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View Poll Results: devs should make each unit have it's own file
good idea, would make things easy 20 64.52%
bad idea, would make things complicated 6 19.35%
I don't give a damn 5 16.13%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll


Thread: devs should make each unit have it's OWN file (for sequel, x-pack etc.)
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:57 AM   #1
jedi3112
 
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devs should make each unit have it's OWN file (for sequel, x-pack etc.)

What I mean by this is that if there is going to be a sequel the devs (possibly petro) should not make unitsfiles come for groups of units but each units has it's own files. If any of you modded Armada you will know what I mean. As an example:

Currently
The files for the corvettes contain several units including the correlian corvette, the marauder, the broadside and the tartan.

What I'd like to see
The file for the corvettes is cut down in size (possibly empty), but in turn is split up into seperate files. For example the tartan file contains no information about the marauder unless it's related to the tartan. The file for the marauder contains nothing about the tartan in return etc.

The result would be that you can replace the tartan file while still keeping the changes you made to the other corvettes. I don't want to remove the corvette file because it can be used for grouping unit-types. Again an Example

Say the files are cut up and the corvette file no longer exists. Still you want your ISD and MC Cruiser to have an attack bonus against ALL corvette type ships. Now it would be much more work to list all the covette type units for both of them in the attack bonus part. Then it would be to group ALL corvettes into 1 file (or refer to 1 file) and list that file in the attack bonus part of both units. Still you could also include the change for ALL capital ships by including a bonus part in the capship file.

Now if you also let the individual part override the group part that would make modding even easier. Example

You want a ship registered as capship (vulnerabilities etc.), but you also want it to have a bonus against fighters (generally capships don't have that bonus). So you have to either fileter that part out of the file and include it in individual files or when it is overridden you don't have to worry about that and include it only in your shipfile.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:05 AM   #2
Orao
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500% with you. It is a pain in the ass when you mod in a team and after all is done someone have to merge all data from different files with same name.



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Old 03-22-2006, 08:11 AM   #3
jedi3112
 
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Exactly and with Armada I had tons of ships. If that game had the same structure as this one I would have had to mod 30 fighters frome several files all into 1 file. That would give me a major headache. And I think that with time the amount of available ships for this game can become several thousands.
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:43 AM   #4
ToddW
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I agree. I don't use much in the way of mods. But if I wanted to change something with a ship like you said there are several files to change.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:49 PM   #5
Guusje
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im with ya all
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:43 PM   #6
Three60
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I would agree mostly, but I'm fine with how it is now. All that doesn't make sense are fighters and ground stuff.


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Old 03-22-2006, 05:02 PM   #7
jedi3112
 
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For the moment the files are quite managable, however once the modding really start I think it'll get extremely confusing to mod downloaded ships into your game (with other ships). I would much rateher replace the files of the ships then adding them into other files of the groups. I just took a look at armada2files.com as that game is easy to mod and has been out for several years now. There are now roughly 1.5 thousand downloadable files from wich there are 588 individual shippacks and lone ships (those that you would use with other downloads) and 436 mods (containing lots of ships). So I suspect that when we reach that point with EAW, the files become unmanagable the way they are set up now. Unless petro comes up with a really good tool to manage them. I think all of the big mods are already encountering the problem (like orao said). And with time it will only get worse.
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:58 PM   #8
Taurian
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This is just speculation (i havn't tried it yet). But I think you can at least do this, in parts.

in GAMEOBJECTFILES.XML there is a list of .xml files that tells the program what files to use. as part of the list the following are included:

<File>SpaceProps.xml</File>
<File>SpaceUnitsCapital.xml</File>
<File>SpaceUnitsFighters.xml</File>
<File>SpaceUnitsCorvettes.xml</File>
<File>SpaceUnitsFrigates.xml</File>
<File>SpaceUnitsSupers.xml</File>
<File>SpacePrimarySkydomes.xml</File>
<File>SpaceSecondarySkydomes.xml</File>
<File>SpaceBuildablesSkirmish.xml</File>

If this is a logical system (and I assume that it is) we should be able to add new .xml files for ship, or anything else for that matter.

possible system to use (for simplicity):
shipclass_e (example corvette_e)
shipclass_r
shipclass_p

this would give a corvette (or whatever shipclass) file for each faction, and would make adding new factions easier, i think.

what do you think?

T.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:23 PM   #9
Taurian
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ok, sorry for double posting

Yes, the above does work, just tried it. works good. and it keeps the number of ships per file very low.

After you create the new.xml files you have to list them in gameobjectfiles.xml and you're good to go.

hope this helps

T.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:56 PM   #10
Det. Bart Lasiter
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Bad idea, the engine would have to load more files and more data, decreasing performance. Also, there would be waaayyy to many files even though it takes all of a minute to look up an object.



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Old 03-22-2006, 09:28 PM   #11
Taurian
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how do you get waaayyy to many files? there are only four ship classes - originally only four files.
<File>SpaceUnitsCapital.xml</File>
<File>SpaceUnitsFighters.xml</File>
<File>SpaceUnitsCorvettes.xml</File>
<File>SpaceUnitsFrigates.xml</File>
if you have two factions, it will be eight files (12 if you include pirates). I'm not talking about a seperate file for each ship, but each ship class per faction. (actually only 11 files, the pirates as of now dont have any capitals).

T.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:49 PM   #12
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Way too many for the engine, a file stream has to be opened to load each resource, and that takes up memory, with all the units merged into one file the engine only has to load one file to load multiple resources, thus saving memory, something very important for an RTS game.



"No, Mama. You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty whoever put that hit on you already got the cops in their back pocket." ~Black Dynamite
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:09 PM   #13
Taurian
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well, if you say so. I just played some with the file system set this way, and I see no lag in the performance at all. it seems to work just as smoothly.

either way, they were asking if it could be done and the answer is yes it can. if it should be or not, is up to them.

T.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:31 AM   #14
Three60
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It shouldn't generate more lag then having a larger file then splitting it into 3 different files. And it wouldn't slow it down wayyyyyyy to much.


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Old 03-23-2006, 08:39 AM   #15
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ty three60, i finished a gc set and it works the same, no differance at all.
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:20 AM   #16
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Just tried it, my changes are still in effect (modified the marauder and broadside). I have only tried it with the corvette file however. I also removed that file completely from the game folder and replaced it with the seperate files (1 for each ship). Turning 1 file into 8 files makes the game nothing slower at all, if anything it's better now. For some reason my TIE scouts seem to be less laggy, but I didn't even touch THAT file. Now I hope some of he mods do it this way as well (off course that's their decision). And for the devs to make any x-packs and sequels with the units already extracted and seperated. I'll probably release something with all the original files cut up. Might take a while since I have my exams in about 1-2 weeks.
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:46 AM   #17
Taurian
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I have noticed (so far) only one potential problem. with units that require multiple files, such as fighters (spaceunitsfighters.xml squadrons.xml) you still have to modify the squadrons files as a whole, or cut it up as well ( could be a real pain to do).

Also, anything with hardpoints runs into the same problem. I tried merging the info into one file, but it dosn't recognize the extra "stuff" added into the file.
example:
the above can be gotten around if we can get the program to allow merged files that includes "unit info" "squadron info (if applicable)" "hardpoint info".
i did it with the following format
<SpaceUnitsFrigates>
<SpaceUnit Name>
blah blah blah
</Spaceunit>
</SpaceUnitsFrigates>

<Hardpoints>
<Hardpoint name>
Blah blah blah
</Hardpoint>
</Hardpoints>

it recognizes and uses the first part (the firgate), but it dosn't use the hardpoint info. if you could find a way around this, you would be set.

and yes, i agree with jedi3112, after some more playing, it does seem smoother
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:01 PM   #18
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Already done for future products. You're not the only ones that get sick of looking through all those files to find stuff However, some aspects of a unit require the info to be in a specific place - projectiles and hard points are examples.


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Old 03-23-2006, 01:43 PM   #19
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Well yeah, but you can't have the hardpoints in the file with the units? Like within the tag? That would be good if you can.


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Old 03-23-2006, 03:07 PM   #20
Taurian
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I just thought of something---maybe stupid.

I know this is supposed to be a poll thread, and were not really giving our opinions about that, do we need to start a new thread for this discussion?

T.
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Old 03-25-2006, 03:23 PM   #21
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I think the discussion and the poll are related to each other. Besides it's good to know that PG already does the seperating for future products. Anyway I think I've seen ST:Armada use the hardpoints in the files, but I highly suspect the Armada games to be made with C++ and I don't know what's language related and what isn't. Didn't get that far into my study. Come to think of it, a hardpoint viewer would be nice if that wasn't planned already. Or if it can map the hardpoints of the models as well (and save/print the map). Still I was thinking of making 2 files out of each one, like MC80 and MC80_hp where the second one refers to the hardpointsfile of the ship (if I can't put those 2 together). Still I've only done the corvettes so far and it's on hold beause I have to study now as well.
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Old 03-25-2006, 07:28 PM   #22
Taurian
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ok, possible reason why the hardpoints cant be added to the ship files (yet). I just noticed, when looking at the gameobjectfiles.xml, that the hardpoints.xml is not listed in there. The game must load those differently. I am guessing that since it is not loaded with the game objects, that making seperate hardpoint files for ships, will not work. mind you this is a guess.

what would be best, is if someone who knows programming, could write us a simple program, like "EAW Editor", that could take a (seperate) ship file, and matching hardpoint file, and "import" them both into the game automatically. it would also need an export feature to remove unwanted ships, and the matching hardpoints.

Doing it this way, we could actually keep the seperate ship files, and just have the "program" integrate the hardpoint file into the hardpoints.xml. There is probably a bettert way of doing this, but im not feeling creative just now.

The reason i suggest a program to do this for us is just to keep us from going cross-eyed adding and removing hardpoint entries in the file. I dont know that mutch about programming but i cant imagine this would be that hard to do.

Edit: Obviously it would need to make an entry into the gameobjectfiles.xml as well.

T.

Last edited by Taurian; 03-26-2006 at 07:24 AM.
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