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jacobio

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hiya Artemis Master "Scripters"! I'm working to create my first mission and would like to indicate a "neutral zone" and/or border of sorts on the map. I tried doing this with a generic mesh using the "mine" art files, however, because a generic mesh is a "named object", the label on the map looks funny.

Any ideas how I may be able to visually indicate, particularly on the science, captains map, and helm screens, a border cutting through the sector/map?

I thought about using mines, but of course, they may cause some unintended "side effects" (e.g. crew death.) [smile]

Thanks in advance for your help!
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #2 
First of all, I've said in the past that I would like the ability to turn on the defined "border" in scripts. Hopefully someday Thom will make that available.

Anyway, a "neutral zone" or something along those lines is complicated, because you probably don't want it to actually appear in "space", you just want a mark on the map. I would suggest one of the following:

1) Create a "warning buoy", using a Generic Mesh and the mine graphic, and place it at the x coordinate where your border appears, in the middle of the map. Then send a Comms message to confirm that the "neutral zone" marked by the buoy extends from the top of the map to the bottom. You can drop three or four buoys along the line if you like to clarify the mark.

To detect if the ship is in the neutral zone, just test the x coordinate.

2) Create your "warning buoy", but drop a line of nebulas along the border as well. Have the Comms message say, "the nebulas in this area mark the border of the contested region".

This allows your neutral zone to have a curved border. You would use "if_inside_sphere" to see if the ship is close to your defined nebulas. (as in the mission "The Waning Dark")

3) While Generic Meshes have to have a name, there is nothing stopping you from naming them " ", "  ", "   " and so on. In other words, one space, two spaces, three spaces, etc. They will appear invisible to the map except for their symbol. The symbol depends on how you define the Generic Mesh, if you give it front and rear shields, it appears as a triangular "enemy ship" shape. If you give it only front shields, it appears as a base. I don't remember what happens if you give it no shields, but I think the shape is different, possibly a dot.

This lets you draw the border as a line of markers, if you want. You can even test the proximity to each of the border objects, using the right number of spaces for each defined mesh.

BTW, if defining no shields makes the Generic Mesh invisible (I think I mentioned that once) just give it a period for a name. Then add spaces to make the names different.

jacobio

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for your help, ryleyra! I was able to achieve a pretty decent looking border using a mess of generic meshes and setting the color using the "color" attributes. See attached for what I came up with. You'll notice, the color attribute is not always properly applied : (

Neutral-Zone.jpg   

FWIW, I'm probably going to use a bunch of "if_inside_box" checks to determine if the player entered the "Neutral Zone" as using object names with many spaces made it hard to position the markers on the map.

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #4 
That looks very good, glad I could help. [biggrin] And you're right, the different number of spaces is just so you can differentiate one object from another. It is completely legal to give two objects the same name. You just can't refer to both of them once you do that.

I have suggested assigning another value to mission objects, called something like "id". The object can then be referred to by the id, but it won't appear on the screen as its name. There could then be a command that gives an object random names, like in the regular game modes. This could also be used to solve the problem of fighters not being able to be identified in a script.
Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #5 
Your neutral zone looks great, Jacobio.

You can use mines to do this if you set their Y coordinates higher or lower than the players can go.

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janx

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Reply with quote  #6 
"In space, there are no borders...."

Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #7 
I like mike's idea for mines above where players can fly. They would have to be a minimum of 650 above the max height in order to ensure they aren't set off
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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #8 
In my (mostly abandoned) TNG sandbox, I do borders with arcs of mines set to -3000 Z. You get a nice array, they never render on screen, and they blink for good measure.
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jacobio

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I particularly liked @MarkBell's and @Mike Substelny's idea to use mines with a very "low" or "high" y-axis. So here's how my game map turned out using mines:
neutral_zone.png 
Thanks again for all your help!

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