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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Painting the Stars (02/07/20); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20)

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Messages - Stalker

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Mods / Re: [0.7.2a] Freespace v0.2 (updated 2/11/17)
« on: February 17, 2017, 10:36:15 AM »
If you ever feel like it, the UEF ships from Freespace 2: Blue Planet 2 would also be very welcome. And if you haven't played that freespace 2 mod, I'd higly recommend it. Fantastic set of missions.

Yeah, I really like that mod - the UEF have a cool aesthetic for sure. I also really like the GTD Raynor. Something I definitely want to explore after the core FS2 stuff is in play.

Speaking of which, here's where I'm at:
  • Noted on the Red and Blue mod inspiration point (on what to avoid) - it is nice to know what the extreme upper limits on size are, though.

  • Ursa Bomber is in-game. Once I got it in, I realized how out-of-balance the ship/weapon stats were (way weaker than they should be), versus vanilla equivalents. Rather than put more ships in, I spent a bunch of time establishing a framework for balancing FS ships and weapons.

  • All FS weapons are now balanced against vanilla equivalents. This required me to build out the stats for all remaining weapons, and forced me to reconfigure/add weapons where gaps existed. This is balance pass 1 (on paper), and I'll need to do a further balance pass once everything else is actually in-game. That pass should just be tweaking and addressing any outliers.

    The result of this is a set of weapons that retain the character of what's in FS2, while still being competitive with what's already out there.

  • All FS ships are balanced against two exemplars, which themselves are balanced against vanilla ships. In this case the exemplars are the Hercules II Heavy Fighter for shielded fighters/bombers, and the Deimos Corvette for everything else. Everything else is balanced against these via the ratio of difference in the original FS2 stats.

    This, at least, provides a baseline to work off of, and makes it really easy to get all the rest of the ships in the game, once I have time to build their *.ship and *.variant files.

  • Finding a way for max flux and flux dissipation to be a proxy for the weapon/shield/engine system (ETS) in FS2 was a challenge, but I believe I have it cracked. Fighters/Bombers will need their flux to balance shield charge, weapon firing, and afterburner (or other ship system) power. It should be interesting to see how Bombers perform when player skills increase their OP and allow for higher max flux and flux vents to be installed.

  • I'm still balancing flux settings for the larger ships. It's even more critical than for smaller, shielded ones, as larger ships will only use flux for weapons and systems. What systems? Well, Shivans will probably be focused on short Subspace Jumps (since they are the masters of subspace), with the goal of keeping their capital ships facing the enemy (almost no rear defenses). Terrans will probably get a mix of ramming speed (similar to the Onslaught), and "weapon/reactor overload" powers across their ships (still one power per ship). Vasudans... some sort of active armor on their "newer" ship designs and something else for their "older" ones? TBD.

    The idea behind system usage is that it will take up 80 - 90% of the ships flux capacity to use them, meaning you're trading the value the system gets you for the ability to fire beam cannons, at least until your flux dissipates sufficiently. Ship reactors are tuned to only provide so much power, after all, and beam cannons take a ton of it.

  • My current short-term goal for v0.3 is to get all the remaining weapons in-game, and the heaviest bomber per side. I might throw in some additional variants of the ships already in-game, so there's a bit more to go on there.

Modding / Re: Installing Mods - A Simple Guide
« on: February 14, 2017, 04:27:58 PM »
Note that Freeapace is not a total conversion mod — it is a faction mod that is fully compatible with other mods. There's nothing getting overwritten. I play test balancing against vanilla, Blackrock, Templars, and other popular mod ships.

Mods / Re: [0.7.2a] Freespace v0.2 (updated 2/11/17)
« on: February 13, 2017, 05:15:31 AM »
These ships are game and AI breaking too big. The Cathedral from SWP is as big as you can get WITH A CIRCULAR ship. Giant stickships like this WILL break the AI in many ways

I've actually been using these size ships for a bit and they don't break the AI - they seem to work without causing wonkiness to the game or AI.

Midnight Kitsune might have mean the one I mentioned. It was definitely gamebreaking, making act all weird. Still, gamebreaking or not, I remember it made me smile.. and run away. Then again Oculian Berserkers was a unbalanced and a bit glitchy mod anyway.

Gotcha. I took a look at the ship you mentioned... it's easily twice the length of the destroyers above. In fact, I could probably increase the size of the destroyers a bit (from 800px to 1000px).

That being said, this does give me an idea. I wasn't planning on including the Sathanas or Colossus, since they are just such ridiculously huge and overpowered ships, but I'm wondering if I could pull a "Templars" and have a single Sathanas spawn with an "Annihilation Fleet" and have it just go around and cause havoc until it's destroyed. I could probably use the same event to spawn a "Colossus Fleet" - ideally there would be a way to get that fleet to hunt the Annihilation Fleet.

Long time away, if ever, but I think it's generally doable.

Mods / Re: [0.7.2a] Freespace v0.2 (updated 2/11/17)
« on: February 12, 2017, 03:33:05 PM »
These ships are game and AI breaking too big. The Cathedral from SWP is as big as you can get WITH A CIRCULAR ship. Giant stickships like this WILL break the AI in many ways

I've actually been using these size ships for a bit and they don't break the AI - they seem to work without causing wonkiness to the game or AI.

Mods / Re: [0.7.2a] Freespace v0.2 (updated 2/11/17)
« on: February 12, 2017, 03:31:05 PM »

Those are bloody huge... how soon will these be added?

I'm working on the Ursa right now, to nail down the "frigate" play a bit, and then I'll start working through the rest of the fighters and bombers this coming week.

I'm actually leaving the big boys for last, although the Shivans already have the Demon destroyer in-game now (it's the same size as the big guys above), and it's fully functional.

Speaking of which, I might as well drop the Shivan fleet in here too (in order, Fighters, Bombers [Frigates], Support and Cruisers [Cruisers], Corvette [Destroyer], and Destroyers [Battleships]:

Mods / Re: [0.7.2a] Freespace v0.2 (updated 2/11/17)
« on: February 12, 2017, 08:03:59 AM »
Here's a collage of the full GTA fleet (OK, minus freighters and tankers, which are on the back-burner)! These are "actual" size for Starsector.

Random fact: the guide I use when converting FS ships over to Starsector is roughly:

Fighters and Utility: 2x pixels than FS length
Bombers: 1.5x pixels than FS length
Medium Capitals: .5x pixels than FS length
Large Capitals: .35 - .4x pixels than FS length

This normalizes sizes of ships a bit to work with Starsector, without being too weird.

In terms of playstyles, here's what I'm thinking:
- Bombers = Frigates. Fully configurable.
- Cruisers/Corvette/Destroyers = Cruisers/Destroyers/Battleships. Also fully configurable. Might as well let folks outfit them however they want. I guess that means beam cannons will be purchasable--I just need to find a way to make it so they are super rare outside of mounting on FS capital ships.

Mods / Re: [0.7.2a] Freespace v0.2 (updated 2/11/17)
« on: February 10, 2017, 09:25:04 PM »
v0.2 is out! No new ships yet, but I've cleaned up a ton of code and have made the mod compatible with the latest and greatest everything.

Change Log
Version 0.2
- Updated for compatibility with SS v0.7.2a
- Added Nexerelin compatibility
- Switched from ShaderLib to GraphicsLib
- Fixed a crash bug with the Piranha clusterbomb
- Cleaned up and fixed up sector and planet generation code

Mods / Re: [0.7.1a] Freespace v0.1 (updated 12/21/15)
« on: February 09, 2017, 06:14:27 AM »
So, as mentioned on page 1, I have this spreadsheet I'm using for all the ship and weapon stats:

Rather than try to craft each ship's stats from scratch, individually (balance as you go), I'm taking the ships I have already balanced as a baseline and am calculating other ship stats based on the delta ratios.

This will enable me to get these ships in game much more quickly, where I can then begin tweaking them individually based on experience and feedback.

I'm also going to try the same thing with weapons and see how it works out.

Edit: Note to myself that ships should be sold without beam cannons, and only (D) versions should be available for sale outside of salvage or some really-difficult-to-attain faction rep. Other Freespace weapons only available via military submarket. Then there's a reason for conflict/play. Also, only cruisers and basic fighters/bombers should be avail in the regular market, maybe with ballistic weapon loadouts (a la Freespace 1), and everything advanced for the military.

Mods / Re: [0.7.1a] Freespace v0.1 (updated 12/21/15)
« on: February 06, 2017, 01:14:32 PM »
I'm still around, and I've still got my development environment up and running, so I'm looking at updating this for compatibility and slowly (very slowly) dropping mini-releases to get all the ships in and playable. No promises beyond that.

I was working on v0.2 a year ago and the branch is still live, so once I figure out what my workflow used to be, I can start plugging away.

Mods / Re: [0.7.1a] Freespace v0.1 (updated 12/21/15)
« on: February 03, 2016, 08:10:41 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, folks. I'm back from January, and will be ramping up development again. Some good takeaways thus far:

  • Power balance of existing ships to bring them more in-line with vanilla. I'll pump up the weapon ranges and reduce the damage.
  • Add flags/icons for factions

I'm going to tighten up the balance with the existing ships before adding too many more ships to the factions. I may add transport ships for the next build, since I'd like to move the FS factions away from using vanilla freighters/tankers.

Right now, I'm planning on the "rebel" factions using the FS1 ships, while the "military" factions use the FS2 ships and any new ships that come along. The Shivans will just keep shive-ing as they are.

Mods / Re: [0.7.1a] Freespace v0.1 (updated 12/21/15)
« on: December 23, 2015, 10:24:19 AM »
Working on 0.1a right now. Fixing bugs I've noticed, and getting the remaining sprites and sounds done and in the build.

It'll be awhile before v0.2, as I won't be in a position to do development in January.

Any feedback on the current build? I'll throw any fixes into a 0.1a if I can.

Mods / Re: [0.7.1a] Freespace v0.1 (updated 12/21/15)
« on: December 21, 2015, 11:18:02 AM »
If you're talking about Nexerelin, you can refer to that OP on how to make them playable.

Tried all that, to the letter, and it didn't work. The factions work with Nex, but aren't selectable.

Mods / Re: [0.7.1a] Freespace v0.1 (updated 12/21/15)
« on: December 21, 2015, 10:58:15 AM »
If you want to play with these races in Nexerelin, just rename data/campaign/rules2.csv to rules.csv

You won't be able to start a game AS these races yet, because for some reason they aren't showing up in the list of selectable races. You can, however, play next to them and presumably join them in-game.

Mods / Re: [0.7.1a] Freespace v0.1 (updated 12/21/15)
« on: December 21, 2015, 08:01:01 AM »
v0.1 is out! Please post your feedback here. Enjoy!


Known Issues
  • I wanted to make it Nexerelin-compatible for this release, but it kept crashing due to the inclusion of Nex code in the rules.csv, so I just renamed it to rules2.csv.

    Renaming it to rules.csv doesn't help, strangely enough. I need to figure out what's missing that's preventing Freespace factions from showing up in the Nex factions list. All the code I wrote is in this release, so if anyone can figure it out...
  • No faction logos yet. It's on the list.
  • Faction markets do not skew heavily towards fighters yet. It's also pretty difficult to find FS weapons right now at markets. Not sure how to fix the markets yet...
  • Faction fleets are not really balanced yet, due to the lack of ship diversity. This will be fixed by adding more ships later.
  • Cap ships are getting their armor and flux venting reduced, but have been given buffs to base flux capacity. This should allow beams to be fired for their duration, but they'll fill up your flux meter, which will take some time to empty. This should bring flux dynamics to be close to parity with shielded ships.
  • Issues with Faction naming and fleet compositions. Way too many Corvettes, no Shivan Destroyers, and not enough fighters.

I'm having trouble getting my beam cannons to look right.

Do these lines:

Even do anything?
Also, is it R,G,B, luminosity? Or is the other different.

Currently, my beams are far too wide and far too white.

It's RGB+Luminosity. You have that right.

I believe the order in-game goes core -> fringe -> glow. So right now, your almost-white glow has a whole lot more luminosity than your core, which is probably contributing to the all white issue.

I'm not sure why your beam is wide. 10f is not a very wide beam.

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