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Miggy's Workbench
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Mig Eater
General


Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Location: Eindhoven

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:22 am    Post subject:   Miggy's Workbench Reply with quote

I've made a new type of terrain tile that can self LAT to any other terrain!

For those that dont know LAT tiles are used to connect the basic grass tiles to the four other types of terrain (rough grass, dark grass, sand & pavement, etc). The game/FA2 will automatically place the LAT tiles between the different types of terrain creating a smooth transition. Any new terrain and LAT tiles you add tho will have to be manually placed, which can take an agonisingly long time. This new tile design does away with the standard LAT system tho & replaces it with an incredibly simple design that I'm sure many have thought about in the past, but AFAIK I'm the first to implement.

So what did I do? Well instead of using the standard diamond/square tile shape I made some tiles like this:  



Which when put ingame:



While not as smooth looking as the standard LAT system it can be used to make multiple easy to use variants in minutes. I will be using this in D-day to make light & dark variants of the main grass, mud, sand & pavement terrain, maybe more.

If anyone is interested in making similar tiles for their mod? I'll write a tutorial with samples tiles.
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Graion Dilach
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Joined: 22 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn, now this looks cool.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent work.

Do you noticed any issues with the render layers? Since they use extra graphics (i assume) to go beyond the cell foundation, do they still work fine with objects behind them?
e.g. a big flat building (like Bib) that is to be shown on the lowest render layer might have these tiles shown through the building on some places


Do you set the z-data manually for these tiles?
One idea i have for quite some time is creating a special high grass tile, with custom z-data, so some of the higher grass culms are on a higher render layer and thus rendered in front of units (like cliffs are rendered in front of units too). Thus giving the impression of the units actually moving through the grass and not only on top of it.


Since TerrainTypes like trees can cause some lag if a lot are used (e.g. a big forest map), it might be also an idea to create trees with tiles.
Like cliffs, they would also cover objects behind them, but i assume they wouldn't stress the engine that much.
Instead of loading the tiles tmp, then the trees SHP + the trees shadow, the game would have to load the tmp only.
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Mig Eater
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Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Location: Eindhoven

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a lot of problems the layering, it took me several days of trial & error to fix them. In the end I had to make custom Z-data for the new ties as well as the original grass. I found the size of the extra image had to be limited or it would render over bibs too.

The only issue I couldn't fix is that the edge of tiles sometimes renders on top of a buildings shadow, mainly if the building is using a large anim with a shadow (a huge radar dish etc). I did actually find a fix but it caused worse layering problems tho. It's just a few pixels on a few buildings, which I can personally live with.

My first test ended with some of the grass rendered over units, it looked very cool but the grass also rendered on top of buildings too so it wasn't really usable.

Using tmp for trees is plausible and would need some testing but IMO it restricts where you can place them. You could also attach the trees to a tile as an anim, you wouldn't need to do any graphical work as you can code it to use the original tree gfx.
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E1 Elite
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Joined: 28 May 2013

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it extends more than the diamond shape, it may or may not be fit for TS, as it has in-game deformation.

If you deform in FA2, how does it behave? Does it look extended over the edge?

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Mig Eater
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Joined: 13 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When they are placed at the top of an elevation the extra image goes over the edge, if they are next to the bottom the ramp get rendered on top of the extra image.

In TS this could cause problems but it could be used for non-deformable terrain such as pavement or water. In RA2 it's just a mater of not placing the tiles directly next to elevations.
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Bittah Commander
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Joined: 21 May 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an interesting idea, but it might be overkill if it's only a solution to make mapping easier.

For DTA I also added more LATs, but when using them, I just edit the theater INI files and replace an existing LAT with the one I want to use under the [General] section to make FinalSun's own AutoLAT system do the work. I'd expect that this works for FinalAlert2 as well.

Edit:
You could also rename the LAT-related keys under [General] in FA2's EXE to something else with a HEX editor. This way the original LAT keys only use the game's own AutoLAT system (meaning that they'll look blocky in FA2, but they'll still look correct ingame) and you'll have a set of new keys for LATs that'll instead only use FA2's own AutoLAT system. This effectively doubles the amount of LATs you can use in the mod, without requiring mappers to edit the theater INI files every time want to use the new LATs (unless of course you create too many LATs).
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a bit like when you started to give DTA non-LAT pavement
and i suggested using extra graphics to make the border less sharp with random pixel

or use a teeth shape border



I think such a LAT has quite some advantages over the normal LAT.
Mainly you could use it for an additional buildable LAT, while all others are already used
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Mig Eater
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Joined: 13 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark pavement test.


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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blends in very nice. Approved!
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm actually really surprised how well they blend together, I was expecting it to look really pixely.


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Light & dark mud...
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G-E
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks excellent on flat ground without buildings on the edges like you say, but with the weird artifacts as described, this could make a compelling water LAT system when meeting shores...?
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had some more layering issues, this time with overlays. I worked on the Z-data some more & managed to fix the overlays & also the issues with building shadows that I mentioned earlier. I've now tested this with all map elements & cant find any more layering problems. In order to get this to fully work tho I need to modify the Z-data of every tile in D-day...

@G-E: I plan to use this to make light & dark water tiles to simulate depth but it's not detailed enough to be used as beach/shore LAT system.  

I'm thinking about moving this topic to the media hut & changing it to a general Miggy's work thread, thoughts?

Edit: Added some more tiles & tested them along with some water.


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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, can be moved to media hut imo.

With water it looks ok, but not really nice. The bright brown pixel are too visible.
Maybe the other way round with a water tile with random extra graphic pixel works better. Then don't use too many single random pixel on the water tile and instead a more smooth border with random tiny puddles of water the size of 2-7 pixel. Those small puddles would blend in fine in water and along shores create a more natural transition from water to land.

Attached a simple sketch. Border still needs to be more random and detailed.


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a simple sketch how the water tile border could be
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G-E
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brought up water because I've been pondering for some time now to create something like a continental shelf, where shore tiles and some basic water tiles appear as shallows, and a whole new set of deep water tiles.

Show us an example of the Z-data if you don't mind Smile
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m7
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's amazing that after so many years of modding, we're still making neat discoveries and improving an aging engine so much. Incredible work MiG.
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XxpeddyxX
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Joined: 03 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this looks really good actually. Also can I just say that I love D-Day, really nice on the eyes.

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Mig Eater
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Joined: 13 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@LKO: I might make some muddy swamp tiles using your suggestion, for the normal water tho I prefer to use the standard shore type tiles.

@G-E: Z-data... Left is the main tile, every tile that will interact with these new LATs needs to use this Z-data, Right is the extra image. Regarding the size/shape, if I made the extra image go more then 3 pixels above the main tile the extra lines would be rendered over bibs, overlays & shadows, the width & bottom can be made larger tho. Also of note is that the red colour isn't used as the typical "transparent" colour but its instead used for the bottom layer.


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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, with the water changed in the suggested way, you can still use the normal shores. but this would also offer better looking direct water/ground transitions without shores.

Also consider: when using such water, you could create water areas ingame via triggered ToTile buildings.
Would surely look great if a destroyed dam suddenly widens the river at the bottom by 5 cells on each side.
Or you create a map with heavy rain (map wide anim) and then spawn randomly water areas.
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Mig Eater
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Joined: 13 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intresting idea Smile Well I guess there is no harm in making them, might be handy later on.

Here is something else I made recently, a correctly scaled football field!


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Bu7loos
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Awesome
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OmegaBolt
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Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Location: York, England

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That football pitch looks really nice, can see a battle taking place there. The middle line makes me think I'm seeing double though, it's a bit too blurry I think.
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G-E
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Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mig Eater wrote:
@G-E: Z-data... Left is the main tile, every tile that will interact with these new LATs needs to use this Z-data, Right is the extra image. Regarding the size/shape, if I made the extra image go more then 3 pixels above the main tile the extra lines would be rendered over bibs, overlays & shadows, the width & bottom can be made larger tho. Also of note is that the red colour isn't used as the typical "transparent" colour but its instead used for the bottom layer.

That's what I was thinking you'd do, but I'm surprised by how you use the gradient on the main tile...

Excellent work (on the field too) I must say Smile

How does it affect shadows?
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Nooze
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting!

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Mig Eater
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Joined: 13 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How does it affect shadows?

I presume you mean the extra image? It gets rendered on top of the shadow, so it doesn't get darkened etc.
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Ickus
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is really neat! Curious whats the process involved ^^.
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SMIFFGIG
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks great , and closer to how games like Sudden Strike and Blitzkrieg draw their terrain.

I hope something like this is implemented for OpenRA
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Graion Dilach
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something like what? Pretty certain this can be implemented as-is, maybe without the TMP zdata tricks even.
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blitzkrieg is my largest source of inspiration for D-day & the bar for which I generally aim for.

As Graion said I'm pretty sure this can easily be done in OpenRA.
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incredible. Looking forward to the tutorial.
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are several sets of overlays I've been working on, they contain: small & large supply boxes, ammunition crates, barrels, sacks, various construction equipment, misc urban objects, animal houses, grave stones, temple shrine/monuments, misc debris & military barriers.

I'm also working on several sets of: tall grass, flowers, building rubble, lamp posts & road signs.


I made these specifically for D-day's WW2 theme in mind but I have also offered them to the Twisted Insurrection team. So expect to see some of them in everyone's favourite wasteland simulator in the near future. Note to LKO: I made the barrels, sacks & cable drums smaller as per your suggestion.


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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you Smile

they all look great. Approved!
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G-E
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha veg gardens and chicken coops nice!
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Allied General
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent terrain and doodads  /me does a little dance
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I added a set of oil drums & jerry cans, more tank traps/barricades & larger debris fields.

I've run out of ideas & space, so I'll stop & convert them to shp now #Tongue


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really good stuff.
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continuing on with terrain here are is a set of ground level & over head industrial pipes. I actually made these about 6 months ago & then forgot about them XD


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Atomic_Noodles
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For some reason the layout of that Preview reminds me of Sledge's Area in Borderlands 1...  Laughing  Nice work though.
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G-E
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn I've been thinking of doing exactly this since I started my terrain expansion...

Are you using overlays for any of this? I had the idea that overlays would work nicely with some terrain pieces for cliff or hill transitions?
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ground level pipes are a wall overlay, the high ones are terrain objects.
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Double post for more new D-day terrainess, with modular garrisonable trenches.

I will be putting these to use in a new WW1 style map featuring a network of trenches on a muddy cratered battlefield.


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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

these are some fine atmospheric additions
nice job

i think the only thing left is some barbed wire Wink
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G-E
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wood slats should protrude above ground level with more sandbags on the outside for the trenches to be more authentic no?
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@LKO:I made some barbedwire many years ago but it's not very good & I plan to replace it (& many other walls) in the near future.

@G-E:There are many variables that decide the size, layout & materials used in a trench, as such there is no one single historically accurate design.

I did add sandbags to the garrison frames tho, however the tag IsPassable=yes disables their usage.
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G-E
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could use terrain movement types to allow tanks to cross but not infantry (or wheeled vehicles) can't you?
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trenches are garrisonable buildings so no...
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is a garrisonable building with Bib=yes passable for vehicles?
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Mig Eater
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bibs dont work with 1x1 buildings, they dont use garrison frames either. I also tried NumberImpassableRows=0 without any luck.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this different in RA2?

In TS i created a 1x1 building, gave it Bib=yes and the whole thing was passable. Bib=yes tells the game to make the most south east row of cells passable of a building, regardless of the foundations size.
So 1x1, 1x2, 1x3 can be all made completely passable for vehicles with Bib=yes.
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Mig Eater
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Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Location: Eindhoven

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to the ModEnc page it doesn't work but I just tested it myself & it does :/

Anyway, further testing has show that the tag IsTrench was the problem & not IsPassable. So garrison frames are working now but trench to trench movement isn't.
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