Technology Limits?

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sicanjal
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Technology Limits?

Post by sicanjal » 09 Nov 2006, 17:17

SK-Startup is a very intresting map in that it appears to be configured with a custom tech tree. All the Cam1 technologies are available, with the addition of a Cam2 body and a small VTOL selection. Now, limited to (almost) Cam1 techs, this lead to some great games.

This bring me to this idea; what if multiplayer games can be configured to have a tech tree limit of CAM1, CAM2, CAM3 and FULL (CAM3 + the "super" tecnologies such as the two uber-heavy bodies, super cyborgs and VTOLs of Mass Destruction)?

I think this would lead to some more customisable games, especially where in lower tech trees the clever use of units can win a game as opposed to mass VTOL armies. :P

What do you think?

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Watermelon
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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by Watermelon » 09 Nov 2006, 18:10

Dont know how to do this,maybe it's possible via skirmish scripts and 'rules' files.
tasks postponed until the trunk is relatively stable again.

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by Troman » 09 Nov 2006, 18:22

This was already proposed many times in the NEWST/Pumpkin-2 days and I think is a good idea, I know we have many T1 fans who don't like advancing to T2/T3. We were lacking abilities to interact with the user without the source back then, now we can theoretically implement such a feature.

It will probably not be possible to accomplish this with scripts alone. As soon as you have all prerequisites for a T2 technology the game will make it appear in the research menu.

We will probably have to modify research files. But maybe we will be able to come up with a better solution. Another question is how to arrange tech level selection interface in the game.
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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by Watermelon » 09 Nov 2006, 18:43

Troman wrote: This was already proposed many times in the NEWST/Pumpkin-2 days and I think is a good idea, I know we have many T1 fans who don't like advancing to T2/T3. We were lacking abilities to interact with the user without the source back then, now we can theoretically implement such a feature.

It will probably not be possible to accomplish this with scripts alone. As soon as you have all prerequisites for a T2 technology the game will make it appear in the research menu.

We will probably have to modify research files. But maybe we will be able to come up with a better solution. Another question is how to arrange tech level selection interface in the game.
Maybe another value in research text files,which marks them as T1,T2,T3,and the code will ignore certain items when 'T1-only','T2-only','T3-only' mode is activated?

Dunno how to modify exist research layouts,imo it should be a 'tree' rather than the '2 column' sheet in 1 or more pages.(you will never know which tech will be unlocked/which is the pprerequise of which with the '2 column' sheet)The design interface really gave me a headache when adding additional button,I just hope it's relatively simple compare to the weird design interface.  :D
tasks postponed until the trunk is relatively stable again.

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DevUrandom
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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by DevUrandom » 09 Nov 2006, 19:25

Would be cool if we could improve the research format for 2.1...
Maybe use a similar approach like my idea for the wrf stuff? I'd like to replace as much as possible. :)
And IMO the research window should offer this tree, too, as Watermelon said. That would need a whole new window of course...

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by ratarf » 06 Dec 2006, 11:27

Introduce tech limits! It's not a limitation, it adds an extra dimension to the game. You have to change your tactics according to the tech limit,, and it's also good for shorter games...

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kage
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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by kage » 10 Dec 2006, 13:24

the game demo did this for skirmishes, though i don't know if it was a software limit, or just a tech tree limited to t1-level tech...
DevUrandom wrote: Maybe use a similar approach like my idea for the wrf stuff?
what's the deal with wrf's anyways? as far as i knew from my modding days, wrf's were used for the sole purpose of telling the wdg packager what to include and where (and neither of those two uses are needed with zip archiving).

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by Watermelon » 10 Dec 2006, 13:32

kage wrote: the game demo did this for skirmishes, though i don't know if it was a software limit, or just a tech tree limited to t1-level tech...

what's the deal with wrf's anyways? as far as i knew from my modding days, wrf's were used for the sole purpose of telling the wdg packager what to include and where (and neither of those two uses are needed with zip archiving).
all kind of stuff can be/should be handled by wz script imo,though I need to get myself educated with wz scripting with the doc guide that included in the source files first...
tasks postponed until the trunk is relatively stable again.

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by DevUrandom » 10 Dec 2006, 16:40

kage wrote: what's the deal with wrf's anyways? as far as i knew from my modding days, wrf's were used for the sole purpose of telling the wdg packager what to include and where (and neither of those two uses are needed with zip archiving).
Maybe what I mean is not the wrf...
Might be that it's more a combination of wrf and lev...
But whatever it is doesn't really matter I think.
The sense of this "wrf-replacement" was to have something that makes you able to tell what files a level or a unit design or a model or a complete mod needs and whatever else you might want to know about it. Metainfo so to speak...
This would give you the list of files for your "wdg packager" and me the info what to preload when loading eg. a specific map or a campaign.

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by kage » 11 Dec 2006, 05:35

DevUrandom wrote: The sense of this "wrf-replacement" was to have something that makes you able to tell what files a level or a unit design or a model or a complete mod needs and whatever else you might want to know about it. Metainfo so to speak...
this is far too bothersome to do with code pages of any sort...

if you want to package things together, the simplest solution is to... package them together. probably the easiest way is to use subdirectories and cross references (too bad windows doesn't support simple filesystem stuff like symlinking or this'd be really easy for a cross-platform solution):

any unique thing like a map will have all dependencies (such as map-dependent scripts) either physically present in the map's subtree, or listed in something like a .references file which holds relative paths of all non-unique dependencies. then when mods files are parsed, any file collisions (any mod that specifies the same fully pathed filename as another one to be loaded) go to whichever mod has priority, or via mod-dependency specifications.

this doesn't really help or hurt things from the engine point of view - preloading is just as easy, however, it saves the modder a whole lot of time (as a warzone modder, i've spent many needless hours digging through wrf's, sorting path problems, etc), since the actual path structure is authoritative: if a file is in the .wz file, it's valid, and doesn't require some file-manifest file to say it exists.

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by DevUrandom » 11 Dec 2006, 20:15

Sorry, don't know what you mean. But apparently the current approach of "packaging it together" doesn't work as we have seen in all those "transport issues" and others.

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by kage » 12 Dec 2006, 06:29

it's not easy to explain what i mean, but really, from a modders perspective, wrf's were hell. anything like a large manifest of files, such as wrf's, are enough of an annoyance that you'd probably find more modders that'd want to do without wrfs than you'd find players who actually care if they save 2 seconds on map loads during campaign play, and then there's always the downside of preloading: you have to manage memory that much better, since you can't assume the user's comp has enough memory to load a second map and all that goes with it.

however, if you come up with a pretty good and efficient resource management system that intelligently uses available memory, then it certainly is of great benefit... i'd only ask a compromise: find some way to store map dependencies (and dependencies for other resource types) locally, based on the directory heirarchy, instead of using a flat-file database as is the case with wrfs.

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by DevUrandom » 12 Dec 2006, 21:15

If you have a good proposal for that "directory hirarchy", I'd think about it.
But I don't have one and I don't think there is one.

There might be maps requiring that tileset and those unit textures and this techlevel and these textfiles and some scripts and and and...
And then there come mods or additional maps which make your nice directory hirarchy all go down the drain.

Current idea is to allow some dependency presets, which you can select as a base, so you don't have to supply every single resource. (Dunno yet how this works in the current engine (wrf/lev).)

And if someone wants, I can supply a small Qt tool, which lets you choose those deps and presets with a few clicks of your mouse.

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by kage » 12 Dec 2006, 23:15

a good program to handle this stuff would definitely reach the "compromise", as long as it was updated to work with any new formats (a new type of wrf, for example), and either it, or another program could convert from any arbitrarily old format to the newest one (preferrably while making backups).

yeah. heirarchies are tough alone. would be cool if we could mix the concept of labels (think gmail) with file heirarchies: the folder heirachy means absolutely nothing to the engine, and is there solely for the benefit of the modder (to organize things logically), but each resource can be added extra labels which contain the hash id of the dependents -- when the mod is parsed, all resources, in their in-memory meta-data are given an array of all other resources that contain their hash id label.

this should provide enough information to be able to preload resources efficiently, though it would probably exist as one of those dreaded flat-file databases. also, keep in mind that, having worked with wrf's, in their current state, i'm pretty sure those don't have enough information to allow you to preload data, but i have no idea about lev's, since i've never worked with those except to know they are related to maps -- there would be benefits to being able to allow model-dependent, arbitrary size texpages that could get preloaded.

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Re: Technology Limits?

Post by DevUrandom » 13 Dec 2006, 02:04

Hashes are pretty cryptic to a modder.
I wanted to go with plain (string) IDs (probably the filename, because that is unique and descriptive)... That's not as good performance wise, but easy to handle...

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