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 Forum index » Modding Central » Red Alert 2 Editing Forum » Ares (Unofficial Forum)
Consequences of the Pentadecimal System
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AlexB
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Joined: 31 May 2010
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:38 pm    Post subject:   Consequences of the Pentadecimal System Reply with quote

It's time to talk a bit about the future of Ares. Ares 0.E has been out for ten days now, and from what I gathered it was received benevolently so far. There are at least two things that could need some more work: adding more Alternative FLHs now that more weapons are made possible by a solution that would also work on FLHs, and changing the new warhead effects to apply even if conventional damage was reduced by verses. I suppose that's reasonable.

Modders have asked about the new features I'm working on, and as always have proposed more things to add to a hypothetical "Ares 0.F" already. But I don't think that's gonna happen, because that assumes the version numbers are at least hexadecimal and they could go on and on -- but they are not. They are pentadecimal, and if you go back and check then you'll see that all version numbers so far up to 0.E have been. And there it ends.

Ares is reasonably stable given its amount of features. I could give you a concrete number here, but I was too lazy to count them. Let's say it's two. Ares is also relatively fast even with all the new features in place. I also should have measured this before making such a statement of fact, but then I thought adding a tactical "relatively" there as a weasel word in case someone objects to that claim is a bit less time consuming.

But don't worry, there will be another Ares release (as an alert reader you'll have noticed I'm talking about the future of Ares here, not its non-future), which I planned to call Ares 1.0. Ultimately, for it is actually the fourth attempt.

A release should be worthy of that name, though. Ares is an ongoing project, and it has to definite goal to reach and no direction to move into. It's an assortment of features and fixes. Thus, there's no final destination for to go to, and it's never really done. Obviously it cannot have every feature imaginable, but it definitely shouldn't lack something that's supposed to be there.

Yet, there has always been the shadow of the past that prevented Ares from leaving the preview stage indicated by a zero in front of the version number, and a proper release without resolving that issue wouldn't make any sense. So that's what shall be the big goal of this release: finally adding support for savegames.

It's a big goal and it has many intricacies that need to be tested, so I can only encourage you to test early and often. You can start immediately; I uploaded a new binary already. Mind: only use this for testing. The files will not work forever because for practical reasons this build will break automatically soon, so don't even think of using this productively yet.
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maestro21
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Joined: 25 Feb 2008

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Save games...Everbody knows that ,this is the most beautiful but alsothe most  difficult part of Ares production...I know someday will come and it will be completed Perfectly...But  I think there is still time to wait..Thanks for great efforts that made Ares already Ultimate Enhanger...If save games work with Ares, nothing is impossible for YR anymore, I mean, piece by piece... Wink

Last edited by maestro21 on Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:09 pm; edited 2 times in total

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XxpeddyxX
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is fantastic news
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Starkku
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Joined: 28 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Thank you for your hard work on previous versions of Ares and best of luck implementing save games for 1.0.
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deathreaperz
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This encourages me alot to do campaigns again.
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Speeder
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Blade
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Joined: 23 Dec 2003

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand why this build will break soon, its not like the game is constantly getting updates from EA that require the hooking offsets to be reset? What is going to cause it to break?

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DerxwnaKapsyla
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EA may not be updating the game, but Alex continues to update Ares. Considering that saves save and load the data of the existing engine, all its variables and tags, and several other things, it can reasonably only load that which is the same as it. Since Ares plans to continue, saves, as a result, will continue to break with each change made to the engine. The addition of new unit tags, among other things, will cause the save/loader to not function with existing saves.

It was something along those lines at least.
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AlexB
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blade wrote:
I don't understand why this build will break soon, its not like the game is constantly getting updates from EA that require the hooking offsets to be reset? What is going to cause it to break?

It's what would be called planned obsolescence, an artificial breaking point to ensure this build is not used productively and people won't rely on it. Done to for example to discourage MO players to applying this unstable build themselves and creating a desync mess for everyone. And to discourage people from creating savegames and then sticking to this very version because the next version might (it's possible though not guaranteed) be incompatible to the savegames.
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Blade
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So basically you've timed bombed it? There is no technical reason that it will break? I sort of get the thinking behind it, but I think its a bad precedent to set.

At the end of the day, what does it matter if people stick with it if it works for their save games for the mods they use? It should be up to modders to push new versions and tell them that their saves will break if they want the latest mod version.

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4StarGeneral
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry AlexB, no errors so far after a couple hours of testing. Loading saves with units that no longer exist work; saves with more and less players work; everything stays in its attack/harvest/move/sell state when loaded; And the saves even load smoothly.
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AlexB
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blade: Yeah. Players should wait for the actual release, which still isn't guaranteed to work perfectly because there are always some bugs, but at least it's different from using something productively that hasn't got even a bit of public testing.

I concur with what you said regarding new versions: that's indeed for the modder to decide -- though only for the final, supported release versions, not for a quick sketch which people might take for the real picture. A disappointing first impression can't be corrected easily, no matter what you do afterwards.

From my experience making players aware of Ares like that at all just doesn't happen. Players are only made aware of Ares when something doesn't work or the game crashes and the Ares error dialog pops up. By that Ares takes responsibility even for old WW bugs, Windows, driver, firewall or antivirus issues, and errors made by modders -- which at least from my point of view has been close to a PR desaster.

4StarGeneral: Thank you, that sound good!
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zocom7
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Joined: 31 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the best news I have heard in a long time, Alex. This will help Mental Omega a whole lot better.
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Artraiden
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why there are no features in AI.ini,for example new commands for AI (haijacker & saboteur AI logic like engeneer),changes old or it not possibly for changes?

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Starkku
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only issue with S/L I've noticed so far is that after loading a game, all superweapons launched will play a sound event, even if they do not have one, specifically the first item listed in soundmd.ini [SoundList]. This appears to happen even in vanilla game + Ares.
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Speeder
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still haven't noticed that.
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AlexB
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starkku wrote:
The only issue with S/L I've noticed so far is that after loading a game, all superweapons launched will play a sound event, even if they do not have one, specifically the first item listed in soundmd.ini [SoundList]. This appears to happen even in vanilla game + Ares.

Seems to be an easy error to make. I don't know about this exact case, but I fixed this kind of error with the activation sound last year already... Maybe there are more. Thanks, looking into it.
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cxtian39
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Joined: 11 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Request DontSayUnitReady=
When producing some fake unit acting as a Prerequisite (imitating Ra3's Japanese Upgrade/Breakthrough), you don't want EVA to say "Unit Ready. NCO". Just NCO

There already exists DontSayUnitLost= Smile
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MRMIdAS
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, I finally get back online properly and this awaits me. I'm looking forward to this. Smile
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AlexB
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I uploaded a new binary, which should fix the issue with super weapon sounds after loading.
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Starkku
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took few days for me to finally test it, but the SW sound issue is indeed fixed in this new unstable build.
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cxtian39
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Alex if you're doing more AlternateFLHs can you add an option whether these FLHs attach to turret or body?
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Ich-Henker
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No saving or loading errors here!

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m7
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm slowly adding more Ares features into the mod, and so far I've not noticed any related crashes or bugs that have suddenly appeared that were not my own fault.

AlexB, are there any particular interactions you'd like us to investigate more heavily than others? Maybe some particular way to stress the system?
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AlexB
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starkku wrote:
Took few days for me to finally test it, but the SW sound issue is indeed fixed in this new unstable build.

Thank you!

cxtian39 wrote:
Hello Alex if you're doing more AlternateFLHs can you add an option whether these FLHs attach to turret or body?

I don't plan to expand that for 1.0, because savegames are large already. Not sure about that request, though. The game just retrieves the FLHs, but the actual calculations are done in another spot, and maybe the game doesn't have all information available to combine new FLHs with such a setting. Would need more research.

Ich-Henker wrote:
No saving or loading errors here!

Thanks for testing!

m7 wrote:
I'm slowly adding more Ares features into the mod, and so far I've not noticed any related crashes or bugs that have suddenly appeared that were not my own fault.

AlexB, are there any particular interactions you'd like us to investigate more heavily than others? Maybe some particular way to stress the system?

Thank you for testing! There's a few cases which don't happen often, like firing a Lightning Storm, Psychic Dominator, Unit Delivery, and saving before it is activated. That should still work. It's reall hard to make a list, because it would be huuuuge, and each test run of saving and loading covers a huuge number of those already. Usually, the more seldom situations are, the less often they are saved, thus they could need more testing. But I can't name them.
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cxtian39
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just Qrious, is there any relation between pause/resume and save/load
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AlexB
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before I forget: I uploaded a new binary, which has a few things changed.

- mouse cursor should now be correct after loading
- the error on trigger house parsing won't exit the game
- killing drivers doesn't work if a unit is just leaving the Weapons Factory

---

cxtian39: What relation would there be? All four commands are separate, code-wise and UI-wise. Or maybe I don't understand the question.
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BaRaka
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Joined: 09 Jun 2014

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the new binary, the game quits to desktop as soon as my MCV starts to deploy.
After removing (not just renaming) the previous ares.dll and ares.dll.inj from the game folder, the game works normal and loads saved games just fine.
I'll keep testing.

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deathreaperz
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No errors and problems that I have found so far while testing. Also, a unit have a strange behavior when using Railgun=yes weapons, it's like they are just firing once even with FireOnce=no, and this behavior also interrupt Gattling stages. Really hoping that this can be fixed, thanks and keep up the excellent work, Alex!
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Starkku
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

deathreaperz wrote:
Also, a unit have a strange behavior when using Railgun=yes weapons, it's like they are just firing once even with FireOnce=no, and this behavior also interrupt Gattling stages. Really hoping that this can be fixed, thanks and keep up the excellent work, Alex!


Can't use IsRailgun=yes on more than one weapon on single unit, including Gattling stages - it will cause the firing to be interrupted like that. UseSparkParticles=yes can be used instead on the additional weapons to have it draw particles but it might cause AmbientDamage to not work anymore and possibly affects ability to fire on move if it's on a vehicle.
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G-E
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Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlexB: Your versioning system may be hex based, but honestly it's still arbitrary. I'm sure you've seen countless programs with multiple decimal values strung together, and that doesn't make any more sense than getting up to release P or Q. Although most developers happily switch to decimal versions ater the first point release, I don't see that being any better.

Instead as you alluded to, if 1.0 is to be special, it should be special as a cap or ending to the early phases of Ares, so as to wrap up the current paradigm and features. Then the work begins on Ares2 betas which can then tackle the big picture challenges, like AI or alternative targetting/guard logic etc....
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OmegaBolt
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since when wasn't versioning arbitrary? Unless you're specifically starting a new project with different goals, and thus reseting it, all it is is a label to determine which exact copy of the thing you're using. 1.0 or or "Romanov's Tortoise Edition" doesn't really matter besides memorability.
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MasterHaosis
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Joined: 01 Nov 2010

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starkku wrote:
deathreaperz wrote:
Also, a unit have a strange behavior when using Railgun=yes weapons, it's like they are just firing once even with FireOnce=no, and this behavior also interrupt Gattling stages. Really hoping that this can be fixed, thanks and keep up the excellent work, Alex!


Can't use IsRailgun=yes on more than one weapon on single unit, including Gattling stages - it will cause the firing to be interrupted like that. UseSparkParticles=yes can be used instead on the additional weapons to have it draw particles but it might cause AmbientDamage to not work anymore and possibly affects ability to fire on move if it's on a vehicle.


Oh my God, I am glad to hear that someone else is using railguns and having issues aside from me. I though until recently that its just my bad coding.
I was talking to AlexB lot of times regarding this, and we recently talked, more precisely almost every night regarding it. He can confirm that.
I have this problem:
When I put tesla coil type to be railgun coil (railgun and overpowered weapon), that railgun coil has targeting issue. When attack enemies it works normally, but when you order coil to attack ground or civilian structure, it behaves like it has FireOnce=yes set. it just fires once and stop. So, for each shot you need to do each click, which is annoying.
I tried ForeOnce=no, I tried lot of stuff, but no help. Seems that buildings like Starkku said indeed cannot have two railgun weapons. It messes with targeting. I also hope this to be fixed. I am using this feature. As well after fix, maybe railgun support should be added to prism forwarding as supporting weapon.
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cxtian39
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Joined: 11 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Powered unit inside a opentopped vehicle can still fire without the Poweredby= buildings.
My attempt on making a building enable extra weapons (kinda like upgrade system) on a unit fails.
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maestro21
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cxtian39 wrote:
Powered unit inside a opentopped vehicle can still fire without the Poweredby= buildings.
My attempt on making a building enable extra weapons (kinda like upgrade system) on a unit fails.


yes, also e.m.p'ed and magnetic beamed units with opentopped still continue firing.

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cxtian39
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's very useful that if poweredby logic can restrict passenger firing.
For example, when you build an armory all your scorpion tanks get an extra rocket weapon. Scorpion tank has initial payload of 1 dummy infantry who fires a rocket weapon and has PoweredBy=armory.
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OmegaBolt
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maestro21 wrote:
cxtian39 wrote:
Powered unit inside a opentopped vehicle can still fire without the Poweredby= buildings.
My attempt on making a building enable extra weapons (kinda like upgrade system) on a unit fails.


yes, also e.m.p'ed and magnetic beamed units with opentopped still continue firing.
Which makes sense on a "real" opentopped unit because obviously the infantry inside aren't affected. To cover that for hidden passengers there would need to be a separate tag.
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pd
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on keeping this going!

And good luck on the savegames. It would be cool just to see that. I never managed to figure out what exactly breaks them and it has always been postponed because it doesn't seem easy to handle at all and costs time that was instead used to work on fun stuff Laughing . Of course I have missed many years of research now. Are they fully "figured out" and now it's just a battle plan that's needed?

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AlexB
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks pd, I'm trying. Smile
Yeah, fun things are easier to work with for sure. For savegames I had to rework several features because they used pointers to arbitrary data like int or double, and they couldn't be restored because there was no obvious relation between pointer and data.
After that was done, the solution is a bunch of functions and a huge load of templates to handle each data type. And they call each other recursively -- the template handling VectorClass<T> uses the same system again for each of the vector's items, thus saving and loading VectorClass<VectorClass<SomeComplexType>> just works. These are called for all data members of all the Ares extension class instances.

You can test it for yourself: the available binaries have savegames enabled already, and I haven't heard of many issues yet. If there's a problem restoring a piece of data, it would log and crash immediately: They break easily if saving and loading do something differently. I'm confident that they're working reliably now.

--

There's a new binary uploaded, which hopefully correctly restores crates when loading, unlike the original game. It should also allow buildings to spawn custom missiles without crashing now.

I corrected a few things regarding facings, thus units might now sometimes look into different directions. For example, paradrop planes will no longer spawn always facing north and then take a turn. Also, this binary is a bit smaller than the last one, which is due to some more optimizations that might also improve speed a bit again.

Particles not correctly drawing after loading a game yet needs to be investigated, and I'll still have to go through the posts and notes what else I promised to look at. If there's not much more, the next binary will be RC1. Have fun testing!
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OmegaBolt
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did this disable / fix the chrono tag recon issue?
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Plokite_Wolf
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlexB wrote:
If there's not much more, the next binary will be RC1.

So soon?  Surprised
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4StarGeneral
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a crash on the newest version, no idea what could be causing it as I didn't change anything from testing the previous version.


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AlexB
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OmegaBolt: Not yet. Had no time to investigate whether it's salvageable or broken by design.

Plokite_Wolf: I guess that depends on where you start counting. Wink

4StarGeneral: One of your weapons has no Projectile=. There should be a line in the debug.log. Not sure whether this is a newly introduced problem or whether this crash is just circumstantial.
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4StarGeneral
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlexB wrote:
OmegaBolt: Not yet. Had no time to investigate whether it's salvageable or broken by design.

Plokite_Wolf: I guess that depends on where you start counting. Wink

4StarGeneral: One of your weapons has no Projectile=. There should be a line in the debug.log. Not sure whether this is a newly introduced problem or whether this crash is just circumstantial.


Thanks, it's circumstantial, I'll look at the log first next time. I had a unit with a bad OccupyWeapon I had forgotten about.
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Pop000100
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Joined: 03 Jan 2016

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you AlexB for your continued support. I want to know how hard LAN saving would be, Warcraft 3 is the only RTS i can think of off the top of my head that has it?

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TAK02
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DTA and TI can do that too.

And screw Blizzard, took away Westwood's limelight.
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YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRJ32BRTY8UPF49Ilq3rNDw
Skype: TAK02 Supreme CnC Mods
Twitter: TAK02 @SupremeCnCMods
m7 wrote:
I tend to release things I create so that assets are never lost to hard drive problems, accidental deletion, or me having to pretend to care about rippers taking things from my project when it is done. #Tongue

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Pop000100
Vehicle Driver


Joined: 03 Jan 2016

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TAK02 wrote:
DTA and TI can do that too.


I did not know that.

TAK02 wrote:
And screw Blizzard, took away Westwood's limelight.


Hehe mentioning a Blizzard game is a touchy thing here to some, i understand why sorry. Smile

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cxtian39
Missile Trooper


Joined: 11 Feb 2016
Location: The United States of China

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While we have new Veteran and Elite Abilities in 0.E, I would like to introduce one more, RELOAD, which reduces the reload time of ammo-switch weapon system.
Right now ammo-switch weapon system cannot fire faster when promoting as normal/gattling weapon systems do, as a result of that reload time is unaffected by Veterancy.
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