Author Topic: Rawbots 0.1.4 eXtended Functionality Mod (XFM) Development  (Read 2156 times)

MarvinMan

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Rawbots 0.1.4 eXtended Functionality Mod (XFM) Development
« on: March 10, 2016, 10:44:59 pm »
It's good to see the mod is still around. Even if we don't have enough members to revive the automated arena yet, the mod includes several useful changes, particularly allowing longer arcs to be created.

If anyone's not used the mod before, I'd definitely recommend it, especially if you find yourself eternally sticking the wheels back onto your bots.

On the subject of further work on XFM, how hard would it be to remove the starry background on the lower graphics settings (or make the terrain not transparent)? For some reason the terrain becomes mare transparent the lower the graphics are set. I'd not really had an issue with it before, but I'm currently having to run on the lowest graphics setting to get anything resembling a playable framerate.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 12:07:39 am by PressureLine »

PressureLine

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Re: Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 XFM (eXtended Functionality Mod) v0.4a
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 03:53:31 am »
The terrain transparency issue is something certainly worth having a look at, I'll put it on my list of things to do.

I still also want to re-redo hitpoint values and weapon DPS. But what I would really love to do would be to look at the relationship between hovers and jets, as well as taking a look at fins.

Imo hovers should work more like a generic ducted fan, rather than being an antigravity device. Adding in of some sort of 'ground effect' (if the fan is pointed at a solid surface, and the surface is within a certain range, it gets an boost to thrust output) vectored thrust (rather than thrust always opposite to the force of gravity) and possibly making them reversible. Also gravity-based efficiency for hovers, jets and fins. With hovers and fins losing effective thrust as the gravity drops until they provide zero thrust in zero gravity, and jets effectively being the opposite, with poor thrust ability at 'normal' (10) gravity and having the thrust ramp up as the gravity drops.

A guy can dream right?
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cupid_the_conqueror

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Re: Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 XFM (eXtended Functionality Mod) v0.4a
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 04:57:03 am »
Honestly pressureline, I think you should talk to Neil About getting him to Fax you an NDA for the rawbots sourcecode. You could do SOO much more with the XFM mod!
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PressureLine

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Re: Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 XFM (eXtended Functionality Mod) v0.4a
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 07:00:41 am »
Honestly pressureline, I think you should talk to Neil About getting him to Fax you an NDA for the rawbots sourcecode. You could do SOO much more with the XFM mod!

Lordy, I haven't seen a fax machine in about 10 years! I'd be fine with signing an NDA, but I prefer email 8)
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MarvinMan

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Re: Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 XFM (eXtended Functionality Mod) v0.4a
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2016, 10:39:32 am »
Re-working hovers and jets as air-breathing and rocket engines sounds like a cool idea, but I can see a couple of potential problems:
>On maps with planets, most flights end up going orbital or entering interplanetary space, and making the propulsion/control surfaces ineffective at high altitude would make that much harder to rectify.
>Jets and hovers have no built-in thrust limit, so most control systems will just brute-force their way out of the thrust reduction mechanic until the thrust reaches zero.
>The current hovers make flight much easier for beginners and provide a convenient support for large structures, so it would be a bad idea to remove them completely.
>There's too little drag in rawbots as it is, so making fins less effective at high altitudes would increase the frequency at which bots accidentally attain escape velocity.
>Similarly, fins not working in space/at high altitudes necessitates additional jets for control, which tend to just make the bot go even faster.

PressureLine

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Re: Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 XFM (eXtended Functionality Mod) v0.4a
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 11:58:13 am »
Oh yeah, a general revamp of motive power (not just for hovers and jets, yeah I'm lookin at you motors) kinda needs doing too, part of me says "do what you can with what you've got" and another part of me says "just port it [Rawbots] to another engine"

Obviously pros and cons to either option, but I've really hit a wall with what I can do with Rawbots in the form it is in and with the tools I have.
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MarvinMan

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Re: Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 XFM (eXtended Functionality Mod) v0.4a
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 12:12:55 pm »
Yeah, I can see trying to modify the physics and behaviour of parts being a major challenge without access to the source.

In any case, what XFM has already achieved substantially improves the playability of the game.

cupid_the_conqueror

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Re: Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 XFM (eXtended Functionality Mod) v0.4a
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2016, 06:51:42 pm »
honestly the greatest change I could ask for is the ability to turn all the physics off. One thing that really pisses me off is when I am trying to build one of my mega builds, and everything keeps bending out of shape on the frame as its being built because its not yet strong enough to take its own weight! if you look at some of my build builds there are tonnes of places that look wonky and out of alignment! I lust for the day I can make a mega build with nothing but perfect 90's!
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MarvinMan

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Re: Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 XFM (eXtended Functionality Mod) v0.4a
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2016, 07:31:39 pm »
There is the hypercube at the centre of blueshift based maps, though I'm not sure whether it is actually the source of gravity or simply acts as a marker. If it does make gravity, it may be possible to add/make visible some code hexes to toggle the gravity.

For now, building on a flat surface with lots of supports usually works. If not, either assembling sections in orbit or making a permanent construction area above a planets surface can work too. I've used the core of the water planet before, but it can be difficult to haul the finished bot out of the water.

I never tried it, but I'm think there used to be a map with an anti-gravity region for one of the old versions of the game.

z26

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Re: Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 XFM (eXtended Functionality Mod) v0.4a
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2016, 10:46:22 pm »
Removing gravity is perfectly possible, although it creates other difficulties.  I can always share my gravity-less map if anyone wants it.

I think the sides of the core you speak off glow depending on whenever or not gravity is activated in the direction (edit: not the case, a side thats glowing spawns a dirt hex above itself) but that cube isn't a programmable object. (edit: its considered terrain, hooks can attach to it)

I totally agree on changing the hovers, I don't actually find them to be that easier to use than jets.  Their whole point imo should be to allow easy hovering without having to mess around with pids and the such.  If you're going to be using pid you might as well just use jets.  using gravity to approximate ground effects might not be the best way to go however.  Real life ground effect drops quite sharply with only a little altitude.  Gravity based ground effect might either not drop fast enough to offer stability or be useless for any ground that isn't 1g.  Maybe make them work like an hovercraft but without the skirt?  A plasma/forcefield skirted hovercraft!  (That works as a fan when the skirt is too high to be materialized)

Maybe making a water planet, (with some hexes inside for a stable building surface?) then moving said planet elsewhere when its time to remove the bot of it could be done.  While we're at it, another suggestion:  water currently slows you down so little that it feels more like blue air than anything else.  Fixing that if in any way possible would be awesome.  A gravity-free but draggy place might be the best place to build.
I wonder what drag profile would be best.  Proportional or velocity squared?  velocity squared is more realistic for sure, but I'm talking about the game experience.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 03:10:20 am by z26000 »

PressureLine

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Rawbots 0.1.4 eXtended Functionality Mod (XFM) Development
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2016, 11:15:02 pm »
To save the download topic from getting too cluttered up, discussion of the development of XFM (and Rawbots as a whole I guess) will move here.
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cupid_the_conqueror

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Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 eXtended Functionality Mod (XFM) Development
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2016, 01:41:15 am »
hey guys, whats a quick way to tell if the mod install is successful? I ran the installer on the directory where the game was installed, but I am unsure if I did it correctly.
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PressureLine

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Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 eXtended Functionality Mod (XFM) Development
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2016, 01:46:07 am »
Check the math_function operand. If under 'type' you have ATAN/ATAN2/ASIN/ACOS it is installed correctly (these functions are unavailable in the vanilla game.
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PressureLine

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Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 eXtended Functionality Mod (XFM) Development
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2016, 09:55:51 am »
I'd not really had an issue with it before, but I'm currently having to run on the lowest graphics setting to get anything resembling a playable framerate.

Managed to make some small framerate gains here, enough to run 1v1 combat bot fights at a good framerate (even on my typewriter computer)
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MarvinMan

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Re: Rawbots 0.1.4 eXtended Functionality Mod (XFM) Development
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2016, 11:04:20 am »
Perhaps it would be possible to hijack the code that hooks use to implement a ground effect? That approach may have problems as the distance output of hooks seems to glitch a bit as it passes over the boundary between terrain hexes.

Did XFM already have some graphics fixes? Fastest graphics setting looks fine now that I've installed it, apart from a slight light blue haze .

As for water drag, I'd be inclined to make it steep linear profile. Having a squared relationship could end up requiring too much thrust to achieve high speeds, resulting in even more stretched links than we have normally. Ideally, it would be possible for fins to plane along the surface of the water without also generating lots of aerodynamic lift.