The Dink Network

Skeleton

April 3rd, 2010
B
Score : 5.0 fair
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scratcher
Bard Male Finland bloop
cigarette bonca 
Skeleton B is perhaps the most significant fan-made file in the history of Dink Smallwood. How many people would have given up dabbling in DinkC before even truly starting, how many dmods would have never existed without it? Quite a few probably, as setting up the base for a dmod on your own isn't entirely straightforward. There are a lot of files you need to create, copy and edit (stripping them of stuff that's only needed in the original game) before getting to the more creative part of game making. A skeleton dmod does that all for you, and should be useful to newbies and experienced authors alike.

The problem with Skeleton B is that it does MORE than strips the files of useless stuff. Useful stuff is missing or changed for the worse. Some exclusions and changes are understandable: Replacing Original Dink's title screen graphics with new graphics is cool. Changing the title screen from a small logo to a full-screen picture easily editable by the author is cool. Adding a new tilescreen with several generic tiles usable in many settings is cool, although the tilescreen overwrites existing tiles, which is not cool. Adding helpful comments to all scripts is... mostly annoying, but somewhat understandable.

Then there are a bunch of small but harmful changes that one might never notice unless specifically looking for. Some of these seem to have been done on purpose, others are accidental. Here are all that I could find:

DINK.INI
Missing graphic sequences:
Sequence 150 (small castle wall part)
Sequence 151 (small castle wall part with a hole forming on it)
Sequence 152 (small castle wall part)
Sequence 153 (small castle wall part with a hole forming on it)
Sequence 430 (pig feed being sprinkled)
Sequence 431 (pig feed being sprinkled)
Sequence 455 (piles of caged boxes)

START.C
Sound 12 (WSCREAM.WAV) replaced with a sound that doesn't exist (ENTER.WAV)

HARD.DAT
Density Indexes 3 and 4 (hardness for tiles 920 and 932 (riverbank)) have red hardness instead of blue (meaning the riverbank can be pushed and missiles won't fly over it)
There are much fewer unused hard slots than in original Dink's Hard.dat (meaning you can't add as much new hardness)

MAP.DAT and DINK.DAT
They exist. Screen 400 exists. (Map.dat and dink.dat are created automatically when Dinkedit is used for the first time, which is not the kind of thing someone would assume on their own... having these files effectively forces an author to use screen 400 as the first screen of their map)

All these changes, despite being minor, amount to Skeleton B not being worth using. Download a less crippled skeleton (Skeleton S?) or better yet, go through the trouble of creating your own skeleton dmod, and use that for all your future projects. Then you know what has been changed and what hasn't been changed, or if not, at least you only have yourself (and Vista, always Vista) to blame for it.
July 12th, 2002
B
Score : 9.0 exceptional
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This Skeleton B might be one of the most important development files in DMOD history. Along with the official dmod FAQ, both files are indeed the most important contribution that Mike Snyder gave the Dink community. Although many of Mike Snyder's other dmods might be just average or even subpar using today's standard, this Skeleton is still one of the most downloaded (and used) files right now.

Before the Skeleton file's release, people needed to do quite a few boring annoying procedures to start a dmod: create a new folder and a few new sub-directories (story, sound, graphics, tiles) in that folder, copy some necessary files (Dink.ini, hard.dat, main.c, start*.c,...), and then modify them to fit your need. With Skeleton, all you need to do is to unzip it like you did for a dmod to the new folder under main Dink dir. Then you can start your project right away!

In addition to all the necessary files and folders, Mike Snyder even added some high quality graphics (new buttons) for you to use. If you cannot create high quality graphics, at least you can have a different (and good) set of buttons instead of sticking with the original ones. Also, a group of different tiles were provided in one tile set, mainly for the use of indoor floor. Although some of them might not be extremely good or seamless or lack of variety for any type of tiles (most of them are 100x100), you can find quite a lot of use for many of the tiles and you can bring in some new flavor to the old Dink tiles even without the ability to make a new tile by yourself. The title and dmod.diz templates are just fine.

Not only did Mike Snyder put all necessary files all together, but also he made some effort in improving them. He modified Dink.ini and those starting scripts so that most of the unnessary lines and stuffs that only original Dink used were removed. Although he could do a better job in clear up and sort out Dink.ini file, basically he did what was necessary and removed most of the messy stuffs.

Originally I thought this Skeleton might be as good as it can get until recently that I sorted out most of the myth (if not all) about tile hardness. It turned out that Skeleton B messed up the hard.dat more than it fixed. In original Dink's hard.dat, Seth used 637 of possible 799 indexes on tiles. You have only 57 spare indexes that you can reassign for your new tiles. Original Dink's wasted more than 110 indexes on places that you don't need to assign any hardness (grass, floor, black empty, water or mountain interior...). The way DinkEdit works: you cannot remove tile hardness index once you assigned it. (At least that is what I believe so far.) So you can have at most 57 indexes to use if you use the hard.dat from original Dink. Since there are quite a few small hardness errors in the original hard.dat, Mike Snyder probably tried to fix some of those problems. However he probably did not know what he has done, but accidentally Mike Snyder waste another 40+ tile indexes mainly on not necessary place. (He probably did not even know by then.) Consequently, you only have less than 20 spare indexes left for you to do things for your new tiles. If you want to add some new tiles that reqire tile hardness, you might not have enough indexes to use! And Mike did not fix all the problems that were in the original hard.dat.

Because of that discovery, I decided to do an updated Skeleton. Unlike the other Skeleton "update", the basic structure of my Skeleton would be exactly the same as Mike Snyder's, but I will reassign all the hardness index from ground up. Currently I have already finished all tile hardness index and their drawing. Unfortunately, I still accidently wasted 2 hardness indexes. But since I have already overwritten my previous data, I am NOT going to do it again just because the 2 wasted indexes. (Comparing with the number of the wasted indexes in original Dink -- 110+ or in Skeleton B -- 150+). I then will go through Dink.ini to clear up the remaining mess and define all sprite's hardboxes and depth dots.

Right now, if you want to start a dmod, Skeleton B would be still the best choice. And if you are going to modify some of the tile hardness or even add some new ones for your new tiles, I might at least suggest you to replace the hard.dat of Skeleton B with the hard.dat of the original Dink's.

Besides the screw-up of tile hardness, Skeleton B is still extremely good for you to jump-start your dmod right away. I originally gave this file a 9.8, but right now I think a 9.0 might be more reasonable since there are still quite a few places that can be improved upon.
June 11th, 2006
B
Score : 9.9 exceptional
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DinkKiller
Peasant Male United States xbox steam
The world could always use more heroes 
Skeleton B

Allows you to go straight into making a D-Mod. All screens are just patches of grass. Allows you to easily make a D-Mod without messing with a lot of stuff. I highly disagree that this is a 4.0. Christiaan is full of it. This is beyond 'Exceptional'. It is perfect!

Overall: Perfect for newbies or people who just want to make a D-Mod in less time. 15.0 Oh wait, I can't go that high... 9.9
February 26th, 2005
B
Score : 4.0 tolerable
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Christiaan
Bard Netherlands xbox
Lazy bum 
Am I the only one who can see this file has multiple fatal flaws? The idea of this file is great, but if you want to make a good, long dmod, with new graphics and the like, this file can screw up your dmod bad! The greatest flaw is the dink.ini, it's totally crap, a lot of graphics are just missing! Also the hard.dat isn't updated. Not a flaw, but also not unimportant: there's so much more that can be improved on this! it's just a mediocre file in my opinion, with some flaws I just can't look over. I think it's weird everybody's giving this an "excelent". It just isn't. Josh's skeleton is way beyond this one anyway.
TOTAL: 4.0
February 25th, 2005
B
Score : 9.5 exceptional
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kaizer
Peasant
 
A must-download for everyone.
Without it,neither me nor many others could have started making their
d-mods.
It has got all the stuff you need to get started if you are not too friendly with codes and stuff.
December 11th, 2004
B
Score : 7.0 good
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Good idea, but not quite good enough. It really only scratches the serface of what a dmod author needs and could use. The dink.ini file doesn't include all of the dink graphics (which is why I am making an improved version that fixes this and includes a few other useful things (including redink's hard.dat rewrite and a few things I myself am adding, including any useful help files I find on the web). My version will no doubt be out soon.
August 24th, 2003
B
Score : 9.0 exceptional
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SimonK
Peasant Male Australia
 
This is very useful for the new DMOD author. It has all the basic stuff to start a DMOD. The start-*.c files, some default buttons, and a default start screen with a graphic telling you where to paint your title.

I still use this file when starting a dmod as it saves time.

The dink.ini file could still be optimised and don't include all the original dink graphics, like all the stacks of boxes.

9 out of 10
July 18th, 2003
B
Score : 9.9 exceptional
stonegiant.gif
This is the greatest file of history!
its got everything needed to make a dmod!!
i use this file all the time!!
its got no bugs and its so simple
i think mike snyder done really well with this file and i wish him the best of luck with his mass multiplayer text based game Lunatix Online
November 8th, 2002
B
Score : 9.5 exceptional
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Binirit
Peasant Female
 
The first time I started working on a D-mod, I just followed the instructions from the development folder on the CD.
I made new folders, and copied a bunch of files. But this file is much easier. Just unzip it into a directory and you have immediately all the folders you need, including the necessary files such as dink.ini, and dmod.diz, but also the main.c, and various start files. If you do not want to use your own buttons, buttons are provided in this file, as is tile TS39.bmp. Real handy.

If you want to create your own D-mod, and do not want to copy all kinds of things, this is a must download.
January 28th, 2002
B
Score : 9.9 exceptional
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Phoenix
Peasant Male Norway steam
Back from the ashes 
This is a smart solution to an otherwise annoying detail. Instead of collecting files, edit them, smash them together and then start making the DMOD, just unzip and begin! You even get a title template, button templates and a new tile-set. Full score!