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Frontier VS Pioneer

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TheBob
(@thebob)
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I have a target Button and a radar to see where the ship is, for me is enough.

 

 

With an Autotargeter installed, it was kind of playable. But the fact that you didn't have any keyboard based targeting interface was the major pain of the whole system. I mean, Wing Commander had that 3 years earlier. Of course, yes, Wing Commander didn't have a lot of stuff that Frontier had. But with FFE, for some reason that is beyond me, there was still no better interface in place. This is one of the reasons why FFE lost big time to WC:Privateer, which was released at the same time.

 

There is just no real reason to not provide a better interface and make combat outcomes exceedingly dependant on the ammount of mouseobatics a player can pull of instead of actual flying skills. Sure, the interface might be "enough". But enough is exactly what you do not want in an interface. In an interface, you want superb accesability and intuitivness. Neither Frontier nor FFE even seemed to bother to provide that.

 

Now iร‚ยดm startin understand why we do not see to much players around.

Where is the Pioneer Players!? 

 

 

They're waiting for the Beta. Alpha means "prototype in development, might be playable with limitations or might not be playable at all. That's what an Alpha is. You usually don't get too many players during Alpha stages. Contributors are much more interested in Alphas, since they give them a chance to influence and shape the emerging game. That Pioneer managed to gather as much pure players already to the Alpha-versions is a pretty good sign. It also means that it's one hell of an advanced Alpha stage. It rarely crashes, for example (well, at least until I try my scripts...)

 

After Alpha comes the Beta. Beta usually means mostly feature complete, that is you can do almost anything you can do in the finished game, but they're usually badly unbalanced. Beta phase is for tweaking existing elements to make them more fun and playable. This means that if you have an only halfway enjoyable expierience already in an Alpha-version, the devs did a bloody good Job. I'm used to Alpha versions that crash every other minute (usually my own. And yes, for reference, tweaking out ship stats, precise AI behavior and a lot of other stuff that relates directly to combat is Beta-phase stuff. Otherwise you'll just do it over and over again. The fact that combat is halfway enjoyable in what I consider to be a mid-stage Alpha is pretty ok for a game where combat is not the main focus).

 

In other words, you cannot make conclusions from an Alpha version to what the finished game will look like. During Alpha stage, everything is liable to change. Often you notice that you did something the wrong way, and there's ways to do it better. So you tear it out and rewrite it. Before Beta stage, there's practically no telling what the finished product will look like. This is why most players get interested in a game during Beta stage. Usually you don't even have an enjoyable product before that.

Alpha stage is the natural environment of developers and other contributors. A stage where almost everything is possible, where the project can be shaped and influenced. To do that however, requires communication, effort and respect, not endless ranting about "how a feature was better five Alphas ago". If the feature was better then, it will be better again. Sometimes you have to make things worse first to make them better later, although I still don't quite see the problem you're always ranting about. Yes, the Autopilot could use some more agressiveness, and there's a problem with hit detection because the speed of the bullets was increased to circumvent a problem that existed, which led to another problem. Stuff like that happens all the time.


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fluffyfreak
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No magic here, the enemy use Autopilot like you.

 

This is incorrect, a ships trying to intercept another ship as it travels across a star system cannot do so unless the target ship allows it to OR the target ship doesn't have much fuel and so must travel very conservatively OR it has vastly more powerful engines. None of those things are usually the case when using the autopilot ๐Ÿ™‚

On the other hand you might mean the combat, in which case this is also slightly wrong, the AI combat is different from your own ships autopilot with target leading, evasion and other things.

That's just for Frontier!

 

Pioneers is completely different again ๐Ÿ˜€


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XenonS
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In the 90s, the Frontier makers had to keep things simple and despite of that, the result is excellent. Looking behind the scene as a player may spoil the whole fun.

 

Today with lua scripting you can do a lot of things. I have taken a look on the decompiled scripts of Parkan 2. I could change several things, number of ships, starting location etc. etc.to see some funny changes, but I'm just spoiling my game doing this as a player, it takes away the magic playing sensation.

 

Other games are more adapted for such changes,(e.g. the complex campaign in Falcon4, a feature-filled flight-sim. In such cases the authors make their tools available that they were using for debugs and corrections. It's then called Mission Editor or SDK... But this is generally not interesting for *players* unless AI is exceptional to give a varied output in mission creation.

These tools are even put forward as a selling argument, but I seldom use them. 

 

XenonS


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TheBob
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If this is cheat or not, i donร‚ยดt know for sure

 

 

 

I am not sure if the pirates just spawn on top of you or if they actually intercept you, but one thing I know for sure: A slower ship cannot match velocities with a faster one. If the enemies in Frontier really flew to you, then the autopilot at least cheats to make them match velocity with you if you were flying something faster than them. 

 

 

You can select a target(ship) in the map!? and use autopilot for intercept it!?

 

 

 

No, you can't. This feature was mentioned in the manual, and therefore we can assume it was planned, but Frontier was released prematurely. You could never actually do that in the game, I remember trying.

 

 

and you think the ship will spawn(magically)  in front of you in Real Time!?

 

 

Given the minimal risk of that ever happening, I would risk it as a developer given the harsh limitations of the hardware.


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XenonS
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I will hyperspace in some Anarchies in GLFrontier to refresh my combat experience, stop speed and increase time acceleration to produce encounters.

I'll check again all the headless things I have tryed a decade ago, just to see the RIP sign...

Besides, you are right: you don't have to cheat, I was saying *I* have to cheat:), but that's more a compensation for not using a joystick, and not sure if there is a ship button in Frontier, I think you must select it manually onscreen. Absolutely have the Labels on or you won't see anything !

 

[Edit: wrong:]

Also in FFE it was possible to turn the star map in 3D, I think this is not possible in Frontier, but that's just a detail.

 

I will do the same in Pioneer A33 without mod, the names and map system coordinates are all different, but I surely don't expect the same game experience. It will for sure be easier to select ships and trying to keep behind them before being burned to pieces. Not sure if the devs have enabled enemy encounters for *all possible* systems, but we'll see.

 

XenonS


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TheBob
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????

 

Language problem again?


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XenonS
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Ok, 1st try ended.

Enemy as a green spot in the map

I lasted for 50 seconds, but only because the single enemy was not immediately firing and standing still. Suddenly ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz... yeah this colored line, just had the time to see my hull decrease from 100 to zero before the enemy made a frontal crash into me. Metall Alloys to pick up. I barely had the time to do anything. Lost about 30 seconds to turn towards him and select target. Not mature for military academy...

 

XenonS


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fluffyfreak
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look, you can select a Space station, and the Autopilot  leads you there. The space station travel around the Planet.

For a ship is no diferent.

The ship enter in the system automatically target you, and use autopilot for intercept you.

Assuming that the pirate who attacked you started at pretty much the point you arrived in the system, they will catch you shortly after you start decelerating.

The autopilot is quite capable of doing this manoeuvre.

 

You're confusing things that aren't moving, to things that are, the space station isn't accelerating or decelerating, it's just in orbit.

Orbit is very very slow compared to the speed that the ships travel at.

 

This is high school level physics but here's an example.

Imagine two ships next to each other, one starts accelerating, then 1 minute later the 2nd starts accelerating. When does the 2nd ships catch the first?

 

...answer? It never can.

 

If the 1st ship starts decelerating towards a space station, then the 2nd ship could keep accelerating, or just coasting along, but if it did then it would fly past at high speed and not be able to stop for a very long distance. So unless it rammed the 1st ship it couldn't "fight" it in any useful way.

 

If the 2nd ship started to slow down at the exact same time as the first then it might be able to engage it in a fight at a similar speed, but that's assuming the 1st ship hasn't already reached it's destination.

 

That's just the case for ships that started next to each other, and were identical.

 

Now... put two different ships in a star system far apart, with different engines, masses and thrust.

Have one accelerate to it's destination and the other try to intercept it... It might be able to "intercept" it, i.e. fly past at very high speed quite close, but what it cannot do is slow down to be travelling at the same speed (or very similar speed) to have a fun fight.

 

That's just the basic maths of the matter. So yeah, they cheated, because that made it fun.


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XenonS
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Ok, 2nd try, now with Pioneer.

First, cool music, fine. That's always nice.

Then, oh my, need some more cash I think. Alt+Tab and open the Quickguide. I don't know who made it, but: I can find all I need to play the game. Increased my cash to 200k+

Buyed a Kanara Interceptor.

Ok, basic stuff must be buyed or you go nowhere, which is: atmospere shielding, 3 missiles, scanner etc. etc., loaded the most important stuff.... oh, just 2 tons left for fuel, hummmm....

Throwing away and 1 missile and keeping 1 Shield Generator (in Frontier this would be suicide, but let's see here).

 

Ok ready now? hehe, no... No Hyperdrive fitted, my fault, should have read the description better, anyhow.. It's not possible to fit the drive, overload before even getting the essentials, hummmmmmmmmm....

Will report back when ready to take off.

 

[ADD]

 

This time with default ship, just buyed 2t additional fuel, it's a one-way ticket, but who cares, it's a simulation (aren't they discussing one-way flights to Mars ?!).

Ok, tchak, my dart falls to Gliese 300 (monitor still intact).

Take off in schoolbook manner, waiting for orbit to hyperspace (CO2 reduction politics).

I will not look in the map to see foes far away, caus I know they are not visible, but hey, you shouldn't know that someone is up against you, so that's fine.

5x time accel with no speed.

 

Nothing. Maybe the wrong star system?

Ah yes, alpha software, it's all clear now, they must still fill interesting things in... But then, why are assassination missions here ? Isn't that Frontier ? The other missions also are very familiar. A little confused (that was 1 year ago).

 

Flying around towards a planet and landing for exercice and exploration.

For the devs: please correct the speed setting with the Return/Shift key: it's way too fast to set speed precisely, also please make a CONSTANT 60.000 feet altitude display when approaching the ground.

 

For stuning combat and missions:

Patience,

Have to go with Walterar's mod in the meantime.

 

For now, RIP sign or not? centering planet, full thruster, 5x accel. Will I defeat Object Collision? No, it doesn't work here, hehe ๐Ÿ™‚ Rip sign...

 

 

XenonS


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XenonS
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@XenonS, in your Frontier elite 2, amiga version.

 

You can select a target(ship) in the map!? and use autopilot for intercept it!?

 

NO, you can't do that, neither in Frontier nor in FFE. What you can do is selecting the Hyperspace cloud and navigate to it (whereas the pink dot above is your ship), but you cannot select ships in the map or in the UI. That's exactly what makes combat the hell difficult.

And before you ask it: No, there is no key to select a target or to switch targets.

 

Try to download the most complete walkthrough for Frontier by Christoph Tietz. Was done in 1994.

 

XenonS


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Marcel
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Regarding viewing and targeting ships in the system view of FE2,

I distinctly remember doing that in the IBM PC version. Ships and hyperspace clouds would show up as dots. As I recall, they were color coded based on the mass of the object. I was able to accelerate time in the system view and get a rough idea of their speed and direction. If they were heading towards me they were pirates, otherwise they were trade ships. I could target them in the system view and then switch to main view and see their stats if I had a radar mapper.

That's a capability I'd like to see in Pioneer. It stands to reason that if pirates have the equipment to see you, you should be able to buy the equipment to see them.

I read above that one can see the approaching pirates in orbit view. I haven't tried it yet, so perhaps part of this post is obsolete.

 

Edit: In the IBM version of FFE, one could only see hyperspace clouds.

I wonder if the Amiga and IBM versions of FE2 were different in this regard.

 

OK another edit: About the FE2 stardreamer cheat thing. I experienced that. I could avoid combat using evasive manoeuvres if I used low time acceleration, but at higher time accelerations the pirates would catch me. That resulted in an hours long game of cat and mouse that only a total space geek like me would enjoy!


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XenonS
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Please read the frontier manual...

Ships in the map have different colors according to their size and type. You see them, but you cannot select them, and by no means you can evade them (in order to not make them appear and fight you).

 

Blue dot = Hypercloud

Purple dot = your ship

 

There are some differences in the Frontier versions:

ATari & Amiga: Wormhole routes; mining bug (Amiga only);

UK and US PC version: no wormhole routes; mining bug; patch is available; savegame editors, trainers

 

 

XenonS


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XenonS
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See my screenshots, are you blind!?

i can select ships (Pink Dots) in map.

stop saying nonsense pls.

Ok, have you tried flying there? what have you found? >>>>>>>> A hyperspace cloud.

Your previous pictures : the bigger ships that are around stations are just there for decoration. They technically have nothing to do with ships you encounter in deep space.

And my patience is limited, please use an appropriate language or maybe: just play the game for yourself a little before posting again.

 

XenonS


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XenonS
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Regarding viewing and targeting ships in the system view of FE2,

I distinctly remember doing that in the IBM PC version. Ships and hyperspace clouds would show up as dots. As I recall, they were color coded based on the mass of the object. I was able to accelerate time in the system view and get a rough idea of their speed and direction. If they were heading towards me they were pirates, otherwise they were trade ships. I could target them in the system view and then switch to main view and see their stats if I had a radar mapper.

๐Ÿ˜Ž ๐Ÿ˜Ž ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Nice answer,

XenonS


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XenonS
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Rocketeer,

what version of Frontier do you play? I still have the IBM pC version on D-Fend Reloaded with DosBox, but it's ages that i'm not using it (too much speed for the game, no cargo scoop possible).

With GLFrontier (a build of Atari version) you cannot select ships. Will try it.

 

XenonS


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robn
 robn
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This thread worked out well.


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Marcel
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So to go back a couple of pages, fluffyfreak said,

 

"So Robn and I wrote an exporter for the old LMR models so that you could load them in the ModelViewer (used to be a separate program) and then export the model to ".obj" format along with it's textures. That way you could still use the LMR system to create the geometry/model and then there was a path to get it to use the new SGModel system. For all the usage and gratitude that got use we might as well have spent the time punching ourselves in the balls :("

 

I want to give you all a virtual pat on the back. You're working hard in your spare time to make Pioneer for the simple reason that you want this game to exist. It"s a labour of love. Thank you.

As for SGM, I'm a slow learner but I'm making progress!


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XenonS
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As a final addition from mine, about selecting ships in Frontier:

 

I just wanted to find out and hyperspaced in a hostile system, 2 ships appearing on the map somewhat close to me and far away from planets or stations.

 

You cannot select ships directly, so for that I was right and didn't think any further. And why should I, the response post was dealing with COMBAT, not intercepting ships.

 

BUT: you can set the Autopilot to the ships appearing on the map, you will maybe get an "Out of Range" message on the screen, but still you can head towards them. This explains the screenshots above.

I remember to have done this in the past only for hyperjump clouds in assassination missions. Else, this can be used for intercepting trading ships for piracy.

 

But all this has nothing to do with COMBAT which we were talking previously, before Mr. or Mrs. Rocketeer got too angry and was anyhow mixing all possible things together. Once the ships are insight fighting against you, there is NO other possibility to select them other than pointing on their screen label or to go in the map and point the autopilot to them (but why would you do stupid things like that...).

But I already mentioned all that before.

 

@Rocketeer,

I can only suggest that you stay with the topic discussion instead of deviating and using hard language towards people which surely doesn't help. it avoids missunderstandings.

 

XenonS


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XenonS
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Just activate the autopilot.

But sorry, the discussion is closed as far as I'm concerned.

XenonS


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robn
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Its not a remake of Frontier. It bears some strong similarities, but takes stuff from other games and from our own ideas, and will look less and less like Frontier as time goes on.

Tom Morton started the project, but has not been involved for over two years.

I wonder how many times I will have to repeat this before you understand it.


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fluffyfreak
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Ok I give up, the autopilot in Frontier cheated, the autopilot in Pioneer does not cheat, that's why the AI can do a ship-to-ship intercept in Frontier but not in Pioneer.

Discussing it more on here is just a waste of time for me.


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fluffyfreak
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I wonder how many times I will have to repeat this before you understand it.

 

I've reached the conclusion that nothing we're saying makes any difference.


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Geraldine
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Its not a remake of Frontier. It bears some strong similarities, but takes stuff from other games and from our own ideas, and will look less and less like Frontier as time goes on.

To reflect this, I have changed the name of my thread on the Frontier Forum from Elite 2 Re-Make? to The Pioneer Thread.


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TheBob
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ok, if you want.

 

 

No, not "if you want". Matching velocities with a faster accelerating object is impossible, and there's quite a simple mathematical proof for that. Just think about what's going on. Do two or three equations. You'll see it doesn't work out.

 

But something tells me that even math won't be enough to convince you...


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s2odan
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@Rocketeer

 I have deleted some of your posts. They were uncalled for.

 Lay off the insults please.

 

Cheers.


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