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Author Topic: Star Database  (Read 2528 times)
KaylaKaze
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Star Database
« on: April 08, 2005, 01:35:22 am »

I love Star Control 2 but even though I've played it occasionally for years, I've never made it very far into the game. My biggest problem is never knowing where I've been and cleaned out or where I need to return after lander upgrades. I decided to start keeping a list (years ago I did it on paper, now I'm doing it in an Excel window) of the stars, their planets, moons, weather, temperature, life, tectonics, etc. but even this is hard to sort through (and update). I know purists will freak at the idea but would it be possible to add an option so that in the starmap, highlighting a planet and pushing a button will put up a window saying either "Unexplored", Number of planets and which are gas giants (if no planets were visited), planetary moons (for those planets that were orbited), and the stats of each planet, including resources still on the surface as reported by the last scan (if scanned). I'm a pretty good programmer and would be willing to work on it myslef, but before I dig through the code (I'm quite slow when it comes to other people's code, especially when they use lots of files and lots of structs and typedefs), I was wondering if it'd be reasonably possible without having to do huge rewrites. I've just always thought it was silly that you have this super powerful ship but it has no database capabilities.
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Death 999
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 02:28:04 am »

This would required HEFTY additions to the codebase.

Definitely not before 1.0.

I think it could be done, though... select the star as if a destination for autopilot. Then you could virtually 'explore' an already-explored star system, seeing anything you've already seen, using a cursor system analogous to the hyperspace map itself.

This would require keeping track of what you've seen, of course. It would be a lot smaller than the data for what has been mined, though. (1 bit for each planet or moon, plus 1 bit for each planetary system, plus 1 bit for each solar system, instead of 10 bits for each body).


In any case, the ship's computer does have a database, but Zelnick never figured out how to use it. Use a text file or a note pad. Certainly that's what I did when I first played.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2005, 02:28:27 am by Death_999 » Logged
KaylaKaze
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2005, 09:25:00 am »

Except the data for what has been mined or not is already there. Instead of having it store the resources on scan, have it store the resources only IF scanned. Then, when the info window comes up, it'd reference the planet's data and return an approx. number of each type of resource. The amount of data used to recognize visitation and scan (1 bit per sun,2 per planet [1 visited, 1 scanned], and 1 per moon) is negligable ultimately. We're not running 286 computers with 2 megs of memory anymore. To keep the savee game structure from saving, it could use a secondary save file for visitation data. And while doing that, might as well add an in game text editor for making user logs and add the ability to make notes about a planet (instead of giving each planet a text field which would be blank most of the time, give each a 2 byte pointer field that'd point to an entry in a log file, or 0000 if none. Doing the stuff using alternate save files for visitation and logs, it makes the game 100% untouched when not using the flag that activates the DB. I probably should poke around in the code soon and see.

Basically, one of the things I hate most about using excel to  keep data is actually swtching back and forth. Well, having to type the stuff is annoying too. I'd rather just be able to use my gamepad and not have to bother with my keyboard.
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2005, 01:30:46 am »

Regarding the amount of data that this would require...  isn't all of this data ALREADY being stored?  The whole point of a savegame is to save your progress in the game.  It can't do that if it doesn't already store the current status of each system, each planet, etc.  If someone understands the savegame format well enough, it should be possible to derive a list of systems visited, a list of planets mined, etc without any new information.
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KaylaKaze
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2005, 01:37:54 am »

The saved game would know the mined status (which is why I said that data is already being saved) but it wouldn't know which places have been visited.
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meep-eep
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2005, 02:03:50 am »

Actually, the mineral data is only generated when the planet is visited. So the presence of this data can be used to determine whether it was visited.
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KaylaKaze
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2005, 02:43:28 am »

Having not looked at the code, I didn't know that. But that still only will tell what planets have been visited, not what starsystems right, though that does help quite a bit if the goal is to not bother with all those other levels of visitation.
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Bobucles
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2005, 10:52:51 pm »

There's a lot of screenspace on the right to display that data. You don't need to know your fleet status when the game is paused on the map. Deciding how to display that information could be trickier. Do you give specific info on each planet and moon? Some systems are huge, and could never fit in that text window. Do you give an brief overview of the system itself? # of planets, moons, giants, explored/unexplored, known RUs, bio points? Do you show planets that are known to be inhabited or special, or just say if there is one there?

KaylaKaze, if you've visited a planet, then you've definately visited a star system. If you haven't visited anywhere in the star system, then technically you haven't visited it, right? Fly-by would describe that better.  Wink

Meep-eep, if what you say is correct, then to get the planetary data, the game only needs to look at the info on the planets. If the info is not found, then the planet is simply unexplored. But, how can you tell the difference between an unexplored planet, and a strip-mined planet? The save file definately does that somehow. Although, there may be a problem with remembering inhabited planets, depending on how planetary data is generated in those cases. Like, if you get into a conversation before getting to the planet screen, would it work then?
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2005, 08:23:13 pm »

Quote
This would required HEFTY additions to the codebase.

Definitely not before 1.0.

People have been making a lot of suggestions for improvements and new stuff after 1.0, some of them are very good and are things that would definitely be worthwile to implement. Does anyone have a complete list of these suggestions? I know that all requests for new features etc exist on these forums, somewhere, but scouring through the forums looking for them seems like a little too much work.

How about a "suggestions" page on wiki?
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2005, 01:01:01 pm »

The bug database is also used to track feature requests. It may be a good idea to move some of this discussion there.
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Re: Star Database
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2005, 03:50:20 pm »

Maybe this might be of any help...
« Last Edit: April 13, 2005, 03:50:39 pm by Megagun » Logged
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