Space Nerds In Space

Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby hc » 13 Jan 2013, 14:08

Ah, I see: It's an integrated spare wheel editor. :)
Well, seems there are command line options for running automatic scad -> stl conversions, too, might become handy.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Brian Rubin » 26 Feb 2013, 22:42

Hello! I just registered so I could find out more about this game. I have a site that covers space games called Space Game Junkie, and would love to learn more about your game so I could share it with my readers. :)
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 27 Feb 2013, 02:29

Brian Rubin {l Wrote}:Hello! I just registered so I could find out more about this game. I have a site that covers space games called Space Game Junkie, and would love to learn more about your game so I could share it with my readers. :)


Alright. What would you like to know?

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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Brian Rubin » 27 Feb 2013, 02:37

Oh, stuff like inspiration, time spent working on it, how much work it took in creating it, planned features and such like that.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 27 Feb 2013, 03:32

Brian Rubin {l Wrote}:Oh, stuff like inspiration, time spent working on it, how much work it took in creating it, planned features and such like that.


Ok....

Inspiration, well obviously Artemis, as I've mentioned. I've never played it myself, but I've seen youtube videos, and it seemed like a cool idea, and not having (nor wanting) a windows machine, I figured, well, I guess I've got to make my own version. This is a bit of a pattern for me, as another game, or more like a novelty than a game which I made, called "Be The Wumpus" came in to existence in the same way -- taking the kernel of an idea of an existing Windows-only game and making my own version of it. Of course, the Star Trek TV series also informed the design of the game to an extent -- same as it did for Artemis, presumably.

Time spent working on it... hmm, well, as the painters say, my whole life up to this point. Well, I first began working on the network part of it, in the form of a generic lobby server which can be found here: https://github.com/smcameron/ssgl although that code is out of date and buggy compared to the variant which is found within SNIS -- need to fix that, I suppose -- about 2 years ago I guess (according to github). I got bogged down with that when I couldn't figure out how to do NAT punchthrough for peer-to-peer connections. So that lay fallow for a couple of years. But, the initial impetus for the lobby server was to make a game similar to Artemis, and that would have been in the fall of 2010, when I first became aware of Artemis. But, I got bogged down in the NAT punchthrough, and Christmas rolled around, and vacation, and I got distracted, and just dropped it. I think I also had some of the network code for SNIS partially done (but buggy as hell) at that time. But in any case, I dropped it at the end of 2010.

And then, in November of 2012, there was a "hackathon" at Platform Houston ( http://www.platformhouston.com/ ) and I knew one of the guys involved in that place, so I said sure, I'll go to this hackathon, which was a 2-day weekend thing, see what you can cook up in two days. So I was kind of fishing around for ideas of what to do, and I thought of this old idea of doing a variant of Artemis, and I remembered Space Nerds in Space that I had started back in 2010, so I thought, ok, let me pick up that ball again.

So I spent a couple days of hard programming getting that onto it's feet. So, all the infrastructure work that I did in 2010, building the lobby code, and the network code, that, by itself, did nothing, and was quite a lot of drudgery to write (all C code, from scratch, not much in the way of pre-made libraries, just because, that's how I roll, usually, not for any good reason other than sheer pigheaded stubbornness, really) -- all that work served me pretty well, and having taken that long break, well, I got the thing to where you could 'drive" and "shoot", and had several different "screens" all potentially separate processes communicating via network working in those 2 days. And of course I re-used a lot of ideas and code -- esp. the font system -- from Word War vi -- so the graphics kind of have that look -- everything is drawn with lines, so everything is scalable. One thing that has always irritated me is when you start up a game and it's at a fixed resolution, and esp. old games written for low-res systems that now look tiny on modern systems, so I tend to make my games scale. Anyway, I digress.

So, over Thanksgiving I had a good solid week off work, and put that to use on SNIS, and made a lot of good progress. Most recently, I've gotten bogged down in the 3d graphics aspects. This is probably a mistake, in several ways. First, I was trying to make my own software 3d renderer. It soon became clear that 1) debugging the thing is really hard for me, 2) it's not fast enough. So there are a couple possible solutions to that, one would be to use gtkglext to do the graphics and well, I'd have a different set of bugs (that I would presumably create) to worry about and lose some portability, but it should be plenty fast, and the other possibility is just use a wireframe renderer (already done, mostly) and don't worry about making the 3d graphics all fancy. If it's good enough for Elite on the old BBC micro, then it's just plain good enough, right? :) Esp. considering the game is fundamentally a 2D game, so the 3D graphics are somewhat superfluous, *except*, for that starship bridge experience with a big projection screen, you've got to have some kind of "out the window" view, right?

As far as planned features, well, I suppose I would aim for the minumum set of features that will make a fun game, as a start. That is, each station has got to have enough for the players to do, and behave in ways that encourage cooperation between "crewmembers", the crew has got to be able to get their ship into interesting and dangerous situations and be able to get out of them (or not) in some kind of interesting and fun way, and basically have something to do, other than merely mindlessly driving and shooting.

The game as it stands today is not ready to be reviewed or played. For starters, there are some bugs that need fixing first, but there is quite a lot else that needs doing.

In the last few weeks, I've been distracted from SNIS, (adding shiny laser projector support to Word War vi, and other little amusements).

But, I hope to get back to SNIS development soon.

Feel free to ask more questions.

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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Brian Rubin » 28 Feb 2013, 05:42

Hmm, might I use this on my blog as an impromptu Q&A of sorts?
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 28 Feb 2013, 16:31

Brian Rubin {l Wrote}:Hmm, might I use this on my blog as an impromptu Q&A of sorts?

Sure.

If you're on G+, we could do a hangout, if you think that might work better.

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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Brian Rubin » 02 Mar 2013, 02:53

smcameron {l Wrote}:
Brian Rubin {l Wrote}:Hmm, might I use this on my blog as an impromptu Q&A of sorts?

Sure.

If you're on G+, we could do a hangout, if you think that might work better.

-- steve

Huh, I totally am, and it totally could. Could you use the contact form on my website to send me an email so we can continue this discussion?
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby charlie » 02 Mar 2013, 14:04

He can use the email button on here (as could you) in the user profile to the right of each forum post.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Imerion » 18 Mar 2013, 17:23

Wow! I had no idea this project existed, but it seems fantastic! Would love to get a few friends together and play this once more finished. Thanks for creating it and keep up the good work!
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby farcodev » 19 Mar 2013, 04:11

A bit off-topic sorry, but a Freegamer G+ circle would be cool.

Keep it up smcameron!
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 08 Apr 2013, 05:51

Just a little update...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKG_uUBsme4
Image

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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby charlie » 08 Apr 2013, 14:32

My inner Spock says, "Live long and prosper!" \\//_
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby farcodev » 08 Apr 2013, 23:48

Very good job!

It takes shape very well :)
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 14 Apr 2013, 03:12

[deleted] (thought better of it. Don't worry you didn't miss anything interesting.)
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 17 Apr 2013, 16:58

FWIW, thought I should mention that there's a fork of Space Nerds In Space on github now... the dude appears to be rewriting the whole thing in C#. Well, that was unexpected.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby JeffM2501 » 17 Apr 2013, 18:42

So far it seems to be going pretty well.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 20 May 2013, 03:49

Just a progress update. Here's a little video showing the new Damage Control station:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkNfBEh-EsU
Image


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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby JeffM2501 » 20 May 2013, 23:51

While I agree that the activity in Artemis is a bit lacking in interactivity, do you think that this may be too far the other way? How long will it take someone to fix a system while ignoring the rest of the interface? I fear that this may not be something someone is willing to do in the heat of battle.

I dig the fact that you are going outside the box here, but is this now a chore to fix something?

Also can you get repaired faster by docking with a friendly starbase?
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 21 May 2013, 00:18

JeffM2501 {l Wrote}:While I agree that the activity in Artemis is a bit lacking in interactivity, do you think that this may be too far the other way? How long will it take someone to fix a system while ignoring the rest of the interface? I fear that this may not be something someone is willing to do in the heat of battle.


You may be right. We'll see. Once I had the idea, I couldn't get it out of my head any quicker way than by implementing it. An "autonomous mode" in which the robot performs his functions by himself is probably a good idea, if for no other reason than it might be hard to get enough crewmembers together to play all the stations.
I dig the fact that you are going outside the box here, but is this now a chore to fix something?


To some extent the entire game is a series of chores. Normally starship crew get paid, I expect. :)
Also can you get repaired faster by docking with a friendly starbase?


I don't know, haven't got all this planned out, I'm making it up as I go.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby Evropi » 21 May 2013, 09:42

Yeah, I too thought this felt like an overly-repetitive chore. I would really not want to go through this minigame more than once to fix my spaceship.

You know what would be better? If you install new stuff on your ship and manually lug them around (fixing should, preferably, be automated). It would definitely... personalise your ship more. I envision something like Secret Bases in Pokemon games (I know, I know...) where you can put useful things as well as decorate the place with gratuitous plants and tables and chairs and so on.
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby JeffM2501 » 21 May 2013, 17:14

Componentization is a good thing but I think you are pondering the wrong aspects of it. What I think would be fun would be to build up a ship from a set of modules that contain equipment. So you can upgrade your Warp, or beams, or add more missile tubes.

These type of games don't really let you walk around the ship to see tables and chairs, the idea is that your physical computer screen is the console you use as a crew member of the ship and the 3d view you see is ether out the window, or in this case a camera above the engineering bay (that somehow magically can follow the robot)
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 21 May 2013, 18:35

Part of my motivation for the whole "damcon arena" as I call it, was to provide something for the players to say to each other.

I imagine:

Captain: "How's that warp drive repair coming, Scotty?"

Scotty: "Fine, I just have to get the transient wormhole suppressor reinstalled and we should be good to go."

And Scotty wouldn't just be merely "repeating what the computer says" (a la galaxy quest), he would actually _mean_ that he really was trying to re-install the transient wormhole suppressor into the warp drive in the game.

Whether that's really good enough reason, and whether it's worth while... I don't really know. I'll think about it some more.

It's also arguable that I haven't succeeded in getting very far away from having the player just "repeating what the computer says" in that the names I came up with are obviously just pseudo-space-jargon gibberish with no actual meaning or relevance.

(tentative list of components is here... https://github.com/smcameron/space-nerd ... _systems.c

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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby JeffM2501 » 21 May 2013, 23:23

The concept of the mini game is good. Something does need to be done more then

"waiting on the blue dots Sir".

I was going to look into some kind of power routing thing so it can be
"Just have to shunt the drive matrix through the hyper inverter Sir"
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Re: Space Nerds In Space

Postby smcameron » 28 May 2013, 06:47

Just another progress update. Been working on 3d models, and the 3d "out the window" view with my very limited 3D programming chops. Hence why it's wireframe and looks like it came from the days of DOS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToHnLq0TfBY
Image

There's no view frustrum culling, so things which are behind the camera show up upside down and reversed. If someone well versed in the ways of the 3D matrix wants to take a stab at view frustrum culling, the relevant code is in entity.c, probably in render_entities() or render_entity().
https://github.com/smcameron/space-nerd ... r/entity.c (not that I really expect anyone to pick that up and run with it, but stranger things have happened.)

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