Author Topic: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works  (Read 3322 times)

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Offline JustAnotherDude

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2018, 09:56:22 AM »
First of all, this is amazing and I love you for it

Second of all, right now the game doesn't play well with smaller resolutions.  The new game screen isn't entirely visible at my laptops resolution.  Not sure if that is a priority for you but thought you should know.

Third of all, this is amazing and I love you for it.
 

Offline Tchey

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2018, 02:38:12 PM »
Hi,

If you can, i'd love to play/test that on Linux, but i only can find an Windows . exe from itchio.
 

Offline Noble713

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2018, 09:51:02 AM »
Hi,

If you can, i'd love to play/test that on Linux, but i only can find an Windows . exe from itchio.


Same here! I'm on Kubuntu 18.04 on my desktop and will probably be migrating my laptop to Kubuntu as well (away from ParrotSec).
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2018, 05:06:16 PM »
Thanks for the encouraging responses!  Here is a progress update for 2018-09-11:

Off-Topic: show




(real-time, not time-lapse)


Q4X now behaves identically to A4X for at least the first 10 days*.  It can actually be mostly identical for an indefinite amount of time passed, except that Aurora4x will start promoting and killing commanders and probably some other stuff I haven't thought about yet.  I actually had an officer die in an accident in the first 5 days in my Aurora4x game (poor guy), so I went ahead and hardcoded him to die on the Quasar4x side as well just so the games stay in sync.  Not shown in the screenshots or in the game (yet) are the Missile Complexes passively gaining TF Training points, but they do gain them. 

*When I compare databases, I ignore small differences that creep in due to strange quirks in Aurora4x's calculations, such as the bug where a difference of 1 second can mean the difference between gaining 200k population and 250k population.  Almost every calculation I've replicated has some kind of quirk with it.  I've added an internal setting that lets me turn on "A4X emulation" which attempts to emulate some of A4X's quirky math and is turned on for now.

As requested I've posted a Linux build! (and a Mac build, but I'm unable to test that).  Regarding lower screen resolutions, I want to get quite a bit farther in development before I work on things like that.

So, now I have a baseline for developing the game along its temporal axis.  It's now time to return to the UI and start fleshing out the functionality of all the windows as much as possible.  Even at 2025 Jan 1 with a barebones colony, there is a lot that can be done in the game on turn 1.  This will prepare the way for the next phase which is the user making changes AND advancing time to see the effects on the universe.  My next progress update will probably be after a few, not all, of the windows have been completed, since they might take a bit of time to do.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 01:14:15 PM by Kyle »
 
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Offline Tchey

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2018, 01:22:25 AM »
Thanks for the Linux update, it seems to work, and indeed so far it's more an empty shell than a game, but it's a great start anyway.

Cheers !
 

Offline El Pip

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2018, 04:27:50 AM »
Knowing nothing at all about coding you appear to have made a very impressive amount of progress. As there is nothing I can do to help, all I can say is congratulations, please keep it up and I look forward to your future efforts. :)
 

Offline TMaekler

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2018, 07:09:05 AM »
Can you write back the data into the A4x DB? Or is it a one way extraction?
 

Offline Odin

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2018, 01:50:09 PM »
Will be there multimonitor support?
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2018, 08:45:31 PM »
Progress update:  No snazzy screenshots to share this time around.  As mentioned last time, I'm going back through all the windows and giving functionality to controls like buttons so they actually do something beyond pose for a pretty screenshot.  Currently I've "finished" the Race Details screen and System View screen, with misc things like picking flag / hull / race / planet images, renaming race / system / planet, moving columns left and right on System View etc.  I'm currently working on the Main Menu, running into surprises I honestly have never seen before like the Ammo Management page. 

Will be there multimonitor support?  Yes, although as you can see the game is all "virtual" windows drawn inside one Operating System window, so they can't be spread around without making the OS window itself be big.  Can I write data back into A4X DB?  Nope, haven't needed to, and the SpaceMaster features should be sufficient if I do need A4X writing in the future for testing edge cases or whatever.

No new build published this time around since the update is pretty boring.  The next build I do post will have the graphics separated from the program files so they don't have to be re-downloaded every time (or downloaded at all). 
 
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Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2018, 11:24:55 AM »
Hello!  So I've been working on Q4X for a couple hours already this morning, and have been every day since my last update (!) and began to feel a little overwhelmed (that happens a lot with this project, go figure, right?)  so I figured hey why don't I take a break and write a progress report?  That should help me regain perspective on how much I'm accomplishing, so here's my progress update for 2018-09-21

No screenshots again.  Mainly just to save time and get back to coding, but also there's nothing milestone-y to show, just a lot of misc. stuff.  Next time I promise I'll have some.  I will just list what I've done since my last post:  (Kinda wish I'd done this for my previous post, the list would be about as long)

Main Menu:
- calculations > loadout calculation
- calculations > dice rolls
- empires > ammo transfer (layout only)
- empires > order of battle
- empires > class deployments
- empires > transfer system knowledge (layout only)
- empires > foreign aid (layout only)
- empires > linked everything that opens a window that you can open from the F3 screen
Commanders:
- Add rank
- delete rank
- rename rank
- retire commander
- rename commander
- auto rename commander
- reorder seniorities
- potential assignments list
- grant title
- pp rules
- create medals - new medal
- create medals - select medal image from disk
- create medals - list
- create medals - name, prom value, and description
- create medals - save changes
- award medal
- graphics in Medals Awarded pane

Still a lot more to do in the commanders window.  When you take into account that the Award Medal, Create Medals, Commands, Vacancies, and Highly Rated buttons all open up new panels with their own batch of controls, there is actually a *lot* going on in the Commanders window.  Lots more to do in the Main Menu too, but I'm done with it for awhile.

Why focus on main menu / commanders in particular?  No major reason, but I do have a well-defined objective of replicating everything that A4X does, so it's gotta be done at some point, so might as well.  The items I do first are things that don't depend on other things being done -- the Race window, System view, Commanders window, and portions of the Main Menu are well encapsulated areas that can be completed with minimal knowledge or dependency on other areas of the game.  (As compared to, say, "Ships Requiring Repair" which requires me to have some ships first, and then damage them)

I think next up will be the Colony Summary window and its 12 beefy sub-tabs (eep!) at least the portions that are relevant on turn 1.  But before that I'll need to implement having multiple empires in a single game, and the mechanics that go into "logging in" to particular empires.  Additionally I'll need to add support for going between two different games rather than requiring a restart -- since A4X supports that, I gotta too!  Once I finish the Commanders window though, I'll publish a new build in case anyone wants to play a pointless micromanage-the-commanders minigame. ;)
 
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Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2018, 12:26:18 PM »
Progress update 2018-09-25:

I'm done with the Commanders window for now.  As promised, I've updated the download page if anyone feels like giving commanders a hundred different personality traits or assigning and unassigning them until they go insane. :)  I've made the download available through the itch.io app which, after initial setup, is the easiest way of all to stay updated.

Since my last post I've done:
- assign commander
- unassign type
- unassign all
- commands panel
- vacancies panel
- highly rated panel
- add personality trait
- remove trait
- edit notes and save
- change location to ship
- eligible only checkbox
- unassigned officers only checkbox
- all the controls on the popup panels like sorting
- random background picture

I found an old save file of mine from A4X, only dated 2086 or so but still fairly advanced, a handful of systems colonized, a full array of ship design,s and so on.  It helped me find some kinks in my migration script that I was able to hammer out.  I'm now able to export the A4X save file to a Q4X save file with 1 click and load it in Q4X!  Which means I will now be going back yet again through all the windows to make sure everything is displayed correctly, as well as working on windows that still on my todo list such as Colony Summary, now that there is relevant data for them to work with.  Also this means I now have enough meaningful data to create the 1 remaining window I have left to design: the Galaxy Map.  Additionally I still have adding multi empire / multi game support at the top of my list.  It's a lot to do but I forge onward 1 step at a time!
 
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Offline Tchey

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2018, 01:31:13 AM »
Thanks for your work.  As a itchio and Linux user, i'm following this project with great interest.
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2018, 01:45:13 PM »
Progress update 2018-10-03:

Possibly the least fun I'll ever have on this project, but super important stuff is now either done, or done enough to ensure a massive rewrite won't be required later on:

- Game Details > Delete Game
- Create New Game > Generate Spacemaster Empire (the generated data is a static prototype, but the game is now able to handle the mostly-empty SM Race)
- Main Menu > SpaceMaster On/Off (limited effect for now)
- Main Menu > Game > Game Info (switch freely between games!)
- Main Menu > Game > Select Default Race
- F9 window > Create Empire (static prototype only)

And finally, all windows: Switch freely between multiple empires, requiring Race Password unless in SM Mode.  So yeah, not a fun batch of updates, but super important to get out of the way early because freely switching between empires and games is a pretty core layer of functionality that almost everything else sits on top of.  There is still more work to do in this vein but the essential groundwork is in place so that I can safely move on to more interesting areas. 

I am now finally starting on what I posted last time: Loading up my 2086 game and going through all the windows to make sure everything is displayed correctly and as many controls as possible are functional, as well as designing the Galaxy Map.  That might be a few weeks and a couple progress updates worth of work, but after that comes the dive into... playability!! 
 
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Online MasonMac

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2018, 08:23:30 AM »
Allow us to full screen the system map?
 

Offline Kyle

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Re: Quasar4x - An early look at an Aurora4x clone in the works
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2018, 03:13:26 PM »
Progress update 2018-10-18:  (Make sure your browser window is wide enough!)

Off-Topic: show


Phew!  That took a lot of work.  As I said in my last update I am going through all the windows with my 2086 game and fleshing out display and functionality. So back on October 3, I figured I'd go through the windows in alphabetical order, and the first up was Ammo Management.  Took an hour or so, easy!  (Although, I'm leaving it disabled without SM Mode because it's cheesy free ammo).  Next up, Class Deployments.  Easy!  Another couple hours.  These were actually pretty well done from my previous pass-thru.  Next up was Class Design.  Ok no problem.  Right?

HA!  What a ride.  Remember, not only am I making things display data from the database correctly but I'm making it actually work.  That means calculating Armor values, Crew requirements, every possible module combination for ships, and you get the idea.  Armor modules were by far the worst to do.  I'm fully aware of how it's supposed to be calculated, and of all the forum posts and spreadsheets in google-land on the topic.  Turns out, none of them are completely accurate when put to the test.  I never was able to get a perfect match but I come pretty close with a lot of fudging.  I will revisit later on.

In making Q4X one of my hopes was that existing A4X spreadsheets and forum posts with ultra precise ship designs would work in Q4X but unfortunately with armor differences and other rounding errors that won't always be the case.  11000 ton ships will become 11050 ton ships, and so on.  The way I have it set up, ships in A4X do keep their statistics intact when imported to Q4X, but as soon as you edit the design, the Q4X math takes over and your values change slightly.  In general, Q4X makes much more precise calculations than A4X because A4X likes to perform rounding multiple times in a formula.

New windows and linux downloads are available if anyone wants to take a poke.  I recommend using the https://itch.io/app for nice small patch sizes.  I replaced the database (the save-game) with my year-2086 game that was used to record the animation above, for a better demonstration.  If you want to try out the 2086 game and you've run an older version of Q4X in the past, make sure you close Q4X, delete the old save (at %APPDATA%\Roaming\Godot\app_userdata\Quasar4x\quasar4x.sqlite) then restart Q4X. 

Here's a list of changes:
- New Major calculations: dynamic Ship Design Summary, Armor Thickness, Armor Columns, # of Armor components, Maint Supply amount, # of Crew Quarters, DAC chart, Electronic DAC chart, Design errors and warnings, Show Refit cost from selected other ship, show eligible additional classes if this is primary class for a shipyard, Maint Life, AFR%, IFR%, 1YR msp cost, 5YR msp cost, Ship Range and Duration on full power
- New Minor calculations: Fighter vs Regular class, Commander Priority, cost of ship, size, +4 Armor for PDC, Ship thermal, cross section size, rank required, protection value, cloaking sensor reduction, engine power, fuel efficiency, fuel capacity, # harvesters, # terraformers, salvage rate, MaxSpeed, shield strength, shield recharge rate, daily shield power cost, reactor power, required reactor power, damage control rating, jump rating, jump distance, cryo capacity, active sensor strength, EM sensor strength, grav survey rate, geo survey rate, ECM, cargo capacity, magazine capacity, troop capacity, drop capacity, cryo drop capable, Jump gate construction time, cargo handling, notes, build points, tons per man, capacity per HS, crew HS required, actual crew HS, spare crew HS, armor area, armor strength, armor width, internal HTK, build time, load time, missile GPS, missile MCR, Max repair, thermal signature, EM signature
- New Functionalities: Change class, Ship vs PDC, change hull, keep excess crew quarters, obsoletion, show size in tons, weapon range bands, target speed bands, enter deployment time, enter armor rating, rename class, auto-rename class based on theme, select name of class from db, re-number ships in class, create new hull and abbrev, create new class, delete class, give class to NPR, upgrade armor, unlock/lock, copy design, show civ designs in class dropdown, don't use theme for new class name, sort class dropdown by alpha size hull or cost, enter/exit SM mode, text file for copy paste, list available components, add component by double click or add button, remove component (double-click/add), 1/5/10/100 components at a time, components display window, group/ungroup components, show obsolete compoenents, show commercial components only, preferred mag loadout, add/remove 1/10/100/1000 ordnance to pref loadout, ignore size restriction, obsolete ordnance, show obsolete ordinances, component summary and sort by amount/size/cost/crew/htk, total materials required, min rank and class priority, record notes, show ships in class, hide/show under construction, show civ ships.
- And a few other odds and ends.

Next up will either be the next window in the alphabetical list which is Colony Summary, or switch gears and do the Galaxy View window.  Haven't decided yet!  (Edit: It'll be Galaxy Map ;) )I may be taking a few days off to play the latest Oxygen Not Included update as well! ;)

Thanks for reading!  It's a lot of fun to take a break and do a writeup like this and sort of see for myself how much I've done. 
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 01:13:43 PM by Kyle »
 
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