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Alexey_Andronov

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Reply with quote  #1 
Greetings everybody! After some time spent elsewhere... I'm back, and ready to do something worthwile with my spare time.

As you may or may not be aware, I'm the one who originally created the Mission Editor for Artemis. Its development process was never planned properly, and so features were added left and right at random, and it was never really finished, although, it was brought to a useful state. After I had to abandon work on the project (for numerous reasons), many people were eager to pick it up and continue updating it for current Artemis version - big thanks to every one of you!

But anyways, now I'm back and I've decided I'll ty to finish it properly. Fix bugs and inconsistencies, add needed features and so on. I'll try to look at it myself to figure out what needs to be done, but at the same time, I think it's best I ask you guys, who are actually using it, what do you think should be changed, improved, or what kind of features you'd like to have the most? So please, share your thoughts and ideas.

Meanwhile, couple of questions from me:

1) Where is the current source code located, and who's the current owner? So I could get into actual coding.

2) Are you aware of the "Find potential problems" function, and are you actually using it, and is it any good?

3) Are you aware of the "Dependencies" function, are you actually using it, and is it any good?

4) Would a feature that allows editing missions from past game versions be useful? So, for example, you could edit 2.2 missions using 2.2 syntax (like, regarding whales and monsters) at the same time if you open a 2.3 mission you could edit it using 2.3 syntax, all in the same program, by just changing the version in the mission properties?

5) Would a feature that converts missions from game version to game version be useful? So, for example, you could open a mission, specifying it's a 2.2 mission you want converted to 2.3, and then it would automatically change statements accordingly?

6) What format of help documentation would be useful for the editor? I tried to introduce help forms but it seems something went wrong (they're mangled right now), and anyways, it's not really helpful probably... I guess people would need some context, on-demand help? Like "what does this form do" or "how does this work" or "how do I do this"? Can you guys comment on what was hardest to understand with the editor?

7) Is there any pattern of action you have to often repeat when making missions, that could otherwise be automated? Software like this is really just at tool that facilitates human action, in this case, making it faster to translate your thoughts and ideas into mission script xml. So, it should take minimal effort on your part. If there's something you have to constantly do in a specific order, if some common tasks take multiple actions when they could use one, this means there's room for improvement. Or if you have to play a role of "Capitain obvious", taking manual actions that should be obviously automatic. Something like that. Basically, if there's a way I can speed up the process of making missions, that would be a good feature to add to the editor.
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #2 
The 2.3 compatible release for the Mission Editor is here: http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/artemis-mission-editor-for-2-3-0-7929351?pid=1291028609 and according to the post it's being maintained by Russ Judge, David Wolfe, Alice, Gomeric and Fish Evans. (the latter of whom posted) I don't know where the source code is, but I'm sure one of them can help you.

Ironically enough, while I'm aware of the ability to check my code in the Mission Editor, I very rarely use it. I prefer to find problems while debugging. That's probably just my style, though. An advanced IDE needs some kind of error checking and dependencies listing, so I'd stick with that.

I think the ability to edit scripts according to the rules of previous versions of Artemis would be helpful, and the ability to auto-update to the current version would be VERY helpful. There are a lot of old obsolete missions sitting around because their authors don't have the time to update. If there was an update to the latest version feature, even if it handled only the most simple problems and skipped some of the more complex issues, that would be great.

In particular, I find it tedious to maintain different versions of the script for different Artemis versions, for Strike Force Seven and some of my other scripts. It would be nice if I could just switch from 2.3 to 2.1 and save a version for each.

One thing I find somewhat disconcerting is the use of Event names. I don't like Event names, I feel they clutter up the code and I would rather leave the name empty. But if I let the Event name be randomly generated, "Event x" where x is a number, the name gets copied verbatim to the new Event if I try to duplicate it. I would prefer, if an Event did not have a name, if it was copied as an unnamed event as well. It might be helpful to not have a randomly generated name and just display "<unnamed>" or have an option to turn automatic naming off.

Fish Evans

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hello Alexy, good to hear from you again Sauce code can be found here

http://www.1sws.com/Artemis/ArtemisMissionEditor230B.zip

I keep meaning to upload to Git Hub but I dont realy know HOW and havent got around to learning.



5) I can see that beeing very handy indeed!

7) AI stacks.. some times I want a bunch of enemy's to have the same custom AI stack.. I have to create the stack then copy and paste and edit with the new name,
janx

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Reply with quote  #4 
I would say Item 4, version syntax assistance sounds like a good idea.

I would advise just supporting the versions it has had exposure to.  Meaning, one day one, it only supports the "current" 2.3 release syntax because that's what is live and MUST be supported.  When 2.4 Artemis comes out, you add 2.4 to the list, and segregate the syntax checker so it knows to follow 2.3 or 2.4 rules.  WHen 2.5 comes out, same thing, not it can handle 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5.

It might be worth trying to go farther backwards on format support, but that should be a back burner task, compared to supporting the "current" version well.  Given that you would now be demarcating Artemis version to script/features, your backwards compatibility support grows from that by virtue of "it worked then, it still works now when we put it into 2.3 mode"


ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by janx

I would advise just supporting the versions it has had exposure to.  Meaning, one day one, it only supports the "current" 2.3 release syntax because that's what is live and MUST be supported.


Actually, I would say support for 2.1.1 would be extremely useful because the Android and iOS versions still haven't been updated to 2.3, and the code for 2.1 and 2.2 already exist, in previous revisions of the source code. The current version does support 2.3, but it wouldn't be difficult to go back and include syntax for 2.1 and 2.2.

janx

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra


Actually, I would say support for 2.1.1 would be extremely useful because the Android and iOS versions still haven't been updated to 2.3, and the code for 2.1 and 2.2 already exist, in previous revisions of the source code. The current version does support 2.3, but it wouldn't be difficult to go back and include syntax for 2.1 and 2.2.



that's probably important, but it does make it a larger lift.  Though it may be a good place to start so they can get the versioning working.  I think my salient point is to draw a line in the sand on some version.  Going back to the 1.x days is a lot of work, with reduced value, but 2.1.1 may be best bang for the buck.




Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #7 
In mission scripts using the editor i name all the events. The names really help me keep track of all the different events and what they do, particularly in more complex scripts like the TSN Sandbox.

To be honest,I am just happy for continued support and updates of the mission editor. I have found it an invaluable tool for creating scripts quickly and easily and working on really complex scripts too. I'd like to see bug fixes and updates for the newest scripting commands made a priority, just to get it fully functioning and updated for 2.3.

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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexey_Andronov
... snip

5) Would a feature that converts missions from game version to game version be useful? So, for example, you could open a mission, specifying it's a 2.2 mission you want converted to 2.3, and then it would automatically change statements accordingly?


As unofficial keeper of the unofficial Artemis Mission Pack (notable overdue for an update...) If I had to choose one feature right away, this is it! I'd go through the mission pack and update those in need of fixing for v2.3. 

Or, at least have a very complete set of differences so I could search/replace with NotePad++ or another text slinging app. (Is it only space monsters?)

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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #9 
I would love to be able to use the mission editor but that never seems to be an option for me. I am always writing my code for a Beta version of Artemis that isn't released yet. Tonight when I get home I will be coding missions for Artemis Armada in Artemis 2.3.101 which includes the Ximni player race and numerous other changes such as elite abilities, Jump Drive, Warp Drive, mission setup screen, etc. and I have no idea how those changes would be processed by the mission editor. If there were a way for you to work closely with Thom and have a version of the editor that works with the next release of Artemis I would use it all the time.

On a related note, I dislike the types of event names generated by the mission editor. I want <event name="Fleet Message 1"> which is accepted by the Artemis code and various XML editors.

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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #10 
Also, welcome back Alexey. I've missed you.

Is there any chance you will be coming to the 2017 World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki? Perhaps you and I could set up a bridge and write some Artemis missions for the big name science fiction writers to play!

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Alexey_Andronov

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Reply with quote  #11 

Thank for the feedback, keep it coming!

Quick reply to Mike:

1) I'd love to get information from Thom on the upcoming mission scripting language changes. But would he be willing to share it?

2) I suffixed everything with "arme" exactly for the reason that maybe Artemis code will eventually use the attributes "name" or "id" for its own purposes. I wanted to make my editor compatible with future changes to the game. Changing the attributes to "name" etc. would be no problem, assuming we can get confirmation from Thom he's not going to use these fields for some of his own purposes. Like, for example, he may start using the field "id" once, and expect integer format there, while the editor will put a GUID in.

In retrospect, I just never expected the editor to get this big. I guess now that 99% of the missions are made in it, we can actually just use these, and expect Thom, if he ever needs to, just pick different attribute names.

3) Seems like I could attend, if nothing else comes up. I'll keep that in mind, thanks for the info!

 

janx

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
I would love to be able to use the mission editor but that never seems to be an option for me. I am always writing my code for a Beta version of Artemis that isn't released yet. Tonight when I get home I will be coding missions for Artemis Armada in Artemis 2.3.101 which includes the Ximni player race and numerous other changes such as elite abilities, Jump Drive, Warp Drive, mission setup screen, etc. and I have no idea how those changes would be processed by the mission editor. If there were a way for you to work closely with Thom and have a version of the editor that works with the next release of Artemis I would use it all the time.

On a related note, I dislike the types of event names generated by the mission editor. I want <event name="Fleet Message 1"> which is accepted by the Artemis code and various XML editors.


Since you have advanced insight into the scripting for future versions, maybe you can identify things that are coming in the syntaxt, and maybe Alexey can ensure his system is extensible for syntax definitions via, sets of configuration files.

Since you are primarily dealing with XML files, there's another file format for defining the format of an xml file (I'd have to look up the lingo, it's like .xsd or xslt files that do this).

What that might mean, instead of you divulging advanced secrets to Alexey, he gives you the mechanism to create the new version's syntax file (copy the old version, make changes), such that you can use the current editor for the new version.  When it's ready, alexey helps you polish it up, add extra bits in the code and y'all simul-release the new Artemis and editor around the same time.

Or some variation thereof.  The gist is, by making sure syntax things are not hard-coded in the editor, you can adjust the config file to allow for new features in advance of the new Artemis release without having to make code changes to the editor to support it, thus allowing you to use it to make "next gen" scripts


Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #13 
Any more news on this?

It would be great to have a mission editor with the new code being developed (particularly the new GM stuff that Thom is working on!) Having a visual interface for the GM screen would really help when creating the buttons Thom was going to add to the GM console. If we could click and drag to set up a button and define its size and position - similar to how adding stuff to the sector map works - it would make things really easy.

Of course, I know that Thom is still working on the code for the GM buttons, but just thinking out loud.

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier Wise
If we could click and drag to set up a button and define its size and position - similar to how adding stuff to the sector map works - it would make things really easy.


Yowza. I hadn't even thought along the lines of how the Mission Editor could be changed with these new features, but that is an EXCELLENT idea. I suspect Thom isn't going to include an autosizing or autopositioning feature for the buttons, (too much work for too little benefit) so a WYSIWYG editor would be a big help.

I can't wait to see all the interface designs the community comes up with! [biggrin]

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