The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Technical Issues => Topic started by: dczanik on December 02, 2011, 07:34:05 pm



Title: Requests from a UQM Mod Developer
Post by: dczanik on December 02, 2011, 07:34:05 pm
I'm not sure if this is the right topic, but these are technical issues, just not technical problems... Admins feel free to move this.

As a mod developer, I've been impressed by the changes you have made to the engine in 0.7.0.   I was wondering if the project had died. There are certain features I feel would open up the game more. Primarily issues with dialogue and resolutions.
So, these are my requests for future versions of Ur-Quan Masters:

Resolution:
The game is rather locked into the 4:3 aspect ratio.
I'd like ways to allow for widescreen resolutions. 1024x768 was great back in 2002, but now monitors feature widescreen resolutions. Even phones have wide screens.
Since most of the game is open space, you're just giving the player a larger field. Before anybody says it can't be done, the original game went from 320x200 to 320x240.
If you need artwork to fill in the extra space, I can provide it.
We've tried to change this, and ran into issues with aspect ratios of spheres of influence, and a host of other problems.
Even if black bars are added to the sides, that would at least be something.


Further Separation of  data and code:
Right now, the half the animation is locked into the code itself.  It makes it difficult for animators to see how characters will animate. Megagun has created a wonderful animation tool, but he's hampered by the animation data being in the code itself.
Adding some extra information to the .ANI files, or making an .XML file would be an enormous benefit to us.


Timing animation with sound files:
This is part of Separation of data and code. I'd like to put in lip syncing for Hayes to the voice files. That requires syncing the animation to the sound files. Again, I'll take care of all the artwork and data. You can feel free to use it (or not). But I can't even proceed without changes to how the animation system works. The random mouth animations may work fine for the aliens, but it should sync up for humans.

This could also allow me to add some small emotional touches in my mod, so not everybody is looking like an emotionless  robot when they're describing a tragedy or extremely delighted about something.

That's it. I think that this keeps in with the goals of the project. Hopefully, I'm not asking for anything outside your abilities either.


Title: Re: Requests from a UQM Mod Developer
Post by: meep-eep on December 02, 2011, 09:40:52 pm
I fully agree with the first two of these wishes. These have been discussed before,  and they are goals somewhere on the horizon, which we'd like to work towards (Fixing the resolution and separation of data and code; not specifically the animation code.) The larger goal right now is "making it easier for modders".

The problem is that none of the core team members has as much time to work on UQM as we used to. While the project is not dead, progress is slow and comes in bursts. We do take patches (if they are decent), though no guarantees on when we process them. Keeping patches small (doing one step at a time) helps.

The third request is new to us, though it does seem to fit with the goals of the project.


Title: Re: Requests from a UQM Mod Developer
Post by: Death 999 on December 06, 2011, 05:37:59 am
Another tidbit that would be awesome is a conversation logic interpreter so the conversation logic can be generated from content files at runtime instead of having to be compiled into the C code.

I have such a language, and the code to interpret it - though it's in Java, it doesn't use inheritance or anything like that so it should transfer straightforwardly over to C... as long as we can let the game state flags be stored in a hash instead of bit array.

This language is simple enough that one need not be a computer programmer to use it.