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File Listing: DF Blueprint **first release**
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2011, 09:17:37 am
File version: 0.1
For DF version: Multiple
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Hi everyone,

I have just completed the first version of a new fortress design tool called DF Blueprint. It uses a series of Excel macros plus an external c# program to create a custom AutoHotKey script that can be used to (so far) dig out a fortress then fill it a limited subset of the DF items. Hopefully, I'll be able to get it working with DFHack, but it runs at a decent speed now. I'll be creating proper documentation in the next day or so but I wanted to get a bug check and feedback release out so I can make sure it works on other computers.

Currently, you can do two things with it as mentioned above. You can create multiple plans that will be dug out by your miners, and you can designate what furniture you want placed as well. Please note not all items in the build menu are supported. Generally, everything that can be built from the first level is, but not things like walls, or workshops. I'm hoping to add all that in later. Please read about the known issues before posting any bugs and feedback is appriciated.

Sorry for the length of the post, there's no pics so I have to describe everything. User friendly docs coming soon. :-D


.NET 4.0 framework (you can get this from Microsoft if you don't already have it)
AutoHotKey with .AHK files registered (which they are by default)
MS Excel 2007 with macros turned on (should work in earlier versions but not tested)

You must have macros turned on in Excel.
If you have square brackets in the path to the spreadsheet the macros will not load. This will cause a problem if you use the lazy newb pack and try to put it under there. Either move the tool somewhere else or rename the directory. This is a limitation with Excel.
The digging colour has to the exact same one I use in the tool or it will not pick up. This will be user configurable soon.

Brief Instructions
DO NOT RUN THE .EXE!!! The main interface is the Excel file (.xlsm). The exe is called by a macro and will fail if run on its own.

What makes DF blueprint different to other excel planners is that you can dig and specify items to place in the same cells.
When you first open the tool, you will see a sheet called "Plan" with a Generate button in the top left corner and an example blueprint already loaded. It's pretty simple; any cell with a red background will be designated to be dug out. NOTE: You MUST use the same red colour as I have used or the macro won't find it. I'm planning to make the colour changeable later.

You can designate items to be placed by typing the in game command into the cell you want it placed in. e.g. if you want to place a bed, type 'b' into the cell, 'd' for a door, etc. The full list of supported items so far is as follows: "a", "b", "c", "n", "d", "x", "H", "W", "G", "B", "f", "h", "r", "s", "t". If you want to add other items as placeholders so you know what to place manually, you can. The tool will ignore any letters it doesn't know. They will also be automatically picked up when I code them in. NOTE: I've only tested beds and doors so please let me know if any items in the list don't work.

Once you have set things up as you want you need to select the area you want to build. This means you can set up as many rooms, areas, fortresses or whatever you want in the tool. It will only build what you select.

Click the generate button. This runs a few macros that will extract the colour and commands and create a few .CSV files. It then calls the .exe to generate an autohotkey macro. Finally, it automatically loads the macro so all you need to do is go into DF and push the hotkey to start it up.

Running the macro
There are two hotkeys created in the macro. CTRL+ALT+d for digging and CTRL+ALT+f for placing furniture. To dig, press 'd' and move your cursor to the top left corner of where you want to start digging. Take note of this location as you will need to use it to place furniture. Press the combo to begin.

To use the furniture macro, you need to move the build cursor to the top left cell of your selection in Excel, not where the first furniture item is to be placed. You must also have enough furniture to fill all the orders. Press 'b' to bring up the build menu, then press 'p' to start building a farm plot. You won't actually build a farm, we just need to use it to place the cursor. Once you have the cursor in the right spot, press ESC *once*. You should still be in the build screen. Now press the hotkey combo and it will place all your furniture.

Hitting the generate button again will automatically recreate and reload the macro.
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