Pale Blue Light Alpha Release (V3 up!)

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JohnBWatson
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Tue May 26, 2015 3:36 am

As those of you in the IRC may know, I've been working on a Transcendence adventure designed to simply convey the basic elements of modding, giving new developers something to learn from easily and quickly. The full release will consist of two systems, including a bare basics mission(a single mission to destroy a station, and an end to the game upon its completion). Once everything is complete, I intend for this to serve as a tutorial, including copious commentary in the XML and perhaps a small tutorial in the Readme.

Before I move any further, I'd like the input of my fellow forumgoers on how I've done thus far. If I've done anything wrong or broken any conventions, please do tell me. I'm open to any advice on the topic.

The second version of the alpha is up!

Next release will be the beta, with all features accounted for, ready for full testing.
Last edited by JohnBWatson on Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:06 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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catfighter
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Tue May 26, 2015 6:19 am

Cool, I love the idea of that kind of tutorial! :D Works fine for me; I flew around the system, shot the Foundation, shot the star, tried and failed to shoot myself...
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pixelfck
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Tue May 26, 2015 8:15 pm

You could try to pick up where the 'Getting started with modding' (pdf)tutorial ends?

Or am I missing what you are trying to do?

~Pixelfck
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JohnBWatson
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Tue May 26, 2015 10:42 pm

pixelfck wrote:You could try to pick up where the 'Getting started with modding' (pdf)tutorial ends?

Or am I missing what you are trying to do?

~Pixelfck
Effectively, that is my intent. How's the code look?

Is there anything I should change to improve readability, functionality, or workability?

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KaoS
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Tue May 26, 2015 10:57 pm

This is exactly the sort of thing I've been hoping someone might do. I even would have done it myself if I could ever find time, but you've already done it. Awesome! I'll definitely be checking this out in the near future to help me get back into things. Thank you, sir

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JohnBWatson
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Tue May 26, 2015 11:20 pm

KaoS wrote:This is exactly the sort of thing I've been hoping someone might do. I even would have done it myself if I could ever find time, but you've already done it. Awesome! I'll definitely be checking this out in the near future to help me get back into things. Thank you, sir
No problem.

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catfighter
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Wed May 27, 2015 2:44 am

JohnBWatson wrote:Is there anything I should change to improve readability, functionality, or workability?
Very minor, but the entities in BlueLight.xml not having the same spacing confused me for a bit, at first. I don't know if there are benefits to keeping the playership and base class in separate files, but I would have kept them together; same with the star system and the orbitals.
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Day 31: "I have successfully completed my time reversal experiment! Muahahaha!!!"
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JohnBWatson
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Wed May 27, 2015 3:39 am

catfighter wrote: Very minor, but the entities in BlueLight.xml not having the same spacing confused me for a bit, at first.
I'll see what I can do there.
I don't know if there are benefits to keeping the playership and base class in separate files, but I would have kept them together;
George always did it with separate XMLs. Not sure whether there's a benefit or not, but it appears to be convention.
same with the star system and the orbitals.
I'll see about changing that once I add the other system.

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Wed May 27, 2015 4:18 am

JohnBWatson wrote:George always did it with separate XMLs. Not sure whether there's a benefit or not, but it appears to be convention.
The only benefit is for sharing the common bits, such as the HUD image definitions. I've got a few debug extensions which define variants of the Sapphire with different load-outs. I wanted to share the HUD definitions (which can be pretty long).

But if you don't plan on sharing that across different ship classes, then it's not that important. You might even want to put them all in the same class (don't even bother with inheritance if you're not sharing).

p.s.: I assume you've seen Pixelfck's modding tutorial. He defines a player ship in a single class.

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KaoS
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Fri May 29, 2015 7:49 am

hmm... i'll start here and see what happens...

your extension works... no errors popped up... it was selectable...

it says dock and you'll get a mission... then there's nothing at the station...

a quick tour around the system reveals nada...

did you put in the default rotation and top speed on the ship? it turns and moves rather slowly...

how come there's only one armor segment on the front of the ship?

overall, this isn't quite what I was hoping it was... there are things that I want to explore that work, however you may have gone a little TOO basic in your approach...

[*]I have a couple screenshots to share, but don't know how to put them here without uploading someplace else first... anyone know how to do that?[*] nevermind figured this out... 1st pic shows it on 1.6.b.2 and the second one is from 1.5
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JohnBWatson
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Sat May 30, 2015 12:03 pm

KaoS wrote:hmm... i'll start here and see what happens...

your extension works... no errors popped up... it was selectable...

it says dock and you'll get a mission... then there's nothing at the station...
This is the alpha release. The mission will be implemented once the second system is completed.

If you'd like to see what it should do, the readme has everything, I think.
did you put in the default rotation and top speed on the ship? it turns and moves rather slowly...
It's the same stats as the normal heavy IAV. If you think it should be a bit better, I can do that.
how come there's only one armor segment on the front of the ship?
Simplicity.
overall, this isn't quite what I was hoping it was... there are things that I want to explore that work, however you may have gone a little TOO basic in your approach...
Still an alpha. Check the full list of intended features in the Readme for what I intend to do with it.

george moromisato wrote:
JohnBWatson wrote:George always did it with separate XMLs. Not sure whether there's a benefit or not, but it appears to be convention.
The only benefit is for sharing the common bits, such as the HUD image definitions. I've got a few debug extensions which define variants of the Sapphire with different load-outs. I wanted to share the HUD definitions (which can be pretty long).

But if you don't plan on sharing that across different ship classes, then it's not that important. You might even want to put them all in the same class (don't even bother with inheritance if you're not sharing).

p.s.: I assume you've seen Pixelfck's modding tutorial. He defines a player ship in a single class.
Thanks, I'll change it to a single class with the next release.

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KaoS
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Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:59 am

ok, I guess I'll give you a pass on any further crying because it's alpha. Don't bother changing rotation and speed if that's how it's supposed to behave. I don't like the single armor segment, though. That's a bit less than useful. My only other concern, at the moment, is the artwork. The last time I made a molotok for myself, I only had to make one graphic for the hud. I'm thinking you might not even need that one anymore, but I could be wrong. You certainly don't need the ship and it's mask since you can call them from existing files.

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JohnBWatson
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Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:32 pm

Just wanted to let you folks know I'm still working on this. Takes a while to do everything cleanly, especially just starting out, but I've already got the second system working. I plan to release Alpha v2 later this week.

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JohnBWatson
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Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:25 pm

Alpha 2 is up. As usual, let me know if I did anything wrong.

I was unable to get the player's ship into one class. It failed to show up on selection.

If someone can figure out where I've been going wrong, it would be appreciated.

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JohnBWatson
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Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:12 am

I believe I've figured out how the mission's going to be written in. If this is improper form, please let me know, and try to point me in the right direction.

1. Upon docking with Watson Station, allow the player to move forward to the next dockscreen.

2. On doing so, check if the target station is destroyed. If so, give a custom ending. If not, assign the player a mission to destroy it.

3. If the player returns, check if they have destroyed the target station(or if it has been destroyed by something else) using its status. If so, end the game. If not, display a dockscreen indicating the mission is still in progress.

The first step towards this will be simpler. Upon docking, I will allow the player to (s)tep forward. This will result in them being assigned a mission to destroy the target station. Once they dock again, it will check whether the target is destroyed and inform the player of its status.

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