Let’s Make: Traffic Department 2192 – Part 3

Assets Overview

The public Traffic Department archive distributed under GPL contains over 200 files containing the graphics, sounds, and data assets that we'll take apart over the next dozen videos. We'll either convert the files to a more convenient format or use them as-is in the prototype

Our Toolset

I've made an effort to choose tools that are available free:

Tool Comment
HxD A lightweight hex editor that we'll use to look at the raw byte values in files. It has some useful features like byte frequency analysis, multiple encoding displays, and variable width views. (Here)
GIMP The free and open-source alternative to Photoshop. We'll need to do some work with image files. (Here)
IDA Pro A disassembler that is available free if you get the old version. Since our target is much older, it should work fine. (Here)
GCC The GNU Compiler collection is a set of free tools, of which we'll use the C compiler and associated make utilites. Since I'm on Windows, I'll be demonstrating Minimalist GNU. (Here)
DosBox An operating system emulator that supports the DOS API and sound compatibility. We'll use this to play the game and extract sounds. (Here)
Notepad++ A text editor that I'll use for the C programming. (Here)
PowerShell Since I program in Windows, I'll use it's native shell to execute scripts. (Comes with Windows)
Audacity A free sound editing tool that we'll use to finalize sounds we extract from DosBox (Here)
PowerPoint I'll rely on PowerPoint to create design diagrams. This software isn't free, but it's technically not necessary for this project.
GameMaker Studio A commercial game engine specializing in 2D applications. We'll use it to build the prototype. It is freely available, but platform restricted without a license. (Here)

Original Files

Files Notes Analysis
Game binary files that contain logic and some text data. We'll refer to these files with a disassembler several times to learn detailed information about how the original game works. These executables uses 16-bit x86 instructions that we'd expect of software of this era. Bring your DOS API references! Part 7
Part 17
Part 22
Part 30
44 files
Graphics asset with a fixed file size of 64,768 bytes. Each file is a full sized splash screen seen in briefings and the introduction. Part 4
3 files
Graphics asset includes multiple sprite files, each 160x100. These are the faces of all characters. One file per episode. Part 5
3 files
Graphics asset includes multiple sprite files, each 32 x 32. These are background sprites for the world. One file per episode. Part 6
9 files
Graphics asset of variable resolution, one picture per file. Used during certain briefing sequences. Part 7
5 files
Data files that define the city maps used in each episode, and the introduction. Most are 201x201. Part 11
60 files
Data files with fixed size of 20,080 that detail the mission settings. One for each mission. M21.TD3 is unused. Part 13
3 files
Dialogue data for both briefing and debriefing. Each file represents a single episode. Part 12
Graphics assets for the ships. TD.SHP is the 32x32 base graphic with no rotation and the one we'll use for our assets. The remainder are pre-rendered rotations of the same ships at 40x32. Part 8
TD-LET.CIN Sprite strip font used in banners. Including 40 glyphs where each is 8x8. Part 10
TD.LTR Sprite strip font that may not actually appear in the game. Has 37 glyphs of size 12x16. Part 10
TD.LT2 The most common sprite strip font. Includes 38 glyphs of size 5x5. Part 10
TD.MEN Graphics asset that holds main menu assets using the default palette. 320 pixels wide. Part 9
TD.PAL Very important file that holds the default palette used to process many graphics assets. Part 6
17 files
Music files stored in Creative Music Format. Part 14
17 files
Sound files stored in Creative Voice Format. Part 14