System26- new screen shots posted! Full size, large images

A place to discuss mods in development and concepts for new mods.
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Fri May 09, 2008 4:51 pm

I started by considering it a cube of units- 3x3x3.

Each layer from the top down has 9 positions.

This would give you 27 units, 9x3.

The center point is the origin, leaving 26 positions that surrounded it.

Then I decided that was a little too much figurins.

So it's mapped out on a flat plane to make it easy on me.

35 systems in a line, which proceed roughly along the classic topology path of systems.

Early game comprises the first 10 points, mid game is the next 14 and the late game the last 11.

Each point along the path is a grid level, each point has several tiers above and below- grid level is like X coordinate, tier level is like Y coordinate.

The early game has 4 tiers, so each grid level has 9 systems. Early game comprises 90 potential systems.

The mid game section has 7 tiers, so each grid level has 15 systems. 210 systems are potential for the mid game zone.

The late game section has 20 tiers, so each grid level has 21 systems. 231 potential systems.

531 total systems.

You can make it fit on a regular sheet of graph paper, for some odd reason.

All the uniquely named nodes of the classic topology are located on the center or Core path.

Although I have converted them to use the original node ID designation in order to keep the game close to the original, all the system have an unique numeric value, plotted off the grid.

The grid is actually 31 x 35. since 35 was the horizontal, 31 is the vertical.
The center or core path is located at point 16, then just plus 31 up the chain 35 times: Node16 ( = SE ), Node47, node78, Node109, Node140, Node171 ( = BA), and so on.

So- plotted out like this:

20 51 82 113 144 175 <-- Upper tier border
19 50 81 112 143 174
18 49 80 111 142 173
17 48 79 110 141 172

16 47 78 109 140 171 <-- Core Path

15 46 77 108 139 170
14 45 76 107 138 169
13 44 75 106 137 168
12 43 74 105 136 167 <-- Lower tier border

Then I used a symmetrical group of points to figure the links.

Origin point is 109, this shows the systems that 109 links to:

49 80 111 142 173
48 79 110 141 172
47 78(109)140 171
46 77 108 139 170
35 76 107 138 168
26 gates there from 109 as an origin in the pattern on the grid.

Gate1 = 78 , Gate2 = 140, Gate3 = 110, Gate4 = 108. Each gate has a linked pair to use: [1 to 2, 2 to 1] [3 to 4, 4 to 3]

So if 109 has gate 1 activated to 78, 78 has gate 2 to 109.
If 109 has gate 3 to 110, 110 has gate 4 to 109.

I am putting together a graphic representation of the grid with NodeID and other info in it to be able to pass out with the mod and hopefully this image will provide you with all the answers- it will show the grid and the gate pattern in a big bold colorful easy to read fashion.

I will also release the gate pattern calculations so that you can just take a NodeID and calculate it's links.

Addit- I was just tinkering with ways to quickly build maps, and it seems that the Full Topology viewer in the game is even easier than calculating or plotting on the grid (although it helps to plot the grid to see where you are!)

I got a 24 system static map noted down with all the correct links in about 5 minutes and then exited the game and transferred the links to a user map list in another few minutes, and then tested it in the game- took me about a grand total of 1/2 hour to create, set up and start playing a new map that I used the Full Viewer and a piece of paper to design.

And now I have another sample map to pass around to anyone else using System26. :)

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Mon May 19, 2008 5:58 am

Time for an update, I figure.

Thanks to Betel's help I have a function that traces the network that is built from the random selections made. This is a very important part of the mod because any possible vendors in the game for map data would need to know the current network from the potential network in order to avoid selling you maps of systems that you could never get to.

(map vendors through out the commonwealth are attempting to fight this, they resent having lost such a major portion of their sales and having to actually deliver accurate maps)

This current network function completes the set of features that I consider to be minimal feature set required for this mod to be playable. So, all that remains for the basic or initial release is some bug fixes and some tightening up of the dockscreen navigation.

I am still toying with some features that I would consider being the preferred set for this mod concept- I am hoping to include better map editor tools and some better integration with other mods such as the Event Manager- as well as a few surprises. If things go well the first version of this mod will include these preferred features.

Addit- :twisted: I decided to build the map device, map data and map data vendors with a few added features I like to call real life simulations. This means simply that Murphy's Law is in effect, your map can break or be broken, your map data can be incorrect or suffer from corruption and map vendors are highly suspect of making things up just to stick a larger price tag on them.

Every map operator (a decision making function) is now completed- enough exist to allow a totally accurate creation of the classic topology, which is tricky under the Sys26 system - all the nodes are now unique, so for each system in the classic topology such as C1 you need the three nodes that correspond: Groombridge, Lalande, 5 Indi. The real tricky part was where the classic topology uses Prev to allow a link to leap frog a system in the line. Take for example C3A, which either is there or not game to game between C3 and BA. This took a little while to figure out a system that would use the Sys26 map operator conditionals to perform the same function. But it is done, and works great- I have built a portion of the classic topology as a user map and gotten it to build in what appears to be the same fashion as the classic topology.

I have been holding off on the randomizer section, but now expect to see it operating by this weekend- which, if all goes well is the new tentative release date for this mod.

Some things are still being developed but do not impact the playability of the mod- such as Star types being generated from the beginning of the game and the ability to see which star type a system has before you reach the system. This is more of a sample of how system 26 can affect the build of a star system- which will allow modders to quickly set up controls over systems inside the System26 grid- for instance, you will be able to define the Sovereign that controls a system, or define which faction(s) will be present. If you have developed a new faction and want to get it into the game, you won't need to create a new system for it, or add it into the topolgy- you can define and set the faction control over entire branches of the networks, or target specific systems and have your custom factions appear in any maps you play on that use that system.

At any rate, although this project has ended up much larger than I initially thought it has certainly come together into a powerhouse mod that extends modder and player control over the game topology and star systems further than I expected was possible. :)

Militia Captain
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Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:04 pm

I'm choking on all this data. I think I'm wearing out, I used to be able to understand this stuff first time through. Ah well.
[schilcote] It doesn't have to be good, it just has to not be "wow is that the only thing you could think of" bad

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Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:33 pm

if i buy a broken map, then if i travel in the systems involved with the broken map, is the system mapper going to replace/correct the error topology or the broken map will remain in the mapper forever ?

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Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:10 pm

I don't know, I hadn't implemented more than a way to handicap the navigation screen.

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