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[Sticky] !! Pioneer Question Time !! - Ask them here

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shadmar
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...and for game logic like missions etc.. there the simpler lua language which are basicly tables + if then elses and calling of the pioneer API πŸ™‚


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XenonS
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I have the entire Visual Basic 6 package, with compilers, modules etc. etc., not updated.

Lua is for me a step in the last century as for the logic... why not make a monster batch file for DOS πŸ™‚

I send you my old computers from the late 80s if you want...

 

XenonS


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fluffyfreak
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"So, my valid question to you is:  what are you doing here precisely? What is Pioneer?"

What's the project's purpose?

 

Ok, I'll have a think about that, too tired now and late at night here (past my bedtime!)


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XenonS
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You like Mozart!?  i loooove Mozart.

 

yes, me too. But imagine for a moment that this guy didn't get paid... A nightmare.

 

XenonS


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robn
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"So, my valid question to you is:  what are you doing here precisely? What is Pioneer?"

For mine its equal parts learning about the technology in games, learning about designing games, paying tribute to a genre I love, and making some friends and having fun along the way. Its very much a product of our time, interests and ideas, whatever they may look like at the time.

I believe the situation is similar for others, but I'll let them speak.

What it isn't is a serious "mainstream" game. As a volunteer project, its never going to be. If you're expecting something with the focus and quality of a AAA title, you're always going to be disappointed. But if you like the idea of a community constantly experimenting with ideas for what a space game could look like, then maybe Pioneer is for you.


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XenonS
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Hi robn,

Thanks to answer.

If I get you right, then all people really involved in making Pioneer are just there to learn. Are you all IT students? Do you consider making a profession in the IT branch or the gaming industry? This would then all make sense for a voluntary project like this.

But, humm.., sorry to spread my ignorance, but, as far as I understand, to make the code for a game like Pioneer, you must ALREADY have learned all that, why are you not working on a AAA title ? I mean, if I had these programming skills, I would start to earn some money, not staying focused on a - surely very sympathic - environment, but expand my activity to real life demands.

 

So, I'm still not sure that I understand Pioneer.

 

XenonS


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robn
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Bio,  would like to speak, but unfortunately can not.

You are Bio. Lets not pretend you're not, its bordering on insulting.

How do you pay tribute, if you want players, not mention the word "Frontier" and "Remake", "Elite - 2" and "Tom M."!?
The tribute is only for "to the genre" you like?

I said "paying tribute to a genre". Not a single game. For the 17235th time, PIONEER IS NOT FRONTIER. I don't know how much more clear to make that.

As for Tom, his name is in the credits along with the 74 other people that have contributed something directly to Pioneer. And that doesn't count all the other people who discuss it, present ideas, and tell the world about it.

But in your Blog it´s diferent, there you pay tribute. But here i don´t see that.

My blog is my personal opinion, and not reflective of the project at large. That said, my personal opinion is also that Pioneer is not Frontier as well. If you want to discuss something I wrote in my blog, please contact me privately, with a URL and the specific text you take issue with. Taking my words out of context and/or paraphrasing me badly will see your mail dumped in my spam folder.

i know Pioneer wants something diferent, but i only found diferent is Combat (unplayable)

Pioneer is a work in progress. What you see now is not necessarily what it will be like in the future.

But the alphas combat is better. (combat is not the "focus" for my doubt)

Previous releases (whether from the alpha or rolling release series) are obsolete. But as I've said elsewhere, if you'd like to offer specific, empirical, reproducible conditions that prove combat used to be "better" and tell me exactly what you want changed, I'm willing to listen.

You know, I learned to play Frontier first encounters playing Pioneer!?
And i come here to talk about this, and you said "Pioneer is Not Frontier"!!!!

I'm glad that Pioneer helped you to learn to play Frontier. I fail to see how that makes them the same thing.

P.S. - Sry bad english

Sorry, but that won't cut it anymore. I recognise that your English is bad, but that does not excuse your inability to listen and understand what other people are saying. It does not give you license to endlessly repeat things that irrelevant or outright false.

I have no patience left for you. I will read your next post with interest. If it shows signs of improvement, then I will reply (if pI have anything to say). If its just more of the same, then I will not read or reply to anything further from you (or Biomechanoid, or whatever you decide to call yourself in the future).


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robn
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Are you all IT students? Do you consider making a profession in the IT branch or the gaming industry? This would then all make sense for a voluntary project like this.

Some are IT students. Others are IT professionals, some in the game industry, some not. Still others do not work in IT at all.

Not all learning has to be done with an aim to make money. Sometimes learning is just for the sake of learning.

Myself, I've worked as a sysadmin & programmer for almost 15 years now. I am paid obscenely well for what I do. Money isn't the reason I'm here.

The reason I do it (apart from the making friends stuff I mentioned) is because playing with graphics, AI and game design is very very different to what I do at work, where its all servers, hardware, protocols, databases, and so on. So in a lot of ways its a way to relax and try something different. Like I say, sometimes its just for its own sake.

I don't see myself ever working in the games industry. And I'm ok with that πŸ™‚


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XenonS
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robn,

what you say is really interesting and gives me a lot to think. But then, I could plan to be an Astronaut at the NASA and if someone asks me about my ongoing, i would just respond "I'm flying to take a pause from my office job"  πŸ™‚ But, ok, that's very interesting.

 

Thanks a lot,

XenonS


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XenonS
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Rocketeer,

believe me, I saw it with my own eyes: robn is right, Pioneer is not the same as Frontier. Only the F4 interface (leading to the comm menu, commodities etc.) is pretty the same. The reason is this I guess (please anyone correct me if I'm wrong):

My theory is: Tom Morton, after spending his time to convert Frontier to GLFrontier, moved to the Pioneer project, and that explains the similarity of the interfaces and terminology used in Pioneer. One must know that of course, or he may get confused.

I have used CTRL+F12 to generate an enemy ship, as you told me. It's hard to say because the ship uses different arms against me, but it's quite different from Frontier. The coding behind is also *for sure* different. If this is true, then that's enough to say that Pioneer is a different project, a different game.

And then: For all us nostalgics, we still can play GLFrontier.

 

XenonS


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XenonS
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Rocketeer,

I will take a look at some early versions for curiosity, but for now I'm rather busy with The Precursors, for which I try to edit and make a complete revamp of the game's space part, maybe for an add-on.

But where is the problem? Even if Pioneer is Frontier, then what? Will you stop playing it? What if Pioneer gets better? (Frontier doesn't have this chance, you'll have to wait for Elite Dangerous, next year if all goes right).

 

XenonS

 

P.S.

Please respond on the Pioneer vs. Frontier thread, we are off-topic here.


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shadmar
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Somone should moderate in here.


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fluffyfreak
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If I get you right, then all people really involved in making Pioneer are just there to learn. Are you all IT students? Do you consider making a profession in the IT branch or the gaming industry? This would then all make sense for a voluntary project like this.

But, humm.., sorry to spread my ignorance, but, as far as I understand, to make the code for a game like Pioneer, you must ALREADY have learned all that, why are you not working on a AAA title ? I mean, if I had these programming skills, I would start to earn some money, not staying focused on a - surely very sympathic - environment, but expand my activity to real life demands.

 

That's basically right, we're here for various reasons, some just to learn, but that doesn't mean we're not professionals in other areas.

 

Even a job in the games industry is still a very focused area, you're given tasks to do that are focused on a particular feature that needs to be written, it's often not one you are interested in.

 

Pioneer isn't like that, you write the code for the feature that you want to write. Rarely that means writing a feature you don't care about because you do want to see it get finished and help others out, but it's a different sense of motivation, a different feeling than being told to write something you don't care about or actually think is a bad idea!

 

So writing the docking system, overhauling the GUI, implementing factions, scripting trade ships, optimising the terrain rendering / generation, and adding multi-threaded jobs is a very different set of skills to our day jobs.

Sometimes it feeds back in and helps them too because we're just learning how to do new things.

 

Also if you want to think about it as a way to get a job in the games industry then what better way than to be able to point at Pioneer and say: "Well I wrote FEATURE X and everyone loves it and it's also technically brilliant, when do I start?" πŸ˜€

 

@XenonS

Since this conversation could on for a bit it might be time that we started another thread to discuss it. So if you want to talk about this subject more then just create one and we''ll switch to that so we don't fill this thread with anymore off-topic discussion. Sound ok? πŸ™‚


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XenonS
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Yes, fully ok. Thanks very much to give these details. I better see the degree of complexity in which you are all involved. I will guide my future involvement in posting appropriately.

Bye,

XenonS


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Loki999
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Back after a long break....

 

Anyway, was playing the latest version and kept wishing there were more earthlike worlds.  So, i'm thinking i'd like to have a go at modding the game to make it happen.

 

So, can a dev point me in the right direction as to where to find the variables that control the sysgen stuff?  Is it in Lua or C?

 

Not afraid to get my hands dirty recompiling from source, although i'll need to read the guide on how to set up the dev environment.


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fluffyfreak
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@Loki999

If you wanted to you could add them as CustomSystems which are defined in Lua.

Otherwise you're delving into the C++ code and some of the nastier bits at that - StarSystem.h/cpp and then the terrain noise generation functions to actually affect the look and colouring.

 

To get experimenting though you can target a planet and then press Ctrl+F10 (I think that's the combinationi) to get the planet editor open.

Then you can change the seed and various other parameters to experiment with the world that you had targetted, if you can find what affects the look of the world in there then it might make understanding the code a bit easier.


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Loki999
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Thanks, when i get a bit of time ill look at the code. I'm not interested in defining the custom systems. I'm more interested in making the RNG more frequently produce habitable planets (ie: oxygen/nitrogen atmospheres, water, closer to earth gravity/pressure, etc).

I presume this will mean playing with some upper and lower limits and other values.

So, its not really terrain so much (unless this is a case of the tail wagging the dog), but the base planet type. If its the planet type is determined first, and then from that the terrain is randomly generated, then great. If its the terrain that's generated and from that the planet type is determined, that's going to be messy. However, i can't believe that, otherwise from out-system looking at remote systems it would have to be determining the planet type for each planet in the system by looking at terrain values, and that would be incredibly inefficient... wouldn't it? Guys... wouldn't it? *looks worried*


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fluffyfreak
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Often generating things backwards makes a lot of sense in procedural techniques.... but thankfully not in this case πŸ˜€ You can relax on that front πŸ˜‰

 

I think you'd be wanting to look in StarSystem.cpp around line 1657. Which is a method called "MakePlanetsAround".

There's also StarSystem::Populate at line 2019 which sets up a lot of parameters for the planets.

 

It's quite involved and is generally felt to be one of the areas most in need of a rewrite.


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TheBob
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but, as far as I understand, to make the code for a game like Pioneer, you must ALREADY have learned all that, why are you not working on a AAA title ? I mean, if I had these programming skills, I would start to earn some money, not staying focused on a - surely very sympathic - environment, but expand my activity to real life demands.

 

 

While I'm not a pioneer dev, I'm a similar breed of person... I look forward to some scripting for Pioneer because it gives me the chance to explore some concepts I so far didn't have a sandbox for.

When it comes to more serious programing, I'm usually modding for Orbiter (which has the absolute, unheard luxury of providing a C++ API so modders can actually write dlls and plug them in, which makes the modding possibilities practically unlimited).

 

But enough about me, here's for your questions: Yes, you can start writing a major project when you don't know anything about coding. It takes a bit longer, and you usually scrap the first few tries, but you learn as you go along. My first C++ project was a procedural galaxy generator for Orbiter not unlike pioneers, being fully 3d and integrating existing stars (I can say with some pride that as far as I know, it was the first generator incorporating procedural generation with a realistic solar neighbourhood in existance, although Pioneer followed suit pretty fast, not that it had to do anything with me). Anyways, the point being, I didn't know jack about C++ and hadn't done any code for almost a decade prior to that. You don't have to be a pro to start something like this, that's the nice thing.

 

Working on a AAA title is quite another kind of animal. The pressure is enourmous, and while I can take days in leisure to research and experiment with some things, the equal functionality in a professional environment must be implemented in a matter of hours. Also, to get to work on stuff in a game that you actually want to work on, you have to rise through the ranks. Otherwise you're just the poor guy that has to write parsers all day while someone else implements the cool stuff that is actually interesting to do. It's not fun, and most people don't stand working in the AAA industry for more than 10 years before they're burnt out (or layd of). It's an absolutely awful Job, to be honest.

 

At the end of the day, for people like us developing stuff we like and are interested in is a hoby like any other. Some people do absolutely amazing things with their gardens in their spare time, but they don't work as gardeners. Some people build the most incredible model planes, but they don't work in the toy industry. My neighbour tears down his outdoor pizza-oven every year and builds it new and better. He's not become a professional Pizza-oven builder yet.

 

We write code. Code that interests us, stuff we want to try out, stuff we want to see done because noone else is doing it, stuff we wonder whether we can do them if we try hard enough. It's relaxing, it's envigorating, its motivating, as any good hoby should be. Indeed, if I would work as a developer professionaly, I don't think I would want to see any code in my spare time anymore. And I sure don't want to destroy a beloved passtime with all the pressure of a daytime Job and a nagging Boss that never lets me do the stuff I'd like to do because it wouldn't earn him any money.


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Loki999
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Often generating things backwards makes a lot of sense in procedural techniques.... but thankfully not in this case πŸ˜€ You can relax on that front πŸ˜‰

 

I think you'd be wanting to look in StarSystem.cpp around line 1657. Which is a method called "MakePlanetsAround".

There's also StarSystem::Populate at line 2019 which sets up a lot of parameters for the planets.

 

It's quite involved and is generally felt to be one of the areas most in need of a rewrite.

 

Well, its been about 20 years since i wrote anything in C, so don't think ill be volunteering for that task πŸ˜€

 

Think i remember enough though to follow the code and make some tweaks. *fingers crossed*

 

Thanks for the info.


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fluffyfreak
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@Loki999

No worries, just ask for help if you want it πŸ™‚


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Loki999
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@XenonS - I guess its because you don't work in the industry.  We have quite a number of devs who come to us from gaming companies to program boring things like financial programs and make websites for corporate customers.  The reason being, working in the gaming industry is not as glamorous or as well paid as you might think.  Margins are tiny, the pressure is huge, deadlines are cripling and the publishers push and push and push, meaning often what is shipped is in reality not always worthy of the title AAA due to the bugs and dropped features.

 

I know some really awesome devs from my uni days, one who did work in the gaming industry for some years and also worked for Microsoft, he realized he could get a lot more satisfaction and more money working on other things than games.


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fluffyfreak
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Pioneer don´t want to be frontier.  (Why!??)

 

Because Frontier had limitations that were imposed by the technology that was available when it was created and we don't want to be held to those same limitations.

It also had problems with it's gameplay - it wasn't perfect - that other games have done better.

 

Also, all of the developers are individuals who all want different things, and so they create different things.

 

You keep telling us that Frontier is so important, and we know, most of us have played it. I played it to death on my Amiga. That doesn't mean it was the greatest game ever and completely flawless.

It also doesn't mean that Frontier is the only good space game ever, or that other games and genres haven't done other good fun and interesting things.

 

Frontier is an inspiration, there haven't been many games that are even like it, so most of the developers here (artists, coders, scripters, audio, everyone) would like to take the good bits, leave the bad bits, and write lots and lots and lots of new bits.

 

So no, we don't need to look to Frontier for all of the answers, because:

  • It doesn't have all of the answers,
  • It's actually quite limited and very flawed in many ways,
  • Technology, time and expectations have all moved on as newer games and media have been created that we can learn from,
  • Most developers come here to create something that THEY want to see/play/hear and often it's not something that was in Frontier.

Those are just the reasons off the top of my head... there will be many more that others can imagine.


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Loki999
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Not to mention there are also projects like FFE3D which is a D3D version of Frontier so you can play without requiring an emulator, so why recreate something that already exists?

 

PS: Thanks for the pointers fluffy, had a look at the code and I think you hit the nail on the head.  Ill be having a play with the code at some point.

 

PPS: Hells bells, VS2012.... my poor eyes, what a ghastly interface.


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lionheart
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PPS: Hells bells, VS2012.... my poor eyes, what a ghastly interface.

 

The joys of applying an interface language designed for casual users of touch and mobile devices to the least appropriate place for it you can imagine πŸ˜€


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