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"Attract Mode" - a mission script for zero players

posted Jul 27, 2011 13:40:50 by Mike_Substelny
EDIT: The 1.6 version of this script is ready to download and play. Go to my mission script website to get it.

This mission script is almost done and should be published Friday, July 29. It is short enough that I should be able to publish the text-only version here in the forums. Here is the description from my website:

Got a spiffy Artemis bridge setup that looks flat and boring when there's no one playing? Me too. That's why I wrote "Attract Mode." This mission script constantly creates enemy and friendly ships, bases, black holes, anomalies, etc. If something gets too far away the script brings it closer so there is always something interesting on the main screen. Fly Artemis into a black hole and she won't die --- she'll emerge from another black hole in another sector. The script also keeps Artemis replenished with weapons and energy so she can cruise forever and fire any time you like. Just launch in difficulty one, put Artemis into a gentle turn to starboard, set Warp Factor one, and walk away. All five stations and the main screen will look busy all day long. Crank up the difficulty and a single player can use it to practice operating any station. Suitable for zero to six players.
[Last edited Jan 24, 2012 02:06:51]
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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17 replies
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Clayton-Mast said Jul 27, 2011 15:34:52
Sounds interesting. I love endless game play.
Aka Masuto Nendo-Ton
Helmsman of the I.S.S. Tyrant NX-10001110101
Captained by TPherball McGuillicutty
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ThomRobertson said Jul 27, 2011 16:53:27
Mike, I love it. And I can use it when nobody's playing at GenCon. Thank you!
Creator of Artemis
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Mike_Substelny said Jul 29, 2011 03:29:57
You're welcome, Thom.

The script is now done and playable. It makes Artemis look pretty good, though I hope to make a few more improvements. You can download "Attract Mode" from my website.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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ThomRobertson said Jul 29, 2011 16:01:47
I'm running it now. It looks great and works well.

I made changes to the Observer mode to make the camera more contextual, and your script really helps show the changed camera well.

Thanks!
Creator of Artemis
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ThomRobertson said Jul 29, 2011 16:42:56
Mike, are you playing with Y axis enemy positions in this script?
Creator of Artemis
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Mike_Substelny said Jul 29, 2011 18:12:11
Not intentionally, Thom. I have one event that somehow doesn't seem to run completely all the time and I planned to look at it tonight. Here it is:

<!-- If Artemis flies into black hole jump to next sector -->
<!-- First set up the special effect -->

<event>
<if_inside_sphere name="Artemis" centerX="50000" centerY="0" centerZ="50000" radius="2000"/>
<if_variable name="jumping" comparator="!=" value="1"/>
<set_variable name="jumping" value="1"/>

<!-- Passage through blackhole temporarily creates the anti-Artemis -->

<create type ="neutral" hulltype="5" x="30000" y="10" z="48200" angle ="0" name="simetrA"/>
<set_object_property name="simetrA" property="topSpeed" value=".001"/>
<set_object_property name="simetrA" property="turnRate" value=".0001"/>
<copy_object_property name1="Artemis" name2="simetrA" property ="angle"/>
<copy_object_property name1="Artemis" name2="simetrA" property ="positionX"/>
<copy_object_property name1="Artemis" name2="simetrA" property ="positionZ"/>
<set_skybox_index index="0"/>
<set_object_property name="Artemis" property="locationX" value="1000"/>
<set_object_property name="Artemis" property="locationZ" value="2000"/>
<set_object_property name="Artemis" property="angle" value="0"/>
<set_object_property name="simetrA" property="locationY" value="0"/>
<destroy_near type ="nebulas" centerX="50000" centerY="0" centerZ="50000" radius ="500000"/>
<destroy name="Kr01"/>
<destroy name="Kr02"/>
<destroy name="Kr03"/>
<destroy name="Kr04"/>
<destroy name="Kr05"/>
<destroy name="Ar06"/>
<destroy name="Ar07"/>
<destroy name="Ar08"/>
<destroy name="Ar09"/>
<destroy name="Ar10"/>
<destroy name="Tg11"/>
<destroy name="Tg12"/>
<destroy name="Tg13"/>
<destroy name="Tg14"/>
<destroy name="Tg15"/>
<destroy name="Tg16"/>
<destroy name="Sk17"/>
<destroy name="Sk18"/>
<destroy name="Sk19"/>
<destroy name="SL20"/>
<destroy name="SL21"/>
<destroy name="SL22"/>
<destroy name="SL23"/>
<destroy name="DD30"/>
<destroy name="DD31"/>
<destroy name="DD32"/>
<destroy name="DD33"/>
<set_timer name="skybox_timer" seconds="1"/>
</event>

Sometimes this event seems to run completely, other times it doesn't. Now and then simetrA doesn't get set to Y = 0 (causing the problem you may have observed). Other times some of the ships aren't destroyed, so I put other lines into other events to try to double-destroy them. But the weird thing is that at least part of this event does run every time because the nebulae are always destroyed. It's not logical that it would stop partway through.

This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been attributable to human error.


I shall hunt for my error tonight. I'd welcome any advice. Did I screw up the syntax for changing simetrA's Y coordinate?
[Last edited Jul 29, 2011 18:13:19]
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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Mike_Substelny said Jul 29, 2011 18:16:36
Ah, I see it now. The offending line is now shown in bold above. Somehow I scripted "locationY" instead of "positionY." I'll fix it and upload the revised script ASAP.

Could this cause trouble in the destroy commands that follow immediately below? If not, then I may still have another problem, since those commands see to be missed sometimes.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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Mike_Substelny said Jul 29, 2011 18:49:26
The revised file is now up at my website. I'll test to make certain it works correctly in a couple of hours.

Running "Attract Mode" at difficulty level 1 makes Artemis nearly invincible. You never run out of energy, weapons, bases, or bad guys, so you can just fly around and shoot all day long. Even the black hole can't hurt you. But it still possible for a determined player to destroy Artemis using your own nukes and mines.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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TreChipman said Jul 30, 2011 22:57:16
Clever stuff, Mike! Keep up the great work!
I'm not a mad scientist. I'm an angry one. You'd be wise to fear the latter.

Visit Artemis Command!
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Mike_Substelny said Jul 30, 2011 23:36:05
Thanks, Tre.

I'm back to working on "Truce or Consequences," which uses the same trick to allow Artemis to chase a renegade Skaraan across numerous sectors. But scripting "Truce or Consequences" is a lot harder than I expected!
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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Mike_Substelny said Aug 05, 2011 16:09:06
Now available on my website: "Attract Mode Vertical." It's just like "Attract Mode" except parts of it are in 3-D. Artemis ascends until reaching an elevation of +1000 meters, then descends to -1000 meters, then repeats. The Kraleans, Argonians, and Torgoths also ascend and descend. The Skaraans, black holes, and neutrals all remain on the original plane for reference.

You can't really play it was a game, but IMO it demonstrated two things:

1) Artemis looks cool in 3-D.
2) The Long Range Scan, Tactical Scan, and Console displays don't give the information a crew would need for 3-D play.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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Clayton-Mast said Aug 08, 2011 15:05:04
Thank you so much. You are amazing, like Spider-Man, with out the web swinging. Unless you can do that... Lol! I'd love to see the Stations & Ships respond properly to the 3D space. I know it'll take some work, but how Awesome it would be. Once again Thank You!
[Last edited Aug 08, 2011 15:06:04]
Aka Masuto Nendo-Ton
Helmsman of the I.S.S. Tyrant NX-10001110101
Captained by TPherball McGuillicutty
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gecko1501 said Jan 08, 2012 00:18:55
Is there any way to play this mode while still having to replenish your supplies as they run out. I basically want an unlimited skirmish mode that is like the normal, no mission selected siege, front line, type mode. but with a little less trying to scramble to defend the stations, and a little more doing those randomly generated missions that give those bonuses. if enemy ships and friendly ships would randomly spawn and keep the game going until we're tired of playing. that would be really cool.
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Mike_Substelny said Jan 08, 2012 00:22:21
It would be possible to write a mission script like you describe. Let me think about ity.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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gecko1501 said Jan 08, 2012 04:35:13
Thanks, I'm sorry, I have never coded anything ever in my life. I'm just about computer illiterate. I can install a game, play it, and pray to god it works. that's about it, otherwise I'd love to learn how to do all this. but me and my friends tried it out today. had a 3 man crew running today in ItB federation. none of the missions, just the random set up. We had a LOT of fun but wish there was more of a chance to do those little missions on the side but still have to respond to incoming enemy ships And wished it didn't end when all the ships were destroyed, but would spawn a new force trying to sneak it's way in or something.
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