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Author Topic: SITREP Saturday #44: Code 403  (Read 2485 times)


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SITREP Saturday #44: Code 403
« on: February 01, 2019, 04:11:53 PM »

Beta 8 is feature complete :D

It's not ready for release just yet, but a feature freeze is in effect as it goes into final testing. The next release is dubbed "Forbidden Science," and you'll be able to get your hands on this science when it releases the morning of February 12th (my time, which means the evening of the previous day for many players :P). I'll also be getting back to streaming that day and/or the day after.

Today I've got a batch of feature demos to share, mostly interface-related, along with art and other news.

Quality AND Quantity

The main new content for Beta 8 having been completed a couple weeks back, since then I've been able to turn my attention towards smaller matters, like a collection of UI options and other QoL features to continue improving the experience. Here we go...

Machine hacks now have context help via the usual right-click or A~Z:

This puts the system on par with the item/robot stat info and the robot hacking system in terms of QoL, and could be useful for new players or infrequent players who may have forgotten certain effects :)

By request, the part swap menu includes a remove button:

With that we'll have five different methods of removing a given part, because having options is nice!

The part swap menu also now shows disabled parts in orange, and includes manual tags added to unidentified parts (which originally only showed in inventory and the item info page):

The advanced autoReadyLauncher option has been super useful since introduced in Alpha 12, and now there's its opposite, autoUnreadyLaucher, to reactivate all weapons when a launcher is removed:

It's a common tactic to only attach a launcher to deal with a specific situation, then swap it out after firing--together these options remove most of the other commands involved in that process.

Active streamctrl robot hacks display a range within which you should stay to avoid losing control of the robot:

We've got three different advanced options for how to display Cogmind's part loss directly on the map: blinking red, blinking red `X`, or part's name in red:

Currently there is no explicit on-map display for that information to avoid potentially interfering with other indicators or tactical information nearby (plus we already have that info reflected in the log, sfx, and parts list), but this could be a pretty useful feature for some players, especially given that the majority of the combat focus has been designed to center around the map view.

Countdown timers for fabricator and repair station processes remain visible outside of FOV! \o/

There's also a log message reporting completion if not in view. Originally the machine would only showed this info while in view, but sometimes it could take a while to finish and players often prefer to leave the area and come back later, but would then be forced to calculate out the approximate turn on which it would be finished. Certainly always showing the info is better, though this wasn't done originally because it's a lot more work to separately record and display hypothetical information! I.e., the machine could be disabled or destroyed but you're not supposed to know that unless it's in view, and it has to keep displaying information as if it were still processing.

Quite a few times I've received requests for an in-game real-time clock. I've held off on it for a while since I wanted to be sure of where it could work in the HUD, and now it's found a home:

It's optional (off by default), and there's also a separate option to show a real-time run timer, for the real-time speedrunners out there.

Energy-adjusting utilities now factor into the HUD's net energy readout:

The Scan window also got some updates, including a new option to have it only show what's currently under the cursor (or kb marker), rather than the usual behavior of retaining the last object shown.

This is not default behavior, however, since keeping persistent data visible has the advantage of not losing that reference info simply by moving the cursor to perform other actions. Not to mention persistent robot scan info will update their heat/integrity values as they change, if they're still present in the window at the time, without having to put the cursor back over them or use some other method to check.

Speaking of easier access to object info, you'll no longer have to open solid terrain info to check its armor value, which appears under its name in the Scan window:

I didn't do this originally because constantly updating the Scan window as the cursor moves around would be really distracting, but later realized I could both avoid that annoyance and provide the info by only loading the terrain info after a short delay! So the cursor/keyboard marker has to be stationary for 500ms before it will show armor for that space.

Machines and other props will also show their armor value in the same place! Remember that you'll probably still want to take resistances into account before attempting to destroy something, but this is a good general reminder and should save some time.

The threshold for overweight calculations is now inclusive rather than exclusive, so everyone gets +1 support before going double/triple/quadruple(?) overweight...

Maintenance intel markers were switched from green to gray, so that they can be easily distinguished from Terminal markers:

I originally chose green since all the maintenance bots themselves are green, but Terminals are also green so if you have both types of intel it can be hard to spot the Terminals unless you deactivate the maintenance intel. In any case, gray is also a reasonable color for a neutral party.

The very last thing I did for Beta 8, since I had some extra time, was add a pair of new alien artifacts for fun, and science :)

Fun With Bugs

The last couple weeks of dev also involved some dedicated bug fixing, clearing out all the reports since Beta 7.

None were very difficult, although for one in particular I added a visualizer for the Entity (robot) spawn blocking layer of generated maps to confirm a suspected cause of unintended behavior. Technically, on maps belonging to 0b10, most armed enemies are not allowed to spawn within a certain distance of the starting point, but UlyssesB shared a screenshot of exactly that happening on the very first floor. This occurred right around a special encounter room (the part cache), so I initially thought it was simply not blocking spawns to that room. But the engine blocks all random spawning in those areas, so that couldn't be it... Then I checked the actual spawn order and noticed the patrol spawn location (based on its leader) wasn't even in the room itself as I'd thought, but just outside it. This particular encounter happens to clear away the nearby wall as part of its behavior, so what had happened was it cleared the wall, opening the way for a patrol to spawn right there where the wall had been!

The visualizer showing a patrol spawning next to the player:

(the squad leader spawned as the middle 's' there, and the others appear next to them since they're not constrained by that particular spawning rule)

Anyway, in the end the solution was to just additionally spawn-block any walls that are opened up (normally cells that start as walls don't need to explicitly block spawning since walls block spawning anyway!). For comparison this is the fixed version on that map:

And it's a good thing I had a visualizer because the initial solution I coded worked in this particular case but wasn't implemented well enough and still left a potential hole for different patrols (which I wouldn't have noticed had I not activated the visualizer again to look at the results).

For devs, the less here is that data visualization are super useful :)

In another recent happening in dev land, this isn't a bug but more a development goof, but check out this interesting looking "map"

This looks absolutely nothing like what was supposed to happen, but during my first attempt to enter a new area I was working on, something went wrong and I ended up in that place. It was supposed to be a certain static environment, but instead I got a sparse and windy weird cave system.

From The Fans

@nyrdal shared some really cool fan art depicting my winning ninja melee build streamed back in October:

And Zyalin has graced us with some Beta 8 hype art:

It's based on this song.

Fellow roguelikedev and Cogmind player VedVid pointed out last week that Poland's largest gaming portal did a quick video on "Games without graphics that will consume your life" xD

Cogmind is in there, along with other well-known roguelikes such as ADOM, Dwarf Fortress, and Caves of Qud.

And that's it for today. The next announcement will cover the true meat of this release, as we give you... FORBIDDEN SCIENCE!

A note about SITREPs: These are regular progress updates where I often share features coming to the next release, but aren't actually in game yet. Public releases get their own dedicated news announcement and changelogs/release notes, for example with Beta 6 and Beta 7.

There may be other relevant discussion of this SITREP on Steam or r/Cogmind, but feel free to post replies here, too :)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 04:13:37 PM by Kyzrati »
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