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a [Marathon] map making tool


Merge 1.1

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December 1, 1999


Merge is an effect for use with Chisel 2.0 or later that can merge any two Marathon 2 or Infinity maps. Possibly the most useful thing since sliced bread, you can now work on elements of your maps in isolation as well as reproduce standard elements over and over again.

A few words on using Merge

Due to the way that Chisel operates, the order in which you specify everything for Merge is not ideal. The map you select when Chisel starts up is the one everything will be added to - the destination map - it therefore determines which texture set is used and a few other master parameters. You then select a few options and plug in the transform that you wish to apply to the incoming map data (see below for a run down on all this). Press Apply and a file selection dialog will appear - now select the map that you wish to add - the source map. I'd dearly like you to be able to select the map and then choose the transform etc as I could make it a bit more intelligent about transforms that go outside Marathon's world space, but that is for version 2.0 to implement.

Hints for using Merge

You can now build your maps out of seperate, reusable elements - no more slavish copying of design details from one doorway to another, no more trying to remember how all the different platforms in a multistop lift work... just merge the one you made earlier.

Make life easier - make the element:

  1. in the texture set of its destination. Whilst Merge will swap texture sets, it is impossible to do a wonderful job.
  2. near to Forge's origin. This will help you position the element precisely on you destination map.
  3. using the standard 0-20 lights except for those necessary to the mechanism. This will ensure that your lighting is copied over faithfully without bloating the destination map with loads of lights.

Steal things: delete everything that you don't want and then merge it with your map. Get permission and credit the original author or I will personally come round and remonstrate on their behalf. I know who you are.

Make 5D space a doddle: need an exact copy of something on top of itself? Simple, just merge a map with itself using the default transform. Now try editing it in Forge :)

Note that Merge can only place the contents of a map into another map - it can't connect the polygons of these two maps together, so leave room for connecting elements to link each piece.

Official Disclaimer

Be careful of maps which originated in Pfhorte. Don't get me wrong - I love Pfhorte - but some of the maps it generates contain all sorts of junk in non-vital fields. Whilst the original won't crash Forge, or Marathon, the Merged version has all sorts of problems. I am seriously thinking about making an app that clears all the run-time only fields to sensible values to stop this.

Version History

Merge 1.1
Fixes a bug that caused mirrored polygons (produced with the X or Y scale (but not both) is negative). Each line in a map has a reference to 0,1 or 2 polygons that are attached to it - Merge 1.0.2 wasn't setting these correctly.
Fixes a bug that could trash platforms marked as 'Autocalc Min Height' and/or 'Autocalc Max Height'. Basically Forge uses a height of -1 to indicate that these options are set. Merge 1.1 leaves any platform heights of -1 alone.
Alters error reporting so that merges that mean a part of the map is move outside of Marathon's world boundaries only report this once (not once per out-of-bounds transform). Apologies to Jason Harper who had to press OK several hundred times.

Merge 1.0.2
Fixed small bug that junked sounds that are controlled by a light.

Merge 1.0.1
Previous statement was a bit premature. Fixed silly bugs that destroyed some transparent textures. Extended Wll resource to 64 textures so that Merge will work with the larger texture sets used by Trojan Infinity (and Tempus Irae). Using a resource like this is not terribly satisfactory as you now need a new version of the effect for every new shapes file.

Merge 1.0
First version not to crash all the time :).

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