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 Post subject: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:42 am 
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Hi everyone,

Does anyone know if it is possible to edit the fpRAM files created by FP with an external application ?

I am thinking about an application that would allow the player to configure a table in a similar way as the F6-key window in Visual Pinball. That application would then write the new parameters to the fpRAM file using the 16 special numeric or text registers as needed (nvRxx and nvSxx registers). Those parameters could then be used by the FP script to adjust the table rules accordingly. Something like that amazing configurator in Xenon, but external to FP.

This tool should be expandable, so you can add more tables later by dropping its configuration file in a folder or something (XML maybe?).

Would that be possible or I'm just tripping ? :D


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 Post subject: Re: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:16 pm 
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Location: orion-cygnus arm, local solar system, earth, europe, germany, ..., here
tio_italo wrote:
Hi everyone,

Does anyone know if it is possible to edit the fpRAM files created by FP with an external application ?

I am thinking about an application that would allow the player to configure a table in a similar way as the F6-key window in Visual Pinball. That application would then write the new parameters to the fpRAM file using the 16 special numeric or text registers as needed (nvRxx and nvSxx registers). Those parameters could then be used by the FP script to adjust the table rules accordingly. Something like that amazing configurator in Xenon, but external to FP.

This tool should be expandable, so you can add more tables later by dropping its configuration file in a folder or something (XML maybe?).

Would that be possible or I'm just tripping ? :D


see attached an application ("StucturedStorageExplorer.exe"), with that you can watch the RAW data of a Future Pinball file (*.fpt *.fpl *.fpm *.fpRAM).
you also can change values - but be warned, all the data you will see are RAW byte data. changing data of *.fpt files, will result in a corrupt table, because the MAC/HASH/CHECKsum will not be correct after apply changes.

for the details of the fpRAM data structure, please refer the text file ("__fpRam structure__.txt") that is included to the zip file. it shows all data chunks, that are stored in the fpRAM.

PS.: you need Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 or higher installed, to be able to run that application.


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Last edited by beta-tester on Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:23 pm 
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here a screen shot
Attachment:
Capture.PNG
generally, you can change fpRAM files, but this application has no comfort... the only thing, what the application is doing for you, is to handle the [MS CFB] storage IO, where the FuturPinball data is embedded to - and give you the chance to edit raw data.


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 Post subject: Re: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:33 pm
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Location: Brazil
Thank you very much!

I will have a look, not sure I will be able to develop the application cause I would have to learn .Net Framework first, but I am in no hurry anyway. =)

Alex, do you think it is possible to create some kind of "form designer" that would then save the resulting window as a XML file, or something similar ?

My idea is to save the form fields contents to the 16 numeric (nvR01-R16) or string registers (nvS01-16) in the fpRAM file.


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 Post subject: Re: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:52 pm 
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tio_italo wrote:
Thank you very much!

I will have a look, not sure I will be able to develop the application cause I would have to learn .Net Framework first, but I am in no hurry anyway. =)

Alex, do you think it is possible to create some kind of "form designer" that would then save the resulting window as a XML file, or something similar ?

My idea is to save the form fields contents to the 16 numeric (nvR01-R16) or string registers (nvS01-16) in the fpRAM file.


i am not sure, what you mean, but you also can use my more hand "FuturePinballSdk.dll" and the test application i wrote (fpRam Editor)... i think that shows you the possibility.
but be warned, that "FuturePinballSdk.dll" is currently an early pre-alpha veraion - i only fully implemented the FpRam support - more or less.

you can New->NvRam / Open (*.fpRAM and *.xml) / SaveAs (*.fpRAM and *.xml)


Last edited by beta-tester on Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:54 pm 
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... and here the screenshot:
Attachment:
fpRAM Editor.PNG


IMPORTANT: i forgot to tell, that there is NO range check mechanism implemented yet.
please read the help text of the properties, to see, how long strings can/have to be or what values are allowed.


But i made some tests and the good thing is, FuturePinball is good enough to handle wrong or too long values and still run stable as usual.

the help text you can see, i took from the FuturePinball help file.

some words to the development environment:
i use Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Express for Desktop (Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express is working as well). you can download, install and use it for free ;)
http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/downloads
on youtube, you can watch how to install VS2012 and "How to Register Visual Studio Express (You know? this is free!)" video...

with VS Express you have the choice between C++.Net, C#.Net and VB.Net in VS 2012 Express , if you download the full package, you have all languages in one download.
by installing, you get the Mictosoft .Net Framework as well (minimum .Net 3.5 is needed for the "FuturePinballSdk.dll".
create a new project in VS, and add a reference to the "FuturePinball.dll", and voila, you can use and make your own application for your own purpose (currently only for FpRam).

PS.: if you like to preferre Linux, you can use Mono, but under Linux, i don't know that solution very well.

PPS.: somewhen in the future, if the FuturePinballSdk is growing and get a release stage, i will open a new Thread - but now it is far away from that stage and i let it here like it is.


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 Post subject: Re: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:33 pm
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Location: Brazil
It's really amazing the things you create so quickly, I am very impressed. :shock:

I will try to explain the tool with existing examples: attached you can see the windows from vPinMAME and the Visual Pinball Eight Ball DeLuxe configuration.

The main application would be something similar to the vPinMAME window: when it runs, it will search a folder (maybe the Tables folder) looking for its own config files (*.something, *.FPC for example) and build the list of available tables.

When the user selects one item in the list, the second window will be opened. This window will then save the options to some of those 16 integer or string registers. Which register will be used to store each option should be selected during the window design, that's why I asked you if there is a way to create a simple "form designer" where the table creator can choose the register he wants to store every option.

I will try to design a simple form, it sounds too complicated but it's not, I hope. :lol:

Attachment:
vpinmame.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:29 am 
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Location: Brazil
And the config window example:

Attachment:
config_window.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:19 pm 
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never used that software.
is that here more like that you asked for?

with "Open Path" it will search for all *.fpRAM files in the selected folder.
then you will see a list of all at the same time...
the "Save" option will save the file with the same name as it was opened.
i also detect modifications an ask you to prevent loosing your changes.
much more time i don't want to investigate in that... sorry.
(only for fixing bugs, when you find some)


Last edited by beta-tester on Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: [request] fpRAM file format
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:33 pm
Posts: 146
Location: Brazil
Fantastic, its almost there!

Instead of the file names, I would list the tables names (maybe extracting that info from the FPT files) and storing the actual filename to create the .fpRAM file with the same name, only changing its extension, in the fpRAM folder.

Also, the right panel would display a more user-friendly form, like the Eight Ball DeLuxe window I've posted previously. As this application is supposed to be used by the player, not the programmer, it has to be very clear and simple to the user.

I have to finish my Drakor table first, then I will see what I can do about this application.

Thanks a lot again for your big help with this, Alex!


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