Wing Commander Flat Universe

kyrgiannis

1st Lieutenant
Guys,

As requested we have added normal dates next to the in universe dates for our news announcements.

More over we have set up a twitter account linked with our announcements for anyone who wishes to follow (https://twitter.com/maslasbros).

Keep the suggestions coming!
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
I'm confused by the questioning in the news post... FS2 has a graphical mission editor called FRED. Always did since launch. How else do you think all those mods/games get made? :p I know people around here aren't fond of FS2 but it's not THAT bad.
 

Maslas

Rear Admiral
I'm confused by the questioning in the news post... FS2 has a graphical mission editor called FRED. Always did since launch. How else do you think all those mods/games get made? :p I know people around here aren't fond of FS2 but it's not THAT bad.
"Fred2", is the graphic mission editor of Freespace2 engine. I've been reading his documentation since you mentioned. Still, we are considering whether we should create an external tool editor just like Fred or an in-game. Opinions are accepted!
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
I would recommend a mission format that is based on a text file (preferably UTF-8, for us Europeans, but I'm fine with ASCII as well), just like the FS2 mission files. Hell, I'm not a big fan of XML, but you could use that kind of stuff.
Or perhaps a JSON-based format. It is smaller than XML and IMO it even is easier to read for a human or a program. There are open source XML and JSON parsers available in many programming languages.

You could even consider making the mission file editor open source.
I fully understand you want the game itself closed source, but think about it: That way other skilled people can help create the editor, and add features. FRED2 has become really much better since it is open source.

But to be honest: I do quite some things in a text editor instead of FRED. If you know what you are doing it is actually less work in many cases. :D


EDIT: More technical stuff:
If you look at the FS2 mission file format you can see they have divided it in parts. The briefing is in there, the groups list, ship list, the events, mission parameters like backgrounds and stuff, and the messages. (from the top of my head, I'm at the wrong PC at the moment :D ) All of those are objects, and the ships and messages and so on are referenced by the events.
I think it is pretty well done. It has some weak aspects (Asteroid fields for example. Those are not cool), but overall I think it does its job pretty well.

BTW: Are your mission map sizes fixed? And can there be multiple maps in one mission, or would big mission with jumps in them actually be several missions stitched together, like in WC2 and WC3?


@wcnut
Sorry for the confusion about FS2, I was referring to the file format, which is indeed text (open a FS2 mission with a text editor, you can read all that stuff! :) )
Of course I know FRED does exist, and yes, it is a great tool. But I could live without a graphical mission editor, if there is at least an ASCII file format that is well documented.
 
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wcnut

Rear Admiral
Ah, I understand now. Your wording was indeed funny. I suppose my inner fs2 fanboy self couldn't let that one slide. XD
 

kyrgiannis

1st Lieutenant
Aginor you ask to many questions, you know that? Good I like that!;)

Well lets see... Maps and Mission Design

Our game is build in a similar way to the open universe of Privateer. We have a group of interconnected systems each one being a scene (that's a map). Each system has no boundaries but it has some static points of interest (e.g. jump points, asteroid fields, mine fields, star bases, refueling depots). Each jump point connects on scene with the other. One of the things we currently build is the NAV/Goals/Jump system. Of course the system won't be fully operational if we won't also finish with the auto-pilot system.

When everything is ready if you have any jump capable ship in any mission you can simple go to the jump point, hit j and there you go to the next system. That's the purpose of, at the moment useless free-flight mode: to test intersystem flights or just have fun jumping around....

Now mission design. In our mission design concept the designer can use either the static nav/jump points, add custom nav points or any mix of the two. Additionally a mission is not limited in any system. You can design a simple mission at the edge of a system or a complex mission that spans all the systems in the game. There is no limit. Now through the editor/config files you can add any objects you like (fighters, cap ships, asteroid/mine fields, whatever) in any system, mark mission specific options/goals to these objects, fill in briefings/debriefings and link to the next mission(s) in the campaign and you are done.

Finally the open source mission editor it is not a bad idea. We would design the text/XML/whatever config file and build the mission editor on that.
 

Salk

Rear Admiral
I love all the insights in your project!

Thanks for sharing all this with us and godspeed with your work!
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
I found something I could replicate twice on different systems.

Joystick and mouse go randomly do their own way. Some screens the X-axis is off by a random distance when you try to find a hotspots in a room, then log on to the mission computer and afterwards it behaves normally, but in flight the throttle(Z-axis) messed up in a weird way. Could it be possible that the controller somehow get's "locked" when it's not centered during a transition?
 

Maslas

Rear Admiral
Mace,

We are glad that you've given us this feedback. ;)

I found something I could replicate twice on different systems....

...Some screens the X-axis is off by a random distance when you try to find a hotspots in a room, then log on to the mission computer and afterwards it behaves normally...
We have come across this behaviour when we've tested the game on some of the following situations:
a. window mode (not full screen)
b. on computers with dual screen setup.
c. when the game window looses focus through a system key combination e.g(alt + tab, alt + esc) and the focus is returned to it.

Regardless that in the following update there will be some major fixes on these matters. We would be glad if you could feed us with the following information:
Your svga specifications, the resolution you are playing the game and your platform (Win, Mac, Linux).

Joystick and mouse go randomly do their own way.
...but in flight the throttle(Z-axis) messed up in a weird way. Could it be possible that the controller somehow gets "locked" when it's not centered during a transition
We would really like to know some more specific information about the joystick problem. Does your joystick features a throttle-controller that you are trying to use? If yes. Try to avoid using it by assigning this axis to your stick handle or on two available buttons on your joystick.

Finally, you should know that your call sing gives you the privilege to learn a little future development secret. Maces are working on our game and we have already tested them. Please, don't tell anyone about it.

the MaslasBros
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Mace,
Your svga specifications, the resolution you are playing the game and your platform (Win, Mac, Linux).

We would really like to know some more specific information about the joystick problem. Does your joystick features a throttle-controller that you are trying to use? If yes. Try to avoid using it by assigning this axis to your stick handle or on two available buttons on your joystick.
the MaslasBros
I use multi-monitor setups, but i found in the two machines of myself I tested it on, disabling the second and third monitor does not matter.
I have played it on Windows7 x64, in 1280x1024, and Windows8 x64, in 1366x768(Both AMD graphics, I can switch the windows8 machine(laptop) to intel graphics, no difference there)
A friend of mine has had the same problem running on Windows8x64 in 1920x1080, with an Nvidea card.

The behaviour is joystick related, or probably more throttle related as you expected(It constantly tries to kill the engines, and setting the trottle on maximum and pressing the "+" key gives short bursts of speeds(and and you start to spin left). I use a Speedlink black widow, that has 4 axis, X, Y, Z(Throttle), and "xZ"(rudder/pedals). My friend uses a Saitek X52pro(But lots of games have problems with that stick, save those that have specific suppport for it.)

Using an Xbox 360 controller(and disconnecting the other joysticks), with the wireless adapter and windows 7x64 drivers, there are no problems for either setup in spaceflight, and since the game has a birds-eye view, that would be the preferred way to play it. But, the misplaced cursor<>hotspot issue still occurs, resolves itself when you log onto the mission computer, but returns after a spaceflight sequence.
 
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kyrgiannis

1st Lieutenant
Hi Mace,

Thanks for the additional info. I've logged it as a bug. We will have to dig up our good old hotas gear and test it. It makes sense to be an axis related problem.

Hopefully it will be solved with the coming release.
 

Salk

Rear Admiral
Hey guys, how is the development proceeding? Are you taking a well deserved pause to enjoy some summer vacation or are you still going strong? :)

Really excited about the new version to come!
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
On the mission/campaign editor front: Vector Thrust has a built in GUI for building your own missions. its very similar to FRED2 at least in function (drag and drop asset placement, briefing text, etc.), but its a bit more limited as it restricts the user to existing and downloaded assets; it also doesn't currently support custom audio files for briefings etc. what's different is that the editor is built directly into the main menu, the devs want the community to build and publish content. I personally like that approach since it opens the mod tools to anyone who wants to give it a shot without the need to download a series of tools (Yes, I know FRED came with FS) but it was pretty obscure for most gamers. its probably a boat-load more work for the div team, but I personally would like that as a feature.
 

kyrgiannis

1st Lieutenant
On the mission/campaign editor front: Vector Thrust has a built in GUI for building your own missions. its very similar to FRED2 at least in function (drag and drop asset placement, briefing text, etc.), but its a bit more limited as it restricts the user to existing and downloaded assets; it also doesn't currently support custom audio files for briefings etc. what's different is that the editor is built directly into the main menu, the devs want the community to build and publish content. I personally like that approach since it opens the mod tools to anyone who wants to give it a shot without the need to download a series of tools (Yes, I know FRED came with FS) but it was pretty obscure for most gamers. its probably a boat-load more work for the div team, but I personally would like that as a feature.
Well the plan says that we will deliver an in-game mission/campaign editor anyway. The thing is that this editor won't be open-source, as some other members requested. On the other hand the file format for the missions/campaign will be open and so apart from the in-game editor anyone could make an external and probably more complete tool.

By the way I like your work also! :)
 
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