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Charon

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Posts posted by Charon

  1. As the current creative content holder following announcements and clarifications have been added:
     

    Quote

     

     3.4 Explanation for the installation technology used

    The 3 rar parts of the installation are called a Multivolume RAR Archive. We shall further refer to this as MRAR archive, or simply MRAR.

    https://www.win-rar.com/split-files-archive.html?&L=0

    Each MRAR archive is sensitive, or can be sensitive, to the process it got created from. While the endproduct should be the same we found that unpacking the MRAR with the same tool it got created from yields the best result. In this case the tool used to create it was peazip. Therefore in case of doubt, use peazip. WinRAR has been confirmed to work as well.

    Each part of an MRAR contains an "archive is finished" or "archive is not finished" flag at the end of its volume. If an unpacking tool finds such flag, it looks for the next part. The information of where the next part is, is not saved inside the current volume, because the next part could literally be on another pc, in another country, on a different continent. The unpacking tool searches its paths for the same named entity with ".partX" before the .rar specifier, where X is the current part + 1. Shall it find such entity it will repeat the same process until it finds an archive with the "archive is finished" flag. If it doesnt find the next volume it will throw an error, or worse, throw no error and assume its a standalone rar while opening a half backed archive. You start the whole process from the first archive, that is .part1.rar, and the unpacking tool will find the rest, if it can.

    At the time of writing this (2.6.24) the first part has a size of 2,5gb. If you want to check whether or not your unpacking tool openend the archive correctly you can look at the total size of the archive, which should be displayed somewhere in the GUI of your tool. The total size of the archive is ~7gb. If it says so, it found all volumes of its MRAR.

    All patches are distributed as standalone RARs.

    All data pertaining X-Division is contained in assets.7z. It is therefore entirely possible to install X-Division without the use of the installer, as well as rehosting X-Division without including the installer. The installer only automates steps the user could take themself.

     

     

    3.5 Licenses and Copyright Notices

    All original copyright holders are still the original copyright holders of the creative works used in this combined work, especially including, but not limited to, Goldhawk Interactive™. All original work of the X-Division project is owned by the creative content holder of the project, at the current moment @Charon. All contributions towards X-Division implicitely issue the current creative content holder a revocable license, which allows the useage,  copying, altering and distrubtion of such content, unless otherwisely stated, issued in a written form.

    As it pertains to the original creative content of the X-Division project, you may:
    [] rehost such content
    unless otherwise stated (revocable), as long as the original authors and contributors are prominently displayed.
    You are not allowed to:
    [] modifiy the content and redistribute it under your own name
    You are encouraged to:
    [] Create your own creative content based on this project, host it and name this project as its prerequisite.
    [] When such standalone creative content has proven to not cause gameplay instabilities, is useful and desired by the  community you may request the integration of your content into the project by issueing a revocable license for your creative content to use, copy, alter and distribute it, as well as make yourself heard that you desire such integration.

     

    The installer is proprietary software of the development team for which the X-Division team paid and holds a license for. Its use, copying and redistribution is allowed under the following, revocable license:

    --- License Terms start

    Revocable permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to use, copy and redistribute the Software subject to the following conditions:

    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

    THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

    --- License Terms end

    These are also known as the "Dont sue me when your PC catches on fire" terms.

     

     

    These clarifications have been added to address installation questions as well as removing ambiguity of how to reuse creative content of the project.

    Cheers !
    Charon

    • Like 1
  2. 5 hours ago, DanielAnink said:

    Are we underestimating the potential threat of AI-powered bots infiltrating our forums, and what measures can we take to enhance our bot security to prevent malicious activities and maintain a safe and authentic community?

    This is absolutely genius. They are becoming self-aware.

    @Chris had to ping you about this.

    But the question is real, the forum is overrun by bots, but at what point can we no longer distinguish authenticate human posts from bot ones ?

  3. 10 hours ago, Chris said:

    Hmm, I'm guessing that Ausputzer translates as "sweeper" rather than "cleaner" then, given the football reference?

    Indeed. You picked up on that very well. Indeed he keeps his side of the football field "clean". :D

     

    Though somebody suggested that i am in the wrong thread for this kind of talk, so i will get lost ;).

  4. I tend to take charge of projects is participate in, so that has advantages and disadvantages.

    Here is just my 2 cents.

    The most important part that is missing in this thread are end users. People who can NOT program but want to mod. You need 2 groups of people. One group of people who can make the actual program, and the second group of people who can not program but would like to produce creative content. People who want to mod and can program are put into the group of people who can program.
    The question that you have to ask yourself is what is the target audience. You could propably answer that by saying that the target audience are people who are willing to produce creative content. This target audience will propably be somewhere beetween people who can program, and people who cant. The big discrepancy is not in the quality, but the quantity. The overwhelming amount of people who want to create creative content cant program, even if the quality is not on par. If you want to have a high quantity of creative content make tools which are designed for people who dont know how to use computers, if you want to get high quality mods you have to increase the capability of the tools.
    One of the examples of a very programmy system is @ Illunaks modmerging system: https://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/11156-documentation-modular-mods-system/. Very handy for programmers indeed, but nobody else used it because nobody understood how it worked. The other problem is that the modular mod system is actually a chain. Have one faulty mod in your mod loading order and everything may break down. Even worse, without actually notifying the user of it. 20 hours into the campaign and it breaks. If your software can be misused, the users will misuse it.
    Simply put you need QA. Otherwise you will simply end up with wolves designing a barn for sheep. Very handy for wolves indeed ...

    Other thoughts include:

    Proprietary or open source ?

    Version Control ? Git ? Public hosting ?

    Licenses ? Dependencies ? Contracts ?

    Which GUI library ? Programming Language ?

     

    This post does not express my interest in participating, merely my interest in getting quality tools running. Otherwise you will simply end up with dead code ...

    Cheers
    Charon

  5. 14 hours ago, 9Space said:

    Ich kann die ZIP Dateien V 1.05 und V1.06 herunterladen, aber beim Versuch sie zu entpacken wir mir jeweils angezeigt, dass sie leer sind. - Weiß vielleicht jemand, wo das Problem liegt und wie man es beheben kann?

    Dieser Beitrag sollte jetzt nur noch funktionierende Links enthalten.

    Man darf @ Solver danken.

  6. 8 hours ago, Solver said:

    XenoDE_V1.06.zip for me - does it look fine to you @Charon? From your download link.

    image.png

    Ive downloaded every single link in this thread and its always 0 bytes. Except for my own one, which i uploaded:

    On 3/6/2022 at 8:59 PM, Charon said:

    Called in some favours. Got it fixed temporarily. Moved permanently to the download section.

     

     

    <3 to the german playing community.

    This ones works correctly.

     

    The confusion comes from the fact that this thread is full of links which dont work. I recommend removing all links in this thread which actually dont work, with a note that a moderator edited each post, in its post, and move my own version into the OP.

    Currently no links in this thread work except mine.

    Cheers @ Solver <3

    PS: I can assist in the german language, if the need arises.

  7. Surprisingly, I have to agree with Solver on this one. Nothing is more fun killing than knowing exactly what the map is going to be like, and with that you dont really need to pay attention anymore, and that lessens the fun.

    During the development process of X-Division we took on what needed work the most, and for maps it was the terror missions. Because we added so much aliens the relatively small terror maps felt more cramped than usual. One of the things the team did was create different leveled versions of the same building. Eg:

    Unbenannt.thumb.png.068242c08cc5b4518d7a2dff180942e5.png

    Additionally we simply alternated the vanilla layout. That was a very easy copy and paste job, as we simply copied one level as textdata and pasted it one level higher. Given that terror missions are quite hard, the added variety felt like a good reward for taking on a difficult mission. Keep in mind though that we also forbid the aliens from starting inside of a building, vanilla does not contain any spawn points on higher levels, and the more aggressive AI meant that the player never really had to search for the aliens (thus we also removed the reveal after 20 turns mechanic, and later added it with 40 turns back in again).

     

    However we could do better.

    Quote

     

    Think about this.

    We make a box. We dont know exactly whats going to be in the box, but we call it battleship_map. Its going to contain our battleship submap (x1). We put 2 more boxes into the box, one in the upper half, called "upper box" and one in the lower half, called "lower box" (x2). The upper box will contain the battleship in an hovering state. So we put in the exosceleton of the battleship. We dont know exactly with what to fill it yet, but the exterior is the same in all cases. Then we think about the interior. On an abstract level you realise that all that the player is doing is traversing from level to level, until he reaches the end. However, since we have teleporters we are not restricted to topolocigal access, which would only limit us to two cases, entering the first level and going upwards, or entering the highest level, going downwards. The battleship has 4 levels. We can enter any given level, and make any traversal possible. We set the properties of the upper box to have 4 alternatives, one entry teleporter for each level. Each alternative has again 3 more choices of where to put the next teleporter, and each of them has 2 more choices, and then 1 choice. That makes 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 possibilities to traverse the interior of the battleship map, or 24 possibilities (!4). Now lets think about the number of layouts for each level, since we only have 4 levels to make layouts for, and not !4 layouts. I propose 5 alternatives for each level. You might think its hard to come up with meaningful designs for 5 layouts, but we can have a guideline for making them. There are pistols, rifles, shotguns, heavy machineguns and snipers. We create the layouts by trying to give one weapon type the most advantage in the environment. So for instance for snipers we give good cover on both teleporter sides, and no obstacles inbetween. Shotgun (X-Division Shotgun) advantage is lots of little rooms. Given the space requirements some rooms will look more similar to each other, like a rifle room and a pistol room, but small meaningfull changes are still appreciated. That gives us 5 layouts for 4 levels (x4 x5). So much for the upper box.

    The lower box will contain teleport pad zero, that leads directly into the battleship, wherever the "first floor" is. It will have 8 variations (x8). It will also contain an alien watchtower, in 8 small variatons, 4 fully functional ones in 4 directions, and 4 shot apart ones in 4 directions. Though i won´t count them into the final score, because its rather small details, so only (x1). It will also contain a reference to a small scout, scout or corvette underneath in 4 of the 8 cases, though the number of variations for that is depending on the native variations of the UFOs, so are undefined at this point (x?).

    In total that gives us 1 x 2 x !4 x 4 x 5 x 8 x 1 = 7860 different variations to play a battleship map for only designing 4 x 5 + 8 + 8 = 36 submaps.

    When i took a look at illunaks submaps using submaps, i felt that the ulterior goal of that functionality was to enable procedurally generated submaps.
    https://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/12993-linked-submaps-submaps-using-other-submaps/
    The most suprising thing about this is that it actually works as it is supposed to. However, some small native Xenonaut bugs ruin the fun of actually fully utlising this system. In detail ground tiles with level 0 get mixed up upon loading, which is even present in vanilla or XCE maps/coding. It doesnt outright break anything, but it makes it very hard to visually communicate to the player where for instance the teleporter pad is. Just imagine walking below a battleship, with nothing but grass below, but one random grass tile teleports you inside. There are workarounds, but i would call it essential for this to work.

    X-Division uses a lot of battleship maps in the late game. Battleship, Bomber Battleship, Terror Battleship, Dreadnaught, Terror Dreadnaught and motherships. All linked to battleship submaps. So i thought that it would be a lot of fun to have procedurally generated battleship maps.

    When i read illunaks post i also felt a deep connection to how strustru talks about concepts in C++ ( coming 2022, soon in your compiler). We make a function. We dont know what the function is about in detail, but we will just call it main(). This will contain what we want the program to do. Inside of that function we put another function. Again, we dont know exactly how it will work out, but we want the function to print strings. We call the function print(). And so on and so forth ... . Thats basically how the compiler library has been built up.

    So i would really like to design some procedurally designed maps in A game, where i can go wild with my imagination. I feel like it will help me develope similar skills to being a programmer, while also creating a product that other people can enjoy at the same time. Xenonauts 1 doesnt have the functionality, X-Division has the need, and Xenonauts 2 doesnt have a public map editor.

    These are my thoughts on it anyway.

    All of this is based on illunaks contribution of allowing submaps to load other submaps. This technical aspect alone makes a lot possible. Want to make an asset which contains all other boxes ? We can do that. Want to make another asset that loads said box mix with 20% possibility ? Just put and add 2 of the box mix as a file, and 8 empty ones.

    I am familiar with all the map packs and how they work (mostly) and its not an understatement to say that without the lovely added chaotic and unpredictable maps X-Division would have never come to be. Before people would add additional unit content if no map variety would have been present the gameplay loop would have quickly burned out. Nothings more fun killing than "Been there, done that, seen everything". Imagine playing 200 hours of X-Division on the vanilla maps only, and you will see how much core the mapping scene is to the modding community.
    Unfortunately, Illunaks contributions came way too late. By the time the functionality was added, all the other maps had already been written, and no map content which utilises this system has been published today. The mapmakers moved on, and thats just that.

    It came around that that somebody actually implemented this system, and improved on other aspects of vanilla maps too, focusing on the battleship map. Here is showcase of how that could look like:

    1142599909_X_COMUFODefensedesign.thumb.png.238e1e990f8d84dc635c1a58f68cff94.png

    More images of actual implemented variations can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bY-FRNoOYGcEpiQ4ILPaWGlFoagedOtU/view?usp=share_link

    Here i talk roughly 2 hours about proper game design and explain the ins and outs of the system specifically for maps.

    And the presented idea visualised in a CAD:

    835102956_BoxShowcaseExplained.thumb.png.c4f11b148614eabc239c6c6c8a3563ef.png

     

    This was all done with the functionality that XCE and Illunak provided and is already possible in X1. Now this shouldnt be an argument because it is possible in X1 it should be possible in X2, just showing that the concept removed from the implementation works. Put to the test the procedural generation of battleship maps increased the loading time by 50%. That sounds long, but if you realise you will play at least an hour on such a map its usually worth it. However as Solver once noted, the increased loading time fundamentally shows that something wrong happens in that system, and it should really not take more than 300 ms between a procedurally and non procedurally map generated. Performance is still a factor, and the faster a map loads the happier the players are, as you break immersion less with lower loading times. However, the system will have to be build with procedurally generated content in mind, otherwise you will just end up with scaling issues like in X1.

     

    I strongly advise follwoing points:

    • Hire somebody that actually cares about procedurally generated maps. Whether you like it or not, randomised maps are THE factor for the longevity of a game, and a healthy modding scene. Just take a look at Wacraft 3, the public map editor kept the game alive until the game company literally killed its own modding scene, and spawned entirely new genres, like DOTA. Some programmers just really dont like to do procedurally generated maps, others do. If you cant do it yourself, hire somebody who cares for randomised maps. You will have the highest return on gains on this.
    • Make a public map editor available on day 1. Before anything else can happen for a game, there need to be maps. That means before any other modding can happen, you need the possibility to increase the map variety by the community. Just like Illunaks technical achievements were unmatched, as unmatched was the lack of actual modders who used it. By September 2015 the community scene mostly moved on to other things. So that people feel attracted to the vanilla game, and the modding scene, you need a public map editor. The more map variety there is on day 1, and/or the possibility to make their own, the longer you will attract players. The longer you attract players, the higher the chance for them to buy the next game, the higher the chance they really like your content, and the higher the chance they will start to add to the modding community.  Because people WILL move on, the question of it is just "when". Providing a bigger variety increases the time window people spend on your creative content, and therefore increase the time window you can paint yourself in a positive light.

     

    All of this is a statement about the biggest bang for the buck that the IP can get, not necessarily how possible it is to achieve it. I have not been filled in about the details of the legal issues for a public map editor, or the situation GI is in. But again i have to stress that the least amount of effort is required to implement the system I presented. The modularity of the system is fully accessible, how much effort the map creator spends on any particular asset is a free choice, assets can be reused on other maps ( additional to the "one map, different biomes" idea), and the gain of the system is exponential. By creating only 36 small submaps you can create 5 figure variations of meaningful and good looking maps.

    Sincerely, Charon

     

    PS: I had to chuckle at @Komandos post again, he put it, as other people would say "most expertly", in very few words.
    PPS: I do love handcrafted maps, but as Solver said, simply turning an asset in all 4 directions can provide immense value, with little to no effort. As a matter of fact most 4x variations i produced are the same asset rotated in 4 directions.

    • Like 4
  8. Coming from here:

    https://steamcommunity.com/app/223830/discussions/0/3466109393877511518/

    In a weird way it feels a lot less usefull than Firaxis XCOM. The reason for that is that in Firaxis XCOM the entity overwatching has the advantage, since it can shoot first. This matters because of who dies first.
    In Xenonauts if you are moving at all, you already spent TU to lower your initiative score. In the aliens turn they get their full TUs, and will almost always more likely have more initiative than any Xenonaut soldier that spent any TUs on anything. Imagine 2 equal entities with a certain distance from each other. They are out of firing range, but could move into range, but that would mean spending TUs on moving, instead of firing. Everything else being equal the entity that moves first is statistically loosing the engagement, because some of the action was spent on moving, instead of firing.
    Obviously you could shoot back after being shot upon, but the lethality of the weapons makes that an statistically unlikely behaviour.
    All of this combined puts a lot of stress on knowing where and how close your opponents are, making the best tactic to stay out of sight, and to know where your enemies are. And given the lethality of most weapons its usually the first to shoot wins. This makes most situations very, very campy, and very realistic, as military tactics is first and foremost about information.

    Here is another example. Lets say you have the chance to cover a door, but you would need to spend TUs in order to move into position. However, since you spent some TUs to move into position you cant effectly cover the door, the aliens pops out with full TUs, you have the lower initiative score, and get blasted. Most of what the game is about is to play hide and seek, and gather information about potential threads. It however nullifies everything that falls under the term positional advantage, offensively speaking. The best defensively positional advantage you can get is to not spent TUs. All of this gives the benefit to the defensively playing side, and makes the game a slow crawl.

    META is to play hide and seek, take risk/reward chances to uncover information, and be in the right spot to punish it. Overwatch offensively however, is mostly never worth the risk, exactly because of the initiative formula.

  9. The landing page for the download section is a bit empty. You might think of revising that.

    Some pictures in there got eaten by the bots.

    The community edition got its own category, which ... i dont know how i feel about that but i think it should be properly represented.

    I can confirm the 0 bytes bug addressed on reddit when trying to download the 35.1.zip. Propably something for @ Solver.

  10. You cant see the number of upvotes somebody has below the profile anymore, though whether that information is actually informative, or just an ego thing is up for debate.

    You cant directly see activity when hovering over a name anymore. Might be minor.

  11. I looked at the wrong color scheme problem again, and i have come to the conclusion that rewriting the thread is problematic, not only because i cant edit some posts, because they are not made by me, but also because we are solving the wrong problem. Excluding X-Division there are a lot of mods which presentation was based on the light theme, and they would suffer from the same problem. Some threads are made based on the dark theme, and some are based on the light theme. The proper solution is to enable users to switch to the appropriate background, of which the basic themes are dark letters on light background, and light letters on dark background, and not to edit each individual post. Apart from that setting a custom background color, which is possible, is neat, but not required.

    The fluidth width and bigger fonts options are a great addition.

    Profile pictures are loading in abnormally slowly, and late. Additionally sometimes they have weird representation. You might want to look into that. You want to load in pictures first, then the rest.

    Unbenannt.thumb.png.f8039e8eaeab753a808d033b8752a36f.png

     

    This is a common nitpick with software that i have, and that extends to the whole unviability of windows 10, but if you want to load a "window" of any kind, and you render the window first with a white background, you flash the user, especially with a dark theme. The solution to that is pretty simply. You load the window per default with a black background. This is present on this forum as well, and is a minor point, but one that i would wish software would have per default.

     

  12. @ Chris The completed mod section has a section to the right with some stats. It looks good at first, until your realise that it takes 30% of the space away.

    Unbenannt.thumb.png.a10641617a4fed23de773910a660934c.png

    Would be much obliged if that got removed, for all instances across the forum.

     

    While "i" dont really need a light/dark theme switch, i think its a functionality that a forum should have. As i know from experience it is possible to activate that switch, as it was switchable before. So maybe you look into that when you have some time.

  13. If you are not adding visual content than you can delete all .pngs, since they are getting loaded with X-Division anyway. Just use some powerful tool to search and delete all *.png, windows usually isnt too fast with searching.

    If you are adding new visual content you can add it once, and it will overwrite pngs defined in X-Division.

    That should decrease the mods size to a few mbs.

  14. 18 minutes ago, Kamehamehayes said:

    As of now, do you think that Xen 2 with harmony will be as modable or more modable than Xen 1 was? If Xen 2 matches or surpasses the modability hat the first one had, I would be really happy. 

    Most people dont code in C#. Most people cant code at all. So the common basis of extrapolating data sheets to the non coding audience will still be a necessity.

    Harmony has its limitations. Mostly that if the source code doesnt extrapolate an hook you cant change it. But also that you can only change objects or functions. If something is written inline you dont really get access to it.

    Implementing support for Harmony is the next big step for moddability for a game. Rimworld does it. Amazing Cultivation Simulator does it. And it does amazing things with the game and the community. Also as i mentioned the worry about source code got thrown out of the window fast when you use Unity anyway. Nothing which is coded in Unity stays a secret for long, Unity is simply too well known for how it works.

    So harmony could be the next step forward for the people who can do more than just alter spreadsheets, software could get closer to becoming a true platform to enable the players and modders to have the experience they want to have and to give.

    • Like 1
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