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Coded Limitations?

posted Nov 12, 2011 17:42:01 by Weiss
What I've always found to be the bane of modding, of any game, is hard-coded limitations to the game and/or graphics engine.

Does Artemis have any preset hard limits on things such as how many ships can be present in a sector? How many ship types/classes can exist in a mission or mod at one time? Are there limits to the number or types of factions (just player/allies, neutral, and enemies)? If these limits exist, is there any plan to change or remove them?
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3 replies
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Vorus said Nov 12, 2011 22:17:26
There are some limits. For instance, ship "hullTypes" (As defined in the "vesselData.cxml" file limit the number of allied ship types you can have to 9, hullTypes 1-9. 0 is always the player ship, and 1 is always the player's base, so you can really only have 8 different possible allied ships. Everything above 10 is an enemy ship. (There are some ways around that, such as mission scripting, etc. But for the most part, you get the idea.)

Yes, there are only three types of factions at the moment; Player, enemy and neutral. There is actually a fourth type, which is a special type of space monster, but we don't have access to that type of faction yet.

I don't know of any real graphics-related limits, but I have had about 25 ships on screen at a time, and it seems to work decent. It's probably more of a limit of your computer's abilities moreso than a limit of the game.
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Eric said Nov 13, 2011 03:27:50
Actually, I think the only thing hard-coded is the player ship and the base. I thought I've made hull types above 10 be enemies and hull types below 10 be enemies through scripting. A mission I never completed was a first contact with the Torgoth and their ship was on screen as a neutral (allied ship) until a group of rogue humans (enemy ships) started fighting with them which turned them into enemies.

Stations or Star Bases are the only really limited thing. Only the info for hull type 1 can be a base, and it must be an allied base. You can't make an enemy base. However, there are ways both of these issues using scripting.
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Mike_Substelny said Nov 14, 2011 19:10:39
I have never found a hard coded limit to the objects that can be present in the sector. Over the weekend I was working on "The Pegasus Passage" and experimenting with huge numbers of mines and ships scaled to ridiculous sizes. The game worked fine. There does seem to be a limit to the physical proximity of certain objects (e.g. I could not get two asteroids to touch - - - if I created them too close together they repelled each other).

In the current release NPC ships can only come in two factions: one called "enemy" and the other called "neutral." This limitation comes from the AI system, which only allows NPC ships to have three types of behavior: neutral, enemy, and elite enemy.

I can say for a fact that Thom is working on broadening this. The next Artemis release will probably overcome all of the limitations mentioned so far in this thread. But if you want to do something more elaborate with the AI (e.g. a free-for-all where every ship attacks every other ship) that may need to wait for a future revision of the AI.

The biggest hard-coded limitations are in the player controls. In my mission scripts I've made a magnetic ramscoop, tractor beams, transporters, a minesweeper beam, and other cool stuff. But I can't give the players a button to turn these things on and off, instead I need to work with the controls they have. For example in "Havok in the Hamak Sector" the magnetic ramscoop gathers fuel if Artemis drops its shields and moves at sublight speed inside a nebula. In "The Pegasus Passage" the tractor beam engages if Artemis moves close to a stranded ship and drops to speed zero.
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