The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Starbase Café => Topic started by: Neonlare on April 14, 2006, 01:51:28 am



Title: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Neonlare on April 14, 2006, 01:51:28 am
Well, decided to ask people what they would like to see in-game when and *if* it's completed, because it's aimed at the Star Control fan-base and whatnot...

I'm sort of running out of certain ideas and whatnot, so this is kind of a shameless sponging of the suggestions here XD.

Anyhow, what would you like to see in TimeWarp, and Why? It can be anything from a planet to a new race. (whether it's based off an existing one or not)


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: guesst on April 14, 2006, 03:10:45 am
Well, I'd like to see timewarp wrapped up, personally. The game has gone through so many revisions and changes over so many years, is bogged down with so many ships that it's impossible to learn them before you're blown away, and lacks so much focus I have to wear glasses to see it clearly. That last one may be because Im myopic, tho.

What I'm trying to say is that now, with TFB looking at making UQM2 (or whatever title they call it) TimeWarp is going to quickly become redundant. So kill the story line and polish up what Timewarp does well, IE massive starcontrol-like combat. Get some menus that make Timewarp's play options simple to find and get to. Seal the envelope, stamp it, and eagerly await for manna from Groombrige.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Deus Siddis on April 14, 2006, 04:46:53 am
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So kill the story line and polish up what Timewarp does well, IE massive starcontrol-like combat.

In the future, Bioslayer might beat them at that game, though too.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Baltar on April 14, 2006, 05:48:42 am
I would like for youBastrd to admit that he hijacked the project and then go do his own f***ing thing for a change.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Neonlare on April 14, 2006, 04:59:18 pm
Well, I'd like to see timewarp wrapped up, personally. The game has gone through so many revisions and changes over so many years, is bogged down with so many ships that it's impossible to learn them before you're blown away, and lacks so much focus I have to wear glasses to see it clearly. That last one may be because Im myopic, tho.

What I'm trying to say is that now, with TFB looking at making UQM2 (or whatever title they call it) TimeWarp is going to quickly become redundant. So kill the story line and polish up what Timewarp does well, IE massive starcontrol-like combat. Get some menus that make Timewarp's play options simple to find and get to. Seal the envelope, stamp it, and eagerly await for manna from Groombrige.

Yep, when I first downloaded it I found all thoose ships confusing, and I think around 70% of them should go, especialy the Star Control 3 ones, they all behave in the same, mediocre way *shoot missiles in different colours, Oh yay <_<*

That is a big *if* about UQM2, I'd love to see it, but it might never happen, but I can see what your saying, It'd be nice if people would suggest some modes, but I'm looking forward to the Dynamic Camera Panning like Star Control 2.


I would like for youBastrd to admit that he hijacked the project and then go do his own f***ing thing for a change.

Baltar, take no offense at what I say but, according to the guys at TimeWarp, you were kicked out because of the way you behaved, and as far as I can tell from the way you post they were right to. Anyhow, it's not just one person managing TimeWarp anymore, just a group of fans :).



Bioslayer, mmm, what's that?


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Deus Siddis on April 14, 2006, 06:20:29 pm
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Bioslayer, mmm, what's that?

Not a what. Here's his new 3D UQM remake project:

http://sc2-remake.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

http://sc2-remake.sourceforge.net/forum/


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on April 14, 2006, 04:32:56 pm
Deus, the different projects are not really competitors. Also note that any of the projects you know, are but a few in an enormous pool of projects all over the world, and if Bioslayer can "defeat us", than someone else can "defeat him".
If I as a developer would start worrying about all those similar games, and about possible future projects that might be similar, I'd be humbled and get totally and utterly depressed about the uselessness of any of those projects. But... what's the point in thinking like that, you get nothing done that way.
Also note, that just as well, the opposite can happen - together, projects can attract more people than when there's just one project and provide some longer term stability - take yourself for example, if there were only timewarp, I'm pretty sure that you'd be gone a long time ago, but UQM and now UQM-R keep you happy.
Also, you are limited to the view from a "user" - you are forgetting, that as a developer, I take a lot of satisfaction from working on the game, not just by playing it. And if there are different games, then there is a bigger chance that a developer will find something to his liking and stick around - instead of drifting off to some other totally unrelated project. I haven't seen that happening yet, btw., but it might happen someday ;)


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: sundiver on April 14, 2006, 05:01:50 pm
 I have no idea what the plot line is for Timewarp...I am hoping that there is no time warping in it. Time travel is a cheat.
 Also never scene SC3, but I hear it is pretty bad.
 My idea would focus the effort on post occupation Earth. I have no programming skill so someone can take this and run so long as you don't get rich and refuse to cut me in on the deal.
 After the incidents in SC2 Earth wants to avoid any future problems so they decide to beef up their fleet. The original cruiser is suplemented with a Space Control Ship (SCS) that is equal to an Ur-Quan DN in power and crew. The player can however outfit it with any weapons combination from the ships of SC2...each ship could be unique.
 Earth needs rescources so mining planets is still in the game but colonizing to make support bases is as well.
 The other species do not like the looks of this so they begin scavanging for Precurssor artifacts to build threir fleet. Earth too wants to gain artifacts so the race and conflict is on...sort of an unofficial war.
 In the depths of space an ancient enemy of the Precurssors is awakened and sets out to finish off the users of precurssor tech...it powers itself by eating planets.
 Now the player must convince the other species to work together once again and combine their artifacts into one of 3 or 4 weapons that might defeat the 'enemy'.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Halleck on April 14, 2006, 05:50:48 pm
guesst... what an idea! I never even thought of having a "finished" open source game, or product in general. They just seem to keep going and going and going...

Yeah, the TimeWarp project had some good times, but it's got too much baggage now to be the basis for a real sequel IMO (which was, as I understand, an original long-term goal of the project.) Not to mention the politics--and wounds which are better off left closed. Polishing it up as the enhanced melee clone that it is (Geoman has been working on this) sounds like fitting closure for a project that's had a helluva run.

Perhaps there is a future for the fork projects... TW-Light or one of Geoman's endeavors. Maybe if the TW-Light devs finish cleaning up the codebase, and possibly switch from allegro to SDL. Also, yurand's adventure engine shows promise. You might be able to make a sequel with that engine... I just don't see it happening with the current state of affairs (sorry fellas, no offense meant.)

I would like to see an open-source version of aftermath- that game has some serious potential. And of course, it will be cool to watch BioSlayer's project mature in whatever direction he chooses to take it.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Deus Siddis on April 14, 2006, 07:15:30 pm
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Also note that any of the projects you know, are but a few in an enormous pool of projects all over the world, and if Bioslayer can "defeat us", than someone else can "defeat him".

I only meant at super-dueling level authentic Star Control styled combat. Obviously, there are things that ReMasters might not try to do, like creating many new official ships, create a post SC2 storyline, etc.


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Also, you are limited to the view from a "user" - you are forgetting, that as a developer, I take a lot of satisfaction from working on the game, not just by playing it.

You might be suprised how many of us are developers on these forums. Indeed, working on games can be a very rewarding hobby. There's nothing wrong with projects sharing resources either (when possible.)


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I would like to see an open-source version of aftermath- that game has some serious potential.

You might be in luck, check the Aftermath forums, Madgap was talking about his open-source plans for Aftermath recently.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on April 15, 2006, 12:19:39 am
The project has its ups and downs... are there no good aspects about timewarp that you know of ?

The politics are ancient history, that stopped 2 years ago.

Perhaps you dislike most of the ships, but perhaps there are a few of the fan-made ships that you really like ? Isn't that alone worth it, to tell people to try the game ?  My experience with the ships in timewarp is, that there's a ship in there for everyone. Everyone who plays it, has a different favorite ... sometimes to my own surprise.
So... scrapping ships just because *you* don't like them ? No way, that will steal away the pleasure of other people.

Hmm.. that gives me an idea. Perhaps assign an extra "ignore" flag on the ships, so that you can disable the ships you really don't like from ever again showing up in the list. It would have to be a separate file then, which you can copy and use again after an install.

Don't you think the public- plot- initiative is an entertaining (and daring) project ?
After all, that *is* the *only* fully open-sourced and somewhat organized project around here that builds a plot and everyone is able to contribute a little to it. Compare that to some of the disorganized rants that are going on elsewhere.
I'm a bit surprised, that to this moment, it is still the only project of that nature.



Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: sundiver on April 15, 2006, 01:43:43 am
  Maybe it should be SC3 Rebang! Drop the epic plot and come up with a way to make it an RPG that lets the player take on whatever mission comes their way. Many missions (jobs, bounty hunts, archeological stuff) in the main game and let people do mods for it. If I complete all the missions then I can down load more from you clever programmer types.
 It then foucuses on life in tne SC universe after the war.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Deus Siddis on April 15, 2006, 01:57:43 am
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The project has its ups and downs... are there no good aspects about timewarp that you know of ?

A cleaned up, planned out, refocused time warp could make a very good multi-ship UQM. Your 2D engine could give you the advantage of having more of the same feel as SC2.


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Perhaps you dislike most of the ships, but perhaps there are a few of the fan-made ships that you really like ?

Are you still talking to me? Or Guesst? Halleck? I don't remember commenting on the ships. My main difficulty with TW is getting it to run at this time (the latest version of it crashes on startup on my system.)


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Don't you think the public- plot- initiative is an entertaining (and daring project ?

Personally, I've found the best solid and creative plots to have been produced by just one, two, or a few talented people working on it (Often two, come to think of it.) Though a public plot keeps you from potentially lossing your story to a very small team of not so talented writers, I think it prevents the better ideas from being fully realized.

Lets say you have a really good plot team made of Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Gene Roddenberry's ghost, and a younger George Lucas brought back from the past (before he made prequels.) You've got a crack team, but their styles are just so different, that if they all had to make a movie together, the "feel" would be all over the place. Now throw a bunch of mediocre writers in there and things become more difficult.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Halleck on April 15, 2006, 05:35:31 am
Geoman, I have nothing against the PPI, I just don't see it going anywhere in the forseeable future in terms of actually making a real game out of it.

Sorry if I sound jaded... but I guess that's because I am jaded after trying for a while to contribute to TimeWarp and TW-Light and not really getting anywhere (spending hours polishing up the plot and writing dialogues for it only to have it be scrapped, etc.) except for some dialogues I wrote for yurand's test adventure. I was left with an unfortunate sense of overall stagnation, even though some advances were being made code-wise.

Please don't get me wrong- I'm very fond of the TimeWarp project. I just feel that there's not enough momentum for it to accomplish its long-term goal of being a true SC2 sequel.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: JonoPorter on April 15, 2006, 08:57:59 am
Bioslayer, mmm, what's that?
A Human Programmer.   ;)

if Bioslayer can "defeat us", than someone else can "defeat him".
NO ONE CAN DEFEAT ME! I'M INVINCIBLE!  ::)

In all seriousness, it’s not that I started my project to "defeat" anyone. I just wanted to write a clone while doing a few things differently.

I can’t wait for aftermath to go open source. So I can steal… err share code.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on April 15, 2006, 11:33:21 am
Well... if everyone insists on being so negative and gloomy about timewarp, it will most certainly fail. Cause, why would people even remotely consider joining the timewarp project, after they've read a thread like this ?

Y'know what, I'll throw in some more positive things on timewarp's behalf :)

First, Deus:

- The PPI is not about making the "best ever" sequel. It's a fan project, and aims at something reasonably enjoyable. I don't think a fan-project can ever match a professional product. On the other hand, something like the ppi can give a lot of people some moments of fun.

- Imo secret teams suck. And there is no "one talented writer" around who wants to write a sequel. Maybe there'll be one someday when an engine is ready, but until that time, I doubt they'll spend their valuable time on a project that might turn out very different from what's expected.

Then, Halleck:

- I'm sorry to hear that tw-light failed, but that doesn't mean that the rest of timewarp should fail. If it makes you happier, you're not the first one who's lost weeks or months of work. So have I, and many others - but I've had some fun in the meantime :)

- Your work is only wasted when it's deleted. It's public, and the project can be restarted. You, or someone, should give it some more publicity, and make it easy for people to work on it.

Then, Bioslayer:

- Different is good.

Then, some good things:

- Timewarp has a lot of (experimental) ship designs. An awful lot of work had gone into all of those, and they provide an invaluable base of ship designs to choose from for a sequel. I believe, that having a good set of ships, is one of the hardest things about making a sequel - it's not just a plot. So, timewarp has already done a good job in that regard.

- Tw-light, twx, UQM, and UQM-R may all someday support modable dialogs. Therefore, plot development of any type is not a meaningless effort. Some plot ideas or ships that are developed in timewarp, can be applied (with some effort) to other projects, and vice versa.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Halleck on April 15, 2006, 12:49:29 pm
Well... if everyone insists on being so negative and gloomy about timewarp, it will most certainly fail. Cause, why would people even remotely consider joining the timewarp project, after they've read a thread like this ?
I apologize if I'm hindering the project in some way. I used to be very optimistic about the project, but I just don't have much optimism left.
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Then, Halleck:

- I'm sorry to hear that tw-light failed, but that doesn't mean that the rest of timewarp should fail. If it makes you happier, you're not the first one who's lost weeks or months of work. So have I, and many others - but I've had some fun in the meantime :)
Well, it was just the TW-Light plot that got scrapped. But yes... losing work is not fun.
Quote
- Your work is only wasted when it's deleted. It's public, and the project can be restarted. You, or someone, should give it some more publicity, and make it easy for people to work on it.
My work on UAF's plot is public (http://eliot.bambi.net/dump/tw/plot_index.html). I honestly don't think it should be restarted. At most, some of the races could be gleaned from it, so you're right in that it's not totally lost. Ultimately though, I felt like what I was doing wasn't making much of a difference to the project, which contributors really need to feel.

I would certainly love to see some major TW progress (especially with yurand's adventure engine, which I actually am optimistic about to an extent) but I don't think I'll try and contribute again anytime soon.


Title: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Deus Siddis on April 15, 2006, 05:05:58 pm
I'm not trying to beat down the TW projects, I just think that to be successful, some realizations and changes need to be made (and fast.) I agree with Guesst's suggestion that the plot/campaign section just get cut loose altogether, and that time warp focus on:

1) Cleaning up the Interface (which you are working on, I know, and this is a good place to start.)

2) Kill the bugs (maybe this should be #1, it is hard for me to say.)

3) Focus on making the SC1-SC2 ships work perfectly, all the way down to the AI (no fish tailing.)

4) Make any graphical updates that are needed to make things look really good, like using alpha channel sprites (and little things like redoing the UQ Dreadnaught so that it better matches the first two games.)


I really am very optimistic that these things could be accomplished and TW could kick ass. BUT, it would require dropping everything else, at least until these are finished. Really, I can't stress enough how important focus can be. If there was one part of the game that worked and looked superb, it would be much, much easier to recruit people to fill out a story, build a campaign engine, etc.

Instead it appears (from the perspective of an outsider, admittedly) the plot process has created a good deal of turmoil, and generated an end result that a majority of fans might not consider satisfactory (granted, SC2's plot seemed much more entertaining and better structured than that of the majority of games, so there's a lot to live up to.)

But anyway, I don't think you are too far from victory, but to get there some honesty is required- focus on the core gameplay and get it finished or the project will stagnate forever.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Neonlare on April 15, 2006, 07:33:02 pm
I'm not trying to beat down the TW projects, I just think that to be successful, some realizations and changes need to be made (and fast.) I agree with Guesst's suggestion that the plot/campaign section just get cut loose altogether, and that time warp focus on:

1) Cleaning up the Interface (which you are working on, I know, and this is a good place to start.)

2) Kill the bugs (maybe this should be #1, it is hard for me to say.)

3) Focus on making the SC1-SC2 ships work perfectly, all the way down to the AI (no fish tailing.)

4) Make any graphical updates that are needed to make things look really good, like using alpha channel sprites (and little things like redoing the UQ Dreadnaught so that it better matches the first two games.)


I really am very optimistic that these things could be accomplished and TW could kick ass. BUT, it would require dropping everything else, at least until these are finished. Really, I can't stress enough how important focus can be. If there was one part of the game that worked and looked superb, it would be much, much easier to recruit people to fill out a story, build a campaign engine, etc.

Instead it appears (from the perspective of an outsider, admittedly) the plot process has created a good deal of turmoil, and generated an end result that a majority of fans might not consider satisfactory (granted, SC2's plot seemed much more entertaining and better structured than that of the majority of games, so there's a lot to live up to.)

But anyway, I don't think you are too far from victory, but to get there some honesty is required- focus on the core gameplay and get it finished or the project will stagnate forever.

I have to agree with some of the points here, some of the secondary fire abilitys behave weirdly, that needs to be fixed, (it's hard to rotate the Orz Cannon and strafe with the Supox.)

AI, again, I've noticed this, it can take ages for a slow ship to get close to a faster one, only for that to run away.

I think we should scrap a lot of the useless, indentical ships for more imaginative designs, I like the weird Time one with the laser, but even that's special plays up, all the specials seem to go weird if they're supposed to be held down.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on April 16, 2006, 12:47:08 am
That's quite a list  :D

You know, those things will only get done if a new developer shows up who wants to work on timewarp-melee.

Perhaps we should change topic and discuss tw-light or twx instead. That's where most development is going on anyways. I only worked on timewarp-melee cause I like those ships, it's not my main priority and I don't have the time for such an extensive rewrite.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Deus Siddis on April 16, 2006, 05:20:00 am
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That's quite a list

Is it really, if you eliminate the things that have been suggested. Obviously tweaking and bug squashing the melee has to be easier than making an entirely new SC2 like game, right?


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That's where most development is going on anyways.

Argh, that's the cause of the problem. Melee is not finished and the focus has been moved to starting other elements of the game. Thus, there is very little completed work to show to potential recruits, and to get large groups of people playing TW. Imagine the popularity if you had fully working popular online clan wars with numerous SC2 ships blasting each other away in massive, chaotic glory. This is what TW could be, if only the other distractions were just cut loose. This is focus, and it could lead your project out of this hole, to take its rightful place amoungst the offshoot projects. Authentic, beautiful, massive, multiplayer and AI greatness- embrace your destiny! I can feel the conflict within you, finish what's on your plate. . .err wait, that's not how it goes. . .well just the same.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on April 16, 2006, 12:42:51 pm
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Thus, there is very little completed work to show to potential recruits

On the contrary. Timewarp is a fully functional game, just wrapped in ugly paper. I think you're confusing limitations in gameplay with incompleteness of a game. Timewarp aims at small (1:1) battles, and does that well enough.
So, I'm only really interested in attracting someone to redo the interface, and for an occasional bugfix (the rest is optional).

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Obviously tweaking and bug squashing the melee has to be easier than making an entirely new SC2 like game, right

You want new graphics, new interface, new AI, new multiplayer code, massive numbers of ships, weapons and explosions (on huge game maps I suppose), and because of that, the core mechanics of the game need to be adjusted  ... add to that MMO-type requirements for modability and scripting, then I am not talking about "tweaks", but about rewriting a major part of the game. That is comparatively as difficult as writing a new game from scratch.

It's possible that tw-light will develop in that direction, though I'm not sure.


Title: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Deus Siddis on April 16, 2006, 07:13:01 pm
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You want new graphics,

Just here and there, maybe. It isn't that much work, since the ships are small, and are not super-detailed. You still have the 3D models, right? Anyway, I didn't mean redoing or tweaking many ships at all.


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new interface,

Something a little simpler. Graphics wouldn't have to be anything major, perhaps even taken from other projects.


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new AI,

Tweaked so that they just don't fish-tail, not new. Bug stomping you might call it.


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new multiplayer code

What's wrong with the current code?


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massive numbers of ships,

From what I've seen, you already have this. It was fun too, and would be way better with sound effects (which you could take from SC2 as Aftermath and ReMasters have done.)


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weapons and explosions (on huge game maps I suppose)

Weapons and explosions are nice too, but you've already got those (just need sound effects.) Huge maps you've already got, as well.


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add to that MMO-type requirements for modability and scripting

I didn't mean thousands of online players or anything. Just somewhere in the range of like 4 and 64 (probably in the lower quarter of that scale.) I thought this was already done? (Just maybe needed some bug squashing.)


So basically, better interface, bugs get crushed, sounds are added.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: MasterNinja on April 17, 2006, 02:06:30 am
I did not download Timewarp, only TW-Light. It's not a bad game, but it seems like everywhere it cries out "this is still under construction" and so on. But I do think, that this will have a great future.

A little bit annoying are the graphics of the ships, most of them look like as if they had been made as StarControl II revamps in 32bit color and then bitdepth was crippled down to 8bit or something like that, making it appear "ugly"... you think "hey, this ship would look very cool, if it looked right." The new ships however don't have this "bitdepth-changed"-look.


My little brothers are playing this a lot and I encouraged them, to make a buglist. Every day they tell me of a new bug or something like that. I said them, they should write them down and also find out, how to reproduce them, because this could be great help to the people who are developing that game.

Is there some bug list already somewhere, so I can avoid posting bugs again, which are already known?


Anyway, keep up the good work. Don't ask for new features, but first try to hunt down the bugs and make the interface appeare less "half-done".


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on April 17, 2006, 10:30:31 am
Bug page for tw-light: http://tw-light.berlios.de/mantis/view_all_bug_page.php (http://tw-light.berlios.de/mantis/view_all_bug_page.php)


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: youBastrd on April 18, 2006, 05:15:36 am
Ok, we're currently looking at redoing the interface. 

We made an attempt to redo it a year and change ago, using Allegro's train wreck of a GUI API.  We're trying a more educated approach this time around based on lessons learned last time. 

Good things are coming for TW-Light and Timewarp.  The scripting stuff should be pretty slick once it gets going.  Extensive thought and design is going into it, with attention on mod-ability and expandability, without sacrificing stability.  In fact, with any luck, we'll expose more bugs by developing an API and creating Python bindings for it.  We'll be in a better position to use unit testing to do necessary refactoring. 

Please do keep the honest feedback coming, it's much appreciated.  It's definitely more efficient to use the bug trackers, but if people are more comfortable posting here and end up having more elaborate debates, go for it. 


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on June 05, 2006, 11:17:43 pm
Final notice: there's a new, final download for Timewarp (old version).
I cleaned up the menu, but only very little - due to lack of developers.
I also cleaned up the set of ships in timewarp-old version, by removing all ships that had inadequate gameplay.
This download includes a few bug-fixes as well (for networking, graphics, a few ships).
I don't intend to work on this anymore, so unless someone else takes over it's really final - enjoy :)

I think all development will focus on tw-light from now on.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 06, 2006, 05:23:09 am
So does this mean you are just leaving the old tw, or the whole series of projects?


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: RTyp06 on June 08, 2006, 01:19:39 am
The two best fan melee engines are Star Control Online and Time Warp imo. Aftermath was pretty.. and thats about all.. ReMasters, cant even get it to run and if those screenshots are any indication of things to come...god help em..

SC online has one thing TW doesn't, modability. Yes it's rather limited but you can replace all graphics and sounds easily by simply changing files in the appropriate folders. Unfortunately you cannot change the weapons/special behaviors and ship sizes. However,  it's still cool to see you own artwork flying around with matching captain animations.

If memory serves, poking around in the TW code all the ships are hard coded objects that need to be compiled into the EXE. And yes, many of the user added ships, quite frankly, suck. They look like they were drawn during a 5 second Paint session..

To me, the ultimate melee engine would allow players to customize their own ships,captain animations and weapon loadouts and duke it out across the web in a pickup game.. But my past programming experience tells me this might be impractical..

But what if you could select from a list of pre designed hull sizes & graphics, pre-packaged weapons and pre drawn captains from a menu  into one ship. Then save the design for the arena? If every option kept things in balance such as a dreadnought only travels half as fast as a cruiser, but has twice the power etc. etc. Or maybe simply keep a tally of design points kinda like designing your precursor ship at the star base in SC 2? The idea would be to keep people from designing untouchable uber ships.

Anyway just my .02$ on what TW possibly could do with all those user made weapons and hulls..


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: MasterGrazzt on June 08, 2006, 01:21:00 am
Get rid of that huge, grey, rectangular ship that crashes the game, if you haven't already.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Deus Siddis on June 08, 2006, 05:11:31 am
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The two best fan melee engines are Star Control Online

I didn't know there was such a project. Is it still alive?


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: RTyp06 on June 08, 2006, 11:20:30 pm


I didn't know there was such a project. Is it still alive?

Hmmm, good question..

Well I DL'd SC Online From the now and forever clones page:

http://starcontrol.classicgaming.gamespy.com/files/clones.shtml

Interestingly, the supposid links  to Time Warp and SCOL 's "home page" takes you to the same spot.. A plain text document that looks like perl scripting.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Culture20 on June 09, 2006, 04:27:13 am
SC online has one thing TW doesn't, modability. Yes it's rather limited but you can replace all graphics and sounds easily by simply changing files in the appropriate folders. Unfortunately you cannot change the weapons/special behaviors and ship sizes. However,  it's still cool to see you own artwork flying around with matching captain animations.
Eh...  what?  Even without a compiler, there's more modability with TW:  graphics & music (allegro .dat file), ships' stats (.ini), (sub)game settings (.ini).

Get rid of that huge, grey, rectangular ship that crashes the game, if you haven't already.
I think Tau's ship fits the SC style quite nicely (it's modeled after a popular ship type in a sci-fi series, after all).  I would say file a bugzilla entry about the crashing you see, but I let "bugs" go down a couple years back...  :'(
TW probably will never get rid of the better fan-ships.  If you're looking for a leaner-meaner version, there's always TW-light.  I haven't looked at it in a while,  But I know the intention was to clean digital house and have a tighter ship.

Interestingly, the supposid links  to Time Warp and SCOL 's "home page" takes you to the same spot.. A plain text document that looks like perl scripting.
Likely due to gamespy's mucking up Chad's cgi/php/whatever again.  I know TW's site is http://timewarp.sf.net  I don't know about SCOL.  You might be able to find SKOL here:  http://www.carlsberg.com


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: RTyp06 on June 09, 2006, 11:59:34 pm
Quote
Eh...  what?  Even without a compiler, there's more modability with TW:  graphics & music (allegro .dat file), ships' stats (.ini), (sub)game settings (.ini).

Hmm isn't allegro just header files of functions and procedures used during compile time? And allegro's data files aren't exactly intuitive from what I can tell..

So let's make some mods to the urquan dreadnought in TW.. Simple enough right?

C:\timewarp\ships\sc1

ok...

shpmmrxf.ini

ok..

cool, I can set all kinds of stats here:


[Ship]
Crew = 20
CrewMax = 20
Batt = 10
BattMax = 10
SpeedMax = 20
AccelRate = 5
TurnRate = 2
RechargeAmount = 2
RechargeRate = 6
WeaponDrain = 1
WeaponRate = 0
SpecialDrain = 10
SpecialRate = 0
HotspotRate = 1
Mass = 11

[Weapon1]
Color = 12
Range = 8
Frames = 50
Damage = 1

[Weapon2]
Range = 50
Velocity = 80
Damage = 1
Armour = 1
TurnRate = 9

[Special]
SpeedMax = 50
AccelRate = 10
TurnRate = 15
RechargeAmount = 1
RechargeRate = 6
WeaponDrain = 1
WeaponRate = 20
HotspotRate = 0

[AI3_Default]
Weapon_Range = 8

Special_Range = 14
Special = No_Proximity
Special2 = Max_Battery
Special3 = Next_State
Special4 = Precedence
Special_Timer = 50

[AI3_Default2]
Weapon_Range = 60

Special_Range = 9
Weapon = Homing
Special = Proximity
Special2 = Max_Battery
Special3 = Reset_State
Special_Timer = 50

[Names]
NumNames = 17
CaptName1 = Qir-nha
CaptName2 = Jhe-qir
CaptName3 = Qua-rhna
CaptName4 = Mn-quah
CaptName5 = Nrna-mha
CaptName6 = Um-hrh
CaptName7 = Hm-nhuh
CaptName8 = Rrma-hrn
CaptName9 = Jra-nr
CaptName10 = Ur-mfrs
CaptName11 = Qua-qir
CaptName12 = Mrm-na
CaptName13 = Jhe-mhr
CaptName14 = Hmr-hun
CaptName15 = Nhuh-na
CaptName16 = Hrnm-hm
CaptName17 = Mnm-hmm


Now we're getting somewhere.. but what about sound and graphics!?!

Must be in the shpmmrxf.dat section:

slh!ïALL.ëðÍpr¿opDATEëðÿ1-28-200ÿ0, 14:13îöñNAMýñSHçIP_úðöñORIýGëðe:\scÿn\ships\ÿtmp\mmrx}fúðA  ”Lÿ[Objectsï]
S: Sprßites j= ÿ64
Weapóoncp
amplú2tExplo¯sionn0] pecialcp¹Ž”= 1·©´Extrac   ÷”öü©³PanelBßitmap7
Ï

[_\ Cr“ewjk2¶ ^M{axeBattba1…w™¹ edwþmAccelRaûtej5
Tuórn̝RechÿargeAmouÃntéÌp tDrai5àvÌ´   %ð¬¼Ì´Hotsçpot['ã Mas¸i’ã Cos‹9ôRv1[olorœßìangÏ—Fçramh ÖDamaà á¦&2\ À$nþ¶ VelocitÅyo 4¶ Ù$ßAr ø· àÛ
0Rº\ ³ 1Ç™Û8íâ //'/lh.0 þP00_PCXÿBMP   2þB @ dç9 O$O6OHOZOlO~OOÀ¢O´OÆOØOêOüOï{þAªR_(_:_L_^_ p_|Wï{Yêñ|WžQ œWªUœU®_Ì_¸_°YŠ_ òWšUòU(ga*iêY&i ÎY@mœWoBeBgBaBi rašk¬oðW¼ožeŠoœS ÚcÐY&y@i s*pm@} o–[ÄaÐ_boŠsª¼ ¨ˆš_ ƒ…,‡8‰B :NX‡YV‡‚‰°Â ԏæø Ÿ,Ÿ>ŸPŸ bŸtŸŸ˜ŸªŸ¼ŸÎŸàŸ òŸ†Ÿ¯(¯:¯L¯^¯p¯ ¯|¯¦¯¸¯Ê¯Ü¯î¯‚¯0”¯$¿6¿µ ª8¿d¿`v¿
¿š¿¬¿@¿@´¸¿€ä¿ö¿Š¿Ï,ÏB·àªàÝÒ¿dÏvÏ
ÏšÏü¬Ï@ÍàyàÝêÿ€¶ÏæÏøÏŒÏß.ßDÇç9ÐÀÑÂTÏfßxß ßœß<®ßBÝ êÿÔÏæßàøߌßï.ïÄÝ _BTßfïxï ïœï®ïDÙÿ  = cÿsÖßèïúïŽïÿ0ÿÄé=SàÿsÖïfÿxÿ° ÿœÿ®ÿÂë_ÔàÞ€VÿæÿøÿŒÿ.D×(ßBMkÿRTðµU­ÿÙÿiýÿŸ3ÞýD†1MkRð”cVæøŒ.   QŒMkÔÖfxà œ®B TU­ºÖu­²ê~ /öB½ pþEŠRQŒoU­8ÆX ù*/ r//–/¨/J¶ù
WP%X…@üª/ò/†/?(? <-Ì/^/n???¤?Fµ¼þAD!“MkL9U­ï{“^?î?‚?ì”?F¹p¼ý p“g“ƒÐ;“à7EOO˜K*KþE¯¯DAÊ1LKU­Mk^AÀAfOöOŠMägdqGE&ÀAÀE ¤EÐIÚ1àCÀAêOz__Æ ]ç92S<UÂA pcï{Ø1ÌMÚA ù`W äCr_„_–_FÕ°Q¸WÀBùØÄ_ÖUï{ ù@ü4kò_oo(o<W yªXSLoU­àÝâYàno€o’o¤m2m ªê<×2Ìoàÿàÿämòo({ ¶wFaÔÑzJàÕÐU­ëZFA äup‚”¦e.C²KFaÄq@´LKÜsØ1BÕîS`ò(YBÙëZØe@´@´N7Z…ØCæOÀöŠœ‹¶>‡T×½ö̉@´ØeU­²”ÀüvŸ
ŸŸ¼ýÀ‡×½ÿÿ”CV<›â…‚ø›`ŠŸœŸ0ŸÂ›|‘ç8Ÿ X5„™¯ ¯¯²ŸÆ“*Ÿ <›æ˜¯Š¯ü¯Ð¯Â¯.¿ `Ÿ¿¿z¿®¯@¿N¿`¿0t¿†¿ø¿¼ý®s¾¿Ì¿>…×½8Æì¿þ¿Ï "¿EQŒ@ÏNÏÌÁhÍ –ψÏúÏ*ß<ßNß`ßôÏ ßxßfߺßÌßÞßrß„ß öߨß8ïJï\ïðßïï &ï¶ïÈïÚïnï€ï’ï¤ï 4ÿFÿXÿìïþïE¨gÄõ fÿºÿÌÿÞÿ,Ë ûO 0BTfx œ®`ÀÒäöŠ  *üPÂQÂQ\x^bŽ@@Ú$À™¢ž¬È>$P áPàÞøŽÃÃÐ!%$-$'F/Z0b#^)h'\'
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›­¿Ñã õˆö+=Oas ©»Íßñ„ –'Ÿ9ŸKŸ]ŸoŸŸŸ ¥Ÿ·ŸÉŸÛŸíŸ€Ÿ’Ÿ#¯ 5¯G¯Y¯k¯þŸ¯¡¯³¯
(cut for space)

Nope...

I've searched the entire Time Warp directory and can't seem to find any reference to graphics and sounds... Modding these in TW remains a mystery to me. And even doing so is not the most intuitive of endeavors it seems...

BTW there are many cool user made ships in TW but still, there are many that blow.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Novus on June 10, 2006, 12:17:45 am
Interestingly, the supposid links  to Time Warp and SCOL 's "home page" takes you to the same spot.. A plain text document that looks like perl scripting.
Likely due to gamespy's mucking up Chad's cgi/php/whatever again.
Perl, actually, but it does seem like GameSpy's web server configuration is broken (or at least not what the TimeWarp and SCOL sites, which are also hosted there, expect). As far as I can tell, the code is supposed to be executed by the web server, but it isn't even trying to execute it.

Either way, the code is supposed to read from this link database (http://starcontrol.classicgaming.gamespy.com/links/Data/linksdata.txt).


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Novus on June 10, 2006, 12:28:20 am
Quote
Eh...  what?  Even without a compiler, there's more modability with TW:  graphics & music (allegro .dat file), ships' stats (.ini), (sub)game settings (.ini).

Hmm isn't allegro just header files of functions and procedures used during compile time? And allegro's data files aren't exactly intuitive from what I can tell..
Allegro comes with a datafile manipulation tool called the grabber (http://www.talula.demon.co.uk/allegro/onlinedocs/en/grabber.html). I suggest you use that.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on June 10, 2006, 01:26:05 am
You can also find some info in here:
http://timewarp.sourceforge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=443 (http://timewarp.sourceforge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=443)
and here (partly explaining how the ships/ppi/shpalabo directory works, but also relevant to the data files:
http://openfacts.berlios.de/index-en.phtml?title=Timewarp_ships (http://openfacts.berlios.de/index-en.phtml?title=Timewarp_ships)
and some more complicated stuff about AI settings here:
http://openfacts.berlios.de/index-en.phtml?title=Timewarp_AI (http://openfacts.berlios.de/index-en.phtml?title=Timewarp_AI)


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Culture20 on June 11, 2006, 05:09:02 am
Allegro comes with a datafile manipulation tool called the grabber (http://www.talula.demon.co.uk/allegro/onlinedocs/en/grabber.html). I suggest you use that.
I prefer the command line program "dat" as it allows for shell scripting and because grabber crashes on me quite often for some reason.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: RTyp06 on June 12, 2006, 05:36:40 am
Allegro comes with a datafile manipulation tool called the grabber (http://www.talula.demon.co.uk/allegro/onlinedocs/en/grabber.html). I suggest you use that.
I prefer the command line program "dat" as it allows for shell scripting and because grabber crashes on me quite often for some reason.

Or the TW project's next release could have a super, easy way to mod all graphics sounds and stats by simply replacing .wav, and .bmp files?

Seriously, thanx for the links guys. Leaning to use the grabber might be a good investment because I've noticed at least a few C++ game programmers use allegro. Allegro .dat files provide for a smaller DL and install rather than including a bunch of uncompressed extra graphics and sound files.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Halleck on June 12, 2006, 09:22:33 am
Tw-light is pretty easy to mod graphically. I forget about the audio.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on June 12, 2006, 10:05:14 am
Quote
Or the TW project's next release could have a super, easy way to mod all graphics sounds and stats by simply replacing .wav, and .bmp files?

This is possible for a few ships (see e.g. the ships/ppi/alabo directory), but only a few because it would be too much (tedious) work to extract all data files and rearrange the content. So, almost all ships still use the .dat files. Anyway, in principle TW(old) supports both formats: data file, and separate files, but in practice most use the data files.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Culture20 on June 13, 2006, 12:52:05 am
Quote
Or the TW project's next release could have a super, easy way to mod all graphics sounds and stats by simply replacing .wav, and .bmp files?

This is possible for a few ships (see e.g. the ships/ppi/alabo directory), but only a few because it would be too much (tedious) work to extract all data files and rearrange the content. So, almost all ships still use the .dat files. Anyway, in principle TW(old) supports both formats: data file, and separate files, but in practice most use the data files.

Well, I've got a script that will extract all of the files from a .dat file, but rearranging content would be tedious.  Also, you have to consider that ship load-times would be slowed.  Currently, there's one file-access to read in all the data 1 ship needs instead of the possible 64(ship)+6(captain)+1(ship panel)+1(ditty, mod)+1(primary sound, wav)*X(num sounds)+1(special sound,wav)*X(num sounds)+[64](possible primary)+[64](possible secondary)+X(whatever else) file reads for 1 ship.


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: youBastrd on June 15, 2006, 01:35:33 am
In terms of mod-ability, we've made a pile of designs for revamping the way scripting is done using Python.  The idea is to use the C++ code as the engine, and use a higher-level view to access methods and variables via script.  More generally, it means pulling the game logic out of the game engine, and instead making it available via scripting.  This would allow for much more content easier, but also some things are really too difficult to pull off in the current code.  Sure, you can change a ship's graphics, sounds, etc, but not its behaviour.  At least, not at run-time, dynamically, in response to in-game events. 

Say you want to have a ship that sits idle until some condition is met, then an AI takes it over.  Currently, that means writing C++ code, which most creative writer-types wouldn't really like.  Or to make "maps" currently requires making a new gametype.  That doesn't make much sense.  So one idea is take all the same calls that would normally be called inside the gametype's C++ code and expose them to Python.  Then you define your gametype in Python and let it create all the planets, stars, player starting postitions, "walls," nebulae, whatever.  Thus a Python class becomes the "map" file format. 

Anyhow, lots of ideas kicking around, but so far I haven't had time to actually implement a lot of it.  Presently I'm reading through the book "Head First Design Patterns," which should help figure out a more elegant design than what's in the TW forums thus far.  Then design, then review, then implement, then start subclassing to do whatever we like: make maps, make gametypes, make "items" like precursor upgrades that can be picked up, defences, all kinds of stuff.  Sigh.  Very indirect, but probably necessary for future growth. 

Sigh.  Plus making Python bindings for the GUI library we're thinking of using (GuiChan).  Plus redoing the interface.  Plus taking steps to reduce spam in the TW forums.  Plus committing patches from users.  Plus expanding this google maps thing.  Plus real life. :)


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: Culture20 on June 15, 2006, 04:39:34 am
I was thinking about giving real life the finger and delving back into TW again.  Now I'm going to have to learn python?   :P


Title: Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
Post by: GeomanNL on June 18, 2006, 09:01:40 pm
Just adding a couple of plain text descriptions about how ships work, is also helpful.. it's still lacking in that respect.

edit:
PS. I thought that people would be upset about the removal of many of the SC3 models, and so many of the custom Timewarp ships (about 40% was scrapped). The download size went down from 80MB to 50MB. I was afraid it was a bit rigorous and irresponsible to make such a big change out of the blue, but I have seen no complaints about it !! Amazing. Perhaps people are cheering or weeping in blessed anonimity ?