Animal Configuration Checker

Released user-created animals which have been tested and approved by our staff.
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Jay
african elephant keeper
Posts: 11533
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:23 pm
Location: Orlando, FL (M:63)

Animal Configuration Checker

Post by Jay »

This is an Animal Configuration Checker utility. All Zoo Tycoon animals have a configuration file inside a ztd file. For most user created animals, this configuration file ends with ".uca". For all Blue Fang animals and some user created animals, this configuration file ends with ".ai". This utility looks in the uca/ai file and does two things. First, it checks the file for problems and inefficiencies. This will help testers and animal creators. It does not check everything that is listed in the Uca Editing Guide in the APE Questions Forum; so that Guide should still be used by animal creators. However, this utility can help with the bulk of that checking. Second, this utility will show various characteristics about the animal that can help zoo builders to create better exhibits.

The utility is not fancy. Therefore, you have to be somewhat proficient with MS Windows and unzipping in order to use it. You must already know how to get the ".uca" or ".ai" file out of the ztd file. When you extract the ".uca" or ".ai" file, do not extract it into any Zoo Tycoon folder. Otherwise, Zoo Tycoon might list the animal twice in the game. Put the uca/ai file and the Animal Configuration Checker in the same folder (such as \Program Files\CHECKUCA) and run the Checker. It will ask for the name of the uca/ai file. Enter the name and the file will be checked.

The zip file has 5 files in it. Two of these files are different versions of the Checker. "chkuca.exe" is a "QuickWin" version. This means it will pop up a window. However, this might not work in all Windows environments. It worked in a Windows XP environment. However, it caused Windows 3.11 to hang. (Zoo Tycoon does not run in Windows 3.11. So, hopefully, this will not be a problem.) "checkuca.exe" is a DOS version. It will run in a DOS compatibility box or Command Prompt window. The remaining 3 files (checkuca.c, checkuca.mak, chkuca.mak) are provided for those programmers out there who might want to compile the program on their own.

For completeness... For those that understand and write scripts, the Checkers can also be run by specifying the uca/ai file (and an optional animal info txt file) on the command line. In addition, the source file will compile under Linux as well.

zip size: 63.1 KB
current exe dates: November 1, 2004 for both

Download the Animal Configuration Checker here.

Even some of the Blue Fang animals have minor problems. Here is an example using their sealion:

Code: Select all

Which Zoo Tycoon animal uca or ai file do you want checked?
sealion.ai
 
*** Warning: cPrefIconID 7062 is not in [cSuitableObjects] with value > 0.
sealion description:
Minimum happiness needed for chance of breeding: 90.
Liked foliage:
 Water Lily, Water Lily
Liked rock:
 Large Rock, Small Rock - Medium, Small Rock - Small
Number of animals allowed per exhibit: 2-16 with 35 squares each.
A suitable exhibit for 2 of this animal has 70 squares containing terrain of:
 63 Salt Water, 7 Gray Stone
using 2 grid squares filled with 4 Water Lily most liked plant
and using 8 Small Rock - Small most liked rock.
Here are instructions on how to run the checkers in Windows XP. You should already have the checkers and the uca or ai file in the same folder (such as \Program Files\CHECKUCA).

For chkuca:
1. Click "start".
2. Click "Run...".
3. Click "Browse..."
4. Go to where chkuca.exe and the uca or ai file are (such as \Program Files\CHECKUCA).
5. Click "chkuca".
6. Click "Open".
7. Click "OK".
8. In the "Stdin/Stdout/Stderr" window, type in the name of the uca or ai file (such as 12345678.uca) and press the "Enter" key.
The information for the uca/ai file is shown.

For checkuca:
1. Click "start".
2. Go to "All Programs".
3. Go to "Accessories".
4. Click "Command Prompt".
5. In the "Command Prompt" window, go to where checkuca.exe and the uca or ai file are. (For example, type: cd "\Program Files\CHECKUCA")
6. Type "checkuca" and press the "Enter" key.
7. Type in the name of the uca or ai file (such as 12345678.uca) and press the "Enter" key.
The information for the uca/ai file is shown.
User avatar
Jay
african elephant keeper
Posts: 11533
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:23 pm
Location: Orlando, FL (M:63)

Re: Animal Configuration Checker

Post by Jay »

The ".exe" files in the above post do not work with 64-bit MS-Windows. In 2013, a newer compiler was used to create a checkuca.exe that works in both 32-bit MS-Windows and 64-bit MS-Windows. The ZT-utils.zip in this post contains that updated checkuca.exe. The source program itself did not change.

The Zoo Tycoon Community Download Directory web site uses a modified version of that program called uca2post.exe to show warnings, errors, and a suitability guide for user made animals. The ZT-utils.zip in this post also contains that program, which was also compiled in 2013 to work in both 32-bit MS-Windows and 64-bit Windows. The checkuca.exe program is more for a designer and so it is more strict in what it checks. The uca2post.exe program is more for a Zoo Tycooner and is in a format for posting. Since the programs have different purposes, their results and suitability recommendations can be different. In particular, the uca2post.exe program takes habitat settings into account for suitability, just like ZT does, whereas the checkuca.exe program does not, since that is not something a designer should rely on.

The ".exe" programs can be run from any folder. In order to make it easier to work with right-clicking on a ".uca" file, I created ".bat" files for the programs. The ZT-utils.zip in this post includes the 4 ".bat" files I use: checkuca.bat, checkuc2.bat, uca2post.bat, and uca2pos2.bat. checkuc2.bat and uca2pos2.bat are not meant to be run directly; they are used by the other ".bat" files. ZT-utils.zip also includes ZT-utils.txt explaining how I set the ".bat" files up on my computer. In order to use the ".bat" files, one has to create a "ZT-utils" folder in the top level of the C: drive (C:\ZT-utils), and then the files in ZT-utils.zip have to be extracted into the ZT-utils folder.

For programmers, the C source for uca2post is in uca2post.zip.

ZT-utils.zip size: 66.3 KB
current checkuca.exe and uca2post.exe dates: February 22, 2013 for both
current checkuca.bat and uca2post.bat dates: June 8, 2018 for both

Download ZT-utils.zip here.

uca2post.zip size: 16.7 KB
current uca2post.c date: June 22, 2006

Download uca2post.zip here.
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