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Alpha 9 released

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robn
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Stardreamer wrote:
Just taken her for a couple of quick test flights. The new navigation is brilliant - what a superb idea and implementation, although I'd still like hot buttons for every planet as well, not just Starports. On the other hand I can see why it's been made this way.

Obviously its easy to add planets to the list. I'm just not sure how to do it without cluttering up the list too much. Got any good ideas?

Quote:
I'm still not completely sold on the HDR lighting. Distant stars look so much better without it, and it tends to make planetary surfaces a few shades too bright, garish in some cases.It does do some wonderful things for the atmospheric shaders, though, which is nice. But this is something that can be tweaked until perfect so I'm not going to complain too loudly just now. 😉

The consensus among the developers is that the current HDR implementation is utterly broken. I don't know enough about it to comment further than that. It'll be fixed sometime I guess 🙂

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The new autopilot...wow, just wow. SOOO much better. Thank you! From start, If you leave from Earth and then select Mars High as your destination you are treated to a fabulous solar sunrise while the autopilot guides you around the Earth. Leaving Mars High headed for Io Base, however, it did crash me unceremoniously into Io, so perhaps there's still some tweaking to do here as well. Overall, though, this is a great improvement.

My understanding is that it doesn't always adjust your course correctly when you move away from one planet and close to another one. John is aware of it though. This is the first release and all sorts of improvements are on the way. And yes, its a fantastic piece of work!


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Potsmoke66
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first, time's tight now, i'm back at my old work (constructing air conditions), that's very exhausting and leaves not much power for pioneer, unfortunately.

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Trade ships (ie large non-combat ships) spawned when you enter a system.

cool, seems like we have similar ideas.

will check the new build and report soon 😉


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robn
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ollobrain wrote:
loading of all save games causes a crash but im guessing work arounds being worked on so il wait for a alpha 10

These are all unofficial releases. We will try not to break save game compatibility but you shouldn't expect that they'll work from one release to the next.


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Potsmoke66
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[attachment=592:2011-03-19_143754.jpg]

all bays full?

guess i like it 😉

except for the "advantage to the kid" mouse control.

such can kill a game like pioneer, imho.

[attachment=593:2011-03-19_152327.jpg]


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Stardreamer
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robn wrote:
Stardreamer wrote:
Just taken her for a couple of quick test flights. The new navigation is brilliant - what a superb idea and implementation, although I'd still like hot buttons for every planet as well, not just Starports. On the other hand I can see why it's been made this way.

Obviously its easy to add planets to the list. I'm just not sure how to do it without cluttering up the list too much. Got any good ideas?

Good challenge. Gave it a bit of thought: Shoving more clickable buttons in there is, as you say, just going to be come cluttered and confusing. I thought of a few layouts and none work as well as the solution presented here. So here's my idea: can we give the Comms button more than two states: on/off? Bring it more in line with the view (F1) button or Ship Information (F3) button?

Off

(1) - Starports/Stations

(2) - Planets/Moons/Asteroids

I'd also propose a fourth:

(3)- Ships

That way you don't have to change what 's been done already (this is already fantastic) and can just build on it. See what you think.


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s2odan
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Hey P66, cool pics! Glad to see someone making use of my Imperial Explorer model 🙂 Feel free to work your magic on that model if you have the time and inclination to do so 😉

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except for the "advantage to the kid" mouse control.

such can kill a game like pioneer, imho.

Yes, its a little odd at the moment. But using the mouse is comparable to using the keyboard with the Left Shift key pressed down... sort of like turbo button 🙂 But it still needs some tweaking, and you might have noticed how the mouse control is not slowed down with time-compression like the keyboard.

Quote:

Obviously its easy to add planets to the list. I'm just not sure how to do it without cluttering up the list too much. Got any good ideas?

I think the way you have it set-up now is good, but just make those planet names click-able.. Or give them a different shaped smaller button... Something like this:

Planet:

StarPort: Square.gif

SpaceStation: shape-triangle.gif

I suppose thats easy enough to do if you use Gui_Image_Button instead of the regular button.

Or..... How about this... we already have icons for planets and starports, Why don't we just use those re-scaled slightly and have that as the clickable button... If done that way a planet could keep the icon of its planet type, what do you think?


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Potsmoke66
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a slight graphical problem, i guess materials alpha channel of a previously loaded model didn't gets handled the same way as before.

this costs some of my models their looks.

like it was (and was ment to be)...

[attachment=594:2011-01-26_123536.jpg]

like it is now

[attachment=595:2011-03-19_195240.jpg]

as one can see the colorvariable material under the "flightgroup colour" is not visible and useless therefore now.


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robn
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potsmoke66 wrote:
all bays full?

Yeah the trade module is still very early. Currently it spawns some ships in space stations and some others out in the system. The system ones have a starport chosen for them and they fly to it and dock. Thats it for now. Soon (hopefully alpha 10) ships will take off.

By the way, it'd be great if someone could knock up a model for some outside space stations, preferably with more than two bays (the old Frontier hexagon port would be perfect). If anyone wants to make one let me know and I'll do the engine support needed to make it work.


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Potsmoke66
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there is one on it's way

[attachment=596:2011-03-03_195241.jpg]

but it's a troublemaker

- when in outside camera mode it halts the game, strangewisely only on certain (ship)angles.

- the station is far to big for the actual city sizes in pioneer so if used, only a few buildings and no large buildings like the archology are left.

maybe i have to rework the concept and make the station smaller without reducing the entrys diameter of 300m. to scale it simply down won't be good else i loose the size of the docks (150x300x100)

actually it's planned to have three docks inside the spaceport, but since the model is composed of tiles it's easy to add more docks (several floors).


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robn
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I wouldn't worry about the city size/layout too much, its an area that we know needs reworking.

This is still a surface-based dock type station? Not an outdoor landing pad thing like Frontier? Not that there's a problem with that, its just not what I meant 🙂 I'd still include it if you can make it work.


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Potsmoke66
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no it's planned as exactly the hexagonal type of groundbased spaceports you find on hostile worlds in frontier, even if it doesn't looks truely like at first look. but since lower parts of the station will be sometimes visible i can't let it just "open" and have to give the spaceport a closed shape, even when on a flat terrain only the top 100-200m are visible.

a more recent shot

[attachment=597:2011-03-19_224107.jpg]

[attachment=598:2011-03-19_225048.jpg]


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robn
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potsmoke66 wrote:
no it's planned as exactly the hexagonal type of groundbased spaceports you find on hostile worlds in frontier, even if it doesn't looks truely like at first look. but since lower parts of the station will be sometimes visible i can't let it just "open" and have to give the spaceport a closed shape, even when on a flat terrain only the top 100-200m are visible.

Oh I'd forgotten about those. That looks most excellent.


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Marcel
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I just gave alpha 9.1 a test flight starting at Epsilon Eridani, flew around, docked at Eagles Nest then started a new game at Shanghai and flew to Mars High. It ran flawlessly on my older machine (Athlon 2500+, Radeon 2550) on low detail levels. No crashes at all. The new terrains look great, the autopilot passed all the tests I gave it and it's nice to see other ships in the system. The only flaw I've seen is in the ship equipment screen where "system scanner" is improperly displayed. As for the identikit faces, what's with the green plaid shirt on the guy from Shanghai? I have a similar shirt way back there in the 21st century. I'm sure we could make him look more... today. Also, it's cool that there's a consistent face for each station, but there should be a consistent face for each area of the station as well. It doesn't seem right that the traffic controller should be the same person as the police officer and shipyard manager, etc. In conclusion, an excellent effort from all involved! You people are amazing! Thank you all! 😀


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robn
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Marcel wrote:
The only flaw I've seen is in the ship equipment screen where "system scanner" is improperly displayed.

Are you talking about the bit where the missiles show up? What's not right about it? You won't see the radar mapper and hyperspace cloud analyser buttons any longer as they're activated automatically now. I guess that area needs a fair bit of work so I've thrown an item on my todo list and I'll have a think about it.

Quote:
As for the identikit faces, what's with the green plaid shirt on the guy from Shanghai? I have a similar shirt way back there in the 21st century. I'm sure we could make him look more... today. Also, it's cool that there's a consistent face for each station, but there should be a consistent face for each area of the station as well. It doesn't seem right that the traffic controller should be the same person as the police officer and shipyard manager, etc.

The plan is have different people at the different places in the station, but we don't have enough graphics right now to provide enough combinations. I guess the same goes for mister greenshirt (the armored guy looks cool though). The current graphics are in data/icons/facegen if you'd like to experiment and add some more.

I just had a quick look myself and it occurs to me that we might be able to dynamically recolour them to give the illusion of more options. It might be too obvious though.

Quote:
In conclusion, an excellent effort from all involved! You people are amazing! Thank you all! 😀

Thanks, we appreciate that!


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Potsmoke66
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for those who like to get this back in alpha9

[attachment=603:2011-03-20_094435.jpg]

but i don't know if i should review all models using this, or hope that next alpha it will return to "normal".


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robn
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potsmoke66 wrote:
but i don't know if i should review all models using this, or hope that next alpha it will return to "normal".

I asked around briefly this afternoon and nobody had an obvious idea of what changed. If you post the alpha 8 version I can find out what happened to make it change. After that I can tell you if someone broke something in alpha 9 or if you were inadvertently doing something that was never meant to work 🙂


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Potsmoke66
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i guess it's the least.

like the "tricked" light i use i'm aware that it wasn't ment to be that way, somekind of "bug" which i used as advantage.

the same goes to the use of a material setting of a previousely loaded model, i'm not shure if that was ment to be that way but it has worked well 😉

of course i can change to a material selection in the main model, like i did now for the rapier, or rewrite the squadcolor sub-model as a plain function instead of a model, so it's still easy to use.

anyway i'm still looking for a possibility to use such selections as far as possible static.

the use of the reg no. didn't allows that, but i need something that will be seeded allways the same way, so os.clock and such won't work.

anyway i will link up here both variations of the rapier, so you can check the difference.

it's simply the use of the squadcolor sub-model that makes the difference.

why i use a sub-model at all instead to select the material each time?

simply to keep the squad-color the same as on the squad-signs and helmets and not have to set them each time new.

no big thing i can change it to a function and it will be the same as before.

but check the model anyway it includes also the "lightswitch" (using billboard function), which allowed me to brighten up the cockpit when the UC is lowered (i guess it adds a glow to the transparent material, but it looks like it's getting brighter inside). i hope that "bug" will stay, because it's a cool alternative to a local lighting, especially for fighter cockpits 😉 further i'm not shure if i can achieve the same using simply a glow on the transparent material.

if, then it won't matter how i do that (i will check that possibility soon).

there is another "helper" sub-model called "blank", i made this null material using tri only to prevent thrusters getting turned off by a previous use of the billboard function (has turned even the sound off). i'm not shure if it's still needed since the thruster depth issues are fixed in alpha8 (have to check that first, sometimes it blanks the thrusters only in certain angles to the lightsource).

rapier_alpha8.zip

rapier_alpha9.zip

both models are complete with sub-models.

i checked the glow on transparent material and like i expected it's far not the same like a use of the billboard function previous to a transparent material.


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OSH
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Awesome pictures...I want play this game!!!


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Marcel
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Robn, I'm talking about the ship equipment screen in the shipyard. Actually, looking at it again, I see that it's supposed to read "ECM system" and below that "Scanner".

[attachment=605:ECM system Scanner.jpg]


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Marcel
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I started a new game from Earth and was entering a medium orbit around Mercury when Pioneer crashed with the message "Error: Space station model mushroom_station does not specify valid ship_dock_anim positions."


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Potsmoke66
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Quote:
"Error: Space station model mushroom_station does not specify valid ship_dock_anim positions."

well, i had this one allready often in alpha8, especially when the game "rests" (no input) for a while.

---

all the new stuff is fine, i love the identikit faces, makes me laugh.

the outsourcing of the system specs is a hammer and allows everybody to create it's own galaxy to reflect whatever story/environment.

the quest for the hidden system isn't very far away now...

something that has to made proof,

i picked up a few deliveries, when i enter the system i get called like usual by the "interceptors", but the ships arn't to find anywhere (except for the "traffic").


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GizmoR
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is a problem with the source files,

I can not compile the program under MSVC2010.

the problem is with the file CustomSystem.cpp.

I can compile version 8 without any problem.


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Potsmoke66
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looks bad...

[attachment=606:2011-03-20_214511.jpg]

i guess the little glitch until alpha8 was to ignore compared to that, here the thrusters cut the whole model out.

btw, can't the mip-mapping be made a little less acute? it nearly kills the textures and i could use a quarter of the size and get still the same result. you can see that well on the above pic, lod ist still highest but the texture of the back looks like a 128x128 one instead of 512x512.

this goes that far, so you will never see the "full" texture on bigger ships, because the radius is to big.

---

edit:

sorry, both my fault 😳

thrusters are fine, i used them in wrong place.

texture issue was grfx card setting, but i'm pretty shure texturefiltering had no effect previous to alpha8.

anyway a good thing to know and a possibility to choose a bit between quality and speed.

for those who read that and wonder which setting exactly,

for NVIDIA cards it's the anisotropic texture filtering, 4x is ok, application controlled (default setting) is like off and results in lowest quality.

further triple buffer and vertical sync should be enabled since alpha8.

antialiasing should be off, it results in moiré effects as i remember.

---

good to know to, the billboard function no longer effects on the thrusters,

so the blank **** can be desintegrated 😀


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Potsmoke66
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[attachment=608:2011-03-21_013450.jpg]

coincidence or mystic relation?


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Subzeroplainzero
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Marcel wrote:
As for the identikit faces, what's with the green plaid shirt on the guy from Shanghai? I have a similar shirt way back there in the 21st century. I'm sure we could make him look more... today. Also, it's cool that there's a consistent face for each station, but there should be a consistent face for each area of the station as well. It doesn't seem right that the traffic controller should be the same person as the police officer and shipyard manager, etc.

The plan for the future is to have every npc generate a face of their own. This will include ship yards, police and even everyone with messages on the bulletin board. S20dan has done a great job with the code so far and will hopefully be able to eventually implement this along with genders and races.

As for the clothes.. I've been going for a kind of retro/80's feel but they are by no means a finished product. They'll get better with time, trust me 🙂


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