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Old May 15th, 2018, 09:06 AM
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Exclamation Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

You will find an experimental winSPWW2.EXE attached . We would ask that anyone who playtests this for us do the following

1/ Either create a duplicate version of winSPww2 on your HD then extract this EXE to the main folder overwriting the original EXE

OR

2/ Rename the exiting winSPWW2.EXE however you like and then extract this to your game


This experimental winSPWW2.EXE draws the terrain graphics used by the game in a much different way than all previous versions of Steel Panthers. Andy and I have both tested this on our main machines and the difference in game speed is only noticeable using a stop watch. You *may* need to lower the graphics delay settings in MISC/ GameOptions a bit but neither of us has had to do this to make the game play normally but with older computers this may be an issue and by older I mean 10 years and up. But we don't know for sure and the reason we are testing in this way

The EXE will run for both the Free and the CD version of the game but for the CD version there are bonuses the free version does not have.

Since I started using a widescreen monitor I have wanted to have a sixth zoom in level that would double the image size of both terrain and vehicles over the standard but that would require rebuilding every terrain set manually including adjusting X/ Y offsets for every single tile. This exe does away with the need for any terrain except the standard 1:1 Z4 as the game is now displaying terrain graphics in the same way it displays vehicle graphics which means not only does this make the process of building and adding new terrain to the game much, much easier it also allows that 2:1 zoom level I have wanted for years but since 2:1 was now possible we added 3:1 as well so this EXE increases the number of zoom in/out views from 5 to 7. The added zoom in levels I find are handy in situations were combat is close in and involved many units.... a city battle for example where you may want to pick one specific unit to target in a hex that has 3 or 4 units.

We both agree not everyone will find this useful but we also agree some will.

We would ask that anyone who tries this gives feedback on how it runs on their machine and O/S ( and we would like to know if there is a problem what your machine specs are and what O/S you are using ).

We have both tested this using Windows 10 and it runs flawlessly but we don't know how it will work with other O/S and that is why we need the feedback so please if you do DL and try this give us some feedback. We don't want to see 100 downloads and 3 people commenting. We need initial impression then again after a week or two of gameplay.........anything out of the "ordinary"

Here are examples of the new zoom

This is Z4.... that is the standard that all graphic in the game start from



This is the Z5 level we introduced in 2005



This is the new Z6 it is 200% of Z4



and this is Z7 that is 300% of Z4





You may also notice that units and terrain seem a *bit* more defined now.... the drop shadow code has been reworked for both units and terrain as well.

EDIT

Further info

on my monitor Z4 displays 34x22 full hexes ( 1,750 m x 1,100 m )

Z5 ( 150 % of Z4 ) displays 23x14 ( 1,150 m x 700 m )

The new Z6 displays 17x11 ( 850 m x 550 m )

and Z7 displays 11x7 ( 550 m x 350 m )


Don
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Old May 15th, 2018, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

Pretty cool! I like it. No issues so far.

27” wide screen monitor
Intel Core i7 processor 4.20Ghz
16 GB ram
64 bit system
Windows 10 build 1803
Tested at 1920 x 1080 res. With 150% scaling
Direct X 12
Nvidia graphics card GTX 1070

On a side note; “not only does this make the process of building and adding new terrain to the game much, much easier”
I started a stone wall mod that replaced the tram track graphics years ago, that I used a mod swapper to exchange the files. You are welcomed to the graphics (not complete) if it would inspire any further endeavors
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Old May 15th, 2018, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

I know that " that other mod" had stonewalls and some people like them but I have never been keen on the idea at all and why they have never been added to the game
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Old May 15th, 2018, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

It's not that other mod, but my own for Camo SPWW2, but we have already spoke about terrain years ago.
Just offering it if you wanted it.
No problem.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

First of all Wow! This is pretty awesome!

Testing...

Windows 10 Pro (a virtual machine running on Windows 7 host)

12 GB RAM (Host has 32 GB RAM)
3 CPU's (Host has 8)
250 GB HDD (Host has 4 TB)
64 bit (both)

Display 1920 by 1080


In game settings to desktop and using boarderless gaming exe.

Thoughts:

Not sure how you all name the zooms but I do zoom 8 as all the way out and 1 as all the way in, if that makes sense. So here is my hex map views.

Zoom 8: whole map (doing a LC USMC CG with map preferences set to 80x80)
Zoom 7: 77 by 52 hexes
Zoom 6: 50 by 34 hexes
Zoom 5: 37 by 25 hexes
Zoom 4: 33 by 21* hexes
Zoom 3: 22 by 14** hexes
Zoom 2: 16 by 10 hexes
Zoom 1: 10 by 6 hexes

For all Zoom levels: plus the extra 2 gray hexes in upper left corner of the map.

* I normally play at this zoom level.
** This reminds me of the old SP1 zoom level.

Remarks, this is totally awesome, seems a little sluggish on zooms 1 and 2, but that is a setting that can be tweaked, default out of the box I have not touched any of the game settings with regards to speed and mouse scroll stuff. I really do like that SP 1 like zoom level (my zoom 3 above) and am getting used to it.

Zoom levels 1 and 2 are great not only for close in city fighting but in the jungle as well.

Great, great stuff, SP Camo you guys are totally awesome!

Now if we can only get a campaign game tracking like I posted in that other thread...

You guys have made this the ultimate and best SP came to date!

Many thanks for all your hard work.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

The correct sequence for describing zoom levels as we do in code

Z0.. that is the furthest out that shows the most map area
Z1
Z2
Z3
Z4 _ that is the 1:1 default
Z5 _ the extra level in we added in 2005
Z6 _ 200% of Z4 NEW
Z7 _ 300% of Z4 NEW

Remind us again in the fall about the campaign tracker....we don't code in summer. All of this was a spin off of a " I wonder if......." afternoon of coding Andy did that we wanted in as many hands as possible to playtest as it will be the standard for both game next patch if all testing is successful
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Old May 16th, 2018, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

Gave it a quick try, no problems encountered (tried both with and without Borderless Gaming in ZOOM levels Z3 to Z7.

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
Intel Core i5 3470
RAM 16 GB
Monitor (iiyama GB2783QSU-B1) 27”with resolution 2560 x 1440 with 100% scaling
2nd screen (Philips 273PLPH with 1920 x 1080) was not used
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Driver Version 397.31
DirectX 11

I will update in case I find any issues or when I checked it on my other PC.

Thanks for your continued support to this game.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRG View Post
The correct sequence for describing zoom levels as we do in code

Z0.. that is the furthest out that shows the most map area
Z1
Z2
Z3
Z4 _ that is the 1:1 default
Z5 _ the extra level in we added in 2005
Z6 _ 200% of Z4 NEW
Z7 _ 300% of Z4 NEW

Remind us again in the fall about the campaign tracker....we don't code in summer. All of this was a spin off of a " I wonder if......." afternoon of coding Andy did that we wanted in as many hands as possible to playtest as it will be the standard for both game next patch if all testing is successful
Yep - I had noticed that the 3rd party graphics library we use for SHP graphics had another rendering function that allows you to resize a sprite when you splat it.

The routine the original code uses does not have the ability to scale a sprite so it meant we had to have pre-sized sprites, which then means that you needed a duplicate set of the entire graphics SHPs re-sized for each terrain level. And since the game reads in each graphics sprite set to an array in RAM as it is required, that uses your RAM up as well as the hard disk storage.

Now only the default 100% size sprite sets are read into RAM, reducing memory usage.

Since that rendering routine also allows sprite rotation, my next hacking at the game will be for vertically laid out terrain hexes, so you can have the normal "wargames table" game view where you are on the bottom of the map looking across from behind your troops at the enemy player opposite. That may work or turn out to be a can of worms...
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Old May 16th, 2018, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobhack View Post

Yep - I had noticed that the 3rd party graphics library we use for SHP graphics had another rendering function that allows you to resize a sprite when you splat it.

The routine the original code uses does not have the ability to scale a sprite so it meant we had to have pre-sized sprites, which then means that you needed a duplicate set of the entire graphics SHPs re-sized for each terrain level. And since the game reads in each graphics sprite set to an array in RAM as it is required, that uses your RAM up as well as the hard disk storage.

Now only the default 100% size sprite sets are read into RAM, reducing memory usage.

Since that rendering routine also allows sprite rotation, my next hacking at the game will be for vertically laid out terrain hexes, so you can have the normal "wargames table" game view where you are on the bottom of the map looking across from behind your troops at the enemy player opposite. That may work or turn out to be a can of worms...
Are we being teased of a 3D (or pseudo 3D) Steel Panthers??
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Old May 16th, 2018, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Experimental winSPWW2 EXE--May 15, 2018

Quote:
Originally Posted by RightDeve View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobhack View Post

Yep - I had noticed that the 3rd party graphics library we use for SHP graphics had another rendering function that allows you to resize a sprite when you splat it.

The routine the original code uses does not have the ability to scale a sprite so it meant we had to have pre-sized sprites, which then means that you needed a duplicate set of the entire graphics SHPs re-sized for each terrain level. And since the game reads in each graphics sprite set to an array in RAM as it is required, that uses your RAM up as well as the hard disk storage.

Now only the default 100% size sprite sets are read into RAM, reducing memory usage.

Since that rendering routine also allows sprite rotation, my next hacking at the game will be for vertically laid out terrain hexes, so you can have the normal "wargames table" game view where you are on the bottom of the map looking across from behind your troops at the enemy player opposite. That may work or turn out to be a can of worms...
Are we being teased of a 3D (or pseudo 3D) Steel Panthers??
Nothing about 3D in there whatsoever.
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