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Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 27th '18, 00:04
by The Man
Obviously Aleph One can’t use actual circles, but no one wants to read or type “tetraicosagon” dozens of times in the same thread, so I’m going to simplify things for everyone by not using it.

Anyway, I saw a circle plugin for Weland on Simplici7y, and I’ve tried using it, but it doesn’t seem to function with Weland versions 1.4.3 or 1.4.4. So I’m doing things the hard way right now: I’m using custom grids to lay out the vertices of my circles four points at a time. But this is a pain in the arse. So I’d like to know what methods people have use to construct regular polygons when the need arises.

I suppose one possibility is simply to find an old version of Weland that still supports the circle plugin. And to be honest, that is a somewhat tempting option. Would there be any reason that using an earlier version of Weland (1.4.1, I think it was) to construct geometry, then going back to the latest version to work on everything else could introduce glitches into maps?

The second possibility I can think of is to generate the circles in Chisel, which would probably work fine until I inevitably pass the 1,024 polygon limit (I imagine that if I use more than one circle in my maps I’m going to pass that limit pretty quickly). Passing maps in and out of SheepShaver would probably quickly get tedious, though, and I’m led to understand that the Weland circle plugin was more of a WYSIWYG thing rather than having to run all the mathematics (that I no longer understand that well) manually.

The last possibility is to keep doing what I’m doing, I suppose.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

(A tetraicosagon is a twenty-four-sided polygon. It would probably be truer to Marathon’s spirit to use a multiple of seven, but I’m going with twenty-four for at least three reasons: first, the grids divide cleanly into multiples of 15°, making it easier to construct points; secondly, it’s still a multiple of three, which is almost as good as a multiple of seven; thirdly, because Marathon has a limit of eight sides per polygon, I can fill the central portion of each circle with exactly four polygons, not wasting any sides. I’d rather use as few polygons as necessary, since Marathon also doesn’t support concave polygons, meaning that polygons on the exteriors of these circles will start to add up fast.)

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 27th '18, 00:17
by Wrkncacnter
The source code for the circlee plugin is only available in a Pfhorums post, and may not be the latest version, I don't know. If I were you, I'd look into compiling it from that and see what you end up with.

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 27th '18, 03:40
by The Man
I have had very little luck getting plugins to compile using OS X. It says it isn’t able to locate Weland.exe, which, as far as I understand it, it shouldn’t - isn’t it supposed to be It’s possible I’m just looking at the wrong guide, though. I also haven’t tried compiling this specific plugin - it didn’t help that I hadn’t located the source code.

Thanks for the link to the source code, at any rate, plus any other help you can provide.

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 27th '18, 18:20
by treellama
I've drawn countless circles, before Weland and before custom grids. Draw the four grid radii, turn off the grid, hold alt to constrain length, draw the rest of the radii, as many as you want, connect them, delete the center point. (Forge has a non-zero chance of crashing at this point, but Weland should be fine)

If you really need an external tool, maybe you're doing it wrong? Have you watched the Forge tutorials?

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 27th '18, 19:27
by The Man
Well, the problem using that method is that it’s difficult to ensure that you’re getting the exact angle you want, though it’s possible there’s a trick in the Forge tutorial to ensure it that I’ve forgotten about. (I know you can get 0°, 45°, 90°, etc. by holding down shift, too, but that’s not enough). It’s not difficult to use custom grids; it’s just time-consuming, and using a tool to automate the process would definitely speed things up.

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 27th '18, 20:00
by treellama
When I used Forge, if I needed an angle smaller than 45 degrees I would just visually bisect a 45 degree slice. No need to be exact, which might be what's slowing you down.

In Weland it constrains down to 22.5 already, but if that's not enough (that's a 16 sided circle!) it will also display the angle in the status bar as you draw.

I've never used the custom grid--that was a contribution from another developer.

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 27th '18, 20:38
by Pfhorrest
I always used to just use some method of counting rise and run for line segments to draw the "circles". Like (and I don't remember exactly the pattern I'd use, but for example off the top of my head) four(-eighths of a WU) over and one up, three over and one up, two over and one up, two over and two up, one over and two up, one over and three up, one over and four up, four straight up, four up and one back the other way, etc...

It didn't turn out perfect regular polygons, but it seemed to make close-enough-to-circular rooms for my needs.

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 27th '18, 20:59
by The Man
TL: The angle info at the bottom helps a lot, but it’s infuriating trying to get exactly 30° or 60°angles (or 120° or 150° or whatever). “Close enough” is probably fine for Pfhor ships, but I’m making Jjaro levels right now, and they’d use exact angles (at least the way I’m writing them). I think I’ll probably be fine using the custom grid function for now. It also makes it a lot easier to get the exact length I want - I can ensure the circle sides are 8 WU or whatever I want if I use some weird fractional value as the radius.

I’ll allow that sixteen-sided polygons are pretty good, but I’ve already locked myself into tetraicosagonal geometry for the two Jjaro levels I’ve begun constructing, and it’d be inconsistent to start using different values now.

Thanks anyway. If I can get the circle plug-in to compile, that’ll be nice, but I can probably just manage using the custom grid function. It wasn’t actually that time-consuming to construct the geometry for “Sow Some Lonesome Corner” even with all the lines I had to bisect. I doubt I’ll use such complicated geometry for most of the other circular bits I make.

Pfhorrest: I was wondering how those Eternal curves were made. I think I’ll use those for any future Pfhor ships I make, and that’ll probably help when I work on “Unlucky Pfhor Some” later tonight or whenever.

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 27th '18, 22:41
by Pfhorrest
I just experimented a little and found that these patterns give very good approximations to quadrants of circles at various sizes (number pairs are run, rise in 1/8WU):

1WU circle: (1,0), (2,1), (1,2), (0,1)

2WU circle: (1,0), (3,1), (3,3), (1,3), (0,1)

3WU circle: (2,0), (5,2), (3,3), (2,5), (0,2)

4WU circle: (2,0), (4,1), (2,1), (4,3), (3,4), (1,2), (1,4), (0,2)

Took a few mins in Illustrator to identify those, sure you could run off a bunch more, or there's probably some automatic way of generating best-fit-to-circle series' of line segments that snap to a 1/8 grid.

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 28th '18, 14:09
by treellama
The Man wrote:“Close enough” is probably fine for Pfhor ships, but I’m making Jjaro levels right now, and they’d use exact angles (at least the way I’m writing them).
Go check how exact Aye Mak Sicur is :)

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 28th '18, 15:54
by The Man
Fair point, but at the same time, a station orbiting Lh’owon that two of them construct is a completely different thing from their home planet, at least to my mind.

Anyway, those circle grids Pfhorrest pointed out will at least be helpful for the Eternal levels I’ll be working on.

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 31st '18, 10:58
by Dugit
I used a bowl held against my computer screen

Re: Circles and Marathon

Posted: Aug 31st '18, 21:19
by screamingfool
i haven't mapped since weland was an option but i'd developed a really nice streamline process to go from hand drafting to line layout for my more complex designs. Chisel had a plugin that would take a line drawing and spit out points, so after spending some time determining what was a good scale to input at it was a breeze. Starting with an inked drawing (which made it easy to incorporate circles with a compass - especially concentric and staircases) scan and in photoshop or similar blast the brightness and contrast, adjust to the appropriate scale if needed, then run it through the plugin. This worked really well when i wanted to transpose areas on different grid lines and not bust ass achieving the effect (i.e. main structure square to grid and secondary structures at 20 degree intervals) simply draw it out and cut/rotate/paste by hand before scanning or digitally. Main drawback is the process is best suited to designs that are complete at the outset because plotting in additions isn't impossible but diffcult to align with existing geometry..
hopefully that was intelligible and useful xo