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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:06 pm 
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<!-- Lieutenant //-->

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:19 am
Posts: 108
I have Sins lying around on disc somewhere so I will fire it up and have a look. Been a while since I played it.

I was going to do mouse scroll to go out and in but Im not sure if some people would get annoyed with it. I am just gonna go with a 3D interface and hope to hell noone gets annoyed with it :P

I've started working on making an editor to easily add planets and what not to a universe. The editor should be able to easily edit all unit information, I want it so you can easily create a scenario for starting positions as well. Shouldn't be too hard as I found some good tutorials on creating this exact sort of thing in Windows Forms.

To Slocket and David, I was wondering how you were going about moving units between planets. I was a little stuck about how to do it trying to work out all these different ways creating a Travelling Manager and what not before I thought that maybe the simplest approach is the best. I am thinking have each planet hold a pointer to the unit and if i want them to travel i simply move the pointer to the new planet and make the unit inactive until arrival time.

Any better ideas out there?


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:05 pm 
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<!-- Lieutenant //-->

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I took a break from playing with UI because of a bit of a bug introduced when XNA 3.1 came in(ie it didn't work anymore) and have been working on my data storage and retrieval stuff.

I have my data saving and loading good now. Editor is coming along thanks to working out this problem. I was going to try and load and save through xml but it was getting to be such a hassle till I found an easy way to make databases work in my application. It should now be very easy to update, remove and add new units of any kind. Map editor will be the next big one to work on. I have an example of how to get my program to show in a box so you can edit it graphically. A lot more work involved than just text based editing which the others are.

After I have completed this, it will have to be back to the UI as there was a library update released which fixed my problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:44 pm 
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Moving unit is simple the best. I have a data array that holds the time in days and destination of that unit. The time for travel is calculated when you indicate when you want to move a unit to another planet. I do not store the original depature point, it is a one way trip. I can check this data for access in order for Espionage missions to gain knowledge if a unit is coming to a planet, etc. As you say, as in original game, units in hyperspace cannot be changed or given orders.

Editing the universe and planets is through basic text based editor "Galaxy Mapper".

One Knowledge state of all units for real is kept by the game keeper logic so to speak. The AI (or other player if MP mode) has its own 'Known' universe of units data, and the single player has his known set of units data too. This is from Recon units, interactions, espionage, and spies just like in the original game. Three sets in total.

What is a "pointer"? :mrgreen: As in pointing to a memory adress ala C++ ? or a good tip?

The unit movement state is Universal. I did not use Planet based.

Save and load for me are the relevant arrays of data that are literally written out as sequential files into one regular hex format into a normal uncompressed DAT file. It would be very easy for someone to make a savegame hex editor for it. Simple clean, nothing fancy.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:15 pm 
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<!-- Lieutenant //-->

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I meant pointer as in pointing to a memory address ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:05 pm 
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:lol: yes, I know I was trying to make a small "geek" joke. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:46 pm 
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<!-- Major //-->
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Posts: 191
Location: Dark side of the Yavin moon.
Just a small question popped up in my mind. How are you going to address algorithmic moddability of your game? So far I've heard only about adding or removing units, planets and so on. But what about creating entirely new missions, tweaking the UI (ie. adding a dialog box for those missions), scripting new events and such?

We can already create total conversions of units, UI skin and galaxy layout in the old rebellion. What we can't however is to modify the game logic itself (blackbox). How do you plan to address this issue?

Btw. what database engine are you using? Just that you might have to end up writing some binary/xml serialization routines anyway because you'd probably want to distribute your mods to other computers. I'm quite curious how you chose to approach this problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:29 am 
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<!-- Lieutenant //-->

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Hey Moribundus, thanks for the questions.

First up that I would like to say that the biggest aim for me in this project( apart from finishing it one day :P ) is to have the game have this century graphics. The second biggest problem I wanted to address was the lack of ability to add new content. I want people to be able to add content easily and I dont want the silly restrictions that came with Rebellion. I haven't given game logic much thought so far and if it looks incredibly hard for me to come up with a system to allow edits to game logic then ill just hard-code it. That being said, the more moddability of my project, the happier I will be.

When it does get to the stage where it is a playable game, it'll be open source anyway so everyone is free to edit it however they want. I could open source it now but the code can be ugly as hell at times :P

I actually havent gotten to around to coding events or missions yet. Im still working on the basics.Ive invested some time into learning about how XNA plays with XML files and learnt a fair bit over the last few days. There is actually a really good serialization routine built into XNA which makes it very easy to read and write XML files. As far as the database goes, I want to actually get that out of my game now. Seeing as I can easily load data through XML, my last hurdle for my editor is being able to show the loaded data in a ListBox. I am new to creating these type of things so its sort of a WIP while learning style thing :P The reason I was going to use a basic SQL database was simply because it was very easy to load into a windows form. I could load the data from the database then serialize it into XML form but then i have redundant data and i don't like the idea. I guess Ill just have to learn how to load objects into the ListBox

Here are some thoughts on your other Q's

On Missions
I could code the game to load missions through XML. Just thinking out loud here I could go about reading in details about a mission including a target type so when you choose to send a character on a mission, I would read through my list of loaded missions and match it to the target type. I could add a character type variable to a character so I could distinguish between those who are researchers/recruitment officers and have a usable by variable in the XML file so that I can also allow selection of missions based on that.Like I said havent gotten there yet but thats just off the top of my head.

On Events
Haven't even looked minorly into how I am going to handle events yet, and since this is my first full game I am going to have to research how I handle it. When I do know I will post up here and let you know.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:59 am 
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<!-- Lieutenant //-->

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Slocket - I am doing much the same as you with regards to known universe data. I keep the major known universe, plus 2 team known universes from espionage, fleets and what not which will be updated based on events

Lost net for a week recently and I got disheartened trying to sort out the editor to load my units into it. So at the moment I will deal with having to just edit my XML files manually to add new units and stuff. Not that it matters as I need the game first and a few test units ( which I already have made up) will do till i finish. PS If anyone knows how to add data to a listBox that isn't database loaded and they could help that would be fantastic.

So anyway. Disheartened. I was struggling with some of the UI stuff about my map. The spheres where 3D however the planet names and diplomacy as well as the icons where actually all 2D just efficiently placed thanks to some cool XNA functions. This is a problem when it comes to zooming because although my planets got smaller, all my other 2D UI stuff stayed big. Also another problem was that trying to use my scenegraph to pick the icons was becoming a problem.
Eventually I swapped my 2D icon rectangles to 3D quads(alot harder than you would think actually) which are now added to my scenegraph and clickable (yay!) and turned to the other 2D stuff ie. the planet name and diplomacy bars. I had no boundaries set on how far i could zoom out/in so i played around a bit and selected two arbitrary numbers of a decent max level of zoom in and max level zoom out. From this I decided at the halfway point of zoom in and zoom out I would actually remove the diplomacy bar but leave the planet name. From the planet name you can still see who owns what(since planet name is shown in team colours). Also I made how close the 2D name/bar are based on a percentage of the zoom so it keeps a relative distance to and from the planets.

So wrapping up:
  • I made the UI way more usable and helpful
  • I set max levels of zoom
  • I learnt a bit more about manipulating models, verticies and shaders
  • I doubled the FPS. Didn't realise I was making two passes of drawing calls. Now easily sits at 900fps on my PC. Which doesn't matter so much when its just a few spheres but might do when 3D space battles become a part of the equation

Next thing I have to work on is the Icon GUI's. Really annoying as these require quite a lot of testing and coding to get right. Ill also make all my message boxes from the one UI because I had mixed in the ones from the GameplayManagement Sample and my new UI stuff.

Who here is actually C++/C# programmer or training? My code may be ugly but a fresh pair of eyes could be helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:37 pm 
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You'd be surprised at how much stuffing around it took me to get doubleclicking to work.

But its done. UI at 1:35am isn't smart. Must sleep


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:41 pm 
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Don't you wish for OnDoubleClick now? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:42 pm 
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steel wrote:
You'd be surprised at how much stuffing around it took me to get doubleclicking to work.

But its done. UI at 1:35am isn't smart. Must sleep


Yes, same thing here. DarkBasic does not support double clicking as a native function, so I had to create my own function. There was alot of sloppy code on the net but most of it was crap. My double click function works very well taking into account program speed and time of push/on/release and time in between. Similiar to proper debouncing an electric circuit switch in electronics. :)

It seems you are doing to 3D just about I would have done. Place the data bars icons etc onto 3D planes billboarded to your camera view (transparent) so the size will get smaller and bigger as you zoom, and if far enough away, just cut off the extraneous information. Sins of a Solar Empire comes to mind again.

I know just enough C language to get myself in trouble, so that still makes me a n00b.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:51 pm 
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Yes I would definately much prefer a OnDoubleClick method but sadly, XNA says no for now.

I will also look at moving the the other 2D data to 3D billboards if I can. I am trying to at least keep getting at least one thing done and finished a day so to keep the project rolling over, and to keep the interest high. Hence the extra updates lately :)


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:39 am 
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Half dead and bed-ridden with the flu. Looks like another day or two before Ill be up and about and able to get back to work. :(:( :(


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:38 am 
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Having the best week of my life. Totally dislocated my shoulder playing football(australian rules ;) ) on the weekend and now my right arm is in a sling for 3 weeks. No typing for me. Stupid on screen keyboard using left hand on my mouse does my head in. Back soon fellas.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion 2?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:39 pm 
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<!-- Warlord -->
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Location: Death Stars are out at night, big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.
So, how go all of the "other" versions of Reb2 developing out there?

Slocket?
Davidadas?
Moribundus?
nordwindranger?

Rest up steel & keep the updates coming.

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