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[REF] Advanced Modder Interface

Posted: 2020-02-15 03:04, Saturday
by HexCode
CONTENT LINKS
==============

Introduction
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=304#p3257

Key AMI File Types
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=304#p3294

Pictorial Display Files
viewtopic.php?f=95&t=304#p3378


===================================================================

INTRODUCTION
==============

We're all familiar with the term User Interface (UI). When it comes to PGF, however, who are the "users" ? In my "books", there are three types of "user roles": Player, Light Modder and Advanced Modder. Players take obvious advantage of PGF's Player Interface (PI). Light Modders are reasonably assisted by PGF's Light Modder Interface (LMI). Finally, Advanced Modders mightily depend on PGF's Advanced Modder Interface (AMI). PGF's AMI is the current topic's focus.

PGF's LMI comprises PGF's PI in its entirety and more. In turn, PGF's AMI comprises PGF's LMI in its entirety and much more. Being a... self-anointed Advanced Modder, I intend to provide technical information specifically targeting Advanced Modders. However, subsets of such information may be of some interest to Light Modders, even Players.

A) PGF's PI constitutes what normally passes for a software's UI; namely, whatever is, well, readily visible to a Player and which directly supports play. PGF's PI combines and visually integrates many Textual and Pictorial Display elements.

B) In addition to PGF's PI, PGF's LMI comprises certain important aspects invisible to a Player. These aspects, when sufficiently mastered, allow Light Modders to do their "modding thing".

C) PGF's AMI comprises everything but the... kitchen sink. :) Advanced Modders seldom run out of new technical discoveries and design "tricks". PGF's AMI is essentially open-ended and constantly enables technical novelties applicable to "ambitious" custom content design, including the judicious hex editing of PGF's engine. :evil

KEY AMI FILE TYPES

Posted: 2020-02-17 18:24, Monday
by HexCode
KEY AMI FILE TYPES
==================

The numerous files residing in PGF's ...\UI subfolder collectively constitute the backbone of PGF's AMI.

HTM File Extension

Files sporting the HTM extension are used to format and display images and text. Such files contain Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) code which is stored in plain-text format. The HTML language allows a developer / designer to create structured documents by creating headings, paragraphs, lists, bullets, links and quotes. HTML code may contain links to images, audio, video and scripts.

HTM files can be edited in any text editor such as MS Notepad.

CSS File Extension

Files sporting the CSS extension are used to technically describe the presentation of HTM file content. Such files contain Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) code which is stored in plain-text format. The CSS code allows a developer / designer to separate presentation from content, including layout, colors, and fonts. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content.

CSS files can be edited in any text editor such as MS Notepad.

PNG File Extension

Files sporting the PNG extension are used to display images. Such files contain Portable Network Graphics (PNG) code which is stored in binary format. A PNG file contains a single image in an extensible structure of "chunks", encoding the basic pixels and other information such as textual comments and integrity checks.

The PNG raster-graphics file format supports lossless data compression. More specifically, it supports palette-based images (with palettes of 24-bit RGB or 32-bit RGBA colors), grayscale images (with or without alpha channel for transparency) and full-color non-palette-based RGB or RGBA images.

Developers / designers can modify / edit images contained in PNG files via graphics manipulation utilities such as GIMP and Paint Shop.

CUR File Extension

Files sporting the CUR extension contain binary code and are used to display static cursor images in MS Windows OSs.

Developers / designers can modify / edit images contained in CUR files via graphics manipulation utilities such as Paint Shop Pro.

PICTORIAL DISPLAY FILES

Posted: 2020-02-25 16:27, Tuesday
by HexCode
PICTORIAL DISPLAY FILES
=======================

PGF's ...\UI subfolder hosts 77 files in PNG format and 1 file in CUR format. They are:

Code: Select all

ALLIED_BACKGROUND.PNG
ALLIED_ETCHED_FRAME.PNG
ALLIED_FOOTER.PNG
ALLIED_HEADER.PNG
ALLIED_LOGO.PNG
AXIS_BACKGROUND.PNG
AXIS_ETCHED_FRAME.PNG
AXIS_FOOTER.PNG
AXIS_HEADER.PNG
AXIS_LOGO.PNG

BTN_DISBAND.PNG
BTN_EMBARK.PNG
BTN_ENDTURN.PNG
BTN_EREPL.PNG
BTN_GOTO.PNG
BTN_NEXT.PNG
BTN_PLACE.PNG
BTN_PLANE.PNG
BTN_PURCHASE.PNG
BTN_REPL.PNG
BTN_STRATMAP.PNG
BTN_SUPPLY.PNG
BTN_SYSMENU.PNG
BTN_TRANSPORT.PNG
BTN_UNDO.PNG
BTN_UPGRADE.PNG
BTN_ZZZZZ.PNG
BUTTON.PNG
BUTTON_DISABLED.PNG
BUTTON_PRESSED.PNG
BUTTON2.PNG
BUTTON2_DISABLED.PNG
BUTTON2_PRESSED.PNG
BUTTON3.PNG
BUTTON3_PRESSED.PNG

CASTABLE.PNG
CASUALTIES.PNG
COMBATLOG_ADV.PNG
COMBATLOG_DISADV.PNG
COMBATLOG_HEADER.PNG

DLGFRAME.PNG
DLGFRAME_SHADOW.PNG

FLAGBTN_PRESSED.PNG
FRAME_BRF.PNG

GOLDEN_FRAME.PNG

ITEM_CAPTION.PNG

MAP.PNG

PGFOREVER.PNG
PGFOREVER_SMALL.PNG
PROGRESS-BACK.PNG
PROGRESS-BODY.PNG
PURCHASE_HEADER.PNG
PURCHASE_PANEL.PNG

SB-SCROLL-BACK.PNG
SB-SCROLL-BASE.PNG
SB-SCROLL-SLIDER.PNG
SB-V-SCROLL-NEXT.PNG
SB-V-SCROLL-PREV.PNG
STAR0.PNG
STAR1.PNG
STAR2.PNG
STAR3.PNG
STAR4.PNG
STAR5.PNG
STRATMAP.PNG

TRUCK0.PNG
TRUCK1.PNG

UNITBTN_DISABLED.PNG
UNITBTN_GREEN.PNG
UNITBTN_GREEN_PRESSED.PNG
UNITBTN_RED.PNG
UNITBTN_RED_PRESSED.PNG
UPGRADE_HEADER.PNG

WINBTN_ABOUT.PNG
WINBTN_CLOSE.PNG
WINBTN_MAXIMIZE.PNG
WINBTN_MINIMIZE.PNG

and

PGMOUSE.CUR
Reasonably capable image manipulation utilities (e.g., GIMP, Photo Shop) can be employed to edit such files.

Myself coming from the board wargame tradition as opposed to the miniatures one and not being a "video" wargamer, have no particular interest in acquiring the requisite, technical know-how underlying the manipulation of files in PNG or CUR format.

HOWEVER:

Should some technically proficient poster ever come out of the woodwork and volunteer to technically enlighten "us", I would be happy to incorporate any solid observations, suggestions and conclusions of his into the present topic.