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ToT unit's shield colour - is it possible to avoid darkening?

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario League' started by keu, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. keu

    keu Chieftain

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    Is it possible to avoid darkening of unit shield colour in ToT ?

    I've read at http://sleague.apolyton.net/Guides/sldt_tot_tribecolours.shtml#Footnote
    -----------
    Every pixel in a sprite file has a flag that tells if it is a team color pixel. Normal pixels are drawn with the exact color values in the file but team color pixels are handled a little differently.

    [...] Therefore the value of the pixel in the sprite file determines how bright the color is. This factor will be able to be customized as hoped when the Sprite Workshop is finished.
    -----------

    But nothing about shields found at more recent sites as Mercator's and Catfish's.
     
  2. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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    This is one thing where MGE was superior to ToT. The shields are way too small and the darkness of the colours makes it almost impossible to ascertain ownership! A fix would be a real plus!
     
  3. techumseh

    techumseh Chieftain

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    I don't think so. Back in the day, John Possidente explained that there was a screen used over the color and it couldn't be changed. Sorry.
     
  4. Fairline

    Fairline Chieftain

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    You can lighten the civ colours in city.bmp to make the shields less dark, but sadly you can't change the relationship between the shield brightness and civ colour brightness AFAIK.
     
  5. Catfish

    Catfish Chieftain

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    There is, but it's only a small note based on Mercator's observations, ie, that the colour of the shield (or unit key, as some people call it) is approximately half the RGB value of the lower pixel. I looked at it once and concluded the same. By team colour pixel, Draco Omega's referring to the team colour masking on the unit itself. You can alter these RGB values in SpriteGen and CivSprite, but I believe the brightness of the unit shield is hard-coded. For example, in this graphics modpack, I can control the brightness of the team colours on the units, but I'm stuck with dark keys. For clarity I've made my shields a little larger (and more shield-like) than the originals, but Curt Sibling has gone a step further in some of his scenarios by creating colour bars above and below the health bar.

    I guess the old SL site hasn't been nuked entirely.
     
  6. keu

    keu Chieftain

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    OK, I've understood. Thanks!

    :(

    Good idea!

    Unexpectedly one of my old bookmarks opened a webpage. I think it is because that page (and lower pages) don't use database.
     
  7. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff

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    It is hard-coded, as the gentlemen said. But colour coded units go some way to helping.
     
  8. Catfish

    Catfish Chieftain

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    I think it was Boco who got the ball rolling in that area; became a bit obsessed with keys and health bars for a time. :D
     
  9. keu

    keu Chieftain

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    Will it work if we clear shield (key) area in the top-right of the units.bmp file and mark this place as "unit team mask" area for each unit?
     
  10. Catfish

    Catfish Chieftain

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    Yes, you could do that. Remember that ToT units flip orientation when they move in a westerly direction and the health bar isn't centred, so you'd probably be looking at the area above or below the health bar. It would be visible in the city production box. You could take the idea further and make a larger coloured shield or flag elsewhere on the sprite. Will add screen clutter. That's why I stick with the smaller 'shields' and trimmed health bars.

    I don't know why they decided to dull down the shield colour. To match the rest of ToT's dull artwork?

    [Edit: I've attached a simple example. Top two rows show units with standard Civ2 colours. Bottom left has been flipped. With a vertically symmetrical bar, you can't tell the difference. Issued a few orders for the rest on the bottom line. Sleep is the interesting one. The sprite is grey-scaled, so the bar is indistinguishable from the white tribe. Insets show city production box, sprite bitmap, including mask, and key layout for units.bmp.]
     

    Attached Files:

  11. keu

    keu Chieftain

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    Damn! I've forgot this small thing when invented this "idea".

    Isn't units.bmp work there? at least in "classic" city sreeen layout?

    Thank you for example. To see once is better than to read 100 times :)

    About sleep.
    Did AI use it?
    Is it possible to see sleeping foreign unit exept via cheat mode? Probably with 2-space-visiblity our unit only, I think.
     
  12. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff

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    Interesting! I figured the healthbar area was used in sprite colour mapping,
    but never tried it out - Very good work, Catfish - I'm going to experiment!

    :D
     
  13. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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  14. Catfish

    Catfish Chieftain

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    Only when sprites are disabled. Same for both layouts.

    The AI certainly uses sleep. Whether it's possible to catch them in the act, outside of cheat mode, I don't recall; I don't play enough.

    The sprite area is the entire 64 x 64-pixel box. (Larger sprites are possible, but they don't display correctly.) The health bar and shield are superimposed.
     

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