For Science!

by Kyzrati on 20140209 , under

R8--yet another release, and so soon! Not nearly as substantial as the last, but essential if you like working with text.

It turns out the txt file export method used in R7 was pretty useless when dealing with extended ASCII characters, so it's been re-coded to produce unicode (UTF-8) instead.

Part of what got me looking more into text encoding was a little experiment in the form of yet another export format (seven now!): BBCode. This one's a bit unusual, but maybe someone could use it for forum games. While it may be somewhat limiting compared to simply exporting a .png and uploading that, I'm sure there are other creative uses for it out there...

BBCode output currently only supports ASCII and foreground color since there is no standardized background color tag for BBCode, though I could add a configurable background color tag option if there's demand. See the last Appendix in the manual for more about exporting to BBCode.

To use BBCode just hit Ctrl-b to export the txt file, then copy the contents of that file to your forum post. Ideally it would directly load the data into the OS clipboard, but REXPaint doesn't implement external clipboard integration at this point.

Example: An old drawing of a heavy plasma gun for X@COM as it appears in 1) REXPaint, 2) a text file (txt), and 3) a forum (BBCode!)
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by Kyzrati on 20140208 , under

The to-do list for REXPaint was growing rather long after feature requests from various sources over the past few months, finally reaching critical mass and triggering a sudden desire to shorten it. A good bit of it has now been transferred over to the changelog where it's more useful to everyone ;)

With that we have R7 ready for download. Highlights below:
  • Probably the biggest addition is the range of new export options beyond the already supported .png and .ans formats. Images can now be exported as pure text (.txt), as well as .csv, .xml, and .xpm.
  • The text tool has been improved with buffered contents (recall and reuse/modify previously typed text), as well as newlines for quicker paragraph entry.
  • The font window can be set to highlight all glyphs currently used by an image, and image-wide glyph swapping is now also possible.
  • Clipboard contents can be flipped/rotated using new paste modes, useful for creating symmetrical parts of images or simply changing their orientation.

See the changelog on the downloads page for the complete list of new features.

Lately concept artist ShroomArts has been playing with REXPaint:
The Shaman
The snakeman from X-COM: UFO Defense, my personal favorite and one of his first.

I've also been honing my own ASCII skills in preparation for the art marathon we'll need for the roguelike-in-development Cogmind:

Random selection of weapon concepts. All components in Cogmind from weapons to propulsion, utilities and power sources will be drawn in ASCII, though weapons are obviously the most fun ;)

REXPaint 1.0 will be released later this year, and we might even see 2.0 if the planned Cogmind map editor is implemented as an alternate mode in REXPaint that enables roguelike developers to create ASCII-based terrain+object maps for their games. Haven't decided on that feature yet.

As usual, comment with any feature suggestions. Anything somewhat useful that can be easily added will eventually be implemented (half the improvements in the current version came from user requests, mostly via e-mail and forums), and more involved features will at least be taken into consideration.
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