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The Tileset Cannibal

The Tileset Cannibal is a utility I wrote in make the ripping and assembling of tilesets for Runesword easier.

Download | Notes | Diary
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Download .exe here

You can download the self-extracting file by clicking on the link above. It will extract the setup files for the Cannibal itself. Run that setup.exe program to install the Tileset Cannibal. Click here if you prefer a traditional (you-extract-it) .zip file. The most currently released version is 0.2.1.

Notes

The tileset cannibal comes with a readme file that can be accessed from the text file itself (readme.txt) or from within the program by using the Help/Notes menu option. The program allows you to browse your hard drive(s) and will list Runesword-sized bitmaps that could be used as a tileset or as an individual tile. Runesword tiles are 256-color, 96x72 pixel bitmaps. Be warned: The Cannibal is a work-in-progress and is in an "alpha" release. It has minimal error-handling and there is much functionality to be added (as time permits).

Now for the technical stuff...

When you assemble and save a tileset, the Cannibal keeps each individual tile separate until you give it a filename. At that point, it creates one large bitmap and writes the tile to it one pixel at a time. That's why it may seem to take forever to save. It is actually comparing the color palette entry for each pixel and finding its closest match in the tileset bitmap's 256-color palette. This is where some unexpected results may occur. The tileset's color palette is set by the first tile added. This tile also determines what will be used as the "transparent" background. When you add a tile to the tileset the background color is dealt with as needed. All of the other colors you see in the tile may not neccessarily be present in the tileset's palette. Hence, the program looks for the closest match at assembly time.

Your feedback will be of great help in determining what will be fixed or added in future versions of the Cannibal. Please feel free to leave a message on the Runesword Message Board (put Tileset Cannibal in the tile so it's easier for me to find) or email me at heeznow@msn.com. If you are reporting a bug in the program , please include a short list of your machine's specs (there's a System Info link on the Help/About screen for your convenience),a detailed list of the steps you took and the expected/unexpected results. That will help me narrow down the problem. Thanks.

Oh, and did you find the easter egg?

 

Diary of a madman :

7/10/01 - I've implimented the color quantization algorithm and it hasn't produced the added effect I'd hoped for. Rather than telling everyone to upgrade to a new version that isn't all that much better, I'd suggest just being careful to use tiles with similar color palettes. There may be more in the future, but for now I'm going to focus on other RS goodies.

4/25/01 - Well, I just can't stay away from the Cannibal. I took a break to search for my next contract and work on the Temple of Dagon, but programming fever has taken me again. I've just begun the long anticipated upgrade to fix the color palette resulotion issue. As of v0.2.1 the Cannibal uses the color palette from the first tile added. That made for a quick fix on my part during the deisgn process, but it can lead to some funky colors showing up in your completed tileset. The new version will instead allow you to read in 8 or 24-bit tile, store them as 24-bit DIB structures and then use the Octree color quantization method to reduce the final tileset down to the 256 mathematically optimal colors. The other big deal I'd like to get to is the ability to read in and edit an existing tileset. This was one of my original design specs, but was cut due to time constraints. In theory, at least, it shouldn't be that difficult an addition. Email me if you have any other features you'd like to see.
     PS: Thanks to VampiricDread for being a big supporter on the message board. It's nice to know someone else out there like the Cannibal.

3/26/01 - I've posted v.0.2.1 which sports the new interface and such. Unfortunately, the color issue will have to remain on hold for the short-term as I tranistion between contracts. When I have the time to devote to this project that it deserves I'll fix the color quantization and maybe throw in a couple new features I've thought of.

3/16/01 - It's been a while since I last publically updated the Cannibal files. I just want everyone to know that I am still hard at work on it. Currently, the new version has a GREATLY improved user interface. I'm also working on the color reduction issue, which is what's taking so long. After researching several fixes, I've decided that the best algorithm to use is the "octree color quantization" method. The only problem is integrating the code I found for that with the Cannibal's handling of the tileset image. I may roll-back to just the UI update and re-release just to give people a better package to work with while I deal with this lengthy fix... Stay tuned.


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