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CombatHelo Blog (RSS Import)

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Testing Autopatcher Software

Currently testing the autopatcher software. Broadband upstream speeds being what they are, don't make this a fast process. The project core files are currently around the 300mb mark spread over 1300+ files. This will come down when we package them.   The benefits of having an autopatcher is the ability to push updates for CombatHelo on a regular basis without too much hassle and players having to negotiate versions when playing with friends. Just run the updater and everyone should be in sync.

Flexman

Flexman

Tracking down memory leaks

After close checking of memory usage when boarding and exiting the Apache there's feedback saying that objects are getting freed and memory dumped, except it isn't. Only a small percentage. There are object references that are keeping the cockpit and avionic entities alive and preventing them from being released.   Going to take a little time to track each one down.   *edit*   The large memory leak located, was the TADS camera world not being released. It's been removed for now.   Source

Flexman

Flexman

On hold for a few days

I've just moved on to doing research into co-ordinates and floating point accuracy. Going to make a few test projects to try different ideas. Dave has been posting updates on the greenzone development.   Welcome to Afghanistan   Source

Flexman

Flexman

Arming almost done

Not convinced this a a great way of arming the Apache. But what we will do I think is provide some quick defaults, option A and option B.   Only the client sees the weapons appear on the ground ready for selection. The crewman loading the weapons clicks the weapon which is then sent to the highlighted pylon. Internally the helicopter entity receives a message to load pylon x with missile y.   To do: Tooltips for the pods to say what they are and I think highlighting the selected pylon might

Flexman

Flexman

Random thoughts and musings

Looking at the pieces we have and project roadmap. Our game, like football (soccer for American readers), is a game of two halves. Side A and Side B. One campaign is the thinking man's approach; counter insurgency. The other game is the more familiar tank spanker; survival in a high-tech hostile environment against well armed self-sufficient mechanised infantry with air-defence units.   Compounds are anchor points of the campaigns, in groups they form the villages, strategic points you're tas

Flexman

Flexman

Easter Holiday Break

Just to let you know I'm taking a few days off Easter Holiday. Back up to speed in a couple of days.   Source

Flexman

Flexman

IHADSS mode cycle and recent work progress.

Most of the IHADSS modes are complete except for a couple of elements in hover and bobup, and the flight-path indicator in TRANS mode.   Also added for Dave's benefit a small map which I'll use later as a background underlay for a tactical situation display (TSD) and easy nav mode.   RichP has supplied an authentic start-up sequence complete with appropriate caution and warning signalling that fits our bird nicely. Once we're done with the arming set-up I'll get back on the cockpit sequencin

Flexman

Flexman

Rockets and Rails

This entry is not about the life of pioneer George Stephenson. The pylons seem capable of configuring themselves, got some elevation in there for aim assist if/when we add that.   I removed the LUA based weapon loading, it wasn't working out the way I hoped it might. There's a level of disconnect between LUA and the game-engine which added to the complexity of something that is already complex, when it didn't need to be.   Can finally get started on the arming now. Got a little sidetracked w

Flexman

Flexman

Blade flex redeux, campaign news and compounds

Last night we added rotor blade coning which resulted in realising the helo was just a little slightly off axis, now corrected. The Apache has been attacked by an angle grinder on more than a few occasions, might be showing signs of wear.       Some LUA issues came up which erroded confidence in relying on it for so much. I've ditched arming through scripting. It's prone to misuse.       The pylons are now ready to take the 3D models of the assigned loadouts leaving the final stage of th

Flexman

Flexman

Random screen-shot of the day

Still working on the loadout system, as it happens I totally forgot to do the pylon classes. While I'm working on polymorphic classes to deal with that (lot of cases to think about). During lunch I played with some more dust effects, this time for rotor downwash. This uses the roaddust pixel shader so it picks up the colour of the terrain it's currently over.   With no wind vector applied, brown-outs, where the crew can't see outside are occurring. Not sure why the canopy isn't blending

Flexman

Flexman

Menus and Weaponeering pt2

I was thinking over some official forum posts and one gentleman indicated that they were partly colour-blind. Accessibility issues are something I think about whenever I'm writing software or web site design work so I kicked myself when I didn't apply that to the interface. I added some GUI elements that link current selection to the tooltip, this should avoid ambiguity in the menu system.     So that's all working as it should, just have to fix up the weapon selection system which wi

Flexman

Flexman

Player profiles

Writing this up for reference later.   Thinking about players, names, callsigns, current rank, medals, changing characters. The 3D base metaphor avoids a lot of GUI work. Using 3D lockers (since I have one to hand) is perfect. As it turns out, as easy as setting user keys on Locker entities. Simple.   Source

Flexman

Flexman

Menus and Weaponeering

On the whole, I'm starting to warm to using text for user options, the nineties style. Dave showed me some icon screenshots from ArmA and remembered why I didn't like them. Is that a steering wheel? Desk fan?   Below is an in-game shot showing the menu and data displays for helicopters. Not unlike something you might have seen in older games using pre-rendered art. All interactive objects around the base will have these. If you don't want the floaty status text, CTRL L (for labels) is your fri

Flexman

Flexman

Just couldn't keep away today

I had a couple of hours with Just Cause 2 which I hesitate to recommend, it a really fun game but you're stuck playing an unlikeable character. Cheesy dialogue abounds and that's no bad thing in games, I scripted plenty of cheese for Longbow Combat Helo. Think about the lines of dialogue from old games you might remember.   The Playstation 3 was needed by the children for Final Fanstasy n so Rico, Scorpio (whatever the slab of MDF you play is called) was parked for the evening.   So back to

Flexman

Flexman

Canopy doors exterior done

Check off the list, working external canopy doors, flip up/down, will indicate available crew position as well as letting you chat to your mounted team-mate while you're on foot. You could even arm the pilots chopper for him.   Internal doors and wipers next followed by external lighting system. Hopefully we'll have the cold start-up sequence in a few days, we need that so we can get on with more vital systems.   (I just noticed the text on the rail is reversed)   Source

Flexman

Flexman

Just BeCause 2

No work will be done tomorrow. Just Cause 2 PS3 is released. The acting sucks, the actual game doesn't seem all that hot from the demo either, but the stunt playground aspect is brilliant.   Source

Flexman

Flexman

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