The Backroads — an alternate route

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Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:22 pm

 Update of the (insert random time period here): Currently somewhat stalled while I play around with the new 1.5 beta. I have done a bit of testing with this and that, though, and finally figured out how lambdas work. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t really get it before, but that’s one more coding roadblock out of the way. Yes, I’m still learning TLISP as I go. Going back and lambda-ifying a lot of the stuff I already have done will probably make things a lot easier to tweak in the future, so that’ll be next on the agenda. …I am not looking forward to this… x.x
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Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:02 am

 Update of the (insert random time period here): Most of the lambdas are done. That was actually comparatively easy. What was less easy was breaking the single 9k+-line file and splitting it up into more manageable chunks. That’s done now, too. …The downside is that, instead of just one file to keep up with for this monstrosity, now I have eleven…
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My mods on Xelerus: Click here!

Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:35 pm

 Update of the (insert random time period here): Basic topology exists, and actually has for some time now. I have a few more stations, and I’m still tinkering with the Avian Enterprises vendor station to get it the way I want it to be. Most of this currently involves migrating stuff from basic copypasta of vanilla code to code specific to what I’m trying to get it to do (and, in the process, learning more about how all the underlying stuff works). I figure that once I can get that working, the rest of the friendly stations should be a lot easier to work my way through.
 I’m currently aiming to have my next sneak peek of everything uploaded sometime during the weekend. Hopefully me putting this in writing will encourage me to get a little more done before then. ¬.¬;
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:24 am

 Update of the (insert random time period here): As promised, I’m putting up another sneak peek. Here, have a link. Link removed.
 Like last time, this is pretty much everything I have, including stuff on Xelerus, stuff I still need to update on Xelerus, the mod I use for testing, and The Backroads. The playerships for TBR have all gotten minor tweaks along the way, there are a few more stations (though most of the friendly ones are fairly useless at this point), and there are a lot of new systems. As always, bug reports and various assorted other feedback is never a bad thing.
 I’ll probably leave this up through the end of the year. If I’m lucky, it will probably be hopelessly outdated by then; otherwise I haven’t been working on it like I need to. ¬.¬;
Last edited by AssumedPseudonym on Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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My mods on Xelerus: Click here!

Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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JohnBWatson
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:58 pm

I like the graphics quite a bit ingame. The Yaftwan building and AE dealer still look a bit strange, but other than that they fit nicely. Are there any activities scripted in that I ought to look for? Am I supposed to do something involving the friendly Charon base in the first AE system?

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Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:03 pm

 I don’t have anything mission related scripted in anywhere as yet. That’s still a ways off. The Charon station in the Stannis system is actually a purely vanilla Charon Stronghold that was mostly an experiment that I never took out, and probably won’t take out for quite some time. It makes for a useful vanilla station to occasionally test random stuff on to see what I can pull off without needing to overwrite anything.
 …Try docking at either of the stations in the Stannis system when you’re radioactive, though… ^.~
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Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:06 pm

 Update of the (insert random time period here): I’ve mostly been working on minor little random bits and pieces, like forcibly rearranging Stannis with a bit of scripting (partly for testing purposes, partly because I can’t seem to force the stargates to show up where I want any other way), or preparations for a boss fight in the late systems, or getting my topology straightened out so that it doesn’t overlap anything in vanilla/CC/EP/TSR. I actually had all of my systems and gatelines routed to avoid V/CC/TSR systems and gatelines, but not EP, which doesn’t show up on the same galactic map, complicating avoiding anything in it. I wound up writing a mod to get the map coordinates of all the generated systems and gatelines and output them into a script that I could copypasta into the command line to generate a GIF, and then sort of wove my systems around all of the official stuff. …It was actually a lot easier than it sounds, and the most tedious part of it was just tweaking node coordinates.
 Next on the agenda is probably — probably, mind — going to be rewriting Stannis from the ground up, and likely a few of the specifically named systems as well.
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Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:05 am

 Update of the (insert random time period here): Stannis is getting there. …Slowly. Actually, what one of my main projects of late has been has been related to stargate creation. I’m doing my damnedest to write this bloody thing without overwriting anything, but out of pure vanity and stubbornness, I’ve been wanting to use the Majellen stargates for The Backroads. Preferably without rewriting either trnCreateAllStargates or everything in StdSystems.xml to do it. I believe I have not only succeeded at such, but done so in such a way that I not only don’t overwrite anything (or at least not permanently), but don’t disrupt anyone else’s attempts customize stargates. For someone who hates dealing with topology, I seem to have been spending an awful lot of time on it lately.
 I’m not going to even bother trying to predict where my muse is going to go next for working on this. I will say that I’m currently rendering another small batch of ships for use in another faction. Three are done, I want at least one more, and then have to draw up a station for them. Maybe more than one. I should probably add them to the faction list on the first post while I’m thinking about it.
 Actually, I should probably bring the first post a bit more up-to-date altogether. I may do that when it’s not stupid-o’clock in the morning. x.x
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Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:08 am

  Update of the (insert random time period here): The link to the sneak peak has been taken down — and came down with the new year, actually; I just forgot to mention it over here. Class has started back up, so work on this is going to be slowing down for the next few months. Not really a lot to report except for mostly balance issues. I have most of my current batch of weapons tentatively balanced, and I think the armor and shields may be passable. I also removed the triple link capabilities from the Psi (it was just too overpowered), though double links are still a thing. The Bootlegger and Procyon are, barring anything ridiculously horrifying I may have overlooked, done. I think I may call topology done, too, though there are several systems I’ll be customizing along the way.
 Current project: Two new factions being added to the mix, mostly because my muse suddenly got randomly inspired: The UnBound, neutrals who have randomized equipment (similar to the Goron from Eternity Port but with a level variance range and written entirely without source-diving) and a tendency toward random violence against random unoffending ships; and the Zyrran Magistracy, lower level friendlies with a death-before-dishonor mindset.
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Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:14 pm

 Update of the (insert random time period here): The image of all of TBR’s current ships has been updated and relocated to the bottom of the first post.
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Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:04 pm

The Zybrand and AFUS ships look fantastic. Keep up the good work!

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Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:07 pm

 Update of the (insert random time period here): And then I found out that I can make all of the sprites look better. Fortunately, this only involves recompiling spritesheets, with no re-rendering involved.
 The way I’ve been making my sprites is to render them at double-size and then scale them down to the size I need. Just rendering them at the size I need seems to result in images that are a bit on the jagged side for my taste, so I’ve been doing it the other way to smooth them out a little. The problem is that it’s been smoothing them out just a little too much, and I’ve been getting slightly muddy looking sprites as a result.
 Earlier today while working on something not entirely unrelated, I was experimenting with different settings or arguments, more specifically, since I run everything through a command line program in batches for resizing and stumbled across one that still does away with the worst of the jagged edges while producing noticeably crisper sprites when scaling them down. It’s about as close to a happy medium between the two extremes as I’m likely to get. This oughtta keep me occupied for… a few days or so.

 tl;dr: I can make all of my ships and stations look sharper, and I can do it in a few days instead of a few months.

EDIT: And by “days” I meant “hours.” I apparently underestimated my patience and/or stubbornness. Respriting is already done.
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Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:32 am

 Update of the (insert random time period here): I’ve had a few more ideas for factions for a while, and have now made their ships. The image on the first post has been updated, as has the faction list a bit further up on that post. I’m still rendering everything — I cheated and ran that facing for all of them first — but once those are done, I’m done with ships. All of them. I still need to do stations, but unless I get a majorly holy-kack-this-absolutely-has-to-happen-or-I’ll-simultaneously-explode-and-implode sort of idea, I’m declaring ships to be done. I’ll admit I did pad a couple of the new factions to be bigger than I had initially planned them to be for the purposes of fill out the image, but part of that was to help ensure that I don’t randomly start building more ships.
 Also, anyone who frequents IRC might recognize the Starborn Azimuth as being generally inspired by this… thing. I subsequently applied the style to the rest of the faction.
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Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:11 am

 Update of the (insert random time period here): …And then, after randomly waking up from a dead sound sleep because I felt like I needed to shave and that has got to be the strangest thing I have typed so far in this young year I managed to accidentally delete the entirety of my extensions folder while, ironically, attempting to make a backup copy. The good news is that, except for the most recent changes to TBR (which, aggravatingly, probably included the lambda I was using for UnBound ships), there’s nothing that can’t be recovered from either the old backup or from Xelerus, be they my mods or anyone else’s. I know I’ll have to redo the weapons I had made for Starborn, but I think I did that recently enough to remember most of that if I don’t still have the test mod I was working from. There won’t be any getting around having to recode Starborn, d’Etat, and probably UnBound, though. Not looking forward to trigging their assorted effect positions again, either, but that’s more tedious than a genuine setback.
 The bad news that inevitably accompanies good news is that I’m going to have to remake all of the spritesheets. Just the spritesheets though, fortunately, since I keep my source graphics not only in a different directory but on a different drive altogether. I don’t have a backup of those. …Yet. This will be being remedied in the immediate-ish future. I did lose a few folders and about half-a-gig’s worth of older graphics, most of which was either earlier incarnations of current ships, ships I was never going to use anyway, and one or two that I had been considering reworking to press into duty as stations, but I can live without those (and I may even still have copies of most-to-all of that on another computer). Losing my main source graphics — or the source graphics’ source, more specifically — probably would have been a ragequit-worthy blunder. x.x
 Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go see about backing those up. Properly. >.<

EDIT: It turns out that I don’t need to redo any lambda work — which is almost a disappointment, since that would have been a good primer for getting me back into working with tLISP again. Seriously, use it or lose it, y’all. Most of UnBound actually survived, even if I do need to fix their paint jobs. So basically all I lost was d’Etat and Starborn. I consider this to be good news, insofar as you can have good news after having accidentally wiping your extensions directory off your hard drive. Also, all of my source graphic material now has backups. Note plural. Because I don’t trust myself. ¬.¬;
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Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:00 am

 Update of the (insert random time period here): Between school, a nasty stomach virus, and a general case of bluh, there’s been negligible progress on recoding d’Etat, Starborn, the one UnBound ship that didn’t survive, and Zyrran who also got wiped out in The Great Deletion. On the other hand, it was a good excuse to get both d’Etat and Zyrran new paint jobs. The more I looked at them, the less I liked them. The image on the front page has been updated to reflect the new colors, though I still need to get them properly resprited. I did at least get Starborn’s weapons put back together, and Zyrran wound up with their own line of armor and weapons somewhere in the mix, too.
 I’m also going to be using this as an opportunity to update my AE — New Ships mod on Xelerus. Besides still using the outdated graphics in it, I’ve been meaning to take the NPC ships out and port them over to TBR for several months (which will have the added benefit of giving me an excuse to get several of my XML files better organized). …And before anybody asks: Yes, I am putting this in writing so that I’ll be more or less obligated to do it… ¬.¬;
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My mods on Xelerus: Click here!

Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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