Modding, Mission Design, and Coding > The FRED Workshop

[Demo Release] Wing Commander Vega Assault

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--- Quote from: starlord on April 13, 2022, 09:19:06 am ---Just on top of my head, I think deathsnake made a number of WC1 fan models back in the day, like the Gettysburg cruiser and tolmacs light carrier. Wonder if they are still around…

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Oooh, a Gettysburg would be neat!
Is deathsnake still active? I could try to PM...

I also noticed that in Klavs model pack there is no Kilrathi Starbase  :(

--- Quote from: Asteroth on April 13, 2022, 02:20:07 pm ---Doing that is perfectly fine and valid, what matters is that it exists somewhere in the mission file, not that it necessarily be on the field at any particular moment. It depends on the SEXP in question, but most SEXPs will silently do nothing if you attempt to do something to a ship which has left, is yet to arrive, or has been destroyed.

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Cool, good to know!

Progress: spend most of the evening fiddeling arround with the mission template. Mostly adjusting the Launch sequence to accomodate the Tiger's Claws slightly different geometry compared to the TCS Hermes. I also changed the launch order so that the players ship is now the last one to exit the Tiger's Claw.

I've now ran into a very annoying and strange issue: after starting the mission one of those incredible WCS briefing cut scenes starts playing.
First I thought "oh right, I created the template mission out of Demo-02-BG-Hermes.fs2 (by opening the mission and "save as"). I just need to remove the reference to this video."

But I have no idea WHERE the reference to this cutscene is stored. I've clicked through all dialogues in fred multiple times: I don't see a reference to a cutscene anywhere.
What I am missing?  :confused:

Edit: nevermind, I've found it  :)
I wasn't aware that a .fs2 is just a text file and that it can contains more information than you can edit in Fred.

If not here, you might possibly find him at wcnews.

Quick update:

I did a LOT of stuff on the weekend, too much to list everyting.

Some highlights:
- added WC 1 music (plus some nice track switching :cool: )
- implemented an Iron Man mode (sadly simply klicking "restart" after you've died probably works, because persistent variables are only saved when you CLOSE the mission, right?)
- working with Backgrounds, plus discovering NASA as a pretty nice source for planet images
- overcame my writers block and wrote the initial Command Briefing (although in german... so I will have to write it again for a public release...) - 10 stages and I'm pretty happy with the result. No anis so far though.

And of course learning learning learning! A week ago I didn't even know how to comfortably move the camera around in Fred :D

Even though right now I have no idea of how far I will ride this project it has been an absolute blast so far.
Given my progress in learning and the successes of achieving immediate goals my spirit and motivation is unbroken - higher even then a week ago  :)

I will probably have a small playable demo consisting of Enyo 1 and Enyo 2  within a week or so from now :)

Anyway, current open fredding questions:
- I have declared an Ambience 2 part in my main soundtrack but it is not playing. I'm pretty sure I followed the instructions to the letter.
- WC Saga uses some kind of conversion factor between Freespace Meters and... whatever unit is used in the WC setting for distances :p - lets call it "klicks". I've determined this factor to be about 6.4 but I don't know where this factor is configured. Although I have no need for changing that factor right now I might want to do so in the future. Any ideas?

Current task:
Yesterday I've largely implemented a model for speed/maneuverability/shield/hit points/weapons.
For this first pass choose to stick as closely as possible to the WC 1 values to recreate that settings reality and feeling. In some some areas I purposfully deviated from it to realise the vision that I have for this mod.
Most importantly, cap ship hitpoints conform more to the model seen in Wing Commander 2 (and most military space shooters for that matter): I've increased the listed armor values for WC 1 ships by one order of magnitude.

In other cases I had to make decisions for any of the following reasons:
- lack of information
- no clear-cut conversion from WC 1 -> FSO
- ambigous information / listed values seem to differ from what can be seen in the actual game

The biggest of those cases, the one I have the highest doubts in my model, are shields and shield regeneration.

Let me elaborate.

First, this is what I have done:

For all ships, take the average of front and aft shields and multiply by 4. That means that any one shield area of a FSO ship has the same strength as any ony shield area of the same ship in its WC 1 stats (assuming same frot/aft shields) - just that the FSO ship has 4 areas while the original has only 2.
- that makes smaller craft in FSO more resilient then in WC 1 (but they loose out a bit when it comes to armor)
- I'm aware that FSO supports any number of shield areas - but you need HUD gauges for them, which I don't have

The real issue now comes with shield regeneration.

Depending on the source shield regenration for WC 1 ships is either listed as "x sec" or "x cm/second". usually has "cm/second" (but not univerally - the Exeter just has "x seconds" - lets call this the "flat rate" universally has "x sec" - lets call this the "flat time"

Both verions leave out if it applies to each shield area sperately or combined.
Each verions pretty much stand in opposite directions from each other.

To illustrate lets look at at the instances that lie at the extreme ends of the spectrum:
1) the Salthi, with a "10 sec" flat time, or a "10 cm/sec" flat rate, and an average shield of 3.5 cm
2) the Bengal, with a "1 sec" flat time, or a "1 cm/sec" flat rate, and an average shield of 21 cm

Each would have an insanely fast recharge rate under one version, and be tediously slow under the other.

To make matters worse, I don't think either of those is actually true in-game in WC 1.

Still, I had to make decision.

Two further observations:

* smaller, lighter ships have "higher" values, larger ships have very "low" values
* older fighter craft has "higher" values, new more modern ships have "lower" values (Salthi and Krant have record "high" values of 10 and 7, the shiny new Rapier has 3)
In the end I went with the "flat time" model. My reasons:

* Funnels into my "make cap ships great again" goal
* I can see the logic of larger ships being able to harness more energy, thus enabling better shield regen
* It makes more sense in my eyes that the newer ships have better shield technology - or rather the Rapier having a really bad shield system does not make sense to me
In addition I decided that the listed recharge time is true for the whole shield. That is, if a Rapier with a 3 sec shield recharge value looses it's complete shield, it takes 3 seconds to have both shield areas back to full strength.
In FSO terms, I decided that it applies to half the shields. That is in the listed recharge time half of the total shield strength will be regenerated. This follows my earlier decision that any one shield area should have the same strength in both games: thus the time to regenerate one shield area should be the same as well.

To put it in game terms the Bengal has a total shield value of 840 and regenerates 420 points per second. A laser deals 18 damage*, a Mass Driver hit deals 30 and a Neutron Gun deals 45**
The effectively makes the Bengal immune to any single fighter.

If that model is a good idea and fun in play is something that will have to reveal itself over time. Right now I'm inclined to try it out.

If you have opinions on that matter, please do not hesitate :)

* that is two projectiles - one only deals 9
** Yes, I've switched those around - it matches the weapons descriptions and justifies the existence of BOTH weapons


--- Quote --- (sadly simply klicking "restart" after you've died probably works, because persistent variables are only saved when you CLOSE the mission, right?)
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If the variable is "save on mission close" (or something to that effect, been a while) a restart will save the value, as FSO closes and reloads the mission file to effect the reset.

However you need to run the mission in campaign envoirnment for persistent variable to be of consequence, as they are saved as part of the campaign progress.

Yeah, its a Save on Mission Close variable. Thats good news! Then it should work in this case  :)
For some reason I tested it only for non-lethal campaign critical failure conditions (Traitor, Tiger's Claw gets destroyed) and not with dying and immediately restarting.


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