Dynamic Universe documentation request

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Dynamic Universe documentation request

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:24 am

At PU we've been banging our heads against the wall on more than one occasion, and it hasn't worked. Spiritplumber was working with us, at one time, and she tried to implement a new and improved dynamic universe, but it never worked; and her branch is still sitting in svn gathering dust. We either had NO flight groups anywhere to be found; or else we had too many, and on entering the Perry system you'd be confronted with a sea of red.

Currently PU kind of works; kind of sucks. You start a new game and there's no enemies at all, but you might not be so lucky and you might be confronted by half a dozen pirates plus half a dozen retros for good measure, at a time when all you have is a tarsus with one laser.

What we want to have a something close to the original game, where, at the beginning of the game, in Troy, you might encounter a SINGLE bogey FROM TIME TO TIME, and only later you begin to see pairs, and the universe slooowly gets more populated. But Privateer, in the overall, was a pretty lonely game; and talking to fellow merchants passing by was fun BECAUSE they were rare finds.

The problem with trying to tweak dynamic_universe.py and stuff is that A) we're never too sure what anything is or does, B) where we know what something does conceptually, we don't know the numerical absolutes; but most importantly C) We don't even know how to test it; it seems that each time we change something we need to spend a month playing to see if it worked.

Right now the issues of dynamic universe are hitting us again, and we're sick of running from this invisible enemy; we want to fight back. Some of us noticed flight group names that are downright absurd, when not politically incorrect and potentially very offensive to some, like "Gestapo". We looked into where names were coming from and there's faction related name files under /universe/fg_names, plus a full dictionary of names under /universe, named names.txt, which includes Gestapo. So, we came up with our own lists of faction names, and included files for all factions, in the hopes that names from names.txt would never be used. We start a new game, and yet we still see a lot of old flight group names.
It turns out they seem to come from New_Game, which seems to be like a savegame file used in setting up a new game. We don't know how it was generated. I tried renaming the file, then starting a new game, but doing this results in a universe that's empty from the start, and I checked flight group generation in the savefiles, and they are there, and they use the new names, but there's only a handful, spread out as far as Landreich and Hari; they don't seem to be growing with time...

The situation is dire for us. We need clear documentation on how all this stuff works.

PLEASE!
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Re: Dynamic Universe documentation request

Postby pyramid » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:00 pm

Python code is one of the things that badly needs documentation. There simply is almost none available (except a quests starter).

The thing is, documentation IS (in the sense what should be) an integral part of development, as I have been voicing in many other threads touching on documentation.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:06 pm

Exactly. And if you respect your own work, and want others to respect it, you HAVE to document your rationales. Otherwise someone else will come later and think that what you did was a hack and replace it with his own.
As it happened in WCU's history, where every 6 months or so some new forum member would show up and say "all ship scalings are wrong" and change them; and none of them would leave a single line of text explaining why they decided to change which scales. Same thing is going to happen with all this wealth of python, one of these days, unless whoever wrote it decides to explain how it works... We'll just have to write our own from scratch, otherwise.
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Postby pyramid » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:17 pm

chuck_starchaser wrote:We'll just have to write our own from scratch, otherwise.

Sad, but my gut feeling tells me that's what eventually will become true. :cry:
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