Arvoch Alliance 2.0 Update...

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Arvoch Alliance 2.0 Update...

Postby Vice » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:28 am

Arvoch Alliance 2.0 is now available for download.

This update is free to everyone who purchased the 1.X version. Simply download and run the installer for 2.0 and it will update any older 1.X build to the 2.0 edition. Anyone purchasing the game from now on will get 2.0. There are several important changes and requirements to keep in mind with this update for anyone upgrading from 1.X:

- You will need to remap all controls as the systems and options have changed dramatically, requiring new save templates and formatting. Evochron Legacy's GCS and more recent control framework (developed last year) has been ported to Arvoch Alliance, although it has many unique attributes designed to accommodate the control systems and options of the mission based game (which has different consoles, command options, and more).

- The minimum system requirements have increased for the new version to support newer graphics technology. This was done to support more advanced planetary terrain, larger universe scaling, shadows, and a number of other graphics capabilities. Most systems that could play 1.X should be able to play 2.0 as well. But one significant change is dropping support for Windows XP. Windows Vista is now the minimum required version. This is due to the migration to the newer WDDM display model approach used up through Windows 10, which was first introduced with Vista and not supported in XP. Another change is the requirement for a video card that supports shader model 3 minimum, an increase from shader model 2 required with 1.X. I will continue to offer the 1.X version of the game for anyone interested in continuing to play the older version of the game.

- The Arvoch games have generally been developed alongside the Evochron series, featuring many of the same graphics, ships, weapons, flight dynamics, and technologies. Arvoch has simply focused on the military side of things for its mission driven gameplay. Arvoch Alliance was originally released in 2011 and shared similarities with the latest Evochron game at the time, Mercenary (the original 1.X version). So it's been quite a long time since then and with the introduction of Legacy in 2015, I wanted to go ahead and work on Arvoch to again bring it up to a similar graphics technology level and style of the current Evochron game. So you'll find the two games will again now look and feel pretty similar, with differences in a few key areas in addition to Arvoch's mission driven approach. The HUD, cockpit displays, and many indicators have been unified, with a few style and menu option differences to accommodate Arvoch's functionality and design approach.

- Sector scaling in the new update is 10X what it was in the 1.X version, so all entity placement and mission area sizes are spaced that much farther out. This provides a much larger battle area while still accommodating existing mission files and their values. Standard IFF radar/sensor range has been increased to 25K and maximum jump drive speed increased to 78K to better accommodate this scaling change.

- Weapon designations, sounds, ranges, and visuals have also been brought closely in line with Evochron Legacy for consistency. There are some variations in energy reserves and capacities for the advanced military conditions and specifications of Arvoch. And some names are slightly different (for example, the 'E' type Evoch fighter is referred to as the 'Evoch-E' in Arvoch, rather than its descriptor name 'Nighthawk' as in Evochron). The physics and flight dynamics of the two games are also now generally pretty close, so maneuvers/tactics used in one will usually apply well to the other. However, since Arvoch focuses on Vonari and some differences in settings/parameters, the AI will fly differently under some conditions than they will in Evochron.

- Custom campaigns and mission files should generally still be compatible with the new game. However, since sector size is now 10X greater, radar range increased to 25K, and jump drive velocity increased to 78K, some minor adjustments may be needed to retain desired pacing and/or spacing. The game will automatically increase the placement values by 10X to line up with the new version's scaling, but you may want to make changes to any mission files to account for such differences. Retaining compatibility with formatting and values also means that the original mission editor can continue to be used with the new version of the game.

- If you are updating from version 1.X to 2.0, the game will move some files and create new ones to accommodate changes and additions to the settings, options, and control systems. The game will do this automatically the first time you launch it if a 1.X version is detected. If old game files are present, the game will first create a folder named \OldSettingFilesV1 in the save data folder (default location is c:\sw3dg\ArvochAlliance). It will then move the keymap8.sw, stickt.sw, sw.cfg, and any pilot*.sw files it detects to the newly created folder. These files can then be kept as backups in case you want to install an older 1.X build in the future and want to restore the old files that are compatible with the older version of the game. New keymap8.sw, stickt.sw, and sw.cfg files will then be created for the 2.0 version of the game. New pilot*.sw files won't be created however, since they are compatible with the new version of the game (so you will be able to continue where you left off in the 1.X version of the game as well as keep any rank you've earned).

To update the game, simply launch the 1.X version of the game and when it prompts you for the update, follow the link provided in the game to download the 2.0 installer. If you have troubles getting the installer, you can contact me via e-mail (starwraith.com > contact) for support, please be sure to include the reference ID for your license to the game in your e-mail. You can also optionally download the demo version from the game's website to try out the new version.

For more information about the game itself, visit the (revised) official website here: http://www.starwraith.com/arvochalliance/index.htm
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Re: Arvoch Alliance 2.0 Update...

Postby Vice » Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:43 am

Version 2.0288 is now available and includes the following improvements:

- Nebula object in briefing menu is now properly hidden when briefing mode is changed or mission selection menu is opened.
- Certain menu elements updated for improved placement in 3D space for Nvidia stereoscopic display modes and experimental VR mode.
- Pilot profile manager menu updated to prevent background lights appearing through dark areas of menu texture.
- Revised multiplayer object interpolation and prediction system implemented for smoother movement.
- Experimental/unsupported VR mode using OpenVR enabled for testing purposes.
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Re: Arvoch Alliance 2.0 Update...

Postby Vice » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:03 pm

Version 2.0408 is now available and includes the following improvements:

- Highlight buttons added to order menus.
- 'Wing' and 'Ship' labels added to top of respective order menus.
- Automatic client connection recovery system added for briefing/loadout menus and in-game.
- Update notification menu updated for proper background shadowing, button alignment, and click ranges.
- 'Reload/Repair' order now works to send AI ships back to carrier during campaign for repairs and reloading.
- In Dogfight, Squadrons, and Strike multiplayer modes, ship icons are now displayed next to each human and AI pilot (rank is now displayed only in Campaign mode).
- Ship icons can be clicked on by host to change the ship assigned to an AI pilot in non-campaign multiplayer modes via drop down menu.
- New button added to non-campaign multiplayer modes to set types of AI ships as a group (Random, Light, Medium, and Heavy).
- Ship state packets now sent whenever client or host changes ship type(s) to keep displayed icons accurate with selected ships.
- Subsystem listing order on target detail display reverse to NAV, WPN, and ENG to match ship status display order.
- Shadowing of background menu added when mission selection or ship selection drop down menu is activated.
- Clients auto-select last configured ship when host switches from campaign to any non-campaign mode.
- Low threat level music will now play when player returns to briefing/loadout menu.
- Players can now join a multiplayer session while a battle/mission is in progress.
- Multiplayer packet system updated for improved performance in campaign mode.
- Unique sound effect is now played when players join in multiplayer.
- Custom sound import option added for player joining sound effect.
- Custom scaling setting option enabled for HUD pathway indicators.
- Improved score updating after ship destruction events.
- Minor fixes.


Notes:

To import a custom sound effect when players join in multiplayer, use the \sounds folder and the filename 'playerjoin.wav'.
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Re: Arvoch Alliance 2.0 Update...

Postby Vice » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:22 pm

Version 2.0488 includes the following improvements:

- Asteroid normal mapping updated for improved detail and light response.
- Shaders adjusted to reduce upper contrast levels under bright light conditions.
- 'Very High' option added for Effects Detail to expand available/selectable range.
- 'Very High' option added for Terrain Detail to provide optional higher texture detail for planets.
- 'Very High' texture detail mode added to provide double detail level above 'High' for certain objects.
- OCRS now automatically deactivates when any console is open and also automatically activates when console is closed.
- New distant object rendering system added to provide colored points of light for in-system objects when they are far away.
- Improved asteroid collision system (sliding effect for shield collision, variable damage based on velocity).
- New 'Spectator Mode' added for Dogfight, Squadrons, and Strike multiplayer battle modes (No Respawn mode).
- No Respawn mode added to Kill Limit option in multiplayer gameplay settings menu for single ship combat.
- Revised high speed planet entry burning effect added, including ability to apply to multiple ships.
- Object targeting system would sometimes auto-bypass if a ship wasn't nearby in range, now fixed.
- Hull atmospheric descent flaring now displays only when hull is directly effected by friction.
- Experimental VR system updated for improved movement response performance and reduced judder.
- Atmospheric friction hull damage level that applies once shields are critical reduced by 50%.
- Move option added when the borderless reduced windowed mode is active (via swscreen.txt).
- Smooth rotation system added for panning orbit camera controls in external view modes.
- Multiplayer text chat color option for blue tones updated for higher blue level.
- Field of view and aspect ratio sliders added to Resolution drop down menu.
- Improved target lock retention on objects when nearby ships are destroyed.
- Drop down mission selection menu now works with custom campaign missions.
- Improvements to autopilot waypoint proximity based velocity selection.
- 'Rename Pilot' option in Pilot Manager changed to 'Modify Pilot'.
- Subtle particle/streak effect added to jump drive sequence.
- Several missions updated for improved difficulty scaling.
- More particle/spark effects during explosion sequences.
- External thruster effects added to AI ships.
- New higher detail buttons frames added.


Notes:

The new 'Very High' texture detail mode provides double the texture resolution of the 'High' mode for flyable civilian and military ships, asteroids, and the interior hangar/docking collar. The additional memory requirement is significant for this mode, so a video card with at least 2GB of dedicated video memory is advised for this option. The additional texture content increases the download size and install size by about 20 MB. For anyone developing custom texture files for the game, new 'veryhigh' texture filename indexes have also been added for the new optional detail level (in addition to the original 'low', 'medium', and 'high' levels). You can copy any 'high' texture file sets to include 'veryhigh' files to keep the maximum detail level the same when players switch to the 'Very High' texture detail mode, or optionally provide textures at a higher detail level.

The new distant object rendering system will render points of light out in the distance for planets, moons, nebula clouds, and stars that are close enough to be in the same system, but far enough away to not be rendered by the primary entity system. The distant object system will take over when objects reach that distance so there is still a visual cue among the background stars that an object is there even when it is several sectors away. The coloring for each point will match the reflective/atmospheric properties of the object (such as planets) or the emissive properties of the object (such as stars).

When the borderless reduced windowed mode is activated with the swscreen.txt option, an icon ('+' symbol) will appear in-game in the upper right corner of the screen when the Alt key is held down. Click and hold on the icon with the mouse pointer to move the game's window frame around on the screen. This option, much like the reduced window mode itself, is somewhat experimental, but should be able to provide a way to move the game's window around while it is running on most system configurations.

You can now adjust the field of view and aspect ratio from within the game via the new sliders that appear at the bottom of the Resolution drop down menu. You can optionally reset the sliders to default value by right clicking on the slider bar for the option you want to reset.

The experimental/unsupported VR system has received revisions in attempts to improve movement response and also reduce judder. However, the framerate rendering performance is still very much system dependent. Arvoch does not automatically reduce detail levels when the VR system is active. So if you select 'High' or 'Very High' settings, they will apply the same in VR as they do in standard display modes. If added performance is desired, simply change detail levels manually to try and achieve the level of framerate you prefer with the level of performance your system can deliver. That said though, the changes in this update should dramatically improve the VR experience in the game. Also, the vrsetup.txt file option for custom settings has been updated, here is the download link to the latest current sample file with the required options: http://www.starwraith.com/evochronlegac ... rsetup.txt

A smoother rotation system has been added for orbit panning camera controls in external view modes that utilize those options. This helps soften the start and stop movement of those camera controls. The tapering level can also be customized via an external text file (create a file named 'vieworbitrate.txt' in the install folder and enter a value in the first line). The default rotation rate level is 0.1.
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