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DSH Spotlight: Dungeon Siege Studio




What is Dungeon Siege Studio? Well according to the lead programmer of the utility Bsimer, "Dungeon Siege Studio (DSS) is an integrated development environment (IDE) for writing mods for Gas Powered Games' hit title, Dungeon Siege. The program lets you create, manage, and edit Skrit, Gas and other project files."

DSS will be an awesome tool for Dungeon Siege skrit shovelers and fuelers alike, as well as for map designers. The scripting environment will allow the scripter to jump straight to declarations and functions, and will allow the mapper to "smartpaint" nodes onto the screen quickly and easily. The first release of DSS will be strictly for the scripter and will feature advanced scripting pads. A breakdown of the first release is as follows:

Easily managable toolbars for the multitude of documents that are usually open while scripting.

Integrated TANK file compiler automatically compiles your scripts for testing as opposed to doing it manually.

File, component, and skrit explorer which allowes the user to easily navigate throught the many files in DS.

Syntax Highlighted skrit and gas parsing allows the user to easily differenciate between declarations and functions and easily navigate through some of the large files in Dungeon Siege.

DSS will also include the DS Color Picker! This super slick editor allows you to easily choose colors in a variety of methods and gives you the color in DS format! Dungeon Siege Studio will also include tips from some of the best in the community! Check out the creative process at Game-Editing.net forums

1.Will Dungeon Siege Studio be able to perform every operation that the Siege Editor can, or is DSS designed to be a supplement to the Siege editor?

At first, no. I build things in small, incremental releases (iterations) so first release (with the map editor portion) will be pretty basic. Simple node painting. Enough to build a map using any of the nodes, but nothing complicated or fancy like quests or conversations. Later, as things progress, we'll keep adding new features so iteration 10 might have a new quest editor, iteration 14 might have a party conversation editor, etc. It's meant as a replacement to Siege Editor in the long run.

2.In the future do you see other programmers maybe designing plugins for the editor, and it possibly being a community designed tool, like the demoworld?

Absolutely. The system is being designed from a plug-in perspective and I'm building (and using) an API that programmers will be able to tap into. So rather than them having to say construct a spell potion themselves, there might be an API that does it for them and they can just expand on it. The plug-in system and API should be available with an early release (maybe not the first).

3.We know there will be daily tips that come with the editor, but will the editor also come with tutorials, if so will the tutorials be filled basic general information or will they be specifically aimed at DSS and its special functions?

A little of both. The tutorials will be geared to using DSS and it's various parts, but also include some generic information however this will be downplayed somewhat as there are excellent tutorials available from Siege U so that would be the source I'd point people to first.

4.What other features will the OpenGL map editor include besides easy node painting?

The editor is a mixture of approaches. Obviously it's based on Dungeon Sieges node system, but other than that, that's about where the similarities to Siege Editor end. Nodes will know how to snap to each other, a ghosted preview of the node before you place it will show up (and allow you to re-orient it visually). Node sets will allow you to drop in a complete cave system (or whatever). No more hunting for complimentary nodes. Essentially an easier to use map editor that will hopefully be successful.

5.Will DSS be open source?

At this point that isn't certain. I'm a strong advocate of open source projects and participate in several of them online however we haven't decided what were going to do with DSS just yet.

6.When SiegeMax is released will you attempt to code import/exporters into Dungeon Siege Studio?

There might be an addon or two that might provide this, but SiegeMax is really the tool to use for that functionality as it would probably be more accurate and complete than what we could do.

7.Is there any thing else about the editor you would like to make public?

Let's see, there's the add-on capabilities we talked about (via plug-ins). There will be several "built-in" utilities that will be serviced through plug-ins, like the recent color picker, our Siege Viewing utilities, etc. Hooks to a user configurable tool menu so you can launch Siege Editor or the game from inside DSS. Integrated tank compiling/decompiling. Smart gas file parsing. Templates, templates, templates so creating new objects is a breeze. Code snippet library so you can keep all your favorite routines handy. Internet updates through the program. Syntax highlighted and smart Skrit parser. Customizable to the nth degree.

Did I miss anything? Probably. In short, the ultimate developers toolkit for making mods for the game. How's that?

Thank you to Bsimer for taking the time to answer our questions about Dungeon Siege Studio.

--Dire_Wolf--

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