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[Release] Platform Conversion Utility (PCU)


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#1 Ascension64

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 04:37 AM

Platform Conversion Utility (PCU)
Release Candidate 2
Author: Ascension64

The purpose of this utility is to allow batch conversion of resource names, as file and within file types, from one naming convention to another. This utility, previously known as the Tutu2BGT converter utility, first allowed the conversion of BG1Tutu naming conventions to BGT naming conventions.

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Edited by Ascension64, 12 February 2010 - 03:10 PM.


#2 Gorilym

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 04:44 AM

The method by which this utility works is that one-to-one dictionary conversions are made, which allows custom dictionaries to be made for other purposes if required (including the soon-to-be released Tutu-BGT merger project).


Whoa, soon-to-be released? I was under the impression that such a merger was only being discussed.

#3 SimDing0

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 05:19 AM

If it's soon to be released, nobody told me.

This tool might make it a breeze, though. The only obstacle that made porting BGT's transition to Tutu tricky was Bardez' wacky naming of area entry points. If this tool has some kind of conversion dictonary for these, producing the transition is trivial. The proof-of-concept Tutu transition that Cam and I put together is still lying around on the PPG FTP, I think.

Edited by SimDing0, 21 October 2006 - 05:22 AM.


#4 Ascension64

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 07:04 AM

I can only say that 'soon' is a relative term. If you listened to IER Episode 10 I did make it a goal to get some kind of release before the end of the year.

#5 SimDing0

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 07:08 AM

Well. Can the conversion utility produce a BGT-style worldmap using Tutu area names and entry points? The latter is important--last time I did this, area transitions just dumped you in the middle of the area because of naming problems. If so, I think I can apply the BGT transition to EasyTutu in a matter of days. (A matter of days from when I return to a computer that actually has BG and BG2 on. This one is chock full of copies of TBH.)

#6 cmorgan

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 08:11 AM

I posted a thank you and a quick reference for this tool as Acscension64 used it to do the majority of the grunt work for the BGT side of the combined Tutu/BGT installer for BG1 NPC v12.

I heartily recommend taking him up on the offer. While there are still many things to do for a conversion to work with older mods, this took hours of modding time (weeks and weeks of Real Time) off of the conversion process.

Some quick notes to be aware of for non-guru-types who would like to go cross-platform:
Imoen and her various incarnations of scripts, files, etc. (and to a lesser extent Edwin and Viconia) require some revisiting after conversion.
The trickiest thing to work out has been the differences in the actual content of BGT scripts for NPCs (Tutu content/patching of BCS often needs to be different).

I appreciate and heartily recommend Ascension64's work in this area. I look forward to the day when we are having our community arguements and fisticuffs over the same platform :) - I think the end result will be a wider audience for everyone's work.

Plus I will only have to learn one set of incompatability problems to work around :)
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#7 ronin69hof

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 08:18 AM

He also used the tool for me to do the basic conversion of Swordcoast Strategems which I might add will be released for BGT next week. With his conversion utility I had no problems with entry points of areas.

ronin

#8 Ascension64

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 05:29 PM

Well. Can the conversion utility produce a BGT-style worldmap using Tutu area names and entry points? The latter is important--last time I did this, area transitions just dumped you in the middle of the area because of naming problems. If so, I think I can apply the BGT transition to EasyTutu in a matter of days. (A matter of days from when I return to a computer that actually has BG and BG2 on. This one is chock full of copies of TBH.)

Yes. For some examples, I can convert the BGT-WeiDU worldmap.wmp to use Tutu naming conventions for area entries and entry points. Conversely, I can even convert the Tutu worldmap.wmp to use BGT-WeiDU naming conventions. I am writing up the technical details of the utility over the next few days, and will be releasing that for everyone's perusal. This will help people appreciate what the utility can do (and can't do).

#9 Salk

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 11:20 PM

Ascension64,

I just wish to congratulate you for this new revolutionary program!

Perhaps some people don't really realize it yet but this announcement is perhaps the most important step ahead made by the BG community ever.

I can do nothing but thank you again for your dedication. :)

#10 Wounded_Lion

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 03:54 PM

Perhaps some people don't really realize it yet but this announcement is perhaps the most important step ahead made by the BG community ever.


Why? No offense to the BGT Team, but I (and at least some others) couldn't care less about BGT. I hardly think that this conversion tool is "the most important step ahead made by the BG community ever". It isn't even an open tool (you have to petition to use it to prevent "misuse" - how !@#$ queer is that?). What the !@#$ kind of "ethical decisions" need to be made when using the tool? Please. I'm tired as hell right now and I still see straight through this joke.

And btw, WeiDU is "the most important step ahead made by the BG community ever". This doesn't even compare.

This is my opinion. Not a flame. Not a shot intended to start a war. Just me being honest. No offense meant to any parties, etc. I'm going to get some sleep now. :)

- D

Edited by Wounded_Lion, 22 October 2006 - 03:59 PM.


#11 berelinde

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 04:22 PM

For lo, these many moons, I have been waiting for word on UB for BG1 Tutu, and here I see something cool. I don't want to be a pest, but I would be grateful for any and all information.

Thanks!
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#12 Miloch

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 06:16 PM

Well. I think this is great news if it works as described.

@ Wounded_Lion: Maybe you didn't notice (I realize you were tired) the full extent of the tool's claims - it says it's not just a BGT conversion utility but also original BG1 to Tutu. That means a lot of these older, but great, mods developed for the original BG1 may have Tutu potential now.

What the !@#$ kind of "ethical decisions" need to be made when using the tool?

I dunno, but some authors are sensitive about their work being translated or otherwise messed with. Unfortunately a lot of those authors have gone missing, moved on, etc. I have at least a couple outstanding requests from such older mod (Vault, Forge/Adventure) developers as to whether they're interested in conversion but no response as yet.
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#13 Ascension64

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 06:40 PM

@Wounded_Lion: OK, you're tired. :)

What the !@#$ kind of "ethical decisions" need to be made when using the tool?

I have mentioned this in the past, but again I mention that Bons over at PPG did not wish her Finch NPC mod to be converted Tutu->BGT. The following is all my opinion, and anyone is entitled to disagree.

I believe and respect that people are entitled to restrict their mod distribution as they see fit, and it would be immoral not to agree. As such, it pays for the integrity of the community to acquire the necessary permissions before conversions are made, unless you do want to see flame wars in the near future. What is to stop people from writing their own tool that does exactly the same thing? None, but I would not want to be implicated if the IE world gets on edge due to a violation of someone's views on mod distribution.

@berelinde: SimDing0 is reworking the current BG1UB due to major issues that it has in its current version. It would not make much sense then to perform a conversion to Tutu now, as it simply would require another conversion when a new version is released. Nevertheless, I have run test conversions of BG1UB->Tutu, and apart from the installation generating errors because Tutu is missing a number of unused resources from BG1 that BG1UB aims to start using, there are no other errors occurring during installation. When is there a release? I don't know, it is not my project.

@miloch: The older mods are definitely difficult to get permissions from as the author/s have probably left the scene a long while ago. I am still trying to figure out what can be done in these situations, but if it comes to making the conversion without the necessary permissions in this case, I think I will take the responsibility if the author/s become angry. Don't take this as granted just yet...I'm still thinking about what to do in these cases.

#14 berelinde

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 06:48 PM

If I were an author, which I am not, I would hesitate before I allowed someone to translate my work into an unknown language. I would have no way to know if it were an accurate translation, or if someone just put out a lot of garbage with my name on the cover.

The same might go with modding. I am writing a mod for Tutu. The BG1 NPC Project gives the original BG1 NPCs personality. I know that I am going to have to be *very* careful about what I have any of the NPCs say, because I do not want anyone who has both mods installed to blame BG1 NPC if they don't like what their favorite NPCs are saying.

A platform conversion is similar. If I were the author of the mod in question, I would not want someone to look at bugs introduced by the conversion and think I created a buggy mod. If I am unfamiliar with the platform, this would be more likely.

I am not saying this because I believe Ascension64 has created a faulty utility. I have no reason to think it is anything other than a godsend. But I do understand the reason for the concern.

Edit: it seems Ascension64 was posting at the same time, but it appears we are in agreement.

Edited by berelinde, 22 October 2006 - 06:49 PM.

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#15 cmorgan

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 07:46 PM

I appreciate the trickiness here of dealing with author intent and wishes, and I think that I prefer greatly to be involved in a community where a mod author can say "no" and the code gurus and serious modders take them seriously and do not rip them off.

I feel particularly compelled, because the projects I assist on are *all* not my own genesis.

I appreciate Ascension64 *not* releasing a tool which can be used by anyone to convert anything. A dedicated modder can always rebuild a mod from the ground up using the same idea - if they are that dedicated and skilled, then they can take their chances with/have their fights with the original authors.

And I think dedicated modders and community members show respect for eachother's work, and do what good musicians do. When someone else has composed the score, the performers get permission, give source attribution, follow the score and the composer's wishes, and only improvise where the composer has opened the door and invited the performer in. The artistry lies in attempting to interpret the composer's work and injecting the artistry only to the extent that the music demands.

Please note that the conversion of resources is not a full mod conversion, and Ascension64 never said he was controlling anything (or for that matter, rebuilding anything without permission) other than his own work. He is offering services to the larger community, not just BGT. Even after conversion of resources, there will need to be serious tinkering and partial rebuilds on almost any mod.

Edited by cmorgan, 22 October 2006 - 07:54 PM.

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