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Humble Book Bundle ends on 9/11/2019

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    First i thought to use my old thread, but since the title mismatches the idea i thoought it’s a beeter idea to open a new thread.
    the reason is simple
    i started to resurrect “Sputnik” from it’s remnants.
    right today i had the idea to rename it to “Phoenix” which suits well to what has happened to “Sputnik” (but the sputnik i will keep in the menu screen, it’s a fine model in original scale based on the original blueprints).
    you might know i almost lostbeverything i made for “Sputnik”
    i recovered some remnants on my oms macbook and in a folder where i stuffed all i could save from the broken HD
    i found a source for the alpha30/31 release and with this (and only with this) i can recently work.
    sofar i haven’t compiled sputnik yet again, i have to remember the changes to the program i made first.
    that wasn’t many and mostly it made the game more flexible for modding it by removing things like given ship names i.e. “Lanner” or “ladybird” (for the cops) with more senseful names like “default_ship” and “police_ship”.
    this avoids things like a “exchange” script to xchange a standart lanner wih any ship of your choice and especially for the police vessel.

    to help me remembering what i need i started to use a alpha31 build and stuffed the leftover “Sputnik” models in it, not bad i even found some vital old scripts in which i programed all the helper functions for a “simple” to use LMR.
    new things (but old ideas) came to my mind.
    this let’s call it pre-release has still the odd exchange-models scripts but it’s already nice to see the stuff together working again, it makes me somewhat happy,
    not all and everything is lost like i thought in beginnng.

    the goals are still the same
    keeping the LMR
    refining it until it gets to a sort of construction kit, maybe even to resurrect the old idea of combining your own ship instead of buying a finished one, it’s possible with the LMR.
    and my endless functions script is the start in this dirction.
    but i already would think it’s cool to i.e. upgrade your engine and you would notice this on your fighter, cool would be a LEGO like system you build your ship from a set of given parts which have different costs and efficiency.
    of course “generated missions” instead of hand written missions i still have in mind, even this could work with the lua scrips.
    still i like to make the fighting somewhat easier because i don’t believe it’s fun to let the machine the do job (maybe for some is that the fun).
    to grab the right co-pilot is “final fantasy strategy like” push the right button at the right time, but to me this was never playing a game.
    disrespecting the success this game had or i have to say by looking at this fact 80% of gamers are lame (sorry).
    but i see where this comes from “Solitaire” how many still play card games on the computer? i don’t know, but solitaire you can easy play without a computer and for the computer if he would have a soul, the most boring to play.
    just look how many arcade solitaire and mah-jongh’s existed for the asian market, i guess they love these rather stupid games and it seems they love it most when they can uncover a naked girl by removing the blocks.
    i saw and was surprised not to long ago a asian arcade hall in tai-peh, well where else you play tei-peh (mah-jongh solitaire) as in tai-peh
    i mean **arcade halls**… show me one which is not a museum in US or europe, and they still go to the arcade hall
    to play a solitaire in 2017! (i don’t know but i have this strong suspect they do it only because of the naked girls – well that’s something i can’t understand if i lack of girls to look at i draw me some
    yes maybe i should migrate to asia and draw naked girls for them? would that be a good idea?).
    sort of these players will be satisfied with a “final fantasy” system, press the right button at the right time.

    i’m not but therefore such a “final fantasy player” (i know one) never can understand what we get out of a open ended space game,
    i know most can’t get something out of it because it lacks of a path to follow and usually they ask “what do i have to do in this game?”
    on which we could only answer “everything you decide to do”.
    if there is no clear path to follow, no given task to fulfill then they are simply overwhelmed.
    and no it’s not enough topress the right button…
    and it should never turn to something like this, not a tiny little bit

    what i like is a situation how marcel described it once
    you are surrounded by 200 pirates longing to kill you!

    i like to do it manually reasonable or not for 3200, a mind controlled spaceship and a computer which does the job for you isn’t fun to play with, that’s as boring as cheating, even more, from cheating you can learn at least.
    but who knows when it goes on in this direction tomorrows games will have a single button – to start the so called “game” the rest is made by the computer and you watch how he do it.
    i mean really we go in this direction
    i’m a “forever gamer” a so called veteran – hi there geraldine -, i play computer games since i can remember from dad’s self made pong and lightgun game in the early 70’s to Pioneer, coin-ops and everything which was labelled “computer game” .
    then i watched a not so serious ment clip about old computers respectively if the youth of today can handle our hardware.
    you laugh your ass off, first you see the boys playing a motion controlled game, some river rafting, but what they have to do to play it is… nothing – nothing like lean a little on this side – lean a little on the other.
    ok then they handed the girl a cassette recorder, she didn’t even knew where to start (press play), damned the symbols for play never changed since 40 years baby it’s a arrow pointing from left to right,
    my baby aged 2 found out in minutes how to play a cassette stop it and reverse to hear “sabre dance” of dave edmunds again (while ok i never forbid her to fumble on my stereo, the knobs are so attracting to babies
    and unlike the knobs she has on her toys this knob is working, something is happening and this puts a smile on a babies face).
    then they let them play on a atari console pac-man, no surprise the boys get nowhere “it’s to hard” they claim while the girl can get fun out of it and evolves.
    oh yes they are to hard for you young fellows i know, it’s really not enough to lean from one side to the other,
    you need a good reaction time, you need to have good control over your hands and yes even a little strength and endurance (endurance or patience i guess that’s the lack)
    to hell for some games you need even your brain! how could that be?

    i guess we can only learn from old games what is this thing called gameplay, why was a pac-man such a hit and it wasn’t because there was no competition
    the competition in the 80’s was that hard that they payed dreamers to dream of new games (root of the “riders of the blue sky” because they was payed to “ride the blue sky”).
    especially after the huge success of pac-man, but it was never reached, not even with “Quix” of which i think has the much better gameplay, it can make you addicted to it.
    and still you will find a “Quix” clone for whatever platform in whatever style.
    tetris was another hit which is still alive if that is now a sort of “columns” and if the graphics changed to little dragons shooting at gems which are guided by a evil giant in 3D, the gameplay is still the same.
    and of course labyrinth games certainly still exist, it’s a simple concept but it’s fun to play and to evolve.

    building a game which runs on low-specced machines, which really runs on them, once it wasn’t overloaded with shaders and sorry but software postprocessing costs extremely processing time, i could use for this endless dynamic stuff.

    that’s all so far

    Humble Book Bundle ends on 9/11/2019


    by looking at this fact
    > to hell for some games you needed even your brain!
    “a simcity for every child” along with “a laptop for every child” makes a lot sense


    how far i am?

    mostly it looks still like pioneer, it is pioneer it’s only named “Phoenix” from now on
    (for several reasons it’s a phoenix resurrected from the ashes and i always liked “phoenix” the shoot ’em up)

    but if you like i can post some new shots for those who are new and have no idea what gernötli is doing and how he is related to pioneer
    for the latter ask pinback or geraldine

    in advance if you feel the models look very basic, yes they do and this is bound to the Lua Models Resource which had ben removed from pioneer a couple of years ago.
    but to me no pioneer without the LMR it’s one of the main differences for me to other space sims and there are many.

    scriping models has limitations, mostly by the length of the script, in a CAD to build a model and use up easy a 10’000 vertices (vectors) for a few shapes.
    in a script you have to define these vectors first by typing them in the script and 10’000 i never used, but therefore countless polygons.
    with a software it’s easy to create shapes and you can perform a lot of “magic”, for the LMR you have to invent the “magic” first.
    with a software it’s easy to animate a object (while exporting the animation is still a problem, and bound to the chosen model system).
    in a script no such “matrix animations” which results follow a given translate/rotation matrix are possible,
    you have to “dream” the animation first ad then find the right way to make it possible, but there are limitations,
    one is that you can’t correct data, a moder CAD will do this for you and it’s easy to setup a rigged outlayer or a conrod
    while like i stated it’s not as easy to export such properly, helpers like constraints won’t be present in the exported mesh, thus you need a “clever” export script,
    clever means simple, one which exactly writes the matrix as you see it in the CAD, nothing more and nothing less.
    internally CAD’s don’t work with a matrix it’s pretty much the same as i script, translate and rotate, only that a CAD will ahve the possibility to
    make joints by clamping on a certain vertice or calculates correctional data on the fly for things like a conrod.
    this i can’t with a script on the fly or not.

    the used collada (if that is still used for pioneer) model system is very similar to a script, at least for the animations and that’s the reason why you can’t have a conrod in collada
    because you can’t export it how you builded it to collada and the result is unpredictable.
    collada is ment i repest myself i know, for web presentations and not to create models for a game, point
    collada animations can always be reolved, means if you get a collada model you can load it to the CAD and everything appears like it should the animation is the same as it was
    for the original model with exception of constrains and correctional data
    collada supports only one animation channel, well that’s fine for a presentation, but for a game?
    we have dirctx meshes
    it’s old yes, but these guys thought of the future and it’s made especially for games and nothing else
    you can animate as much as you like in a x mesh, it’s not lmited to one channel even if most game engines use only one channel
    it’s not limited to simple translate and rotational stuff, they are matrix animations and if one likes it or not they have advantages
    x meshes can even reproduce skinned animations it was “promised” but then…
    they chose collada which can’t perform any of this
    the only lack of a dx mesh is it can’t be resolved
    if you load it to a CAD the animation is rubbish and the parts are depending on how they was centered centered to their origin which is often 0,0,0
    thats’the weak point of dx meshes they aren’t exchangeable
    collada is exchangeable but limited the same as a scripted model, even more because in a script i decide how many animation channels i need for a specific model.
    you can se this easy if you examne a collada, it’s build up like a script and the animations are translate from vector to vector or rotate so and so radiants in so and so time.
    but i can’t deform a mesh (which i can in a script) and i can’t influence this simple animation channel even if i know where i had to put the correctional data,
    in a script this is only bound to the limits of my imagination.

    for collada you have to know almost as much about geometry as for a script, for dx meshs you won’t have to know this.
    e.g. that a conrod will only work if at least two shankels of the triangle which it forms have the same length.
    like it would work mechanically, in reality for i.e. a steam powered locomotive you cant “shrink” the conrod or correct the wheels position,
    if the conrod is designed wrong either the conrod or the wheel will break (i suspect the conrod or “pleuel” like we say in german).

    it’s a small difference…
    a small difference?
    well a landing gear moving in a rotational movement out of it’s recess looks stupid, what drives this? usually pistons what means a conrod.
    i a CAD it’s rather easy to let the conrod follow the rotational movement thus it looks like the conrod would drive the wheel or rig even if it’s for the model vice versa.
    the rig or the wheel slippes the conrod after itself and the conrod had to be clamped to a given position.
    a small difference with a quite big effect.
    if i can’t have conrods i can’t animate such, not even close to it and this is the limitation which frustrates me most avout collada
    (apart from “signal lost” eh it’s a active format and really not ment for games, but therefore the Mac displays the model in the thumbnail (or signal lost if it fails to open it)
    and you can use collada in a PDF or a HTML and that’s what it’s ment for, to present mainly architecture or technical parts in the web or in a pdf.
    and yes exactly for the technical parts the “true animation” is needed you know this part you see will work in reality as it works in collada, because collada works like real mechanics)
    but for a game if i can’t script the model then at least i like to have all i can do in my CAD and not beeing limted to true mechanics, apart from the fact that the CAD will calculate
    correctional data on the fly and unnoticed by you, thus you won’t know if it works finally in collada as you ment it.

    that was a quite long reasoning, but well for those who wonder what this means and why i started “Sputnik”
    and why the models i will post here look very basic.


    nothing really nothing fits as well as a random generated name 😉

    lookathat (which is even randomly the name the name of the single outdoor planet in recent achernar )
    looakthat! (and a name used in a old sci-fi story for a huge mountain, lookathat)

    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/2017-04-10_162747_zpsly2az0vz.png “”)

    first the funny name i didn’t do anything els as to buy one ship, no change of registration or hack
    well a fresh saucer that’s what it is ven if it isn’t a saucer but by the means of flying saucer it is one, more or less
    a fresh saucer.

    but do you notice what i really like to show?
    >! it’s the different lighting of the scenery, we have here a blue giant and a dwarf star, usually in pioneer everything under a dwarf star or a red sun is glowing red,
    >! i even wondered why everything is so flat and you couldn’t see the terrain.
    >! i always disliked it, it’s not natural and shading needs more refining of course.
    >! i simply snooped in the respective script and “siehe da” (lookathat!) “add star color to objects emmissive color” comment “a bit odd”
    >! if it’s odd why using it? i changed it to the right thing “add star color to objects diffuse color” and “lookathat” probelem solved no more glowing red planets
    >! no more structure of the terrain isn’t to see, proper shading for buildings and planet.no more “i feel the scattered light is to strong”.
    >! directive light and the feel of shade where no lighting should be is proper.

    intentionally i liked to start with this shot, but after i noticed the unique name of the above ship i had to post it first
    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/2017-04-10_161603_zpsvrccwqxl.png “”)

    as one can se it’s still labelled “Pioneer”, like i said i only liked to see if the remnants a scrambled will still work.

    it’s evening on “lookathat”, but i guess one can see the proper shading nonetheless (because the terrain isn’t glowing)
    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/2017-04-10_161700_zpsjmrslwk4.png “”)

    a very typical Ladybug, this is how we started out
    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/2017-04-10_165623_zpsi2wewe56.png “”)
    anyones got a idea what “False Devastation” means?
    i really love my “legal names” you never now what will be the result and mostly it produces a smile.
    “falsche verwüstung” interesting, a wrong devastation…
    besides there woud be a lot of devastations false and proper ones good and bad light and heavy dark and bright or well even a fresh devastation
    because of this it rarely fails.

    besides for this release not a single “solid” mesh is allowed
    everything is based on scripts and if anyone likes to contribute to “Phoenix” he will have to mess with the LMR.
    of course still this would be possible since it’s alpha32 it supports all formats we used “pure” scripted models, models using wavefront obj and put together with the script
    or collada or dx meshes latter are badly supported by pioneer even if it would be the right format for a game like pioneer.

    the decicion was collada and i will never understand this – not in a hundred years.
    but if one likes to transport rocks in a ferrari or tries to challange a ferrari with a pickup then it’s the right format.

    it’s imho the same as you would try hard as you can to display a dx mesh in a HTML script.
    it’s the wrong format for the job.
    a construction worker as a surgeon is pretty the same.

    i tryas hard as i can to make the model scripting easier with countless helper functions,
    to rotate a gear in easy way with rotation helpers, the “gear_rot” will rotate a model by parameters for you
    to call finished landing gear sub-models, all of the recent ships use them
    to help you with setting up materials from a materials table, because mostly you will use the same settings
    to make the scripting of vectors easier with “mirror x” and “halfways v1, v2” (interpolate vectors, while one could use “vlerp” and a fixed percentage)
    with a simple translation helper which translates the model by parameters for you.
    with a text autoscale function to scale text to a given space, thus no matter if the station is named “la seur du Dan Ham” or twice as long it will fit to the space.
    with finished engine glow materials and ready to use nozzles for the ships.
    with station animation helpers to ease the animation of stations
    and there is planned a lot more

    also a wide range of ready to use sub-models
    the landing gear as i told already, four different ones, one simple front “single wheeled” one rear “quadruple wheeled”, one to place under a wing “airplane like”,
    one simple piston which rakes out of the ship.
    my old position lights with a enhancement, they flash now like on a airplane
    a pilot (my old scripted one it has to be made new, it uses up to much tris)
    two robots or droids to place in stations or whatever one decides to do with them
    everything you remember from the past


    the landing gear sub-model is something which maks it really a lot easier
    and such is what i imagine as a sort of consruction kit, ready to use parts.
    it won’t look as good as if you create special ones relation of size and texture is given
    both i can make somewhat more flexible but it costs ease. then it’s a function and you will have to set the parameters for texture and scale.x
    scale.x is enough if you can scale x you can fit the model to any dimension together wth the global scale, without to loose functionality of the conrod
    or to create accidentially oval wheels.

    it’s planned and i had to remove the start of the change because of the screenshots i posted

    it’s besides a good example how the kit will work, ready to use parts which can be scaled and textured different by choice
    even texture coordinates i could automate
    it’ simple a texture has always the size X1 Y1 (or U1 V1, if you like), thus to proper scale a texture to a shape of i.e. 2m x 4m
    you simply have to divide 1 with either 2 or 4 and the result s the scale for the texture.
    to move the texture to the right place similar can be made it’s all just geometry and mathematics.

    a example how this work is to find in my “outdoorstations” script, because if i didn’t use a textured .obj
    i have to set different texture coordinates for the landing pad creation function, this i had to automate and it works well.
    that is mainly for my “cheated” floodlight, it’s a glowmap which looks like the floodlights would light up the landing pad.
    besides glowmaps are a good helper for such tricks, i used once the “local lighting” function for the cockpit lighting
    but it’s far better and the result is almost the same if i use a glowmap, better even because i can exactly decide how it should look like,
    what will be lit up and what is in the shade.

    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/2017-04-10_181746_zpson66jsuu.png “”)

    “just geometry and mathematics” if my old teacher would hear this i guess he gets a heart attack, he knew that i’m not bad in it
    but i didn’t believed him.
    and now gernötli is using geometry his most hatet subject in school nearly daily.

    but well i also thought “if there comes a time i need this i still can learn it”


    “Für Fragen und Vorschläge bitte diesen Briefkasten benutzen”


    Hi Gernot,

    What is the shading change you made for planets?
    I want to make sure that we’re not doing something strange in Pioneer too.


    in words
    “i simply snooped in the respective script and “add star color to objects emmissive color” comment “a bit odd”
    i changed it to “add star color to objects diffuse color”.
    the result is hat the terrain isn’t glowing anymore exept for the lava shading which is declared seperately
    i can’t tell if that is still present in the recent build(s), since i recenty can’t run anything above alpha31

    the change is in geosphere_terrain.frag

    “#else // NUM_LIGHTS > 0 — unlit rendering – stars
    //emission is used to boost colour of stars, which is a bit odd Q:if it’s odd why not use material.diffuse?
    gl_FragColor = material.diffuse + vertexColor; //instead of diffuse, emission was used

    matter of choice maybe?
    but i felt always the since some release that the terrain and surface objects lost depth and i guess it was this change

    it results in a quite good directve light from ore then one lightsource but keeps the things in shade which should stay in shade
    the only thing is still feel the whole scenery is to dark, probably (but not only, the glowing has no effect on the ships) because of this change
    but i certainly will find the powerswitch.


    some oldies

    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/screenshot-20170413-045453_zpsz7jkc0me.png “”)

    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/screenshot-20170413-045649_zps8p2qiphq.png “”)
    in pioneer ships don’t land on antigrav pads, since this won’t happen ever.

    of course enyone can see it’s a XF MKI :smiley:
    but nut much would had to made this ship is still present in many variations in my archive,
    the adding of the landing gear was quite some work or turned out to be.

    the next i had to clutter together i found the script and made a new texture new for it
    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/screenshot-20170412-171649_zpspkkr1tuy.png “”)
    this will be what you have to mess with in phoenix, i shitty Lander with which you first have to make some very boring and not very profitable
    interplanetary cargo runs.
    the capacity is quite good and you can carry at least 5 passengers but it has no a hyerdrive or any sort of weapons or defense
    it’s what i feel a “interplaneary shuttle” is ment for
    and if you have no autopilot at start then it’s sometimes quite tricky to succeed in a rather simple mission
    the specs are low and due to that you need a lot of time and fuel*

    following is a brutality
    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/screenshot-20170412-172339_zpsanfeflmx.png “”)
    it’s a waste of polygons in the scripted variation, but i had to revive this combination of three Landers, for some reason it has the docking nozzles.

    even this one i could save
    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/screenshot-20170412-172108_zpsttfjchkt.png “”)
    i still have it as a SGM model but it neded quite some luck to find the script, the texture i took from the SGM model.

    while i made “Sputnik” i evaluated a own simple method to unify the ship specs

    thrust = function(grav,tara)
    return math.floor(grav * 9806.65 * tara)

    this is in front (“00_thrust_calc.lua”) of a ll shipspecs and makes it formost easier to know in advance hoe many G’s it will be
    due to that you reach always beautiful round values.

    what” Tara” means i don’t have to explain and grav is the desired acceleration in G for a empty ship.
    as tara i sum the hulmass and the weich of a ladden fuel tank, that’s fair, one could also take the naked ship or the ladden weight
    it will result in a different grade of let’s say speed (acceleration, but of course it speeds up the game also).
    to take the ladden weight is not to recommend because the ships will be very unrealistic when empty
    to take only the hull mass will result in a very lame ship when you like to go to the lowest acceptable limit, even when the fuel mass is ony a tenth of the hull mass.
    thus i decided to add the fuel tank mass to what is “Tara”.
    in front of each ship spec i declare also the final scale i used for this ship
    the bounding radius multiplied with the scale
    and call the above function with my desired values
    and that shit works well
    you just enter your G’s and exactly this will be shown in the games ship roster
    the radius i use as factor for the angular thrust, that’s maybe not accurate but it works out well

    `local scale = 1.2
    local radius = 18*scale
    –tara = hull_mass + fuel_tank_mass
    local tara = 30
    local main = thrust(10,tara)
    local reverse = thrust(10,tara) –not needed for this ship but to show it
    local lateral = thrust(5,tara)

    define_ship {
    forward_thrust = main,
    reverse_thrust = reverse,
    up_thrust = reverse, — usually lateral
    down_thrust = reverse, — dito
    left_thrust = lateral,
    right_thrust = lateral,
    angular_thrust = lateral*radius,`

    whatever system you decide if you keep it in your game it will result in a balanced and easy to control ship setup
    since this ship is that weak it’s allowed for it to use the same values as for main/reverse thrust for to lift.



    this oldtimer i just had to grab out of a old mod
    ![](http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy187/potsmoke66/sshots/Phoenix/screenshot-20170412-165803_zpsyo7pzqke.png “”)

    it was just a bit a puzzle to find out which texture tiles belong to which shape, because i try to take as much as possible from a repository
    instead to have for eachship many different, recently it depends on the state of the remnants if i have a combined texture i use this even if it’s abit hard
    with scripted projections to find the right section, but i have some experience and it could also be planned.
    but if i have the right texture tiles ready i won’t change that it saves me a lot of work.


    Thanks Gernot I’ll take a look at the code and see if it makes a difference on ours 🙂


    Ok I checked, that change shouldn’t produce any difference when there’s a star, but it will when there isn’t a star.
    Basically that comment means that its the end of the section that deals with lighting “#else NUM_LIGHTS > 0” so that code isn’t used on planets with a star.

    *phew* glad that’s the case!
    I think it made some sense for the rendering to boost emmisive rather than diffuse because otherwise on star-less planets you’d be able to see the planet clearly, but with emissive it just makes it glow a little bit as though it’s lit by (distant) starlight only.


    Anyway, good luck with the Pheonix project 🙂



    your’e right, i couldn’t see any difference – i could swear… but who knows maybe it was gettin’ a little late…or early in the morning.
    and if i woud have looked right at the script i should have noticed that.


    Hi Gernot! I’m thrilled that you’re working on this again.
    I just watched Menace from Outer Space. It’s not half bad. Well it is actually half bad, which means it’s also half good. The special effects were fairly good for television in 1954. I thought that the Orbit Jet spaceship might give you some inspiration.
    I just tried to upload some screenshots from my hard drive like we used to do and found out I can’t anymore. I’ll upload them to my Dropbox and post them later.

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