New Modding Features

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Shwart!!
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Postby Shwart!! » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:14 pm

*stabs the martin* :P

Shwart!!
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xander
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Postby xander » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:44 pm

Shwart!! wrote:*stabs the martin* :P

Shwart!!

Damnit, Shwart!!, now we have to clear martin goo off of the carpet. That stuff stains!

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Postby martin » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:29 pm

xander wrote:
Shwart!! wrote:*stabs the martin* :P

Shwart!!

Damnit, Shwart!!, now we have to clear martin goo off of the carpet. That stuff stains!

xander


*gets back up*

Aha! as an ectoplasmic creature I can reform myself after a stab wound easily! however you still have a stained carpet :twisted:
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Postby The GoldFish » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:37 am

So I was bored;

Image

people's thoughts?
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Shwart!!
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Postby Shwart!! » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:43 am

*stabs teh goldfish*
THAT WAS MY PROJECT!!! It was my one thing that I could do to truly help people out... *sniff* there is nothing left to do... except *stab Martin over and over and over*

Shwart!!

P.S. If that actually exists, and is not an elaborate hoax, that's seriously cool... but I still want to stab you. :P
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Postby The GoldFish » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:46 am

Well, I just did that much this evening, you can carry it on if you like o_O

I'm afraid it's in VB though, the C I know has all been commandline stuff and I don't know how to do anything with guis in it, so I just thought 'sod it, VB will do'

It needs some fixing here and there since it's a bit iffy, and it doesn't like, give you drop down boxes of all the bits in strings_defaul or look up the cameras you have or anything helpful like that so there's lots of scope for improvement.
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Postby Shwart!! » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:51 am

Thats actually a planned project I've had for a few months. I was going to take it in a slightly different direction... I won't stab you.

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Postby The GoldFish » Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:06 am

Well, what direction were you going to take it in, oh master of the unexplained. I posted it here mainly on the assumption people might be able to convey their needs from a scripting program like this; as far as I'm concerned it's just a command list and context enforcer, the main reason to have an ingame one is a point and click attachment for building IDs, which can be replaced with your memory and alt tab. Why, exactly, are people requesting an ingame script editor?

Once I've got it a bit more up to spec it'll be freely available to anyone who either wants it or wants to develop it - it has an external commands list so new ones can be added whenever, and gives you little tooltips to explain each qualifier (but not currently the command)
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Postby Shwart!! » Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:02 am

I was really going to make an app that can basically make a mod without much use of the Darwinia editor. It would have 6 parts:
1. Building stat reference. Select a map, and a building ID, and it would show you the stats in individually labeled boxed for easy manipulation, plus the relative position on a 'minimap'.
2. Map stat reference. See above, basically.
3. Scripting. Make triggers directly, using actual text instead of references to strings_default.txt.
4. Debugging. Reference every available value, texting for errors.
5. Unit stat reference.
6. Default Game.txt values. Basic mod stat manipulation.

It would have a UI basically like yours.

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Postby martin » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:31 am

My god, TGF can still do my scripts without actually being there! :o

seriosuly, that's really cool... now I can script all those little non storyline mods I've made over the years (like war etc).
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Postby The GoldFish » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:18 pm

Shwart!! wrote:I was really going to make an app that can basically make a mod without much use of the Darwinia editor. It would have 6 parts:
1. Building stat reference. Select a map, and a building ID, and it would show you the stats in individually labeled boxed for easy manipulation, plus the relative position on a 'minimap'.
2. Map stat reference. See above, basically.
3. Scripting. Make triggers directly, using actual text instead of references to strings_default.txt.
4. Debugging. Reference every available value, texting for errors.
5. Unit stat reference.
6. Default Game.txt values. Basic mod stat manipulation.

It would have a UI basically like yours.

Shwart!!

Horrible! I don't have much interest in most of those, but could happily make a shortcut to open them with notepad for you to scan down and edit (which would save quite a lot of time), same with the other files really, there doesn't seem much point in actually intigrating them into the program, but I mean, it shouldn't actually be too hard once I touch up the file parsing part of the program (yay for whitespace!) - it would just be coding for it, which imo would be dull and boring and not something I would personally do.

The one striking thing though is making strings transparent, is the whole string reference thing actually a big barrier for people? I mean, I quite like it; I don't see intigrating cameras from a mission file for use in cammoves etc as helpful in the least, because I already know what I'm going to call them even if they don't exist yet. Pretty much the same way with strings, I know I'm going to say *something*, but I usually don't even think about what that something will be when scripting until very late on in the process.
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Postby brice » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:11 am

If it's not too late to make a request... or 5... (note: I'm using linux 1.4.0b9) (edited out the false references to 1.5)

1) Would it be possible to expose a few more of the hardcoded constants for unit behaviors? For example, currently centipedes will stop eating souls once they reach 21 units length. This is hardcoded. It would be nice to be able to set the upper limit in the game files somewhere.

I was tinkering with a scenario where triffids provide a steady supply of free souls and a slower stream of centipedes. The idea was to balance the rates so the area would become a death trap if the player waited too long. Unfortunately 21 unit centipedes are not very aggressive. I was hoping to get 30-40 unit monsters. But it seems anything over 21 units must be specified in advance.

I don't think constants like this would need to be part of the editor interface. Just add fields to some text file lines.

If there are any other simple numbers assocated with any other unit types, it might be interesting to tinker with new parameter combinations. For instance, when centipedes are assigned a speed >> 100 in the stats file, they tend to run in circles instead of randomizing their paths. It seems there may be some hidden parameters which influence their behavior beyond what's in the stats. If any of these hidden numbers are easily exposed, it could enable new behaviors.


2) Also, I noticed that triffids can be linked to control towers. The triffid eggs will spawn units corresponding to the current team of the tower. This enables engineer fights for the triffid products. When teams can be distinguished by color and shape in the mod release, this could add a new game mechanic, esp. if squads can be kept away from the non-player engineers.

But there are other kinds of triffid fights which cannot be implemented. I'm not sure how they would work best, so I'll just throw out a few ideas and maybe you'll see a fairly easy way to implement something along these lines. If you see fit. Probably some of these ideas are mutually exclusive in practice.

It would be great if DGs could fight for possession of triffids. It would also be nice if active triffids could be inactivated somehow. One idea is to make the trigger area event a toggle event of some kind. I'm not sure where the off signal would come from since the control tower links seem to only affect team status. However, if the trigger area worked more like a safe area, and counted the number of each team, then a simple majority rule could facilitate DG battles. It would probably also be useful to specify a minimum number of units needed for a team to claim control of the triffid.

Majority rule could either control the triffid product team, or the on/off status based on the triffid's original team membership. I think the majority rule fight for the triffid output team would be more useful. It would make for a better fight than engineers fighting over the control tower. Plus if the triffid product team were determined by DGs, then the control tower link could be repurposed for on/off status. That might make for a better dynamic?

The real benefit of triffid fights would be a new action-at-a-distance effect for large scale battles. A mod could force the player to manage several simultaneous battles since triffid fire doesn't give rise to choke points like DG AI battles do. Trifid fights on the periphery could directly affect a critical DG battle far away. And since DGs can fight over a triffid that squaddies can't reach, these triffids could remain in play without the possibility of being destroyed.

Having triffids as part of a battle could prevent the use of overwhelming rivers of DGs. Most DG AI battles are only difficult at the beginning, before enough spawn points are acquired. After a threshold number the player has overwhelming force and can take the remaining spawn points with ease. But if triffids were part of the battle, then this straighforward strategy could break down because DGs panic around other units. Maintaining the DG supply lines could become a battle all its own. So the player could never count on his army's cohesiveness for long without also managing the battles for control of the triffids.

Currently a triffid can have both a control tower link and a trigger area event. Unfortunately the trigger event is a one-off async event. If a team 1 triffid is linked to a team 2 tower (held by placing team 2 engineers nearby), then a team 2 squad can trip the trigger, but the triffid will *not* go active immediately. The tower must subsequently go over to team 1 in order for the triffid to finally become active. Once active, the control tower can change hands repeatedly, and the triffid products will follow suit. The triffid never shuts off after the initial activation.


3) Would it be possible to expand the list of triffid products to include SDs? And anything else that's missing. If a triffid could produce engineers, then true engineer fights could be staged in the single player game. A stream of engineers from an inaccessable triffid would ensure that the player has to constantly fight to control their towers. This of course can already be done with AIspawnPoints (I think?). But spawn points can't be destroyed like triffids can. So some new kinds of battles could possibly be arranged if triffids could output engineers.

But mostly it would be cool to use giant triffids and giant triffid eggs to produce SoulDestroyers. A rain of terror. Currently, once a player learns to take out SDs, they no longer cause many problems. Even at 2-3 squads per SD, the pain is minimal because the SD population is fixed. AIspawnpoints may be able to produce SDs (haven't checked yet), but there would be no way to shut it down and finally "win" the level, like ther would be with a protected SD triffid.

It would also be nice if the triffid egg eggs would restrict their final products to only the enabled units. Currently the second order eggs seem to ignore the unit settings. This would become more important if the list of egg products were expanded to include SDs and engineers, etc.


4) I just tried the SD AIspawnpoints. I noticed there is no way to specify their roaming range like can be done for instant units. Would it be possible to add a range parameter to the AIspawnpoint building? For instance, when spawning SDs out of a volcano it would be nice to let them roam farther away than the rim. Using multiple spawn points breaks the visual effect of having them all come out of a single volcano.

Also, I noticed that AIspawnpoints can be team controled by control towers. So engineer fights can possibly be used here too once teams can look different. But again there is no way to turn off the spawning?? So some of the same ideas as above for triffids.


5) Would it be possible to prevent the cursor from highlighting non-controllable team 2 members? If you allow team 2 to become part of an alliance, then having lots of team 2 units on screen will just cause a focus headache. Just like yellow DGs can make it impossible to grab your squad in their midst. I was just playing with an SD AIspawnpoint with a control tower link. When the team 2 SDs start coming out they grab the cursor repeatedly, and paint huge yellow box corners on screen. Very disconcerting / annoying.


Lastly, is there any chance the mod release patch will make it to linux... even in beta form? Or should I relearn how to boot my XP partition?
Last edited by brice on Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Shwart!! » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:28 pm

There is a way to stop an AIspawnpoint in the newest beta. At the risk of violating my NDA, a building can be scripted to explode(in beta 1.58), so you could capture a control tower and it could be scripted to destroy the AIspawnpoint.
It is very likely that the beta will be ported to Linux, knowing the way IV works.

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Postby xander » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:59 pm

brice wrote:--==<snip>==--

While I think that many of these ideas are good suggestions, may I point out that none of the work that Icepick is doing is scheduled for inclusion in 1.5? He is working on the unstable tree of the Darwinia source, and his changes have not yet been incorporated into anything that is out, or in testing.

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Postby brice » Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:31 pm

xander wrote:
brice wrote:--==<snip>==--

While I think that many of these ideas are good suggestions, may I point out that none of the work that Icepick is doing is scheduled for inclusion in 1.5? He is working on the unstable tree of the Darwinia source, and his changes have not yet been incorporated into anything that is out, or in testing.
xander


...oops! I saw TGF reference "1.5" and I assumed that was the release Icepick was working on in his spare time. I didn't know there was an official 1.5 patch parallel to that... that's what you're suggesting I guess? Whatever the reality is, I was just using "1.5" as shorthand for the mod feature release... and look, now I've written a paragraph explaining myself!

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