The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Bwahaha on December 23, 2002, 01:02:53 pm

Title: Map data
Post by: Bwahaha on December 23, 2002, 01:02:53 pm
Hi guys,

I'm in the midst of building a utility for UQM that lets you query the map data, e.g. I'm at Alpha Tucanae in desperate need of biologicals/minerals, show me the top ten star systems for bio data in a 5 fuel-unit radius, with < 3 tectonics.

This would eventually lead to a new autopilot feature that takes the portal spawner into account, the ability to define custom planets, and a bunch of other stuff I've got in mind that may still never see the light of day.

1) Would anyone else find this utility useful?  I started building this simply because the endless search for bio's does get boring after a while, and dammit, I want that Melnorme tech now!

2) Looking at the source, it's pretty easy to determine co-ordinates and types of star systems, however the planet data is a little more tricky.  It appears for those star systems that aren't a "special", i.e. not a rainbow world, homeworld, melnorme, artifact (aqua helix, egg case, etc) type star system, the data is pseudo-randomly generated.  I say pseudo-randomly because some of the static data (size, type of star, etc) does affect the type and number of planets/moons.

I've played the game entirely through around 7-8 times now, include twice through UQM, and have never noticed this.  I would swear blind that for all of the star systems the same number and type of planets/moons appears every time.  Has anyone else noticed any anomalies in this area?

Are there any UQM developers in the forum that can shed some light on this?  Is this type of development encouraged by the UQM developers?

Title: Re: Map data
Post by: ErekLich on December 23, 2002, 05:53:48 pm
well, if the data is pseudorandom it's possible that the gaem uses the same seed every time.  That would result in the same data without using as much memory, in theory.

Title: Re: Map data
Post by: Dutch on December 23, 2002, 05:57:39 pm
As far as I can tell everything is at the same exact place all the time.

I agree with ErekLich about probably the same game seed.

I would find the utility mighty useful.

Title: Re: Map data
Post by: Scott on December 23, 2002, 06:31:20 pm
It's the same every time.. I mean, the original SC2 strategy guide listed the exact numbers of minerals and bio data in each system, didn't it?

Title: Re: Map data
Post by: PsiPhi on December 23, 2002, 07:54:29 pm
Regardless of whether its pseudorandomly generated off the same seed or not, it is the exact same galaxy quadrant every time.
I never knew there was a strategy guide for SC2, so I just kept my own log book (which I can no longer find) when I first played the game.  This made playing the game a LOT easier the second time since I knew exactly what I would find at many of the star systems.
Therefore, your helper should work.  I don't see why you cannot build one.


Title: Re: Map data
Post by: Black Monk on December 24, 2002, 12:14:42 am
This would kick major ass, especially for new players in a "help" mode or something.  Or just an add-on you can get after beating the game and want to play it through.

I guess you could work it in as another function.  Say, long-range scan that gives approximate info for the stars up to 5 fuel away from you in all directions.  

"Life at XXX:YYY"
"Minerals at XXX:YYY"

Then, when you get IN the system, another scan will break it down further.

"Life on planet III, moon 2"
"Radioactives on planet V"
"Anomoly detected at planet II"
"Craft detected at planet VII"

Anomoly for rainbow worlds or special places like homeworlds or planets with "energy" on the scan.  Craft detected would get messy in a system with 50 Pkunk but would make hunting down Melnorme in the super-giant system much quicker.

I think you can make this general enough to not ruin the existing gameplay but useful enough that people would use it.

Title: Re: Map data
Post by: Bwahaha on December 24, 2002, 03:01:55 am
Thanks for the info guys, at least I won't waste time going down the wrong path, now that it's confirmed all planet data is the same each time.

Just to clarify, this utility will initially be external to UQM, probably for at least the first nine months or so.

I was thinking of integrating it as a 'patch' to the UQM source tree at a later stage, the same way the IPSEC is currently a patch to the linux kernel - possibly at around the 0.3 or 0.4 release.  What I'd like to do is include the autopilot upgrade first, which would be a technology purchase from the Melnorme.

The way I'd envision this working is that every time you drop through a portal in quasi-space, the new navigator records the Hyperspace location as a 'known' exit point, and can then use it in autopilot mode. This means you'd have to investigate the entire quasi-space starmap before you'd be able to use it effectively.  Thoughts?

I like that idea of a long/short range scanner, again I'd make this a technology upgrade from the Melnorme.

Has anybody else got any ideas for some simple stuff that could developed in parallel with the UQM conversion?  Configurable keyboard settings would be a good start, I suppose.

Title: Re: Map data
Post by: Mika on December 24, 2002, 03:13:14 am
I guess you haven't read which clearly says 'Don't bother on adding "great ideas" you have for the game. Our current goal is a straight port. The code is GPL, so feel free to start your own modified version, but don't bother sending them in for the official version.'

So we won't integrate any gameplay-affecting and such things to official UQM.

edit: and keyboard configuration / input code rewrite is currently being worked by other ppl.

Title: Re: Map data
Post by: Bwahaha on December 24, 2002, 03:33:11 am

Yep, I have read the guidelines, and never intended to make the patches part of the official release, merely an addon that others can download should they wish.  Thanks for the heads up on the keyboard configs that others are working on.

Title: Re: Map data
Post by: Arrow on December 24, 2002, 07:02:04 pm
Yes, there is a "strategy guide" (more of a resource) wriiten by Paul and Fred themselves (I think), and it does contain all the info on the worlds.  As far as I know, they're all pre-set; no random generated moons or anything.

I posted it on my website if you wanna download it and look over it to help you out Bwahaha (I'm not laughing).  My server isn't Windows based, so use the link below exactly or you'll probably get a 404.

WARNING: This resource contains everything you need to know about the game and how to beat it.  Only download it if you're like Bwahaha and making a utility, or if you are completely stuck and have no other choice, or you'll completely ruin your playing experience.

Title: Re: Map data
Post by: Bwahaha on December 24, 2002, 08:34:26 pm
Thanks for the link Arrow, I had no idea any such guide existed.  Unfortunately without planet-level data, the utility I'm envisioning cannot make use of this data.

Anyway, the problem with the planet generation was fairly easy to solve when it was made certain that everything was the same each time - turns out that the seed is simply based on the x-y coordinate of the star system.  The more I look into this code the more I'm impressed with how efficiently these guys made use of limited resources, and just how dedicated the core team are.

The code is coming along rather well, and I should have a beta ready by end of week.  If there's general interest I'll post a link to the board when it's done.