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Topics - Ron Losey

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The Last Days / Combat Damage Model (RCM) - merged threads
« on: November 03, 2011, 03:17:48 am »
RCM for TLD3.1 http://www.wupload.com/file/2662215892/RCM_TLD31.rar

(Finally got both the mod and the new M&B enhanced version to download ... my Internet connection is REALLY bad these days.)

Guys, bad news ... your equipment stats are all over the board, they look like you took them from a random number generator.  Sticks effectively do more damage than swords.  Bows will penetrate a steel helmet but have exactly zero percent chance of stopping an unarmored man, even if you hit him square in the chest at point blank range.  Any attempt at getting "game balance" like this will be utterly futile, and tweaking a few numbers will just make it more absurd (if that is possible) but equally futile.  It's a hopeless mess right now.

Now, I don't have a great deal of time to help these days, but I'll do what I can.  I can make the changes (if you send me the Python code) or I can tell you what to use for baselines and you can work on it ... either way is fine by me.  Either way, this is going to have to be done as soon as possible ... unless somebody was really trying for that comic book/D&D "I don't mind having an arrow stuck through my liver because I have HIT POINTS!" feel to the combat sequences.  (Or the movie look where the tin-man armor was apparently made of paper.)  Because that's surely where the numbers are sitting right now.

Sorry about that ... but I did say in previous posts, personal mail, and whatever, that somebody should tell me when they're ready to do the equipment stats, before making a release.  Because obviously, item stats based on Native are not likely to give a feel of intensity, or believability, or much of anything else besides that nagging feeling that certain critical elements of the program were written by monkeys and/or kindergarten children who watch too much television.

So tell me how you prefer to handle this, and I'll try to work within your work flow/timetable/whatever.

Onin No Ran / News and updates
« on: August 25, 2009, 02:56:11 am »
News, as of today:

Heard from Fujiwara.  (He is still alive.)  His life is real complicated right now.  Not likely to get better for a month or more.  But he is still planning to get back to OnR when he can.  Anyway, that is the update, for everyone who keeps asking me if I've heard from him.

No, he doesn't have time to talk to you about whatever it is that's on your mind.  Not unless what's on your mind is a really nice job offer, or a huge cash contribution, or other assistance that would take some pressure off of his real-life troubles (which I will not specify here ... he can tell you if he wants you to know the details ... but like everyone else, the world economic situation is taking a toll on him).

But the word is that he will be back as soon as he can ... and his word is good.

Discussion / no tracks at night?
« on: January 22, 2009, 12:42:34 am »
Something else in M&B has been bugging me, maybe somebody can at least tell me where to look for a solution.

Troops don't leave tracks at night, or at least they are much weaker.  I don't mean they're just harder to see ... I mean, come daylight, they're still not there.  Apparently horses weigh less at night ...

The really dumb part is that it worked perfectly back in .808 and before.  Now, it's fried.

Now, I would very much like to take a crack at monkeying with this code ... see if I could get spotting skill to drop but tracking to remain valid at night ... but I can't find it.  I've searched every Python file that sounded remotely related to such ... no references to tracking skill (at least none related to actual tracks - a skill check on one quest, and a few things like that).

Can anybody tell me where to find the needed code?  (And if possible, advice on how to modify it would also be nice.  But lacking that, I'll figure it out if I have to.)

Onin No Ran / blood loss model
« on: December 26, 2008, 01:08:53 am »

The blood loss model is working ... quite well.  Version 1 is ready to incorporate into the next OnR version.

Amarillo's code is here:

One change - the blood per HP number needs to be changed to about 300.  As presented (blood per HP 100), it was about 3 times too fast.  That's a rough estimate from initial testing - it may need to be increased again - but at least that will get it in the ballpark for now.

No additional changes necessary - this is a plug-in, idiot-proof.  (Even I got it working on both Native and an older version of OnR, after only one typo ... and I can't tell Python from a boa constrictor.)

Discussion / Has anyone experimented with a "blood loss" damage model?
« on: November 16, 2008, 03:37:32 am »
I was thinking ... and I know, I shouldn't do that ... when I start thinking, insurance companies go bankrupt.

But seriously, I was thinking, because I need to finish up the RCM/Native package, and I wondered if anybody had done any experiments with a bleeding damage model, and/or if anybody would care to.

It wouldn't need to be complex.  Just a simple "x-2 points/unit time bleeding" added along with "x points damage".  (I say x-2, in that very minor wounds should not bleed significantly.  About two points of slack should cover the ability of blood to clot in a shallow wound, while arterial bleeding would not be so cooperative.)  The net effect being that a character hit by a weapon would eventually go down, as continued attempts to stay in the fight with an arrow sticking out of you would cause blood loss.  To really make it elaborate, have them first flag as unconscious, and then only flag as dead if the fight goes on for a while.  It cannot, however, just check current health - that would result in exponential decay (the more blood they lost, the faster they would bleed), and cause everyone to go down from a scratch.

I thought of that while looking at a scar on my thumb - shop accident a few years ago, cut it nearly off on a bit of sheet metal - and remembering that a cut maybe an inch and a half long was completely debilitating ... not because the cut was serious, but because I lost about a pint of blood over the next five minutes, while trying to stop the bleeding with direct pressure.  If I had tried to stay in a fight, I would have been effective for about four minutes before going down from blood loss.  Even blunt trauma causes blood loss, although it is often internal - medical texts even list common volumes of expected blood loss from various broken bones, assuming reasonable emergency procedures, and the numbers are often several pints for a major broken bone.  Then I compared that to M&B, where a badly wounded character can still run around for an hour as long as nobody catches him.  It's rather hard to balance things for realism with this obvious flaw ... simply increasing damage to account for expected shock and bleeding doesn't really get the effect.

If anybody cares to run a test on this, and/or thinks they could program it ... speak up.  (Note - it has to run the check in very little code.  If the game pauses every ten seconds to run the bleeding calculation, people will notice.)  I'll try to come up with the appropriate numbers to plug into a formula, if somebody with programming skill can create the formula.

Onin No Ran / Update:
« on: September 12, 2008, 03:50:15 am »
Just to update everybody.

I got with grodsgenhaigen (he uses "Mirathei" on Taleworlds) ... We've about got a code for Chinese rocket artillery, catapults with "thunder bombs", and the like.  I've got one rocket launcher - medium type, looks to fire about a six-inch diameter rocket, which is going to be pretty deadly where it hits.  (Of course, good luck hitting anything smaller than a town with one ... but, well, such was the reality of those things.)  The catapult is about 60% ready, although crew code for it could be interesting (that's a lot of guys to man the fool thing).  The models are not great, but they will do until we can get better.  After we're debugged and everything is properly integrated into the game, we can add variants - different sizes, different types of ammo, whatever.

Haven't done the mounted crossbows yet, but they're on the list.  As with ship code, as soon as the first ship model is ready.  And the "cloud ladders" (Asian siege towers).  And pavise.  And who-knows-what-else, just as soon as we think of it.

Fujiwara:  When you get this next version ready for testing, be sure to get him a copy of the latest source code, so he can start integrating some of this stuff.  Also there's a better morale sequence available, one that doesn't bog down the computer so much.

Anyway, that's the update.  A lot of really wild stuff going on behind the scenes, just nothing ready for show just yet.  Any ideas or feedback, let's have it now ... before we get something we don't really want.

Onin No Ran / Minor setback
« on: August 24, 2008, 02:43:10 am »
Guys, minor setback.

I just lost a bunch of stuff in a computer virus incident.  Not sure yet how much M&B mod-related material was damaged, but for now, assume my backups and any research material I had to be compromised.

Side note on that ... anybody I sent anything to recently (Fujiwara, I don't remember which day I sent you the source code stuff) ... check it.  You're looking for one of the "xorer" series worms.  Most versions of Norton will probably NOT pick it up, at least not nearly fast enough.  If all your virus protection software completely stops working, you got it - and it's one of those where you just format the hard drive partition that has Windows on it, and start over... and then try to de-louse the rest of your disk partitions without re-infecting anything.  Bad bug - knows exactly where and how to hit a home computer, every weakness in pretty much every virus scanner made.

Onin No Ran / Ships, fire, and mounted weapons code.
« on: August 21, 2008, 09:06:34 pm »
Attention everybody on our programming/research team:

I got with our buddy Grodsgenhaigen - the guy who did the ship and fire code seen in "Pirates of Calradia".  He's a genius when it comes to writing impossible code.  Anyway, he can't put a lot of time into it, but he's going to start work on OnR's code related to such things.

What we need:

The currently completed ship models.  Hit boxes, anything that goes with them.

Technical data on those ships - speed, turn rate, anything that might influence the game.

The source code (Fujiwara, as soon as you get the upgrade dialog working ... I need that for debugging purposes anyway.)

Any historical data we have on mounted or fixed siege weapons, the man-powered catapults and "thunder bombs", Chinese rockets, ship-to-ship mounted catapults, or the really primitive cannon of the Onin War period.

*Now, I know a lot of this was posted before .... but sorting through a hundred pages of stuff looking for all of it seems excessive ... so if you have the concise version of any of this, post it again here.

Onin No Ran / New troop trees
« on: August 17, 2008, 08:42:16 am »
OK, anybody who speaks good Japanese.  Need some help with names for the troop trees.

Current plan is to have about three levels for each type of troop after being equipped.  Tier 1 will be the recruits with no equipment.  Tier two will include un-equippped units who are ready to be equipped, and low-end equipped troops.  Tier 3 and 4 will be veteran and expert of the equipped ones.  A few special units will get tier 5 - umanawari, kengo....

Anyway, need proper names for all levels of:

- samurai swordsman, footman with really big sword as his primary weapon.  4 tiers (2 through 5) , but tier 5 is "kengo".
- samurai with polearm.  3 tiers.
- samurai archer.  3 tier.
- light cav/horse archer.  3 tiers
- heavy cav/horse lancer.  3 tiers.

- ashigaru archer 3 tiers
- ashigaru spearman 3 tiers
- ashigaru with crossbow (conventional or repeating) 3 tiers.

Some terms we have will work.  Current name code used "(whatever) samurai" to "(whatever) bushi" as two levels - we can still use that, if you prefer.  However, I would prefer to drop the language change at the level - i.e. "ligh cav" becomes "keikehei", or "foot samurai" becomes "Hohei samurai", which is just translating English into Japanese, and does not really make the level change any clearer in either language.

(Note that, unlike the West, Japan did NOT have such a clear distinction between ranged and shock troops ... and I intend to capture as much of that as possible when doing the equipment.  So please don't translate too literally - I want historically accurate, not linguistically properly translated.)

Anyway, somebody with good Japanese come up with the most reliable translations.  Like right now ... I'm working as fast as I can, I would appreciate if the help was equally decisive.

Discussion / What do we know?
« on: August 11, 2008, 08:43:39 am »
OK, let's see if we can compile a little input here.  Version .960 has now been out long enough for the dust to have settled, and therefore we should have a pretty good picture of what we're going to have for 1.0, so...

1.  What do we know about the custom skeletons?  And the hit-boxes and whatever else goes along with that?

2.  Did we ever get any more animation support (vertex or skeleton) for weapons and the like?

3.  Any ability to vary item or damage types?  Weapon-specific ammo?  Any other tools to work with?

Depending on the responses I get to this, I'll drop a note to the M&B dev team describing what the mod community needs.  But I need to know if there has been any progress on these things, and I haven't been able to figure it out by searching the forums ... so if anybody has any relevant data, don't keep it to yourself.

Onin No Ran / The pellet crossbows.
« on: August 05, 2008, 11:55:56 am »
Guys, we have a serious gameplay question to work out here.  It's the pellet crossbows.

They were originally added because we needed a ranged weapon for taking prisoners.  In that role, they proved nominally effective at best.

However, we have a graphics glitch.  They use the firearm item type.  As a result, I CAN NOT make them animate properly.  The load sequence is fine, but they will not animate the shot properly.  (Watch ... the string won't move when you shoot.)

Now, we have several options.  One, we can just live with the wonky graphics.  I can continue replacing the pellet bows with models of historical ones, and we can just pretend it's OK.  Or, option 2 and following:  we can replace them with something entirely different.

Options for "entirely different" include:
1.  primitive guns.  And I mean PRIMITIVE ... this was before the arquebus arrived from Europe, and Asian guns were mostly oversized harpoon launchers that were less effective than a good crossbow, or crude noisemakers.  Grenade launchers involving a bamboo tube for a barrel, like something children would build to play with fireworks.  Still, there was a little of this stuff around.  (The Koreans had used cannon in one well-documented naval encounter before the Onin War... the technology was out there, sort of.)
2.  grenades, chemicals, or something else you either throw or launch from primitive devices.  (Will require some code to cook this up, but I think I know where to ask around.)  Plenty of history on this sort of thing.  However, we might eventually be able to add stuff like this anyway, under thrown weapons, without occupying the firearms slot.
3.  something else exotic - Chinese rockets, staff slings, something historical but unexpected.  (The bazooka is not new - the Chinese were launching rockets from bamboo tubes 1000 years ago.  Of course, it wasn't until 1961, with the development of the RPG-7, that they actually became effective at anything but making noise....)  Should be plenty of other exotic options out there.
4.  some combination of the above.

Now, granted, a lot of this stuff was, in its most common forms at the time, NOT man-portable.  If we ever get crew-served weapons working, we can come back to that later.  This sort of thing will be a lot more critical when we get the ships and urban combat stuff working. 

Now I'm not saying any or all of this is or is not possible ... it will require work.  (I think I know who to ask on most of it ... so it might not be as bad as it sounds.)  What I am saying is that the graphics failure of the pellet bows is fatal, so either we live with it, or we regroup.

I'm not going to make that call.  I can go either way.

Discussion / two dumb questions
« on: August 04, 2008, 09:17:06 am »
Got two dumb questions here ... see if I can get some equally pointless answers.

1.  Highlander's relief mini-map in the command screen.  Did that ever get out of prototype stage?  Whatever happened to the code for that thing?  (I can't program for crud, but I would take a crack at it for a chance to get that installed.)

2.  Has anybody figured out how to fix the "no footprints at night" bug?  You know, the one where, instead of just being harder to see, units actually stop making footprints when moving at night... the bug was added, as .808 didn't have that problem.  Is there a fix?  (It's driving me up a wall.)

Discussion / Unique ammo count on reload
« on: August 02, 2008, 07:38:19 am »
OK, everybody, here's what I've got:

Japan used the Asian-type repeating crossbow.  The way the thing works, you drop about ten bolts into the feed box, and then it fires and reloads using about the same motion as a pump shotgun.  Wasn't a very powerful weapon, but you could sure cover a field in sharp pointy things in a hurry that way.  (About 10 rounds in 15 seconds.)

Now, I figure I can work up the custom animation ... I'll ask Marco Tarini about it ... he's the expert on animated graphics, and loves a good challenge.  If anyone else wants to help with that, tell me ... Onin-no-Ran is a little shorthanded anyway.  But that's not the question of the day.

Question is, I need to know how to make the reload decrease the number of crossbow bolts in your bag by 10, rather than 1.  (Most of them seem to have been 10 round magazine ... no idea why.  China started doing it that way around 200AD, and everybody who ever copied the design stayed with it.)  I know it can be done - several gun mods have done this.  I just need to know exactly how.  It needs to be done that way, so that the same bag of crossbow bolts can also be used on a more conventional single-shot crossbow.

And, needless to say ... sooner would be better than later.  This is kind of holding up the show.

Onin No Ran / The shaders!
« on: March 02, 2008, 06:25:04 pm »
Thanks to the absolutely brilliant work of Mtarini, our shader problem is fixed.  (The swords that seemed to glow in the dark, or at least had no shine about them, depending if you used DX7 or 9 shaders.)  I cannot speak highly enough of his skills ... what the rest of us considered insurmountable problems, he cleaned up in a matter of hours.

The fix requires that the MB.FX file in the root directory be altered ... it could be a problem for auto-installers, particularly if used with any other mods that use modified shaders.  We may have to come up with something new on that.

However, the swords look perfect.  I've seen photographs that weren't as good.

As soon as I get the other textures repainted, we should be ready to distribute this.

Onin No Ran / Graphics improvements round 2:
« on: February 26, 2008, 06:09:06 am »
Graphics improvements round 2:

Following the graphics improvements of previous months, I'm trying to get back to the weapons we missed first time around, plus the LOD's.  I did a couple of new naginata this week, to help replace those awful ones.

I picked this week to do graphics, as stated in another post, because graphics are low-stress and produce satisfying accomplishments very quickly.  Good for days when you're depressed ... you can forget about the fact the world sucks, and just sit back and admire the cool sword on your computer screen.  And that's about what I should be doing right now.

What I need:

Reference pictures of all types of Japanese yari and naginata, preferably of the period, but acceptable otherwise.  Prefer variations on common-looking designs, but rare or obscure ones are acceptable too.  They need to be good photos of real ones, not art work ... I'm looking for specific angles and design elements, not just generally what they look like.

Reference pictures of any blunt, impact, or exotic weapons, or weaponized tools - either those already in the game, or those anyone thinks should be added.  (Remember we cannot animate melee weapons, so tonfa, nunchuckau, chains, and the like are out.)  Also any relevant data on these things - length, weight, etc.

Any great ideas on how to LOD a Japanese helmet.  (These things are murder on the poly count.  Especially the creative ones I've been experimenting with.)  I could lower the poly count by a good deal, but really cutting it down like it needs is not easy.

On that note, anything else we really need on Japanese helmets.  We have cow horns now (see the "helmet lab" post), and some slightly more flashy crests, just as soon as we put them together and get them into the game.  I haven't got back to the deer horns yet, but I will.

And, while I'm building, suggestions for anything we forgot earlier.  (Let's not jump on rare sword designs just yet.  Save that for another day.  I might try one straight-blade sword, for a temple offering sword or the like, but beyond that let's not get too crazy.)  Anything from other countries that can be historically confirmed to have existed in Japan ... whatever.

I'll see what everybody comes up with, and we can go from there.

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