Author Topic: Hello there  (Read 615 times)

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My name's Peter, I'm an aviation, scif, and video-game enthusiast: I saw Wing Commander Saga: The Darkest Dawn and thought it was one of the best games ever, simply watching the long-play on YouTube.  It was incredible (and it's actually motivated me to buy a better computer that can run the game).

That said, I had some ideas of my own, which was Wing Commander themed, and I'm not sure if I should put it here, or on the WCS:DD sub-forum.

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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:welcomered:

Ask here is fine bud.

Price of freedom is eternal vigilance remember 😜👍👍
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Well if you already got some modding related project feel free to breathe some fresh air into the WCS board~ :)

 
:welcomered:

Ask here is fine bud.

Price of freedom is eternal vigilance remember
Understood.

The questions, from a FreeSpace 2 Game Engine concept basically have to do with...
  • Is it possible to create two fuel-gauges?  After all...
  • In most of the WC games: Fuel generally goes down only when you use afterburners and, once the fuel hits empty, you don't end up adrift in space; you merely cannot use the afterburners.
  • I was thinking about the idea of having an "afterburner reserve" (which covers afterburners only), and a "main tank" (which covers the fuel used by the ship's engines, and systems).
  • What's the fastest speed the game allows?
I was thinking about the WC Novels (particularly those written by William Forstchen, like End Run & Fleet Action), as well as the WC Bible (I'll attach it below), along with in-canon references (WC4) about the glowing intakes on the capital ships (and the Dragon/Lance),which provided an in-universe explanation why the ships maneuver like they're in air (rather than space), and don't take a few weeks to cross a solar system: Bussard Ramscoops.

The concept was first conceived by Robert W. Bussard (a physicist), and have appeared in science fiction (including Star Trek: The Next Generation): They use magnetic fields to sweep in stellar hydrogen, and the idea is that, in the WC Bible, they'd allow for a greatly extended range and endurance, but have a drawback in terms of drag-production, and this would account for atmospheric effect; With them turned off: You basically incorporate the auto-slide feature of WC3/WC4 with the engines off, combined with the ability to reach really high speeds with normal (i.e. non A/B) acceleration rates and power on. 

The ability to traverse huge areas faster would be pretty useful: Even if a ship with a cruise speed of 100 k/s with an acceleration rate of 5 k/s^2 would achieve 3000 k/s in 10 minutes.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 06:13:32 pm by Zipper730 »

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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There's already an afterburner guage isn't there? 
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Quote
I was thinking about the idea of having an "afterburner reserve" (which covers afterburners only), and a "main tank" (which covers the fuel used by the ship's engines, and systems).

Just set the value +Aburn Rec Rate: in the ships.tbl to 0 ( https://wiki.hard-light.net/index.php?title=Ships.tbl#.2BAburn_Rec_Rate: )

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What's the fastest speed the game allows?

It's not really about the fastest speed, it is rather the furthest distance from the mission center that causes problems. You have roughly 70km in all directions (so ~150km) before you run into issues like shaking skyboxes, vibrating models etc.

 
Just set the value +Aburn Rec Rate: in the ships.tbl to 0 ( https://wiki.hard-light.net/index.php?title=Ships.tbl#.2BAburn_Rec_Rate: )
So, basically, this would simply set the afterburner fuel figure such that it doesn't go down?

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It's not really about the fastest speed, it is rather the furthest distance from the mission center that causes problems. You have roughly 70km in all directions (so ~150km) before you run into issues like shaking skyboxes, vibrating models etc.
So, if you go more than 70,000 m from the line that connects nav-point to nav-point, everything will go haywire?

While these questions might sound stupid, but I'm new, and this is kind of a learning experience...
  • What's a shaking skybox?
  • Is there anyway to modify the engine to increase the furthest distance from the mission center?

 
Setting the fuel recover rate to 0 will prevent it from recharging.

I meant the distance from point 0,0,0 in FRED. There's no way to work around it, sadly. More on this topic here: https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=95004.0

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Highly recommend reading the tutorial documentation that's included with FRED as it covers a lot of basic to intermediate issues.
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Setting the fuel recover rate to 0 will prevent it from recharging.
Could this be toggled so that when scoops are closed it interprets this as "set recharge to zero"; then scoops open up, it assumes "set to (normal)"?  Is there anyway to create two fuel colums?  One for AB and another that's just Fuel (and when that goes, you just end up adrift).
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I meant the distance from point 0,0,0 in FRED. There's no way to work around it, sadly.
And those points are like the waypoints/navpoints?

I remember one idea, and I'm not totally sure how realistic (or how complicated) this is, but I remember somebody on a discord forum talking about the idea of making all space use quad precision floating ponts.  FS2 supposedly was equipped to do this, but I'm more an idea guy than a programmer (though I'm willing to learn), and I'm not sure how easy this would be for experts to pull off, let alone a guy that's barely mastered UBB code.

Highly recommend reading the tutorial documentation that's included with FRED as it covers a lot of basic to intermediate issues.
I just recently got a new computer, as part of a college class: I was planning on downloading WCS:DD (I saw the gameplay on YouTube -- amazing), and WC:Standoff (it seemed a lead-up to the WCS:DD timeline, and corresponds roughly to Fleet Action), since my new computer met the specs.

I need a joystick, and some kind of USB Extension device so I can plug in more stuff.  So I figure I should be a week or two out before I have everything on the new laptop I got (I'm currently using a Mac), but I'll download FS2 while I'm at it since, I've been told the editor comes with it.

« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 03:55:45 pm by Zipper730 »

 
I don't want to demotivate you but I'd suggest to get in touch with FS engine first - have you actually played WCS-DD already or just thought about doing so?

0,0,0 is the fixed center of coordinates - open FRED and hover the mouse over the sole ship place there by default. (of course you can move it around)

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Could this be toggled so that when scoops are closed it interprets this as "set recharge to zero"; then scoops open up, it assumes "set to (normal)"?  Is there anyway to create two fuel colums?  One for AB and another that's just Fuel (and when that goes, you just end up adrift).

There's a fuel mod for Diaspora (BSG total conversion) that does more or less that to my understanding, never tried it myself though.

 
Could this be toggled so that when scoops are closed it interprets this as "set recharge to zero"; then scoops open up, it assumes "set to (normal)"?  Is there anyway to create two fuel colums?  One for AB and another that's just Fuel (and when that goes, you just end up adrift).
Short answer : No, not right out of the box.
Slightly lengthier answer : Yes, but that would require a bit of work. First you would need to create a custom hud gauge, then use either a lua script or a bunch SEXPs to manage that gauge according to what your ship is doing, and make your ship go adrift when you run out of fuel.
I don't think it would be overly complicated, there's quite a few example of custom hud gauges lying around in various mods, and script and/or SEXPs that update these, so you could probably cannibalize those to save you some time.

EDIT - Also, see what Nightmare said

 
FREDing is quite easy to learn, but probably it should be said what X3N0-Life-Form isn't what you'd be during the first time FRED use, it requires a week of training or more and some knowledge of the engine to make it work.

 
I don't want to demotivate you but I'd suggest to get in touch with FS engine first
So get FS2, then figure out how to use the engine, and get the hang of it?  Sounds reasonable.  You have to consider, I have basically *no* formal background in programming.

I can type in stuff in UBB code, a little bit of HTML (very little), but basically nothing else: Do you think it would still only require a week of training with such a limited background?
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have you actually played WCS-DD already or just thought about doing so?
Haven't played it yet, I was planning on downloading in a few weeks.
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0,0,0 is the fixed center of coordinates - open FRED and hover the mouse over the sole ship place there by default. (of course you can move it around)
Is it possible to use a whole bunch of coordinate centers

Kind of like this

https://ibb.co/b6qzrDZ
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There's a fuel mod for Diaspora (BSG total conversion) that does more or less that to my understanding, never tried it myself though.
That's pretty cool.  Would you have to be using the A/B for this to work, or you just burn down gas as if you were on AB?

Short answer : No, not right out of the box.
Slightly lengthier answer : Yes, but that would require a bit of work. First you would need to create a custom hud gauge, then use either a lua script or a bunch SEXPs to manage that gauge according to what your ship is doing, and make your ship go adrift when you run out of fuel.
I figured it'd require a modification to the game-engine for that to work.  I assume with such a set-up, you could basically determine some kind of setting whereby full throttle burns more than sitting still, right?
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I don't think it would be overly complicated, there's quite a few example of custom hud gauges lying around in various mods, and script and/or SEXPs that update these, so you could probably cannibalize those to save you some time.
Sounds interesting.

 
Short answer : No, not right out of the box.
Slightly lengthier answer : Yes, but that would require a bit of work. First you would need to create a custom hud gauge, then use either a lua script or a bunch SEXPs to manage that gauge according to what your ship is doing, and make your ship go adrift when you run out of fuel.
I figured it'd require a modification to the game-engine for that to work.  I assume with such a set-up, you could basically determine some kind of setting whereby full throttle burns more than sitting still, right?
Once you get the hang of it, both the SEXP event editor in from the mission editor and the lua scripting engine can be surprisingly powerful, so making fuel consumption rate vary should be doable.

It should be noted though, that as Nightmare said this would not exactly be trivial for a rookie mission designer. Even if you scavenge parts of other mods, you still need to set them up so that they work for you, which requires a bit of knowledge of the game engine.
And of course the backbone of any modding effort is the mission editor - FRED, which aside from being the thing that allows you to make missions, would likely be at the core of your fuel consumption system, as doing it in lua requires even more advanced knowledge of the game engine.

tldr; Yes it should be doable, but all of that would requiring a lot of work, especially if you're not familiar with Freespace Open.

 
Well you seemed to be pondering which environment was the most suitable for what you wanted to do. FREDing is not overwhelming complex but yeah it would probably require some basic understanding of how the engine works. What you said has partially been done before, so in theory it could be copied and pasted, but that requires you to understand what you do too. So yeah a week, more like a month or more if you haven't even played the game yet.

 
Well you seemed to be pondering which environment was the most suitable for what you wanted to do. FREDing is not overwhelming complex but yeah it would probably require some basic understanding of how the engine works.
Agreed
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What you said has partially been done before, so in theory it could be copied and pasted, but that requires you to understand what you do too. So yeah a week, more like a month or more if you haven't even played the game yet.
Understood.

 
The custom HUD feature seems available for FS2 as well as Unity.  This might be a common feature to many game-engines.

  

Offline Colonol Dekker

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It's a guaranteed feature of every engine which has it coded in 🤔🤔🤔
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