WC: Saga Source Code released


Rear Admiral
Hello guys and gals,

For everyone who is interested in modifying WCSaga's engine, I've got good news: The source code has been released:

I know that many of you aren't that much fond of Saga but maybe you could see this as a chance to come up with improvements. As a matter of fact, Luke has already done some improvements on Saga's engine, especially to help making translations. Also integrated are a hint for the prologue campaign and an improved fiction viewer. (He's working on a German translation of Saga)

I look forward to read about your ideas. :)
The only thing stopping me from playing Saga is the lack of cockpits, I just can't abide their absence. I'm guessing however, that since it's an engine thing, there's still nothing can be done about this? :(

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, I really do think you'd rope in more players and fans if they had the option to use a cockpit.
FS2SCP does indeed support cockpits as is, take a look at diaspora. Even when saga forked the ground work for cockpits should have already been in, the main reason it wasn't included was because they didn't want to.

On a note of the source code, there is an effort to bring saga back into the current SCP, so that will at least yield a mac and linux port as well as multiplayer, plus a few other graphical goodies.
Well, I'll just hold my breath and hope somebody can make some progress on this as I'd have no idea where to start. I'm currently in the process of trying to mod cockpits into WC4 which is proving to be a living nightmare!
Wow, I love how they've managed to paste the UI-elements to the actual cockpit model, it's been so long since games, even those with modeled cockpits did that.
On a note of the source code, there is an effort to bring saga back into the current SCP, so that will at least yield a mac and linux port as well as multiplayer, plus a few other graphical goodies.
Sounds like a giant task. Best wishes to whomever takes that task on.

I rather enjoyed what I played of Saga, I just never had time to finish it.
You can add more points.

Status of changes/additions:

Current version:

  • Several limitations changed who hinders the WingCenter translation team to do their work. This includes some text size limits and a lot of missing language variables, more than 300 internally and more than 150 for strings.tbl as example.
  • A welcome-popup with important informations for new players. Optionaly. Can be disabled by the player like the tips. Can be configured by the mod creator via strings.tbl.
  • Added the GLIDE features to the cockpit help system (F1).
  • In Fiction Viewer the possibility to scroll page wise with Page Up/Down.
  • Deactivated tips (and the welcome-popup of course) can be reactivated very easy.
  • A new mission spec flag allows the WCS mission script coders to bring WCS back into mainhall after the mission is finished. This includes also a new FRED version. The feature is called RETURN_TO_MAINHALL, or short RtM. It's used in our German Mod the first time, to "break" the mission-after-mission-chain.
  • As addition for the RtM feature, in the mainhall will shown a hint at the top border for 10 seconds that new database entries are available, if a mission have added some. With the information in which databases the new entries are available. Optionaly. Can be configured by the mod creator via strings.tbl.
  • The possibility for mod creators to shown their own mod version text in the lower right corner at the mainhall. "Mod_Deutsch Build: 09000" as example for our german mod. Optionaly. Can be configured by the mod creator via strings.tbl.
  • What else... a few more... sry, i don't want to repeat the full german changelog here.

The improved WCS is called "WCS+" internally.

Edit: the features listed here was all at Program level, we have more improvements at Mod level (Deutsch-Mod) like improved Fiction Viewer, additional briefing section to repeat the video content in text format, the prolog outro will shown in the movie room too, ASSM is included with his own "button" in the mainhall via LUA script and other things.

"Someone has already stepped up and begun translating the game to German."

Someone is listed here under "Das Team". ;)
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Wcnut, the only cockpit types that you could get using saga code is struts (e.x. prophecy, standoff, etc.). Render to texture, what makes cockpits work so well in diaspora is new to the SCP after the Saga fork (it was actually only in the diaspora fork before the merge if I remember right). I'm going to wait and see what the SCP does with the source for Saga. I'd eventually like to see a WCSOpen with full cockpits for both kilrathi and confed, maybe even a few border worlds ships too with fully functional multi-player. Checkpoints for the missions and fiction between every mission. I don't really see it happening, but c'est la guerre I guess.

As a side note, I was playing around inside fred, trying to add in waypoints to WCS a few days ago and noticed the lack of available variables for what I really wanted to do. Does anyone know if the main fork of FRED2 supports arraylists (class vector in c++) for that sort of thing?
Well, to be honest, I'm not sure if those Source Code Projects will ever be finished. Don't forget that the Freespace Open Project startet about 11 years ago and it's going on even today. :)
This is terrific news btw. Could I mirror the code on Github to track my modding efforts, I see nothing against that in the EULA but I want to be clear.
WCS+ development news

Since my last post there was several new WCS+ builds (internally) and one new youtube video (public, german), so here a short summary. I added also a few ideas from our betatesters.

Current version:

  • If there are new database entries and WCS+ shows the database hint, now the amount of new entries are shown too. Example: "There are new database entries: Ships (3), Intel (2)"
  • If there exists new database entries, these will be shown with a green font in techroom. So it's easy to see what's new. If the player click on a new entry, the entry will be marked as "read", like mails in a mail client. This works also, if the player solved several missions without visiting the techroom for reading the new entries.
  • This database markers will now saved in the player profile, so the player have the "new entry markers" again, if he start WCS+ the next time. For this i created a new WCS file format called .DB2.
  • The database hint is now mouseclick sensitive. This means, if the hint is visible, the player can click on this hint and WCS+ will automaticaly switch to the techroom. If the player click on the F1-help-hint, the help page will shown. Idea by MasterLuke81.
  • The last database hint in the mainhall can shown again.
  • At start screen and in the barracks the current amount of pilots and the maximum will shown. Idea by Kalumet.
  • For modders: Modders have now the possibility to create a About-box in the mainhall for their mod.
  • For modders: Changed the way how WCS handles the translation of Sandman's orders: there are now 2 different variable groups in strings.tbl, so modders can translate the orders comm menu in cockpit without the need to translate the order texts in a mission script too. So the "orders logic" in a script can still be unchanged as english text.
  • For modders: If the player press F1 in the mainhall, the WCS version text in the lower left corner and the mod version text in the lower right corner will be deactivated now while the help page is shown. So modders have the chance to use the full screen for their help page.
  • For modders: The translation system extended another time: more variables for strings.tbl and higher text limits.
  • WCS (original) fix: If the player want to switch to a finished campaign, a negative sound was played and the campaign room was not closed. This is solved now.
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Does the project to upgrade Saga have a website or page somewhere?

No. I wrote here some infos about WCS+ because FekLeyrTarg wrote about it. Our primary goal is to make the "WCS Deutsch Mod", so this will be the official german translation for WCS. For the german project (Mod with WCS+) exists forum threads (status, discussion) and YT videos (like this), but not especially for WCS+. So WCS+ is a "byproduct" from our mod development. My job in our little (and new) team was originally only to implement the german localisation from our translators into missions and GUI and to do all the technically stuff. But i found a lot of limits to do this and so we don't had the chance to do a full translation. This was very frustrating to us. Then after the sourcecode was published, i saw the chance to change something, to extend or to remove some of the FSO/WCS translation limits and to build in missing language variables. Now WCS+ exists and it will be better with every new version. But this is a slow process: i must learn how i can change or add features and we must test every new feature and every change really good. My goal is to create a slightly improved WCS which has the same stability like the original WCS, but always with the priority that the program is suitable for our translation project. But i try always to make it compatible as possible and give modders the chance to change some of the aspects from the new features really easy. So WCS+ can used by other modder teams for other projects, not only for our german project.

Agreed, we really need to be kept up to speed on developments. I'd love to play through it again with a few enhancements.

An improved original (english) WCS isn't on our roadmap, but i plan to make a mod for the original WCS if we have finished our translation project so all of the changes and new features was available in the englisch WCS too. For this i need then a other (new) little team. At the moment i have no time for this, i have several jobs in our translation project and so i am very busy.
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Do you have a thread open for this? Please please please please get it working, I beg you!

No thread, I emailed HCl for some technical help but it's really not as easy as I'd hoped. Still researching file formats and trying to isolate the WC3 cockpits; the aim to start with is to use the Hellcat and Longbow cockpits in WC4. If I can achieve this, I'll look at modelling some new ones for the BW but that will be even harder. May have to use Excal/Thunderbolt/Arrow cockpits with BW to start with, and that might defeat the purpose. Will keep you posted but incredibly slow progress.
I suppose the "internal" status means that it's not publicly available yet.
Any ETA? Those screenshots posted on the news page of wcnews look great!
Hi Havner

No ETA, sorry. We need another half year (minimum) to complete our "Deutsch Mod" project because of lot of work and all implementations and changes must be tested very well at mod level and at program level. Then as i wrote before, i need a new little team to make the "WCS Plus Pack". I am not interested to do this alone.

Those screenshots posted on the news page of wcnews look great!

Just for clarifying: these pics are from WCS Original, i hadn't done changes to the 3D engine nor i plan to do so. ;)