The Dink Network

Skeleton S

February 18th, 2013
v2.1
Score : 7.0 good
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On one hand, this is probably the best pre-made skeleton you can choose from. On the other, there are several problems with this skeleton which the rookie might not know how to deal with, and likely may not even notice are wrong.

First, the good things:

1. The "DINK.INI" file has be reorganized, and is much more readable now.

2. Cleaner overall than the older skeletons available on this site, and in some cases more than the original Dink.

3. Contains a reworked hard.dat by redink1 that has lots and lots of free space in it compared to others, so you can make tons of your own hardness tiles. It is also made so that you can't fit through hardness gaps.

But there is a lot of bad, too:

1. Dink's speed isn't set properly in any starting event. What this means is that if you equip herb boots or similar speed changing items, and then load a game or start a new game, you will be able to rig Dink's other weapons to have herb speed. This can be fixed by the DMOD author somewhat easily, but only if they know it's there...

2. Sound file #12 (WSCREAM.wav) is not loaded, meaning if you try to play it without adding it in MAIN.c, you will crash the game.

3. Dink's death graphic is missing! If you die, you will likely just vanish.

4. Dink's feeding the pigs (and the falling feed) animations are missing.

5. Blue tinted guard's death animation is loaded improperly (and thus, doesn't exist). Normally, the gray guard's death is loaded to be used as the blue's death animation because a blue guard death graphic doesn't exist. But the Skeleton S DINK.INI tries to load the blue guard's nonexistent death graphic anyways, leading to an empty frame.

6. Many graphics that are loaded in the DINK.INI don't actually exist at all, leading to empty blue frames. I don't understand, where were these graphics supposed to have come from?

Synopsis:

Chances are, there are other problems and missing sprites that I haven't noticed. My recommendation, if you know what you are doing, is to use the original Dink files and make a skeleton of your own rather than use this skeleton. If you absolutely must use this skeleton, I recommend using the original DINK.INI file from the main game. It is a shame, too, because the new DINK.INI had a much better organization than the original. I must warn you though, switching .INI files will screw up your title screen, as the new .INI moves the title graphics. You'll have to do some tweaking to make the title screen look right again.

Skeleton S ultimately has too many problems that could be very hard to deal with, especially for newer users. It is still the definitive pre-made skeleton as of this day, so if you can't make your own skeleton I recommend it. However, you should use the old DINK.INI so you don't lose any important graphics.

If the problems were dealt with, I would give this file a much higher score, but with the current problems, I can't feel comfortable giving it higher than a 7.0.
October 18th, 2003
v2.1
Score : 9.0 exceptional
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SimonK
Peasant Male Australia
 
This skeleton DMOD is a modified version of the most commonly used one, skeleton_b by Mike Snyder. It includes Redink’s hard.dat rewrite and has updated the dink.ini as well as modified comments from the standard .c scripts needed to start a DMOD.

This skeleton is aimed at the intermediate to advanced DMOD author.

The inclusion of redink’s hard.dat rewrite is, generally, a good thing – but there are aspects of this new hardness I don’t like. Although the problem of aligning tiles isn't really there (I finally tested that) there is still the problem of the mountains and the impact on missile sprites, and the sea/ocean being entirely blue hardness if you want Dink on a boat (which I do) or if you want monsters in the ocean. The same thing with Dink travelling on the rocks in the cavern tiles. While the intended purpose of the rock cavern tiles is Dink can't travel thru rock, nor can a monster... I've seen DMODs where monsters are on the rocks, with this re-write they can't be. This will come down to personal preference.

The dink.ini rewrite josh has done is great, almost perfect. I love the fact that he has signed posted with the comment command ( // ) the empty slots available for new graphics, organised and removed redundant INIT lines.
Although the organisation of the SET_SPRITE_INFO lines seems to change... it starts out being relevant to the immediate loading lines for the first series of slots and then stops. No harm in this... just a tad strange.

The set_frame_frame and set_frame_special etc lines have now been group with the relevant sequences which is great.

Comments have been put back in the scripts and at a level which I feel suits the more experienced DMOD author.

All the loading stuff has been moved into the MAIN.c file which is more logical when you think about it... and the global variable &dinklogo has been removed which is a good thing as this means one more global available to the author.

Best is there are readmes explaining what Josh has done and why – excellent.

The file now unzips correctly into whatever folder the author wants to call his new DMOD.

I fired up a game from straight unzipping without changing anything and it all worked fine. I got to one screen with some rocks and that was it. This is actually screen 0 - the non-existant screen as the map.dat included actually doesn't have a starting screen. But the start-1.c file actually tries to put Dink on to map 400. Still an intermediate/advanced DMOD author will easily spot/change this, probably even before they do anything else.

Looking thru the graphics that load... it seems to be the standard set, and includes all the stacks of boxes which skeleton_b is missing - yeah! But what's this... the Dink with bow graphics aren't there?!?

But the bow stuff still works if you give Dink a bow... it's just if you wanted to place Dink with a bow as a frozen statue or something you can't without editing the dink.ini file. A minor failing only.

Dink armed with sword are the only hit graphics loaded in the dink.ini file, which is fine as 1) they are the sequence with the most bmps and thus the really the only ones that need loading in the dink.ini file at the start, and 2) the item scripts load and unload all the necessary walk,idle,hit graphics for each weapon. What I think is missing are the set_frame_delay lines for the hit... once again not a big thing, and I didn't really notice any difference in performace, as Dink's graphics are always that little bit choppy.

Overall 9.0 out of 10. It has improved a lot, but I'm not in favour of the hard.dat rewrite. If this skeleton came as an exe file that installed and then let you choose either hard.dat rewrite or original hard.dat then... it would truely be cooking with gas!
December 12th, 2004
v2.1
Score : 8.0 good
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Points For: using a better title screen than skeleton b.
Points For: using the improved hard.dat file that redink1 created.
Points For: improving the dink.ini file (the skeleton b one is crap).
Loses Points For: having the same lack of depth as skelton b

Which is why I am making a improved version.
October 18th, 2003
v2.1
Score : 9.0 exceptional
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Binirit
Peasant Female
 
Purpose: This is the same sort of file as the other skeletons, but it has a new hard.dat file, a new dink.ini file and scripts that have no annotation anymore. The sounds are loaded in main.c instead of in start.c.

Installation: Unzip the .zip file into the Dink Smallwood folder.

SimonK already said about all you should know about this file.

I would just like to add that I especially liked the fact that the lines in the dink.ini file are now in numerical order. I used to use the search option to find a specific number, but now it is very easy to find the number you want! And you can also see immediately the numbers that are not used, so you know what slots you can use. Very handy indeed!

All the bugs from the previous version have been taken care of.