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Topics - Hammish

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Modding info / New Trail Effects
« on: July 05, 2015, 08:59:29 pm »
Sooooo... I finally got BTC updated in terms of skills to be loadable, and I noticed that the trail effects seem to be handled completely differently now.  Is there a global setting for things like the decay on particle effects for trails that I can tune back down to the original level, or can you offer some pointers on how to adjust the new values and what they represent?

Just curious as to if you have a straight conversion number (seems to be about 80x longer decay, give or take) and if I need to modify every single engine trail or not.

Modding info / Feature Request: Shield Armoring
« on: April 15, 2015, 09:29:47 pm »
Would it be difficult to implement an armor value for shields much like hulls have?  I understand that it'd throw off balance in the vanilla game a bit but perhaps it could be worked in that it only factors in if the attribute is set, much like with the fire origin offsets?  IE, if you set a shield_armor to something, it'll use that value, otherwise it defaults to 0 (which is the current on all shields I believe).

I would find it... useful. :)

Modding info / Updating issues
« on: April 03, 2015, 09:15:36 am »
Heya guys.  Long time, no speak. ;)

Trying to get BTC updated now that the final version (for now, at least!) has been released.  Figured I'd reserve a page here for issues I run into as I try to work with some of the new settings.

Largest issue I am running into thus far: can you no longer attach trails to non-model projectiles?  Previously I was able to put trail effects on even sprite projectiles (I actually like the effect) but now, with the release version, they only seem to work if I have a model and skin set?  I'm hoping this isn't the case and that I'm just screwing something up, but I saw the update about a physics-based particle system and thought maybe that was responsible.

Other than that, thus far, I really love all the changes since I stepped away a bit.  Kudos to all the folk at AT. :)

Bug reports / Steam-version UI
« on: November 21, 2014, 09:35:29 am »
... Looks great, except for one thing:  when in space my installed modules along the bottom of the screen (mining lasers, ect) don't appear to be scaling correctly; they're pinched and don't extend from the top of the box to the bottom.    Will get a screenshot for you guys a bit later!

Modding info / New with Steam Version
« on: November 21, 2014, 05:41:23 am »
Splitting off a topic here for new modding info/issues with the Steam codebase, to keep the other thread clear. :)

So, uh, largest question here: I've been working with the new core.cpk and updating BTC to match some of the changes.  I updated the names in the effects folder... and then I realized why they had been updated: the Localization folder, with a conversion to US and RU names for each new $name string in the overall definition file.

Given that, I suppose I have two questions/needs for clarification:
1. I'm guessing that we need to define each string in each separate Localization file if we add or change anything.  So if I say, add a new qualification (as I have in BTC for new weight classes or equipment), I need to add an entry into each localization file.  If I don't, it would appear that the mod will not parse into the server application.

2. Does this mean that going forward, mod developers are 100% forced to localize to every language supported by VE?  If it works as it seems to from my observations, my only option here is going to be updating the definitions, then updating the _US file in Localization to match the changes... and then making an exact copy of that file but renaming it _RU and hoping someone else can convert the wording in it.  (I had/have someone doing it for BTC, others might not be so lucky.)  If it's possible in the long run, might be good to have a 'languages supported' flag in the header.xml file or somesuch.

Modding info / Ship skins
« on: October 07, 2014, 04:02:05 pm »
   Question for the AT guys:

   If you have them, would you ever consider releasing your local versions of the ship skin files for us modders?  I'm not sure what tools you typically use for modeling/skinning but if you have versions of the actual textures with layers preserved that would save /so/ much time when it came to coming up with new looks for the ships while retaining the feel, and most of the original textures, of the VE ship hulls. :)

   As it is I've just been doing it by hand, but it's super time-consuming to go in and select regions on ships for modification in this manner.  Not to mention that even then, artifacts still persist after the fact.

   Either way, though, figured I'd just ask.  Worst you can do is say no, and I'll keep doing it the way I have been. :)

Ideas and suggestions / Code Suggestion: Logic
« on: September 26, 2014, 03:26:01 am »
   I don't know if this is possible, how much work it would take, or if it's already possible... but can you, or can you look at, eventually making item requirement fields into actual logic gates?  Also not a super-huge priority here and I know you guys are looking toward launch at this moment, but I figured I would toss it on the drawing board as something that could be potentially useful in the long-term if there isn't currently a way to do it. :)

   I'm essentially looking for NOT gates in the long run, with the ability to set  requirements such as: Requires X effect to be present, but requires Y effect to not be present in order to equip.

Ideas and suggestions / Long-term suggestion: animated turrets
« on: September 20, 2014, 11:20:26 am »
Just as the description says, I think it'd be a nice touch (later down the road, just a visual perk here) to have turrets with the ability to act in a dynamic manner.  People spend a lot of time looking at their ship in space, so little things like this can be kinda cool and break up the monotony of space when you're not torching a pirate. ;)

Two possible suggestions might be a simple visual backward-jerk upon firing such as large-caliber ballistics might have, or the ability to make turrets multi-part so as to achieve effects like spinning barrels or lauchers that open/close on firing.  The latter might even be linked through the variables already on equipment like oncharge, onfire, oncomplete, ect.

Mods / Breaching the Core Full Mod Main
« on: September 01, 2014, 01:02:59 pm »
Breaching the Core
Download Link:
Author: Hammish (William)
Additional models and textures: FlessenGreendart
Additional localization: Samui
Mod version: v2.1.1
Test version: Unavailable
Game version: Compliant with VE 0.10.0.  Test version compliant with VE 0.15.3.
Game mode: Tested in SP, should work in MP though latency might make the fusion ray look odd.

So what is BTC and how does it change things up from the vanilla game?  Well, let me count the ways!

You will notice instantly weapon selection available in shops has changed.  There are now three classes to weapons: basic, standard and experimental/hybrid.  Basic weapons can be mounted without any required skills in the character tree being unlocked (hull traits must still match, so a basic carrier bay would not fit on a ship designed to carry missiles).  Standard weapons require the Standard Turrets skill at the correct rank, and experimental/hybrid weapons require both the Standard Turrets and Experimental Turrets skills to be at the proper rank.  The cost required to use each also factors into weapon design; basic weapons tend to be simplistic and easy to use but low in overall stats whereas experimental weapons are either markedly better or have unique properties to offset needing to unlock them using skill points.  Each type of weapon (energy, ballistic or missile) also has two skill trees dedicated to it in the Combat branch, one designed to increase raw destructive capabilities and one to accent 'secondary' stats such as range, projectile scatter, ect.

So what are the weapons?

Energy - Beam:
Beam Lasers are a constant stream.
Pulse Lasers use rapid-fire pulses.
Auger Beams are lasers with a much shorter range but higher damage. (Coming soon)
Tachyon Cannons are slow-reloading sniper beams with a warmup.
Fusion Rays are long-range beam weapons with damage that begins low but builds up over the course of two seconds as all three beams come online.  The capacitor for the weapon, however, depletes quickly.

Energy - Plasma:
Plasma Repeaters fire five-round salvos of small explosive shots.
Plasma Cannons are slow-moving heavy explosive shots.
Plasma Ejectors are flamethrower-like weapons.
Plasma Accelerators are a mix between cannons and repeaters; they take a long time to load but fire clusters of four moderately-damaging explosive shots.
Plasma Torpedoes are a long-ranged weapons firing high-damage shots that are semi-guided.  While offering exceptional burst damage, the downside of this weapon is that the torpedoes take a long time to reform, with a full capacitor supplying only 5 shots and taking a full 20 seconds to recharge.
Plasma Missiles are a long-ranged weapons firing clusters of low-damage shots with excellent guidance.  A variant on the P-Torp, the missile version is far more effective against nimble ships but useless against larger hulls and features the same rapid-depletion capacitor.

Ballistics - Guns:
Assault Guns fire fast-moving sprays of five smaller shots.
Rotary Autocannons are rapid-fire, inaccurate 'spray and pray' weapons with excellent overall DPS.
Burst Rifles fire rounds at a steady clip thanks to multiple barrels and are the only gun-class weapon able to deal somewhat with heavier armor.
Flak Cannons fire slight-damage high-explosive shells that can saturate an area.
GyroShot Cannons are medium-ranged weapons that resemble rotary autocannons but use microthrusters on the shells it fires to give them limited tracking.  The increased size of the shells slightly lowers the rate of fire and thus the overall damage this weapon does in addition to limiting ammunition space.
Cluster Cannons are large-bore area-saturation weapons.  Unlike the flak cannons that explode at a fixed distance the cluster munitions begin detonating shortly after launch, creating a rippling outward explosion.  Slow to reload, but does enough damage to affect even cruiser hulls.

Ballistics - Cannons:
Dual-Linked Cannons are the fastest-firing of the cannon line thanks to twin barrels, but low overall DPS.
Mass Drivers fire slow-moving heavy shots.
Naval Artillery fires large-caliber shells with a large AOE burst.
Gauss Cannons operate similarly to mass drivers, except they uses shaped rounds and accelerate the projectiles to much higher speeds in addition to reloading more quickly.  An overall excellent weapon, easy to use and fast-firing while being able to deal with heavier armor.

Basic Missiles:
SRM Rockets are unguided, low-moderate damage but fire very rapidly.
LRM Missiles are guided but slow-moving, causing moderate damage.  After launch they have a slight delay before they acquire the target and begin to accelerate.
MRM Missiles are semi-guided but move very quickly.  They have the same damage over time but trade the tracking of the LRM for speed; they require better aim and can be easier to dodge, but are harder to hit with beam weapons in point defense.
MLRS pods are semi-guided (worse tracking than LRMs) but fire in salvos.
The MIRV Launcher fires a large casing that splits apart after a few moments, launching a swarm of fast-tracking missiles into space.  Only useful at long ranges, in close the casing tends to impact before splitting and causing very little damage.

Carrier Drone Bays contain autonomous fighters that are launched, much like carriers of old.  The limited AI means relying on the launching ship for targeting data, however, and they expend power and explode very quickly.  Carrier drones are only able to be mounted on specific hulls with the proper structure.  These hulls are unable to mount conventional missile weapons (due to the possibility of friendly fire) and in general take longer to achieve a target lock but can maintain that lock to much further ranges, allowing the drones to stay on target effectively.  They come mounted with one of the following weapons: micro rotary cannon (Fighter), micro gauss (Gunner), micro LRM (Interceptor), micro torpedo (Bomber) or a railgun/missile combination (Advanced).

In the current version, besides the starting shuttle, there are 5 baseline hulls currently in:
Athena Corvette - Dogfighter, very nimble, better versions are specialized.
Apollo Corvette - Interceptor, fast with lots of missiles for stand-off gameplay.
Hephaestus Corvette - Miner/hauler, better versions have better protection and space.
Ares Frigate - Multi-role ship, customizable, fairly clunky compared to the corvettes.
Hera Drone Cruiser - Only carries one direct weapon, multiple hardpoints for equipping drones.

And then some advanced hulls:
Artemis Bomber - Advanced corvette, multiple missile hardpoints, very frail.
Dionysus Gunship - Advanced corvette, as agile as the Athena but with four under-the-wing ballistics/energy on very limited arcs.
Poseidon Frigate - Frigate-sized but with cruiser-scale armor.  Very beefy and with a solid weapon mix.  Also very slow and turns like a hog.
Persephone Mining Frigate - Much like the Hephaestus, but larger and with better weapons.
Hades Destroyer - Cruiser-sized but with the nimbleness of a frigate, packs a ton of weapon mounts (including two large mounts), but a power hog and frail for its size.
Zeus Heavy Cruiser - Unbelievably slow and sluggish to turn but can take a pounding like no other vessel and can dish it right back with four heavy-hitting hardpoints.

There are also now two basic classes for engines (speed and maneuver), three for power (efficiency, output and capacitor), three for shields (basic deflect, high capacity and barrier), two for RCS (turning and rerouting for extra speed), and two for radar (long-range scanning or short-range, fast-locking).  More equipment coming soon!

This mod is a work in progress and currently in a very early state.  Pirate AI may be a little odd and balancing is still ongoing and all.

Ideas and suggestions / Mod tracking
« on: August 18, 2014, 06:04:50 am »
The engine may already do this, I'm not sure, but if not... in the future, might it be possible for save files to include a list of mods running when they are saved, and appear with warning if you have them in the list when loading other mods (or vanilla?)  Maybe a line in the save description regarding 'These mods were running at the time'.

Not exactly an issue yet, but with mine coming as more of a full-conversion (and we know I won't be the only one, right?) it might get a little hard for people to eventually separate which saves are with which mods.  And loading one without the proper mods may start to give all sorts of errors once you start considering custom equipment and skills.

Bug reports / Skill Points
« on: August 17, 2014, 04:39:39 am »
Game version: First noticed in .96c
Game mode: Single-player. (At least)
Bug location: Skill screen.
Steps to reproduce: Level up!
Reproduction rate: 100%

Not sure if this was tweaked some time back, but when I currently level up my character only seemed to be getting 5 SP.  Last time I played a serious character fairly high I thought gain/level was around 20, instead.  Is 5 skill points/level the correct/rebalanced amount (thus wanting very specialized characters) or a possible bug?

Modding info / Turret orientation suggestion
« on: August 03, 2014, 10:54:01 am »
Now, I have no idea if this is even possible (and if it's not, or it'd be difficult to implement, that's cool) but might it be possible to include an option to flip the Z axis on turret hardpoints on the hulls so that the mounting 'post' pointed upward instead of downward?

Heck, it may already be possible and I just don't know how to do it, but the goal would be the ability to mount turrets underslung along the bottom of a hull, instead of always being across the top of it.  Might look pretty cool with some of the default hulls as well, like the Fang, with launchers hanging under the wings. :)

Bug reports / Small Issues Found Thus Far with 0.9.0
« on: July 25, 2014, 04:12:21 am »
Just starting a small list here for you guys. :)

1) Gentleman bonus on quests seems bugged.  It's giving me something like 2 XP and 5 extra cash per reward when the notification of the bonus comes up.  I suspect it's because the data files list the bonuses as 0.05 base / 0.15 per level when the engine is actually expecting +5 / +15 respectively.  (I'll test this out later with BTC if I have a chance.)

2) Banshee Mk2, ballistic turret got moved to off-center (by accident, I imagine) and now appears to the right of the circle on the hull.  Seems to just be a positional element in the hull data.

3) Getting the occasional issue on attempts to quit the program where it freezes and I need to kill the entire voidexpanse.exe process to escape.

4) Can't get any sort of .MPK files to work with the new version.  I figured maybe it was just an issue with outdated data files, so I did an experiment and just tried cloning core.cpk, giving it a different and unique ID and info, then saving it as a .mpk and loading it as a mod with all the default data; same issue, game will load but when I try to start or load a game it hangs on connecting to the local server.  I also tried taking my mod and substituting it in for core.cpk and it loaded 100% okay, so the issue seems contained to .mpks.

5) Related to #4, in the interim until .mpks work again I've just been modifying the .cpk on my local drive in an effort to update my mod stuff to 0.9.0.  Was working just fine until I attempted to add a new skill into the mix, at which point I get no errors when starting the game and the .xmls parse just fine, but if I attempt to start a new game or load the VE logo starts to come up before the game freezes up.  All I did to create the new skill was copy light_direct_weapons.xml, then did all the usual stuff (gave it a new ID, description, filename, and then changed the effect type at the bottom).  Removing the new skill from the directory brought me back to a fully-usable version again.  Adding the new effect under qualifications in effect_definitions_qualificat ions.xml seemed to work just fine, though, so the issue seems to the engine just trying to find a place to slot in the new skills.  Is there a list of any sort that I need to add new skills to elsewhere?  Back in the previous version I just added new skill .xml files and it found a place to put them inside the game skilltree automatically.

Joining a multiplayer works fine.  Trying to start up a single player, I see the local monoserver process start up briefly and then close.  Here are the logs:

If the new version coming soon will fix the issue, though, feel free to let me know that.  I can be patient. :)

Mods / Breaching the Core Full Mod Discussion
« on: June 27, 2014, 10:11:17 am »
Splitting this thread into two parts for my own sanity.  Can leave discussion here since I really, really like having people checking it out and dropping ideas, ect, but setting up another less-cluttered thread with just version-related stuff and the download link.  If this is okay with the AT guys. :)

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