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Author Topic: Vacuum - Build a Stellar Empire. (0.62a ALPHA build 34) (TC Mod)  (Read 369732 times)

xenoargh

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 1 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #180 on: September 08, 2013, 07:50:32 PM »

On that (last) question... will have to do a careful merge and officially branch it, and that's going to get a little tough, since one of the things that went bye-bye is all of the special-exception stuff and there are a bunch of other changes.  I was planning on trying to tackle that after this release, since this is enough new gameplay stuff to keep people happy for a minute (or complaining that XYZ is OP, etc., which is just the usual buff/nerf cycle, not new work).

I really wish that stuff that was put in just for one mod's naming-convention issues, etc., wasn't in the framework, but was in something modular that I could just dump.  On the other hand, in retrospect, it probably wasn't even really necessary, other than that I wanted all of the factions to be treated as "Vanilla", which isn't really necessary.

I feel pretty comfortable with what I changed otherwise, though, and I'm pretty sure I know where the major pitfalls are now, so it probably won't be too painful.

That reminds me, though- I never did finish pushing WeaponsList out of the main ExerelinUtils like I did with ShipList.  Gotta get that done, it's one of those little things I never get around to finishing.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 07:53:05 PM by xenoargh »
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Zaphide

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 1 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #181 on: September 08, 2013, 08:07:08 PM »

Maybe if there is things you would like to have configurable send me a list and I'll see about refactoring it?:)

Yeah weapon lists in ExerelinUtils bugs me too, but with StarSector 0.6 I won't even have to maintain weapon lists (can just look at that factions variants and get the appropriate weapons from them), which is why I haven't bothered to do much with it. That's why I'm using the .faction files as ship lists.

Quote
I feel pretty comfortable with what I changed otherwise, though, and I'm pretty sure I know where the major pitfalls are now, so it probably won't be too painful.

Yeah once you have done it once... :)
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xenoargh

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 1 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #182 on: September 08, 2013, 08:32:38 PM »

Quote
Maybe if there is things you would like to have configurable send me a list and I'll see about refactoring it?
I think the main thing that occurs to me is that there is probably too much gamecode / balance code in ExerelinUtils that should get pushed out to a extend, so that whatever refactors need to take place when 0.6a hits doesn't break everything seriously again. 

I feel like Utils should be code that may be changed / altered without needing to re-merge all the time, so that tooling around on the game-design side doesn't blow up the core and vice-versa, if that makes sense? 

For the most part Exerelin already meets that high standard;  it's really nicely modular. 

There are just a few things like the main timer loop (doDaily(), etc., etc.), mining operation gamecode and other stuff like that I feel should get pushed out into their own files, so that messing with balance <> being unable to do less than a full merge, should you push out big changes to the core framework (which, let's face it, is very likely to happen when 0.6a's out and OMG, DIALOG GAMECODE MANIPULATION NO MORE RESORTING TO CONSOLES AND HACK-AROUNDS OMG YAY). 

That's largely why I've held off for a little bit on this- I am dreading the line-by-line work through Utils.  The rest of it's relatively small  or trivial stuff, like what I changed with Mining Fleets, where your current logic's probably very similar to what I've already changed once :)

Quote
Yeah weapon lists in ExerelinUtils bugs me too, but with StarSector 0.6 I won't even have to maintain weapon lists (can just look at that factions variants and get the appropriate weapons from them), which is why I haven't bothered to do much with it. That's why I'm using the .faction files as ship lists.
Yeah, I can see how that's going to be super-sweet. 

But... just a thought... I could probably do that already in Vacuum, because all of the ships have a _Standard variant.  IDK whether I want to try and write, that, though, I'm still only moderately comfy with Java's syntactical quirks and table manipulation is always my least-favorite area of a language to explore :)
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Zaphide

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 1 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #183 on: September 08, 2013, 09:02:35 PM »

Quote
I think the main thing that occurs to me is that there is probably too much gamecode / balance code in ExerelinUtils that should get pushed out to a extend, so that whatever refactors need to take place when 0.6a hits doesn't break everything seriously again. 

That is because ExerelinUtils is my dumping ground for code that accesses StarSector core data structures :P Unfortunately other things have crept in there but ideally it is for things that are volatile, in the sense that StarSector is still under very active development so parts of ExerelinUtils may change/become useless with StarSector releases. Most of the other stuff is fairly self contained.

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I feel like Utils should be code that may be changed / altered without needing to re-merge all the time, so that tooling around on the game-design side doesn't blow up the core and vice-versa, if that makes sense? 

ExerelinUtils could sure use better organization though, thus minimizing the flow-on-effect of changes to gamecode, balancecode and genuine util code, and keeping them separate. Thanks, I'll keep that in mind as I'm going through it :)

Quote
There are just a few things like the main timer loop (doDaily(), etc., etc.), mining operation gamecode and other stuff like that I feel should get pushed out into their own files, so that messing with balance <> being unable to do less than a full merge, should you push out big changes to the core framework (which, let's face it, is very likely to happen when 0.6a's out and OMG, DIALOG GAMECODE MANIPULATION NO MORE RESORTING TO CONSOLES AND HACK-AROUNDS OMG YAY). 

Yeah completely agreed, that cleanup is still a WIP. Kind of related to better organization as above. I'm kind of waiting to see what StarSector 0.6 is going to bring (need to have a look through the changed API's Alex posted the other day).
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xenoargh

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 1 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #184 on: September 08, 2013, 09:42:27 PM »

I hear you on all that. 

I'll look at this at length when I gear up for the next build.  I have some ideas about this:  primarily, I'm thinking that Utils, instead of being a "dumping ground", should be a "hub"- a small bit of code that is extended but not changed, so that framework changes are in modular areas and merging is a much more targeted thing, or is entirely un-necessary- instead of doing a merge, we'd just replace a few files wholesale and boom, we're all updated, in terms of core framework, and can go back to worrying about what's imba today ;)
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xenoargh

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 1 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #185 on: September 09, 2013, 06:33:53 PM »

The Slammer:  Medium-range, Large fixed-mount HE.  High damage, low RoF.  Think "shells as big as Volkswagons" fired from a slow-firing cannon.  Kind of the opposite of the Tachyon Lance- no Flux costs, no instant hits, but it's powerful enough to stop the fabled Arcturian Mega-Rhino in its tracks.  Ideal for those Aurora builds where you just want things to go "boom" when you line 'em up.  Sorely tempted to let Dominators have Large mounts so that they can have these... heh.

« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 06:36:08 PM by xenoargh »
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xenoargh

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 2 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #186 on: September 11, 2013, 12:05:13 AM »

Alpha 2 has been released.  I've rushed it out a little early to make sure it beats 0.6a and gives people a chance to play it for a little while and hopefully offer feedback.  I won't be doing any further releases until 0.6a is out, most likely.

Adds:

1.  During major combat, capturing Nav / Sensor points will 'teleport' space stations into the battle, who will defend the points.  Capturing points is more important than ever before.  

It really changes how combat works, and I think it's really fun, but it takes some getting used to- I really suggest playing some of the Missions first, to get an idea of how it works and how it changes things!

2. Various new weapons and a few new ships.  Haven't had time to write all their descriptions and stuff, but there is a "space shotgun" and a bunch of other stuff for fixed-mount weapon positions now.

3.  A bunch of sound-related changes and new sounds.

Changes:

1.  Mining Fleets can be arbitrary sizes.
2.  Various small balance stuff.  Certain ships got buff / nerf on OPs and other details.
3.  Much more aggressive warfare between Factions.
4.  Abandoned Stations will all now be "filled up" over time by the Factions.

Fixes:

1.  Various stuff related to taking Stations over.
2.  Lots of little things, like the way that Beams were generating their Hard Flux, projectile behaviors and other little stuff I can't be bothered to remember atm.
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MesoTroniK

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 2 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #187 on: September 11, 2013, 12:54:04 AM »

Initial impressions, that battle station mechanic is really fun.

Also, you are missing a few things I have done on my end ;)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 01:03:25 AM by MesoTroniK »
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xenoargh

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 2 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #188 on: September 11, 2013, 06:17:01 AM »

Sorry about that. 

Between Alex saying that Soon is nigh and some RL stuff, I couldn't quite get it all squeezed in :)

I might be able to get to that later tonight, but that depends on some stuff.  Sorry to be so vague, I hate leaving things out like that but I actually don't know atm when I'll be able to scrape time free so I kind of pushed it out a little early. 

I hope people enjoy all the new mechanics; it's a really interesting twist on this game imo :)
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kupan9

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 2 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #189 on: September 11, 2013, 07:49:33 PM »

I don't know what is causing it, but two games in a row after downloading the new version, all the starting races went for the same station, then my fleet went and redirected to a station across the map rather than a near by one. Both games I died and lost my starting ship before my faction had a station.
                              Settings.
                   First Game | Second Game
                       Medium | Small
                   15 Planets | 15 Planets
            4 Asteroid Belts | 6 Asteroid Belts
                  15 Stations | 30 Stations
                Omnifactory Available in both
                   6 Factions | All Factions
Max of Starting Factions | Yes, Factions Respawn
              Two Months to Respawn in both
                     Tritachyon for both
                        Omen for Both

I don't know what changed, but in the old build I didn't seem to have this issue.

In system attack fleets don't appear to have this issue.
In the first day or so after my fleet got the first station (causing all the others to reroute since they were all aimed at that one.) I had 3 out of system attack fleets spawn for factions that were still in game, Including my faction which actually had a station when they spawned in. Kind of odd.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 07:57:31 PM by kupan9 »
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xenoargh

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 2 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #190 on: September 11, 2013, 09:25:58 PM »

Rats, sorry it's doing that- must be picking incorrectly at the start.

Probably the issue is the change I made to the AI picking Abandoned locations; for that initial start, they need to all pick random destinations but IIRC I didn't change that code, so probably all the first-fleets are going to the nearest destinations, which is a smallish number of points, so they're all slamming together like that, instead of being randomly distributed like they should be.  I didn't catch that in testing because I rushed my testing on this a little bit due to some RL stuff.  Sorry 'bout that :)

Unfortunately, this may take a little while before I can fix it, due to RL, but I might get to this Friday :)
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Azmond

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 2 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #191 on: September 12, 2013, 12:31:31 PM »

This mod sounds pretty cool, i like the vanilla, but love the mods more, now granted, they're going to come out with mining at some point after base mechanics, but still, it's nice to see some have gone ahead an pushed te feature- evne if it's not vanillia to the front.

I'll DEFEINATYLY, give this mod a try when i get my system reinstalled with a new OS, my current OS keeps breaking up my gaming activeis and i'm afriad that it could extend to other problems as well. = 3=;

EDIT:

Tried it~! Enjoyed it, but it needs a bit of um... Fine tuning? The mod works great forme but it needs to be spread out further, not every ship has drones!
oh dear gods! THE DRONES!!! F---, i thought i hated the pirates in vinallia!!! Jeez, how many ships can have a drone system seriously?!
Though i love how you implimented mining, it's simple yes, but it works so far, an could even be how they initally introduce mining, least... till they get more in depth with mining. In any event, the mod is GREAT, it really is a great mod, but it just needs a bit more work and balancing... Not every ship, is a monster drone mother... heaha-eah.
Anyone whose faced a gas-tanker group, knows what i'm talking about.

The ships in the mod, right are pretty cool, I started to with a full decks hermes and i've got to say, that i LOVE, this, TOUGH LITTLE NUT! Realy, i've had a whole tanker group try an kill it, and, it lived, albeit i could barelly get anywhere without a swarm of little buggers after me!!! I lived. Where as the rest of my fleet... ueha, yeah, died.
If it didn't have all it's stuff, it'd b dead as well.

The good things about this mod though is that it's really a great little thing, and a good... Appetizer for some of the features to come, givng us more to nibble an gnaw at for a good while.
The ships are well made an spirtes are decnt too.
Why is there no astroid smashing into ship though, I don't know =3=;
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 11:01:57 PM by Azmond »
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xenoargh

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 2 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #192 on: September 13, 2013, 07:36:16 AM »

It has a lot of special mechanics that are part of being a TC.  There are Freeze Rays and Plasma that can ignore Shields and a bunch of other things like that.

Frigates don't hit Asteroids or other ships, just like fighters, because they're nimble and swift and can dodge asteroids with ease.  This means that Frigates can engage in all sorts of special tactics. 

The drones are definitely one of the things you'll have to get used to, but when you reach the higher stages of the game, you'll find that they're not all that important.  Most of the ships that have Drones are freighters and other relatively-harmless types.  There are a few special exceptions though- if you don't like drones, don't mess with the Glaug  ;)

If you work the mining system well, you can afford a "real fleet" pretty fast.  This may change in later versions as ideas are fleshed out, but right now getting a good start, money-wise, isn't terribly hard, it just takes some time. 
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xenoargh

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 2 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #193 on: September 14, 2013, 07:34:18 AM »

Good news:

Got the mod functional again in 0.6a, physics stuff and all the weapons appear to be intact.

Bad news:

I have to re-write a bunch of stuff having to do with characters, and to get the mod back to "Playable" in terms of the campaign is going to be a series of baby steps.  First stage is to get it to work with static things happening again, then the big decision of whether to do a big refactor with whatever amazing stuff Zaphide does with Exerelin or try out some crazy idea stuff for a little bit.  Amongst other things, it should actually be possible now to allow players to:

1.  Do Fedex questing.
2.  Do kill-this-boss questing.
3.  Do various other types of questing.
4.  Talk to Factions in meaningful ways.  Like, meet a Pirate, pay a "toll" instead of having to fight.  Pay up at a Station to improve Faction rep (at the cost of other Faction rep, in some cases) or buy a Letter of Marque and Reprisal, giving a character a right to go attack <some Faction> and get a bounty.

Anyhow, there's a bunch of stuff to do and to think about.  I think my first goal, which I'll tackle Sunday, is to merely get the mod functional at a very basic level for Campaign again.  Sorry about the delays, but RL is pretty busy for me right now :)
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silentstormpt

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Re: Vacuum / Exerelin Alpha 2 (Total Conversion)
« Reply #194 on: September 14, 2013, 08:01:22 AM »

Might as well make the while dynamic system gen into a star system gen, thats what ive been trying with the framework ive been working on.
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