Legs, a lot of the information on here is outdated. Here are some things that I think you should fix so perhaps new people won't be so confused.
Aleph One never needed these file typers anyway. This might perpetuate the myth that there are differences between Infinity and "Aleph One" files, which is not true, and which has started several pointless threads. In addition, the link is to the old Fileball. I say you take this Q+A out completely or you modify it:
Q: Are Marathon 1, 2, or Infinity data files readable by Aleph One?
A: Marathon 1 files are an older, incompatible format. Marathon 2 and Infinity files are exactly the same and are the files Aleph One can read. That is to say, M2 And Minf files are Aleph One's native format.
A list of utilities and useful sources of information for those utilities would be better.
Q: What tools can I use to edit maps, shapes, sounds, and other data files? And how can I put them together into a scenario or TC?
A: Marathon's editors were originally only made for legacy versions of Mac OS, so this can be a tricky question sometimes. Recently, programmers have made progress on cross-platform tools. Here is a list of what you might be looking for, organized roughly by data file type:
- Maps: The most commonly-needed tool and also the hardest to find outside of Mac OS 9. Regardless of which editor you choose, the Forge Manual, on page 22 of the Infinity Manual (click to download the PDF), will introduce you to necessary concepts. A kind Youtube user has uploaded the original tutorial videos, which you should also watch even if you aren't using Forge.
- Forge is the official map editor and is therefore the standard by which all others are judged. Its most popular and difficult-to-implement feature is "visual mode," a 3D view of the level that allows the user to apply textures interactively. Forge only runs on discontinued versions of Mac OS, which wasn't a large problem until Apple switched from PowerPC processors to Intel. If you don't have a Mac capable of running OS 7, 8, or 9, and you have no other choice, check out the "Emulation" section below.
- Obed is a level editor for Windows 95 and higher. Because the only official Bungie release of Marathon for Windows was Marathon 2, Obed was designed to support only this version of the game. This means it does not "understand" several things, including using textures from the Jjaro texture set (introduced in Infinity) and placing Infinity-only items such as the SMG, its ammunition, and VacBobs. Because of this, because you must register to save level names, and because it lacks Forge's visual mode, many people dislike Obed; however, it is overall a very stable editor with a few unique features. Its shortcomings can be overcome in a number of ways. First, you can use Visual Mode.lua to texture the level with whatever textures you like (see below), including using the Jjaro set. Second, you can use a utility like JUICE to swap all of some item type for SMGs/SMG ammo/VacBobs/etc. (see the JUICE section below). Finally, you can also use JUICE to rename completed levels from "Please Register" to whatever you want. Also consider spending the measly $10 to register. In any case, WastdJamacan has uploaded tutorials to help you use Obed. See the wiki page and Youtube videos created by WastdJamacan.
- Weland is not yet complete, but is already a very promising editor created by the primary developer of Aleph One. There aren't many things I can say about it yet, but review the thread to get an idea of what to expect. Until then, we recommend using Forge or Obed for your mapping needs.
- JUICE was meant only to be a stopgap measure until real editors might come into existence. It is not a full editor; it can't add or remove polygons, lines, points, and so on. However, it has a number of uses. It can replace all objects of one type and subtype (various items, sounds, monsters, players, goals) with objects of another subtype; it can do the same for textures; it can embed a shape patch into a level; it can change a level's name (both in the level select dialog and on the overhead map; these can be different). There are other uses, but they are of an even more niche nature. It was written in Java so it could run on multiple platforms. It is a tool worth downloading, but don't expect much from it.
- Visual Mode.lua, or VML, is a Lua script designed to be run in Aleph One. Its sole purpose it to emulate, to the best of its ability, Forge's visual mode, with a number of advantages. It use textures from any texture set, it will render replacement textures as you apply them, and it ignores Forge's limitations: there are no problems with viewing distances or high numbers of transparent lines. Since its release, VML has become widely used even by people who have access to Forge and its visual mode, and is notably endorsed by such personalities as RyokoTK.
- Shapes: Most graphics in the game come from the Shapes file. This includes monsters, weapons in hand, textures, and items. Although there are actually fewer editors for Shapes files, there is already one in existence for cross-platform use, and it is quite stable. Both editors listed here can be understood with a glimpse at the Anvil section of the Marathon Infinity manual (see the Map section above), starting on page 58.
- Anvil, like Forge, is a tool made by Bungie. Also like Forge, it is only available for older versions of Mac OS. See the Emulation section if you absolutely must run Anvil.
- Shapefusion began several years ago, halted development, and recently assumed its current state. It is almost exactly like Anvil, except it exports and imports Windows BMP (bitmap) files instead of the PICT format used by Anvil. This means, of course, that you can use just about any image editor to modify sprites, as long as it exports to BMP.
- Sounds: Sound editors are even harder to come by than Map editors, but few people seem to mind. If you have to modify sounds, consider the following options:
- Anvil (see the Shapes section) also works with Sounds files. Along with the more advanced Wail, it runs exclusively on OS 9 and below. Unfortunately, these are the only complete sound editors in existence, so for heavy scenario or total conversion stuff, you still need to emulate older Mac OS to get this part done. A brave soul might tinker enough with the Wail source code to set us free from Mac OS...
- Shapefusion has very rudimentary sound support. Very rudimentary. However, as development continues on this editor, you might be able to use it the same as you would use Anvil.
- Sound MML is an acceptable substitute for editing the Sounds file itself. Using MML, you can replace any sound in the Sounds file with an external sound in WAV format. This is actually a very good option if you plan on replacing only a few sounds. As long as the end-user has an existing Sounds file, you can supplement that file with external replacements.
- Images: the Images file has far fewer Images than you'd expect, mainly the splash screen, main menu, and credits screens. As such, total conversion creators are usually the only people who worry about Images.
- ResEdit, the legendary resource fork editor, comes in handy: Images files are in fact just resource forks loaded with pictures. Of course, only Mac OS can really understand resource forks, and so ResEdit and similar tools are limited to that platform.
- Atque not only merges map files (see below in the Scenarios/TCs section), but it also allows you to split and re-combine Images files. There are versions of Atque for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.
- Music: This is the music that plays at the game's main menu. The M2 and Infinity Music file was actually just an AIFF file. Nowadays, Aleph One allows you to use WAV and MP3 files instead. If you leave the extension on, make sure you edit the stringset MML accordingly.
- Physics: Anvil also handles physics editing. PhysicsEditorOne is the closest thing other platforms have to a complete editor, but it is rumored to be very glitchy.
- Scenarios/TCs: This section exists because there are a few concepts shared between all these file types, culminating in the idea of a "Scenario" or a "Total Conversion." Ideas such as merging your levels into on Map file should be familiar. You can use Atque to modify the extra Map stuff (terminal pictures, embedded MML and Lua, and so on. The original Marathon 1, 2, and Infinity applications also had a number of settings that could only be changed by modifying their resource forks. Things like fader colors, the amount of damage done by certain liquids, and the text that appears in menus, are now accessible via MML. There are numerous useful subsets of MML that most modernized scenarios or TCs have changed; you can get an idea by looking at the MML included with them. Even if you don't plan on doing such extensive editing, consider including Scenario MML so people playing incompatible scenarios (usually due to Shapes or non-embedded MML) can't join yours for online play.
- Emulation: If you really really need to run one of the programs listed above as legacy Mac OS-only, then you can set up an emulator like Basilisk (emulates 68k Macs) or Sheepshaver (Emulates PPC Macs; now the preferred emulator). There are countless threads here on Pfhorums that cover this topic, but you should start at this convenient off-site link.
Q: What ports do I need to forward to host or play online in AlephOne?
A: Port 4226 using TCP/UDP. Check here for more information: http://www.users.on.net/~mark/A1QuickStart...html#networking
Q: How do I open ports in my firewall?
A: Check your firewalls documentation files or look through the options until you find it.
I'd say to replace these instructions with the ones available from PortForward
. Remind them that port 15367 is no longer needed, in spite of the instructions on that site. PortForward also covers the second question.
Please update these links. Fileball is no longer dead, and Simplici7y's files no longer need to be accessed from that stupid IP address.http://lhowon.org/
has most of these scenarios updated to have the right MML. Rubicon and TGI can stay the same.
The huge section I wrote above takes care of this.
Q: How do i get doors to work in Pfhorge?
I honestly don't think we should mention Pfhorge any more. It has caused more problems than I thought possible.
I think these changes will benefit both new and experienced users.