[WIP] Star Control 1 remake

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Zeracles
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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by Zeracles » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:17 am

Kwayne wrote:That "someone" would be me. I've made most of the UQM-HD crew animations, some critters and captain screens too. I still have those workfiles and I can make new material as well. Check http://kwayne64.deviantart.com/
Hey that's good to hear. I liked your UQM-HD stuff.
Dragon wrote:Nice, I had a brief look at the C code. I'm gonna have to hit it with a compiler/debugger to understand it so I'll play with it this weekend.
I can guess what could turn out to be confusing. Bits of code that deal with ``searchfactors". Basically, when looking for links to merge the trees, the code considers small inter-star separations, then works up in scale. This is to avoid searching for links between the most separated stars if possible, because that means calculating lots of inter-star distances. So this is why, in the MST loop, searchfactor is increased until it is sufficiently large to allow the MST. This variable influences the search through ``boxminx" and friends. The utility of ``boxminx" etc is a bit different in the closed loop-making part of the code, but essentially it's still there to hopefully make things run efficiently, by not searching over distances that are unlikely to yield links.

Also the comment that goes with the line calculating outerdistance actually belongs with the following line, which is Death 999's linking criterion (now changed). The comment with the line setting closedloopmethod says that my earlier opaque friend method for closed loops is an option, but it isn't (now changed).
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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by Dragon » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:01 pm

Zeracles wrote:If there are tactics/gameplay that require the calculation of additional quantities from the link structure I guess that would be where to go with this code next. Something tells me this thread probably already contains such ideas . . .
Mormont wrote:Dragon may want to change some of this, but here are the additional map objects in SC1...
I'm aiming for an exact game-play remake at the moment; basically the points that Mormont has mentioned.

I'd like to (eventually) make it more strategic without losing the simple charm the original had. In theory the original was like chess - in that the rules are pretty rigid; ship X will beat ship Y unless the player makes a mistake. In any of the 9 or so scenarios it should be possible to think out a solution first and then execute. In practice I tend to just build the most powerful ships I can and then steamroll the map. I could add achievements (or hard limits) to force people to complete the scenario in a minimum time or with a minimum amount of resources. I could also make the planets play a bigger role with more management. I don't want to change the melee game because that's what Star Control is. Ideas are welcome.
Kwayne wrote:That "someone" would be me. I've made most of the UQM-HD crew animations, some critters and captain screens too. I still have those workfiles and I can make new material as well. Check http://kwayne64.deviantart.com/
Great! The captain animations I'm looking for are the SC1 races: Androsynth, Arilou, Chenjesu, Earthling, Ilwrath, Mmrnmhrm, Mycon, Shofixti, Spathi, Syreen, Umgah, UrQuan, Vux and Yehat. If you're keen I will provide you with a list of exactly what I need sometime towards the end of October. It's mostly UI elements and the planetary construction/destuction animations. There's a link to a video at the bottom if you're interested. Also the two victory screens (which are a bit bland in their original form):
ImageImage
glory_device wrote:Out of curiosity...how is it going in terms of Sound effect and music? I might be able to contribute a little bit if you need :)
Back when I last had a demo up (some time ago now :?) I had a little MOD player going for the SC2 MODs. I'm still at the point sound-wise so I haven't given it much thought. If you're feeling creative, go for it! But I haven't even gotten around to listing the sound effects yet so I can't give a definitive list of what I need. For better or worse I only had a PC speaker when I first played so I don't have a particularly strong opinion on what I want it to sound like. The Adlib sound effects were a bit iffy too - again see video below.

A youtube video of someone playing through an entire scenario is here.

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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by Dragon » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:16 pm

Zeracles wrote:I can guess what could turn out to be confusing. Bits of code that deal with ``searchfactors". Basically, when looking for links to merge the trees, the code considers small inter-star separations, then works up in scale. This is to avoid searching for links between the most separated stars if possible, because that means calculating lots of inter-star distances. So this is why, in the MST loop, searchfactor is increased until it is sufficiently large to allow the MST. This variable influences the search through ``boxminx" and friends. The utility of ``boxminx" etc is a bit different in the closed loop-making part of the code, but essentially it's still there to hopefully make things run efficiently, by not searching over distances that are unlikely to yield links.

Also the comment that goes with the line calculating outerdistance actually belongs with the following line, which is Death 999's linking criterion (now changed). The comment with the line setting closedloopmethod says that my earlier opaque friend method for closed loops is an option, but it isn't (now changed).
First off I just need to get it compiling - I was playing with concrete this weekend so I didn't get a chance to look at much else. As luck would have it you're using a non-standard GCC extension for declaring arrays with non-constant variables. I use Visual Studio which - whilst non-standard in a whole bunch of other aspects - enforces constant sized variable declarations. Compilers gotta love 'em :roll:. It should be a small change for me to make and then I'll get to trying to understand it. Now, I need to get to bed because it is freezing here and heating is not a concept we Jo'burgians have...

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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by Kwayne » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:04 pm

Dragon wrote:Great! The captain animations I'm looking for are the SC1 races: Androsynth, Arilou, Chenjesu, Earthling, Ilwrath, Mmrnmhrm, Mycon, Shofixti, Spathi, Syreen, Umgah, UrQuan, Vux and Yehat. If you're keen I will provide you with a list of exactly what I need sometime towards the end of October. It's mostly UI elements and the planetary construction/destuction animations. There's a link to a video at the bottom if you're interested. Also the two victory screens (which are a bit bland in their original form) ...
I got workfiles on some captains, meaning I can provide you the ones below now in their current form, and I can remake them rather quickly in any resolution needed. The animation I made for UQM-HD have only 2 phases per action (turning, acceleration, firing etc.), which probably should be fixed to have 3 per action -- like the original -- later. Some captains were remade to conform more with SC2 designs. If you want some of the animations more true to SC1, I can make those too.

Any parameters/requirements you can give -- maybe a test build to try my work in action -- would be helpful, so I'm interested in your list of tasks.
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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by Mormont » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:11 pm

In theory the original was like chess - in that the rules are pretty rigid; ship X will beat ship Y unless the player makes a mistake. In any of the 9 or so scenarios it should be possible to think out a solution first and then execute. In practice I tend to just build the most powerful ships I can and then steamroll the map.
How much of this is because of the AI though? While Star Control 2's melee AI is challenging enough for a new player, anyone who's been playing the game for a long time can whip it pretty easily, and then SC1's AI is worse. I think SC1 was designed primarily for multiplayer. But it's almost impossible nowadays to get an SC1 match with someone who understands the game and is reasonably skilled, so it's hard to judge how balanced the game actually is! Are you planning to have online multiplayer?

By the way, SC1's Melee has some little differences from SC2 like a smaller arena, a bigger Umgah cone, the planet eating the Chenjesu even more easily, etc (minor things like this are another reason it's hard to know how well SC1 is balanced, because SC2 Melee with SC1 ships isn't exactly the same). Are you planning to copy things like that?

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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by glory_device » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:40 am

A quick question Dragon, is there a general style, vibe or scale that you are looking for in terms of music? Some idea springed today, but I am not exactly sure what you are looking for :lol:
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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by Dragon » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:23 pm

Sorry 'bout the long response time. Someone(s) at the office noticed that things were a bit quieter so decided to add more stuff to one clients release and to move another clients release a couple of months earlier. Seriously >:(-smf
glory_device wrote:A quick question Dragon, is there a general style, vibe or scale that you are looking for in terms of music? Some idea today, but I am not exactly sure what you are looking for.
I still don't really have an opinion on the sounds/music so if you've got an idea, roll with it. It'll probably set the style 8-) .
Mormont wrote:Are you planning to have online multiplayer?
Not at first, I've asked someone else to write the networking code but they've been busy.
Mormont wrote:By the way, SC1's Melee has some little differences from SC2 like a smaller arena, a bigger Umgah cone, the planet eating the Chenjesu even more easily, etc (minor things like this are another reason it's hard to know how well SC1 is balanced, because SC2 Melee with SC1 ships isn't exactly the same). Are you planning to copy things like that?
Somewhat, I expect SC:R's feel will be as differenct as SC1's was compared to SC2. If nothing else then not being locked to 16 directions does changes things (as does having a slight rotational inertia). Things like the larger Umgah code I'll try and keep whereas things like the Chenjesu eating planets/getting locked on asteroids etc... will be depended on the physics which I'm unlikely to fiddle with unless it's broken. Lastly some things I will change - the only one I can think of off the top of my head is the weird boxy Androsynth blazer circular path.

I guess the answer for the melee battles is: it depends. For the strategic part I'm trying to keep things the same (not the user interface, it has aged badly).
Kwayne wrote:Any parameters/requirements you can give -- maybe a test build to try my work in action -- would be helpful, so I'm interested in your list of tasks.
I've been trying to work towards a test build - at least for setting animations. Of course as luck would have it I ran into a really complicated bug* almost immediately and I haven't really had the energy to solve it** so it's taken about 2 weeks. It is fixed now so I'll get back to getting a little animation test out. The UI elements will come later as they still need a lot of work. Realistically I'm not expecting to get anything out before mid-October.

*For those interested the bug was: If I have one object allocated on the heap pointing back to itself somehow (ie: cyclic pointers) and then also have a pointer on the stack pointing to it and then remove any other pointers from other objects in the heap then it is not properly deallocated when the last stack pointer is cleared.
**See comment at top

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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by glory_device » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:33 pm

Well... here is my first sort of ''idea'' that came to my mind...It is really not finished at all, but it can give you an idea.

I was thinking...when you are playing as the Hierarchy, the background music should be dark...almost creepy and kind of oppressive. So, I came up with this crazy thing: (it freaks me out a bit even tho I composed it)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/254 ... hralls.mp3

The alliance side (nothing produced yet, I still need a sudden inspiration) will more likely sound patriotic and uplifting...
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Specifically, they pried me from the doorjamb, and rolled me into the street.'' -Fwiffo

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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by Dragon » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:16 am

glory_device wrote:I was thinking...when you are playing as the Hierarchy, the background music should be dark...almost creepy and kind of oppressive. So, I came up with this crazy thing...
Cool, I think it's more suitable to the Hierarchy strategic part of the game than the melee game. Also if you can it needs to be a little longer... well actually quite a lot longer. And ideally sequencable. What? I'm not picky ;)

So here's what I'd do musically:

Start executable
Intro Music/Menu Music

Start Hierarchy Scenario game
Wait for music to fade out: ~1/2 second

Start map display
Begin BattleThralls intro sequence (approx first 20 seconds of BattleThralls)
20 seconds pass, switch to a random BattleThralls sequence probably about 30 or 60 seconds long but anything goes. Let's say 60 seconds
60 seconds pass, switch to a random BattleThralls sequence.
Repeat...

Melee game begins
Wait for music to fade out: ~1/2 second.
...

Melee game ends
Back to map display
Begin random BattleThralls sequence (possibly including the intro).
Repeat as before...

So why is this so complicated? Well here's what happens in theory:
In parts of the game where there's not a lot of action happening (particularly including sound effects) it's really easy for the player to spot a looping song. The intro to a song is also very noticeable. To counter this one takes a song splits it into sequences; any of which could be played naturally (and without jarring the player) after another.

eg: Song: | Intro | Seq A | Seq B | Sec C |
could be played as:
Intro -> A -> C -> A -> A ->B etc...
and depending on the variation of the sequences the song never really sounds like it's looping.

In practice what happens is:
Game music players tend to noticeably skip between files and some sequences just don't sound good after other sequences. So given 5 minutes of unique sequenced music a game designer will take those sequences and paste them into one okay sounding 10-15 minute song. It's a pretty safe assumption that if the same part of the game has been onscreen for 15 minutes then the player has been distracted by something in the real world and probably won't care when it loops.

On an unrelated note: does anyone else have issue where they get logged out very quickly (sometimes within seconds of logging in)? It happens to me at home and at the office but as I tend to use the same ad-blockers etc... at both places it could be a function of that. It does make posting a bit of challenge though.

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Re: [WIP] Star Control 1 remake

Post by glory_device » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:49 pm

Cool, I think it's more suitable to the Hierarchy strategic part of the game than the melee game. Also if you can it needs to be a little longer... well actually quite a lot longer. And ideally sequencable. What? I'm not picky ;)
I had exactly that in mind for this snippet. For sure, I wasn't propose something like that for a melee battle! The length will be much longer too. F.Y.I. : No, you are not picky :lol:

For everything related to looping and sequencability, it is a great idea overall. The only thing that I need to know is this. I saw in some game engine that the transition time between song lead to a cut in playing or some kind of delay. This may impact me because if for example I leave the last song on a A chord and go the next song snippet so they ''connect'' together...a delay would be quite awkward to hear. However, if I use fade out and fade in...I can hide the switching. Also, I guess that your software is able to play an intro sequence and leave it out of the random looping?

You have no idea how helpful your post was!
''I swiftly matured into a fine example of my species and with my parents' assistance, achieved independence.
Specifically, they pried me from the doorjamb, and rolled me into the street.'' -Fwiffo

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