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Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #1 
The code that has been added to allow mission scripters to create GM buttons has proved to be a truly brilliant addition in my opinion. It is now possible to create a GM interface that is complex, extensive but also easily navigable and clear to those using it. The menu system that I have been able to create in the TSN Sandbox has made it possible for virtually anyone to GM a game if they wish.

What would open up a whole world of possibilities would be to take what we can do with the GM buttons and use it to create buttons on the Captain's map and the Science console. If this became a reality, I know I would be able to do so much with it. In the past, I tried using the "get_keypresses" but sadly they proved too unreliable for online play. I had a whole raft of ideas to add to mission scripts had they worked, from having the crew enter codes to activate Jump Gate systems (a method of travel in the TSN Sandbox) to building additional ship systems to use like launching probes or activating "Ramscoop" systems (known in the Sandbox as a Fuel Collection system or FCS for short), and other ideas like cargo systems.

So, would it be possible to add code to allow us to create buttons on the captain's map and the science screen. I imagine the XML statements to look like this:

set_captain_button
set_science_button
clear_captain_button
clear_science_button


and would work with:

player_slot="1"
name="Artemis"


so you could define which ship the button is set on. 
And here is a list of stuff I could add to my mission scripts if this were a possibility:
  • A cargo/ personnel transfer system (ship-to-ship/ship-to-station)
  • An interactive FCS
  • Interactive jump gates
  • Active sensors to conduct special sensor sweeps
  • Deployable comms relays (and other objects)
  • Probe systems
  • Pirate loot systems
  • Ship-to-ship boarding (automated and to specific target, but possible)

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Fleet Captain Xavier Wise - TSN Sabre
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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #2 
I would anticipate a whole new interface based on onscreen buttons, based on the GM menu commands. And I wouldn't limit them to just the captain and science. If the mission calls for it, I can see Helm, Weapons, Communications or Engineering getting specialized functions defined by the script. In fact, I would specifically like an interface to add new menu options to the Comms menu, so commands can be defined to "interact" with command, or planets in the sector.

The issue as I see it is, where do you put these buttons? I can see the reason why you selected Science and the Captain's Map, since they use exactly the same screen real estate as the GM Screen, buttons and possibly even a menu can be put in the same basic location without interfering with the existing controls. Helm, Weapons and Engineering already use most of their screen real estate, and Comms, while it has plenty of room on the screen for functional buttons, already defines its own menu.

In the past, I think we've discussed the idea of expanding on the Upgrade screen. The Upgrade screen is already an interface which provides optional functions activated by buttons, it's logical to define a script commands that allows you to create an "upgrade" and assign a button to it, and when the upgrade is activates, the script triggers an event. Unfortunately, as with Upgrades, you have to access a secondary screen to activate it.

I honestly think either system could do what you want. However, I like your idea, and its consistency with the existing GM Screen interface. A little redundancy is not a bad thing. How about Thom working towards implementing all three, eventually? You could have a menu and button system for the Captain's Map and Science to implement special command functions for a scripted mission. Comms would have commands to add to its existing menu system. And finally a command could add buttons to the Upgrade screen for a specific console, which extends the interactivity to all available consoles.

It means more work in the long run, but Thom could start with the Captain/Science console, reusing the existing code, and add Upgrades later. It doesn't even have to use a menu, just the buttons, although that area is available for use just as it is on the GM screen. I think Thom might want to make the buttons "prettier", though, more in keeping with the Comms menu.
HexCode

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Reply with quote  #3 
There's a lot of real-estate on the Upgrades screen that could be utilized and it already only lets certain consoles activate certain things. That being said, that may only be because of resolution, so maybe it would be better if GM or scripted buttons were placed on a new tab entirely.
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Lieutenant, Science Division - TSN Gungnir JN-001
Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #4 
It would be cool to have more customisable consoles. My thinking behind this suggestion is that it might be a possible addition that could be made with 'relative' ease (I have no idea to be honest!) and doesn't make bigger changes to the consoles and the game itself. Thanks for the comment on the idea though!
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Fleet Captain Xavier Wise - TSN Sabre
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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier Wise
It would be cool to have more customisable consoles. My thinking behind this suggestion is that it might be a possible addition that could be made with 'relative' ease (I have no idea to be honest!) and doesn't make bigger changes to the consoles and the game itself. Thanks for the comment on the idea though!


As I said, I think Upgrades are the way to have player interaction with a script, but your idea probably is fairly easy to implement, and will be a good secondary interface, or even the primary interface for the Captain and Science officer.

I don't really think we need a second screen, as there's plenty of real estate on the Upgrades screen. That list of potential upgrades is only cosmetic (and currently most of them are only used at Conventions, if that) and could be covered over with buttons. I suspect the Upgrades screen will come into place once Thom adds resources to the game, but there should still be plenty of room.

Edit: I noticed that the Captain's Map doesn't have an Upgrades button, or if it does I neglected to mention it on the wiki. The Captain currently has no Upgrades to activate anyway. So unless Thom adds an Upgrades screen to the Captain's Map, your idea will be the only way the Captain will be able to interact directly with the script.

The Fighter Bay also has no Upgrades screen. I'm not sure script interaction is needed for fighters, though, and even if Thom would to provide that interface, should it work when the fighter is away from the ship, or should it only be usable from the Fighter Bay? Maybe fighters should be given their own unique interface to interact with scripts.
Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #6 
I suppose, what I am really asking for with these buttons is to give more options for players to interact with the scripts I write.

I can do it with client key presses already, however buttons like the GM would give a much more user friendly experience and a wider range of possibibilities. Also, client key presses have been rather unreliable for online play in the past for whatever reason.

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Fleet Captain Xavier Wise - TSN Sabre
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