I'm trolling for hints and tips about how to add content to MOM IME when the time is right -seeing as how it's so mod-able and mod-worthy. It occurred to me that graphics will probably be the most onerous of these to implement, but it also occurred to me that this was work that could probably be done now rather than later.
So let's talk graphics. Not upgrading them. I have no interest in that, and if there were upgraded graphics, I doubt that I'd use them. MoM works. Let's talk adding graphics. The fact of the matter is that this is one of the most epic turn based games in terms of creature variety. Not many games back then would have attempted half that many races, and there they are. If I can, I'm planning to add a race or two, really, just to expand the already wealthy bestiary into some fantasy mainstays that MoM doesn't have (like goblins). Besides, as I started this whole gaming thing with Maniac Mansion, I know my way around the art of MoM's day (and well before it) - enough to know that art is not technology, and technology isn't art and that neither are entirely relevant to what makes a good game.
I know: graphics are onerous...it'll take something like 33 tasks per unit. Let's talk methodology here.
1)I know how to extract the the images into a .bmp. I do not know how to return them to a usable state that the game can read (I have yet to do any editing...so no loss if that's not how this works).
2) I am not clear either, how the names of the files generated correspond to the naming of the .bmps. I didn't see any that matched up as I poked around in the editor and my LBX/bmp huge folder.
3)How does the game tell how many figures are in a unit, and where those go? The unit images I see are always individuals, in units ranging from 1 to 7. It always just shows the one. This is obviously not only a graphics question.
4)Assuming that one edits the graphics outside of some feature in the editor I'm not seeing, does anyone recommend a graphics editor that's capable of viewing these images at a decent size while working in the pixellated SVGA form that the game uses? MS Paint obviously fits the bill in terms of the pixels, but those images aren't big enough to deal with, and anyway, it's friggen MS Paint. I'm okay with the Gimp...I'll try that I suppose once I know what I'm doing.
5) How does the game know which part of a figure is flagged for the color scheme of your wizard? Are there conventions I should know about that will keep me from misspent hours making pixel-goblins?
6) Regarding this quote from Implode from a few years back...would this encoding scheme make sense to share?I don't use either? The only reference anyone made to BMPs is that is what the LBXExtract program saves off - there aren't any GIFs or BMPs used by the game, it reads 90% of the graphics straight from the original MoM LBX files (to save me pointlessly extracting and repacking graphics into a new format), and the new graphics I've had to produce I encode with my own encoding scheme (which I call .NDGBMP for want of anything else... NDG being my initials). It is non-lossy, uses a 24-bit colour palette and run length compression, so it compresses photos terribly, but does a great job on game graphics.
Any pieces of this puzzle anyone could help me with is appreciated. For all I know, I'm not even asking the right questions. I do know that I've just finished taking a huge round of exams, and I have a lot more free time on my hands :)