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Author Topic: [0.81a] [0.3.3.0] Starsector Forge: modding tools for ships, skins, variants+  (Read 9792 times)

Cataphract22

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A couple of thoughts:

SSED used the "A" key to adjust auto / non for weapon groups, detecting which group we were on (essentially the same process you're doing for recording the clicks to change groups).  Perhaps add an Autofire / Fire Mode button over each group or keys that are a little more intuitive.

Good idea. I wasn't really sure how I wanted to do it, so I just threw something in there. I don't like how it feels either.


Mirroring is extremely useful, for weapons, hitboxes and engines, but it needs a quick way to turn it on / off.

You can press F12 to toggle mirroring, but I don't think that's particularly great.

It would be very nice if you followed SSED's usability feature of using the nearest weapon's settings to set the next weapon when creating a slot; huge time-saver on big ships with lots of little guns, etc.

Yep! This was actually just an oversight :P All I need to do is un-comment a block of code and this is in.

I'm still not sure how we use your tool to set up Carriers.  That's one area where SSED hasn't been updated and we're having to do it manually ATM.

Wings can be added by going to Wings Mode, and using left and right arrow keys to add/remove a wing. Launch Bays are just weapons, with the type set to LAUNCH_BAY. As for the other x/y coords... to be honest I don't really understand how they work (I said I was making an editor, not that I knew what I was doing XD). I assume they're fighter spawning points? Quick clarification: can you have more than one set? as in, can there be more than 4 coords for a weapon? I can set up a Hangar Mode, like SSWE has, to add spawning spots. Won't take very long. For now, you can add the X2 and Y2 coords in the weapon data edit (right click). Let me know if there's something else I've missed to get carriers working.

Edit: Ah, I see. Yep, adding new 'hangars' is totally borked atm - I initially thought it was set up to create a rectangle area, but I see how it works now. That'll be right at the top of the list to fix!

Oh, and as for hints, I'll probably want to eventually add some better way to handle them, but don't know exactly how I want to do that. For now, you'll just have to add them into the Data Edit Mode manually.

I'd really like to see a proper Weapon editor; SSED's version is not quite there; it won't show the animations for animated weapons, for example, it doesn't show the Missile graphics on the mounts, it doesn't show the recoil animation.

Same with Projectiles; this is a pretty simple area of SS, but having a visual editor would save tons of time when trying to tweak the look of our mods.

Coming! (eventually!) I thought GM:S2 was a good engine choice partly because it natively handles animations and particles. When the Weapon Editor gets in, it will have animations right from the start. I haven't got a clue how projectiles/particles are currently drawn in SS, but my vision for the weapon editor is to have a Preview Mode showing it on a firing loop. Getting the Forge to replicate exactly how SS looks might be tricky, and there likely won't be support for flashy weapons, but the basic projectiles or beams shouldn't be a problem.


I was going to hold out for a while before doing a control/control guide pass, but I think I'd better do that next. So the next version will have updated hotkeys, rollover text, and on-screen control guides. It's obviously important for the flow to work well, so if you've got any other suggestions on how you'd want it set up, let me know.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 03:08:28 PM by Cataphract22 »
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xenoargh

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On the F12 key: agreed, that isn't intuitive.  SSED uses the space bar; works pretty nicely in the workflow.

Quote
I haven't got a clue how projectiles/particles are currently drawn in SS, but my vision for the weapon editor is to have a Preview Mode showing it on a firing loop. Getting the Forge to replicate exactly how SS looks might be tricky, and there likely won't be support for flashy weapons, but the basic projectiles or beams shouldn't be a problem.
Essentially, projectiles are drawn twice; once with the coreColor being applied to the graphic, once with the fringeColor, at a larger size.  Both sprites are additively rendered.

Missiles are simpler and yet more complicated.  They have a simple graphic component that just uses coreColor and is non-additive.  But they can also have an Engine when active.

As for weapons, they're very straightforward.  Barrels always move straight back, even if the shots come out at angles; if ALTERNATING, they alternate in the order the Offsets are declared (SS does some process to split multiple barrels in one sprite into quads, using the offsets to cut the sprite up).  The only weapons that don't obey that general rule are the animated weapons, which animate a frame per time-interval when active, essentially.  Modders can do even more complex things with code, but that's rather outside the scope of this project, heh.

But yeah, I'd love to see this become polished for the major use cases that are the core of building a Faction Mod:  ships and CSV entries, weapons, .PROJ files, Variant and Faction files.  If the code was cleaned up and the directory problem gets solved, it might be a replacement for SSED (SSED, btw, uses a text file to store where the SS directory is, etc.- and was also made with GameMaker).

The problem here is that when you get past ships, variants, weapons and projectiles, it's almost another project entirely, as SSED's developers have discovered. 

It'd be so much better if these things were each executed in different UIs; editing a ship's core variables in a spreadsheet is fairly efficient but only if you like spreadsheets and are savvy enough to spot spellling errorz that will cause a crash, such as selecting the wrong ID for a System, for example.  The issue here is that Alex has made this a somewhat-moving target, instead of using proper inheritance or safe values so that mods missing the new variables won't crash. 

Building a Faction file should be pretty straightforward- text entries guided by the UI, largely; a few methods in the UI guiding modders to create / link to the proper dependencies (for example, the "speeches" Factions give when you talk to them, the graphics files that show up in different UI contexts, etc.).
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Cataphract22

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Thanks for the description :) That all seems pretty much how I expected. Won't be hard to do a projectile/weapon editor.

By SSED, do you mean the Ship & Weapon Editor? or another program? SSWE is Blitzmax, not GM. The file issue can be worked around, but not solved the way I'd want to - it's just not possible to allow the program to automatically load files without explicit user input, unless the files are in the working directory (at least for now). There is a config file that points to the various data and graphics folders, but there are a couple tiny bugs I need to iron out. I'm thinking I could probably get around the major problem however, in two ways: first, to have an installer copy the data and graphics folders and set up the working directory (which unfortunately means having an installer), and second to duplicate any mod data that's saved. So as a user, you'll be saving to the starsector mod dirs as normal, while behind the scenes the Forge is creating a "working copy" in the wd. It'll load from the wd, while you can save it wherever you like. It seems like a big issue atm (certainly is for me) so I'll see if that works.

The Faction Editor will likely have its own specialised UIs. It's of lesser importance than other editors (because it's just a pretty straightforward JSON edit for the most part), but I want to visualise it. You'll be able to see text, portraits and icons in some sort of context, and some indication of fleet compositions. It was going to come sooner rather than later, but there are too many polishing tasks to take care of first. Jumping over to a new JSON parser means that the *new* code is more elegant, but it's been bolted on top of the *old* code, which is going to be a handful to clean out.

You've been super helpful though! Thanks for adding stuff to my ever-expanding list :P It's always simpler on paper.
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Originem

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I do actually not want to have the process of "copy my data", changing outside of my mod folder.
Wait for new version.
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My mods


The Soldier

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I do actually not want to have the process of "copy my data", changing outside of my mod folder.
Wait for new version.
Why is this somehow an issue?  I literally cannot see a reason outside of the second a half it takes to copy and paste from one window to another, and if that's your problem, you've got other things to worry about. :P
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Cataphract22

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I do actually not want to have the process of "copy my data", changing outside of my mod folder.
Wait for new version.
Why is this somehow an issue?  I literally cannot see a reason outside of the second a half it takes to copy and paste from one window to another, and if that's your problem, you've got other things to worry about. :P

Eh, it's inelegant. Once it's done you're pretty much good to go, but I can see how it's a bit of a pain. Anyway, I've made some modifications, and for most use cases it works without copying over. Still have a few things to clear up, and I need some way to force a recheck/reload because of the way it handles duplicate names. But new version should be out soonish.
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lechibang

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So when is this getting updated? I'm looking forward to creating custom factions with it.
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Do it yourself, as people always say.
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