Author Topic: Time to head back into the lab!  (Read 513 times)

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Offline The E

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Time to head back into the lab!
or: The Assassination of the Hero wmcgui by the coward The E

Okay, so, one thing that has been a constant source of annoyance with the lab has been the fact that the UI toolset used to build it (wmcgui, a toolset created by WMCoolmon back in the olden days) was lacking in a few things (namely, scrollable controls).
I have found a solution to that in the form of a library called Dear ImGui, which is a pretty well-established industry standard for building non-skinned interfaces in games for debug purposes.
So I started rebuilding the lab using it.



But here's the thing.

Because Dear ImGui is built on a very different paradigm, I had to throw away literally all the code for the old dialogs, meaning I have to rebuild it all from scratch, and that is as good a time as any to rethink a few things.

As you can see by the screenshot above, I've already remade the render options dialog and organized the various switches and things into new categories. That was the easy bit. I am now in the process of rebuilding the entire dialog structure related to objects, and I kinda want to make this a bit more useful than it currently is by adding more table info and putting in convenience functions like subsystem highlighting (in this current iteration I am using a debug function to draw a sphere over the selected subsystem, this will look better when it's done):



What else would you like to see, beyond the current functionality of the lab and a few already existing feature requests like LOD switching or tech room model displays?
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Offline Iain Baker

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
Damn fine coffee work there.  :) :yes:

If you are taking requests, then may I suggest:

1) Better controls for positioning the ship would be very welcome. In particular, the ability to drag and drop the whole ship in three dimensions so you can focus and zoom in on a specific section. (Basically what you can do in p3d.in)

2) Capital ships being able to fire their weapons would also be extremely cool, and potentially quite useful. If this could include a fully-3D positional virtual target for them to shoot at (actually two - one a virtual capship, one a virtual fighter) this might be handy for highlighting any 'turrets shooting through their own ship's hull' issues, *cough* Raksashsa *cough* and identifying blind spots in turret coverage. This could be helpful for mission designers, and could serve as a form of training aid. "Ah, so THAT'S how I can approach an (INSERT) without getting skewered by AAA or pummeled by flack." or "Now I know where all those bloody missiles are coming from ;-) "
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
2) Capital ships being able to fire their weapons would also be extremely cool, and potentially quite useful. If this could include a fully-3D positional virtual target for them to shoot at (actually two - one a virtual capship, one a virtual fighter) this might be handy for highlighting any 'turrets shooting through their own ship's hull' issues, *cough* Raksashsa *cough* and identifying blind spots in turret coverage. This could be helpful for mission designers, and could serve as a form of training aid. "Ah, so THAT'S how I can approach an (INSERT) without getting skewered by AAA or pummeled by flack." or "Now I know where all those bloody missiles are coming from ;-) "

That wouldn't even require a practice target - just a function for the turret to shoot on a vector, and maybe some output if said vector is in the turret's FOV
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Offline EatThePath

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
I'll second Iain's second thing, especially when I come around to incorperating all the lighting profiles controls to a debug panel it would be very useful to be able to have a big ship fire weapons, or just have a ship and weapons fire coexist at all.

A button somewhere for Qaz's envmap dump feature would be good

Weapons in general are hard to preview in the current lab, especially anything that uses trails.

Fireball testing might also be handy.
Name your damn turrets and sounds! Numbers alone aren't helpful!
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Offline Mito [PL]

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
FOV cones for turrets?
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
Turret fire would be useful. I know that has a whole set of complications, though.
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Offline The E

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
Ever wanted to look at a table entry while in FSO?

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Offline Admiral Nelson

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
That is super useful!
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Offline Trivial Psychic

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
Will it identify which tbms are currently overriding which entries?  FRED does this by just tacking on the tbm data at the bottom.
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Offline The E

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
Will it identify which tbms are currently overriding which entries?  FRED does this by just tacking on the tbm data at the bottom.

This is using the same method to generate the consolidated table entry that FRED uses, so yes.
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Offline Nohiki

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
This is sort of begging to have an edit function as well, if not the file itself, then loaded data in the game memory or however that works. It would make balancing a bit easier if one could tweak the values on the fly and then screenshot the final settings (or export if you're feeling generous) instead of quitting the game, making the edits and relaunching. Not sure about the feasibility of this.
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Offline The E

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
This is sort of begging to have an edit function as well, if not the file itself, then loaded data in the game memory or however that works. It would make balancing a bit easier if one could tweak the values on the fly and then screenshot the final settings (or export if you're feeling generous) instead of quitting the game, making the edits and relaunching. Not sure about the feasibility of this.

That would be cool, it's even somewhat feasible, but for the sake of being able to get this finished in a reasonable timeframe I'm going to veto that one.
Reason is that Ship_info (the internal struct that ship table entries get parsed into) and Weapon_info (the analog thing for weapon classes) are both very big structures, and creating editors for every value in them is extremely time-consuming.

Similarly, adding a table edit function is also more complex than it might initially seem. I can see some possibility to do this, especially given the recent merge regarding the load_last folder structure, but it too is something that we can look into once the major rewrite is done.

And speaking of that rewrite, the thing I am currently looking into is camera controls: There are some 3D object and view manipulation gizmos available as an imgui extension that look very appealing....
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline The E

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Re: Time to head back into the lab!
Despite appearances, this idea isn't dead yet! It just got held up in a mess of me being depressed, then breaking an arm; but there is progress!

In fact, I would very much appreciate it if people out there could give this test build a whirl: It is not feature-complete yet, but should be enough to give all y'all an idea of the direction I want to go into with this thing.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns