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[Progress Update] In The Beginning

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Trivial Psychic:
If anyone has been following my posts here and there, you may be aware that I've been in the process of updating Den5's classic pre-3.3 release (and possibly pre-3.0) of his campaign loosely based on the B5 telefilm "In The Beginning".  I've attempted this twice before over the past couple of decades, but something has always pulled me away from the project (and often FS in general).  Fortunately, I kept my work, copying everything as I've upgraded and replaced my PC over the years.  I am now much closer to getting this ready than I've ever been before.

For those of you not aware, ITB is 37 missions long, so it's quite the job, and is QUITE old.  It appears that Den5 originally created the campaign in Russian, as some audio clips from the movie (and a few other sources) are in Russian, and when I first started working with it, I found it quite difficult to interpret what was going on, as it appears that the original dialogue (not the voice-acted stuff from the film) was done in Russian, then translated (poorly) into English via a translation program, which was... as I said, difficult to interpret.  I had to look at what the events themselves did, to figure out what was supposed to be going on.

I've replaced some of Den5's stand-in models with newer ones, changed his dialogue to sound better in English, added a CONSIDERABLE amount of mission chatter, along with a number of other changes and upgrades.

Right now, I'm experimenting with adjusting vessel warping to look more like it does in the show, where ships can all appear to use the same warp vortex.  I've figured out a method (that is still being refined) to accomplish this.  For example, if a number of transports are about to jump out through a jumpgate, you need to first create a sexp-generated warp effect, big enough to fit the jumpgate.  Then you need to adjust the custom warpout parameters for the transports.  Give them a warpout speed of about 500, change the effect size to 0.01, and change the sounds to "0" for both start and finish.  If the ships are either larger or widely separated, you also need to add a waypoint at the far end of the gate and have them change course towards it just prior to the jump.  Otherwise they'll appear to emerge out the sides of the warp cone.  Just make sure that you include enough time for each ship to jump out, one after the other, otherwise they'll run into each other.  About a second or two would do.

My very latest efforts concern fighters and warships, trying to get them to appear to arrive all through the same warp vortex, at the same time, at the same speed.  I've experimented with a wing of fighters and a Hyperion.  I got best results by giving the Hyperion a warping speed of 300m/s, and expanding the effect to 1000m.  Tuck the fighter wings in fairly close to the hull... but not too close, have their arrival about a second after the Hyperion arrives, give them an arrival speed of 750m/s, an effect size of 0.01m, sounds of 0, and most important of all, give the fighters "play dead" initial orders.  If you don't, they'll curl around immediately upon arrival, even if you give the fighter no AI class.  You need to give about 5 seconds or so for the ship to decelerate before clearing the play-dead order though.

I have yet to string the missions back into a campaign to test out how well they work with each other.  My final set of changes will likely involve replacing the content included from the movie.  I'd like to get the audio files replaced, perhaps with some help get some new head anis, and maybe even some new CB anis, and cut-scenes.  Most of the 'perhaps' ones will involve either a learning curve on my part, some assistance, or both.

I'll try to keep you updated further.

wesp5:
That sounds cool! But I am surprised that there shouldn't be a single mission in TBP where multiple ships come through a jump point...

0rph3u5:

--- Quote from: Trivial Psychic on March 18, 2022, 09:35:57 pm ---Right now, I'm experimenting with adjusting vessel warping to look more like it does in the show, where ships can all appear to use the same warp vortex. 

--- End quote ---

That sounds really interesting. I am looking forward to the results.

To the resolve collision issues, you might want to try using collision groups for the arrival sequence. That way you can make the arriving ships unable to collide against each other (tl;dr ships that are currently in the same collision group do not perform collision checks with each other, so they treat each other like they are not there; ships can be added or removed from collision groups at will via SEXP).

Before my current engagement, I was experimenting with the using the ship-lat-maneuver to just give ships pushes for departure. I did not work on arrivals.


--- Quote from: wesp5 on March 19, 2022, 07:00:19 am ---That sounds cool! But I am surprised that there shouldn't be a single mission in TBP where multiple ships come through a jump point...

--- End quote ---

Well, there are but until recently there was no fine tuning of the warp-in/warp-out that allowed to fake the accleration into/out of a jump point, so you will have a primary ship actually warping in/out and the other ships just pop-in/-out.

wesp5:

--- Quote from: 0rph3u5 on March 19, 2022, 02:17:50 pm ---Well, there are but until recently there was no fine tuning of the warp-in/warp-out that allowed to fake the accleration into/out of a jump point, so you will have a primary ship actually warping in/out and the other ships just pop-in/-out.

--- End quote ---

So would this mean we would need to fix all missions with multiple ships coming out of a jump point to get this right now?

0rph3u5:

--- Quote from: wesp5 on March 20, 2022, 03:16:00 am ---
--- Quote from: 0rph3u5 on March 19, 2022, 02:17:50 pm ---Well, there are but until recently there was no fine tuning of the warp-in/warp-out that allowed to fake the accleration into/out of a jump point, so you will have a primary ship actually warping in/out and the other ships just pop-in/-out.

--- End quote ---

So would this mean we would need to fix all missions with multiple ships coming out of a jump point to get this right now?

--- End quote ---

Not at all. If done right, the illusion is serviceable. If there is sufficent distance between the jump point and any possible position of the player, it will work.

And preserving these old slight-of-hand techniques has some value in itself.

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