Wing Commander Saga Plus

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
As direct support of the original WC Saga mod appears to have come to an end, Luke has picked up the ball and is making good progress with his enhancement pack dubbed WC Saga Plus. In addition to support for multiple languages, improvements are being made to the ship viewer, fiction viewer, heads up display, mission editor and mission briefings. There is also helpful popup text and a menu interface for enabling various upgrades. The pictures below largely show German text, but English will also be available when the package is released. Plus remains in closed testing at the moment, but Luke will continue to share status on the project until it's ready. You can find more details here.










What exactly is Wing Commander Saga Plus?

The first (and at the beginning the only) priority of WCS+ was to create a platform (engine) for our WCS German-Mod Project. For this I learned the basics of C++ after the WCS source code was published in November 2013. Then after I made all texts translatable, I became bolder and tried also to realize some of the ideas the pilots from WingCenter had after the WCS release. And this was also successful. A dream becomes reality: give WCS some changes and improvements. WCS+ is a slightly improved engine with some new features for players and modders and also a few bug fixes.
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Original update published on July 13, 2014
 
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Oceankhayne

Commodore
Nice, this coupled with the upcoming SCP patch (I think the code's actually posted int the appropriate thread) that allows for more hotzones in the mainhall would allow for tons of improvement in the gameflow (like a clickable section for the fiction viewer, and another hotspot for the simulator?); it would make it feel more like a wing commander game than it does currently. The only thing that would make this better would be mid-mission checkpoints, but with the number of entities uesd and the limited number of variables available (from what I understand of the system) this would be a massive undertaking. Much like the cockpits (even though it's possible now that RTT has been added to the SCP build), I just don't see it happening. The only thing I can remotely realistically look forward to is multi-player being fixed at some point in the future.

I don't know if it's been discussed before, but is there a reason you stuck with the Saga fork instead of porting the campaign back into trunk SCP builds (I know MatthTheGeek released an alpha version of WCS Open, how far it got I don't know)? Was it the sexp differences between Saga and Trunk, or the fact that you would have to fork once again to add the features you wanted to add anyway? This is by no means a criticism, I'm just curious.

Although as a side-note, it does look like WCS Open has made some improvements lately, there's even a post by Scooby_Doo with the beginnings of a proper cockpit albeit bloomed to all ... I'm not getting my hopes up, but it's nice to see that Saga isn't being forgotten. How cool would it be to have a multi-player ready build with all of scooby's wonderful models at your disposal? Yeah, yeah, I know, get your head out of the clouds. Can you fault a guy for wishing?
 
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Aginor

Vice Admiral
That's complex.
If I recall correctly there were some features that weren't compatible, and Tolwyn decided not to wait for a new SCP release because there were some blockers preventing it from released, then another feature was released by the SCP that would have required re-coding a lot of missions and scripts.
And then WCS needed some features that were rejected by the SCP because they break other features WCS didn't use, and so on.

So WCS was forked.
 

Oceankhayne

Commodore
Sorry if I wasn't clear Aginor, what I meant is why Luke was still using the saga fork as the base for WCS+ (although I know it would require a good deal more work)? I was comparing the two earlier this week and almost everything you can do in saga can now be done in the SCP. I understand (and even agree) with good deal, if not all, of the reasons that the Saga team decided to fork the SCP into a separate build, especially given the time they did it (the 3.6.10-12 lull). It was quite similar to what the babylon project did years ago if I recall correctly. Blue-planet even started doing it recently (although I haven't looked into their reasons for doing it yet, other than avx builds).

Ideally, in the end I'd really like to see multiplayer. And the SCP, imo, would probably be the easiest way to achieve that, as no-one I've seen knows how Saga broke it in the first place. I'm way too stingy with my free-time to do it myself, so I relegate myself to the position of bottom-feeder. :D
 
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Luke

Captain
Aginor pointed to the primary cause.

Luke was still using the saga fork as the base for WCS+ (although I know it would require a good deal more work)?
Far from it. For our mod we need a stable engine and this was WCS classic. So this was the ideally base for WCS+. I have no time and no interest to use a engine that is not suited for WCS. My job is to do all the technical things at the German-Mod Project, not to revamp all so WCS can run on WCS Open/FSO.

Ideally, in the end I'd really like to see multiplayer. And the SCP, imo, would probably be the easiest way to achieve that, as no-one I've seen knows how Saga broke it in the first place. I'm way too stingy with my free-time to do it myself, so I relegate myself to the position of bottom-feeder. :D
MP have no priority for our translation team because we make translation. ;) The WCS Plus Pack will be a bonus from our german project, so all players can use the improvements we made to WCS. Not more, not less.
 
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Luke

Captain
@ChrisReid

Your fourth pic in the news show only the old fiction viewer design. This pic was originally a gif animation and should show both pictures, old and new design, but this doesn't work here. So here is the new design as single pic.

@all
At WCSAGA i updated also all outdated pictures.
 

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Oceankhayne

Commodore
That's cool. Although I meant it would be more work to use the SCP engine, not WCS, and I agree with you on that point (I forgot to finish my thought above).

As far as MP goes, that's cool as well. I find it my duty anytime someone brings up saga to remind them about multi-player, and cockpits. Can you imagine how cool it would've been, to have multi-player, and cockpits?

Jokes aside, I misunderstood the scope of your project. I did skim the main page in the saga forums, but I didn't catch the part that the focus for plus was the German translation, and that plus was an offshoot of the translation, not the other way around (you did have that stated, I just missed it).

As a side note, If you need any help, shoot me a message, I've recently brushed up on my oop, and now have a year's worth of education in Java, C++, and Matlab of all things on top of what I remember of my C courses way back when. How much help I would be, I don't know, as I have limited c++ gui experience. I thought I'd make the offer, nevertheless.
 

Luke

Captain
That's cool. Although I meant it would be more work to use the SCP engine, not WCS, and I agree with you on that point (I forgot to finish my thought above).
Ok, i had misunderstood you. ^^

As far as MP goes, that's cool as well. I find it my duty anytime someone brings up saga to remind them about multi-player, and cockpits. Can you imagine how cool it would've been, to have multi-player, and cockpits?
Of course, i can. :D

But let me say this very clearly: the original WCS team is no longer existing. Sometimes you see here and there a member of this team, like Tolwyn, Keldor or Aginor, but that was it. The most members are gone and they deserved their retirement very well i mean. Arrow and me founded a completely new team for the translation project in 2013. Arrow made the first work on the translation 2009, and i begun 2012 as completely new WCS player with absolutely no game modding or game development experience. And another point: WCS Deutsch-Mod and WCS+ have nothing to do with WCS Open and our team have nothing to do with HLP or SCP. Our primary goal is to translate WCS into german language with high quality, not more, not less. I started also with the WCS+ project because we missed several features in the engine for our translation project. The "WCS Plus Pack" will be a byproduct from our translation project i plan to publish if we finished our Mod project. With WCS+ we have all what we need to finish our work and i was also able to realize some of the ideas a few WCS pilots had after the WCS release in 2012.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
Nice changes!
I am getting more and more excited about WCS+

I admit I still haven't tried installing your dev build, I am pretty busy this week. But I'll surely get to it soon!
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Am I missing a thing that calls out which things are completed in which updates? Maybe there should be a color for "changed since last update"?
 

Luke

Captain
Hi Chris

I know what you mean, but that is not easy, because this public list was created long time after i begun coding on the WCS source.

There was several dozens of major releases for our team and several hundreds of internal sub releases. The real changelog have currently 1300 lines of text. I made more than 1000 changes in the source. Some only with one line of code and some with complex functions. So the changelog is the only document i have that tells exactly (mostly ^^) which changes i made and when. And because of our german project the changelog is in german language. But i can try to update the public list with this changed-since-last-update-color.
 
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Luke

Captain
@ChrisReid

Forget my last sentence. ;) It will be too much work and i have not enough time for that. The point is, this list was never meant as a kind of changelog, it was meant more as a feature list.

And thx for the news. :)
 

Luke

Captain
The list of changes was now too big and... chaotic. ;) I revamped the complete list and split them into categories and subcategories and changed some texts. Added also new points for the last months.

Heck... if someone had told me 3 years ago, what i would do with the WCS engine, i would have declared him completely crazy. Now i think I am completely crazy. But when i remember right to the contract i have signed myself then that was anyway a condition. Note to self: read this damn fine print in future!

WCS+ topic, translated by Google
 
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