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WDFUSE 2.6 Announcement (BETA)
This is something that we've been working on this summer and hoping it would spur folks to make some new maps! =)
Dark Forces Utilities and Editor (DFUSE) is a mission editor created by Yves Borckmans , a programmer from Belgium in 1995. Here is the story of how he created the Windows version of DFUSE in 1996.
"Around 1995, when the Dark Forces DEMO came out, I started working on DFUSE (the DOS version, in C). I didn't release it then because it would have been a bit unethical (you could have made levels for the demo, never buying the game). When the full game came out, I did a few quick changes that were necessary (some formats changed slightly), then released DFUSE 1.0 on ftp.cdrom.com This included the first DF specs if I remember correctly. I made a couple of updates if I remember correctly, but nothing much. Later in that year, I also sent a copy of my C code to Brad Oliver, to help him start on the Mac editor (Dark Forge IIRC). Around 1996, I had to learn Delphi for work, so I decided the best way to learn was to use it to make a Windows version of DFUSE, and in a couple of weekends that became WDFUSE 1.0 I released a couple versions, then started preparing to move from Europe to the US to work at LucasArts. I enrolled the help of David Lovejoy, Alexei Novikov and Jereth Kok to help as I was working 2 jobs (my job + LucasArts) + preparing a transatlantic move lol We called ourselves The Code Alliance and they pretty much took over WDFUSE... many other people helped too! "
The editor was very popular in the editing community, even making it to various magazines such as this blurb from PC Zone magazine from August 1995 (page 118).
After Yves left to work for Lucasarts in mid 1996 to work on Jedi Knight, the Dark Alliance continued making updates to WDFUSE until they switched over to editors for Outlaws and Jedi Knight in 1997. And for almost 25 years the code was sitting on their hard drives. When DF-21.net staff started looking for WDFUSE source code earlier this year, the first person we reached out was Yves and unfortunately he lost it in a hard drive crash. The same story was for everyone else we reached out to until eventually, we got a hold of Alexei Novikov who kindly provided us with the source code which can now be found on our GitHub .
The code itself, is written in Delphi, an Object Pascal for Application Development. It consists of about 100 .PAS Pascal (Source Code) files and the corresponding .DFM Form ( GUI ) files.
The code, unfortunately, was in an unfinished state as development moved to Outlaws and Jedi knight. Worse, it was no longer compatible with modern systems. After a quarter of a century, basic object definitions have changed (Ex: A CHAR in modern Delphi is 2 bytes while it was 1 byte in the 90s). Throughout this summer we got the code to compile successfully on modern systems and patched every issues we discovered.
Not content with doing the bare minimum we've modernized the editor and added many new features. So what does the editor look like now?
With that out of the way, here is what the new version looks like !
There are many bug fixes and new features that we've made to WDFUSE. Chief among them is 3D Preview provided for us by The MAZZTer , here is how it works in action!
Additionally, we've modernized the Editor to allow you to pan the map with the mouse and even zoom with the mousewheel.
We've added full support for modern storefronts and DosBox. You can now launch the game instantly with your Steam or GOG install!
We've also made it possible to copy and paste level elements between different instances of WDFUSE.
This means that your friend can COPY their sectors, send you the text representation of them, and you can then PASTE them into your own map!
We've updated the container management system for LFDs and GOBs to easily drag and drop items of various types.
We now allow you to easily see Palette previews for textures and updated the size limits to 1000% of normal texture sizes.
The 3D Preview component can be downloaded here --> Download
Remember, this is a BETA and is bound to have bugs. Please report any issues on our Discord in the #level-editor channel .
When reporting issues please do the following..
- Describe the issue in as much detail as possible.
- If you can take a screenshot of a video of the problem
- Send us your logs (F5) - they should be in the log folder where WDFUSE is installed.
- Creating a New project will no longer automatically wipe your current working project.
- Opening an existing project will no longer automatically wipe your current working project.
- Added an option to automatically load your previously worked on project when WDFUSE starts.
- Added an option to Save Project As another name.
- Added an option to automatically test your Dark Forces project through DosBox
- Fixed a crash when loading Projects from drives not present on the current computer.
- Ensured that corrupted projects do not cause infinite load loops.
- Increased project path lengths to 255 bytes
- WDFUSE will no longer create dummy projects if you cancel out during the creation screen.
- Added an ability to pan the map with your Mouse
- Added an ability to zoom with your middle mouse button
- Added Steam Dark Forces support including installations across multiple drives
- Added GOG Dark Forces support.
- WDFUSE will no longer crash when choosing high-precision grid rendering.
- Added an ability to dynamically generate Grid sizes as you zoom.
- Added hotkey hints to most of the commands in the editor menus
- Added an ability to Copy and Paste content between instances of WDFUSE
- Added an ability to Undo and Redo commands.
- Expanded the Edit Menus to include common commands such as Adjoin, Extrude and Clear MultiSelections
- Expanded the Right Click abilities to include more common commands
- Added a new Sector Fill mode to differentiate sectors from Null Space.
- Panning while in Sector Fill modes will no longer re-render the fill values until you are done panning to speed up processing.
- Added easy-to-access Tools and Options buttons to the Main window
- Adjust window sizes to support modern width and heights.
- Added MouseWheel controls to easily switch between Grid while holding the Ctrl key.
- Added MouseWheel controls to easily switch between Layers while holding the Shift key.
- If available, the default layer will now always be 0 instead of the minimum one.
- Added a throttle for Mouse Zooming to prevent multi-grid redrawing.
- Windows now preserve multi-monitor positioning.
- Added X button to close the current window to all popups.
- Fixed level objects not drawing when moving very fast with a mouse.
GOB/LFD Container Managers
- Show the full path of the GOB/LFD during construction
- Allow for full drag and drop of files regardless of chosen folder
- Added an option to exit menus using escape
- Fixed numerous issues with GOB/LFD asset parsing
- Updated filters to include correct assets for each container type (Ex: BMs PLTTs, etc . . .)
- Reworked LFD display to correctly show the asset types and sorted them
- Double Clicking will now open the highlighted level component.
- Added a checkbox to many pop-up windows to allow the windows to stay-on-top of the main map editor
- Added a button to the INF editor directly from the sector and wall editors
- Fixed the form not updating properly when highlighting a cell
- Fixed 3DO profile parsing issues
- Added additional zoom settings for BMs and FMEs and saved the default to the INI file
- Store the Brightness levels in the INI file
- Added Drop-In PAL selection with immediate update of texture assets in the resource picker
- All asset paths have size increased to 255 bytes
- Fixed and added back the link to the latest Dark Forces Specs File
- Added link to WDFUSE Support Discord
- Added links to DF-21.net
- Added an ability to wipe Editor UNDO cache.
- Added compatibility to Pre 2.5 WDFUSE INI files.
- Added X close window to all windows.
- Added automatic UNDO cache cleanup and added a undo limits to the INI file.
- Added shortcut hints to main menu fields
- Updated memory statistics to handle 64 bit systems
- Changed font to FixedSys to ensure Keys are aligned on all systems
- Muted the Scroll Window Out of Range popups but preserved the limit popups
- INF Font choice will now be preserved between sessions
- Added WDFUSE Logging to the log folder
- Added detailed INF parsing error logs
- If your map has many INFs it may take a second to UNDO / REDO commands as it recompiles the INF code
- Sector Fill drawing mode is not always accurate at certain scales and may flood the map with the color
This was a long project in the making but it means that we now have more time to work on other items for the Dark Forces Community! Expect more posts soon!