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Spaceempires.net :: Updating the look/feel? :: View topic
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Updating the look/feel?

 
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gurachn
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:17 am    Post subject: Updating the look/feel? Reply with quote

Recently I got back into SEV and have been enjoying laying waste on a grand scale, but over the holidays I got an itch to see the action from a more tactical level.
I dusted off and installed SF and prepared to play a few missions...
Well its been a while since I looked at this game, and frankly time has not been kind.
Graphics were never its strong suit, but I had forgotten just how shit it looks and feels... tiny feeling cramped universe with ridiculously tiny planets, really unattractive interface, bright cartoony visual elements, and to cap it all it uses perhaps the ugliest (imo) shipset, the profoundly uninteresting Terrans.

My first thought was just to uninstall and ditch the thing, but I am a stubborn one, so I thought maybe I would have a shot at tweaking the look a bit.
First of all I swapped out the lavender pencilbox-like terrans for a more detailed shipset.
Then I ditched the boxy neon colored and cartoonish components for the somewhat better looking ones used in SEV.
Then I had a bit of a look at the scale issue. SF features a very restrictive camera system, so its not quite as easy as just altering the scale. After a bit of playing around I ended up reducing the ships to 1/10th the size, doubling the size of the planets and expanding the universe by 2.5x overall. That seems to give the best compromise of look/feel, without affecting gameplay or framerate significantly.
Finally was the issue of the interface. I scraped off the fake-naughahyde looking dashboard cover and replaced it with something a bit closer to the one I used in my Black UI for SEV
http://www.spaceempires.net/ftopicp-62895.html#62895
Oh yeah, I also played around a bit with the weapon and shield effects, similar to what I did with the reduced size ships.
http://www.spaceempires.net/ftopict-9413.html

What started off as a plan to spend an hour running a few quick missions turned into a couple of days of modding!
I must admit though, once I got things looking a bit less nasty and distracting, its a pretty fun and addictive little game. Really enjoyable battles.
Here are a few snaps:



I doubled the resolution of the planets and sharpened the textures a bit.







Oh yeah, I really wasn't keen on the start menus, so I banged in some replacements.



There are a few things that still need work, but I think there may still be a bit of life left in the old girl.

Anybody else still playing/modding this?


SEV Visual Mods:
Black UI
Reduced Size Shipsets


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks really good. Is your mod based on stock?

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gurachn
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyburn wrote:
It looks really good. Is your mod based on stock?

Yeah, but the changes are basically just graphic tweaks so easy enough to use in just about any mod, I guess.
Though SF is quite a bit less mod friendly than SEV.

Perhaps that's part of the explanation why mods for it are so sparse?

Its too bad, as given the structure of the game, and the currently available models, someone with a bit of time (not me at the moment unfortunately) could put together some interesting Star Trek or Star Wars style mission based campaigns.


SEV Visual Mods:
Black UI
Reduced Size Shipsets


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gurachn
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SF is a lot less forgiving in terms of weapon placement and hardpoints than SEV.
It just looks wrong if the fire comes from the wrong spot.
A lot of work with Slot modder, and with the Space objects file, to get things all in line.

Luckily its pretty ease to adapt the SEV Shipset Viewer to check that all is in the right place, otherwise it would be necessary to start a new game after each change just to check layouts.



I do notice that models seem to be placed a little bit off center (even if the actual .x file coordinates are zeroed) as there is a slight eliptical movement that can result in firing points looking off at some points if you do a full 360 turn.
Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this issue?

Anyway, I pretty much have the new shipset worked out, and standardized with the other races.

I'm now starting to look at adapting the components to be more in line with the values for SEV BM.
One thing that I struck me as well off was the accelleration and turn rate. Gosh, we had battleships that handled like snub fighters!
For the time being, I have halved both values across the board, which gives the ships a bit more reasonable feeling of weight and inertia, but I can see its going to take a bit of work to get this aspect dialed in properly.

Oh, I also bumped the system size up to 3 times stock, which with the tenth size ship models now means that there is 30 times more relative space between planet.
It makes a huge difference to the feel of combat, which in the stock game is often an exercise in dodging around the stupidly small planets.

I'm convinced there is a decent space combat game hidden in here...
Its just a matter of tweaking the elements a bit.


SEV Visual Mods:
Black UI
Reduced Size Shipsets


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if anyone here regularly is knowledgeable about Starfury graphics issues. Best bet might be to send Campeador a PM. He made/adapted ships in the Starblazers and Multiverse Mods, but that was a couple of years ago and I'm not sure he's still around.

With regards to mod physics, SuicideJunkie's P&N mod made changes to most things. Maybe there will be some useful ideas for you there. I can't remember offhand if he changed acceleration and turn rates.


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gurachn
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyburn wrote:
I'm not sure if anyone here regularly is knowledgeable about Starfury graphics issues. Best bet might be to send Campeador a PM. He made/adapted ships in the Starblazers and Multiverse Mods, but that was a couple of years ago and I'm not sure he's still around.

With regards to mod physics, SuicideJunkie's P&N mod made changes to most things. Maybe there will be some useful ideas for you there. I can't remember offhand if he changed acceleration and turn rates.

It seems that the eccentric variance with the firing point positioning is a feature of the engine.
That would explain why most of the stock ships have their weapons mounted pretty centrally. It also isn't near as obvious with the stock size ships as it is when the ships are reduced to 1/10th size.
As a solution I went back and just moved all the firing points that I had so meticulously placed on outlying pylons nearer the centerline.
One positive aspect is that I am now getting damn fast at setting up shipsets, firingpoints, Inv. Slots, etc!

I had a look at SJ's P&N mod, but aside from adjusting the components and store items it doesn't seem to change any of the actual physics (accel, turn rates, etc) of the movement.
In any case I reduced both elements a further 20% and now the ships are starting to move a bit more like the ponderous metal monsters they are.

There are now 2 main issues that I'd like to deal with, if possible.
1) Point defence seems very effective against seekers, even at quite low levels. Any way to adjust this?
2) The combat AI seems to constist mainly of running away, with only the occasional full stop, or attack run. Its quite simple to latch onto a ship's tail and hammer away at the rear armor until its killed.
Any way to alter this? There is a Main AI Script file, but it seem to deal mainly with ship movement on the sector map, not with tactical combat.


SEV Visual Mods:
Black UI
Reduced Size Shipsets


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SuicideJunkie
Leaky Guru


Joined: May 28, 2005
Location: Canada!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P&Nism didn't do a whole lot with graphics or navigation.

I did make a supersized version with 1/10th ships and 10x planets, tho.
And I made a trial version with sorta-newtonian propulsion, but the AI really can't handle that Smile
(There is effectively no max speed, as it takes about three system lengths to get going that fast. Accel and turn rate are dictated by your engine power. You've got to hit the brakes halfway to your destination, and if your engines get shot out you fly straight on until you hit something or suicide in deep space. Combat is actually quite difficult, since you can't dogfight. Unless both ships slow way down they'll zoom right past each other and only get off a volley or two)


P&Nism does have a lot of work on combat & damage however.
Shields are weak but regenerate.
Armor is quite tough per weight, but has to be replaced at a SY when it takes hits. By replaced I mean sell the holey scrap and swap in brand new plates.
Internals are fairly tough, and can be auto-repaired by crew members.

A big point in my mind is that Internal damage is survivable (I like living on the edge in SF). You do need to lay out your components in a redundant way, get out of the line of fire, and prioritize repairs to lifesupport so you don't suck vacuum, but you can get away with a lot more than stock.

Weapons are generally split into three categories.
Light weapons have great damage/kt.
Heavy weapons have much better damage/slot but aren't efficient
Discharge weapons are max damage/kt & /slot, but will rip through your supplies and then stop working.

Supply storage is vastly greater, and reactors are nerfed.
It is entirely reasonable for a cargo hauler to not have any reactors, simply running on stored power to fend off the occasional pirate fighter and recharge for free at its ports of call


Larger ship classes are also pretty serious. When you're flying around in a frigate, and a pirate cruiser gets on your trail, you're in trouble. But if you can run for one of the TNS battleships, she'll be an angel of mercy and vengeance laying waste to that cruiser with a broadside volley of quantum torpedoes, Never ever get between a battleship and its victim Very Happy

Another nifty idea is the leaky armor. Episode 2 has the option of making your starting ship the leaky armor fighter. Upside is missiles can't target you. Downside is that PD cannons CAN.
The leaky armor is simply a ring of hull slots around the outside of your ship that allow armor plates in. They don't provide armor facings, but they are hit first if the attack comes from a reasonable angle. And you can get arbitrarily shaped holes in your armor, not just one of four quadrants.



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ekolis
Virtual Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For some reason I felt some... inspiration Razz

[/img]


That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet!


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gurachn wrote:
There are now 2 main issues that I'd like to deal with, if possible.
1) Point defence seems very effective against seekers, even at quite low levels. Any way to adjust this?


Maybe increasing the reload time and reducing the range of the PD gun. I'm not sure if seeker armor can be modded, but if it can then increasing the armor so it takes multiple PD shots to down a missile may help.

To be honest, I've always thought PD ineffective vs seekers. If you fire two seekers at the same time at a PD equipped ship, one will get shot down; the second will hit. The only time this isn't true is if the target ship is running away, then both will usually get shot down. My favorite ship in stock was the Abbidon Battleship. It could mount six missiles. I would just need to fly within missile range and keep spinning the ship around while firing missiles. Even enemy starbases don't last long under that kind of barrage.

Quote:
2) The combat AI seems to constist mainly of running away, with only the occasional full stop, or attack run. Its quite simple to latch onto a ship's tail and hammer away at the rear armor until its killed.
Any way to alter this? There is a Main AI Script file, but it seem to deal mainly with ship movement on the sector map, not with tactical combat.


It seems like the scripts in Main AI are used for combat, too. From Main_Enemies.txt:
Code:
Name                                                 := Amonkrie Destroyer M
...
AI Script Name Outside Response Range                := Amonkrie Circle
AI Script Name Within Range                          := Amonkrie Long Range


Maybe by messing with the X and Y offsets for the patterns in the first part of Main_AI_Script.txt you can make a script that sticks to an enemy's rear?

I imagine you would then have to make a custom strategy in the second part of AI_Main that uses your custom pattern. (I hate Starfury's stupid multiple part data files.)


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gurachn
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyburn wrote:
gurachn wrote:
There are now 2 main issues that I'd like to deal with, if possible.
1) Point defence seems very effective against seekers, even at quite low levels. Any way to adjust this?


Maybe increasing the reload time and reducing the range of the PD gun. I'm not sure if seeker armor can be modded, but if it can then increasing the armor so it takes multiple PD shots to down a missile may help.

To be honest, I've always thought PD ineffective vs seekers. If you fire two seekers at the same time at a PD equipped ship, one will get shot down; the second will hit. The only time this isn't true is if the target ship is running away, then both will usually get shot down. My favorite ship in stock was the Abbidon Battleship. It could mount six missiles. I would just need to fly within missile range and keep spinning the ship around while firing missiles. Even enemy starbases don't last long under that kind of barrage.

Quote:
2) The combat AI seems to constist mainly of running away, with only the occasional full stop, or attack run. Its quite simple to latch onto a ship's tail and hammer away at the rear armor until its killed.
Any way to alter this? There is a Main AI Script file, but it seem to deal mainly with ship movement on the sector map, not with tactical combat.


It seems like the scripts in Main AI are used for combat, too. From Main_Enemies.txt:
Code:
Name                                                 := Amonkrie Destroyer M
...
AI Script Name Outside Response Range                := Amonkrie Circle
AI Script Name Within Range                          := Amonkrie Long Range


Maybe by messing with the X and Y offsets for the patterns in the first part of Main_AI_Script.txt you can make a script that sticks to an enemy's rear?

I imagine you would then have to make a custom strategy in the second part of AI_Main that uses your custom pattern. (I hate Starfury's stupid multiple part data files.)

You may be right about the effectiveness of PD vs. Seekers. I have mainly been playing with the graphics and movement, so I haven't actually got much beyond the cruiser level. PD is 100% effective against a single missle though, and still quite effective against two.

I played a bit with modding the accuracy of PD, to try to get it down to about a 75% save rate against a single missle, but it looks like you have to add a -55 modifier to get close to that level.
Not sure if I want to go with that much of a shift to be honest. The other route would be to increase missile structure so that they take more than one hit to destroy, but I suspect that may make missles a bit too effective.
I think I will play around with it a bit more.

I like the idea of changing the AI combat routines, but I don't have much experience with that, unfortunately. Something for the future, unless you are willing to take a stab at it?
In the meantime, I did make a change that bumps up the challenge a bit.

I really wasn't fond of the pirate models, with their vague textures and purple stripes, so I switched them out for some new models, like this destroyer.


While I was setting them up I took the opportunity to considerably expand their firing arcs especially towards the rear quarters.
This means that their favorite tactic of fighting by running away actually makes sense, as they have lots more opportunities to fire.
It has certainly made hunting them down a lot more dangerous (and cooler to watch!)


SEV Visual Mods:
Black UI
Reduced Size Shipsets


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gurachn
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SuicideJunkie wrote:
P&Nism didn't do a whole lot with graphics or navigation.

I did make a supersized version with 1/10th ships and 10x planets, tho.
And I made a trial version with sorta-newtonian propulsion, but the AI really can't handle that Smile
(There is effectively no max speed, as it takes about three system lengths to get going that fast. Accel and turn rate are dictated by your engine power. You've got to hit the brakes halfway to your destination, and if your engines get shot out you fly straight on until you hit something or suicide in deep space. Combat is actually quite difficult, since you can't dogfight. Unless both ships slow way down they'll zoom right past each other and only get off a volley or two)...

Hey SJ, thanks for sending the link to these mods.
A couple of questions though.
In the Supersized mod I notice that ships are 1/10th but the planets are the same size. Do you have a different version of this?
I played around with different size values and found that doubling the size of the planets and tripling the map size is the largest I could manage without making the map screen unusably large. Did you manage to find a way around this?

Also with the Newtonian mod, I don't seem to get the effects you describe. Acceleration and turn rate are extremely slow, but killing the engines doesn't seem to result in the ship continuing straight at the same velocity, and turning seems to result in a change in vector, not just facing.
Perhaps I haven't set it up right?


SEV Visual Mods:
Black UI
Reduced Size Shipsets


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JimboTex
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 27, 2008
Location: I'm in UR forums, writin' UR posts.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. I can't wait to see this mod published.

You ARE going to publish it on SE.net, right? Laughing

ETA: @ekolis - Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Do a barrel roll, indeed.


I simply Did Not Do The Research.


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gurachn
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been considering the issue of PD effectiveness a bit more, and since my original aim was to see if I could get a more tactical version of SEV I think I will try to mirror that degree of coverage.
In SEV tests it seems that lvl 1 PD and Combat sensors get about a 75%-80% vs lvl 1 seekers.
As I mentioned earlier you need to dial in about a -55 modifier to Starfury PD to get close to this level of leakiness.
Even then you have to be close enough so that the PD only gets one shot because it almost never misses twice.
Even with this handicap, against a lvl 2 PD/Sensor combination, I found I could get hits with my torpedoes only at a range of 20 or less (still with about a 50% stoppage rate).

Actually this makes for a very cool feeling, with a need to time your shots between return missile fire and make sweeping runs in on your target.
With the much reduced turn and accel values, it makes combat feel remarkably like those old Star Trek TOS vs the Klingons battles!



This shot was taken just after a successful attack run.
It also shows off the shield effects that I copied over from the ones I created for the Reduced Scale Shipsets for SEV.

Strangely, there seems to be a minimum setting size for shield effects and they cycle much faster than in SEV.
To get this size and similar duration I had to actually reduce the dimensions of each frame of the .bmp, and double the number of frames. Bit of a pain, but I like the effect.

Another 'tricky' feature shown here is that I have actually increased the size of the pirate ship by about 50% over the size of the player model.
With them both the same (1/10th stock) size, I was finding that I wasn't able to appreciate the details of the new models I was using.
Due to the camera perspective and distance the increased size really doesn't seem incongruous, even at nearly point blank like this. The increase in detail is very noticeable at more medium ranges though .

As for the AI routines, they actually seem more straightforward than I had imagined. As you said Skyburn, all the patterns and behavor are in the text files. I believe the main issue with the pirates is due to overuse of a number of 'Pirate Evade Pattern' routines used by LR ships.
Tweaking these to a more aggressive pattern, along with the changes to the firing arcs and weapons (I swapped out the pirates choice of Ionic missiles for Plasma Twisted Evil ) should make the pirates a lot more credible of a threat.

It will take a fair bit more tweaking and test to tie all these elements into a decent package though.
Unfortunately SF is a bitch to test such things with. After every tweak you have to start a bloody new game!
Evil or Very Mad


SEV Visual Mods:
Black UI
Reduced Size Shipsets


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds interesting. How do the modified PD guns work against fighters?
Also, where is the ship model you are playing from? Did you make it yourself, like the pirate?

You've inspired me to dust off my own mod to mess with the AI patterns.


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT: Duplicate post.

Last edited by Skyburn on Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total


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gurachn
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyburn wrote:
Sounds interesting. How do the modified PD guns work against fighters?
Also, where is the ship model you are playing from? Did you make it yourself, like the pirate?

I'm actually considering dusting off my own mod to mess with the AI patterns.

At -55 PDs still seem to have no problem hitting fighters, though I feel the current damage is too low
In SEV one or two hits vaporizes most fighters, so I'd like to bring this a bit closer to that.
I eventually plan to rework the fighters to follow the SEV model more closely. The SF ones seem too big and powerful at the moment.

I've actually been playing with the PD to triple the rate of fire, with a commensurate damage reduction.
This means that seekers will require more than one hit. In initial tests it was only getting about 50% kill rate on incoming missiles so I will need to play with it a bit to get it dialed in and balanced.
I like the idea of a high ROF PD though, and have changed the bitmap effects and sound (more of a turbo chaingun sound) files to match.

The ships in the screen shots are taken from the Gurak, and Caldari sets, both from my SEV Reduced Size Shipsets Pack.

Your input on the AI routines would be most welcome.
My limited experiments in that area have not been entirely satisfactory.


SEV Visual Mods:
Black UI
Reduced Size Shipsets


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I've done some testing of AI movement strategies.

From Main_AI_Script.txt

Code:
AI Name                          := Pirate Short Range
Number Of Possible States        := 2
State 1 Name                     := Chase
State 1 Min Distance             := 10
State 1 Max Distance             := 5000
State 1 Chance                   := 50
State 1 Min Time                 := 6000
State 1 Max Time                 := 12000
State 1 Number Of Used Patterns  := 0
State 2 Name                     := Pattern
State 2 Min Distance             := 0
State 2 Max Distance             := 40
State 2 Chance                   := 50
State 2 Min Time                 := 6000
State 2 Max Time                 := 12000
State 2 Number Of Used Patterns  := 2
State 2 Pattern 1 Name           := Box Target
State 2 Pattern 1 Chance         := 50
State 2 Pattern 2 Name           := Charge In and Out Target
State 2 Pattern 2 Chance         := 50


There are two "states" a ship on this strategy can choose. There is a 50% chance to choose each state.

State 1 is Chase. Pretty self explanatory, it follows you between the listed time range and between the listed ranges.

State 2 is Pattern. These patterns are defined earlier in the file. There are 2 patterns in this state, each with a 50% chance of executing. I haven't gotten very deep into how patterns work yet.

I'm guessing that the strategy kicks in when a ship enters "engagement range". I don't know if that is max weapon range or some kind of hardcoded value or what. It will pick a state and run with it for the listed duration, then pick another, etc. until the ship moves out of engagement range, or the AI ship locks onto another target in range.

I changed the strategy to this:

Code:
AI Name                          := Pirate Short Range
Number Of Possible States        := 1
State 1 Name                     := Chase
State 1 Min Distance             := 10
State 1 Max Distance             := 65
State 1 Chance                   := 100
State 1 Min Time                 := 6000
State 1 Max Time                 := 12000
State 1 Number Of Used Patterns  := 0


I tested this strategy on pirate fighters. Essentially, they will stay within 10 to 65 ls of my ship. The exact duration is irrelevant here, because there is only one pattern. With the range being so short, shaking those fighters off is virtually impossible. My ship was blown up several times because I got several fighters stuck on my tail. (My mod spawns lots of pirate fighters randomly in systems.)

The fighters seem to try to stick to the rear, but they are kinda bad at it. If there are multiple fighters they also occasionally ram each other trying to avoid ramming you. Increasing the range a bit might help with that.

One caveat: fighters (and presumably ships) in task groups fly in formation on the leader. If the leader moves away, the fighters will disengage their attack to stay in formation.


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gurachn
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 03, 2010
Location: Osaka, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work.
I don't have a copy of the game handy, but I seem to remember that the engagement ranges are set in Main_Enemies.txt.

I remember I increased the values to make the baddies engage sooner and longer.


SEV Visual Mods:
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Reduced Size Shipsets


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SuicideJunkie
Leaky Guru


Joined: May 28, 2005
Location: Canada!

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gurachn wrote:
SuicideJunkie wrote:
P&Nism didn't do a whole lot with graphics or navigation.

I did make a supersized version with 1/10th ships and 10x planets, tho.
And I made a trial version with sorta-newtonian propulsion, but the AI really can't handle that Smile
(There is effectively no max speed, as it takes about three system lengths to get going that fast. Accel and turn rate are dictated by your engine power. You've got to hit the brakes halfway to your destination, and if your engines get shot out you fly straight on until you hit something or suicide in deep space. Combat is actually quite difficult, since you can't dogfight. Unless both ships slow way down they'll zoom right past each other and only get off a volley or two)...

Hey SJ, thanks for sending the link to these mods.
A couple of questions though.
In the Supersized mod I notice that ships are 1/10th but the planets are the same size. Do you have a different version of this?
I played around with different size values and found that doubling the size of the planets and tripling the map size is the largest I could manage without making the map screen unusably large. Did you manage to find a way around this?

Also with the Newtonian mod, I don't seem to get the effects you describe. Acceleration and turn rate are extremely slow, but killing the engines doesn't seem to result in the ship continuing straight at the same velocity, and turning seems to result in a change in vector, not just facing.
Perhaps I haven't set it up right?
I'm sure I tried making the planets bigger, but maybe that part didn't work out as you found. I don't recall using the map screen much, but I may have tried and then undone it.

The change in vector vs heading is hardcode SF. Nothing you can do about that. Accel is indeed quite low; add more engines to improve it. You should never reach top speed tho.
What do you mean by "killing the engines"? If you mean setting throttle to zero, that's full-retro thrust. I meant "shooting out the engines". If the engines are destroyed, then your accel and turn rate are zero, but your top speed remains huge, so you coast helplessly.


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