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robn
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I've started doing nightly binary builds of Pioneer so you can get hold of the latest and greatest code before it even hits an alpha release.

The build runs every few nights (when I tell it to) and builds whatever is on the current master repository for Linux and Windows. Philbywhizz also does OS X nightly builds on ocassion. The links are posted to Twitter, so you should follow @pioneerspacesim to get notice when a new build is available. Nightlies are also available for download directly from SourceForge.

You should be aware that these builds are even less reliable than the alphas - those at least get a little bit of testing and polish! There's no guarantee that they'll even run, and anything new/different that you find may not necessarily end up in the next alpha - we may choose to remove a new feature shortly after adding it if someone decides to do something different.

As always, we're very interested to hear what you think and would love feedback on new features. I'll post in this thread when a build goes up that has anything in it I think is particularly interesting.

Enjoy!


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robn
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30 March - 92ec43e

First build! Interesting stuff since alpha 9:

    Better coastal terrains and water textures

    Earth colours and terrain looks much better

    Jupiter is red and has spots!

    Better frozen and volcanic textures. Try visiting Europa or Io

    Lynx Bulk Carrier appears near space stations and orbiting above ground starports


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s2odan
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Hey Rob, I'm finally at a pc that can run Pioneer. The windows build doesn't seem to work, its(the .exe) 29MB in size 🙂 So something odd is going on there... Model viewer is also strangley massive in size.

Scratch that... they both do seem to work now... odd. It originally crashed on starting new game on Earth, but seems fine now, despite its 29MB size 🙂

Its also saving games and config files to a slightly different directory, under Roaming as opposed to Local. Tbh, I would love to do away with that shitty windows integration stuff that saves files into 'my documents'.... I've never found out what does that though.


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robn
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The size is accounted for by that face that these are full debug builds. They're compiled with DEBUG defined and also have debugger symbols in them. Just as a test I've stripped the binaries just now and they've gone very much smaller: 2.4M for modelviewer and 3.7M for pioneer. I think these builds are of dubious usefulness for debugging (I'd rather you had your own build) so I'll still about removing it for future builds.

The code that does the savedir stuff (GetPiUserDir in utils.cpp) for Windows completely refused to work on MinGW. When I looked it I found I can't see how the existing code could ever have worked, but there's no disputing that it does. To get around it I wrote another version of the targetted at MinGW that I thought was the same, but is obviously subtly different in theory. It could be used as-is on MSVC but I didn't want to rock the boat too much.

I'll leave it someone else to rewrite that bit sanely - it shouldn't be too hard, I'm just not in a good position to test.


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robn
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7 April - e71494f

We've been hunting for memory leaks over the last few days. This should use significantly less memory over time, so you can play for longer!

We have supergiant stars at last:

KJi2s.png

There's also some bugs fixed, some AI and flight tweaks and a few other bits. Enjoy!


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Mysibrat
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robn wrote:
We have supergiant stars at last:.. Enjoy!

I allowed myself to do something with this icon.

[attachment=651:object_star_m_super_giant.jpg]

Probably its not the end, but for today i have to go back to work.

Ah, but where disappear my save file from 9.01?


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s2odan
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Quote:
I allowed myself to do something with this icon.

Thats really good 🙂

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Ah, but where disappear my save file from 9.01?

They probably won't work anyway. But saves are saved in a slightly different place now on windows.. Username/AppData/Roaming instead of Username/Appdata/local


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robn
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s2odan wrote:
Quote:
Ah, but where disappear my save file from 9.01?

They probably won't work anyway. But saves are saved in a slightly different place now on windows.. Username/AppData/Roaming instead of Username/Appdata/local

The different location is due to the different compiler used to create the nightly builds vs the release builds. You should not expect savefile compatibility between alphas and nightlies and even between nightlies - there's just too many changes going on right now.


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RedRiver
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2 thumbs up.. keep it up guys!


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robn
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12 April - 83795fe

We've started playing with the way hyperspace range and duration is calculated. There's still a bit of thinking and experimentation to be done, but for now you can enjoy being able to reach all sorts of places with your humble Eagle.

7uDq2.png


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s2odan
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We've started playing with the way hyperspace range and duration is calculated.

For the curious among you, Hyperspace range and time taken goes something like this now:

Mass is reduced to 60% for all range calculations.

Time taken has been significantly changed mainly for interesting differences between various ships, and for courier missions.

The more mass you have, the longer it will take. But a good hyper drive class will counter-act that, so an expensive drive will get you to places much quicker. Distance is also Cubed in time taken.. What this means is that a long trip of 20 LY or so could take you 2 to 3 weeks, but several short jumps with an equal total distance would take you only a week or so of total time... perhaps only a few days if you have a small ship with a good drive.


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Mysibrat
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Unexpected crash (pioneer-83795fe-win32) during hyperspace jump to Lawa[0,2].

-start the game

-Ctrl+m

-sell hyperspace engine 1, buy 2

-request departure, fly to altitude ~100km and jump to Lawa, the game is closing

-the same is with Ross 128 [1,0]

Anyway, i am surprised by the jump times. Interesting. Here are two engines class 1 and 2 in beginner ship:

[attachment=657:Graph1.gif]


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s2odan
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Hmm I can't replicate this bug your getting. But then again I am using a different version, your's is already out of date 🙂

The graph is pretty cool, but the numbers have all changed since then. Generally ships take a lot less time, so my jump from Sol to Ross 128 which is around 11LY took only 2 days in the eagle with a class 2 and fuel.

But numbers still need a lot of tweaking to get it just right, there's probably too much diffrerence between; Light and Heavy, Class 1 and Class 9, short and far... ect.


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Brianetta
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I've confirmed this bug. I'm logging it, and will post a backtrace.

Issue 10

Mysibrat, are you still having trouble logging bugs on the issue tracker?


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robn
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Bug was in BulkShips.lua and the old Lua API is so remarkably brittle that it caused a hard crash rather than a Lua exception. Fixed on master, it'll be in the next dev build later today.


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ollobrain
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good find rob seems easy enough caused a few issues


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Mysibrat
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Brianetta wrote:
Mysibrat, are you still having trouble logging bugs on the issue tracker?

No its ok. In this issue i didnt know is it worth to bother issuetraccker or not, becouse its just 'anynomous' version from night build.


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robn
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You're quite welcome to post any and every bug or quirk you find in the issue tracker, even from a dev build. The dev builds are a snapshot of what we currently have in the works. We want people playing and finding the warts so when we do a release we know that the obvious bugs have been resolved.


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Brianetta
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Mysibrat wrote:
In this issue i didnt know is it worth to bother issuetraccker or not

Bothering the issue tracker is perfectly fine. My job is to triage bugs there, and to manage stuff like finding duplicate bugs. Since I'm not writing any core code for the game, you don't need to worry that you're wasting developer time. It's slightly less work for me if you log bugs on the issue tracker, because it saves me the copy & paste job! (-:

What we need to see for logged bugs is the following:

    [*:3vcqjhw5]Your Pioneer version.

    [*:3vcqjhw5]Your operating system and version.

    [*:3vcqjhw5]A description of the bug, and what happened - including any error messages.

    [*:3vcqjhw5]If the bug is for something weird happening in the game, a description of what you expected to happen.

    [*:3vcqjhw5]A list of steps to take to make this bug happen.

    [*:3vcqjhw5]If you can't make it happen reliably, as much information as possible about what you were doing in the game.

At the moment, my procedure is to check incoming bug reports (I also check forums and email) and try to match them with existing issues. Then I start Pioneer in a debugger, and attempt to repeat the bug. If I can repeat it, it is immediately marked as confirmed. If not, I will contact the original bug reporter for more information. The bug gets assigned a type (crash, unexpected behaviour) and the devs pick them up when they have time. In many cases, we're also talking the bug through on IRC. Using the debugger, I can provide back-traces, variable values and so forth in the instance of my managing to repeat an intermittent bug.

If any players manage to get the game to crash whilst running in a debugger, we'd love it if you could submit a backtrace with your bug report.


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robn
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16 April - 8fd9e22

This build includes some ~870 new custom systems put together by s20dan and Geraldine. There's been some supporting changes recently related to star type frequencies, star and planet naming and so forth, giving quite an interesting galaxy, particularly within about a 50-sector radius of Sol.


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robn
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19 April - 5d61822

New stuff for today includes some changes to the way targeting and set-speed work. Set-speed is now always calculated relative to the current frame of reference (ie that nearby planet) rather than relative to the thing you have targeted. This seems to be a little more intuitive as you don't find yourself "drifting" with set-speed 0km/s just because you have some distant planet (or God-forbid, distant ship) targeted.

Shortly after this change went in it was noted that there was now no way to tell that how far away you are from your target. So you'll now find the distance to target right there below the target square, just like the old Frontier days.

ODByW.png

7Qofy.png


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Brianetta
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robn wrote:
New stuff for today includes some changes to the way targeting and set-speed work. Set-speed is now always calculated relative to the current frame of reference (ie that nearby planet) rather than relative to the thing you have targeted. This seems to be a little more intuitive as you don't find yourself "drifting" with set-speed 0km/s just because you have some distant planet (or God-forbid, distant ship) targeted.

Shortly after this change went in it was noted that there was now no way to tell that how far away you are from your target. So you'll now find the distance to target right there below the target square, just like the old Frontier days.

To see the new HUD in action, check out this video. I fly from Brasilia to Gates on manual control the entire way. If you ever wondered how to coast around planets and across space to rendezvous with stuff in orbit, you probably won't learn much from my video other than that it's possible...


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Geraldine
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That was a nice bit of flying Brianetta 🙂


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ollobrain
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nice bit of flying, now any chance of a trading video 🙂 😀


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Brianetta
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Thank you both. Ollo, isn't trading a little pedestrian for a video?

By the way, Brasilia to Cydonia took me 24 game days and nearly nine game hours. Transit to Mars' orbit was largely unpowered, but I must admit that it wasn't quite as efficient as the flight in the video. The holy grail here is a true Hohmann transfer, which uses one burn to break the current circular orbit into an eliptical one which goes from your current orbit to your intended one, then a second burn to circularise into the intended orbit. Sometimes I'm not sure of the velocity to use (especially around an unfamiliar planet) and I end up doing a few small transfer orbits to get a feel for the place.

The latest build gives you your velocity relative to your nav target, as well as your velocity relative to your current gravitational frame, which makes orbital rendezvous even easier. It also means breaking orbit using a Hohmann transfer from an orbital spaceport is easier. You can see your velocity relative to the spaceport, and by selecting the planet below, you can see how fast, and in which direction, your ship and the spaceport are moving. You then pick a direction - forwards to break away and slow down, backwards to fall in and speed up. Do it gently, and you'll stay in an elliptical orbit.

Flying in orbit is fun. The obvious thing (burning towards or away from the planet) almost never maintains a stable orbit, so if you plan to play with gravity, keep it perpendicular. If you're chasing a spaceport around a planet, in roughly the same orbit, and need to catch up, you can do it two ways.

    [*:avip9gih]Use the engines the old fashioned way. Use loads of fuel to force the universe to bend to your will. Accelerate hard, brake hard, and pretend you're in an aeroplane.

    [*:avip9gih]Use gravity. Slow down, and fall into a faster orbit, overtaking on the inside. Then, speed up, and rise up to meet your target from in front. Less fuel, more time, and an immense feeling of utter smugness if you get it right. It's hard to beat.

If you have the time and inclination to practise, get the latest build and head to Barnard's Star. See if you can figure out the efficient ways to get between the two spaceports there. Using the star as a target shows you the way you're moving in orbit around it. Remember, speed up to slow down, slow down to speed up. Orbits are counter-intuitive. In the scale of that system, expect to use the stardreamer a lot.


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