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Old August 20, 2009, 06:34   #1
Sirridan
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Save File Debugger

Buzzkill's earlier run in with vista murdering his savefile and my subsequent fixing of said file, had me thinking that it may be a good idea to write a utility to take care of this.

In addition, it could be used to look at save files when in development to see what is going on (or to cheat... naughty people) but if someone really wanted to cheat so badly they could, it's not like it's that hard to savescum or learn a little C.

Anyway, I'm going to develop a little program that loads a savefile and displays essentially every bit of info in it, and would allow one to really look into a savefile, fix one, or generate one based off a character dump (and generate character dumps from DEAD characters)

Anyway screenshot posted of very basic UI, and a description of what will be on each tab:

File Info - File info (duh), size, blocks, version, etc
Player Info - Stats, messages, adventure log, race, class, spells known, etc.
Equipment - Gear equipped
Inventory & Home - What items are had at home and in inventory
Monsters - Monster knowledge, uniques alive/dead
Dungeon - Dungeon map, items, monsters, and such
Artifacts - Artifacts known, unknown, lost
Randarts - Same as above but for randarts, and other randarty info.
Item Knowledge - Item flavors and their corresponding items
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Old August 20, 2009, 08:06   #2
Pete Mack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirridan View Post
... I'm going to develop a little program that loads a savefile and displays essentially every bit of info in it, and would allow one to really look into a savefile, fix one
Sounds cool
Quote:
Generate one based off a character dump
Sounds like a mega-cheat--way too tempting for abuse.
Quote:
Generate character dumps from DEAD characters
This used to be a standard feature of Angband, and I often bring it back when I build a new version. I don't understand why it went away in the first place.
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Old August 20, 2009, 08:08   #3
Sirridan
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Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
Sounds like a mega-cheat--way too tempting for abuse.
True... maybe have that but have the character made as wizardmode... If not I just won't implement this, because you're right, way easy to cheat with it.
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Old August 20, 2009, 18:48   #4
Bill Peterson
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If you display equipment worn, carried, and in the home in a way that shows the damage, resists, etc. it will be a great help in selecting what to wear.

Depending on how spoily you want to make it, players could see how many uniques, artifacts they haven't seen.

If you can make it to read old save files you could use it to import characters from earlier games.

All sorts of good things possible with your idea, I'd hate to see you abandon or cripple it just because some might use it to cheat.

BTW, what are you using to develop it?
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Old August 20, 2009, 21:32   #5
Sirridan
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Originally Posted by Bill Peterson View Post
If you display equipment worn, carried, and in the home in a way that shows the damage, resists, etc. it will be a great help in selecting what to wear.

Depending on how spoily you want to make it, players could see how many uniques, artifacts they haven't seen.

If you can make it to read old save files you could use it to import characters from earlier games.

All sorts of good things possible with your idea, I'd hate to see you abandon or cripple it just because some might use it to cheat.

BTW, what are you using to develop it?
I plan to try to enable old savefile porting, full spoilers (but they can be hidden).

Using C# to build it

I'll add an equipment optimizer too once I have the basics done.
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Old August 22, 2009, 10:41   #6
Magnate
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Using C# to build it
Oh dear. That means a dependency on mono at least, coupled with a fairly high chance of it being Windows-only. If you're developing it on Windows, do you have any way to test it on other platforms? I'm happy to test it on Linux (as I suspect are many others) - but I don't know C# so if it doesn't work we're a bit stuck.
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Old August 22, 2009, 17:07   #7
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This seems related to an old idea I had.
Given all the data about the equipment in your house, and a "rating" of importance of all resistances and flag, finding "the best kit to wear" is just a mathematical problem (integer programming), for which specific tools exist (glpk, for example, for a free/libre solver library).
This means that you could hack together an utility that munges your character dump (or your savefile), looks into your house(s), and tells you which is the best equipment to wear.
I once wrote such an utility for Zangband; it worked, and it regularly found a better kit than the one I was wearing (more resistances/flags/AC/bonuses, maybe put together in unexpected ways -- e.g. all the base resists covered from different artifacts like a jigsaw puzzle).
The impact could be limited on Vanilla (where you have a single house, and thus a limited number of stashed items, and fixed artifacts), but definitely more interesting for variants with randarts and multiple houses -- I used to play Z, I don't know about the more "modern" variants.

Would anyone be interested if I rewrote and published such a tool? Or do you think 'it only takes away the fun from the player', since Angband is (also) an inventory-management game?
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Old August 22, 2009, 19:07   #8
Rizwan
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Originally Posted by fph View Post
This seems related to an old idea I had.
Given all the data about the equipment in your house, and a "rating" of importance of all resistances and flag, finding "the best kit to wear" is just a mathematical problem (integer programming), for which specific tools exist (glpk, for example, for a free/libre solver library).
This means that you could hack together an utility that munges your character dump (or your savefile), looks into your house(s), and tells you which is the best equipment to wear.
I once wrote such an utility for Zangband; it worked, and it regularly found a better kit than the one I was wearing (more resistances/flags/AC/bonuses, maybe put together in unexpected ways -- e.g. all the base resists covered from different artifacts like a jigsaw puzzle).
The impact could be limited on Vanilla (where you have a single house, and thus a limited number of stashed items, and fixed artifacts), but definitely more interesting for variants with randarts and multiple houses -- I used to play Z, I don't know about the more "modern" variants.

Would anyone be interested if I rewrote and published such a tool? Or do you think 'it only takes away the fun from the player', since Angband is (also) an inventory-management game?
Please. I think it would be a big help specially for people new to the game and for those times when its three in the morning and you cant decide whether to wear a leather armor or dragon scale mail
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Old August 22, 2009, 19:18   #9
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An equipment optimizer would be great. I've toyed with the idea of writing one, but if you have one that could be resurrected, that's a lot easier. I often play Angband with randarts on, so it's always a challenge to find the right set of equipment.

I'll even offer advice for setting up the integer programming problem, as that's the most interesting part for me. As a first pass you could optimize the number of resists you have, but it seems worthwhile to include some appropriate weighting for the resists and bonuses. For example, it would be more important to cover the base resists than others, or there could be a combination of armor that covers fewer resists total but has better bonuses to your stats and speed..
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Old August 22, 2009, 19:22   #10
Sirridan
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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Oh dear. That means a dependency on mono at least, coupled with a fairly high chance of it being Windows-only. If you're developing it on Windows, do you have any way to test it on other platforms? I'm happy to test it on Linux (as I suspect are many others) - but I don't know C# so if it doesn't work we're a bit stuck.
Meh I'll do it in C and I'll make it text based so one could use it from command line in windows/linux/macosx

Anyway I have a good spot of time today, so I'll have something useable tonight hopefully.
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