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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #76 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBell
I'm not sure there's much to be gained from adding fighters to this mod.  Shuttles?  Not exactly a highly valuable combat addition.  I suppose if fighters can be used in courier or retrieval missions at some point there's probably value to be gained.  I'm open to suggestions, though!


Shuttles would be useful depending on how customizable fighters are. (For instance, if they're in the vesselData file it'll be okay, but if they're hardcoded it won't be) Fighters, however, are not common in the Star Trek universe, or at least not as carried on capital ships. The Klingons may have some carriers, but outside of Star Trek Online and the old boardgames, that's just speculation.

If you want to go the Star Trek Online route, the Caitans may be an option. Just replace the Ximni with them. Supposedly, the Caitians are related to the Ferasans, who are the Star Trek Online version of the Kzinti, who had fighters in the Star Fleet Battles game.
MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #77 
Fighters are defined in vesselData like most of the other ships, so very customizable.

Having a second player race could actually be pretty fun - I'll have to ponder that....

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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #78 
As defined in the Artemis canon the second player race will be a technological flipside to the TSN. They will have more efficient/useful jump drive (which will be their default) but less efficient/useful warp drive. Beam weapons will operate in a manner similar to TSN though the specs of range, reload time and damage may be a bit different. Torpedoes might be quite different and more useful against warp drive ships if Thom can get that working in a fun and balanced way.
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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #79 
You know what, running a second race in lieu of Ximni has some really interesting possibilities.  I don't know if the Catians, the Kzinti, the Andorans, the Vulcans or what would be the best fit.  There aren't a lot of allied, non-Starfleet ships in the movie era - the Vulcan warp sled, but that's about it.  ENT had some really cool non-Earth ships, but none of those were evident in ST:I - ST:VI (for obvious reasons).

Do you know if there will be a separate Allied NPC for the second race?  Like TSN has their destroyers etc, will the Ximni have separate combat NPCs that may or may not be allied with the TSN NPCs?  That could make for very interesting games...

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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #80 
Yes, the Ximni will have separate player and NPC ships just like the TSN. I have requested that some of them be as formidable as the Torgoth Leviathan and the Skaraan Executor.

I'm not sure how he will implement side selections in Invasion Mode. I presume that if you select a Ximni player ship there will be the possibility that some of your enemies will be from the TSN, just as selecting a TSN ship will sometimes spawn NPC Ximni enemies. In PVP games it should be possible to have Ximni ships on any side.

We've discussed giving the Ximni NPC ships a better AI that has them use their jump drive intelligently. My hope is that they will use it to effectively for both attack and defense.

As keeper of the Artemis canon I will only comment publicly on the Artemis canon. I will not comment publicly on how various Artemis developments might be integrated into some other franchise. I could not restrain your imaginations even if I wanted to.

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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #81 
This is all just theoretical talk about upcoming Artemis releases, of course - I am actually really intrigued by the idea of NPC races that are friendly or hostile depending on actions during an Invasion mode.  Sort of like BioMechs, who aggro on all biological creatures based on the actions of any of the biological creatures, TSN NPCs could get nasty if you accidentally shoot one of them, could help you if you do a side mission, that sort of thing.
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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #82 
OK, as per usual, I'll start my 2.3.0 modding notes here.  Fully aware that there will be a new release in a few months with some pretty sweeping changes, I'm just going to focus on what needs to be included in new mods to make sure the game doesn't crash.

-- New Sound FX cue in artemis.ini:
; SETTING: fighterBeamShot
; USE: played on consoles when buttons are pressed
; ACCEPTABLE: a file name to a WAV file
fighterBeamShot=dat/fighter-zap.wav
fighterBeamShotVol=0.99


Should be pretty obvious, and if you don't use fighter types in your mod it probably doesn't matter.  Still, better safe than sorry, add it in!

A few new settings to tweak:

; SETTING: torpEnergyValue
; USE: energy you get for sacrificing a homing torp
; ACCEPTABLE: 1-
torpEnergyValue=100

; SETTING: torpEnergyCostValue
; USE: energy you pay for creating a homing torp
; ACCEPTABLE: 1-
torpEnergyCostValue=150

 

This lets you fine tune the battery nature of Homing Torps.  Don't like making them batteries?  Set torpEnergyValue to 1 - you can break them open, but you get basically nothing for them.  Don't like replicating them?  Set torpEnergyCostValue to 1000.  Want a machine gun replicator line?  set torpEnergyCostValue to 1 - just churn them out.


; SETTING: beamDamageCap
; USE: max damage an enemy beam can be, relative to the difficulty level
; ACCEPTABLE: 3-10
beamDamageCap=7

; SETTING: friendlyBeamDamageCap
; USE: max damage an ai ship beam can be, relative to the difficulty level
; ACCEPTABLE: 3-10
friendlyBeamDamageCap=3



This is something I'm going to have to muck around with for the TNG mod.  TreChipman kept the beam values pretty close to stock for his mod, so this shouldn't really be a problem.  The damage values in the TNG mod are typically in the 15-20 range, so I'll have to do some thinking on that one.


New vesselData things:
<carrierload fighter="5" bomber="2"/>

This tag gets added to player ships to make them have fighters.  No tag, no fighters.  The number in quotes is the total number of fighters that ship can carry.  Currently not capable of replenishing.  The second tag, bomber, doesn't seem to be working yet.  I added a "player bomber" tagged ship (like the fighter, more on that below) and it didn't generate them.  It also allowed me to select Fighter XA during ship selection, which the Server did not like at all and crashed out.

<vessel uniqueID="100" side="0" classname="Fighter XA" broadType="player fighter">
<art meshfile="dat/TSNFighter.dxs" diffuseFile="dat/LightCruiser_Diffuse.png"
glowFile="dat/LightCruiser_Glow.png" specularFile="dat/LightCruiser_Specular.png" scale="0.2" pushRadius="50"/>
<shields front="140" back="0"/> <!-- for fighters, front shield here is actually total HP-->
<performance turnrate="0.030" topspeed="0.6" efficiency="1.0"/>
<beam_port x="0" y="0" z="0" damage="4" arcwidth="0.4" cycletime="1.0" range="1000"/>
<engine_port x="-15.533172" y="-3.027038" z="-50.354633"/>
<engine_port x=" 15.533172" y="-3.027038" z="-50.354633"/>
<torpedo_storage type="0" amount="3"/>
<!-- Type 1 Homing"-->
<long_desc text="TSN Fighter^First draft of a player fighter.^One rapid-fire beam, 3 homing torpedoes."/>
</vessel>



And here's the fighter code in it's entirety.  Most of it is really pretty similar to what you'd expect.  Normal art declaration, performance, beams, engines, etc.  Note - the beams use the new sound FX cue called out above, FYI.

New things are the tags:  "player fighter"  I suspect bombers (which the carrier looks like it'll be able to support eventually) will need "player bomber" and shuttles may need "player shuttle" or whatnot.  EDIT: Multiple "player fighter" tagged entries can be used, but Artemis selects one type randomly and all of your fighters are that type.

Only 1 shield facing, like bases.

Only 1 type of torpedo supported at the moment, and that's homing torpedoes.  When I tried setting it to EMP torpedoes, it just showed a grayed out 0 when I launched the fighter.


That looks like most of it so far.  Nothing too major to update in the mods; I suspect largely because the Ximni release is going to be pretty major.  That being said, I'll try to make sure my mods work with 2.3 ASAP.  I may just leave out new fighters for the moment in TMP, just to get it up and running.







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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #83 
Also, interestingly, you don't specify the location of the torpedo launcher on the fighters - just that it has one.

EDIT:  Also also, there's no internal data file for the fighters (no .snt file).

EDIT II: Thirdly, fighters only get 1 working beam location, AFAIK.

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #84 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBell

EDIT:  Also also, there's no internal data file for the fighters (no .snt file).


This is probably why it crashed as a player ship, and fighters don't need an .snt file. (Since they have no Engineering screen)

I notice the beam is set to location 0,0,0, and the arc looks wonky on Helm/Weapons screens. I'm going to try editing the beam location and see if I can straighten that out. The arc may not mean anything, though. (Only range is considered)

The carrier also has a "player carrier" tag, but I have no idea what that tag could be used for. The Dreadnought doesn't have it.

MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #85 
Well the server crashed when I just selected it - it didn't even preview it. It could just be that it's UID was out of sequence (skipped from 7 to 100), but when there's only 1 fighter defined it doesn't pull it up as an option.

Could be the snt problem too - I guess I've never tried pulling up a ship without one [tongue]

I didn't notice the beam location problem, but that's a good one to check out. Some of the fighters I plan on using have off center guns, so it'll be interesting to what effect it has.

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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #86 
More new info based on the bleeding edge version released at Armada II: Ximni Bugaloo!  Erm, Ximni Dawn [smile]

Custom Coloring!  There's a cool new feature wherein you can customize the color of your spaceships' glowy bits.  This is keyed on red hues in the glow file. Color Slider.png As you can see, it's not particularly subtle with it either - it probably ramps up all the reds in the glow file to max, even ones you didn't realize were particularly red.  This means you don't really want red glow effects on your hull, since they'll turn out weird.  Other colors, white, blue, etc are fine, but if there's any red in the hue, it gets ramped up and color adjusted.  Desaturating the glow file in the spots you don't want reddened totally fixes it, as long as you don't mind it not being red anymore [tongue]  Also, orange and bronze and such have red in them, so that's gonna be a thing too.

If the glow file could be a transparent file that gets overlaid or something, I think it wouldn't be a problem.  As it is, be advised.

Also, long_desc_text is back!  I'm really glad I didn't delete them now hahaha

Interesting new note - there are two damages listed in the vesseldata file for player ships, damage and player_damage.  player_damage seems to be the usual damage values, but damage is now about a tenth of that.  I'm not sure what it's used for, maybe if a mission script calls an NPC ship that's a player ship?

I'll play around with second player races next.


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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #87 
Is that an actual ship selection screen from 2.3.10x? As in, visual display of the ship and a starbase in its background? I imagine that makes it easy to set color with that slider. And as you said, it's awesome to see the ship description back on the ship selection screen again.

I'll also note that it's probably not as bad in the stock glowfiles since glows are either red for the accent or blue for the engines.

MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #88 
Yep!  That's from 2.3.109, the bleeding edge software at Armada II.  I suspect the post-con release will be very similar, but with some bugs ironed out.  

This screen is technically the "Customize" screen that helm gets to play with, where you can name, select ship type, adjust color, etc.  The secondary player race ships currently just queue up after the first set of player ships, with no real indication of race besides the view of the ship and whatever you've named the class.

Clearly I'll need to do some glow file cleanup on all my player ships [tongue]

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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #89 
Also, this is probably more pertinent to the mission scripting section, but you can completely specify player ship type, name, and slider position for coloring in mission scripts now.
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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #90 
VorCha.png 
So that was relatively straightforward.  I added a bunch of ships after the Fed ships, made sure the UID was contiguous but they're side 20 (assigned relatively randomly).  They don't have the "jumpmaster" tag that the Ximni players do, but there doesn't seem to be a problem there so far.

There's no real difference between the two player races right now - they all share the same allied race and bases, but it's pretty fun, and it'll make PVP much more interesting [smile]

I'll note that this was about the largest ship that Artemis would show before it became TOO CLOSE!! AHHH!!!!

But that affects the stock game too, you can only really see the back end of the Carrier and Juggernought when choosing your ship.

EDIT:
  B'Rel.png 
Up and running in game.  I'll note that my computer did crash out the client during ship selection a few times - I don't know if that's a factor of loading up 30 or so ships for the computer to render and play with the glow file or my box desperately needing to be upgraded [tongue]

Also, Attract mode works just fine with the mod.  Although there are some interesting artifacts:
Attract Mode.png 

EDIT 2: New efficiency numbers: shipefficiency="1.0" warpefficiency="1.0" jumpefficiency="1.0"

This replaces: efficiency="1.0", and is now inverted.  So the Scout has an overall shipefficiency of 0.7 instead of 1.3, and the Dreadnought has an efficiency of 1.2 instead of 0.8.  I suspect it is a straight multiplier for energy use instead of a divider, but I haven't done any extensive testing.



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