B.A.B.S. 2 Online manual (temporary)
This is a general manual for the Shining-style battle system called BABS 2. It explains how to install and run the program, but it also details how to modify the program to suit your own needs. Unlike with BABS 1, the BABS 2 release will not be 100% final. Although the initial engine should suit one’s need to make a single custom battle, further feature requests and bug reports are still accepted.
There are heaps of thing I could’ve added, but I tried to keep things as simple and comprehensable as possible.
What is BABS 2?
BABS 2 is a simple attempt at creating a framework upon which tactical battle engines can be developed. BABS 2, too, is designed in Shining Force style, but intentionally made to encourage users to fiddle around with it.
BABS 2 is meant for making custom Shining battles, not whole games. Shiny Sword: Cloudslayer (which is still in development) will add that capability.
How can I play it?
First of all, you need the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) 1.5.0. or higher, which you can download at java.sun.com. Then, after you unzipped the whole package, just double-click Shiny_Sword.bat or Smee.bat. Alternatively, you type in “java (name of class).class” in the console or terminal.
Shiny_Sword is the executable of the game while SMEE is the executable of the map editor.
A & D = Select
S = Cancel
Arrow keys = moving around
F5 = refresh screen
SMEE (Map editor) Controls
1,2,3 = select appopriate layer
4 = select obstruction layer
5 = select zone layer
Arrow keys = move screen
Shift + Arrow keys = move screen faster
The rest of the controls are performed with the mouse.
Check the BABS forum for an up-to-date list!
How can I customize it?
Customizing the game can be done in various manners. Some things are saved to text files, while others are saved to images and yet other things can be opened in SMEE
BABS 2 currently contains three relevant Statistics files, namely the classfile, the monsterfile and the itemfile. Most of the values are self-explanatory and can freely be edited. Also, you can add new entries in the same fashion as the existing entries. Just watch out for a few loopholes:
– When defining something, never add unnecessary spaces! For example: “1.hp=5” is correct, while “1.hp = 5” is wrong and will cause a crash.
– Never leave trailing spaces after any line. In other words “1.hp=5” will work, but “1.hp=5 ” will give hiccups most of the time. Most decent text editors have an option to make line breaks visible, so that you can easily discover any trailing spaces.
You may already have noticed a file called “start.entityfile”. This file is actually in plain text and contains the exact details of the characters participating in the battle:
– the number at the beginning of a line defines the entity (person) this property refers to. By adding similar properties for new and higher numbers you can add more entities to the battle.
– the description after the dot refers to a single property of this participant. There are several properties:
— charname: Name of the participant
— level: indicates character level. Heavily influences the combat statistics!
— type: determines if the participant is a character (type = 0) or a monster (type = 1). If the type equals 0, the value in ‘charclass’ will be matched with the classfile. If it equals 1, it will be matched with the monster file.
— tx,ty: Determines the location of the participant in tile coordinates.
— weapon: Gives a participant a weapon as defined in the itemfile.
— strength, precision, reflexes, endurance, speed, willpower: add talents to your character, making him/her better than the usual guy of this class. Values of 10 or lower are preferred.
— source: indicates the sprite image for this particpant.
— ai: set it to 1, if you want the entity to be computer controlled, instead of player controlled.
Again, it is important to prevent unnecessary spaces.
general.nextmap=start general.maptype=walkabout general.music=music/walk01.mid zone.1.type=mapswitch zone.1.target=start
– general.nextmap indicates the next map to come. You can reach this map by pressing ‘n’ (which is a temporary hack) or by winning/losing combat.
– general.maptype can be set to walkabout (for walkabout maps) or to battle (for battle maps).
– general.music indicates the music played while walking on the map.
Every zone can be linked to an event through some code in the accompanying scriptfile. The only working event right now is a Map Switch, which can be coded in a script file like this:
zone.(number).target=(mapname without the .smf extension)
Note that zones and events only work in walkabout maps at the moment. Support for them in battle maps
*might* arrive later on.
Version 2.25 supports Blaze level 1-3, Bolt level 1 and Heal level 1-2. Additional spells (and animations) will be added. In the future there will be a “spellfile” which enables you to define custom spells.
Editing the Graphics, Zones and Land effect
The map can be edited by firing up SMEE and editing the file “start.smf”. Just be sure to save it under the same name too! Alternatively you can save it under a different name to create backups :). The sprite graphics can be found and edited in the “sprites” directory while other graphics can be found in the “images” directory.
(Likely more to come!)