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[Mod Utility] Sins Data Converter v2.1 Beta w/Rebellion support (comprehensive feature set)

By on March 9, 2010 6:13:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

BCXtreme

Join Date 04/2007
+16

I've been doing a lot of novice modding on this game for a while now, and I finally got fed up with using the ConvertData command line tool. After checking around on these forums, I found the GUI created by Harpo99999. Despite the fact that it's very good at what it does, I was unable to make good use of it because it only works for in-place conversions, and also because you can only do batch-style conversions of whole folders. So I decided to make my own alternative that is more suited to my mod development habits, and I figured it would be nice to share it with the community.

And so I would like to present the SINS DATA CONVERTER. The SDC can convert Entity, Mesh, Particle, and/or Brushes files back and forth between TXT and binary. Rather than supporting specific versions of SoaSE, it will work with whatever version is installed on your computer. If you have Entrenchment and/or Diplomacy, it will support whatever versions of those you have installed as well. If you don't have SoaSE installed at all, you can pick a custom ConvertData.exe (say, copied from your SoaSE installation at home) and have the program use that instead. The program can convert a single file, or it can convert an entire folder, or it can convert an entire folder plus its subfolders. It can either overwrite the original files with the converted ones (in-place conversion), or the converted files can be placed in another folder, leaving the original files unaltered. And it does it, in my opinion, with a cool interface...

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

  • Intel CPU (v1.3 only)
  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (32-bit/64-bit)
  • .NET Framework 3.0 (included on Vista/7, available for XP and 8)

 

KNOWN BUGS/LIMITATIONS

  • If doing an in-place conversion, files will be damaged if the user selects the wrong game (vanilla vs. Entrench vs. Diplo)

 

NEW IN v2.1 UPDATE

  • [Feature] Support for Rebellion
  • [Feature] Support for Windows 8
  • [Bugfix] Fixed ReferenceData Creator

 

NEW IN v2.0.1 UPDATE

  • [Feature] Diagnostic logging

 

NEW IN v2.0 UPDATE

  • [Feature] "Advanced Mode" GUI with Conversion Queue
  • [Feature] ReferenceData Creator
  • [Feature] Mod Folder Relocator
  • [Feature] Entity Manifest Creator
  • [Feature] New game verification system with custom game path support
  • [Bugfix] Program no longer stops responding during conversions
  • [Bugfix] Support added for AMD64 CPUs


NEW IN v1.3 UPDATE

  • [Feature] Support for Rebellion
  • [Feature] Support for Windows 8

 

NEW IN v1.2 UPDATE

  • [Feature] In-place conversion can now be automated by clicking a button to automatically set the output folder
  • [Feature] Files and folders can now be dragged-and-dropped onto the buttons in the program for faster source and output selection
  • [Feature] Program will now remember source, output, and custom EXE settings until it is closed
  • [Feature] You can now select subfolders to ignore when including subfolders in a conversion
  • [Feature] You can now paste folder paths into the program
  • [Bugfix] Failsafe added to ensure the user remembers to select their version of Sins before attempting to convert
  • [Bugfix] "Custom Version Selected" label re-aligned for better symmetry
  • [Bugfix] Subfolder structure of the source directory will now be properly carried over to the output directory



NEW IN v1.1 UPDATE

  • [Bugfix] Program now works on 32-bit Windows systems, including XP
  • [Bugfix] Program now works with SoaSE: Trinity
  • [Feature] SoaSE no longer has to be installed, because the user now has the option to pick a custom ConvertData.exe




This program is NOT being released and then dropped. As long as there are people downloading who want me to fix bugs and add features, I will continue to maintain the program to the best of my ability. So here are the links you'll need:

Sins Data Converter Homepage
Sins Data Converter Support Page (please make your bug reports at this link)
Download Sins Data Converter v2.1 Beta
Download Sins Data Converter v1.3 (stable version, Intel processors only)
Download Mirror for v1.2 at Weebly.com (Provided by myfist0)

I hope the community can put this utility to good use. Comments and suggestions are welcome in this topic. Also please report any additional bugs you find at the support page mentioned above.  And finally, please leave feedback here if you find this program useful, so I know there is support for continued development.

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March 9, 2010 6:55:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I ran it earlier today right after posting this and had an issue with Xp showing "Sins not installed properly".  I downloaded the revision and it works perfectly as designed (just be sure to specify the Sins version before conversion).

I did a simple entity file from Sins to a Desktop folder and then re-converted that file from the folder to desktop--no problems at all.

Great job and a fast fix!

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March 9, 2010 10:17:31 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting worldstrider,
I ran it earlier today right after posting this and had an issue with Xp showing "Sins not installed properly".  I downloaded the revision and it works perfectly as designed (just be sure to specify the Sins version before conversion).

I did a simple entity file from Sins to a Desktop folder and then re-converted that file from the folder to desktop--no problems at all.

Great job and a fast fix!

Thanks!  The XP bug was actually not due to XP itself, but rather due to a difference in the way 32-bit and 64-bit Windows store the SoaSE directory path.  I have set up a 32-bit testing environment now, so hopefully I can avoid similar problems in the future.  I am also working on some failsafes for the next version, to be sure the user always remembers to specify the Sins version.

Glad to hear the program is working well for you!

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March 10, 2010 12:20:44 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Excellent job.  I have downloaded all the others and none of them worked properly for me--crashes, conversions but no actual file changes or creation, etc.  This one worksb great and is a true gui (even though I am an old net hack I really don't like command line when avoidable).

I am 32 bit XP--I assumed you'd know but you are correct.  Keep up the good work--very smooth and no glitches.

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March 11, 2010 12:34:24 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting worldstrider,
Excellent job.  I have downloaded all the others and none of them worked properly for me--crashes, conversions but no actual file changes or creation, etc.  This one worksb great and is a true gui (even though I am an old net hack I really don't like command line when avoidable).

I am 32 bit XP--I assumed you'd know but you are correct.  Keep up the good work--very smooth and no glitches.

Thanks again!  Kind of surprised though that not many people seem to be interested in this ... I had thought there was significant demand for a not-in-place converter GUI...

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March 11, 2010 7:15:12 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Do you know how many peeps DLed it?

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March 11, 2010 11:09:47 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Aractain,
Do you know how many peeps DLed it?

Unfortunately, no.  I have no way to track it.  On this forum, though, it seems that people typically leave feedback if they like something.  I plan on giving it some more time of course, a lot of people probably don't even come here during the work week.  Still optimistic here!

By the way, weren't you the one that expressed disappointment about the requirement of having Sins installed?  Before the forums crashed?  If so, does the ability to "import" ConvertData.exe from a custom location in v1.1 resolve that for you?

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March 12, 2010 12:45:11 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

It sounds like it. I DLed it but I was too busy UV mapping some greebles, then I played a game... and now its 5am... yeah.

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March 12, 2010 1:46:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I think the modding community is significantly smaller than the visible player/poster base and something else pertinent may be that you posted during the great server reset and crash.

There are a lot of pretty teeny (and very trivial) posts now and then that push new threads down and I have found it takes awhile to get the knowlegeable base into a conversation sometimes.  Bump this now and then as it is hands down the best converter for the game.  It is certainly bump worthy until someone pins it.

If you really want to get noticed and praised, come up with an improvement for Galaxy Forge (indeed, I drool at the thought)--they may make you the hero of the year for that.  Broken templates, dated galaxy file syntaxes, incomplete or incorrect item lists--a major improvment there would be wonderful...and if that isn't a gui in need of a stylish makeover then their ain't one. 

Even just developing an appender that adds templates to the raw galaxy files would be great.  Make a map in GF then use the appender to create and add a properly formated template (they are nicely at the very end of the simple text files).

Notheless, Kudos again good sir!  Kudos I say!

 

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March 12, 2010 12:32:44 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting SIN-Imperium,
I think the modding community is significantly smaller than the visible player/poster base and something else pertinent may be that you posted during the great server reset and crash.

There are a lot of pretty teeny (and very trivial) posts now and then that push new threads down and I have found it takes awhile to get the knowlegeable base into a conversation sometimes.  Bump this now and then as it is hands down the best converter for the game.  It is certainly bump worthy until someone pins it.

If you really want to get noticed and praised, come up with an improvement for Galaxy Forge (indeed, I drool at the thought)--they may make you the hero of the year for that.  Broken templates, dated galaxy file syntaxes, incomplete or incorrect item lists--a major improvment there would be wonderful...and if that isn't a gui in need of a stylish makeover then their ain't one. 

Even just developing an appender that adds templates to the raw galaxy files would be great.  Make a map in GF then use the appender to create and add a properly formated template (they are nicely at the very end of the simple text files).

Notheless, Kudos again good sir!  Kudos I say!

 

Thanks a lot!  Yeah, I've seen the GUI for Galaxy Forge.  I hate it so much that I've never been able to use it.  I'll look into that suggestion ... it's definitely an intriguing idea.  I do plan to create more utilities for SoaSE modding either way.

Oh, and yeah, I'm definitely going to bump this topic now and then.  The next update is going to add a few more ease-of-use features, and I hope to add the ability to use subfolders in a not-in-place conversion, so maybe that will attract some more attention.

Thanks again to everyone who's responded so far!  It's good to know that at least a few people other than myself can put this program to good use. 

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March 12, 2010 6:21:32 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Very cool sir.  regarding GF, I am not a programmer but whatever engine drives the graphics for it is horrible.  When you zoom in really close to stars for precise planet placement--and especially on large maps--the cpu cycles the thing uses are ridculous.

Mainly though, from my own experience, the various versions and betas introduced small changes to formatting in the galaxy files and over time there are enough variations to make proper template scripting a problem.  While GF allows template creation, it uses some of the old syntax and doesn't format properly.  The two key areas where the major issues are are the appendage to the planet info part of the galaxy file and the other area is the template script itself.

The template scripting can be pretty easily corrected (if you know the proper corection to be made) but the planet entry info has nuances that are not explained well or even at all on the forum.  Certainly the format and structure of the planet info has been changed enough to break some older templates and maps as well.  Harpo is very knowledgeable in this area and I am sure many of the actual modders must be as well.

It would be wonderful to see a collaboration or brainstorm here with you guys.

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March 12, 2010 7:10:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

SemazRalan on these forums has done a ton of work with Galaxy Forge and templates.  Anyone who wants to know all about GF should ask him.

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March 13, 2010 1:18:59 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting SpardaSon21,
SemazRalan on these forums has done a ton of work with Galaxy Forge and templates.  Anyone who wants to know all about GF should ask him.

Here's hoping he and others will jump in on it.  I have some of the patched ones for mods but the whole GF template/experience could use a serious kick in the arse towards usability.

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March 13, 2010 4:39:25 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

as the galaxy forge should also

harpo

 

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March 13, 2010 5:23:26 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I was actualy hoping that Harpo would come in here and say something along the lines of "I give you the hand of peace, capitulate to my desires and you and all your people shall live".

Of course BCX would reply with something like "We will never give up our freedom to convert, especially not to the likes of you!"

Which would elicit the response "This is madness!"

Inevitably requireing "No, THIS. IS. BCXTREME!" *kicks harpo out of thread*

 

But Nooooo. Had to be all normal. And Boring.

 

 

An another note your utility works like I expected it to. Which is a good thing.

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March 13, 2010 5:39:09 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

So Aractain, BCX would do something like this?

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March 13, 2010 8:40:20 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

That's what happens when I trust GF to make my map.  It looks at my concept and goes, "A map!? This is Galaxy Fooorge!!"...then it kicks my file into a dark pit. 

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March 14, 2010 4:29:25 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

aractain, spardason21 and sin imperium you three ARE silly..how about you stop critizing and WRITE the utilities you want.

that is what I did, and also what bcextreme did.

if you do not like the existing tools, MAKE your own!

bcextreme, sorry about the hijacking of your thread, and the best of luck in your future programming

harpo

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March 14, 2010 5:00:06 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting harpo99999,
stop critizing and WRITE the utilities you want.

I think BCX's utility is great! (and I'm writing a .mesh export/import tool for Max).

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March 14, 2010 11:44:43 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Harpo, I don't think I was ever critizing his mod or demanding utilities.  First post, I announced that someone on these forums had done a ton of work on GalaxyScenarioDef.  Second post, I basically threw up spam.  When did I ask BCX to make a tool for me?

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March 14, 2010 1:24:47 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting harpo99999,
bcextreme, sorry about the hijacking of your thread, and the best of luck in your future programming

Don't worry about it.  And thanks!

To everyone else: the Sparta reference is hilarious.

The GF replacement idea is being investigated, but please don't expect anything soon, because it is extremely complicated and will take some time to even work out a development plan.

For now, let's keep this thread on the Sins Data Converter, for which a major update is currently in development, and for which I am still open to suggestions for improvement / new features.

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March 14, 2010 1:36:42 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting BCXtreme,
I am still open to suggestions for improvement / new features.

Folder Exclusion List, "Dont ya touch dis folda foo!" when using subfolders?

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March 14, 2010 3:51:14 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Aractain,
Folder Exclusion List, "Dont ya touch dis folda foo!" when using subfolders?

That would probably be pretty simple to implement.  Definitely worth a shot.

BTW, one of the new features in v1.2 will be a checkbox that sets the output to the same folder as the source, to automate in-place conversions.  By default, it will be unchecked; if you want to do an in-place conversion, you can just set the source, check the box, and you won't have to set the output folder manually.

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March 14, 2010 4:13:00 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Thank you BCXtreme. The utility is very simple to use and has a clean slick UI.

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March 15, 2010 3:51:09 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

THANK YOU

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March 15, 2010 4:29:07 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting harpo99999,
aractain, spardason21 and sin imperium you three ARE silly..how about you stop critizing and WRITE the utilities you want.

that is what I did, and also what bcextreme did.

if you do not like the existing tools, MAKE your own!

bcextreme, sorry about the hijacking of your thread, and the best of luck in your future programming

harpo

Me simple non-programming caveman with wife and kiddies.  No can do.  I wasn't criticising your utility Harpo--it works great. Some of the other ones posted about the forum though are broken. I'm not griping--was making Mr. Xtreme aware of some of the issues. I wouldn't make one as I don't think another broken utility would help...which is probably what I would produce.

But I am curious--what would be required to modify Galaxy Forge?  If I have the means, I'm willing to examine it.  I do web design and flash and the like and am fairly smart.  Maybe it will work.  A long while back I did mod a small program with a hex editor and some trial and error but I have no idea what GF needs to attempt the same.

Where does he get that karma?!  The force is strong in that one.

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