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#4577468 - 08/16/21 07:45 PM Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again)  
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About two months back, I stumbled across a bunch of old M1TP2 stuff that had been gathering dust in storage for over a decade. Last month, I bundled the junk up into a .zip with some slapdash instructions and posted a link to it in this forum. A few of those instructions were based on somewhat inaccurate memories of modding the game many years ago.

I’ve since done a little testing, deleted the old post, and updated the M1TP2 stuff. A wee tutorial about replacing textures has been added.

Here’s a link to the updated zip file: M1TP2stuff_27NOV2021.zip

There are no actual mods included. A lot of the stuff is informational. The .zip contains several spreadsheets and a few utilities. Many of the spreadsheets are specific to M1TP2 Version 1.2 (English). Some of the other contents are related to the .3dz models used in the game.

This puerile little video is just a proof-of-concept sorta’ thing showing that it is possible to have a modified texture rendered in the game: M1TP2textureMod Video

Last edited by RandomPinhead; 11/27/21 10:12 PM. Reason: Updated .zip file link
Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#4582555 - 10/14/21 11:23 AM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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I have missed this post, but no longer! I will go through all your stuff with great interest.

For anyone here interested perhaps in our small revival of M1TP2 glory and warm nostalgia here is the link to the new tread at Subsim/Tanksim forum.

Help us rekindle the memory of this incredible game by dropping by. https://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=250510

Last edited by Polak; 10/15/21 05:51 PM.
#4582766 - 10/17/21 11:24 AM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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I have fully reviewed your M1TP2 modding files. It is quite a collection of modding tools. Great! I have similar set for Gunship! but now thanks to you I have also few tools for M1TP2. There are many things which could be done to this old title to improve it and playing it still is very enjoyable. Knowing Gunship! stuff is helpful as both games were created by the same team and are very similar in structure and format of the files. I just hope that we could get in touch with each other as it looks like I was 2 months too late to reply to your post.

Hope you are checking this forum occasionally and you have not lost interest in this topic.
I will keep this thread active with some comments to avoid burying the initiative of the modding M1TP2 in the dust.

Anyone interested please join this conversation as well.

Last edited by Polak; 10/17/21 11:25 AM.
#4582882 - 10/18/21 08:46 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Polak, PM them to get in touch, it should go through to their email I think.


That Farrow bloke you executed today, are you sure he's dead?
Well I chopped his head off, that usually does the trick.
Yes, don't get clever with me Baldrick. I just thought you might have lopped off a leg or something by mistake.
No, the thing I chopped off had a nose.
#4582884 - 10/18/21 09:20 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Polak, PM them to get in touch, it should go through to their email I think.


Good advice, thank you.
In fact, I did PMed along with my 1st reply post.

#4582888 - 10/18/21 09:46 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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No worries, hope it works out smile2


That Farrow bloke you executed today, are you sure he's dead?
Well I chopped his head off, that usually does the trick.
Yes, don't get clever with me Baldrick. I just thought you might have lopped off a leg or something by mistake.
No, the thing I chopped off had a nose.
#4582917 - 10/19/21 07:51 AM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Nice find RandomPinhead.
I've never tried M1TP2 but I may some day.

M1TP2 is one of few games of the same era @1998 from Microprose, along with Gunship! using 3dz and .PCX textures.
Some tools and textures between these games and are common to some degree.
The tools by Gurney are also used for EAW modding.
I was never a 3dz modder but AFAIK there are various versions of these tools and some rendering bug fixes.
So anyone into these might want to check with the EAW 3dz modders, a few still a round here at the SimHQ EAW forum
Notes are available from there as well as Sandbaggers EAW Tally-Ho the European Air War Help Site and my sig links.

#4582965 - 10/19/21 04:24 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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@FsFOOT, thank you for the tips.
3dz format is finally now available in 3DObject Converter. It can be examined and reskinned perhaps a little easier. It can be converted to other formats but not back to 3dz (or 3db for that matter). Still, it could be done as long as there was any interest.

But unfortunately, I must say that the interest in the "gaming older treasures" is fading as we speak. I have a little experience from observing the crowd ad the current Microprose Discord site. They all prefer to hang on and chat while waiting on the new MPS games to come out, and while doing that for more than a year they are not willing at all to try or experience anything from the Microprose's great past. Yes, show pics off old game boxes and disks, but not much of even trying those older games themselves.

And to make it strange...er, with some TLC and time those games may be tweaked to look pretty decent on the modern hardware and with horsepower available today they can be really a thrill to play without any worry about the performance, memory, or else.

Sorry for my little rant here, but times and things are different now.


M1TP2 graphics on Win10 with Glide

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

3dz model in converter tool.

[Linked Image]




Last edited by Polak; 10/19/21 04:25 PM.
#4584636 - 11/07/21 09:00 AM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: Polak]  
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Still only a "radio silence" from Random Pinhead on this subject, but I understand that sometimes due to lack of time or interest one does not want to get involved. Its OK,
However, for the sake of the preservation of the valuable old research materials by guys like fng2k, Psyklik, WB and the others do you have any table spreadsheets for Gunship! ? In the readme to your folder for M1TP2 you wrote that M1TP2 offsets were done based on the Gunship! materials. So maybe?

#4585084 - 11/13/21 01:43 AM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Still just a silence!
Question poped how the NTC training missions are created and are they random encounters? They are not scripted as there are no txt files in BATTLES subdirectory. Any insight and information would be greatly appreciiated.

#4585112 - 11/13/21 07:00 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Apologies for the tardy response. Usually, I ain’t much of one for computers and the internet. If I really need cheering up, I might grab my phone and watch a YouTube video of a Kim Jong-un look-alike getting hit with ping-pong balls, but that’s pretty much the extent of my online activity.

Currently, we’ve only got a single computer in our home, and the Missus has effectively monopolized this device ever since she started telecommuting. If the poor woman ain’t crunchin’ data for work, she’s crushin’ candy afterwards in an attempt to get her mind off of work.

When I was mucking about with M1TP2 a few months ago, it was mostly on a borrowed antique Win7 laptop. That machine has since been returned to its rightful owner, so I’m blissfully living a computer-free lifestyle again.

@FsFoot
Very helpful links for those interested in .3dzs. I’d especially recommend the 3DZ Model Tools section of the European Air War Help Site. There’s an absolute f-ton of 3dz resources there.
Pretty cool that you got EAW running on SparkyLinux GameOver!

@ Polak
Funny you should mention the GS! Spreadsheets. I only found that M1TP2 data-cd because I was rootin’ around for some GS! materials for Flyboy and HawkI. Unfortunately, the disc with all of my GS! Files did not survive those many years in storage. I tried in vain to open that bugger in three different computers. I’m certain that I have those files backed up on a thumb-drive somewhere, but I haven’t seen that thing in a few years, either. If the thumb-drive resurfaces, I’ll send you the spreadsheets. Sorry that I can’t be of more assistance at this time.
Have you ever used GSmangler.exe? You don’t need to know any offsets. It will let you edit several gunship.exe data tables directly. Hex-editor not necessary. There’s a link to the program on this page of Flyboy’s site: http://flyboy.epizy.com/gs/s6/index.html
Look for gunship.exe editor.

There are 5 mission files in the Battles\Armor folder with titles like Static Gunnery Range, Crew Coordination, etc. The briefings all contain a section heading Training Objectives. I dunno if these are what you’re looking for or not.

#4585117 - 11/13/21 08:40 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Quote
Apologies for the tardy response.

No problem @Random Pinhead, circumstances of our real lives (RL) govern all other things we do, as they should!
Glad that you responded and that is most important that all is OK.

Quote
Funny you should mention the GS! Spreadsheets. I only found that M1TP2 data-cd because I was rootin’ around for some GS! materials for Flyboy and HawkI.

I appreciate the fact that you took your time to preserve and share what you had found in the archives. I was at some point little connected with the wonderful work of guys like fng2K, WB, Pretzel, and Keith was doing with Gunship! but not so much with M1TP2 which was kind of forgotten and left behind. Only recently someone suggested to take another look at that game and I went along with this idea. I managed to make it work on Win10 64bit OS and with the help of Glide wrapper M1TP2 turned out to be quite playable.
I knew that the structure and the guts of the program were somehow similar to later one Gunship! and since my primary modding specialty is terrains I hoped to play with it a little more. In this process of re-discovery, I found the game very satisfying from the gameplay point of view and that stuck with me until today.
Gunship! is of course superior as far as terrain and ability to change things there, but what blew me was the Psyklik's Gunship! Waypoint paper about the game odds and ends and I have copied all that to PDF which I was able to listen to multiple times during my walks and exercise. What a great piece of work on this document by Psyklik! That all became available to me from Flyboy and Hawkl and maybe ... they have gotten all that from you. If so - thank you!

Quote
Unfortunately, the disc with all of my GS! Files did not survive those many years in storage. I tried in vain to open that bugger in three different computers. I’m certain that I have those files backed up on a thumb-drive somewhere, but I haven’t seen that thing in a few years, either. If the thumb-drive resurfaces, I’ll send you the spreadsheets. Sorry that I can’t be of more assistance at this time.
Have you ever used GSmangler.exe? You don’t need to know any offsets. It will let you edit several gunship.exe data tables directly. Hex-editor not necessary. There’s a link to the program on this page of Flyboy’s site: http://flyboy.epizy.com/gs/s6/index.html
Look for gunship.exe editor.


That is really unfortunate that all this great work by all those loyal to Gunship! The Guys go into the sunset. Some links from the Flyboy site are dead if you try to go deeper than 1st page of their respective sites. Looking for WB Mission Editor. I have and know about Samovar's materials as well as fng2k who made his Simwarrior site available until now. Unfortunately, I hear no more from them. The last posts end some 10 years ago and that worries me a little. It looks like I am a decade too late.

My dream is to get to know the mechanics and details of the Gunship! code to manipulate it to make tanks there also playable! I know it is tall order but given time and some help who knows...

Thank you for replying...

#4586033 - 11/27/21 06:23 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: Polak]  
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Updated AllTexturesList.txt in the M1TP2stuff.zip to include terrain tiles. There’s now about 150 unidentified files lurking in m1.cat. I’m of the opinion that many (but not all) of those files aren’t used by the game. Amongst other things, it looks like a number of them may be related to an unimplemented Battle Builder feature.

M1TP2stuff_27NOV2021.zip

Quote
What a great piece of work on this document by Psyklik! That all became available to me from Flyboy and Hawkl and maybe ... they have gotten all that from you. If so - thank you!

Nope, I was not involved with that noble project. The resurrection of Psyklik's amazing Gunship! Waypoint site was all Flyboy and HawkI’s doing.

Quote
(From RandonPinhead)
There are 5 mission files in the Battles\Armor folder with titles like Static Gunnery Range, Crew Coordination, etc. The briefings all contain a section heading Training Objectives. I dunno if these are what you’re looking for or not.

Of course those weren’t the missions you were looking for! When I revisited this thread, I realized that you specifically referred to the NTC Training Missions. (Hey, there’s a reason my handle is RandomPinhead!)
Anyway, I managed to find a few notes about the NTC Training Missions:

----------
Engagements remain the same for each mission title.
Battlefield coordinates are apparently random, but some numbers sets appear frequently, e.g.: ntc 1672 630 with Platoon 0 located at 1653 601. Also common is: ntc 873 510 with Platoon 0 at 905 496.
Some groups red platoons seem to have a pattern of a single platoon# followed by multiple platoons with a platoon# one less than the first platoon# in the group. e.g.: A group of 4 red platoons might have 1 instance of platoon# 52 followed by 3 instances of platoon# 51.

----------
Counter Reconnaissance

BLUE MISSION_BLUE_COUNTER_RECON
RED MISSION_RED_RECON

Platoon 0
0-2 blue platoons of (3,5,9,10,11)
0-3 blue support of (17,19,21,24,84,85,86)

2 red Platoon 60. logic recon
1 red Platoon of (58,59) logic recon

5 red platoons on timer 200-399
four of (43,44,45,46,47,48) logic: probe or support
one of (35,37,39,41) logic: probe or support

0-3 red support of (61,62,63,92,93,95)
----------

Defend A Battle Position

BLUE MISSION_BLUE_DEFEND_POS
RED MISSION_RED_BREAKTHRU

Platoon 0
0-2 blue platoons of (1,2,6,9,11,14,16)
0-2 blue support of (17,21,23,24,84,85,86,88)

5 red platoons on timer 100-299
4 of (43,44,45,46,47,48,53,54) logic: mech_assault
1 of (35,37,39,41) logic: tank assault

5 red platoons on timer 100-299
4 of (43,44,45,46,47,48,53,54) logic: mech_assault
1 of (35,37,39,41) logic: tank assault

5 red platoons on timer 100-399
4 of (43,44,45,46,47,48,53,54) logic: mech_assault
1 of (35,37,41) logic: tank assault or (57) logic: support

0-4 red support of (61,63,92,93,95,96)
----------

Defend In Sector

BLUE MISSION_BLUE_DEFEND_SECTOR
RED MISSION_RED_PURSUIT

Platoon 0
0-3 blue platoons of (1,2,3,4,6,8,10,14,15)
1-5 blue support of (17,18,19,21,23,24,84,85,86,87)

2 red Platoon 60. logic recon
1 platoon of (35,37,39,41) logic: recon

5 red platoons on timer 100-299
4 of (35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42) logic: tank assault
1 of (43,45,47) logic: mech assault

5 red platoons on timer 100-299
4 of (35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42) logic: tank assault
1 of (43,45,47) logic: mech assault

0-5 red support of (61,62,63,92,93,94,95,96)
----------

Deliberate Attack

BLUE MISSION_BLUE_DELIBERATE
RED MISSION_RED_COUNTER_ATTACK

Platoon 0
1-3 blue platoons of (1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,12,14,15)
1-7 blue support of (17,18,19,21,23,24,84,85,86,87,88,106)

4 red platoons of (43,44,45,46,47,48,51,52,53,54) logic: main_defense, except for 2nd platoon in group with logic: outpost
Intermittent: 1 red platoon of (57) logic: none.

4 red platoons of (43,44,45,46,47,48,51,52,53,54) logic: main_defense, except for 2nd platoon in group with logic: outpost
Intermittent: 1 red platoon of (57) logic: none.

4 red platoons on timer 399-499
of (35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42) logic: probe

0-4 red support of (61,62,92,93,94,95)
-----------------------------

Hasty Attack

BLUE MISSION_BLUE_HASTY_ATTACK
RED MISSION_RED_DEFEND_INDEPTH

Platoon 0
1-3 blue platoons of (1,2,3,5,6,8,10,11,14,15)
1-5 blue support of (17,19,21,23,24,84,85,86,87,88,106)

4 red platoons of (43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54) logic: main_defense, except for 2nd platoon in group with logic: outpost
1 red platoon of (35,37,41,57) logic: none

4 red platoons of (43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54) logic: main_defense, except for 2nd platoon in group with logic: outpost
1 red platoon of (35,37,39,41,57) logic: none

2 red platoons of (35,37,39,41) logic: support

0-4 red support (61,63,92,93,94,95,96)
----------

Movement To Contact

BLUE MISSION_BLUE_CONTACT
RED MISSION_RED_MEETING

Platoon 0
0-2 blue platoons of (1,3,6,8,9,10,11,12,14)
0-3 blue support of (17,19,21,24,84,85,86,88,106)

2 red Platoon 60. logic: recon

3-4 red platoons on timer 200-399
of (35,36,37,39,41,43,44,45,46,47,48,51,52,53,54) logic: support or probe

4-5 red platoons on timer 400-699
of (35,36,37,39,38,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,51,52,53,54) logic: support or probe or mech_assault or tank_assault

0-4 red support of (61,62,63,92,93,94,95,96)
----------

The above notes should be taken with a grain of salt. Some or all of the sets of platoon numbers within parentheses are incomplete. It’s probably safe to assume, for instance, that at least (61,62,63,92,93,94,95,96) are available options for red support while the mission is being generated.

Best of luck with your GS! work!

Last edited by RandomPinhead; 11/28/21 04:34 PM. Reason: Updated link to zip file.
#4586083 - 11/29/21 12:11 AM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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I think I have opened all PIX files with M1CatScan and found a few surprising pictures clearly indicating that they were getting ready for mission editing tools and such.
Thank you for the training missions txt files from NTC.

[Linked Image]

#4587455 - 12/19/21 03:10 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: Polak]  
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Yeah, there’s even a “BATTLE BUILDER” string at decimal offset 534784 in the m1tp2.exe, but as far as I can tell, that string ain’t referenced by any functions.

Quote
(from Polak earlier in thread)
I knew that the structure and the guts of the program were somehow similar to later one Gunship! and since my primary modding specialty is terrains I hoped to play with it a little more.


Do you have any information to share about the terrains? I know almost nothing about how they work.

#4587573 - 12/21/21 01:00 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Do you have any information to share about the terrains? I know almost nothing about how they work.


Hi RP,
Here is Larry Hookings information about the M1TP2 terrain:

Quote
The M1TP2 map files
===================

This file describes everything I have been able to figure out about
the M1TP2 map files. There should be enough information here to
allow a programmer to code a minimum function map display for use in
scenario editors, etc.

All the map files for a particular area will be found in the
c:\m1tp2\WORLD\xxxx directory. For example, \WORLD\POLAND has the
map files for Poland. Note that the tutorial missions are set on the
Poland map.

What you need to know first:
============================

The map is divided into 256 by 256 map cells, each 750 meters square.
For terrain types, each map cell is further subdivided into two halves
by a diagonal line running from upper left to lower right, creating a
lower left map halfcell, and an upper right halfcell. The
information in the *.DAT files encodes the map terrain starting in
the upper left of the map and going left to right, top to bottom. The
first values in the *.DAT files are for the top row of the map.

The specific files
==================

HEIGHT.DAT - contains the elevations at the upper left corner of each
map cell.

TERRAIN.DAT - contains the type of terrain in each map halfcell.

TREERUN.DAT - contains the locations of the tree lines for the map.

OBJECTS.TXT - contains locations for the roads, buildings and
individual trees.

TILES.TXT - contains graphics information for each type of terrain.

The contents of each file
=========================

HEIGHT.DAT
----------

This is a binary file containing elevations for the upper left corner
of each map cell. Each map cell consists of four bytes, least
significant byte first. A cell coded "36 02 00 00" indicates a
height of 0x236 or 566. I'm not sure of the units, but it may be
meters. Note that you can read this file directly into a C language
buffer in a single read statement, then reference the individual map
cells using standard array subscripting.

Note that there are some bizarreisms in the way this data is
displayed in the game. If you put a single high spot in the middle of
a flat plane, you won't get a square hill. It will look something
like a square with the upper right and lower left corners cut off on
the diagonal. See my remarks below.

TERRAIN.DAT
-----------

This binary file containing the terrain types for each halfcell.
These values are single bytes ranging from 0 to 7, and reference a
terrain type in the TILES.TXT file. Each bite is the terrain type in
a single halfcell, lower left then upper right. Note that values 0
through 5 are usually variable, 6 is trees, and 7 is water. I don't
believe that values above 7 are used, even though they have entries
in TILES.TXT. Also note that value 7, water, is not displayed on the
map view in the game, but is displayed in the 3d view. If you are
using this information to code a map display, please consider
displaying the water.

The use of halfcells means that the only diagonal lines in the
terrain will be upper left to lower right. There will be no lower
left to upper right diagonals.

I believe that the only difference between the terrain types 0
through 5 is the color displayed on the ground in the 3d map, with
the actual color and texture displayed are taken from information in
the TILES.TXT file.

TREERUN.DAT
-----------

This binary file contains the tree lines. Each pair of bytes
describes a single cell. If there is a 01 in the first byte, there
is a vertical tree line on the left side of the cell. If there is a
01 in the second byte, there is a horizontal tree line at the top of
the cell. Note that the first row of cells won't display tree lines
at the top! Also note that tree lines may not be displayed if there
is other terrain in the mapcell, like forests or roads.

OBJECTS.TXT
-----------

This is a text file containing roads and other objects, like
buildings and individual trees. For roads, coded as "ROAD n", and
there are several types, there is a pair of coordinates showing where
that road segment begins and ends. Note that in the game, these
segments will not be displayed as straight roads, but will meander a
bit.

Other objects are coded as "TOWN n" where n is the type of object,
and a single coordinate for the location. We should expect some way
to code the direction a building faces, but I'm not sure where that
code is. Perhaps something in the coordinates handles it.

TILES.TXT
---------

Another text file with information about what graphics files are used
for each type of terrain, and for the sky. Each group of files,
numbered 0 to 5, has a different type of terrain, and that number 0
through 5 is used in the TERRAIN.DAT file. I believe 6 is always
forests, and 7 is always water. There are additional groups of files
in TILES.TXT, with comments on what they are for, but I don't believe
they are used.

Other info
==========

There are no specific river terrain types. Rivers are shown as a
complete map halfcell being water.

I'm not sure what the WORK.DAT file does.

Note that the HEIGHTS.PCX file doesn't seem to be used.

Terrain heights
===============

I'm still working on this one.

>From any given point in this file, draw lines to the next points in
the following directions: N, NW, W, S, SE, E. Do not draw lines SW
or NE. On each line, mark off points corresponding to contour lines
you wish to display. Connect the points on adjacent lines.

If this is a little confusing, don't worry. I can't figure it out
either. Try changing the elevations on the top left corner of the
map, running a scenario there, and looking at what you get. Try to
predict what the map will look like before you see it in the game.
If I am able to come up with an algorithm for displaying contour
lines, I'll post it later.

#4587613 - 12/22/21 01:06 AM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Terrain system and files of M1TP2 are very similar to that of the Gunship! The major difference is the lack of Treerun.dat and more types of tiles in Gunship! It was never done or attempted but it would be a real treat to play M1TP2 in Gunship! environments.

#4587626 - 12/22/21 02:06 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Hi, Polak,
Thanks very much for the dope on terrains. That'll give me something to chew on besides leftover turkey after Christmas.

#4587632 - 12/22/21 03:04 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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You are welcome RP!
I just add that all those files can be examined and moded in HexEditor as well as Photoshop in raw format.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

#4588145 - 12/30/21 05:11 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: Polak]  
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Thanks again for the terrain information, Polak. With the help of Larry Hookings research, I was able to generate tiled maps of the m1tp2 Worlds.

When I first saw this map of Egypt, I thought that something got effed-up in its creation. It is consistent, though, with the height.png found in the \World\Egypt folder.
[Linked Image]
All of the desert world maps look, umm... deserted, but Egypt is the only one that looks like two different maps cobbled together.

Moldavia appears intact and much busier.
[Linked Image]

Download the tiled maps from here:
m1tp2_tiledMaps.zip

Presently, I dunno if my battered old brain is up to the task of creating contour maps. Perhaps I'll give it a go at some time in the future.

At the end of Mr. Hookings notes, he writes
Quote
If I am able to come up with an algorithm for displaying contour lines, I'll post it later.


Does anybody know if he ever followed up on this post?

#4588205 - 12/31/21 01:54 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Quote
With the help of Larry Hookings' research, I was able to generate tiled maps of the m1tp2 Worlds.

Great progress RP!

From what I know contour lines never materialized, but I think even the semitransparent layer with topo contours would be a great help in evaluating the terrain before a battle. In fact, there is something to that end already implemented and it is "L" keystroke which when pressed consecutively several times would sharpen terrain topo contours.
Other than that I would like to check-in greater detail what is the relation and similarity between tiles of M1TP2 vs. Gunship for some perhaps swapping exercise. Will try.

Keep a great work RP!

#4588223 - 12/31/21 06:28 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: Polak]  
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Originally Posted by Polak
Terrain system and files of M1TP2 are very similar to that of the Gunship! The major difference is the lack of Treerun.dat and more types of tiles in Gunship! It was never done or attempted but it would be a real treat to play M1TP2 in Gunship! environments.


That would be amazing


-Sir in case of retreat, were we have to retreat??
-To the Graveyard!!

sandbagger.uk.com/stratos.html
#4588288 - 01/01/22 01:21 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Thank you again RP for your work on M1TP2 maps. Here are some initial observations and request.

Below is enlarged example of single grid cel where 16x16 basic M1TP2 terrain textures are placed according to Terrain.dat file (?). As you can see when the 16pix grid is overlayed on this crude enlarged and "zoomed in" picture you can still recognize how the tiles are made and placed. Firstly it appears that
there are no transitions between the tiles as they are in later Gunship! (hopefully we will get there some day in the future). Secondly in M1TP2 there are very few types of tiles and I will post them later on with excel spreadsheet and a picture of each tile.

And thirdly and finally (and that puzzles me a little) there are only few diagonal transitions between forest and grass and water and grass ...and they are only runing NW->SE . There are no complementing NE->SW corners and each lower bottom corner of the forest and water is sharp. Whatever the reason it is very crude and this (forests and tree runs and maybe water) is few of the items of modding we could initially consider. Those green Tree Runs are separate constructs and to make it simple they should be at the start of this simply removed by zeroing Treerun.dat files in each and every map.

[Linked Image]

#4588316 - 01/01/22 09:20 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: Polak]  
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Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku, Polak!
Confounding news on the terrains!
I think each of M1TP2’s terrain half-cells tries to cram 16 X 16 terrain tiles into a big square, and then that block of 16x16 images gets cut along a diagonal from upper left to lower right so only a triangular half of it is displayed in the game. If it’s a lower half-cell being tiled, only the lower triangle of the block is shown. If it’s an upper half-cell being tiled, the upper triangle from the block is shown. To make it slightly even more confusing, the tiles are upside-down within the block.

As you can tell, I’m experiencing my usual difficulties in explaining things.

As a test, I altered the water0.pcx tile to look like this:
[Linked Image]

Then, I changed the first byte in the NTC world’s terrain.dat file to 07. According to the Tiles.txt file in the World\NTC folder, the 7 would refer to water.pcx files. The first byte in terrain.dat refers to the first triangular half-cell on the world’s map. It’s a lower half-cell. The next byte would refer to a triangular upper half-cell. The triangular half-cells alternate from lower to upper for the entire length to the terrain.dat file.

Here’s the result of altering a single half-cell in terrain.dat:
[Linked Image]


Weird!

I’ll try to respond to your post soon as possible. I hadn’t expected you to have already played around with the tiled map files.
Sorry, gotta' run.




Last edited by RandomPinhead; 01/01/22 09:30 PM.
#4588322 - 01/02/22 12:04 AM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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As they say the "proof is in the pudding".

To be exact in overlay of the values found in Terrain.dat for Moldavia map and its upper left corner 16 x16 terrain tiles (not the yellow grid tiles) .

The values where the left lower and upper right diagonal is different match perfectly.

[Linked Image]

Color and byte legend:
04 is tile with sand
00 is green grass
06 dark green forest.

Last edited by Polak; 01/02/22 12:10 AM.
#4588378 - 01/02/22 07:45 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Excellent graphic, Polak. That’s an extremely clever technique for visualizing the relationship between the binary data and the map image!

(From earlier post)
Quote
There are no complementing NE->SW corners and each lower bottom corner of the forest and water is sharp.


This is due to the shape of the half-cells, because a complete cell is divided on a NW→SE bias.

(From earlier post)
Quote
… it appears that there are no transitions between the tiles as they are in later Gunship!


There aren’t any real transitions to speak of, and I don’t know if it’s even possible to have GS!-style transitions at all. The tiling of the half-cells presents a very difficult problem for even moderately sophisticated transitions.

Using the altered terrain tile from my previous post as an example:
[Linked Image]


The game would tile it like so for lower half-cells:
[Linked Image]

And like so for upper half-cells:
[Linked Image]

I don’t know how you could get that group of “mini-tiles” within each half-cell to work as a single large transition.

#4588379 - 01/02/22 07:56 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Quote
Then, I changed the first byte in the NTC world’s terrain.dat file to 07. According to the Tiles.txt file in the World\NTC folder, the 7 would refer to water.pcx files. The first byte in terrain.dat refers to the first triangular half-cell on the world’s map. It’s a lower half-cell. The next byte would refer to a triangular upper half-cell. The triangular half-cells alternate from lower to upper for the entire length to the terrain.dat file.
Here’s the result of altering a single half-cell in terrain.dat:

Weird!


Since we both know how that should work in Terrain.dat indeed changing 1st byte to 07 and leaving the subsequent byte to itself should produce half-cells with water at the lower left. However, with water that may be a little different. Now we are in a good position to test all our questions and theories. To that end, I produced a test Mission below which I call PolNWCorner.txt which positions own M1ABT platoon and some companions in the upper left corner of the Poland map. Maybe of any use to us both and others if we should try to verify something in the same start/test position and condition.

[Linked Image]

Mission belongs in Battle/Player folder and can be started from Single Mission menu in the game.


PolNWCorner.txt
Quote

TITLE: PolNWCorner
BATTLEFIELD: poland 60 60 0 15 1 1
ENGAGEMENT: BLUE MISSION_BLUE_CONTACT 0 0 266
ENGAGEMENT: RED MISSION_RED_MEETING 0 0 86
RUNAI: RED
SIDE: 0
MACHINE: 1

PLATOON: 0 60 60 274 0 400 400 1 5
ORDER_MODE_WAYPT:

PLATOON: 9 60 70 274 0 400 4001 11
ORDER_MODE_WAYPT:
SUPPORT: 86 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6

PLATOON: 60 800 800 274 0 400 400 3 0
LOGIC: LOGIC_RECON


#4588387 - 01/02/22 11:21 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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Hand editing Terrain.dat is working as expected lower half-cells even offsets and upper ones odd offsets. Here is even offset half-cell changed to water 07x and odd cell where the tanks are left as grass. Tanks cannot enter water areas as well as forests.
[Linked Image]

What is also revealed here is that greenish overlay on water which probably comes from Shade.dat (not sure?).

Anyway, so pretty much that's that!

Manipulation of tiles from M1TP2 is a little pointless cause they are rather primitive and crude. Maybe we should explore taking them from Gunship!

Last edited by Polak; 01/06/22 08:15 PM.
#4588707 - 01/06/22 08:20 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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The benefit of having tiles firmly outlined in the terrain allows positioning tanks on the edges of the tiles and empirically measuring the size of the tiles with the laser rangefinder.
Despite what some documents said I was expecting a little different result from 750 m but alas, it is 750m.


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Last edited by Polak; 01/06/22 08:20 PM.
#4643947 - 03/17/24 07:28 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: RandomPinhead]  
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hello!

great stuff everyone!

I too am interested in bringing this game/sim back to life
my objective is to bring the game up to modern funtionity standards

such a resupply, ready racks etc

Yes i am aware of SB i have been playing that sincce i moved away from M1TP 18 odd years ago.

#4644093 - 03/20/24 10:31 PM Re: Modding M1 Tank Platoon 2 (Again) [Re: LtHedgehog]  
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Originally Posted by LtHedgehog
hello!

great stuff everyone!

I too am interested in bringing this game/sim back to life
my objective is to bring the game up to modern funtionity standards

such a resupply, ready racks etc

Yes i am aware of SB i have been playing that sincce i moved away from M1TP 18 odd years ago.


Way to go Hedgehog! smile

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