Evochron Legacy 1.0518-1.0528 updates...

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Evochron Legacy 1.0518-1.0528 updates...

Postby Vice » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:28 pm

Version 1.0518 includes the following improvements:

- Build menu 3D panning mode now persistent once activated.
- 'Unlock Build Point' button option added to build console.
- Build menu build point locking can now also be reset when toggling between Cockpit View and Overhead View.
- Internal work around coded to solve potential issue with connection delay that could freeze the game when trying to connect to a server.
- HAT/POV control system updated to support a dedicated control mode on one device with additional key/button HAT/POV mapping(s) on another device simultaneously.
- Build menu 3D panning mode now supports vertical placement of build point (lock X and Z build point first, then activate 3D panning mode, then left click again to lock Y position).
- Axis configuration, engineering lab, weapon lab, and shipyard indicator/slider bars moved to 'chatslider' image set for improved image quality (customizing kit updated to accommodate changes).
- New auto-matching system added to engineering lab to support combining two separate cargo or hangar bays to meet build array requirements (see notes for details).
- Display detection system updated to detect if an overscaled DPI setting is being forced by Windows to automatically enable full screen mode as may be needed.
- Menu buttons and scroll bars updated for a simpler, cleaner, and less gradient color appearance (also better aligns with the new HUD/gunsight elements).
- Single player fleet ships would sometimes remain near station entrances until player jumped away, now follow last order more consistently.
- Experimental VR system now set to disable the multi-threaded frame update system by default to accommodate forced changes in SteamVR.
- Server programs updated to better contend with operating system timers that are out of expected range (optional update).
- Fleet command menu updated to space ship selection buttons further apart for less crowding and broader click ranges.
- Ship status and target status cockpit displays updated for brighter lines between readouts for clearer divisions.
- Deploy module placement system updated to align better with build point indicator while in planet atmospheres.
- Three digit single player fleet ship identifier characters updated to better align with latest frame names.
- By request, screen modes renamed to 'Optimized (FullWindow)' and 'Locked (FullScreen)' for clarity.
- Single player fleet ships would occasionally not follow order to mine nearby asteroids, now fixed.
- City module persistent dependency system updated to align with space station module dependency.
- Improvements to ice particle behavior in planet rings while in external view modes.
- Improved error handling when custom music files are improperly sequenced/misnamed.
- Improved small spacecraft collision detection around station command modules.
- Single player fleet formation system updated for smoother flight behavior.
- New text message alert added for low fuel notification (<25 units).
- City weapon turret movement updated for smoother motion.
- Engine thruster effect direction reversed when needed.
- Several minor fixes and UI improvements.


There are some significant changes and additions to the build mode/UI in this update. The build system is no longer limited to only the X and Z position locked to the vertical placement of the player's ship. Y can now also be changed without the player having to move their ship up or down. The new two stage build point locking option lets you set the X and Z position first, then the Y position. To use this option, you can lock the X and Z position in the overhead view mode first, then engage the 3D view mode (hold the right mouse button and move the pointer around). At that point, release the right mouse button when you have the view you want, then you can move the mouse pointer up and down to set the Y vertical placement point. Once you have the build point indicator in the position you want, left click again to lock in the Y placement point. From there, you can go ahead and activate a build operation. The build console will display '< Build Point Locked XZ >' when the two initial placement values are locked or '< Build Point Locked XYZ >' when all three placement values are locked. If you need to reset things to start over at any point, you can click the new 'Reset Build Point' button or simply click on ‘Cockpit View’, then ‘Overhead View’ again and all variables will be reset so you can start over. You can also open and close the build console to do the same thing. The 3D panning view mode also now remains persistent. So once you right click and move the panning 3D view, it will remain active even if you release the right mouse button. When the 3D panning view is active, you can reposition the mouse pointer and continue to pan the view around by holding the right mouse button. This way, you can set and reset the view as may be desired with losing the current view angle.

The experimental VR system is now set to disable the multi-threaded frame update system by default to accommodate changes in SteamVR, which removed support for the system anyway to utilize their own internal 'wait screen'. With the multi-threaded system now disabled, the SteamVR wait screen will appear any time there is the slightest pause in the game... during loading, menu transitions, or any other time where frame data is not being fed to the compositor. It's not an ideal approach, but seems to now be required with the changes in SteamVR that now disable the multi-threading system. There appears to be no way to enable the option, so this is a forced requirement of SteamVR for the time being. I'll be watching for future changes in SteamVR should other, better options become available that we can utilize in the game.

The display detection system has been updated to detect if an overscaled DPI setting is being forced by Windows. Previously, if a DPI setting was applied that was offset from a 1:1 pixel ratio (above 100% in the Windows display settings menu), it could have forced the game to work within a lower output resolution. For example, a 1920X1080 monitor with a 125% DPI scaling value applied in Windows 10 could force a rendering output condition of around 1536X864, which would render in significantly lower detail, resulting in potential legibility and image quality issues. The new system detects if the game is being forced to operate in suboptimal output resolution conditions and can now automatically apply the 'Locked' screen mode to keep the pixel ratio at 1:1 and final output resolution aligned with the best the monitor can provide. The only condition is that the selected resolution mode in the game's Options menu be set to 'Optimized'. Then if a 'Locked' screen mode isn't already active, the game can optionally activate it as needed for maximum image quality.

City module before and after build dependency conditions now align with space station modules by request and for consistency. This addition will also help resolve issues where some city weapon turrets may not have been active because of undetected/distant dependent modules. Weapon turrets under such conditions should now be active if they have required power and storage modules in range.

The new auto-matching system for the engineering lab will combine units of a matching material from two different cargo bays or two different hangar bays to meet a build array slot requirement (to address the previous 1:1 array slot-to-cargo/hangar bay requirement). This removes the requirement to consolidate or split two separate cargo or hangar bays and also helps with players flying military ships that only have one cargo bay, making it difficult for them to consolidate or split two separate bays of the same material. The game can now do that for them as long as the required material is in two cargo bays (civilian ship) or two hangar bays (any ship).
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0518 update...

Postby Keeper1st » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:39 pm

- Engine thruster effect direction reversed when needed.

Does this mean no more seeing thrust coming out the back when actually a ship is slowing down (thus the thrust should be coming out the front -- assuming the model is made to support this, which most current ships aren't unless you treat the "air inlets" as thrusters, which isn't a bad idea really)? And if so, I presume the position of the new front thrusters/engine will be set via the shipspecs files if one makes new ship models?

Thanks for fixing the multiple HAT problem!
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0518 update...

Postby Vice » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:44 pm

I'm actually in the process of preparing a tech post on the issue to explain how the vectoring/reversing engine characteristics work in the game. It's actually more similar to reverse thrust engine modes on current jet aircraft, just without the blast panels or vents. Here is the post I'm working on: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=13024 It's not quite done yet, so there may still be some revisions, new info, and changes/additions to the images there.

You can keep existing thruster data in place, this new system is designed this way in no small part to retain compatibility with the thruster data templates and existing structural formatting. Being a reverse thruster system allows the effect to happen at the engine outlets directly (the vectoring thrust just points in the opposite direction).

You're welcome on the HAT issue, it should prove a useful option for those with multiple devices that have HATs/POVs.
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Re: Evochron Legacy 1.0518 update...

Postby Vice » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:31 am

Version 1.0528 includes the following improvements:

- Customizing options added for target direction pointer.
- Target direction pointer relocated to edge of inner gunsight rim for improved legibility.
- Internal font creation/coloring optimized to use fewer indexes and provide faster loading.
- Forward/reverse inertial thruster output now displayed at engine outlets in external view modes.
- Space station radio chatter voice selection now set to a fixed value based on location (player request).
- New green highlight lines added to quadrant map to better indicate player's current sector location visually.
- Server programs updated to improve behavior with large 'chatlogfull' file save delays potentially causing player drops (optional update).
- New bar graph indicators added to outer gunsight rim for weapon energy, hull damage, set velocity, forward velocity, gravity, and altitude.
- Server programs updated to accept default 'Dedicated1' as a server name if using private mode for LAN/direct IP hosting (also an optional update).
- Cargo, equipment, and missiles that can't be transferred to a newly built replacement ship is/are now automatically sold for credits rather than discarded.
- When fuel is sold during item transfers to a newly built replacement ship, the event is now displayed in the message log along with the credits received.
- MDTS system updated to auto-lock weapon aiming almost instantly when a target initially reaches range, eliminating the previous momentary delay.
- Automatic repair and restore system for sw.cfg settings file implemented to attempt to recover a lost or damaged file due to external interference.
- Optional digital readouts (enabled through hudtext.dat) now display in both HUD modes 1 and 2.
- 'INERTIAL', 'IDS X', and 'IDS OFF' labels moved to 'text.dat' file for optional customizing.
- Several minor UI improvements (click ranges and mouse over sound prompts where needed).
- Screen resolution list in Options menu updated to better sort from lowest to highest.
- Quest marker not appearing in nav map rear view mode under certain conditions fixed.
- Destination jump/nav waypoint (yellow marker) is now displayed on quadrant map.
- Nav Map/Quadrant map toggle button added to zoomed map mode.
- Highlight bars added to multiplayer public server list.
- Compass tape given brighter band for better contrast.


Servers that had the setting for saving the full chatlog enabled could run into long delays when trying to save large full chatlog files (particularly if the system running the server program had a slow hard drive). This could happen if the server programs were left for long periods of time without occasional moving/backing up of the full chatlog file(s). The long delay during the save operation could result in players getting dropped. The new server programs can now contend with this condition and better handle long save operation delays without dropping players. It is still recommended that you back up any chatlogfull.txt file periodically to prevent long save delays from impacting gameplay status for connected players.

The target direction pointer has some new formatting and options to accommodate its move to the inner gunsight ring. The pointer is now smaller than before, so it uses a larger arrow pointer relative to the image size as a result. So any custom target pointer images will need to be updated for the new format and placement system. The size of the pointer itself will need to be about twice the size, unless a much smaller pointer is desired. The customizing kit has also been updated with new images to show how the pointer textures should look for the new formatting. The target direction pointer can also now be customized further, beyond just its textures. And these new options will allow you to continue to use the old format, if desired. Just keep in mind that doing so will render the target pointer along the outer gunsight ring on top of the new bar graphs. The texture surface can be scaled as well as the 3D surface it is rendered to. To specify custom scaling values, use a file named 'targetpointer.txt' in a custom \hud folder and include these values in each line:
- 1st value sets the texture UV X scale (default value is 1.0, use 0.5 to use an old format texture image)
- 2nd value sets the texture UV Y scale (default value is 1.0, use 0.5 to use an old format texture image)
- 3rd value sets the texture UV X offset scale (default value is 0, use 0.25 to use an old format texture image)
- 4th value sets the texture UV Y offset scale (default value is 0, use 0.1 to use an old format texture image)
- 5th value sets the scaling percentage for the 3D surface (default value is 40.0)

This build introduces new bar graphs on the rim of the gunsight. These bar graphs provide optional quick visual cues for their respective values. Each bar graph starts from the center of the line that is drawn from the digital readout it corresponds with. So each bar graph starts at its zero value at the center of each corner of the gunsight. Included for gravity and altitude are bar graphs indicating the rate of change with 5 lines used for center, so more lines indicate an increasing rate of change and fewer lines indicate a decreasing rate of change.

The new bar graphs can also be customized or disabled. The bar graphs use a circular format designed to fill in the gunsight, so the placement options for them are based on angles and distance from center. The distance from center value simply sets how far away the circular placement pattern will be for the bar graphs. The starting angle for upper bar graph sets how far above and below the center line to place the upper bar graphs. The lower angle sets where to start the lower bar graphs. All angular distances start from 0 for the horizontal center line of the gunsight. The step distance values tell the game how far apart to space each line in the bar graph, also in angle values. The character index tells the game which character to use for each line in the bar graph. The bar size values tell the game how large to make each bar indicator. The default 12113 value is for a '-' symbol. Characters start from index value 12100 (blank space) and increase from there using the character layout in the bitmap font image. The color mode will render the bar graphs in either standard white/blue with the default 1 value, or green with yellow medium and red low levels when the value is set to 0. To specify custom placement values, use a file named 'hudbargraphs.txt' in a custom \hud folder and include these values in each line:
- 1st value sets the distance from the center of the gunsight (default value is 2.31)
- 2nd value sets the starting angle for the upper bar graphs (default value is 42.5)
- 3rd value sets the starting angle for the lower bar graphs (default value is 48.5)
- 4th value sets the step distance for the upper bar graphs (default value is -1.5)
- 5th value sets the step distance for the lower bar graphs (default value is 1.5)
- 6th value sets the bar X size (default value is 225.0)
- 7th value sets the bar Y size (default value is 50.0)
- 8th value sets the character index to use for the bar graphs (default value is 12113)
- 9th value sets the color mode to use for the bar graphs (blue/white or green with mixed coloring, default value is 1)
- 10th value sets the offset width parameter (longer width for minimum and maximum lines, default value is 1)

Since some users reported problems with the automatic DPI detection and scaling system capping their mouse pointer limits (seemed to be related to using a desktop resolution that was far below what an attached monitor was capable of), the original system has been removed and replaced by one that merely switches to full screen exclusive. This won't provide the maximum potential image quality the display may be capable of, but should now allow for 1:1 mouse limit alignment under such conditions. You can still manually select a desired resolution if you want to try a different setting.

Both the customizing kit and the custom cockpit viewer program have had their version numbers changed to align with the minimum client build they support. The latest updates to both are available on the customizing page here: http://www.starwraith.com/evochronlegac ... readme.htm
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