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What is M.U.G.E.N?

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Author Topic: What is M.U.G.E.N?  (Read 10079 times)
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« on: September 23, 2007, 06:21:35 pm »


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

M.U.G.E.N's default motif. Many different looks are possible for the engine.M.U.G.E.N is a freeware 2D fighting game engine designed by Elecbyte, written in C with the Allegro library. The engine was originally released in July 17, 1999. Beta versions of it were made to work on DOS, Linux and Windows platforms, distributed through their website or to donators via email. With the release of the Linux version, support for DOS ceased.

The engine allows anyone to create characters, background stages and other game objects through interpreted text files, graphics, and sound compilations. It supports various types of audio formats such as MP3, ADX, OGG and MIDI as background music during gameplay or at other points such as an introduction or the select screen. The engine allows for most of the same type of functionality found in most any commercial 2D fighting game, up to and including close recreation of those games' characters and gameplay. While the engine is set up primarily for fighting game development, several other game types have been developed using it, including shooter and platformer style games.

File Structure

Characters and stages in M.U.G.E.N are modular and flexible. How they are structured is primarily defined by the common convention of tool makers, rather than the internal makeup of M.U.G.E.N itself. Aside from media files (graphics and sound), the files defining a character or stage are mostly left as plain text.[12]

DEF: Definition file; has various purposes. For characters defines the name, authorname and files associated with the character, while more specific DEF files such as SYSTEM define the outer 'skin' of the engine (commonly called screenpack or motif), and FIGHT defines the HUD (or lifebars) for the actual fights themselves. Note that SYSTEM.DEF and FIGHT.DEF are not absolute names, but those commonly used (and used by the default motif). For stages, the .def file acts as both .def (files associated with the stage) and .air file.

ACT: Palette file; used with characters to define the character's colors in game. Each character can have up to 12 palettes (one for each attack button, and one for each attack button while holding the Start button). Editable with programs like Paletero, Fighter Factory and ActEdit.

AI: A file the engine itself writes when the line "ai =" (followed by a filename) is included in the DEF file, and is not covered in the documentation.[6] It was discovered through experimentation. While the engine clearly does read the file it has made (an AI file from a different Mugen version gets dubbed invalid and rewritten with an error message present in the debug text), there's no surefire indication that this file actually augments the character's natural AI when controlled by the CPU, although the growth in size after successive or prolonged usage of a character shows that data is being written. This type of file is the least used among content creators due to both the absence in the documentation and the relative newness of the file type's discovery.

AIR: Animation file; tells the program how to play back a sequence of sprites to form an animation. The character's collision boxes are also defined here.

CFG: Configuration file, used solely by the engine. The file, mugen.cfg can be found in the data folder of the engine, and defines the basic functions. Some options are modifiable from M.U.G.E.N itself as Options while some are only modifiable through the file itself.

CMD: The command file, defines what commands the characters can use. Up to 128 unique attack commands can be defined here. This has led to some minor problems with newer versions of Windows that have started using this filetype for purposes unrelated to the M.U.G.E.N engine. Recent versions of windows reserve this filetype as a format similar to BAT files, leading to some complications, such as email services like Gmail blocking the file type fearing it to be a virus.

CNS: Character constants file; defines how a character acts and moves in terms of velocity, height, width etc. Also, coding is typically placed in this file instead of/along with ST files.

FNT: Font file; is constructed from the combination of an 8-bit pcx image and a correlating txt file. The pcx image depicts the characters that would be defined in the txt file from left to right. The txt file would tell where each of the characters begin and end relating to their location in the pcx image. Usable characters may be limited to ASCII's 128, but might be able to be extended to roughly 255 unique characters through the allowed usage of hex codes to define characters in the txt file. M.U.G.E.N does not support characters that are defined by more than a single byte. Although intended to create an alphabet, single-letter stage names allow a workaround for FNT files to display stage previews on the select screen.[13]

SFF: Sprite file; contains one or more sprites constructed from PCX images at 256 colors. Used for all sprites associated with the different parts of the engine, ranging from characters and stages to the screenpack itself. Pre-Linux versions of M.U.G.E.N allowed for stages to use unpaletted PCX files. While removed from the Linux version on, it was replaced with the option to use PCX files within characters that used a different palette, allowing for further possibilies notably regarding hitsparks and fx.

SND: Sound file; contains one or more sounds constructed from WAV files, and like SFF, used by all related parts of the engine (characters and screenpack).

ST: State file; defines character behavior and attacks. Optional, in that commonly coding is used here, but many characters like the default Kung Fu Man put the coding in the CNS file instead. Coding can also be put in the CMD file (as shown with State -1).
Note that with the exception of CFG, none of these file extensions are enforced by the engine, and serve only as the standard set by Elecbyte. However most mugen tools do follow most of these absolutely, notably in regards to SFF and SND.

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