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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Default FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

For Beta 12, I've moved the rest of the graphics into the Multimedia Pack. I think I have all of the image calls fixed up, but I need some help testing the mod to make sure. You can grab a copy of the mod on the Dev site.There is info there about which packs of the MMP you need (you'll need to update them). Please download the mod, test it out, and report your results. The PR2 build is conveniently set to install into a separate folder than Beta 11, so you won't have to worry about buggering up your existing games. Feel free to make any other suggestions for improvement!

For reference, here is a preliminary Beta 12 change log:

1. Changed - Tweaked system counts of Old and Ancient quadrants.
2. Added - Dying quadrant type, with even more dead or dying stellar phenomena than Ancient quadrants.
3. Added - There are now 5 types of Asteroid Belt system.
4. Changed - Standard, Binary and Trinary systems now have between 1 and 3 storms. Quaternary and Quintuple systems have between 2 and 4 storms.
5. Added - Ringed planet textures now match other planets. Requires an update to your Multimedia Pack installation.
6. Added - Organic Infestation systems, with textures based on the SE4 infestation system. Venus fly trap image formated for SE5 by David Gervais.
7. Changed - Black hole accretion disks are now colored according to blackbody temperature calculations. The effect is vaguely similar to the swirling warp points. Wizardry courtesy of Suicide Junkie.
8. Changed - Made text of Sight Obscuration abilities in StellarObjectTypes.txt more clear. Reduced cloak level from 16 to 10.
9. Removed - Stars can no longer have the pointless "Star - Unstable" ability.
10. Added - Stars can now have system-wide effects.
11. Fixed - As per the upcoming SE5 patch, the two missing Unique Ruins techs (Power Leech and Shield Implosion) are now placed on planets.
12. Changed - Made Protostar Storm abilities more interesting.
13. Changed - Asteroids only have 10% chance to have a Sight Obscuration ability, rather than 100%.
14. Changed - Sight Obscuration levels for storms and asteroids changed from a flat 10 to a random amount between 6 and 14.
15. Changed - Revamped StellarAbilityTypes.txt. Now, multiple abilities of the same type are generally consolidated into a single entry. Poisson distribution of ability values is achieved via iif and Random function calls.
16. Changed - Nebulae now have more color-coordinated ability classes, rather than essentially random.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:51 PM

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Default Re: FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

I've a few comments:

- The planets glow too much. With some planets/atmospheres it's more obvious than others, but overall a bit too 'glowy', I'd say. It's really the overly-bright 'innermost' part of the glow that annoys me, the 'thin' outer part isn't bad( see attachment ).
- 'Ringed' Planets: The ring looks to be cutting off the glow where it goes behind the planet. Looks like an engine problem, though, so I guess there's not much to do about it.
- The suns really look great.
- The Quadrant Types are great and diverse.
- The single-hex storm bitmaps should be a fair bit smaller, I think. Right now they make the storm look like it's occupying the adjacent hexes too, and it's also sort of visually distracting when you have ships moving around it.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

I've tried three separate times, but can't get the mod to load. I have downloaded the packs, etc. I extract them into the subdirectories, but it is looking for files that aren't in the packs?
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Old September 8th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

Attached
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Old September 8th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

Okay, my workaround was to dump all the files into one directory and copy each into the 3 subdirectories - FQM, GE, SCwhatever, but I am still getting missing files... I guess I need to track down each one individually, which is a bit frustrating.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

Alright, I got it working, because I am obviously a moron.

Annother pic - why don't the planet's match up with their colors on the main screen any more?
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Old September 9th, 2007, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

The planet textures are not "finished," so I never went through the pain of rendering all of the portraits for them.

All of the MMP archives are designed to be extracted directly into the SE5\Pictures folder.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 02:17 AM
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Default Re: FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

Raapys said:
- The planets glow too much. With some planets/atmospheres it's more obvious than others, but overall a bit too 'glowy', I'd say. It's really the overly-bright 'innermost' part of the glow that annoys me, the 'thin' outer part isn't bad( see attachment ).


First, note that the glow size is directly proportional to the planet model size. The glow size is pretty much as small as I could make it and still be able to see it at normal viewing distances. Its often indistinguishable at the "back" of the system.

I'm not really sure if this will address the crux of this particular issue, but it is fairly related to it.. The thing about the glows is in how SE5 renders bitmap effects. When you look at the object head-on, the bitmap effect is drawn in the plane orthogonal to the line directly connecting the center of the object to the center of the system. The rim is perfectly symmetrical on all sides, as it should be. Rather than keeping the bitmap drawn parallel to the "surface of the screen," it is rotated along with the corresponding object to keep perspective. As the object rotates farther to the right, the plane of the effect starts to become occluded by the sphere of the planet. The right side of the glow ends up behind the planet, and you see less and less of it. You can see this very clearly in the star demo screenshot, in the blue star. There is no visible solar flare at all on the right side of the star.

This same effect occurs in the stock game, but it is very difficult to discern. The only objects with both a model and a bitmap effect are warp points and stars. The corona glow effect for the stars is really large (relative to the star model size), and tends to be dim. In a binary system, you can't really see the occlusion effect very clearly, since the part of the effect that gets covered up is just a tiny fraction of the continuously-fading glow.

When you compare the stock star glow effect to the FQM planet glow effect, they are very different. The planet glows are dual-band, with a brighter inner ring and a dimmer outer ring. The perspective warping tends to stand out. The same happens with the "active corona" part of the star glows. There isn't really much I can do about this, other than making the bitmap effects dully continuous, excessively large (like stock), or removing them altogether.

At least for me, I can't really discern any issue with the planet glow effect at normal game viewing angles and distances. Certainly when you zoom in you can see the effects, but normally is it such a problem? The bands are really thin at normal viewing distances.

- 'Ringed' Planets: The ring looks to be cutting off the glow where it goes behind the planet. Looks like an engine problem, though, so I guess there's not much to do about it.

I can either make the bitmap effect always behind the model, or some sort of dirty blending effect that typically results in lots of texture clipping. In either case, I can't really make it render "between" parts of the model. At normal viewing angles, I can't really see the cut off part of the glow very well (I never noticed it before this post, in fact!). Short of axing the glows, I am not seeing any way to fix this cutoff.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 08:06 AM

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Default Re: FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

Couldn't just darkening the inner glow slightly address this issue? It is the brightness rather than the size that is attracting comment.

As for the ring, would it be feasible to make the glow part of the basic planet model, rather than a separate effect? That would seem the only likely solution, though it would have serious downsides also (e.g. requiring multiple copies of every planet model).
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Old September 10th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: FQM Beta 12 Testing Help

How much darker are you thinking?
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