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DEMO 4 - progress


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Update news:

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As some may know, D2TM DEMO 4 is being worked on quite hard, but it will take probably a few weeks before a release will come.

Some major rewrites are being done due better OOP programming , making it far more easier to add new unit types and new structures. It will also make it easier later to code network stuff and so forth.

To make sure demo 4 will be released with enough satisfaction, i invite people to sign up as 'tester' for the new engine (rewritten parts that is). This is how you can sign up: Send an email with your name and e-mail adress so i know how to reach you when the time is there. Once a demo 4 is there for testing, i will send out a mail to all those who signed up and give a link to the new version. You can send me feedback then as well.

Send me an e-mail to stefanhen83@planet.nl , make the subject D2TM or else my spam filter will not let you through. Thanks!

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I'm positive Dune 2 has three House-dependent victory songs yet only one defeat tune, unless we're talking about the Genesis version, where the defeat tune had three separate variants fro each House.

Right about the victory tunes, but wrong about having only one defeat tune. It has three: one for each house. The three defeat tunes all sound a lot alike, though, and depending on which versions you are listening to some may sound exactly alike. When I say "versions" I do not mean versions of Dune 2. The PC version of Dune 2 has at least three versions of every song. My guess is these are for different sound cards.

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Is this a part of the problem that when a production building is lost, the panel is not cleared, so you can continue to build until you change the tab (though units do not appear)?

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The three defeat tunes all sound a lot alike, though, and depending on which versions you are listening to some may sound exactly alike.

Well, the ingame defeat tunes (if you listen in DOS Box, as I do) sound similiar, at least. Anyway, there's only one defeat song in the MIDI set of Dune 2 music that I have. These MIDIs seem to be quite accurate:

The tunes were converted from 'C55' files, which were actually XMI files with subsongs. The tunes are converted by Andrey Gayvoronsky, each number corresponds to the source XMI file, behind is corresponding subsong. There were actually some more subsongs in some tunes, but they seemed to be only some jingles.

Maybe the defeat music differs only by those "almost irrelevant" subsongs/jingles? I can check with my Dune 2 in my spare time ::)

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In case you did not read the d2tm news at its website, i got the structures working with OOP perfectly now. It was not hard to rewrite this at all.

Will be gone for a few days from now on, be back at friday. Also i start a new study, so it also will take some time. But do not fear!

Will see you soon

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there are 3 different defeat songs, that is for sure. I never payed attention to them if they where played randomly in dune 2 , or that they where house specific. So if anyone can enlighten me, i am all ears! :)

As I said before: there is one for each house. In other words, they are house specific.

On my sound card, it is easy to figure out which is which by listening to the MT-32 versions of the midis both in the game using Dosbox and outside of the game. The reason is on the MT-32 versions the three defeat tunes all sound noticeably different.

The versions of the midis that sound good on modern soundcards (and are thus the versions used by D2TM etc.) are not the MT-32 versions. On these versions of the midis, only the Atreides defeat tune sounds noticeably different when played on my sound card.

When I extracted and converted to .mid the Dune 2 midis for my own collection, they came out with each midi file holding more than one tune. In the file where the defeat tunes were, the Ordos defeat tune was first, then the Harkonnen one, and last the Atreides one. At least that is how the MT-32 versions were, I'm just assuming the other versions of the midis have them in the same order. If anyone wants to know, I used Winripper to extract them.

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Hi

Ik just played demo3, works great ! only thing i found is, when i ordered for example a quad from a newly build light factory (after it was destroyed) it wasn't deployed until i selected the factory and pressed P. And i was thinking why aren't those quads coming out!  :D Really missed the save option hehehe

Jochem

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Progress updated (see post 1).

Here 4 screenshots about the progress:

1 till 3: Skirmish menu. Notice the question mark, this is shown when selecting random map (1st in maplist). When clicking on it, a random map will be generated. You can adjust the amount of 'startpoints' (players) there too. You have to hover your mouse over the question mark to see how the map will look like. If you do not want to know, you can just play right away and be suprised (which i like the most).

4: here you see the AI building a base in skirmish mode.

[attachment deleted by Gobalopper]

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AI building a base? *drool*

About updating the frist post, I'm wondering if it's possible to somehow indicate what is newly added to it. I'm thinking an icon (*) or something next to " - " to indicate the newly added info. Hard to read over the whole thing each time to see what's new.

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It would be really awesome if the AI can build a base like a castle. Like the pre-made bases in D2.

For me, building my own base like a castle was my favourite part of the game.

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I would think that the AI would have different settings eventually. Agressive, defensive, netural, random, etc.

They would still try to kill you as best as possible though :) (that's where the difficulty settings would come in)

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Actually Gilneas, you made me decide to do what i actually had in mind... prebuild bases. Meaning:

- ini files, which tell the ai how to build a base (in a specific order)

This may sound dull, and relatively easy to do ofcourse. But actually it makes a lot of sense and makes the game a lot more fun.

Why?

- the ai itself, will never create a nice fortress/base as a human can

- the ai will make odd decisions in base building, and will always stick to one (or two) specific

  orders (ie, windtrap -refinery, etc).

How do base.ini files make it more interesting?:

- the more base ini files, the more fun it becomes. Besides, the bases will can be a lot more complex and harder to defeat. Basicly you can have some influence how the ai will progress from the start up.

In Arrakis it already uses such a thing btw. The limit is that in Arrakis there is only one AI and thus only one way to build a base (hard coded in the map data itself).

Base.ini files basicly are very simple and can be hand-edited like this:


[BASE]
Structure=Windtrap, -2, -2

All AI's have a focus point , this is where the constyard is and also the main focus point. In the structure line, you see:

<building> , relative x pos, relative y pos

Meaning:

- First build windtrap, place it at the upper left of the constyard:

Roughly translated:

# = cell (tile)

C = Constyard

W = Windtrap

#WW#####

#WW#####

###CC###

###CC###

########

-2 y is 2 up, -2 x = 2 left from focus point (= upper left of constyard)

Suggestions, ideas? You do understand the succes for this formula depends on the amount of bases made by the community... ;)

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I think this Base-Script idea is brilliant. If you could implement a map scanning feature to decide wich building method that is best for the current map, the idea would be revolutionary for the RTS.

And!: If the computer is able to build MCVs and build new "outposts" as we human to, that would be revolutionary too. Especially if the AI uses different building and defending strategies for the small outposts.

Suggestions for skirmish:

Ability to turn off super weapons (or even better chose tech-level as in RA1)

Crates appear on the map, containing one of the following: A powerful unit, upgrade unit, show the entire map, or money (should also contain option to turn on and off) I will produce the nessecary graphics (and sounds) if you think its a good idea.

Super-weapon counter: Let the other players see when the super weapon is reloading (like RA2)

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Actually Gilneas, you made me decide to do what i actually had in mind... prebuild bases. Meaning:

You mean in skirmish the AI will already have a base built when it starts?

Or you mean that it will have a defined way of building its base (to give players the best challenge)? I think it would be cool to have people make AI settings which means the building orders and such.

- the ai itself, will never create a nice fortress/base as a human can

While that may be true, as more people play it, I'm sure redefining what a good base is for the AI would be easier. And it will be easier once unit/building balancing is done.

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You mean in skirmish the AI will already have a base built when it starts?

Or you mean that it will have a defined way of building its base (to give players the best challenge)? I think it would be cool to have people make AI settings which means the building orders and such.

While that may be true, as more people play it, I'm sure redefining what a good base is for the AI would be easier. And it will be easier once unit/building balancing is done.

Yes, i mean there is a specific setting how the AI should build the base. It does not mean that the AI start with a base, would not make sense to me for skirmish games ;)

A 'good' base to me is one that is also well defended.

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Well that would be a matter of checking if a base can be built beforehand.

SO basicly it will be like this:

- skirmish game starts

- base.ini files are checked if one of them can be built, make a list out of all of them that are possible

- select one from list

- when list = empty, then do own base building (but result = that it is not that 'nice' as base.ini file)

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Would it be possible for the Base AI to be split up a little? The problem I'm envisaging is that rock is so scarce that no build map (BM) is going to fit most maps. What I suggest is that the AI break up its base into zones, each of which have a BM, within the unified BO.

For example, on a long, thin, vertical strip of rock, a single outwards-expanding BM won't work. What the AI might do is to bruild a WT and Ref near the CY, then 'throw' a node forward (after checking where there is ans isn't enough space) and follow a BM with a more northerly starting point (say factories), then 'throw' a node back southward and build more support buildings: Outpost, palace, Hi-tech. The result is that the AI will have three clusters of buildings, vertically aligned, which fit the space of the rock.

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oof, that would require some major reworking then. Might be keeping the same old ai for building bases as it is now and optimize it instead of doing bases. I think you're right nema about the problems. The AI has little to no problems in the random generated maps, as they will give all players sufficient rock to build on.. But for custom made maps, thats a different story for sure.

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test explosions using additive blender. They are updated, and real light-effects are in. Perhaps i will be expanding it, but you will see light effects on impact from rockets , etc. Perhaps i will even add it for tanks shooting, etc.

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A option like that alters the game quite much, and the user should be able to switch on/off to recieve the optimal Dune 2 Feeling.

I discovered something strange in demo v3.5... The rocketlaunchers wont target buildings (shooting but missing). And I think the Trooper squads, still are a bit too powerful... But unit balancing shouldn't be any big problem before the 1.0 non-demo release.

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