Shell-based mech selections

A section featuring all of Kell's projects and files.
Come and check it out!

Moderators: Skyfaller, Col.Kell

User avatar
Col.Kell
House Steiner Archon
House Steiner Archon
Posts: 868
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:44 am
Location: An Isolated Tennessee Valley.

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by Col.Kell » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:24 pm

Much obliged squire - don't suppose you could roll me a mercs specific version of one of your custom mechs? Just the one to experiment with shell mech selection in mercs? We'll get this figured out eventually
you mean you'd like one of my mechs so you could experiment with making external-prj-shell-mech-selections? Why not I just give you an NAIS mech to save time?

And I tried making a custom .exe shell. For some reason the changes won't come up. sorry. :(
MechWarrior 2: 31stCC
Image

User avatar
quota4stupid
House Steiner Private First Class
House Steiner Private First Class
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Australia

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by quota4stupid » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:24 pm

Col.Kell wrote: you mean you'd like one of my mechs so you could experiment with making external-prj-shell-mech-selections? Why not I just give you an NAIS mech to save time?
I haven't used NAIS - if it's a hack for Mercs I'll google it and play with it :-)
Col.Kell wrote: And I tried making a custom .exe shell. For some reason the changes won't come up. sorry. :(
Do you have a hexdump you can post of your changes (preferably with a hexdump of the same address range before you changed it)?

User avatar
quota4stupid
House Steiner Private First Class
House Steiner Private First Class
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Australia

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by quota4stupid » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:22 am

Gave Mercs a spin with one of the NAIS mechs:
bugger.jpg
bugger.jpg (19.3 KiB) Viewed 3444 times
Looks like we're crap out of luck :-( I put the ISWARDOG.BWD into the main Mercs directory, rolled a USERSTAR.BWD that named it with WASM, copied in some RMG BWD files I'd captured previously and ran mw2.exe from the prompt - and it crapped out. Looks like while it will look for certain BWD files in the main directory (including the SCN1 file) it WONT look for mech BWD files anywhere other than the project file. So much for that idea :-(

User avatar
Col.Kell
House Steiner Archon
House Steiner Archon
Posts: 868
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:44 am
Location: An Isolated Tennessee Valley.

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by Col.Kell » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:31 pm

:( Bummer. I don't guess we'll be making a shell-selected-mech-mod in the near future...

But I do have a couple of questions, you know the BWD format and such better than I do:
  • Why is there a mech table (mech.mtb) in the PRJ that looks almost 100% identical to the one in the mw2shell?
  • Is there a way we could simply replace a mech BWD with something similar to a userstar.bwd? So that way we could use the FE FF tag in the hacked BWD, which in turn would tell the sim to look OUTSIDE the PRJ?
Just some thought. And although I did fail at modding shell-based-mech-selections, I did notice many things that make up the gameplay randomizers in Mercs. Like the skirmish briefings and the environment variables.
MechWarrior 2: 31stCC
Image

User avatar
quota4stupid
House Steiner Private First Class
House Steiner Private First Class
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Australia

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by quota4stupid » Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:34 am

Col.Kell wrote::( Bummer. I don't guess we'll be making a shell-selected-mech-mod in the near future...
It doesn't look that way. Personally I'm not to keen on EXE hacking, so I'd probably be throwing in the towel on this one for now anyway :-P
Col.Kell wrote: Why is there a mech table (mech.mtb) in the PRJ that looks almost 100% identical to the one in the mw2shell?
You tell me and we'll both know :lol: ;-) While there certainly seem to be a lot of junk files in the PRJ, I'm sure this file is used for something, given that they went to the trouble of updating it between 31cc and Mercs (it doesn't appears in the GBL PRJ - guessing it uses the one in the 31cc file). It's the same info that's stored in the shell EXE, and includes the tonnage and (for Mercs) whether the mech is IS or Clan. The tonnage values are probably not used for anything though (in both the 31cc and Mercs versions of the files, it lists the Elemental as 100 tonnes).
Col.Kell wrote: Is there a way we could simply replace a mech BWD with something similar to a userstar.bwd? So that way we could use the FE FF tag in the hacked BWD, which in turn would tell the sim to look OUTSIDE the PRJ?
Ummm.... I suppose you could try replacing the BWD in the PRJ with a files that contains only an INCL chunk with the 0xfffe ID in it, and see if it calls out an external file? No idea if that will work, but it's my best guess ;-)
Col.Kell wrote: Just some thought. And although I did fail at modding shell-based-mech-selections, I did notice many things that make up the gameplay randomizers in Mercs. Like the skirmish briefings and the environment variables.
Yeah, I think for Mercs instant action it uses the BWD files in the RMG directory and then randomly generates the remaining BWD files needed to make a complete scenario (which would be the stuff you found)... I think ;-) Haven't looked at it too closely yet.

User avatar
Col.Kell
House Steiner Archon
House Steiner Archon
Posts: 868
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:44 am
Location: An Isolated Tennessee Valley.

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by Col.Kell » Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:45 am

You tell me and we'll both know :lol: ;)
hehe... yeah okay. :roll: I'll just do something completely random and dumb, and if nothing happens, we could assume mech.mtb is irrelevent. But if there IS change, then we may have something...
I suppose you could try replacing the BWD in the PRJ with a files that contains only an INCL chunk with the 0xfffe ID in it
Will do.
Yeah, I think for Mercs instant action it uses the BWD files in the RMG directory and then randomly generates the remaining BWD files needed to make a complete scenario (which would be the stuff you found)... I think Haven't looked at it too closely yet.
Well for the BWD files in the RMG (Ready-Made-Groups) directory, I already knew in a way that was where the randomized structures came from. But could this hold the key that may prevent Mercenaries skirmish missions from sucking???? I will try my luck at new self-made RMGs using Ed Wong's Mercsedit3D.
MechWarrior 2: 31stCC
Image

User avatar
quota4stupid
House Steiner Private First Class
House Steiner Private First Class
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Australia

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by quota4stupid » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:18 pm

Col.Kell wrote: Well for the BWD files in the RMG (Ready-Made-Groups) directory, I already knew in a way that was where the randomized structures came from. But could this hold the key that may prevent Mercenaries skirmish missions from sucking???? I will try my luck at new self-made RMGs using Ed Wong's Mercsedit3D.
This is a list of BWD files I captured a while back while running a Mercs instant action mission on dosbox - some of the files are verbatim copies of files in the RMG directory (just renamed), the rest appear to be generated by the shell (including some, such as briefing and campaign files, that aren't actually used):

EN01STAR.BWD -> Randomly generated by shell?
EN02STAR.BWD -> Randomly generated by shell?
EN03STAR.BWD -> Randomly generated by shell?
EN04STAR.BWD -> Randomly generated by shell?
EN05STAR.BWD -> Randomly generated by shell?
MIS5ARE1.BWD -> Copy of RMG/DRPSHP3.BWD
MIS8ARE1.BWD -> Copy of RMG/PUMPSTN3.BWD
RAN0BRF1.BWD -> Generated by shell? \
RAN0DBFF.BWD -> Generated by shell? >-> Not actually used methinks.
RAN0DBFS.BWD -> Generated by shell? /
RAN0SCN1.BWD -> Copy of RMG/MIS8SCN1.BWD
RANDNAV1.BWD -> Randomly generated by shell?
RANDWLD1.BWD -> Randomly generated by shell? (includes generated files, files from RMG and files from PRJ)
RND0CAM1.BWD -> Generated by shell? Appears to be a dummy file.
USERSTAR.BWD -> Generated by shell.

I would guess the shell randomly picks some scenery from RMG, renames it and then generates RANDWLD1.BWD to include them (it also includes some MIS*.BWD files from the PRJ file). Anyhow, hope this helps a little with your investigations :-)

User avatar
Col.Kell
House Steiner Archon
House Steiner Archon
Posts: 868
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:44 am
Location: An Isolated Tennessee Valley.

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by Col.Kell » Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:06 pm

It is confirmed; the sim will not accept a "pointer" BWD as a mech. I tried using the INCL tag (put it in the right place too) with my BWD name that had the FE FF tag, and kaput. I got an error that said "ERROR: CANTLOADMECH:" or something.

I think I may just be wasting my time making custom AREx files. Instead, I'll go into the RMG folder, open some of the SCN files in there, and place the referances to real-campaign environments into the randomly selected scenarios. That will be easier.
And I have yet to fiddle with the mech.mtb.

I can't do this tomorrow, I have a big day. Our CAP unit is having a real Colonel fly in from Tullahoma TN to present me with the Wright Bros. Award. :mrgreen:
MechWarrior 2: 31stCC
Image

User avatar
quota4stupid
House Steiner Private First Class
House Steiner Private First Class
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Australia

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by quota4stupid » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:21 am

Col.Kell wrote:It is confirmed; the sim will not accept a "pointer" BWD as a mech. I tried using the INCL tag (put it in the right place too) with my BWD name that had the FE FF tag, and kaput. I got an error that said "ERROR: CANTLOADMECH:" or something.
Bugger :-(
Col.Kell wrote: I can't do this tomorrow, I have a big day. Our CAP unit is having a real Colonel fly in from Tullahoma TN to present me with the Wright Bros. Award. :mrgreen:
Congratulations friend :-)

User avatar
Skyfaller
Clan 2nd MechWarrior
Clan 2nd MechWarrior
Posts: 991
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:58 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Shell-based mech selections

Post by Skyfaller » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:26 am

Don't worry too much about NetMech shell. I am working on a replacement. I am confident it will work.
Download MechVM

If you have problems with MechVM, please attach the files MechVM.cfg and install-report.txt from the folder where MechVM installed your game.

Post Reply