Author Topic: Just Another Day Development Blog  (Read 22127 times)

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
:yes2: :nod: :yes:

You need to take time to breathe and relax Axem. You. Are. A. Machine.


* Dekker suspiciously wonders if Axem is, indeed some sort of automaton sent back from the future where he is simply applying knowledge of Fred V 5.2.2 :nervous:
My personal theory is that he is a Wizard.

 

Offline Axem

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
This wizardy is just getting started.

Refined Bosses
A few bosses have had been refined a bit. The biggest change is the Fourth Beta Tester, the first one you fight as Holley. The fight always bugged me because it consisted of just trying to destroy 5 invisible subsystems that were strewn all around the ship. Hardly that exciting. It was more annoying and ultimately forgettable. So now she's had a bit of an upgrade! With the addition of 2 extra arms, beam turrets added at all the arms, and behavior to always face the player, the Fourth Beta Tester now has some amount of character when fighting it.


The fight is still dead simple, but a lot more engaging when you have the boss now actively trying to kill you instead of just running incidental waypoints.


Just avoid the beams and you won't get hit!


Extra Interface Work
I've been on a bit of a crusade when it comes to adding to the FreeSpace interface. The Journal, the System Viewer. But those are mostly fluff! Let's get something cool and neat going here.

Usually if you want to replay a fun mission, you just select it in the mission simulator. But selecting mission names from a list is SO 1999. Let's use something a little more dynamic…

Introducing, the campaign map!
Click on the mission you want to play, view campaign progress, take a break by hitting the club room, or just exit to the mainhall! The choice is yours.

And the clubroom is where my journal script gets its use here. All the written fiction and bonus stories go there, as well as character profiles and other goodies!


Next week, hidden no longer!

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
 :jaw: that is awesome. Each mission needs a screen now? Are the the background diorama part of the .fs2 file? How does it all work?
#axem

 
Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
wat

 

Offline niffiwan

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
<3 <3 <3
:yes2: :nod: :yes:
Creating a fs2_open.log | Red Alert Bug = Hex Edit | MediaVPs 2014: Bigger HUD gauges | 32bit libs for 64bit Ubuntu
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Linux OBS Packages: FSO 3.7.0 | FSO BP Build | wxLauncher (?) | PCS2 (?) | wxVPView (?)
Debian Packages (testing/unstable): Freespace2 | wxLauncher
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m|m: I think I'm suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Bmpman is starting to make sense and it's actually written reasonably well...

 

Offline Axem

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Okay, I guess it need a bit more explaining. ;)

The mission select screen is indeed a mission, you can see how the mission space is set up below.

The script runs that reads a config file that tells how the mission select screen should be drawn on top of the mission. Which missions, their positions, what missions are connected to what, which image should be drawn (here I just use resized mission loading screens), and other things like variables indexes. One of those variables is called scene, which puts that in a sexp variable for the game to watch. If scene changes, then the game fades out the screen, switches skyboxes, camera view and music, then fades back in. Two other variables are Available and Completed. These are indexes to bitwise sexp variables. If available is active, the mission can be selected. If its completed, it will get a green checkmark. Depending on the state of connected missions, the paths between mission buttons changes. Green means this path was completed, yellow means this path can be taken, and red means this path isn't available yet.

So how it works for JAD is when you start a mission, you don't just do the mission, you'll do the mission's "arc". So if you select "Beta Tester Attack" (mission 2a), it will lead into "Beta Tester Counterattack" (mission 2b) and then return you to the mission select screen again. You can't jump back to the mission select screen while you have an arc in progress, that's something I still need a code feature for.

When you have a mission selected and press the play mission button, an event goes true and the mission ends. The campaign logic uses that to send me to the correct mission. And the weird multi-loop logic is enough to crash the FRED campaign view, so that made for some fun debugging!

 
Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Your work never ceases to amaze me!
Can we like download your brain and upload it into FRED to act as a help guide?
Or are you FRED itself?
Too many ideas.....not enough FREDing time!

 

Offline Axem

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Maybe!

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Do not upload him into ANYTHING.

SHODAXEM will end our way of life if you do :shaking:

 
Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Do not upload him into ANYTHING.

SHODAXEM will end our way of life if you do :shaking:

Well then we just get the Dekker Rangers to go beat the SHODAXEM and restore order.
No harm done right?  :p  :D
Too many ideas.....not enough FREDing time!

 

Offline Rodo

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
This is just genious work. I cannot believe that's FSO at all.
el hombre vicio...

 

Offline QueenHolley

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Oof! I'm sick of all these dumb updates that add NOTHING new or worthwhile. People have been playing this game for YEARS without your silly menus or long-winded fiction. Why not get to what is the most important new addition to your dumb mod?!

What I am talking about, of course, is me.

Yes, Axem finally saved enough money to commission official portraits of my very fair likeness. And in full color to boot as well, none of this bullcrap monochrome silliness. (Art is courtesy of Spoon, maker of Windmills of Dawn or something, so give him your praise.)

But as usual, I am forced to share the spotlight with others who only ride on my coat tails. Yes, oh eternally nameless pilot, I am talking about you and your slightly punchable face.


And… Epsilon 1 and your… completely forgettable face.


LAME.

And as if Axem needed an excuse to introduce more ways to have parts of the game without blowing up space ships, that Visual Novel script that Wings of Dawn showed off is also in JAD. At least you get to see my pretty face in higher resolution.


Maybe in a month or two Axem will release this stuff. And then continually refine it until global warming floods his middle-of-the-continent location….

 
Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Quote
And… Epsilon 1 and your… completely forgettable face.
Shinji, is that you? :P

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
maker of Windmills of Dawn or something

I'll have you know, that just because I'm dutch, doesn't make everything I do related to windmills!
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Rodo

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
He does actually resemble shinji somewhat.
Oh the humanity!
el hombre vicio...

 
Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Man the wait for this is unbearable.
And for JAD2.2
And the real JAD3  :nervous: (I put the pieces together and worked out that JAD3 is indeed JAD4)
And you know you can never have enough JAD!
Too many ideas.....not enough FREDing time!

 

Offline Thisisaverylongusername

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Just saw the preview vid. That was AWESOME!  :D
If the opposite of pro is con, then is the opposite of progress Congress?

 

Offline Axem

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Boy you guys are quick, stalking my youtube like that. :p

Here's a preview video of Mission 2b: Beta Tester Counterattack.

In completely unrelated news, the download links for everything are down for maintenance. Who knows what might take their place.

 

Offline Axem

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
Balance is a funny thing. It all looks fine and makes sense on paper, then you go into a controlled test environment. Still acceptable results. Oh, but then it's time for a REAL mission with REAL instances of trouble. What then, punk?

Today I'll share some of the refining the Berserk mode has gotten and what led to the changes.

So if you've played JAD:XA, you will have gotten a taste of the Berserk mode. Kill things, berserk bar increases. Berserk bars fills up, your fighter upgrades in stats and weapons. Holley and Delta 1 had some differing characteristics that made their fighters a little different when it came to berserking. Holley got more "berserk points" for each kill, while Delta 1's lost less "berserk points" per cooldown cycle. This sort of reflects their personalities, Holley gets pumped up faster and Delta 1 is more "sustainable" (or maybe he lacks Holley's attention deficited nature?). That contrast made some amount of sense and playing as either pilot in the endless gauntlet was still very much doable. Mission complete.

End the blog post.

Oh wait, a problem arose.

In JAD2.22, Delta 1 has a string of missions where he gets to impress girls and show off. The problem: The Rhea is a terrible dogfighter. It's fine against capital ships and gunships, but put it against fighters and it can't hit anything. The main offset gunbank was the primary issue, so that's why I made a Mk 2 variant with a more centered 4 primary weapon bank.

And while it made dogfighting better, it still took longer than fights with the Ezechiel. In this segment, there's about 6 fighters that attack you and your party. New problem: minimum it takes about 6 kills to get the Rhea into berserk. With the cooldown cycle time, it would go up to 7 or 8. The Rhea is already a terrible dogfighter, I don't want to flood the mission too many with fighters that would kill you and your friends.

It was time to go back to the drawing board. The goal was to get the Rhea into berserk faster. One idea was to make ships worth more berserk points in lower levels. That way you can get into berserk faster, while not being able to get to the highest level too quickly. But if I did that, then Holley needs the same treatment since her thing was "Get into berserk before Delta 1" and I was already happy with the action levels with her missions. I didn't want to upset the cart too much with that.

I began to think about how the Rhea fights. It's not a dogfighter so much as a bomber (duh!). And capships take a lot longer to kill than fighters. So why not tie it's berserk with the damage it deals? Delta 1 can pop a few fighters then do a strafing run on an enemy capital ship and boom, he's powered up! Haha, wait. This berserk system I made only assumes kills will increase berserk. I would need to rewrite it all for it to assume berserk can come from other areas.


By only firing his Maxim, Delta 1 still gains a good chunk of berserk power! Whatever happens, we have got the Maxim and they have not!

But if I'm going to do that, I need to think about Holley too. She needed her own little gimmick. I couldn't leave her with just a plain berserk method, she's not a plain girl. Epsilon 1… sure. He's plain, but still too plain for any Berserk. In any case, I looked at Holley's personality again. Quick tempered, but burns out of energy quicker. What do?

One of the things I like to do while I waste time is watch SaltyBet. It's a fun twitch stream of 6000 AI fighters fighting 24/7. You can bet on the fights with imaginary money for fun and not-profit. While watching one fight, one of the fighters had this combo score multiplier gauge. The more hits they delivered within a certain time the more it went up. This gave me an idea.

I devised a berserk combo system for Holley. It starts off at x1.0. When she kills one fighter, it goes up to x1.2. Then x1.4 with the next kill and so on until she maxes out at x2.0. If enough time passes between kills, it goes back down one level. This would encourages players as Holley to scramble for kills. To be more impatient and more reckless.


Either Holley is on a killing spree, or she just found out they stole her cookies.

I also had to start to look ahead at other playable characters coming up. One was this new girl who is a bit of a daredevil and she's at her best when she's got the pressure of 80 Sathanas juggernauts on her shoulders. So she got a multiplier system of her own, but instead of kill combos, it's based on her health. At full health, she gains berserk the slowest out of all the characters. But starting at 75% health it starts to multiply up, hitting 2x at 50% health and nearly 4x at 1% health. Her fighter is a bit of a glass cannon too, so it's very much a high risk high reward playing style.


On the left, a kill at full health. On the right, a kill with 13% hull left! Better be nimble!

So with all that in mind, I went and rewrote my berserk system, this time upgrading the UI graphics a bit and making the config file a lot more… configurable. Now editing everyone's berserk performance became a lot simpler and they could have more than one way to get buffed out. As well, the system became more generic so non-players could berserk as well (Both allies and enemies!).

Fun for the future...
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 08:25:50 pm by Axem »

 

Offline QueenHolley

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Re: Just Another Day Development Blog
What?! Why does someone else get a higher multiplier than me! This wasn't in my contract! I demand reparations!