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 Post subject: Hello
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:38 am 
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Hello All,

I got pointed to this site when I got a download for the TCM Starter pack.

I am building an 'Elite' mod for Freelancer called "Mostly Harmless" - inspired by the news of the new version of Elite (Elite: Dangerous) coming out next year. I am a big fan of Elite, and I pledged to the kickstarter for Elite: Dangerous, but while I am waiting for that to be released (March 2014), I wanted something to be getting on with in the meantime - so I thought I'd do an Elite mod for Freelancer.

After studying some of the tutorials on the various modding forums, I decided that I would be able to do it, so I started work on it back at the end of January.

I am using the ships and Coriolis space station created by "Gibbon", Jasons's Freelancer Patch by "Adoxa" (for widescreen), the TCM Starter pack and some other bits and pieces found on the various modding forums.

Current development status is that I have 256 Planets distributed amongst 179 systems, all with jump gates and tradelanes. I have manually added the starting base for my first test, which took place on Monday 4th March 2013 - thanks to the TCM start pack - before I found this I had hit a brick wall trying to get the game to run without crashing.

I am taking a slightly different approach to the modding, I am not creating all the ini files by hand, I have downloaded loads of data on the original "Elite" universe from the Oolite wiki site, and from this data I am generating the mod using code (C#).

Still got loads left to do - space stations & bases are next on the list of content items to add - had a good day yesterday, found some code to write IDS names & infocards directly into DLLs automatically from my database, without having to enter them by hand using the ID tools - cool, this will save me a lot of hours of laborious work.

I hope to have the mod ready around June this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Good Luck with it and Happy Coding :)

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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:53 pm 
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hmmm. I thought I said hi but, I guess not. Hiyas and welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:21 am 
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Hi Stormprooter, finally someone else using those ships for a project :D I also was doing an Elite mod but gave up after i saw Dave Braben was doing Elite Dangerous, not like i can compete on any level with his holiness lol. I wish you well with the project and keep us informed . It will be nice to see those ships in action.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:43 am 
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Gibbon wrote:
Hi Stormprooter, finally someone else using those ships for a project :D I also was doing an Elite mod but gave up after i saw Dave Braben was doing Elite Dangerous, not like i can compete on any level with his holiness lol. I wish you well with the project and keep us informed . It will be nice to see those ships in action.


Hi there Gibbon!

Yes, though I'm only really re-creating the original Elite universe galaxy 1 (which is enough).

Basically by some programming & database witchcraft of the original elite universe data - I am generating all the ini files required out of this, re-using most of the stock resources from the vanilla freelancer, plus your elite ship pack and coriolis station.

I may have some questions about the ships later on (how you went about setting up the engines, hull & shield balancing and so on) - I have only tested out the Cobra Mk III for the moment, and the docking on the coriolis station seems a little off - the ship bumps into the station instead of going into the landing bay - I may need to fiddle a bit to get that working, and I should say I have only tested the docking with the stock rhino freighter - so that may well be the issue.

I have created the 'Elite' lasers effects, pulse, beam & military, and they do look like the lasers in Oolite.

Anyway, working on commodities at the moment, next comes the ships & equipment, then my custom factions.
After all that is done, I can think about populating the universe with NPCs and random trade/pirate/patrol encounters, then bulletin board missions at the bases.

Below is the universe map as it appears in the game:
Attachment:
UniverseMap.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:15 pm 
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You may find this interesting then. This video shows off one of Griff's updated Coriolis stations i converted with proper docking ;)

I'm wondering if the sur file i included with the ship pack you downloaded is the old one, honestly can't remember, it's been a while


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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:24 pm 
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That station has a much larger docking entrance than the one I have.
Either that, or the scaling is different somehow.

Anyway - I did have an idea that could make the station spin, and still allow docking.
Split the station up - have a central cylinder with the docking entrance that doesn't spin, and the outside of the station as a station 'add-on' which does spin.

That kind of thing is way down the line for me at the moment - my focus is getting all the stock elements of the original elite game in place, plus bulletin board missions and working as a game.

I haven't even done any nebulas or asteroid/debris/minefields yet - they will come later. After all this is done I will look to fiddling with models, adding my own voice parts, and perhaps some custom music as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:46 am 
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Keep us all posted as i'm really curious how you get on with this, i'll see if i can dig out some more station models for you

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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:35 am 
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Gibbon wrote:
Keep us all posted as i'm really curious how you get on with this, i'll see if i can dig out some more station models for you


Just finished sorting out the weapons - not many for 'Elite', but they are reasonably complicated in terms of information spread across different ini files

Any we now have the following:
Ingram 1919A4 Pulse Laser
Ingram M1928A2 Beam Laser
Lance & Ferman LF90 Military Laser
Kruger ARM64 Mining Laser (Turret)
Thargoid Laser
Faulcon de Lacy HM3 Homing Missile & Launcher
Faulcon de Lacy HMX5 Advanced Homing Missile & Launcher
Medusa Pandora Energy Bomb & Launcher (implemented as a dumb-fire torpedo)
Tyley-Feynman Quirium Cascade Mine & Launcher

Now looking to see if it's possible to create an energy-based counter measures system (like elite ECM)
EDIT: Found it - just change the 'requires_ammo' attribute in the [CounterMeasure] section - and up the power_usage attribute in the [CounterMeasureDropper] section to balance the fact you don't need to buy ammo.

After this, it's time to get on to the ships & ship packages.

I have created a bit of software to help em manage all the information - see the screenshot below for a typical look (in this case, munitions & mines)
Attachment:
Munitions.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:28 am 
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Un update on development progress:

I am well on target to get this finished by June :D

As stated before I have completed the physical universe, bases, jump gates tradelanes and so on.
Recently completed weapons, equipment, ships and commodities. These are all absolutely complete with fully completed infocards, buyable at bases and so on. It took me about 100 hours to do the lot, but that includes developing the management software which produces the output of ini files, and writes to the resource dlls. The management software allows me to tweak the data and produce a new version very quickly - rather than having to trawl through loads of ini files making sure ids and nicknames match up properly. One of the trickiest parts was working out how to change the ship class names (light fighter/heavy fighter/very heavy fighter/freighter) that you see in the ship dealer - it's a hack in resources.dll, and took me quite a while to find the solution - but it's sorted now.

Also fixed the issues I had with the nav map - wrote a routine to produce the shortest path files, but limit the maximum number of jumpgates (or distance) to 9 systems.

My next tasks are to implement custom factions and all the associated stuff required to populate the universe with NPCs - this looks a little daunting, but I've come this far, so I will carry on and finish the mod. This will bring the universe to life. Also need to implement bulletin board missions.

This should give me a completed open SP game - after that it's making any changes required for multiplayer.

When I'm done I may compile some documentation on everything I have learned during the process of creating a total conversion mod, and maybe even enhance my management software to be able to mod the game right down at some of the nuts & bolts levels (like creating your own audio, effects and so on)


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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:47 am 
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Nice update. Check your mail :)

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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 9:36 am 
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First video - checking out weapon/shield balancing: me vs the space filth :D

I am flying an overpowered Sidewinder



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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:39 pm 
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Good going and it's nice to see live progress being made. Keep us informed. I'd like to have 6 of those Lasers on my Sabre with Infinite Power. :LOL:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 3:30 am 
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HunterKiller wrote:
Good going and it's nice to see live progress being made. Keep us informed. I'd like to have 6 of those Lasers on my Sabre with Infinite Power. :LOL:


The 'Military' laser is the most powerful in the mod. The only weapons that do more damage are the advanced missile, the quirium cascade mine and the energy bomb.

I can send you the beam effect and weapon definitions if you like.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello
 Post Posted: Sat May 11, 2013 3:26 pm 
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I'm good and it/I can wait. Thanks. :)

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