I was about to head off to bed and realized I hadn’t posted in quite a few days–VERY sorry about that. I’ll tell you that the last week has been stressful….
Last Monday my goal was to finish testing the Maneuvering Thrusters System (MTS) and begin to start feeding thruster data to the physics and get the ship flying. To make a LONG story short, it took me almost all week to debug MTS and get the system working properly. At first I thought I had over-coded it, but that wasn’t the case. The REAL problem was that the system was designed against the older version of the Main Engine System (MES) didn’t work well with the new version. So, I had to take a day to redesign MTS, and then re-code it. Once that was done it tested VERY well right away.
The VASIMR-like core of MTS provides thrust that is distributed not only to the maneuvering thrusters, but also to boost nozzles that main engines may or may NOT have. The MTS computer monitors requested thrust as opposed to generated thrust, as well as the core components of the plasma engine. With the temperatures the plasma can reach even the slightest fault could be catastrophic. Also, heat within the core and at each nozzle is monitored, and the hull exterior also picks up radiated heat from the plasma as it leaves the nozzle. So, for obvious reasons, you won’t be able to burn indefinitely from any one nozzle. Your maneuvers will have to be precise, deliberate, and timely during combat.
With MTS finally working by late Thursday night I began trying to send thrust data to physics. Sending the data is easy, but what to do with it is a different matter. If I restricted the player to staying in the pilot seat the entire time while in-flight this wouldn’t be a big deal. However, being able to get up and walk around at any time is IMPORTANT to gameplay both now and especially in the future once multi-player is added. After much trial and error I realized that what I was trying to do just wasn’t going to work (and I’ll leave it at that for now). After a VERY frustrating day on Saturday and Sunday I found myself going BACK to a technique I used for the prototype of RogSys. It wasn’t BAD, but was a tad convoluted. However, it DID work very well.
Today I began making a few changes required to make use of this (which I JUST finished debugging); and now that those are done I can set about the rest of the work. And so, yet again, the goal is to get the ship flying by the end of the week. Getting this working is very important for many reasons. Mainly though, EVERYTHING that follows from here out depends on being able to fly (this is a space combat sim after all–flying is sort of important )….
So, to recap, a moment of “duh”, followed by a moment of “damn”, followed by a moment of “FINALLY”–all wrapped up in one big frustrating package
Otherwise, the only news to pass on is the status of the new website. It’s been up for a while but is being finished up in the coming week. You can see a preview here: http://imagespaceinc.com/rogsys/ Not sure if I’ve given out the addy before or not, but there it is. The goal for now is clean, precise presentation of information, and to make it EASY for me to quickly post an update. There’s a great guy over at ISI named Tim Wheatley who is working on this for me, and I wanted to take a moment to give him a “thanks” for doing so. Once it’s ready the old website will redirect to the new…
Assuming I get the ship moving by week’s end you can expect a super-quick vid showing the progress sometime over the weekend. After, I hope to be able to present the working GUI engine right behind that–very important because I want to get the cockpit display up and running soon….
Thanks for your patience the past few days while I’ve been pulling my hair out. I’m do my best to get back to steady, weekly updates again….