C&C64 File Converter

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The C&C64 File Converter is a tool created by Nyerguds that was originally written to convert files extracted from the ROM of the Nintendo '64 version of Command & Conquer. Specifically, to bidirectionally convert the game's images, colour palettes and mission maps, and to view the game's tilesets and export them to normal image formats.

When Nyerguds started cooperating with the people at the OldGamesItalia community, and decided to help with the graphics formats in the Sierra/Dynamix adventure games, the tool was the obvious project to add this into, since it already contained all the basics for opening, viewing and saving images, with support for the use of externally-loaded colour palettes. As cooperation continued, the tool got better support for viewing frame-based files, and grew into a graphics and sprites converter with support for many other games.

Despite these additions, the name of the tool was never changed, and it still contains specific functions for the creation of C&C N64 terrain height maps, and for visualizing and converting Command & Conquer maps.

Use

The tool is distributed as a simple .zip file to be unpacked in a new folder. Once unpacked, the included .exe file runs the program.

The general usage is simple: open a file, either through the menus or via drag and drop, and a graphical representation of the file will appear. This can then be copied to the clipboard or saved in any supported formats that is compatible with it (e.g. with the same colour depth).

If the file is comprised of frames, the frame changer at the bottom will be unlocked, and the user can look through the frames, and save them as other image formats. In this frames view, frame "-1" will represent the entire frameset, and will be the only entry that will allow saving the entire frameset to other frame-based formats. If the file type does not warrant the generation of an overall single-image representation, this "-1" frame will be empty, but on some formats, a preview of the combined frames will be generated.

Framesets can also be exported as a set of single image files, and when opening any file that ends on a number, the program will check whether it belongs to a range of numbered frames, and will offer to open it as frameset, to allow converting it back to frame-based file formats.

The tool can view indexed formats that do not contain their own colour palette, using the same system Nyerguds previously implemented in the Westwood Font Editor, which offers a variety of generated palettes for every type of indexed image colour depth, plus added 4-bit and 8-bit palettes read from palette files in the classic 6-bit VGA format.

Supported types

As of version 1.2.12, the converter supports the following types:

  • Standard image types: PNG, BMP, JPEG, GIF. Anything else that is natively supported in the .Net framework (like certain types of TIFF) can also be opened, but not saved.
  • Windows icons, with specific support for viewing the different images in the file (which the .Net framework does not do natively).
  • Simple 768-byte VGA palettes in both 6-bit and 8-bit formats. The 6-bit type is used in a load of Westwood games; the 8-bit type is used by C&C64.
  • The image and tileset formats used in the Nintendo 64 version of Command & Conquer, though only the image format has save support.
  • The PC and N64 map format of Command & Conquer, with the ability to convert between the formats.
  • The Command & Conquer Tileset Format, an uncompressed tileset format representing a rectangular shape of terrain cells, with indication of unused cells in the grid.
  • Westwood Studios Animation format (which uses their own XOR Delta compression), with the choice to embed palettes on saving. Used in a load of Westwood games.
  • Westwood CPS Format, with loading and saving support for all compression formats, and the choice to embed palettes. Used in a load of Westwood games.
  • Westwood SHP Format - Command & Conquer 1 / Red Alert 1 variety only, and no save support yet.
  • The LCW image type from Blade Runner, a simple implementation of an LCW-compressed 16-bit image.
  • The Westwood Palette Stretch Table format, a 64K file containing the best in-between colour for all possible colour pairs on a specific 256-colour palette. They are used to quickly upscale 8-bit images, mostly WSA animations and CPS images.
  • AdventureSoft item icons and VGA format (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark)
  • Dynamix BMP and SCR format, with compression support for RLE, LZW (reading only) and LZSS (currently reading only, though writing code is available and could be added later), and the Dynamix 8-bit palettes. Used in loads of Sierra/Dynamix games.
  • Kings of the Beach PAK Format, a simple RLE-compressed image type with the ability to save a partial file.
  • KORT Image format, a simple headerless image that is always 320x200, and of which the data is RLE compressed in simple Value/Length pairs.
  • KORT BMP Format, an uncompressed tileset format.
  • Mythos Visage Format, with full compression loading and saving support.
  • Mythos Visage Animation Format, with support for compression and for optimising data into chunks on save.