file Useful feature(?): container stacking

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7 years 7 months ago #19180 by SRC
Hello All,

I'm fiddling with Bineshi's/Nathan Kinsman's wonderful IWar2 mod "Unleashed" and some of the features I am trying to implement might be useful as potential features to TS/US.

I'd like to increase the cargo pod capacity of the Unleashed Player ship "Pinguin", a "City" class freighter converted to a light cruiser (in analogy to the German "armed merchant cruiser" Pinguin that created havoc early in WWII). I'm failing in my attempts to modify Nathan's .ini and .lws files and am looking for an alternative.

The original EOC Jafs SNRV could double-stack cargo pods. This feature is not available to players in the game as pods have only one dockport. I'm looking into adding a 2nd dockport opposite the first and using the iDockport feature which allows one to command one sim to dock to another, specifying which dockport on each is used, to "double stack" pods on the Pinguin.

This strikes me as an eminently reasonable feature; it's 20th century container technology.

There ought to be a downside to this; the additional mass would make a ship less maneuverable.


It appears to be straightforward to add additional dockports to the 3 types of standard cargo pods (unlike my thus far failed attempts to add more ports to the Pinguin). Within the game, an inquire function reports 2 "Universal" ports on targeted pods.

If I can get a "pod stacking" function to work, I'll post code at my EOC "unleashed tweaks" thread. It might be useful in Unstable Space in the future when the more important coding and testing tasks are finished.

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7 years 7 months ago #17161 by cambragol
Sounds like a nice idea. The additional mass will play havok with the AI for cargo ships, as they have been tested while fully laden, which is currently without container stacking. This will likely result in them being unable to brake when approaching stations or while docking for cargo unloading. However, for the player it should be possible, if he was loading cargo on his own ship, and not on a wingman.

Definitely a nice possible addition for any post release of US(should that happen...).

SRC, if you feel like poking around in the US code itself...feel free to check out the "Development" link on the Torn Stars website. There is lots of rooms for little tweaks along the lines of what you are doing. Though...it might make more sense for you to try it out with an actual release.

It is nice to see another coder out there in the desolate wild of EOC modding!

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7 years 7 months ago #17167 by SRC
Hi Cambragal,

I'll download and install US (and fiddle with it) after I have finished EoC -- by "finished" I mean "actually finish the game" :) I never got past the late parts of Act 2 before my game was lost in a hardware failure (with no back up). And now I am so intrigued by the Unleashed mod that I want to make it more usable for my own enjoyment. The IW2 community is welcome to the tweaks, which I'll put up piecemeal and then as a package in the IWar2 mods section. The piecemeal tweaks might also be an incentive for potential POGgers who still follow the forum and play the game but who have not "taken the dive" to try fiddling with the mod source code and the SDK compiler. Perhaps there aren't enough people out there still playing the game to recruit new coders, but perhaps there are.

It appears to me that Bineshi/Nathan Kinsman intended that the Makwa AI drones docked to the top spine of the Pinguin be able to function as actual docked turret fighters, which would give the Pinguin a powerful broadside of 14 light assault cannons. The ship really is more a Light Cruiser than a Corvette. I'd like to see this in action (and fix it if it doesn't work yet). I'm still in Act 0 collecting cargo for later use in the FutureTrader system in subsequent Acts, and revising the mod as I do that. I found in prior trial of Unleashed that the opportunistic scavengers (and the Corporate recovery teams) are so numerous and quick that it is very hard to rapidly collect cargo. Soon after you jump a Marauder or Maas convoy, before Jafs can finish loading, he is under attack by scavengers drawn to the cargo. So I have wanted a way to collect cargo more rapidly with the Pinguin.

Here's a feature that I'll try to get working in IW2 that might be very easy to add to US:

Spider Tug Barge Train.

The Spider-class tug "pulls" its cargo behind it. It would be mechanically feasible to link multiple freightpods in a chain and have the tug pull this. It would be sort of like tho barge trains on the Mississippi River (except that they are pushed rather than pulled). This feature is handy in Act 1 Scene 1, the Maas Freighter that breaks down near the home base. In the Unleashed mod, there are scavengers there to take the cargo from you even before Jafs arrives. And you don't have the Pinguin yet, only the spider tug. You might be able to make the equivalent of a "ram-ship" at will, with a chain of multiple pods of neutron warheads. There are rather more of those carried about by Maas freighters than I like to think about :)

This would give beginning TS/US traders the ability to carry more cargo between systems using just their own player ship (if they started with a spider tug). It would also permit opportunistic cargo pickups or grabs when exploring with no freighter wingmen. The remote autopilot cargo pod loading is much faster than having one's own ship or a combat wingman dock to a pod in order to collect it.

I'll try to get this working in EoC and then post the code -- this one might be very easy to "drop in" to US.

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7 years 7 months ago #17168 by SRC
Hi Cambragal,

I think I will take a peek at the US code. I'm finding that I need to create
a swarm of little utility modules (for example, to work around a bug in my
current pod-stacking player controlled pod-docking module, I need to have a
module that determines the total number of cargo-compatible dockports with
a specified dockport status). These functions probably already exist in US,
and it would be more sensible for me to use the functions you and other US
programmers have already created rather than making my own buggy new ones.
And this would make my tweaks easier to move into US if that is ever
wanted.

So, yes (and thank you!), I will take a look at the US code. If possible
and if necessary, I'll copy utility-type modules from US into my Unleashed
tweaks, which will make them easier to eventually incorporate into US.

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7 years 7 months ago #17169 by SRC
Hi Cambragal,

A function that I'll need to make the "Spider Tug Cargo Pod Train" concept
work is something that can count all the cargo pods docked to a ship,
and all the pods docked to pods docked to the ship, and so on until
there is nothing left to count.

This tool would allow you to do real time adjustments to the braking
of double-pod loaded non-player freighters (or of tugs with cargo trains).

I'll first explore the US code to find the utilities I need. What I
don't find, I'll write and segregate in a special "unleashedutilities.pog"
package which could be readily incorporated into other mods.

Final thought, and this is probably really insane. One of my fond thoughts
about tweaking the Unleashed mod is to created "hacked" gunstars for the
poorer (non-corporate, -government, -military, or -police) stations. The
"in world" concept would be to dock some large cargo pods together, outfit
them with some power supply, other necessary combat components and a couple
of the weaker turrets. Cargo containers with multiple dockports would seem to
provide a convenient building block for modular structures. Within the EoC
world, these would be natural and inexpensive components to provide the
structural framework for DIY gunstars or other contraptions.

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7 years 7 months ago #17170 by SRC
Pardon my ignorance; I'd like to post a screen shot of the Pinguin with
pods double stacked. Do I need to upload to a 3rd party image hosting
site and then create a link in the forum message?

Sorry to be so slow to come up to speed.

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