Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Details about updates to Shores of Hazeron

Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby Haxus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:54 pm

The update today contains an alpha preview of the new spacecraft designer. The update is a little big due to a lot of new textures that were embedded in the libraries. The designer is not done yet so please don't inundate me with bug reports.

Designer can only be launched in single-person mode. Do this using the -designer command line option. Designer cannot be entered in the on line game yet, mainly due to efficiency issues. It works just fine but the updater needs to be smarter about what to update.

I have not completed a tutorial yet. There is a usage tips option on the help menu that might get you started. There is a lot of built in documentation. It tends to be in the form of usage tips that pop up when you use various functions.

File format (.SoH) is stable. I will maintain compatibility with files created by this version of the designer.

Designer is evolving into a nice design tool. It is not the best but it is a great start. It's fairly easy to use. It has a minimal set of functions to get the job done. This will grow in time.

The one thing I regret not finishing was the polygon unwrapper, for texturing. The designer has a few automatic texturing functions but an unwrapper is needed for fine control over the positioning of textures onto faces, especially when making signs or decals.

I decided it was more important to post this update than to finish the unwrapper. I'll post an update as soon as I have a decent unwrapper written, likely within the next few days but Christmas might slow me down.

The last thing I was working on was decals. There is a higher probability of bugs with them than other things. Like, I noticed they don't change color when painted.

It is possible to get a symmetrical copy of objects but it is clunky. If you happen to find it, just ignore it. I plan to make it easier/nicer.

Empires now have a set of theme colors. You will find settings on your empire policies window to change them. The designer lets you paint surfaces with theme colors, so they will be painted appropriately when the ship is manufactured.

The theme colors of a ship can be repainted after it is manufactured but they won't change automatically in response to policy changes. Theme painted surfaces are separated at design-time; they can be painted any color later, regardless if the color is from a theme. Surfaces painted with RGB colors at design-time cannot be repainted later. Repainting is a service that will be available at airport repair shops.

If you import a 3ds file, it won't automatically have a texture. You'll have to load it's texture into the Custom slot of your texture palette. I'll make this an option when importing the 3ds file, just didn't get that far.

Texture palette choices include a decal sheet that is mostly blank. It currently just has a set of numeric digits. I intend to fill this with useful generic decals, like signs and placards. Any suggestions?

Some parts have embedded information that is not currently visible. Examples include the launch vector of a vehicle launcher, the pad locations for a transporter station, etc. They are there; you just can't see them yet.

Game table and old-style swivel chair/consoles can still be used. You now have finer control over the rotation of these parts. Their 3D model does not appear yet, just a big icon on the floor. This is not done yet.

There is no ground reference yet. This is something you will specify. If you decide to make landing gear, just pick a target height for the ground. It will be easy later to click where you want the ground to be.

Modules listed in the design properties are not fully integrated with design parts yet, namely weapon bays.

The little yellow marker at the center of the design space is the CG of your design. The ship will pivot around that point when it maneuvers. The CG is not specified with a marker as in the old designer, mainly because you can move the design so easily to position it's CG where you want.

Don't put too much stock in the visual depiction of the space vehicle recovery system. It's just a quickie icon I painted. The final appearance has not been decided yet.

There is currently no validation of placement of things. You'll get no complaints if you put a room outside the hull. Don't expect this to work when it comes time to manufacture the design though.

I have not tested the decal jig at all. <fingers crossed>

Some new key commands were added to the scene: grab, rotate, stretch, push/pull. Check scene control settings for key bindings.

New code attributed to this designer is just over 90k lines. That's 2000 pages at 45 lines per page, not including illustrations.

I am currently working my way through the minor issues that arise when building this much new code on multiple platforms. Different compilers all have their pet peeves. Due to a version change, I cannot post this update until all platforms are built; it will be two hours or more until then.

Update

It took quite a long time to get through the first wave. It would be safer to post this update in the morning.

Update

Since this spilled over to another day, I took a little time this morning to add a button to the launcher. Now people don't have to figure out how to launch the thing with the -designer option, a real challenge for many.

Builds on all platforms are proceeding smoothly now. Updates should be posted in a couple of hours. Servers will be restarted then.
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Re: Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby ResonKinetic » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:11 pm

This is the best Christmas gift ever.
NUMBERZero wrote:You would expect Syndicate to have anything less than TL32?

Image
Ross: "I just wonder what Haxus' philosophy on open-source code is."
Ikkir: "I'm pretty sure his philosophy is 'get fucked.'"
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Re: Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby Leadphalanx » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:48 pm

Excellent! Can't wait to give it a shot
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Re: Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby Haxus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:03 pm

Some people will see the future that is going to unfold in SoH as a result of this. Others will react with revulsion and horror.

I tried to keep it easy. Sometimes ease come with familiarity. Give it a chance. It's not likely to feel familiar right off.

At the end of the day, the number one priority was beautiful space ships. That can happen now.
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Re: Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby Ikkir Isth » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:34 pm

Image

Edit: well, it will be, i guess, when the patch actually hits :P
Making things with OpenGL: Image
Working on- an exploration game.
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Re: Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby Haxus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:51 pm

Ha ha. Lol. That's awesome.

I always thought it would be epic to encounter cool ships designed by people in the game. I knew they would be way better ship designers than me.

That has happened with the current ship designs many times but you have to use your imagination a bit. I'd rather they be beautiful and let my imagination start from there.
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Re: Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby the Lana » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:28 pm

ResonKinetic wrote:This is the best Christmas gift ever.
Just Lana :)
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Re: Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby Phenoix12 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:12 pm

It's tomorrow! Does this mean we'll get the update now...? pweeese
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Re: Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby xxqpxx--PMW » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:53 pm

Oh man. Wish I could call in sick tomorrow. Oh well, Wednesday and Thursday is my weekend. Can't wait to check it out!
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Re: Update 2016-12-19 Designer Alpha

Postby Deantwo » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:33 am

Looking forward to seeing the end product more and more!

Haxus wrote:Designer can only be launched in single-person mode. Do this using the -designer command line option.

Added this to the wiki.
Here: hazeron.com/wiki/Command_Line_Options

Haxus wrote:It is possible to get a symmetrical copy of objects but it is clunky. If you happen to find it, just ignore it. I plan to make it easier/nicer.

Symmetry! Yes this will be needed. Not that non-symmetrical designs are bad, but most ship designs are symmetrical and it was a lot of work with the old designer. So hope it gets nice and easy to use. ^^

Haxus wrote:Some parts have embedded information that is not currently visible. Examples include the launch vector of a vehicle launcher, the pad locations for a transporter station, etc. They are there; you just can't see them yet.

Don't put too much stock in the visual depiction of the space vehicle recovery system

Did you just say "vehicle launcher"? That's it, I am gonna fight pirates by launching SUVs at them! I fear that collision damage would almost make this wroth it?
Jokes aside, I guess you mean for space vehicles only? Vehicle transporter has also been an unimplemented module for a long time.

Haxus wrote:Some new key commands were added to the scene: grab, rotate, stretch, push/pull. Check scene control settings for key bindings.

Wish you would make a separate "Designer" controls menu.
See also: (Suggestion thread) Unify ingame controls.

Haxus wrote:It would be safer to post this update in the morning.

I am so happy that your morning is the time I get off work. XD
Actually a positive from timezones, who knew?
Last edited by Deantwo on Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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