Begin faq "how to help"

Discussions, requests and appeals to lay open the Z source code

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Begin faq "how to help"

Post by Eastwind » 2009-12-16, 23:06

After the message about the SnowballZ : open source Zed Remake ( see viewtopic.php?f=5&t=609 )

Here is the beginning of a faq for helping the project . I just try to bring the question that can be asked , there is also lot of answer in all the forum , and trying to link it to them

The faq is far from complete , all idea is welcom :)

I Want to help How can I ?

I can't code , How can I help ?

if you are user :

As we discussed in last post ( viewtopic.php?f=5&t=582 ) , for the fanz who can't code , there is another thing that is greatly needed that is documentation .
Now we have a lot of graphic that is extracted from Z games , but all theses sprites need to be documented ,

just like theses project doing : ... Map_1-2.29 ... y_Modanung

There is a big need to classify all the sprite , graphic that can be used , so after that, the implementation by the source code will be possible, easier and quicker . If we want a real open source Z remake , we need to use the Z graphic fully that s why documentation is as important as source code itself .

Also a good documentation will attract more contributor than poor one, including developpers :)

Now there is more than 7000 sprites extracted ...

How can I document a graphic ?

Mainly the graphic is the behavior of an object ,
first find all sprite related to an object for exemple snake is file SPRITE_3462 to SPRITE_3525 , it s the snake that is in first level (and all desert level) , we can save all the snake sprite in folder name snake , write in text which planet and level we found this animal (planet desert , all level of desert ) . And then we can make a little video from the behavior of the snake (it ll be used for source code of snake object ) . You can upload the information on the forum (until the Wiki is setup ) . And that s it for snake object ,

Download file sprite here (actually artic sprite used with artic palette and red team) :

also take a look at the Meekly tools Sprite extractor :

I want to code , How can I help ? [

Meekly have done decompilation on the file WinZ take a look at the result and comment he made on it , see the post : viewtopic.php?f=5&t=569
How can these algorithm be implemented in Snowballz engine .

Implement object :

See the documentation of the object you want , and add it to SnowBallZ Engine.

according to SnowballZ blog :
Maps can define their own objects by just putting the images in a special folder in your map. Well, each map can have about 250 unique types of objects (with up to 255 variations on each object). It will automatically show up in the map editor for all your placing fun. [This feature isn't fully implemented. You can still create the objects but you just have to place them in the data directory]
Implement Z mapping on SnowballZ

We have nearly a full understand the file format of the Z map (see the Ballwin post : viewtopic.php?f=5&t=483 ) see also the Zmap from Ballwin ( viewtopic.php?f=5&t=582 )

The file format of the Z original game and SnowballZ is not the same , Z map format is tiled , and the SnowballZ engine map format is used with openGL is more highly based on layer, - There is a need to know how to use the Z tile inside a layer on OpenGL .S
Another difference is that there is no boundary in SnowballZ but l Z game is based on boundaries that is keep by a flag .

What is SnowballZ ?

Actually Snowballz is a game with a python engine fully open source with GPL 2 licence , I used the last version I get from bit bucket (seems a mercurial repo) :

Snowballz engine is a top-bottom view , exactly fit the point of view of Z because it s not isometric ( see viewtopic.php?f=5&t=280%20 ) . You can also see there is a river that flow all along , snowballz use somewhat OpenGL for managing the map , the environnement detail (the snowing) , the object (river .. ) , and the rabbyt package use snowballz for manage the move of the object (penguin )

What language use Snowballz ?

It s in python language , python is one of the simpliest language ever , and operating system independant (so can run on Windows , Mac os X , Linux ) , if you know C or C++ or other language , then python is just a piece of cake for you ( take a look at the wikipedia page ... _language)

Didn't you say there is OpenGL inside ?

Yes but it s binded with python library , so don't need to hardcore coding in OpenGL , same goes for SDL (2D library)
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