Wednesday, 30 March 2016

TSN Sandbox and new GM GUI

Over the past couple of days, I have had chance to add more systems to the TSN Sandbox. After talking with Evans, I decided to focus on creating the Volantis system and Waypoint 52. Both were straightforward to add in, and only took a couple of hours work. No doubt there will be some bug I have missed, but after a little testing, I managed to iron out a few issues - mainly transition problems where I had missed renaming a variable.

With these two new systems added, it completes a loop though USFP controlled space. Now crews can set out on a patrol flight and visit several sectors in turn in a complete circuit. This was the main reason for focusing on these two systems. Next, I want to add in some more things to encounter in the patrol mode so that ships can set out on patrol with a GM and have to handle various enemies or situations. I was thinking of adding in some "suspicious" ships - cargo vessels behaving strangely or with strange readings when scanned. These would have to be then intercepted and dealt with by crews on their patrol. I was also thinking of increasing the presence of pirates across all systems so that players are bound to come in to contact with something as they transit USFP space. A patrol may only see one or two contacts, but potentially could come across many more if out for a longer period of time. Combined with the suspect vessels, it should add enough variety for patrols.

There have been a couple of suggestions on the Artemis forums about functions to add to the GM keys. One I am definitely going to look in to is the ability to switch between GM mode and Patrol mode during the mission. There are a few more keys to add in with new enemies from the TSN Expansion too. I was also thinking of something else I could do with the GM console, but don't want to go into that at the moment; it is just an idea, but one that could really be an exciting and engaging addition for crews. 

All this is plans for the future however. I am holding off on doing anything with the GM keys until the release of the new GM GUI that is being added. When it is available, I am going to overhaul all the GM keys so that they use the new menus. I know the changes are really going to make a massive difference to the Sandbox in terms of its usability and personally I cannot wait until I can get started upgrading the sandbox code. 

Other new mission script code that will make a difference and be added when available will be the ship name code. It will allow me to set the ship names in the script, no longer requiring the player to change the names. Both of the additions to the mission script code will make the sandbox much more user friendly and easy to access.

That's all for now!

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