Tutorial Custom Loading Screen without "Press any key..."

Baltazhar

Active Member
Reaction score
55
WARNING: Until further notice, this tutorial should not be used.
Read the comments for more information.

How to make a custom loading screen, without "Press any key to continue"

Introduction:
Hello everyone, and welcome to my very first tutorial.
I initially had problems doing this, and spent hours searching for any hints to a useful solution. Now that I have found it, I thought some of you might have had the same problem. Well here it is, easily accessable.


Why:
I have seen several maps with this feature (popular reference would be DotA), and really wanted this for my map.
It not only makes the map feel a bit more professional, but it's also very useful. When playing multiplayer, I think, some players have an idea that it's okay to go the bathroom for 10 minutes, because it's just a loading screen. The problem is, that it halts the game for everyone else, because one player didn't "Press any key to continue". This, is what I wanted to get rid of.

How:
How does it work exactly? At the end of the tutorial, you loading screen will not need a key to be pressed, unless (always the exception), you play singleplayer. It will skip directly past the "Press any key.." to "Waiting for other players".
You cannot remove it from singleplayer.
However, that's not important. The important thing is, that it will work for all forms of multiplayer (B.net and LAN).

The Tutorial:
I've chosen to divide this into steps and highlighted key points, which I believe, makes it easier to follow. Here goes.


Step 1 - The image:
First you'll need to find the image you want to use. The image has to be of the resolution 1024x768.
When you have found your chosen loading screen image, we will need to slice it into four parts. The two top parts needs a resolution of 512x512 and the two bottom ones will be half the size, with a resolution of 512x256.
The four slices of the image should be saved in .tga format.
The four .tga files can be named anything, but as a best practice, I would suggest naming them TopRight.tga, TopLeft.tga, BotRight.tga and BotLeft.tga.
In the example below I have used Adobe Photoshop, but if you want a freeware application to slices and save as .tga, I would suggest IrfanView.
In this example I have used our current loading screen image, made by our graphic engineer ey-Coco.


Step 2 - Conversion:
The four .tga files we have, needs to be converted into .blp format, before we import them.
There are probably several tools for this, but I have used Warcraft III Viewer by The Prophet. Click the link to download directly from TheHelper.net.
When saving as .blp, you will be asked about compression of the file. I would suggest leaving it at the default 85 percent, for optimal size and quality.
Again, for naming the .blp files, anything goes. I prefer the above mentioned namesuggestions, for easier overview.


Step 3 - The Import:
This is probably the most important step, and yet the easiest. Just be sure not to make typo's anywhere.
In the World Editor you open the Import Manager (hotkey F12), and import the four .blp files (hotkey Ctrl+I).
When all four files have been imported, these must be renamed. This is the important part.
For all the imported files, you doubleclick them, choose to write a custom path. The path used must be as follows:
UI\Glues\Loading\Backgrounds\Load-Credits\Credits\Loading-BotRight.blp
UI\Glues\Loading\Backgrounds\Load-Credits\Credits\Loading-BotLeft.blp
UI\Glues\Loading\Backgrounds\Load-Credits\Credits\Loading-TopRight.blp
UI\Glues\Loading\Backgrounds\Load-Credits\Credits\Loading-TopLeft.blp

I hope it's fairly easy to get which file goes where, in my oppinion the names are very intuitive.
The screenshot shows how it's supposed to look in the Import Manager.


Step 4 - Changing Map Settings:
To make our loading screen complete, we need to modify the map slightly. This wont have any impact on your map except for the loading screen changes.
In the main World Editor windows (where you see terrain), go into Scenario -> Map Options. Here you need to change the dropdown Game Data Set to Melee (Latest Patch).
When this is done, you go into the tab labeled Loading Screen and choose to Use Campaign Screen, and select Credits on the list.
Make sure the the bottom fields labeled Loading Screen Title, Loading Screen Subtitle and Loading Screen Text are completely empty. There must not be any text in these.
If you want text in your loading screen, you can put it directly into the image itself.
Once this is done, you press OK, and save your map.


Step 5 - The end is near:
When you test your loading screen, make sure that you do it in a LAN game, not singleplayer. As mentioned previously, singleplayer will require pushing a key no matter what you do.
You should now be able to make a LAN game (throw in a computer player if you have none to test with), and click start.
Once the loading bar finishes, it should skip directly to Waiting for other players, and thus beginning your game.



The End:
This is my tutorial about creating a custom loading screen, without the "Press any key to continue" to appear.
Should you have any questions, I will try to answer them.

A few lastminute notes.
This can only be done with a High Quality loading screen. I know there are methods of importing a single file, and an .mdx file, but this is not the case here. Another important notice about this tutorial is, that you do not need a loadingscreen.mdx, only your image.

Hope someone finds this useful.

Sincerely,
Baltazhar
 

Steel

Software Engineer
Reaction score
109
Host your images on another site or upload them here IMMEDIATELY. The site you're using displays sex advertisements. Change it now.

-rep, sorry.
 

UndeadDragon

Super Moderator
Staff member
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447
Steel is right. Those links need to be changed ASAP, as thehelper.net is a forum for all age ranges.
 

Romek

Super Moderator
Staff member
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960
I removed the images and replaced them with a bold '[Removed]', so that you can easily see where the images were.

I also removed the infranview link, as it seemed to be a huge redirectory link instead of linking directly to the download website.
Please replace the images ASAP. I'd recommend imageshack.us or photobucket.com for image hosting.

Thanks.
 

UndeadDragon

Super Moderator
Staff member
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447
All this tutorial does is show how to make a loading screen and then it just tells you to play on LAN :nuts:
 

Baltazhar

Active Member
Reaction score
55
Oh, sorry about that, didn't know where else to put them besides imagevenue.com.
I'll try to replace their location and put them up again. Really, I'm sorry, didn't know there would be sex advertisement :banghead:

@wrseb: Thank you.

@Steel: Fair enough, quite the rookie mistake I made with those pictures :thdown:

@UndeadDragon: The tutorial shows you how to make a loading screen that, when playing multiplayer (LAN or B.net), does NOT require players to press a key. This means, the game starts when everyone's done loading, and not when everyone has decided to press a key.

@Romek: Again, sorry, will replace them right away.

EDIT:
Images changed, now directly linked to our website. That's one place I know that spam and advertising doesn't occur. Hope that's alright.
Put them in Spoiler tags, because they are rather large.
Change the link to IrfanView to their frontpage, again, is that alright?

I spent hours making that tutorial, rather disappointed it was such a failure :(

EDIT No. 2:
Just thought of a funny thing about imagevenue (where I first uploaded the pictures). I set the pictures to "FAMILY SAFE", but hell, what good is that supposed to do if the friggin adds aren't PG rated?! Gees! .. Oh, and once again my apologies for the mess.
 

Karawasa

Element Tower Defense
Reaction score
38
Step 4 - Changing Map Settings:
To make our loading screen complete, we need to modify the map slightly. This wont have any impact on your map except for the loading screen changes.
In the main World Editor windows (where you see terrain), go into Scenario -> Map Options. Here you need to change the dropdown Game Data Set to Melee (Latest Patch).
This should be a snippet, as this is the only step needed. I did learn something though, so meh.
 

Baltazhar

Active Member
Reaction score
55
This should be a snippet, as this is the only step needed. I did learn something though, so meh.
I wouldn't entirely agree with you on that point.
Step 1 and Step 2 are pretty generic for a HQ loading screen, so no nothing new and fancy about that. Unless you count the missing loadingscreen.mdx file that loadingscreen tutorials usually use.
I just brought in the two first steps, to create a wholeness, for easier reference.

Anyway, Step 3 and Step 4 are the important ones.
AFAIK you can't just choose your imported loading screen, but need the specific import paths for this to work. If you import one yourself, the "Press any key to continue.." will appear in multiplayer games.
And that's the key point of this tutorial. Anyone can make a custom loading screen, loads of guides out there to help you with that. No one has made one on how to avoid the "Press any key to continue...", from what I've seen.
I spent hours searching on Google, TheHelper and various other sites, just to collect minor pointers each place on how to do it.

Is it really that common knowledge? No one seemed to be able to answer my question when I knocked up a thread about the issue :confused:

Anyway, I'm glad you learned a little at least.
 

Karawasa

Element Tower Defense
Reaction score
38
Well I tried in LAN, which according to your guide is a good enough test case. Far as I can tell, all you need to do is that one step and you will remove the "Press Any Key" functionality. Just to be clear, I'm using .tga files and that custom .mdx for the loading screen and during LAN play the game starts right away.
 

Baltazhar

Active Member
Reaction score
55
Oh... Didn't know that.

Now I learned a little something too, wonderful :)

I think I'll edit the tutorial, just to display the 4th step then. People can always find steps for making custom loading screens, elsewhere.
It's gonna be a short tutorial though, but as long as it's informative, that doesn't bother me too much :p
 

Lions_Blood

New Member
Reaction score
0
You sir are a freaking dilly whipper... I will never ever take advice from you or ele again, your both queers making me waste my time for a couple of hours of my day, trying to figure it out with your crappy tutorials. Get a life! i hope you get Negative rep (-rep)
 

Karawasa

Element Tower Defense
Reaction score
38
This tutorial should be discarded immediately. The "newest patch" option does impact the game making your claim false. I tested this, and I discovered one major side effect. Using the "default" option the cost of upgrades is simply equal to what you set gold cost to. Using the "newest patch" option, the cost of upgrades is equal to gold cost minus cost of previous upgrades. I don't feel like changing over 100 towers to get rid of "Press Any Key" and who knows what other hidden side effects this thing has.
 

waaaks!

Zinctified
Reaction score
256
I used SFilip's loading screen tutorial the high quality loading screen tutorial (slicing the loading screen into four parts) and it works fine for, no need to press any key in lan.

To remove the press any key requirement, you simply clear any field in the loading screen title, subtitle and text area, because it simply like telling the system "wait! while there are readable text in the loading screen", the press any key exists for the sake of slow readers, so in this case, removing any readable text in the loading screen will remove the press any key requirement, for the system cannot detect text that are encrpyted inside an image file.
 

Baltazhar

Active Member
Reaction score
55
@Lions_Blood: Well that's not very constructive criticism :nuts:
You have 1 post, and decide to use it on my tutorial. I am very flattered :thdown:

@Karawase: I don't use upgrades a lot in my map, only have 18 actually.
They're all upgraded using triggers, so that's perhaps why I didn't find anything wrong. I will write a warning in the first post, so people don't mess up their map. Thanks for the feedback.

@waaaks!: SFilip's loading screen tutorial is more descriptive that what I made.
It's really strange though, because I tried testing a lot with custom loading screens, but that might have been 2-3 patches ago. Even with all the text boxes empty, it still wanted me to press a key.
Better test this some more, until then, I'll make a warning in the first post.

Strange that I spent hours on getting this to work, if it was very simple and basically automatic to get the "Press any key..." removed. I must have taken a very wrong turn somewhere along the path :banghead:
 
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