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Topic Summary

Posted by: Nori
« on: Yesterday at 09:08:39 PM »

Ah ok. I figured AI wasn't in, but wasn't sure from the last few posts. If he is that far though that is quite the accomplishment. I'm guessing AI is going to be a PITA though.
Posted by: amram
« on: Yesterday at 09:02:06 PM »

Can you play a game from start to finish? Just curious as I really like Aurora4x and my main issue with it was turn time and AI that didn't evolve their tactics or ships much (both of which will be changed in c# so that's nice).

The answer to that depends on whether or not you expect AI to be part of your game, both as civilians, and as NPR/spoilers.  AI is still on the todo list and will probably be among, if not the last things completed.

If you plan to control all players yourself, all shipping of any kind, and do not mind that the current build lacks ground combat(that was his last post's stated goal for the next update), then yes, afaik you can play out a pretty much complete game now, so few mechanics remain I can not think of any off hand.
Posted by: Nori
« on: Yesterday at 08:54:59 PM »

Can you play a game from start to finish? Just curious as I really like Aurora4x and my main issue with it was turn time and AI that didn't evolve their tactics or ships much (both of which will be changed in c# so that's nice).
Posted by: Kyle
« on: November 14, 2019, 01:49:02 PM »

Progress Update 2019-11-14:

Work on my current goal of conquering alien-controlled planets begins.  The scenario I'm working through is simple: Load up some ground units, drop them on an alien planet, defeat the alien ground units, and take control of the planet.  It's a nice way to discover and address functionality that is missing or bugged along the way.  For example I happened to have alien scouts positioned on the jump point into its home system, which lead to implementing transit detection.  I'm finally at the point where it's time to work on ground combat itself and decided to post an update before heading down that rabbit hole since it's been awhile.

New Mechanics (to Quasar):
 - Worsening diplomatic relationship causes military cooperation level to decrease (e.g. from Neutral to Hostile)
 - Ships detect populations (Thermal and EM)
 - Ships detect hostile transits (Grav, Thermal, and EM)
 - Active sensors detect previously uncharted jump points that have gates
 - Random division morale penalties for being in non-cryo drop pods too long
 - A steady increase in division morale of (100 + Commander.MoraleBonus) / Year to a maximum of 100
 - Switching between different HQs halves morale
 - Hostiles in system cause order delays in inexperienced fleets
 - Inexperience delays are mitigated by Operations and Comms bonuses if fleet's task force is in system
 
More UI elements now functional:
 - F2 > Ground Units tab > Training column
 - F2 > Ground Units tab > Inc Sub checkbox
 - F2 > Ground Units tab > Initiate Ground Combat Against dropdown
 - F2 > Ground Units tab > Attack
 - F2 > Ground Units tab > Ceasefire
 - Fleet Orders > Load/Unload Entire Formation if HQ Selected
 - Ships > Parasites/Cargo/GU Tab: Parasite Ships list, Ground units list
 - Commanders > Show morale deficit next to ground units
 - Tac. Intel > Status of Current Class Members tab: Shields and Thermal columns. 
 - and a new one for Quasar, Settings > Comma Separator

Bug dodged:
- Morale recovery rate can be faster without a commander than with one
Quirk not dodged, for now:
- Can avoid fleet inexperience penalty by 'equalizing fuel supply' etc instead of 'move to'.  Plenty of other options too, like 'Send Message'

Latest build pushed to itch.  A lot of detection was added in this update, as well as quite a few fixes.  I don't usually bother mentioning fixes unless they address an issue someone's reported, but one fix took a considerable chunk of time for this update; While working on inexperienced fleet order delays, I wondered whether it was possible to bypass these by deleting all knowledge of the alien race on the intel window.  Turns out, it isn't, and the alien contacts remain on the System Map named after their database ID.  This required me to do a considerable amount of reworking on my contact code because I had previously been using the table of known alien ships to tie different pieces of intel together into single contacts.

Now it's time to dive into ground combat!  When I worked on weapons, I focused on just one channel of attack (lasers) and one channel of defense (shields) and implemented those to the fullest extent possible, so that ship-to-ship warfare is fully possible as long as you don't mind the limited choices available.  I want to kind of do that with ground combat too, omitting for now anything that isnt strictly necessary for a complete ground war, and fully implementing what can't be omitted.  I *think* this is the last piece needed for core gameplay sans AI -- the fourth X in 4X.  Remind me if there's something I'm forgetting.  Onward!
Posted by: joansam
« on: November 05, 2019, 08:11:25 PM »

Quote from: Kyle link=topic=10149. msg116781#msg116781 date=1572975686
A ton of hours went into this update; some of these features are deceptively beefy.   The reload button on the Fighter Squadrons window is pretty neat, for example.   You can have theoretically have every fighter in your empire in one squadron then click reload to reload them all from their respective motherships and colliers wherever possible.   I believe it may be a bit different and possibly more flexible than VB6's behavior.   The Para MS / Para CO buttons are deceptively powerful (and required lots of code) as well.  These buttons will do their best to match the selected parasite's loadout across all other siblings, shuffling ammo around as needed to get as close a match as possible.   If the loadout you're trying to match has magazine space to spare it will even use the spare space across other parasites if there is nowhere else to store non-matching ordnance.   Ship-to-ship reload fleet orders have been updated to use the new code as well.

Yeah, this sounds very involved.  Looking good! I hadn't used some of that functionality before but the inner workings are quite cool.
Posted by: xenoscepter
« on: November 05, 2019, 04:11:50 PM »

Nice going, hombre!  ;D
Posted by: Kyle
« on: November 05, 2019, 11:41:26 AM »

Progress Update 2019-11-05:

Ordnance and fighter management were two of the major items still missing from the UI and now they are mostly, if not completely, done!  Specifically:

Fleet Orders bottom row:
- Launch Parasites
- Recover Parasites
- Reload Parasites. 
Fleet Orders > Naval Organization:
- Land Ship
- Land Branch
- Add Parasites
- Add TG Para  (this finishes the naval org tab)
Fighter Squadrons:
- Ordnance column
- Senior commander in squadron
- Reload fighters in squadron  (this finishes the fighter squadrons window)
Ships > Ordnance tab:
- Fast reload from population, colliers, and mothership.
- Fast reload 'Standard' button (Free reload, SM-Only).
- Para MS, Para CO, All Para MS, and All Para CO buttons.  (this finishes the ordnance tab)
Class Design > Ordnance/Fighters tab: 
- Range and Armament columns in Fighter Types list
- Current Preferred Strikegroup
- Delete from strikegroup,
- Double click fighter types list to add to preferred strikegroup
- Sensors column and Second Stage column in the missile Types list  (this finishes the ordnance/fighters tab)
View Technology > Missiles:   
- Second Stage column   (this finishes the missiles tab)

Support has been added for:
- Strikegroups (new fighters start landed on motherships in their assigned strike groups when possible)
- Missile Series (reloading from colony via orders, buttons, or new construction will make use of missile series)

Along the way, I added behaviors to existing features that my older testing scenarios missed:
- any time a ship carrying parasites is detached or transferred to another fleet, the parasites come with it
- ordnance not matching the class loadout is unloaded when reloads occur
- allow recovering and landing parasites from other fleets, automatically transferring them to their mothership's fleet, as long as they are in the same location

Bug dodged:
- don't allow over-filling magazines by substituting larger sized missiles in a series for the missile in the class loadout. No tiny fighters with a hundred size-50 missiles allowed!

A ton of hours went into this update; some of these features are deceptively beefy.  The reload button on the Fighter Squadrons window is pretty neat, for example.  You can have theoretically have every fighter in your empire in one squadron then click reload to reload them all from their respective motherships and colliers wherever possible.  I believe it may be a bit different and possibly more flexible than VB6's behavior.  The Para MS / Para CO buttons are deceptively powerful (and required lots of code) as well. These buttons will do their best to match the selected parasite's loadout across all other siblings, shuffling ammo around as needed to get as close a match as possible.  If the loadout you're trying to match has magazine space to spare it will even use the spare space across other parasites if there is nowhere else to store non-matching ordnance.  Ship-to-ship reload fleet orders have been updated to use the new code as well.

So before this update there were hardly any UI bits left unfinished, and this update finished another couple dozen of them.  I'm really excited to be slowly but surely getting past the mundane features and into the exciting things like conquest of alien populations!  That, and dozens of other big things are still ahead.  Onward!
Posted by: Kyle
« on: November 05, 2019, 10:40:10 AM »

Hi !

I played Aurora last time in 2012 i think. . .

Is Quasar "playable" even if in a limited way ? I run it via itchio on Linux without issue, but then i'm lost, i forget how to play, and as it is all WIP, not sure what can be done.

As a lazy returning player, can you point me to recent Let's Play or similar so i can watch/read and maybe learn (on Quasar, not Aurora) ?

Hey, thanks for checking it out!  I would say wait awhile, it's mostly just available in case someone has something specific they want to try, or help out with bug hunting.
Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: November 05, 2019, 05:11:04 AM »

See the problem with AI is that a lot of testing have to be done before you can tell if it's working or not as until a specific event happens you'll never know if everything has been coded or not and if the AI is actually capable of executing the code.

Yes, I've seen some very 'interesting' AI behaviour when you hit an unforeseen set of circumstances :)

It's impossible to predict every situation, so extensive testing is required. The vast majority of C# testing is AI-related and involves a lot of stepping through code line-by-line in every new situation. I am still adding and modifying AI code as those new situations arise.

Posted by: Tchey
« on: November 05, 2019, 04:47:59 AM »

Hi !

I played Aurora last time in 2012 i think. . .

Is Quasar "playable" even if in a limited way ? I run it via itchio on Linux without issue, but then i'm lost, i forget how to play, and as it is all WIP, not sure what can be done.

As a lazy returning player, can you point me to recent Let's Play or similar so i can watch/read and maybe learn (on Quasar, not Aurora) ?

Posted by: Kyle
« on: November 04, 2019, 01:04:25 PM »

How much work do you think is left to make the game fully playable?
I have no idea.  If I did, I'd probably feel overwhelmed and quit :)

The best I can say is, a lot.
Posted by: froggiest1982
« on: November 03, 2019, 04:34:50 PM »

How much work do you think is left to make the game fully playable?

I think Kyle is doing an excellent job and honestly, I look so much forward to him than Steve as I don't really want to get into the troops' micromanagement. However, there are features that I would love to get in Kyle version from the new C# especially the new Officials rankings, the way that Planets work for colonization and max amount of pop and Low gravity infrastructure to get priority to avoid exploitations of previous flaws. Same as it was done with the underground infrastructure to Aurora, so to speak. Another important feature is the autoroute. To do not copy IMHO are the new maintenance rules, refuel, ordnance, terraforming (at least not immediately) and all that concerns systems or weapons.

I know the goal is to make a clone however I think that whatever was planned on 7.2 change list would be a nice addon and should be in the game, so please Kyle think about it.

Back to your question except for some logic, I believe that they both at the same point: the AI which is a lot (I mean really a lot) of work. Kyle will face some challenges there and he might need some insights from Steve as well but I believe he already pointed that out in a previous post that he is curious to see what Kyle would do. Also I think Steve already told him that he wouldn't help.
Finally after that diplomacy will have to be written which could take X time depending on how deep you want to go.

See the problem with AI is that a lot of testing have to be done before you can tell if it's working or not as until a specific event happens you'll never know if everything has been coded or not and if the AI is actually capable of executing the code.
Posted by: Demonides
« on: November 01, 2019, 02:11:23 PM »

How much work do you think is left to make the game fully playable?
Posted by: Kyle
« on: October 31, 2019, 03:08:55 PM »

Progress Update 2019-10-31:

New species and genetic modification is done! 

This gave me some useful test data to flesh out the handling of pops that find themselves on completely Unsuitable Planets.  Instant extinction is now implemented!

The latest build is pushed. (To Itch.)  It's come to my attention that the Itch app may not always automatically update clients when I push a new build, so make sure to right click and check for updates if it doesn't happen automatically.

This update includes some boring but important improvements that were on my list for quite awhile.  ID generation no longer re-uses IDs of previous objects that have been deleted, avoiding inevitable issues in long games where dangling ID references would start pointing to new, nonsensical things in the DB.  This limits the total number of objects of a given type (missiles, or messages in the game log, for example) generated over the lifetime of a save file to 9223372036854775807, but fortunately sqlite does go back and re-use old IDs if that limit is reached.  Hooray!

I finally optimized the 'No Parent-Child Overlaps' code for the System Map, so that rendering is now just as fast with it on as with it off.

Crew Quarters components auto-added to a ship design now come closer to the components that A4X would add.

Armor Calculation is now a lot more accurate thanks to the exhaustive research done in the past by the #aurora-science folks.  I was able to pinpoint a few rounding quirks for them so it may even be exact now. 

And as always lots of miscellaneous fixes were done as well, including fixing a really bad bug with fleet order processing that I introduced one or two updates ago. 

That's all for now.  I'm excited to be getting back into adding new stuff (well, new to Q4X) for the next update!
Posted by: TMaekler
« on: October 30, 2019, 04:28:18 PM »

What though might be nice for repeating orders would be a system that uses the save functionality of Aurora to be applied dynamically. Example:

Move to PLANET A
Load all minerals
Move to PLANET B
Unload all minerals
Refuel from PLANET B

When reapplying this order pattern to a different fleet having the option to exchange Planet A and B with C and D would be great. Wouldn’t get rid of different situations where you jump to other systems or have LaGrande Points in between, but nevertheless a help.
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