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WCS Open (Alpha release)

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The release

Simply put, this is WCS ported to Freespace Open.

This only an early alpha release, as there are still a few bugs to iron out (for example, capship warpout deceleration), a few minor features that haven't been re-implemented yet (for example, different HUD for each ship), and some easy improvements that could be made over the original (skippable dialog, some well placed checkpoints) - but it is 100% playable from start to end, for both the Prologue and the 50 missions of the Hermes campaign.

I would appreciate bug reports, ideas for (simple) improvements that could be made, and any support from anyone interested in helping me polishing this.

The intent

The main goal is to turn WCS into a new way to attract people into the FSO community, just like Diaspora is. As long as WCS runs only on a separate engine, players are much less likely to ever discover what they're missing here. And if they do discover it through WCS, they are going to have negative bias toward it due to their experience on an outdated and closed engine.

The second goal is to bring back multiplatform and multiplayer support to WCS, as well as allowing modders the full range of FSO features they've been missing for the past year.

If anyone modding WCS wants help converting their mod to WCSOpen, I would be happy to oblige.


Unrar the WCSOpen folder in your WCS Folder. Copy-paste a recent FSO exe in the WCS folder (you need a full install of WCS, preferably patched) and use the launcher of your choice to select WCSOpen as a mod.

This was tested on the latest BP builds from here, but it should work on any recent FSO build.

Important notes (in no specific order)

* If your wingmen get stuck at the exit of the hangar at the beginning of a mission, go away from the carrier (use time compression if necessary), they should get unstuck eventually. Missions usually do not progress until they have properly taken off.
* Some missions feature extremely large asteroid fields that will reduce performance very sharply if you use shadows. You can still use a shadow-enabled build to play these missions if you disable shadows (command line '-shadow_quality 0').
* I still need to do a pass on all missions to remove some unused WCS flags that will pop up a lot of (skippable and non-fatal) warnings in debug builds. You are advised to play with release builds until next release.
* Longbows tend to get very stuck in hangars when exiting and especially when landing. I have increased the radius for end-mission triggers in those missions, but I may have missed some. Feel free to report if you get major issues with them, and try to land from the back of the carriers, as you will have less distance to cover to reach the trigger zone.
* Because we're limited to 4 secondary banks, some symmetrical banks got merged for ships that had too many banks.
* Time compression was re-enabled
* CBrief anis were temporarily disabled because of this issue

Download link


I will get this hosted on once I get to something a bit more polished.

TODO list, for those interested (in no specific order)

--- Code: ---- Do a pass on all the missions to remove all the flags that make debug cry me a river
- Ship-specific HUD
- Fix the diaspora-like Missile/Gunpoint preview HUD
- Fix the capship warpout deceleration
- Try to find why we get skybox seams
- Fix the missions with Longbow landing issues
- Dialog skip
- Checkpoints where needed
- Find why you can't scroll down in command briefings
- Implement flaming debris and piercing effects
- Fix the position of external secondaries
- Reduce the size of extremely large asteroid fields for better performance on shadow-enabled builds.
- Some secondaries have no preview in loadout screen
- Check if loadout selection is not broken
- FRED a few proof-of-concept multiplayer missions
- Use collision groups to make sure wingmen don't get stuck when exiting carrier at mission start
- Use framebuffer cloaking effects

--- End code ---

Thank you, Matth! I've been waiting for this for a long time now!

Wow, you got it to run on trunk? I'm impressed. On my end I made a custom build just to parse the new flags'n'stuff ^^. In any case, this is awesome!

Regarding dialogue skips: I've already implemented some in most of the missions, along with some other modifications, feel free to grab them to include them in your mod --> github repo, there should be a "download as zip" button somewhere on the bottom right corner of the page.

I've still got the code base for my franken build thingy, but I don't think it's quite up to latest trunk. Karajorma might have something more recent.

*goes to update to latest trunk*

EDIT - code updated to trunk, fresh build in progress.

EDIT 2 - ****ing build errors - will fix that Wednesday

Talon 1024:
Here is my hud_gauges.tbl and scripting.tbl. The hud_gauges.tbl contains HUD layouts for the Arrow, Hellcat, Longbow, Excalibur, Thunderbolt, and Sabre for 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1280x720. The scripting.tbl was adapted to work with standard FSO builds, and it makes the hardpoints gauge work as it did in WCS.

[attachment deleted by ninja]

Could you post a specific changelog of features removed from tables and missions? I'd like to get a picture of SEXPs and table options that are not in regular FSO builds. I only know about expanded gun/missile limit (which is, BTW, something that I'd really like to have in trunk).


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