Chapter 2. Creating a KsirK skin

KsirK is fully skinable. For who have graphic capabilities, creating a new skin is as simple as copying an existing one, editing or changing the graphics and updating the data in a .desktop configuration file, which is done using the KsirK Skin Editor. A last step is to edit the file describing what to install.

All examples (text and images) are taken from the default skin of KsirK

Structure of folders and files

  • Data/ : Data used by the program to handle the images of the skin.

    • CMakeLists.txt : Describes what to install.

    • onu.desktop : Main file for the description of the skin. See its description below.

  • Images/ : The images of the skin (map, sprites, etc.)

    • CMakeLists.txt : Describes what to install.

    • pool.svg : the map and all the sprites used in this skin.

    • map-mask.png : the image allowing the program to find which country the mouse is over during the game (see below).

    • *.png : the other images here are buttons images.

  • CMakeLists.txt/ : Describes what to install.

  • Sounds/ : sound files for the skin.

The Data folder

This folder contains only one file, world.desktop. This file is a description of the content of the skin. It is used to describe the organization of the world and how to display it. You don't have to fill it manualy as it will be handled by the KsirK Skin Editor. But, for the sake of completeness, we will now describe its structure.

An onu group contains a number of country entries, a number of nationality entries and lastly a number of continent entries. Then various groups contain the description of the different sprites, the description of the different countries, continents, nationalities and goals.

The following sections describe the content of each group.

The onu group

Table 2.1. The onu group entries

Entry nameSignification
widthThe width of the skin's map
heightThe height of the skin's map
skinpathThe path of the skin relative to the application data path (e.g. skins/default)
nb-countriesThe number of countries (42 in the default skin). There should be the same number of country groups below
nb-nationalitiesThe number of nationalities (6 in the default skin). There should be the same number of nationality groups below
nb-continentsThe number of continents (6 in the default skin). There should be the same number of continent groups below
poolThe path and name of the pool file relative to the skin path (e.g. Images/pool.svg)
map-maskThe path and name of the map mask file relative to the skin path (e.g. Images/map-mask.png)
format-versionThe version of the skin file format (2.0)
nameThe display name of the skin
descThe long description of the skin
fighters-flag-y-diffThe height difference between flags and cannons sprites
width-between-flag-and-fighterThe number of pixels between the left most pixel of the flag and the right most pixel of the simple cannon (when not firing nor exploding)


The sprites description groups

Each type of sprite (flag, infantry, cavalry, cannon, firing cannon and exploding cannon) is defined by a group. Only some sprites have a width entry. This entry is used for relative positioning during animations: the cannons, firing or exploding should not "move" around the country's flag during fight.

Table 2.2. Sprite description group entries

EntrySignification
widthThe reference width of the flag sprite frames
heightThe reference height of the flag sprite frames
framesThe number of frames of the sprite
versionsThe number of versions of the flag sprites


The countries description groups

Each country listed in the onu group, countries entry has its own group whose label is the country name. The table below lists the entries of these groups.

Table 2.3. Country entries

Entry nameSignification
idThe integer unique identification number of the country, must start at zero (0)
nameThe displayed name of the country
<sprite>-pointEach type of sprite (flag, infantry, etc.) in the country is displayed at a certain position defined by this entry made of two integers separated by a comma
neighboursThe list of the ids of the neighbors of the current country


The nationalities description groups

Each nationality listed in the onu group, nationalities entry has its own group whose label is the nationality name. The table below lists the entries of these groups.

Table 2.4. Nationality entries

Entry nameSignification
nameThe name of the nationality (e.g. Japan)
leaderThe name that will be proposed to the player choosing this nationality
flagThe name of the country's flag sprite element in the onu SVG file


The continents description groups

Each continent listed in the onu group, continents entry has its own group whose label is the continent name. The table below lists the entries of these groups.

Table 2.5. Continent entries

Entry nameSignification
nameThe name of the continent (e.g. Africa)
idThe integer unique identification number of the continent
bonusThe number of armies obtained at the end of the turn by the player owning all the countries of the continent
continent-countriesThe list of the ids of the countries inside the current continent


The goals description groups

Each goal listed in the onu group, goals entry has its own group whose label is the goal name. The table below lists the entries of these groups.

Table 2.6. Goal entries

Entry nameSignification
typeThe type of goal. Can be continents, countries or player
nbArmiesByCountryset the minimal number of armies the player will have to put on each country
nbCountriesset the number of countries the player must possess
nbCountriesFallbackFor a player goal type, if the target player is killed by another one, this sets the number of countries the player will have to conquer instead
descA full text description of the goal with appropriate placeholders (needs more doc here)
continentsThe list of continents ids the player will have to conquer


The Images folder

This folder contains the buttons specific to KsirK and the pool SVG file that contains the map and all sprites.

The pool.svg file

This SVG file contains the map and all the sprites of the game. Each element is named such that the game can select and render separately each of them.

In the default skin, the sprites are flags, infantry, cavalry and cannon. Infantry represents one army, five for cavalry and ten for cannons. Cannons are also used to display fighting armies. That's why there is three kinds of cannon sprites: normal static or moving cannon, firing one and exploding one.

Each sprite image is the concatenation of the various views of the object and for each view, its frames. Views are organized vertically and frames horizontally. Where to cut the image in individual frames is found by dividing the height of the image by the number of views and the width by the number of frames. These data are found in the onu.desktop file.

An example of a sprite image: cannon.png

For armies sprites, there is three different views, from top to bottom:

  • looking right

  • looking left and

  • facer

For flags, there is only one view. All sprites backgrounds should be set to transparent.

An example of a flag sprite image: italy.png

Table 2.7. The elements of the pool

Element nameSample ImageSignification
map
Map of the skins's world. Countries can have arbitrary shapes, but should be grouped in eye-recognizable continents, by location only or by color
italy
The flag of the Italy nation. There is one such entry for each nation
infantry
Icon representing one army
cavalry
Icon representing five armies
cannon
Icon representing ten armies
firing
Icon representing armies during a fight
exploding
Icon representing armies when losing a fight
Alaska
The shape of the Alaska country. This is used to highligth the country. There is one such shape for each country. Its color is not used. As such, the color is free.
reddices
The red dices used to show battles results
bluedices
The blue dices used to show battles results
mark1
This mark is added to fighting sprites to show the number of armies they represent, here 1. There is also a mark2 and a mark3 elements.


The map-mask.png file

This is a png file representing also the map of the skins's world, but with coded colors that allows one to identify uniquely each country. Countries must have at least the same shapes as the corresponding countries on the map.png file so that users can click anywhere in a viewable country and select the good one. Countries, like little islands as Indonesia in the default map can be greater than the equivalent in the map.png file to facilitate the selection of the country.

A sample map-mask

The blue component (in RGB model) of a country's color identifies the country: index 0 is country 0 in the onu.xml file, index 1 is country 1, etc. White (0xFFFFFF in RGB) identifies the absence of country (sees or, why not, no man's lands).

The buttons images

The filenames are hard-coded in the code, so they should not be modified. The table below shows all the buttons that should be provided.

Table 2.8. The buttons of the GUI

ImageFilenameSignification
newNetGame.pngTries to join a network game
recycling.pngAfter all players have put their armies, it is possible to modify the distributions (named recycling). This button asks to do such a redistribution
recyclingFinished.pngChooses not to redistribute. All clients windows must have this button clicked to really end the distribution
nextPlayer.pngEnds the current player's turn and switch to the next one or to the next turn if the current player was the last one
attackOne.pngChooses to start an attack with one army
attackTwo.pngChooses to start an attack with two armies
attackThree.pngChooses to start an attack with three armies
defendOne.pngChooses to defend an attacked country with one army
defendTwo.pngChooses to defend an attacked country with two armies
moveArmies.pngChooses to start the moving of armies between two countries (last action in the turn)

The Sounds folder

This folder contains three sound files:

  • roll.wav played when armies are moving

  • cannon.wav played when firing and

  • crash.wav played when a cannon explodes