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mwick

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Reply with quote  #1 

It would be really nice to have a generic scannable point. Just something the science screen can click on and scan, with a settable scan text and title. This would give us a lot of flexibility in a mission script for puzzles and mysteries. The specific use case I have is for a wreck (I tried using monster type 7 but that's crashing my server). You could use this coupled with genericMeshes to make generic scannable objects floating in space.

e.g.:

<create type="scanPoint" x=...y=...z=... name="Wreckage" scanText1="Wreckage of NCC-1701-C, Enterprise" scanText2="Internal systems damaged. Oxygen present. Main computer and systems offline."/>

 

That would give us a lot of flexibility to create objects, or even something like 'scan the intensity of the radiation field and find a low-intensity area' by scattering scannable points throughout an area.


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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #2 
That's a good idea. There are not enough ways for a mission script to interact with Science and Communications.

For what you have in mind, you might use an enemy ship with all systems disabled and no brain stack. Overwrite the ship type and all text fields. You could wrap it in a generic object to make it look like whatever you like on the main viewer.


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mwick

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Reply with quote  #3 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
There are not enough ways for a mission script to interact with Science and Communications

 

I agree completely, that's exactly what I'm trying to accomplish with my latest mission. I've definitely found some good ways for Comms, drawing inspiration from some other missions. Science is hard, though, without a way to create things for Science to scan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
you might use an enemy ship with all systems disabled and no brain stack

 I'll give that a shot. I was toying with trying to make it a friendly ship with no brain stack but didn't like how that turned out, so I went with an un-scannable genericMesh instead, which prompted this post.

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #4 
I think what Artemis really needs in this area is a more complete Generic Mesh. Give it the ability to have shields (or not) be targeted and scanned. Provide various flavor text. I've heard Thom may be working on the Generic Mesh some more, so hopefully this is in the works.
Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #5 
I agree that Artemis needs a more complete Generic Mesh.

Right now your only choice for giving Science more interaction with a mission script is through the Warning Popup messages. Don't underestimate those, they can be very effective. Unfortunatel they cannot be triggered by any action taken by Science, but you can trigger them based on (for example) the player ship getting closer to an object.

Friendly ships are not very useful because Science cannot scan them. Communications can hail them, though, a process which can give a lot of information.


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Reply with quote  #6 
It's been a while since I've played scripted missions, but I'm pretty sure that the warning popups also have a tendency to disappear on you before you've had a chance to read them because, iirc, clicking on the map as Science will dismiss them, and if the mission placed the ship in a battle while you wait on something to finish in-game (Away Team, downloads, etc), it can be super easy to miss critical information.

The thing that sucks is that this usually happens in situations like combat, where the warning popups are the best way of notifying the player and crew. Maybe it would help if we were able to view a history of the popup notifications somehow. I can definitely see why this hasn't been the case previously since LOW ENERGY is really the only thing that pops up when you're not running a script.

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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #7 
The warning pop-up messages do require vigilance and skill that players don't develop playing invasion mode missions. You can be sure a real, professional officer in a real navy would not miss them.
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Reply with quote  #8 
As I recall, the issue isn't vigilance and skill, but the fact that clicking around the Science screen (which is how one does their job) dismisses the popup as soon as it appears. A real, professional officer can't read a story notification in less than a second any better than I can.

Again, the pop-ups are great because they draw the eye and allow for quick status updates not beholden to player action, which is exactly what is needed for those sorts of situations (e.g. waiting on an Away Team), but if crucial information is being imparted (like congrats, you did the objective, now gftfo), then there needs to be a way to read that info after the fact in case the popup is dismissed, whether it was due to clicking or timing out.

This is all besides OP's point anyways. Having a generic scannable mesh would allow for the player to trigger something or get information from something, which is completely different in purpose than the pop-ups.

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notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
The warning pop-up messages do require vigilance and skill that players don't develop playing invasion mode missions. You can be sure a real, professional officer in a real navy would not miss them.


Yeah, not so much. We have had several instances were the pop up will show for about a second or two and then disappear well before anyone could read them. Generally we just kind of deal with it since scripts are almost always a little buggy, but it is an ongoing issue.


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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #10 
The popup solution is certainly inferior, but it is the solution that is available right now. I would very much prefer for the Science Officer to do more active things, but that's just not in the game now.

I hope Thom is interested in adding such things for Science.

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Ayelis

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Reply with quote  #11 

I hope so too! I think 'generic scannable point' would be an excellent springboard toward developing ideas like these in a mission;

  • 'Transport/Research' artifact/creature (To 'beam aboard' small items for more thorough analyses, which may trigger events, display messages, or enable ship upgrades through research)
  • Scanner frequency modulation (Scan to detect 'bio-signs', detect 'energy signatures', 'detect' ships in nebulae, unpowered, or cloaked)
  • 'Decrypt' transmission (To also make comms feel more interesting and teamwork oriented)
  • 'Decrypt' alien language (Even "Universal" translators need help sometimes, Darmok)
  • 'Mine' nearby asteroids, manufacture new armaments from mined materials (Too long we've been a slave to stations! Take back our independence!)

I'd love to see more development along these lines, or at least, missions that fake it well.

Spruce up that science station!

Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #12 
I haven't read through this until now, but it is interesting about the points of "sprucing up" the science console with some more functions. I was presenting a similar idea in the development forum about adding in "set_science_button", exactly the same way that we can use GM buttons in a mission script. It would allow scripters to create some of these interactive features, or at least "fake it well".

For now, a possible solution could be to use the "get client keypresses" code to do some of what you want. You would need to give players a reference to the keypresses they can use in game (comms 'help' message recalled on a keypress perhaps?), but it would help you 'fake' things like decrypting some messages, mining an asteroid etc in a script. In the mission, you could define a specific area of a map where the functions would only work (a little bit like the ramscoop in Havok in the Hamak sector - or at least in the original script from 1.5 as I do not know what has changed for 2.4). I did once use the keypresses to have crews activate "jump gates" to travel around different areas. They would activate on a key press, when you were close to a specific named generic mesh. I also created a "ramscoop" (inspired by MikeS) that worked on key presses to activate/deactivate a refuel cycle. If you warped away without deactivating, your ship would gradually become more and more damaged.

So, looking at what you want, you could easily have a named generic mesh set up. When a ship comes within 1000 units, isn't at warp, has shields down and the science client key "S" is pressed, you could activate a scan that lasts a few seconds and sends a report to the Comms console. I have done this before in a mission script and it does create a great effect. This is a brief example of the code. Personally, I would make it more complex with timers between the scanning and scan results, as well as triggers incase the ship moved away before the scan was complete etc.

Code:

<if_object_property property="shieldsOn" name="Artemis" comparator="EQUALS" value="0.0" />
<if_object_property property="warpState" name="Artemis" comparator="EQUALS" value="0.0" />
<if_distance name1="Artemis" name2="Debris" comparator="LESS" value="1000.0" />
<if_client_key keyText="S" />

<set_ship_text name="Debris" newname="USFP Transport" />
<incoming_comms_text from="Scan Report">USFP Transport debris^Weapons signature detected: Kralien^</incoming_comms_text>
<warning_popup_message message="Object Scanned" consoles="S" name="Artemis" />


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Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #13 
As an addition, if you wanted to drop a buoy of some sort, the code would be:

Code:
<if_client_key keyText="B" />
<if_object_property property="shieldsOn" name="Artemis" comparator="EQUALS" value="0.0" />
<if_object_property property="warpState" name="Artemis" comparator="EQUALS" value="0.0" />
<create type="genericMesh" x="10.0" y="0.0" z="10.0" name="Buoy" meshFileName="dat\mine.dxs" textureFileName="dat\2B_diffuse.png" />
<incoming_comms_text from="Systems">Buoy deployed.</incoming_comms_text>
<warning_popup_message message="Buoy deployed." consoles="S" name="Artemis" />
<set_variable name="deploy_Buoy" value="1.0" />

You'd also need:

Code:
<if_variable name="deploy_Buoy" comparator="EQUALS" value="1.0" />
<copy_object_property property="positionX" name1="Artemis" name2="Buoy" />
<copy_object_property property="positionZ" name1="Artemis" name2="Buoy" />
<set_variable name="deploy_Buoy" value="0.0" />


To make it more reliable, adding a timer between the two could help as well.

My only issue is the reliability of client keys. Online, they just haven't worked properly, whereas in a LAN they seem to work fine. If there was the ability to create buttons on the science screen instead, it would just be a matter of using the code:

Code:
<set_science_button text="Deploy Buoy" x="40" y="100" h="30" w="90" />


and:

Code:
<if_science_button text="Deploy Buoy" />
<if_object_property property="shieldsOn" name="Artemis" comparator="EQUALS" value="0.0" />
<if_object_property property="warpState" name="Artemis" comparator="EQUALS" value="0.0" />
<create type="genericMesh" x="10.0" y="0.0" z="10.0" name="Buoy" meshFileName="dat\mine.dxs" textureFileName="dat\2B_diffuse.png" />
<incoming_comms_text from="Systems">Buoy deployed.</incoming_comms_text>
<warning_popup_message message="Buoy deployed." consoles="S" name="Artemis" />
<set_variable name="deploy_Buoy" value="1.0" />

<if_variable name="deploy_Buoy" comparator="EQUALS" value="1.0" />
<copy_object_property property="positionX" name1="Artemis" name2="Buoy" />
<copy_object_property property="positionZ" name1="Artemis" name2="Buoy" />
<set_variable name="deploy_Buoy" value="0.0" />


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mwick

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Reply with quote  #14 
I think that would make an excellent companion to the generic scanning point to add depth to Science in missions. Lots of options that could be used - 'deploy tractor beam', 'angle deflector dish' / 'emit gamma burst', 'recalibrate tachyon beam'.
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Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #15 
Definately. I have a whole ton of ideas floating around my head with this!
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