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Starshatter Rearmed Mod

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shepard1707
(@shepard1707)
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Hello. I've been encountering a fairly major bug as I've tried to get this to work. It seems that my weapons aren't doing any damage. I've tested this extensively, and they are incapable of causing damage to shields, nor hull, despite how many shots I pump into things, at any range. (Mostly been using friendly fire to test it, and yes, I made sure friendly fire was active. Also used the training excercises to test it as well).

Missile damage works fine, though.

This seems to only affect fighters. I haven't really tested it on capships.

EDIT: I tested. Enemy and allied fighters do damage, as do the gun-pods. It is only in-ship mounted guns for the player ship that seem to not do damage.

EDIT: Other problems I'm noticing.

 

Decoys don't seem to be working right. Some craft either don't have them, or don't deply them very consistently. I don't know if this is intended or not, but it's a big problem. Honestly, I think that decoys that have a smaller chance of breaking lock, but having more of them and being able to deploy them faster, is better overall.

I also wonder if there's a way to adjust the dynamic campaign mission generator. Many of the wings generated don't seem sufficient at all for the tasks we're supposed to do.


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lightgemini
(@lightgemini)
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Hi Shepard1707.

 

Guns seem to work fine, what its wrong its their stats specially for the Alpha and Delta cannons wich are totally obsolete. Next patch should improve it more.

 

Decoys are half-way to somewere. Vanilla relied entirely on decoys and  running out of it meant death from the next missile launched at you. That was awful for me, so the decoys weer made infinite wiht a reload cool down. Timing when to use it is needed instead of insta hitting it when alarm sounds. But this is not entirely good anyway, as you found out. A rewrite of the missile vs decoy is planned   to make it more interesting and hopefully intuitive.

 

Campaign stuff and  adaption for the mod its still largely untouched, if it gets too weird I will focus on it but for now im avoiding that because theres more game-changing features planned and I would prefer to adapt everything at once.

 

 Also next patch is round the corner. I dont have time to upload now but will do tonight. 

 

Thank you for your feedback.


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shepard1707
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Good to hear.

You're basically completely reworking the game, so it's entirely understandable that things take a while. For now, I've decided to just settle on playing the vanilla game for the campaigns until things get rebalanced and fixed. I'm really glad for all the work you've put in.

Also, can I just say that I love that one of the 'light carriers' you introduced is the Hiigaran carrier. I love that thing. 😉


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lightgemini
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Mod Update has been released,  Beta-6: Battle Groups.

 

Forgot very important info about capships formations in the changelog.  Capships only form around a leader, wich means they need to have a "commander" assigned in the mission creation package options. Campaign groups already do assign a commander for all the ships so this works automated. Ships with an order to escort a leader of a group will work too, but player has less control over them.

 

Note its possible to chain multiple leaders with its followers  in a chain of command and have it all form accordingly, but the amount of ships required for this and the space needs of the formations will cause problems. Nevertheless theres always someone who may find creative uses for it.

 

Im really tired this week, hope there arent many flaws with the update.  Thank you and enjoy!


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lightgemini
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Hi. Having a very busy month at my workplace curently. Could get  some time to  spare at the mod  and been dealing with some issues with formations, and im currently trying to climb another high wall regarding camera,vectors and rendering (why does it have to be so complicated!)

 

Developement direction on the mod is certainly "random" , and this time somehow I  ended up working on improving FX. Specially Im adding smoke clouds as leftovers of ship damage, explosions and the likes. Currently im struggling to implement flyby particles as you enter a smoke cloud (think Freespace 2 nebula missions), and will struggle to implement some more cool stuff I have been wishing for some time regarding capital ships death and remains.

 

Some random screenshots.

1. A carrier taking a heavy beating.

2. Cloudlets remains from heavy flak  fire

3. Heavy smoke cover from a destroyer taking the beating of its life.

 


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lightgemini
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Finally had succes on making the flyby dust clouds work!  It was driving me mad as the particles were drawn at odd places or as static background images.Have been polishing it so it works smooth.  It also serves as some kind of LOD for dust clouds making it get more dense when entering it and lighter when moving/ zooming out.

Now full sector nebulas or big local nebulas are totally possible too with this code, even more, the code  is going to be flexible enough for more possible purposes like being called to spawn flyby ship debris (hint hint at whats next) or  small rocks for asteroid field sectors (wich may be made to hit your shields too!). Having the ability to turn it on or off at will  help keeping cpu load down while still having good detail when needed. 


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lightgemini
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Nailed down one of the top 5 most annoying things since day 1 I met the game. Particles no longer become almost invisible when the sun is at its back from your point of view. This always make it a torture to balance fx that doesnt dissapear or become extreme depending from what direction you looked at it. Vanilla game didnt do much better either, but its now gone. Gone! This also solved the extreme "darkening" of the smoke particles if  you didnt look from the direction the sun was iluminating it, wich can be seen at the pics above.

 

Now the path is clear for cool fx all around. I have been toying around with new smoke particles, lights and such. Here are some pics of how it looks like now. Cant wait for having a prototype of full sectoer nebulas/ dust. My 460GT is going to complain to no end but any of you with decent video cards will have fun. I will add options on the menus for enabling / disabling the thing off, maybe make a "light" option too.


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lightgemini
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1-Cool explosion among smoke clouds

2-Dust and smoke from killed capships gallore

3-First new version of final capship boom


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lightgemini
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1-Inmense boom. Cool burning destroyer at the bottom.

2 and 3 - Strafing a frigate. Impact fx has been scaled down to more apropiate sizes.

4-Getting killed.

5-Wolf among smoke from taking impacts


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icsDrafe
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Hi!

Since you already into gfx, do you have any good idea how to improve rocket smoke trails in space? I mean they are fine in atmospheric combats, but not exactly in vacume and freefall. Some, or most of the the blast effects are spawened with (0,0,0) velocity around a moving ship makeing this drag illusion too. (By the way, how does a blast in space looks like??).

Lately I was busy experimenting with "no drag" missiles based on realistic rocket principles. It quickly became obvious that limited deltav and constant thrust comes with problems. In short ranges you need the most thrust to quickly punch the enemy or the missile will be shot down, but in long range the missile needs to follow the "long burn, small thrust" scenario. In that case a moving target is problematic with the current algorithm of "look at the target and pursuit" even with the guide:2 "look ahead" enhancement.

So I have started to experiment with the weapons.def file and found the part, where you can define a cluster missile (det_range:  det_child: ".." det_count:). I went futher and pulled the code from your GitHub link (lpost#12) to expand the function for my no drag test purpose. Without typing too much, the result is a multi "staged" missile that can slowly accelerate towards the target, then go into 0 thrust mode, then a strong final stage will lead for the hit, then if it's shot down, there will be unguided debrish with kinetic energy and less damage.

New tactics are emerging from this, long range fire support is now possible, but fighters can try to intercept.

I think the proper solution should be arund the seekerAI. It should provide variable thrust (with the limited deltav in mind), proper target leading (perpendicular accelerations, with turn rates in mind) and good flight profile against aaa fire. It sounds much like what the fighter AI does. Maybe the missile system could be placed on a level where the carrier flight menu sits now. I'm thinking about a view where you can keep it automatic for simplicity, or change that default flight profile by altering those seekerAI parameters (maybe waypoints, and pre calculated ETA too).


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gillbo
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Hi Guys, what's happening here?

 

Anything, this looks cool!!!!

 

I was thinking of reinstalling this ol sim again, because nothing comes close to the feeling of being part of a large battle group in space.


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lightgemini
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Im still here. Work on the mod got to a point were it was messing up too much. Hit a brick wall trying to make a system to spawn 3d models at will for debris and such, wasnt finding a good way to make robust code for nebulas as it touches many things in the code, had to fight lagg that started to appear when groups of capships battled, tweaked weapons again , started to make a way for ships to get disabled rather than always exploding wich messed up the score system, and changed shields again to try to bring back the tactic aspect of focusing in targeting subsystems. Plus I ended up not having a vacation from work this winter.

I just got mentally surpased working with the mod, and realized I hadnt actually played any game for most of the year. All available time was almost for modding. So I made a Steam winter sale shopping spree and vented out for a while.

I have started testing the mod again with a clean mind and started noting what was working good and what needed changes. Also upgraded to a gtx 960 and it does wonders. I have to disable all the crap that is left half done and release what is already done. Then focus on whats next since I certainly exceeded my little coding skills letting the thing grow too wild.

What I do want to sort out is:

- nebulas. One way or another it has to happen.

- bigger sectors with more traveling around looking for the enemy. For this I want to have little clusters of asteroids and small nebulas were you can hide from radar.

- redo the radar system. It has to give more unknown information for you to go and investigate what it is and needs to support the bigger maps. Also theres room for better performance since every ship updates its radar each frame wich is useless in many situations.

- avility to hyper jump around the current sector. Will be tricky at best.

- make missiles not suck and a final way of doing proper countermeasures.

- identify how to get 150 fighter battles with little lagg again. Although carriers could get launch delays back and spam fighters around less.


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gillbo
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Hi LG, thanks for the prompt reply. As your Mod is now, is it stable within the campaign mode?

I guess the main issue I have is planetary flying and how much this game shows its age in that area. But your work in space looks awesome.

 

I don't mind that there is not much to do except your mission on the planet, but lets be honest, the textures and clipped sector are a slight downside on an otherwise timeless sim.

 

Thanks


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lightgemini
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The mod is stable but not lacks some chunks in balance. You can give campaign a go but it may be easy or difficult depending how it goes. Bombers cant take reliably a destroyer and upwards because antiship missiles are no longer OP, and the heavy weapons intended for capship busting are not ingame yet. Taking a carrier do needs the use of a destroyer or more. Stations are in an obsolete weak state, and Zolons are still vanilla and cant compete in firepower yet.

For the rest it should be fine.

Planet side is still largely vanilla. Would be awesome to improve it but its out of my reach for now. If I could it would deserve to be at IL2 Sturmovik level at least. That would make it interesting.


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icsDrafe
(@icsdrafe)
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Hi guys, good to hear about ongoing works, me on board as well (as much as my free time allows). I'm doing tests about long range weapons, currently caring about fleet against fleet, and less about the fighter side optimizations, using lightgemini's mod as the basis. So far the results look fun enough to go on, but suffering from similar issues like the ones lightgemini told us in his last post. Debugging, testing, ships/weapons fine tuning are time consuming as hell.

 

Also I would like to touch the HELM auto pilot part and it looks like a bigger one, where you need a calm weekend or two for the better results.

I'm thinking about such key features:

- translation rule: keep distance, relative velocity 0

- rotation rule: keep heading, like keep sight on target, or at an angle relative to target, while following your leader in formation, or the target itself

- somehow override these rules with manual control, much like it's done now with normal movements (perpendicular to velocity) in the Auto mode

 

With the combination of these mechanisms, ships could maintain formation and fight effectively at the same time, using accelerations as best as they can under a fixed angle restrain.

Keeping distance, closing in, spreading around, or escape would be decided much more by the fleet commander, and this would induce changes in the fleet command system, and soon it should affect the HUD too.

Speaking of HUD, since I have removed the velocity limit I need better indication of speed and heading. I have already made the reverse direction pointer, but a "equatorial" line in the normal plane would be nice too (couldn't came up with a nice solution yet), so by keeping sight on it one could turn the ship without changing the absolute value of the velocity. Indicating relative velocity instead of the one measured against the origo of the sector would be interesting too, but also even much more work, where everything depends on everything.

 

So as you can see, many ideas, less time, (more bugs to sort out), that's how it goes. I have also spent some time and actually played the thing and as a result some teaser videos are now waiting for you on my youtube channel.


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lightgemini
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Nice videos there. You implemented a zoom feature, its pretty useful I like it. Last time on group vs group long range battle I felt there wasnt much to do while watching shots slowly fly both ways. Your changes to the torpedos seems to make the long range part quite interesting. If the behaviour of torpedos could be assigned by the player before launch it would open new gameplay on tactics.

Autopilot modes are good ideas. The main thing is to teach AI to use its lateral thrusters. Functions to order it to fire up thrusters is there, it just needs a good logic to handle it.

Shot speeds do looked moronic on those long range fights. I first would look cool but thinking it twice it isnt and eats performance a lot. I have started to increase speeds and although not intended, I see in the end the thing will settle down with quite faster shots and lower rate of fire making it feel more like an rts. Large fleet battles just cant cope with so much fire flying around for long.

Other stuff is going good. Didabled ships messing the score was fixed quickly, pending campaign scoring, and stopped trying to reinvent the wheel with object spawning and simply used the already present function for creating debris. Now dead ships spawn a nice debris field around it. It needs a bit more work to keep good control of it so it doesnt get out of control and laggs the game and is done.

Now I have a dilema. Theres now 2 dead states for ships, the vanilla big boom and delete, and the disabled dead-floating state. When should a ship end one way or the other? Its not a simple question to answer. Everybody likes big booms although its not quite realistic, but dead ships floating with debris all over make for more interesting scenery. Maybe merge the two? Im uncertain. Any good ideas would be welcome.


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lightgemini
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Since its been quite some time since last update and the mod has changed quite a bit since then, I uploaded a simple video to show the current state of the mod.

Theres a few lagg spikes wich are caused by the recording.

Im leaving the disabled ship state for later. I will likely tie it to the reactor status were there will be a chance for the crew to shut it down before it goes nova and avoid having the ship explode. Some factors like reactor damage level may affect the outcome.


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lightgemini
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Now big impacts on ships spawn a bit of debris when the ship is low on health, to simulate it starting to fall apart into pieces.  Under heavy bombardment it can look quite cool.  Nailed down a bug that was making some flyby dust particles to remain stuck in the screen long after it should have faded away, and its running smooth now. Some nice art  for it to use and it would be perfect.

 

Splash damage is back, but toned down a lot. It has a limited radius around the exploding ship and should be no problem as long as you have your shields up or arent at point blank. 

We are reaching an acceptable point in killed ships fx and im going to call it done after some more testing to  check theres no mayor problems.

 

I would like to add custom debris models for this new feature, including dead crew floating in space, before releasing next patch. will see how it goes.


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lightgemini
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Hi there.  Having an horrible week this time. Migrated to Visual Studio 2015 some days ago, got stashatter compiling fine and started to enjoy/explore new functionality and possible interesting extensions. Got doxygen to draw a code map of the project and all was going good.  Then moronic VS2015 somehow managed to break on its own. Loaded an online teamplate and saw a glimpse of Boost extension being downloaded and installed. Then big misery started as VS refused to work anymore. Tried many fixes and uninstalling/installing and it got only worse.  I cant for the live of me to make the goddamn thing to run again, not even to install properly again. To make it even funnier I cant load starshatter on the old VS2010 either, so im left out from keep coding.  I tried to look for alternatives to VS to migrate there but havent found anything good. Im at a point of setting VS on fire and throwing it through the window, and watch it splatter and burn. The fact it is not a physical object I can interact with is sparing it from huge amounts of rage.

 

Meanwhile Im packing the last build that I could compile before VS going full retard, together with the latest mod state and releasing it as version Beta7.  Its got a glitch or two still to be fixed and laggs under some cases (even more than normal), but I dont know when I will manage to resume work. 

 

Its up and ready for download.


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lightgemini
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I managed to have VS2015 working again and things work fine again. I do like this new VS ir was worth the pain.

I have the basic classes for handling asteroids and nebula/dust clouds. Now a grid of asteroidfield objects is created using simplex noise values, wich each one calls its own nebula object if needed.

Heres a link to a short video showing how asteroid zones look now. Theres a lot to do but I like how is coming along.


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lightgemini
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Hi. This is turning into the biggest challenge I ever tried to do in this project so far. The vanilla game has been pushed beyond what it was made to handle a lot. I have been spending a lot of time learning about rendering with directx, handling collisions etc.

First in order to have a playable game again, I made changes to the collision detection for ships and shots. Now the game can handle the inmense amount of shots and ships smooth and without lagg.

Also tuned slighty rendering and particles to use proper transparency instead of the ugly bright blob, and keep z-fighting to a minimum.

In work queue theres placing asteroids manually in the system .def files, New asteroid models with LOD, decent nebula artwork and transition, and more stuff that may or may not happen.

I have settled to use the asteroid&nebula design of X-Rebirth. It may not be the best as a game but its art and scenery is quite good.


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