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YAG - yet another gui

I wasn't going to add a complete gui system, we don't need anything complex. The address book needs to accept input from mouse and keyboard and when I thought about it, the planned map viewer/editor will require it too.   It had to be a simple gui system with input focus and keyboard entry. Since the chat console had functions for filtering keys and the input mapper directed keyboard input into it when active it was simple enough to change it to send to a gui class and whatever control input h

Flexman

Flexman

XML Database lookups

I needed to add some on-the-fly lookups for data stored in XML databases without having them gobbling up memory. Most games of this type had a vehicle and weapon database, usually with a rotating 3D model or picture of the object. Using the TxmlTextReader function with a cache works fine. Only need to do the lookup once when examining an object.   All weapons come with suitable entries by entering the ground crew mode from proximity to any Apache helicopter. We can re-use this for tutoria

Flexman

Flexman

World of Warcraft - Blizzard has internal leakage

Just wanted to report this to the blogosphere. I'm not a Wow player (I have an account but I don't play very often) but my wife friends across several raiding guilds play from time to time.     They've all been subjected to hacks. And I think the leak is at Blizzard.     Over the past few weeks, everbody we know, including friends of friends have had their accounts hacked. Including mine, which was inactive, but had an "authenticator" (a hardware device that generates a new 6 digit number

Flexman

Flexman

World clocks now in sync

The game world clock is now synced across network clients, time advance and day-night cycles locked. Accuracy is down to round-trip packet times plus a few milliseconds. More than enough to keep entity spawn times and waypoint navigation in close sync.   I'm as yet unsure how often to send clock updates, currently it's every half-second which is quite aggressive, it's easy enough to tweak. Clocks run on client and frame-rate independent so they don't need to be updated often. They just need t

Flexman

Flexman

Wipers and material updates

Another "gravy" feature which I wouldn't have spent time on had David (part man, part 3DSMax) hadn't made it so easy. He detached the existing low res wipers from the exterior model and created a single 100 frame animation cycle of both wipers complete with slight wobble. The two blades operate at different speed ratios too.   The cockpit wiper control was set to send it's setting as a key to both the exterior and interior cockpit model. Allowing for dual speed wiper control and a park mode

Flexman

Flexman

Windows 7 upgrade

A need to test Combat-Helo on Windows 7 resulted in a TESCO purchase of the Windows 7 Upgrade and 1kg of bananas (a rich source of potassium).   Running any Leadwerks program on a fresh OS install results in an EXCEPTION on launch, only two steps required to get it working. Run the OpenAL install then update video drivers. Simple. Everything worked as it should.   Source

Flexman

Flexman

WEP page (advanced)

This is OpenGL, vector based rendered to an offscreen buffer, now with added mipmaps. I'll try and detail the functions of these pages and sub-modes as I go and allow you to submit corrections early on.   The WEP (weapons) MFD page   Pictured below shoing the gun sub-mode. Main feature is the bust limit selector on the left side indicating the number of rounds fired when the pilot commands. The bottom MFD buttons marked GUN, MSL and RKT will switch the weapons and display rounds and options.

Flexman

Flexman

Weekend video

I know I said this week but will likely be over the weekend, there were some LUA issues I needed to get my head around. As for LUA, I think I'm going to pull out some of the model features I've been putting into the model LUA scripts as it's starting to get in the way when I need to control them in game logic. Reading values and objects back seems to be a dark art, these things may have been fixed, or not bugs at all, but caught between moving engine versions and not much documentation I'm left

Flexman

Flexman

Weapons, pylons and stores

Spent the day working on the Helicopter entity and the sub-classes that handle all the pylons and stores. It's worth spending time automating these things as much as possible now to simply things later.   I broke out UMLet, a nice fast Java based UML editor to look at my structure. What's missing is the store-jett which needs to be a function of [TStore], pass it the pylon number and it will be required to generate the physics object, parent the rail/pod/fuel cell, detach it from the pylon and

Flexman

Flexman

WAH-64D Replica Controls

Summer Sim 2010 is nearly here. Komodo Simulations, makers of replica helicopter controls for virtual training are sadly not going to have their replica controls ready in time but a recent news update on their web site shows the current collective at the pre-mould stage.   Komodo Simulations WAH-64 collective WIP   Looking good so far. Combat-Helo will be there to show a build of some kind. Although like the controls we're perhaps not going to have all the goodies ready to go into a demo bui

Flexman

Flexman

Volcanic ash, no flights and weekend progress

It's been a blissfully quiet weekend.   The Combat-Helo configuration files are now in an easier to use XML format and I added a lot of extra options too. Player profile name, host IP, graphics filters etc. Fullscreen and Windowed modes having their own settings.   Also experimented with light scattering, we'll be adding per time-of-day lighting and retiring the old LB2 style skybox. That's not a priority item just something that's nice to toy as a little break.   Arming system which shoul

Flexman

Flexman

Virtual Waypoint Marker

The HMD of the new MTADS Apache comes with a number of 'virtual' items displayed to the pilot. The currently selected waypoint is made virtual in cruise and tranistion modes, the waypoint position is marked with a flat bottomed diamond with a dot in the centre. See the take-off point (W00) on the image below.   Flying with the flight path marker inside this symbol and you should head right to that spot.   Waypoint marker     Source

Flexman

Flexman

Video underlay part II

Video underlays are working as intended (more or less).   I split the MPD buffers into two, symbologyBuffer and compositeBuffer. The symbology buffer is texturestage2 and rendered by the shader at full brightness. If the underlay is active the TADS/PNVS buffer is copied to outputbuffer which is texturestage0 (the simple diffuse buffer). The two are mixed by the material shader which is applied to each MPD screen.   The mix works well, providing enough contrast between video and symbology eve

Flexman

Flexman

Video underlay

Not quite there yet.   What I'm trying to do is copy the raw TADS buffer into the diffuse COLOR0 buffer and render the symbology into the same bugger but into channel 2 (COLOR2). Texture channel 2 is used by the "fullbright" shader and mixes at full intensity. The net effect being a normal diffuse texture with full-bright symbology painted over it.   At the moment it's not working as intended. I need to go through the shader to check it's doing what I think it's supposed to do. And see if I

Flexman

Flexman

Vector font tweaks and HSI

Working on the tactical situation display elements, the vector font output was never quite as crisp as I'd hoped for but that's now fixed by keeping the 1:1 scale and changing the ortho projection matrix. Bigger works better than smaller when it comes to float accuracy with consumer level drivers that focus on games and performance I guess.   Still have the map scale to do, that's forming part of the mission terminal code. But the rest of the TSD is coming together. I need to put an upper limi

Flexman

Flexman

US Army showcases AB3 - Apache Block II to Block III in video

US Army released video showcasing the new Block III Apache in a virtual training environment.     The video covers in a nutshell...   Weight reduction Improved software upgrade pipeline Increased engine power 701-D engines and improved drive system Better digital battlefield intergration UAV commanding IFR certified instruments Reliability and servicing improvements RFI range triangulation Maritime classification Awesome new logo Further reading  

Flexman

Flexman

US Army presents "Mast Bumping"

I know it's a little late for Valentines Day. Excessive flapping, bumping and separation is discussed in this priceless US Army video from 1980. If only they had "RotorCam ™". The Apache has a fixed rotor, mast bumping isn't an issue but it's all part of helicopter theory.       I've been forced to continue hunting for other employment to deal with a mounting debt crisis. As a result work was put on hold the past two weeks (hence the lack of updates). I apologise for letting my post sli

Flexman

Flexman

Upgrade 2.32 - let the fun begin

My wife reminds me that it takes typically two weeks after each engine upgrade to get things working as intended.   There's the odd "caps sensitive" issue in some of the LUA source. And a quick change of fw.Main to fw.main in Renderer to get ll the helo/sky scripts working. Rebuilding the lua-gluefunctions and making sure not residue from the previous version was causing problems.   All that's left is handling changes of appearance and shaders....and re-serialising all of the 3D work.   Pe

Flexman

Flexman

Units, Events and Triggers

I'm putting together specifications on the mission side of the game. To me, the bit that you 'play' is every bit as important as the simulation side, and while it's taken a back seat for now, things are getting to the point where it's time to get on and make it all work. Going through some of my older material on this, it needs to play like Longbow 2, have the crew management elements from Gunship 2000 and strategy elements from tactical board games on guerilla warfare and a bit of a story eleme

Flexman

Flexman

Two years old

Yippe..the 18 month project is now 24 months old. Horray. Short post but I felt I couldn't let it slip by unnoticed. Especially with all the Tipex (White-Out) all over my Project Planner.   Source

Flexman

Flexman

Tuesday - map almost completed

Spent a lot of time today house cleaning. No not code, literally the house. It's amazing what teenagers can do to your treasured Monty Python DVD collection, it's not funny. Stop that, it's silly.   I over-complicated the map drawing and stripped it down. Added functionality to the TSD page for controlling the map scale. I'm happy that it will work with 3rd party maps too. Oh I just noticed in the screen shots the scale index is off by one.   The green colour is from the low elevation rang

Flexman

Flexman

TSD started, avoiding work for a Split Second

Another little progress update but first a diversion. Yesterday I took some time-off to brush up on gaming skills and really enjoyed Disney Interactive's "Split Second", one of the few car games I keep going back to since I typically find racing games tedious (lack of skill and patience on my part). However this game is almost pure adrenaline and I find my self coming back to try and shave off 2 seconds while avoiding exploding aircraft and collapsing control towers. Split Second is actually the

Flexman

Flexman

Tricubic Studios Ltd.

Formally announcing the foundation of the legal entity Tricubic Studios Ltd. developers of Combat Helo, associated content and iPhone/iPad games / applications.   This doesn't change very much, it grants us a recognised identity for trading, taxation and investment. Plus we get a chance to develop an insipid company website. We plan to have our first mobile platform release ready for the summer. More details on that in a few weeks. Blog updates will continue at this location.   Source

Flexman

Flexman

TrackIR Pro-Clip, shreded

The 3 active IR-LED head-tracker clip was never made of study stuff, constantly falling apart as soon as you put it down on the desk. Now it's finally disintegrated, I might have to resort to super-gluing the tattered remains.       Microsoft Kinect apparently shoots out hundreds of IR beams in a grid pattern and uses that to build a set of data points from which the software can pull out a skeleton, track body motion. It's a motion capture studio in a box. Brilliant, for indie game producti

Flexman

Flexman

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