Friday, 21 February 2014

Overhaul Complete!

I have finally completed the work on the TSN RP Mission script (also known as the Sandbox mission script) to create automated Jump Gates and Nav Points. It has been a long and arduous process, and it required a re-write of a number of elements in the script. In the process, I was able to refine some of the script so that in the future, it will be easier to add in new systems and sectors to the map. The script is now all tested, and ready for use (although of course, I will always be adding to it and tweaking it here and there!)

The overhaul has removed the need for client key presses entirely. Although it is something I was reluctant to remove, it has been necessary to ensure that the script works properly. In tests, the client key presses were unreliable. As client keypresses were a requirement to use the script, when they didn't work the script was unplayable. 

The script focuses on the area in which the TSN 2nd Fleet operate. In total, there are 8 systems that can be accessed and two waypoint sectors. Each system has between 2 and 6 sectors, giving a massive number of areas to explore (the whole script has 27 sectors in total). Navigation is through Jump Points and Nav Points. The new jump gates are something I am particularly proud of. They are large rotating structures in space. As you approach, the gate activates, spinning faster until fully online. To enter, you have to fly in to it. The visual effect of such a large rotating structure in space is pretty cool. And all that has been used is generic mesh files and image files from the game folder itself. I have also designed a "Refuel Point" that floats alone, rotating on its axis. When a ship come close to the refuel point, it will begin transferring energy to that ship, almost like a station. It is an alternative to the Fuel Collection System which had to be removed because of the removal of client key presses.

The next phase is going to be adding more features to sectors in the script. I have already added a second sector to the Phoenix system. I am going to further develop the system to make it into a main trading port, with lots of traffic coming and going from neighbouring alien system. Using generic meshes, I will also be able to add in some different "bases" for both visual effect, and to act as points for ships to travel to and from. Osiris system is also going to have a number of additions and will be developed into a 'tourist destination'. From their, the Poseidon Rift can be accessed, a sector that I go into in more detail on the wiki pages.

I also want to start adding in the Mission Packs again. There have been requests for more missions in the Sandbox, and I have a few ideas about one to write. Originally, a crew was able to accept or decline a mission using key presses. Without them though, I am going to have to think of another way to allow crews to pick up missions. One option I am considering is having a "mission waypoint" that broadcasts a message when a ship comes new. The ship could then move into close range to accept the mission, or stay clear to leave it for another time. 

The mission script will be accessible on the Artemis Forums, under the Mission Scripting sub-forum.

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