Author Topic: Between the Ashes Development Blog  (Read 4215 times)

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
What exactly was that mechanism meant to do? Using set-object-position evaluating at the start of the mission for invisible objects. I'm curious! Assuming it's not a spoiler and you can talk about it, at least ;)

Was it creating a reference point for a ship to turn and face after X Y Z conditions occur or something like that? I'm also guessing the invisible object was moving somehow or else there would be no need to reset its position. Right?

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
Good guesses, but no. Here's what's going on there.

You can instruct ships or wings to warp-in near any other ship in the mission. That's the core mechanic being abused here. In this mission, Slasher (our other FREDer), wanted to have a little variance in how the mission played if replayed multiple times. He setup the scene so that hostile wings could attack from two different directions. There are a few ways to do this. You could use a whole host of events to check for a randomly set variable and then use set-arrival-cue to change wing/ship arrival locations.

That works, but it can be a bear to setup that many set-arrival-cue events if you have a lot of affected wings/ships. So Slasher went a more efficient route. At the start of the mission, an attack direction is randomly chosen and stored in a variable. Then based on that variable, an invisible, no-collide, "ship" is placed at that particular location. Wings/ships that are affected simply are set to arrive near that object. If it's on Side A, they will arrive over there. If it's on Side B, they arrive there. We could move it wherever we want in the mission, whenever we want to. The ships will arrive near it wherever it goes! So it only ever needed to move once, at the beginning of the mission. It's an efficient method. The only oversight was using an Every-Time event instead of a When event which caused the bug I found.
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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
Oooooh, nice, definitely makes sense to do something like that. Since if you just do Arrive Near some central point with a giant radius, you sacrifice finer control of the arrival locations.

For instance, if you look at The Sixth Wonder, enemy bomber wings appear pretty much randomly at some designated distance from Enif Station. If you wanted them to always approach from one of three directions, but still with some randomness, you'd probably do something like the above: set a ship reference to use, then randomly position that ship as needed to give you unpredictable arrival locations without making them spawn absolutely anywhere in a giant spherical radius around the installation. 'Bout right? Sounds pretty useful!

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
Every mod should have an invisible no-collide 'point' ship.

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
Every mod should have an invisible no-collide 'point' ship.
:nod:

And a screenshot because why not?

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Online Mongoose

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
That shot just yells RUN AWAAAAAYYYYY!!!

 

Offline niffiwan

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
That shot just yells RUN AWAAAAAYYYYY!!!

Or maybe... I WISH I'D PICKED A FASTER SHIP!!!! :p
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
With release coming soon.. I just wanted to post a quick note about some of the incredible voice work that has gone into the campaign. There's a good number of small and moderate roles, but I really wanted to pick out those that took on large multi-mission roles all for free. Go check out their work, they are incredible. Seriously. At least click on the links to their website.

Wingmen of note:

Caitlin Buckley http://caitlinva.wordpress.com/ (Also performed a second semi-large role in a few missions.)
Cygnus https://www.youtube.com/user/ShadowOfCygnus
And our very own... Will "MageKing17" Howard!

There are other wingmen, but they didn't give me website URLs so there's little point in listing them here.

Intepid Commander - Warren Blackie http://www.warrenblackievo.com
Command - James L. Collymore http://www.voiceoverprime.com/ (who you may recognize from Silent Thread:Reborn and I think Blue Planet as well!)
Arris Gavel - Josh Griffiths http://chapter11studios.webs.com/ (This is a large role in the demo campaign and has a fantastic cameo in the main campaign. I truly cannot wait until you all see it!)
Briefing Commander - Holly Lindin http://hollylindinspire.net (She put up with me and my rewrites for nearly 2 years!)

And a special shout-out to Cliff Thompson http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4309529/
He performed 6 different roles! Some of them minor, one being the Mako in the demo campaign, another being a character that gives Command Briefings. But on top of all of that.. he also performed the single largest role by far... Vasudan Translator. A role that spans multiple characters, factions, missions, etc. This dude nailed it. And he seems just as excited to play the game as he was to voice it!

These guys and 37 others really brought the whole mod to life and I'm super thankful for them. :)
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
And our very own... Will "MageKing17" Howard!
this sounds like a very handsome man

You should link some voice samples; the voice samples were the best part of the War in Heaven voice acting death march (well, besides the actual release, of course).
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(...)
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<MageKing17> more than two hours
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<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
I was going to post your "praise-self" line since you literally just did that... but your praise-self line is actually quite humble. :p
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
My to-finish list before release is getting much smaller!

Check into some mission related bugs.
Finish some fiction.
Make our system map viewer is complete.
Finalize the voice acting.
Check for easy to miss bugs with debug builds.
Testing!
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Offline Rodo

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
Testing usually opens a whole new can of worms. Still I have faith, cause being diligent as you have always been then I dare to say the can will be pretty small.
el hombre vicio...

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
Indeed, testing usually does. I do know the campaign is winnable.. I just finished a playthrough myself. I also know the modpack is very stable on 3.7.4, so we're in a good spot.

The only thing I can't test is "can players break the missions if they aren't familiar with them?" But even then... I designed the modpack so that if post-release patches need to happen, they'll be small in download size.
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Offline eicca

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
I'm deliberately holding off starting Freespace 2 again so I can play this....!

Tick tick tick.

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
.
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Offline Rodo

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
It's a date.
 :drevil:
el hombre vicio...

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
Yes... It is a date... I wouldn't have set a date unless I was sure I would make it, either. :)

At this point, worst case scenario is that the first players find crazy ways to break a mission and I release a quick patch! I've played through the whole campaign about 8 time this month now, so I know for sure the missions can be completed! (And failed... I've done that a few times, too.)

So there's not much to post here at the moment because mostly in just making small tweaks to mission balance or fixing minor bugs and spelling errors.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
It's release month!

And the testers are busy breaking things. But that's good! That's a few less things for you guys to break! :yes:

23 days.
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Re: Between the Ashes Development Blog
Really looking forward to playing this! :-)