Darwinia: Enemy Within [Parts 1, 2, and 3...]

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Re: EW I notes & observations

Postby ShepFan » Mon May 22, 2006 4:46 pm

xander wrote:
ShepFan wrote:Hmmm. See a few quotes down, where you say, "....You should have used the Dishes." I couldn't activate the dish on this plateau without finding the control tower, so I couldn't send the squaddies though the Dishes to this far plateau.

...

Ummmm... really? Yeah, I did play the original without sending squaddies through dishes. I always found a way to reprogram a control tower wherever I was trying to go. I've been through the original game four times now. Hunh. Why would one send a squad through a dish, when you can create a squad around the control tower at the destination? Are you pulling my leg? :)

You do realise that you don't have to reprogram both radar dishes to make a connection, right? If you want to send units from dish A to dish B, then you only have to reprogram and aim dish A. There are a lot of mods that take advantage of this, either by not including a control tower on the receiving end, or by putting a lot of enemies around the control tower on the receiving end, making it quite difficult for engineers to reprogram it. And trust me, there are reasons you might want to send squads through dishes -- like when there are no control towers on the opposite end to create squaddies near.

Wow, I had no idea you could send anything through a 1-way Dish connection. Yeah, I can see that sending a squad through one would be a very useful thing!

xander wrote:
ShepFan wrote:Maybe it's a Mac/Windows thing? After that crash I emailed you about, I had to start from the beginning, even though I was in the third level. After that, I specifically tested by starting MP1138, finishing the level, quitting, and re-running. When I came back, only MP1138 was visible inside the sphere, and I had to play it again. A screen shot of that will be easy to provide, but you'll have to take my word for it! :wink: Is there a specific screen shot that will be especially helpful?

No, it is not a Mac/Windows thing. I have played EW through several times, using several versions of Darwinia, and several versions of EW. I have never not seen that message. Have you completed all of the objectives for the level? You might want to check that you have completed all of the mission objectives, by bringing up the task manager (either [OPTION] or [TAB], depending upon the interface that you are using), and hitting the [right] or [down] (again, depending upon interface system -- icon based vs gesture based). If you see an imcomplete objective, click on it to get an explanation. My guess is that you have not yet grabbed the research cube in the valley.

I did get the research cube (first thing), and I did check the Objectives screen to be sure I'd achieved them all. I'll play it again today and see. I'm starting to think I was just preoccupied and missed it, since I'm the only one bringing this up. The only thing I didn't do that everyone else has is use the Dish to teleport over to the far plateau. I've only scanned the script files, but I don't see where it's even possible to make that a condition of triggering the ending script.

xander wrote:
trickfred wrote:
ShepFan wrote:Backdoor level: While traversing the narrow land and cliffs to the secondary control tower (forgot the name, sorry) a squaddie walked off cliff! It was funny, he kept travelling away as he fell. Probably by design, I've just never seen it happen! I should have checked to see if he died from the fall, but I didn't.

If by 'by design', you mean that the land was narrow, then yes, I meant for people to have to be careful there.

ShepFan wrote:"By design" meant that I thought you did something special so a squaddie would plunge off the cliff like that. I've never seen it before, the outlying squaddie always seems to get stuck on the edges of dangerous things like cliffs and water [Ed. note: so that the squad stays together!]. So, it was surprise to see one of them depart from the group and arc gracefully off the cliff, falling into the canyon below. Usually squaddies are logically linked together as a unit, so losing one off a cliff was a surprise.

No, this is just the way that squaddies behave sometimes, if you are not careful. Also, what graphics settings are you using? If you have the landscape quality turned down a lot, the paths across the mesas will be narrower, and harder to navigate. Try turning your quality up a bit.

I'm using the highest settings for everything. I think it was just me making a mistake as I simultaneously guided 3 squads across the narrow, jaggy path to the Control Tower.

xander wrote:
trickfred wrote:
ShepFan wrote:Dr S's exclamations ("Zounds!" "Great Caesar's Ghost!" "Good Gravy!") seem a bit out of character... How about "What's this?" "I don't believe this!" "What the..." and "This is impossible!" I know this is nitpicky, but it did feel different than the original.

You're welcome to your opinion, but don't hold your breath for those lines to change. As I said above, you're welcome to like my design style or not, but my mods do differ from the original levels. And my interpretation of Sepulveda's character may certainly be different than yours.

ShepFan wrote:That's cool. Like I said, it's free feedback, to do with what you will. As a geek and a software engineer and a guy who's fascinated genetic programming, I do see Dr. S. differently than you do. I think I identify with him a bit. I only mention my impressions in case you didn't intend him to be so awkward in his speaking. Since you see him as a recluse, and socially ungainly, and it was by conscious design, it makes sense to me now, and I take back my reservations about it.

It's funny. We all have our own impressions of Dr. S. I don't see him as incompetant, as trickfred does. I picked up on the anti-social aspects of his personality, both from the game, and from the "extras." I see Dr. S as very reclusive. I used that to create Insurrection, for which Icepick balled me out, because he saw Dr. S as something else entirely. I think that seeing other people's impressions of him is quite neat, but that's just me.


[soapbox]
I've worked with very bright people who don't suffer fools gladly, which is how Dr S initially appears ("Who the hell are you?"). Still, he clearly cares about his creation and the DGs, and he got me as a player to care, too. He has observed hundreds of generations of DGs, and even in the early game he reverently and respectfully talks of Darwinian culture, such as the sacred customs at the Receiver. His experience as the game unfolds opens his eyes to his every-day-for-the-last-ten-years obsession with his project, how precious and fleeting are the things we connect with, and how Darwinia has grown on its own to something bigger than he can handle by himself. IMHO, he has grown by the end of the game, for those reasons, and realizing that a complete stranger would do something as selfless as (paying ;) for the privilege of) helping him save his life's work. And he shows appropriate warmth and gratitude to the player, as well as empathy and insight into the profound impact that, say, the battle at the Biosphere had on the Darwinians. He's got a heart and can express himself articulately. His passion (if you will) affected me enough that I felt compelled to always save as many souls as I could, even after I'd finished the objectives in each level, and knowing that it made no difference to the outcome of the game. It just made me feel better.

In addition to having a gruff exterior and a caring side, I see Dr. S as a genius, as I would anyone who could create sentient, self-aware, artificial digital life. That his DGs go beyond his imagination, and try to build stuff of their own design when they think he's not looking, or can feel grief over the loss of an island in a server crash, or attempt to communicate with God... Well, in my book, that makes him smarter than he thinks he is, and my hunch is he already has a pretty high opinion of himself! :D
[/soapbox]

Anyway, that's my own take on the guy. I wish I had the motivation and self-discipline to write my own mod(s), but I know it's a lot of work. I'm really glad you, trickfred, and others have given us your mods to enjoy.

Thanks,
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Re: EW I notes & observations

Postby ShepFan » Mon May 22, 2006 8:15 pm

trickfred wrote:
ShepFan wrote:Backdoor level: There was no message when that level's objectives were done (big "Objectives Completed", that is.) Dr. S's speech (backdoor_done_1) needs something ("Good Job") to let me know it's time to leave the level. I didn't know. I know there's the generic "Press ESC to leave this level...." but I didn't see that either.

...Are you sure? I've played the mod a few hundred times (not exagerrating, testing racks up the playtime), and I'm sure I got the big "Objectives Completed" message properly in that level.

Having played the level again, and had the same problem again, I wondered. This time, though, the Objectives screen said I hadn't opened the CodeLibrary Trunk, even though it was flashing bright yellow. It turns out an Engineer had to spend another second with it and it was done. Then I got the usual screen display and message from Dr S to continue.

I think we can lay this one to rest. Just one question: is it possible to code a level such that if things aren't done in the right order, you might not get the message?

trickfred wrote:
ShepFan wrote:EW I doesn't save when leaving a level, so I have to finish in one sitting. Not a problem, just a reality check.

Does too! Levels are saved when you take a Control Tower, and when you leave the level. As of Darwinia v1.3, Squadies and Engineers are also saved upon level exit. If you can provide me with screenshots to the contrary, I'd be interested to see them.

Well, I don't have a screen shot per se, but I do have something that might convince you. As I reported in the Mac Forum, I just crashed out of EW1 again, just like the first time with the Ragin' Squaddies. I was in the last level, MemoryCache, and was almost to the cube. I had finished all the other levels and reprogrammed all the other control towers. So, the game should have been saved multiple times.

But, here are the first few lines from game.txt, inside the "EnemyWithinPart1" folder:

Code: Select all

Locations_StartDefinition
   # Id  Avail                   mapFile                    missionFile
   # ==================================================================
      0    1                 map_mp1138.txt                       mission_mp1138.txt
      1    0              map_subsystem.txt                                     null
      2    0               map_backdoor.txt                                     null
      3    0            map_codelibraby.txt                                     null
      4    0            map_memorycache.txt                                     null
      5    0                  map_dummy.txt                                     null
Locations_EndDefinition


Am I right in thinking that lines 1 through 4 shouldn't say "null" if the game was saved all along? FWIW, the modification date of the file is April 19, 2006, which I presume is the day you compressed it for the EW1 1.4.2 release? The only newer file in the folder is the ReadMe file, and it's only 4 minutes newer.

-ShepFan
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Re: EW I notes & observations

Postby trickfred » Mon May 22, 2006 8:25 pm

ShepFan wrote:
trickfred wrote:
ShepFan wrote:Backdoor level: There was no message when that level's objectives were done (big "Objectives Completed", that is.) Dr. S's speech (backdoor_done_1) needs something ("Good Job") to let me know it's time to leave the level. I didn't know. I know there's the generic "Press ESC to leave this level...." but I didn't see that either.

...Are you sure? I've played the mod a few hundred times (not exagerrating, testing racks up the playtime), and I'm sure I got the big "Objectives Completed" message properly in that level.

Having played the level again, and had the same problem again, I wondered. This time, though, the Objectives screen said I hadn't opened the CodeLibrary Trunk, even though it was flashing bright yellow. It turns out an Engineer had to spend another second with it and it was done. Then I got the usual screen display and message from Dr S to continue.

I think we can lay this one to rest. Just one question: is it possible to code a level such that if things aren't done in the right order, you might not get the message?


This is the section you need to be looking at:

Code: Select all

PrimaryObjectives_StartDefinition
   BuildingOnline :backdoor,2    backdoor_objective1   backdoor_objective1help.txt
   BuildingOnline :backdoor,5    backdoor_objective2   backdoor_objective2help.txt
   ResearchOwned :Darwinian    backdoor_objective3   backdoor_objective3help.txt
PrimaryObjectives_EndDefinition


Once all 3 of those objectives are completed, you get the big flashy 'Objectives Completed' message. Order doesn't matter in this case.

ShepFan wrote:
trickfred wrote:
ShepFan wrote:EW I doesn't save when leaving a level, so I have to finish in one sitting. Not a problem, just a reality check.

Does too! Levels are saved when you take a Control Tower, and when you leave the level. As of Darwinia v1.3, Squadies and Engineers are also saved upon level exit. If you can provide me with screenshots to the contrary, I'd be interested to see them.

Well, I don't have a screen shot per se, but I do have something that might convince you. As I reported in the Mac Forum, I just crashed out of EW1 again, just like the first time with the Ragin' Squaddies. I was in the last level, MemoryCache, and was almost to the cube. I had finished all the other levels and reprogrammed all the other control towers. So, the game should have been saved multiple times.

But, here are the first few lines from game.txt, inside the "EnemyWithinPart1" folder:

Code: Select all

Locations_StartDefinition
   # Id  Avail                   mapFile                    missionFile
   # ==================================================================
      0    1                 map_mp1138.txt                       mission_mp1138.txt
      1    0              map_subsystem.txt                                     null
      2    0               map_backdoor.txt                                     null
      3    0            map_codelibraby.txt                                     null
      4    0            map_memorycache.txt                                     null
      5    0                  map_dummy.txt                                     null
Locations_EndDefinition


Am I right in thinking that lines 1 through 4 shouldn't say "null" if the game was saved all along? FWIW, the modification date of the file is April 19, 2006, which I presume is the day you compressed it for the EW1 1.4.2 release? The only newer file in the folder is the ReadMe file, and it's only 4 minutes newer.

-ShepFan


If you're not playing with a profile properly set up, then the game would not save levels when you leave. Please make sure you have a profile selected/created,, and you're not just playing with the 'none' profile (which isn't really a profile at all).

Also, the reason those lines are set to 'null' is intentional, and has to do with not giving access to the level, whether it shows up on the map or not, until the previous level is completed. So yes, they should be set to null, and no, that's not the source of your problems. The game.txt saved in your profile is the one the game runs off of. Saving the levels should not alter the base game.txt in the mod folder.
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Postby xander » Mon May 22, 2006 9:11 pm

Also, you need to find the encrypted version of game.txt that is used by your profile, not the version that came with EW. When you start a new game, a directory is created in your user directory. This directory contains encrypted and modified versions of game.txt and the mission files -- these are basically your saved games. On the Mac, the directory's location is:

~/Library/Application Support/Darwinia/

When you open up the files in a text editor of some sort, they should look like gibberish.

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Postby ShepFan » Tue May 23, 2006 2:56 am

trickfred & xander,

For reasons I can't explain, EW1 actually did save my progress, and the preferences file was fine. It's a mystery, but that first time I re-ran Darwinia after the crash, I got all those generic settings and no mod loaded. Quitting and restarting, I was back in EW1, with all my progress saved.

I see now about mods/EW1/game.txt being the template, and I should have known to look in the user folder for the redshirt2-encrypted game.txt. D'oh!

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Postby trickfred » Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:46 pm

Enemy Within Part 3 v0.99 is up.

http://stellarmatter.net/static.php?page=ewpart3

I'm pretty sure I have caught all major bugs, and most minor ones. I'll release v1.0 in a few days once I'm sure there's nothing seriously wrong with this one (or if there is, and I fix it).

Sorry for the wait, guys. :D

Part 4 has been started, but I have no ETA other than not any time soon. (It won't be a year though - 10, 11 months tops! ^_^* )
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Postby Major Cooke » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:49 pm

About time... did you fix all the bugs like i reported? AND finish codelibrary?
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Postby daset » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:55 pm

W00t!

And once again, the definition of "trilogy" has been redefined. :P
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Postby martin » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:30 am

daset wrote:
And once again, the definition of "trilogy" has been redefined. :P


there are three parts right? why has trilogy been redefined again?
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Postby hitm4n » Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:05 pm

pedanticism and martin sitting in a tree
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Postby martin » Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:17 am

lol, sorry.
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Postby thefrogger » Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:09 am

It is extremely difficult to get a full squad through the radar dish in Backdoor, pictured below. It usually leaves a few members behind.
Image

The dish in Port Parallel is also a bit finicky, but not to extent of the one above.
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Postby trickfred » Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:12 am

I'm aware, you're not the first to mention that (but the first to complain about PortP.... odd). Dishes will be rearranged a bit for v1.0.

In the meantime, try clicking in a safe area a slight distance away from any cliffs near the receiving dishes immediately as the first Squadie emerges - that's how I usually play, and probably why I didn't see any issues with the dishes in that level before releasing the mod.

Thanks for pointing it out. :D

Edit: Okay, I saw the pic of the dish, and assumed you were having a problem with receiving dishes, and not originating dishes. I should read before typing. I've never had any problems with entering any dishes in that level, but yeah, dishes will get looked at. Will do that now, actually.
Last edited by trickfred on Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby thefrogger » Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:28 am

The PortP dish only took me two attempts to get through it, so I have no idea how frequent it might be for squadies to get stuck there. (As in, it only happened to me once and may never happen again). The backdoor dish by comparison had something like 6-8 squads in a row get stuck there.

Just to be clear, it's a problem entering the dish, not exiting. One or two squadies will enter the dish, with the rest bouncing against the opening. Your suggestion about clicking as the first squaddie emerges seems out of place, since that wouldn't affect squaddies that never entered the beam in the first place.

There was an occasion somewhere earlier in the mod where I found all my squaddies at the bottom of a cliff near the exit of some other radar dish. I don't remember what level that was, and I assumed I had just mis-clicked somewhere without deslecting the squad first. (I was doing some other stuff during the transit). This sounds more like the scenario that your suggestion would help, and maybe those earlier squaddies did indeed walk off the cliff by themselves. Just wanted to make sure you weren't getting this report confused with a separate issue.
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Postby trickfred » Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:31 am

I've had a few emails complaining about the Dishes in that level for one reason or another, but in all honesty, I can't see why.

First set of Dishes: If you send a Squad straight to the first Dish from the attached CT, then they will get tripped up in the landscape, and not all of them will make it to the Dish. I don't see that as a problem that needs to be fixed - people just need to watch where they're going. Squads of 6 arrive at the other side just fine, and don't fall off the cliff or anything, with no user intervention.

Second set of Dishes: Multiple Squads of 6 seem to have no problem entering the Dish straight from the CT, and arrive perfectly safe on the other side with no user intervention. I don't see anything here that needs to be fixed.

Third set of Dishes: Squads of 6 seem to have no problem entering the Dish straight from the CT (as long as the Squad isn't created behind the slight crevasse on one side of the CT), and arrive perfectly safe on the other side with no user intervention. I don't see anything here that needs to be fixed.

Honestly, I tried to find issues with the Dishes, but other than obvious landscape navigation mishaps with the first and third sets (which anyone paying attention should be able to avoid on a second try if they didn't notice them the first time), I had no problems entering the 3 Dish sets, and all Squads came out perfectly fine on the other side of the 3 Dish sets, with none falling off the side of cliffs, bouncing out into water, or anything else.

I don't know what to say, other than what Landscape Detail setting are you playing with? All levels in the mod were designed with the Landscape Detail setting on High, and no testing was done for any other levels.

As for PortP, both Dishes are Team 2, and aligned at the start of the level, and I have no problem entering the Dish that leads to the little Trunk Port Island. It must have been a fluke like you said, thefrogger.

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