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Class for Dark Forces Editing : INF Overview
LESSON ONE - UH-OH....DISPELLING THE MYTHS
Aak! Don't say that, INF is not really as hard as everyone shapes it up to be.
No doubt it is the most difficult and hardest to grasp concept in Dark Forces editing, but it is essential to understand fully, and so this is as good a time as any to look at it.
First I'll let you know that it is commonly observed that women seem to do better at this type of programming than men. Mainly because a many women can concentrate better. This is off-topic though, so it's time to quit that.....
The second important thing to understand is that the computer cannot read your mind. It is only capable of doing what you tell it to. As obvious as this may seem, it is a common problem that I even struggle with. The important part is not knowing what you want it to do, it's getting it to do it. If you get a fancy INF statement written up, and it's perfect, but you forget to specify how long the computer should stay at each stop, you're wasted. So make sure you tell it everything. Even things that should be obvious, such as setting the Wall Flag on morphing sectors, while you aren't likely to ever hit a situation where you don't set this, you've still gotta do it, bucause the computer can't read your mind. The computer is incredibly stupid, remember that. It is only as smart as the guy who programs it.
LESSON TWO - WHAT IS GOOD INF?
Good INF is anything that piques your audience's interest. If your INF is spectacular, and tackles big problems and solves them creatively, then you definitely have good INF. If you manage to do something never before done, then you probably have good INF.
You should always strive to do your best. Obviously, you don't want your INF Enhancement to fade away into the background, you want it to show bigtime, where people will actually say something when they see it (an exception is Mt. Kurek, almost all the INF slips away there, but there it's okay, because your heart is pounding and you're racing to get away).
You need to use lots of INF in your level to have good INF. Never skimp out on it. Don't try and get out of using the ADJOIN command, it isn't that hard to use. Use the PAGE command lots.
Make sure you nurture your INF. It's worth it. Spend a while on it, and if it isn't what you wanted, try it again.
Sometimes, I'd get a listing of some of the bit numbers, then in my free time at school envision things out, and write my commands there. Worked pretty well, but at school away from any computers, you sometimes forget things :)
You probably ought to use some advanced INF features in your commands. They will really help you. Not only will INF astound your viewers, but it can also help your atmosphere (setting a dummy elevator to go around and play background noises).
LESSON THREE - MANAGING THE NORMAL INF
INF, like other areas of DF editing, has both advanced features and normal features. Such as a door. And a normal elevator.
Offtimes, you'll want to use Sector Flag Bit 2 to make a simple door. But, if you can, use INF instead. It is important to make subtle changes that fit the situation better. A large door that moves quickly won't do. A small one that moves slowly also won't do.
A normal elevator REQUIRES INF. You've gotta use it. But it's easy. However, customize it once again, to fit your scenario. A fast-moving large freight elevator won't do. As well, a slow small one-man elevator won't either. Make sure it fits!
You'd probably better go ahead and master INF as soon as you can. You're going to need it A LOT, and you need to use it well.