Peoples Tools

Peoples General Map Tool

(C) by Luis Guzman 

 

This tool is intended to create and edit Peoples General MAP definition files, not the graphics files (S16).
 

It uses DirectX and can work in windows mode (so color resolution depends on windows settings) or using exclusive mode 800x600 (same as game) or 1924x768, but I suggest to use window mode to work and switch to 800x600 mode to see how it will look on game.

 

To install, just unzip the executable file wherever you prefer, that's the only installation needed. A minimal screen resolution of 800x600 is required.

 

Some info is stored on registry key: <HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\LGV_Tools\MapPeg>, so last files opened can be quickly retrieved, last folders used and tools settings are also remembered to make your work easier and faster. No INI files are used.

 

This tool is primary intended to do things using the mouse, but can be used also using only the keyboard.
While explaining the different options, both methods will be explained
.

 

Although hex locations names are a scenario feature they are very related with it,so the best way to do is when designing the MAP file, and this tool lets you create/edit also map names. Later when creating or editing any scenario, you can import the names you have created here.

 

Index

 

Layout

Map Views

View Options

 

Creating a new MAP

Loading existing MAP file

Loading Names for the MAP file

Loading a picture file

 

Editing a Map file

1.- Selecting "what to set

2.- Selecting "where to set"

3.- Change data to selection

 

Auto-Roads

File Options

Miscellaneous Tools

Keyboard hotkeys

 

 

 

Layout

 

 

Main caption window, shows only in windowed mode so I've put very little info there.

Menu bar is a standard window menu. It becomes main window caption when switching to DirectX exclusive mode, but still acts as a menu bar.

Below menu bar is located a mix bar:

 

On the right side there is a settings panel showing which terrain type, road settings and name will be used when changing hexes.

Below that panel there are 3 buttons to select additional menus allowing to select terrain / roads/ names to set. Just below terrain, road or name menus drop down when needed.

Bottom line shows which map file is loaded, which map number and which picture file is using. A red label means that map file has not loaded its s16 tiles picture, so probably you need to generate.

 

The main area is covered with the picture map once loaded.

 

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Map Views

There are two basic map views, normal full size and strategic.

 

Strategic, or zoomed, fits the picture on available window size, but even there you can turn on hex grid, roads, and some iconic marks, same as in normal view. You can switch views in many ways and current position will be relocated. To set or remove different marks you can use Menus, hotkeys and/or tool icons buttons.

 

On normal view you can scroll moving the mouse outside main window. You can do it also using normal cursor keys, jumping quick to beginning or end of map.

 

To move current position (cursor position) you can do:

 

       moving the mouse

       pressing numeric keys 1..9.
If you watch the numeric keypad you will imagine very easily what does each one
(7 goes upper-left and 3 down-right)

When you try to go to a position outside the view, the view is automatic scrolled.

View Options

<Menu/Options>

 

 

 

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Creating a new MAP

<Menu/File/New Map> or Alt+B

To create a new MAP file, select a picture file from the popup dialog. You can select BMP, SHP or S16 map files to load from. You can see the picture while you browse. For SHP and S16 picture maps, only the map number is shown on list. Once you select a picture file a new MAP file is created with a default name and number that you can change later. Any 8,16,24 or 32 bits BMP picture map file can be used. Internal picture is handled as a 24 bits BMP and any internal tool that writes a BMP to file, will use that bitmap format. When saving PeG graphic picture files (spitted S16) will be checked and created if necessary.

 

<Menu/File/Load BMP> also creates a map file if none was loaded first.

 

Map number is set scanning picture file name, but if no number is found, #65535 is assigned.

 

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Loading existing MAP file

<Menu/File/Open Map> or Alt+O

 

Select the Map file you want to edit on the pop up window. While browsing you will se the picture map linked to the Map file to easier select. You can set a switch to read PG2 Map files (SHP files will be scanned instead) and load without any previous conversion needed.
Last file loaded can be re-loaded very quickly using Alt+L <Menu/File/Open Last File Used>
A recent files list is also provided.

 

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Loading Names for the MAP file

 

Each time a MAP file is loaded it checks if MAPnnn.TXT file exist in the same folder as the MAP file number (nnn = map number) and if found it is loaded as a Map name file. Anyway you can load a map names file manually using <Menu/Names/Load Names>

 

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Loading a different picture

<Menu/File/Load BMP>

This option will load another  picture file for the map you are editing, . Remember I told if you run this option before seleting a map file, then a new map will be created.

This option allows to load an external picture (for example an encarta map picture plenty of city names) to help you on defining your map, that you can at any point replace with the proper picture.
 

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Editing a Map file

Once you have created or loaded you can see the map picture and its settings but you surely would want to add or modify those settings.

 

The basic step are:

 

1.    Select "what to set" [Terrain Type, Road Settings and Hex name]

2.    Select "where to set" that's a single hex or a group of hexes ( SELECTION ) to apply

3.    Change data to selection  "change data"

 

1.- Selecting "what to set

 

You always have something selected, ready to set:

       a terrain type (clear as default)

       a road setting (no road as default)

       a name (none as default)

 

but as explained before, your last settings are remembered so last type, road and name used will show up in next session. On right panel current are shown at any time.

 

To change "what to set" you must click on any of the buttons below the panel

 

Each one will drop down a sub-menu helping on selecting your choice.
Names submenu is a modal one, so you must close it before foing anything else. You can close either by doble-clicking on the item you want to select, or by clicking on  X  button.

Terrain and Roads menus are modeless, so you'll see until you change "what to set"

 

For quick changing terrain type and name, keystrokes  +  and  -  can be used to cycle.

When road settins are selected if you type keys  7   8   9   1   2   3  outside the map, it will set/reset each side road. Key  5  will set/reset AutoRoad (explained later).

 

Clear terrain, no road and no name works like cleaning.

Another way to change "what to set" is reading data from an hex. This is done by Ctrl+RightMB on any hex - but be aware that only terrain, road or name will be loaded depending on what  T   R  or  N  button is pressed. You can also use Ctrl+C to do this.

 

2.- Selecting "where to set"

 

You can change a single hex or select several hexes to change as a group (SELECTION).

Any hex selected is red outlined, even if grid is toggled off.

 

Selecting hexes is basically made by using LeftMB but using along with keyboard Shift and Ctrl keys modifies it behavior. Dagging while pressing LeftMB allows to make SELECTIONS faster as each hex you drag over will be added to SELECTION.

   

To create a SELECTION   LeftMB on a hex. It will clear any previous SELECTION.
drag over all hexes you want to extend the SELECTION
To add/remove hex to/from SELECTION Shift LeftMB on hex to add/remove.
To make a block selection Ctrl LeftMB on opposite hex block.

                     

3.- Change data to selection

 

Changing hexes is basically made by using RightMB

 

To change all hexes in a SELECTION   RightMB on any hex belonging to SELECTION
To change hexes not in a SELECTION   RightMB on any hex not belonging to a SELECTION
drag over all hexes you want to set the same
To clear hexes Shift RightMB on hexes to clear
drag over all hexes you want to clear
To copy hex data into "what to set" Ctrl RightMB on the you want.

 

If you RightMB on a hex which is part of a SELECTION all hexes belonging that SELECTION will be changed.

 

You can also use keyboard to change data if you prefer:

 T (uppercase) to change Terrain Type only

R (uppercase) to change Road settings only

N (uppercase) to change name

D (uppercase) to change both Terrain Type and Reoad settings

 

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Auto-Roads

Instead of setting roads by defining each side, you can set special marks flagging a hex as having a road.
Later you can make the tool to figure out  what sides should be set, making perfectly linked roads.
You have toggles options to keep or clear those marks before converting into road sides.
Also you can define if surrounding hexes not marked should be modified to link or they should be left untouched.
I use last bytes of each hex record to make this option to work, so there is also an option to remove all marks before saving (usually to make the map clean to play) or to keep (usualy to go on editing).

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File Options

 

          Change map number <Menu/File/Change Map Number>

At any point, you can change map number. A pop up dialog will help you on deciding which number to assign, as you will see which maps exist on default MAP folder.

 

          Create S16 tiles for the image <Menu/File/Save image As S16 tiles>

 

This option will create as many S16 tiles as needed for picture map loaded. It is the same option is used when saving if there are not picture S16 tiles for map number defined.

  

                Saving the Map file <Menu/File/Save MAP as...>

 

If any terrain, road or name is changed you will be alert to save when exiting. Anyway you can save at any point you want.

 

There is only a "Save As" option as if you don't want change the filename just select the same again (it is selected as default)

When Save As dialog is popup you can select a new name, folder and map number and an automatic check for picture files will shown. You can decide which map number you want quite safe as you will see which   number already exist. If S16 splitted files are needed then the checkbox will be enabled and if accept they will be created.

 

          Save Image as new BMP <Menu/File/Save image as BMP tiles>

 

This option will create a 24 bits BMP file with the full picture map

          Save image as BMP tiles <Menu/File/Save Image as new BMP>

 

This option will create as many BMP tiles as needed for picture map loaded.     

 

 

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Miscellaneous Tools

<Menu/Misc.Tools>

 

          Massive terrain change

as their name implies, it scans all hexes and changes a terrain type you select with another one.

 

          Maps report

 

gets a list of all maps found in a folder, sorted by map name or map number. It allows to get a report including any sorted list or both list on the same report

 

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