|Useful Tools and Utilities For Editing Marathon|
Forge/Anvil Updates (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Note that there are various updaters kicking around for both Forge and Anvil. Suffice it to say that you shouldn't use any version earlier than v1.0.2, and that the various updates not only fix some bugs but tend to introduce others in their place. Use whichever version you feel most comfortable with and which gives you least problems. And always keep plenty backups, just in case.:)
Anvil 1.0.3 Backdater (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Backdate your copy of Anvil v1.0.3 to v1.0.3b4 (I think) - the last version that doesn't suffer the Shapes Editor numbers bug (where all integer values suddenly turn into stuff like 14.9998). Useful if your editors came from the Trilogy CD. Anvil v1.0.3b4 also allow you to set length of CLUTs and add extra ones (something v1.0.2 doesn't). v1.0.3 is said to be least buggy version for Physics and Sound editing, however.
[BTW, Forge v1.0.3 & v1.0.4 suffer from the same kind of bug in the Heights palette, though it only affects 68K users. Anyone affected should try and lay hands on Forge v1.0.2 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Hex 1.0.4 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Invaluable for creating and editing terminal scripts. Full manual included (even if writing terms by hand you should get Hex for this alone). A must-have for all solo map authors.
Fux 1.02 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Bo Lindbergh's incredibly cool app for altering many of the preset values in the Marathon 2/Marathon Infinity app (eg. media/ platform/ control panel behavior, internal PM, automap/infravision colors, etc.). Not for the faint of heart, and you'll almost certainly want to use in conjunction with ResCompare (to create distributable patches for the Marathon Infinity app [since you can't distribute app itself!]). Well worth getting if you're doing advanced customizations of Marathon 2/Marathon Infinity though.
Marathon Map Splitter 1.0.7 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Invaluable for unmerging merged maps.
Physics Converter 1.0 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Does what it says on the box... if you use Marathon Map Splitter, get this too.
Web Page (Mike Trinder's Chisel page)
Extremely useful tool that fills a number of the gaps left in Forge's feature set. The bundled effects aren't perfect, however, so you should really try to hunt down Mike Trinder's additional/replacement effects: Better Cleanup, Better Move and Merge are the most useful of these (the first two replace the original Chisel effects; the third allows you to add the contents of one map to another, a bit like Copy and Paste in Pfhorte [for those who remember;].)
1-10 Twiddler 1.0.1 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
An application by Loren Petrich that addresses a problem Anvil has dealing with One-Animated and One-Not-Animated shapes sequences. Use 1-10 Twiddler to view and edit the View settings for sequences. Note: Twiddler acts directly on your Shapes file, so changes are applied as you make them (it's not like Anvil and other applications where changes are only applied to the file when you save.)
And there's more....
The following tools are all created by Charles Lechasseur. Charles has moved his website, if you were looking for him here: http://www3.sympatico.ca/danov/marathon/, then you will be happy to know his Marathon site has moved intact to here: http://pages.infinit.net/danov/marathon/ The best place to get his utilities is from his website as if they are updated, you will be guaranteed of finding the latest version there. The Battle Cat's Litterbox hosts them all here and on the Infinity Utilities page. There are several good and unusual tools worth getting there, but these several here are probably the most useful for anyone doing Shape/Sound work. If you have any questions for Charles, you can reach him at this address.
Shapes Juggler 1.3 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Invaluable for making Shapes patches for distribution. (Don't recommend using Anvil's own shapes patch creator as it stinks.)
Sound Editor 1.0b6 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
A more flexible Sounds editor than Anvil, though I have heard comments that it's not so good at handling 16-bit patching. It is the only way to delete sounds, however, and also the best way to create standalone patches. (Again, Anvil can make patches, but they tend to be unpopular.) Note that you should not try to edit a Sounds file with Anvil once it has been modified with SE - in some cases Anvil will corrupt your modified Sounds file on saving.
Wail 2.5b1 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
The successor to Charles' Sound Editor. Wail can handle files of any length, it's nicely laid out, flexible, and easy to use. OK, so you're editing fancy stuff, like big sound files? Or maybe you want some extra editing capabilities, like creating classes or entire sound files? Or maybe you'd like to be able to remap 8-bit sounds in the 16-bit slots like Marathon does? If you answered yes to any of those questions, Wail is for you.
Wail is the future. It is the evolution of the Sound Editor and is designed to be more powerful and more intuitive. Not convinced? Check it out and see for yourself.
CLUT Modifier 1.2.3 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Allows export and re-import of Shapes file CLUTs so you can edit them directly in ResEdit. (ie. Copy and Paste of single colors, entire ramps or whole CLUTs... Whoo-Hoo!<g>) This latest version retains 'glowing colors' information. Note, however, that if you shorten the length of a CLUT whilst in ResEdit and then re-import, the modified collection will be corrupt (solution: don't shorten CLUTs until the next version appears). Some folk prefer this to Anvil's own CLUT editing system, some don't.
Custom Set Remover 1.0.1 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
In Charles' own words, "a quick hack, but can be useful: it can wipe the Custom parts of any shapes collection. its use should be obvious."
ResEdit 2.1.3 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Apple's own Resource fork editor. (You can probably work out where to find it easily enough.;) Invaluable for modifying such things as: weapons names, HUD/main controls screen layout, HUD colors.
ResCompare 2.6 (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
You should get this for creating distributable patches if you've modified the main app/images file at all. Available from good Mac ftp sites (and, with any luck, the HA somewhere). Surprisingly easy to use one you have the hang of it; just remember to test patches before you distribute them.
SoundApp (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
Norman Franke's excellent freeware sound utility, great for tweeking Marathon sounds. SoundApp can play or convert files dropped onto it in a variety of formats. It requires at least System 7.0, Apple's Sound Manager 3.1 or greater, the Drag Manager (aka Macintosh Drag and Drop, part of System 7.5) and at least a Macintosh with a 68020 or a Power Macintosh. QuickTime 2.0 or greater is required to manipulate QuickTime movies. Very stable, small memory footprint and it plays MP3s!
GraphicConverter by Thorsten Lemke is the classic, all time best, shareware graphics program out there. Well worth registering. Very handy for various Marathon chores such as converting to 16 bit graphics. Banding is handled (and avoided) pretty well in this program. Most Photoshop filter plugins are supported.
Anvil MasterClass (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
A list of bugs, work arounds, tips and other advice for using Anvil's Shape Editor. Invaluable if you do any shape editing.
forge.and.anvil.tools.posts (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
A large compilation of posts from the a.g.m [alt.games.marathon] newsgroup. I suspect there's some great info in here, however there are two drawbacks: 1. the posts aren't edited, so you have to wade through a lot of them (including all the incorrect or misinformed ones), and 2. they've been compiled into ClarisWorks format - great if you've got ClarisWorks, almost completely useless if you haven't. Perhaps worth checking out if you're feeling sufficiently brave however...? [Edit - I've re-linked to another file with the same information that has been converted into text files so that anyone can easily read them - tBC]
Marathon Texture Tutorial
Good advice from JHT for budding texture artists. (Current whereabouts uncertain, unfortunately...)
Randy Reddig's Texture Notes (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
More good advice from Randy Reddig (Marathon Infinity textures) for making good quality textures.
[Note also that a package called 'TexRay Workbench 1.0' (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox) is available explaining how to create textures using Bryce2. No idea how useful it might be though]
Marathon Art Guide (courtesy of the Battle Cat's Litterbox)
I wrote it<screams_of_horror>, and back in the days of Marathon 1 editing But if you're using Photoshop to create new sprites then it might be worth trawling (and it is a trawl:p) through for the odd useful tip. Tips on making up your own custom Photoshop color tables for indexing graphics is probably the most useful bit (it's a personal technique, but I find it faster and easier than exporting [flawed] Photoshop CLUT files from Anvil which generally lead to problems when reimporting).