 am

In the Resource Editor, go to the menu "Extract > Graphics" and let it extract data from a DKC v1.0 ROM. It's like I told you via PM earlier.

Every update beyond and including this one will require a ROM to operate correctly.

EDIT: In the next update, it will semi-automatically do this for you, if you haven't already. That should make it a bit easier.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Goe » August 15th, 2008, 3:02 am

i have downloaded the new demo today and extracted the DKC data...i see i can't modify the game with that demo...i must be patient then.

Ah....i see is a engine for DKC only...i hope you add the option of use DKC2 and DKC3 data
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 15th, 2008, 4:34 am

Yeah... I do want to get this done at a reasonable pace, but it's not going to be just a throw-together-the-basics-and-it's-done project. I take my time when I need to, and make sure everything's the way it should be.

DKC2 and DKC3 will probably be editable in the Level Builder before they will in the Resource Editor, because of DKC2's compression (a post with more information regarding DKC2's compression can be found by clicking here). I think DKC3 may be similar.

By the way, for those who may be confused about it; let me explain:
  • The Delta Game Engine will be used in combination with the DKC Level Builder, and will be able to combine data from all 3 games in the DKC Trilogy.
  • The DKC Resource Editor will be required initially for the Delta Game Engine to operate. And...
  • the DKCRE is also a standalone ROM editor which will edit the ROM for each game in the DKC Trilogy individually.
  • The ROM-editing functions of the DKC Resource Editor are not top-priority, but the resource extraction functions are.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Gnawzooka » August 20th, 2008, 6:46 pm

My brain hurts. I just read this entire topic. But I really like this idea, I'm glad that there will one day (hopefully soon) be able to get something like this. By the way, I think i know the answer, but will it be possible for other people to play levels you have created somehow?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » August 20th, 2008, 11:08 pm

Yes it will, that can be done by sharing the relevant file(s).

The DKCLB website will be a place to trade your levels, once it's up and running. Which might be a while.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Cosmicman » October 10th, 2008, 12:15 am

It has been almost 2 months since the last post. Updates please? :mrgreen:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » October 10th, 2008, 7:35 am

Sorry for the lack of DKCLB updates, the DKCRE has taken priority for the moment. Don't worry, the development of the DKCRE is essential for the DKCLB to work the way it's supposed to. Think of the DKCRE as a "section" of the DKCLB project. ;)

But, I do have something for you all... a new logo I designed specifically for YouTube videos:
Donkey Kong Country Level Builder VideoLogo Edit.PNG
The newest promition logo for DKCLB... enjoy! (This also makes a great desktop background.)
Donkey Kong Country Level Builder VideoLogo Edit.PNG (110.02 KiB) Viewed 28512 times
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Tiptup Jr. » October 10th, 2008, 10:17 pm

...Oh my goodness, that takes me back. Can't wait! :D
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Gnawzooka » October 11th, 2008, 12:00 am

Out of interest Simion, what ISN'T in that picture? :P
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » October 11th, 2008, 1:47 am

He's missing lots of things, he's missing all the animal buddies, almost all the baddies, half the bosses, lots of the backrounds, Candy Kong, many barrels, and much more.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » October 11th, 2008, 7:26 am

I don't think I could fit all the bosses in... :P

That picture was preliminary, I still need to make the "LEVEL BUILDER" text brighter because it wouldn't be as easy to see in a YT video. I also would like to cram in as many details as possible. In that case, I should throw in a few barrel cannons, a zinger or two, and some bananas to fill the space in the upper half of the picture. I'll also add an upside-down Mini-Drum spitting gnawty(s), as a beta "easter-egg" element.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Gnawzooka » October 11th, 2008, 8:28 pm

gamer_boy997 wrote:He's missing lots of things, he's missing all the animal buddies, almost all the baddies, half the bosses, lots of the backrounds, Candy Kong, many barrels, and much more.

I was making a joke. ;) But there is certainly quite alot there.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Tiptup Jr. » October 12th, 2008, 1:32 am

My punk-ass little brother just told me this project looked like it sucked and that being about Donkey Kong Country makes it suck more.

...He's the Antichrist. :evil:
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » October 22nd, 2008, 1:02 pm

Since I got the bit-wise file access stuff working a few days ago, I've made some more (albeit technical) progress on the engine. I have gotten a bare-bones level file generator built into the DKCRE, and that allowed me to do the reverse: I have now built a level file loader into DELTA.

So far it's able to load the music and tileset, and can display any spot in the level. It doesn't have multiple layers yet, though. Unlike the last version where I threw together some code to get the other background/foreground in, this time I'll be constructing them as true layers so that it can work with all levels.
--------------------------------
While this may not sound like particularly exciting news, I have fixed the error which would cause a crash if you switch between the Engine and Startup Screen mode continuously (mentioned by Qyzbud here).

It turns out that error was due to something screwy with one of my level-display classes (although I never actually bothered to check what exactly was causing it), so I ended up re-doing most of the level-loader code apart from the display algorithm. Not only is that fixed, but now my classes are much more organized 8-) .
--------------------------------
If you are getting random crashes for absolutely no reason, I have found one culprit: When running delta with Data Execution Prevention on for all programs, you may get random crashes. This will most likely apply to all versions of DELTA and DKCRE.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby edevore » October 23rd, 2008, 2:11 pm

@simion32

Your utility extractor is very useful but it would be really nice if it had full extraction support for example sprites,audio,tiles,backgrounds,ect... Would this be possible in future plans/releases?

Thanks,
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » October 24th, 2008, 7:06 am

edevore wrote:it would be really nice if it had full extraction support for example sprites,audio,tiles,backgrounds,ect... Would this be possible in future plans/releases?
It will, as I plan to include everything (even sound effects and/or music once I know the sound's data format). It's just incomplete at the moment and doesn't include everything (such as, the latest release does not include all of the backgrounds, only 32x32 tiled ones). Sprite extraction will be in the next version, as will more backgrounds.

Eventually, the DKCRE will be a fully functional ROM-editor with sprite support, data extraction capabilities, and the ability to generate DKCLB-formatted levels from an original DKC ROM.

Please note that the DKC Resource Editor will also include DKC2 and DKC3 once more information becomes available. ;)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby edevore » October 24th, 2008, 2:31 pm

Thanks "Simion32" for that update,
I am very excited that this project is coming along nicely,
I can't wait until its finished, Great Job!
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Cosmicman » October 24th, 2008, 2:45 pm

A new demo would stop me from visiting this thread 10 times a day . :mrgreen: Well, it won't stop me from visiting but it will bring down the visits from 10 to 5 times at least.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » October 24th, 2008, 3:09 pm

A new demo is in the works; just today I got the level-loading and display code up to the quality of the last demo, with a few extra things added. Mainly, the camera is prevented from going out-of-bounds based on the level's dimensions, not a preset number. Also, the camera's position variables have been adapted to DKC's strange co-ordinate format (also used by the physics to an extent), which involves using a byte as a "decimal" part of the number. You end up with co-ordinates like 0A3B.FD and the camera gets displayed at whatever the position is without the decimal byte.

One thing that I'm trying to figure out is the banana group format, because I want the next demo to have bananas. It's surprisingly more confusing than I thought, though it's manageable. No one has documented this format so I'm in the process of documenting it.

Once the banana group format is fully understood, I will then be able to extract them to more "organized" proprietary DKCLB-formatted files. Which I will then be able to create loading code for.

As you can see, DELTA is going to start heavily relying on the DKCRE to work. But the good news is that the project will really speed up during this "DKCLB Level File" development, since I have some experience with this kind of thing and it's not as difficult to code either. The only expected slowdowns/delays will be things that need to be hacked (like the banana group format).
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby edevore » October 25th, 2008, 5:44 am

Simion32 wrote: No one has documented this format so I'm in the process of documenting it.

Are you going to release your documents?

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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby cfh » October 25th, 2008, 6:26 am

cfhworld (10:19:51 PM): doesnt that guy who ripped the tiles also have something to do with the banana code
"Simion32" (10:20:02 PM): only their layout in levels
"Simion32" (10:20:33 PM): i mean where the banana groups go in levels
"Simion32" (10:20:42 PM): this format is the banana groups themselves
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » October 28th, 2008, 7:20 am

Thanks for clarifying that, CFH.
edevore wrote:Are you going to release your documents?
Certainly.
edevore wrote:Did you know that "giangurgolo" made his own research of "DKC 1" public?
Yes, that's where I got most of the data on DKC. However I'll be mostly on my own with the next two games.

EDIT: Elaborating on those camera co-ordinates; what's so strange about them is that the decimal value has to increase by 256, not 100, to make the whole number go up by one. This is one major reason that it is difficult to duplicate DKC's physics - it's because of the higher level of precision.

EDIT Before Bumping:
Here's a progress update, since a demo is certainly not viable yet. I have bananas almost working. I got most of it correct except for:
1. Some bananas have incorrect X positions in the engine, it seems to be quite erratic:
Bananas_Test.PNG
Bananas being placed at irregular X positions, with their Y positions being undisturbed.
Bananas_Test.PNG (24.2 KiB) Viewed 28071 times
2.They do not animate correctly. DKC displays the bananas flipped horizontally, and rotates through their frames backwards. I wonder why that is? The banana used for the banana counter is not flipped.

EDIT Again: Level files are now working w/bananas accurately.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 9th, 2008, 11:25 am

Progress Announcement: For last few days I've been tinkering with the music system, and I've finally fixed something I thought was impossible...

DELTA no longer requires dkcdh.exe to play music. Rather, DELTA will now control SNESAMP directly.

This will eliminate anything being left in memory if DELTA happens to crash/hang. Not only will it eradicate several known problems, it makes the program more compact and simple. Also, this makes DELTA much faster as you won't have to wait for dkcdh to load.

Since I've got the music fixed and bananas are working, it will soon be time for me to begin work on the physics/object engine (that means there will soon be playable levels!). I only have to make a few tweaks to the DKCRE first to make it extract based on ROM data more than a configuration file, and to prepare it for object map extraction.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby edevore » November 10th, 2008, 9:57 am

@Simion32...

When do you think we can expect an update on the delta engine?

You said "You were going to release your documents.." but will you also release your delta source code too?

When the dkc extractor extracts data from the rom (the offsets to some format).. would it be possible to edit them in delta then port them back into the rom..(some format to the offsets)?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 10th, 2008, 10:51 am

edevore wrote:When do you think we can expect an update on the delta engine?
I don't know, possibly within the next week or two. It won't have playable levels at that time, but a new update should be ready soon. The DKCRE is delaying the release significantly because the resource extractor is sort of messed up at the moment.

edevore wrote:but will you also release your delta source code too?
No, I won't be releasing source code. If someone needs to know something, I might give details (such as specific ROM data and how to read/load it), but this isn't going to be an open-source project.

edevore wrote:would it be possible to edit them in delta then port them back into the rom
That would be a little extreme, as the DKCRE will be able to edit the ROM directly.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » November 13th, 2008, 2:32 am

Okay, I have a brilliant idea for the level builder. I'll post a sprite comic explaining my idea... probably tonight? If not, then tomorrow for sure.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Raccoon Sam » November 13th, 2008, 3:42 am

Simion32 wrote:No, I won't be releasing source code. If someone needs to know something, I might give details (such as specific ROM data and how to read/load it), but this isn't going to be an open-source project.

what
Do you have a specific reason why you wish to keep this project closed? Not only are you smushing the slight possibilities of porting the application to Mac OS X or Linux, you also give a stubborn and a close-minded image of yourself.
I appreciate your hard work towards the project, but ROM hacking-related information and tools shouldn't be anyone's individual property.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » November 13th, 2008, 9:51 am

Okay, I posted my idea on the sprite comics page, (yes, I know it was a while ago, but it was at the last second I had to leave, so I couldn't post here), you may post comments either here, or there.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 13th, 2008, 9:54 am

Progress Announcement: Almost all levels are now loadable once extracted/converted, and the majority (~96%) of them have accurate banana-maps. Levels seem to load within under 1 second, which is good considering the only major data being loaded is a tilemap, tileset and a banana map. Tall levels will load but do not work correctly (the camera limits are messed).

There are also a few bonus rooms and/or 'alternate' level digits that will cause the program to crash. Some levels have incorrect banana maps, and some won't load any bananas at all (most notably Barrel Cannon Canyon, only a few levels are affected by this). You can expect a demo once the few bad errors are fixed.
------------------------------------------------------
gamer_boy997 wrote:Okay, I posted my idea on the sprite comics page (click here to view sprite comic)
Hey, that's a great idea! Never thought of being able to ride the millstones like you do a steel-keg. :P

Raccoon Sam wrote:Do you have a specific reason why you wish to keep this project closed?
Don't get me wrong; I did consider it being open source. I came to the conclusion of it being closed-source mainly due to the "proprietary" nature of DELTA and the DKCLB.

This is a major ambition of mine to finish this project, not only as an accomplishment, but a learning experience as well. I feel that letting others work on it would ruin the sense of accomplishment, and I would not gain as much experience if DELTA was open-source.

Also, having it open-sourced might create confusion among those attempting to share levels where the file-format was modified in either program. One major reason that I want it closed-source is because there are some set goals; which may not be implemented truly the way I intended them to be in an open-source scenario.
Raccoon Sam wrote:Porting to Mac OS X or Linux
Right now, I'm not decided on whether ports will be made. Will make that decision when this project actually has a leg to stand on (e.g. has been finished or near-finished and is working as intended).
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby gamer_boy997 » November 13th, 2008, 9:58 am

Simion32 wrote:Hey, that's a great idea! Never thought of being able to ride the millstones like you do a steel-keg. :P


Why thank you! There are probably other baddies that this could work for to, like the bazooka guy from DKC3, you could defeat him and use his bazooka. There are probably many other baddies this will work for to.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Cyclone » November 16th, 2008, 4:41 pm

My take on the open-source thing is that any ROM related information should definitely be made public. Those who use the ROM info/docs should at the very least credit those who originally created them.

I agree that the proprietary stuff in DELTA/DKLB, the stuff that isn’t directly related to ROM hacking should be closed-source. If I was developing a program I wouldn't want everyone to see my code... At least when its unfinished.

There’s always the idea of allowing people to mod or make plugins for the DELTA engine. Then you can control what people can/cannot do with it.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 16th, 2008, 5:08 pm

Thanks; that's essentially a good summary of what I was trying to say, Cyclone. I don't mind giving out code or examples that are directly related to ROM-specific data.

The level format is very difficult to debug because of it use of bit-wise file access routines (which I call BFAR), the situation doesn't need to be complicated any further by having it open-sourced. That would make it difficult to share levels because you would need a specific version/build of the application to play certain levels, I might be flooded with questions about how it works, etc.

A plugin system sounds like a good idea for later, I'll think about it. ;)

Another small announcement: I've decided to add some of the ROM-data extraction capabilities to DELTA; in doing this, DELTA will no longer require the DKCRE to operate as it has in the past few demos, and I won't have to upload both programs when DELTA gets an update. This will not take long to do either, as both programs are quite similar in structure.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Raccoon Sam » November 16th, 2008, 10:50 pm

Simion32 wrote:words

Oh, I see now. Thanks for clearing that up. :)
Still, I'm expecting lots of documents.. Dunno if you worded that badly or something, but surely you don't mean..
If someone needs to know something, I might give details such as specific ROM data and how to read/load it

.. right? That makes it sound like you wrote those codes and methods in the first place :D

Unless you did, of course, and you're an ex-rare employee. :>
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 17th, 2008, 1:59 am

Raccoon Sam wrote:Dunno if you worded that badly or something, but surely you don't mean...
Sorry, I worded that statement badly. I'll confirm that I have never worked for Rare (or any company for that matter). That seems like such a bizarre idea anyway; why would I need to hack the game if I had some advanced technical document on how the game was built? :P

Raccoon Sam wrote:Still, I'm expecting lots of documents..
I'm not entirely worried about putting out what little "documents" there are until I'm sure I know that's how said things work. Some of it has not been actually written; usually remembered, or put into code somewhere. Most work up until now has been done using Gian's docs, with the exception of a few things (such as the banana-group format).

I will definitely be making a document on the physics, I can assure you that. ;)
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Jeff_Ray Barrels » November 17th, 2008, 6:33 am

I like the looks of this project! At times, I thought it was simply a level editor and it had an engine of its own (or is it?), but I guess that from reading, it's a ROM editor, am I correct? If so, I hope it will be able to edit DKC2 because I wish to do things as legal as possible for the moment, and I only have the second game... but I guess that's no problem, right?

Let's hope for a demo release to come out soon enough (even if it only edits one level, I won't mind. :D )!
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 17th, 2008, 7:02 am

Jeff_Ray Barrels wrote:At times, I thought it was simply a level editor and it had an engine of its own (or is it?), but I guess that from reading, it's a ROM editor, am I correct?
This entire project is both (sort of)...

First there is DELTA and the Level Builder, which will use its own system (like a fan-game would, except much more accurate when compared against the real thing). These two programs are collectively called the DKC Level Builder.

The DKC Resource Editor (as you can see there is a separate thread for it) will edit the ROM, but the ROM-editing will come much later. It mostly contains data viewing/extraction capabilities at the moment.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Jeff_Ray Barrels » November 17th, 2008, 7:35 am

I kinda found out about it a little later while browsing the forums, but I guess it will help those who need it. Thanks anyways!

Also, I'm looking forward to the release (which better be soon!).
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby edevore » November 21st, 2008, 12:29 pm

@simion32:
Did you mean that in the future plans of a new editor after the "Delta" program is finished you will be...
(NOTE:No Spoiler Just Hidden Comment)
    Spoiler!
    working on an actual "DKC/1,2,3" snes smc rom editor/creator which will make them run on regular "Super Nintendo" Pc Emulator or Playstation 2 hardware (with an exception of an emulator for the ps2 such as "Snes Station")?
Or am I wrong?
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby Simion32 » November 21st, 2008, 12:37 pm

Yes, after DELTA there will begin a DKC 1,2,3 ROM editor (which will be started in a late version of DKCRE).

Note: The next update is technically ready, but I'm having trouble with getting the extraction to work (it uses a slightly different method). It's very possible the update will be up within a few hours. For the update, I'll either edit this post or make another post if someone else does.
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Re: The Donkey Kong Country Level Builder

Postby edevore » November 21st, 2008, 12:47 pm

Simion, Thats great I cant wait till the updates ready.
I have a question "@Simion32"...
On your next post, Can you tell me if the next project which will create roms.. is it fully editable or will it just edit levels and audio,.. If it is fully editable, can custom resources and dkc1, dkc2 and dkc3 resources be imported also?

NOTE: If you dont know what I am saying just ask me and I will try to explain it because this post was hard to explain.
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