Today's trick: taking control of the Palace room GIFs.
Almost everyone knows that the room pictures are GIF picture files,
stored in the "Pictures" and "Media" directories within your
Palace directory. As you visit different places, new GIFs may be added
to named subdirectories of "Pictures."
What most people
don't know is that you can replace these pictures with your
own GIFs as long as they are the right size (512x384)
and use the Palace color palette, Palace
will never know the difference. So you could replace the Beach with a
shot of Lake Erie, or the Pit with a picture of your high school. As
long as the pic is valid, Palace will happily use it.
The picture at the right shows
three versions of Harry's Bar. The very top is just the plain old
"BAR.GIF" image. The center is almost the same: a
light grid has been painted over it, and the coördinates of a few
key spots (such as the chairs) have been marked. The bottom is a
black-and-white dithered bitmap version of the bar.
Why the alternative versions
of the bar? The grid was originally added yo make it easier to
"spoof" someone (i.e., use "msay") in Harry's.
You can't use "msay" in a Cyborg-Free zone like Harry's, so
having a few key spots pre-marked, and the whole room gridded, made it
easy to quickly guess what "@" values to type-in by hand to
get good spoofing going in the bar.
The B&W version was made
(along with B&W versions of all the rooms) so that I could
run Palace on my old Mac Powerbook 140 a machine with Color Quickdraw in
software, but only a B&W display. This is an
especially-stupid trick, because user props still come in in full
color (meaning they usually appear as nothing but a black blob on the
powerbook screen). Still, it works! And I have used it once or twice
when no other machine was handy (now if Palace Inc. would just get
with it and finish porting Palace to the Amiga...). I even went so far
as to B&W-ify the splash page PICT resource in the Palace binary
itself, using ResEdit.
Other useful GIF hacks might
include labelling doors, so you know where they lead; insane tweaking
of the color maps, for a psychedelic palace; heavy blurring and
resampling of the GIFs to make the files smaller and faster-loading;
recoloring all the rooms to complement your own hair and eyes, Barbara