SPEC Format

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The SPEC format is used by Abuse to store levels, save games, and graphical data. Level files can be edited using the built-in editor while Satan Paint can load and save graphics archives, however it is not currently clear if and how Satan Paint can handle things like collision boundaries for tiles.

! SPEC files for PC DOS appear to be little endian. Check if this is also the case for the Mac version or if they use native endianness.

File format

The header is as follows:

Data type Description
ASCIIZ Format label, "SPEC1.0"
INT16LE number of entries in the index

Next comes an array of index entries:

Data type Description
INT8 Type (see specs.hpp)
INT8 Length of file name (NB: not the length of the file itself)
ASCIIZ File name string, of the length specified immediately prior
INT8 ! ceninan says "a flag of some sort; I don't think this was ever implemented, and probably had to do with linking files...?"
INT32LE Entry size (0 is an allowed value, for "tag" entries that exist only for the entry name)
INT32LE ! absolute offset?

The actual entries follow, with the handling for them usually, but not always, decided by the type value specified in the index.

Entry type 2 - SPEC_PALETTE

A fairly standard palette format, with the addition of being able to handle variable numbers of colors.

Data type Description
INT16LE Number of colors

An array of colors, according to the number above, follows:

Data type Description
INT8 Red component
INT8 Green component
INT8 Blue component

Entry type 5 - SPEC_FORETILE

Foreground tiles - ! editor manual says a tile is (always?) 30x15, so varying sizes probably mean varying bounding polys. For these entries, the name of the tile lump appears to be used as the editor's tile number. It appears that Abuse allows tiles to have polygonal boundaries for collision, the exact format for these needs to be confirmed.

Data type Description
INT16LE Width
INT16LE Height
INT8 array Pixels, as palette indices
INT16LE ! "next"?
INT8 ! ignored (unimplemented feature?)
UINT8 ! should be count of boundary points?

! ? variable length boundary (array of int8 x,y coordinate pairs defining the solid space of the tile, e.g. a rectangle) this appears to draw a polygon from dot to dot so for a rectangle, five points are needed? (duplicate of the first to be last) is there a formal count? (i.e. is the prior 05 in the observed tiles part of this, rather than just "to end of file"?)

Entry type 6 - SPEC_BACKTILE

! Are these always 60x30? Name of the tile lump appears to be used as tile number.

TENTATIVE:

Data type Description
INT16LE Width
INT16LE Height
INT8 array Pixels, as palette indices
INT16LE ! "create_descriptor" maybe always 0 for backtiles

Entry type 18 - SPEC_GRUE_FGMAP

Used in levels, ! probably for foreground layout? (lump name is probably important)

Data type Description
INT32LE Width
INT32LE Height
INT16LE array of width*height Tile values

Entry type 19 - SPEC_GRUE_BGMAP

Used in levels, ! probably for background layout? (lump name is probably important)

Data type Description
INT32LE Width
INT32LE Height
INT16LE array of width*height Tile values

Entry type 20 - SPEC_DATA_ARRAY

! This is sort of a "catchall" entry type, and the file name of the entry matters to its interpretation. These are particularly frequently used in level files.

Credits

Some basic information on the container format was published by ceninan. Further investigation into the data format specifications, based on both hex examination of the files and a reading of the released Abuse source code, is being added by Mysterioso AKA ETTiNGRiNDER.