Lost on 2D Maps of 3D Universe? Announcing VSMap3D 1.3.5

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Lost on 2D Maps of 3D Universe? Announcing VSMap3D 1.3.5

Postby templer666 » Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:14 pm

VSMap3D out now in version 1.3.5! :D

Inspired by the game itself and vsnav this program displays your VS universe in 3D. Since it's written with Qt4/OpenGL it should be maximum portable.

Check out the latest version on the sourceforge.net project site! For screenshots I'd recommend my homepage, because the resolution is much better there!

Please get all the vsmap3d files you want from the source forge project page.

I know I'm about to invent the wheele again, but this wheel has got much more grip and less friction, so it's gonna be better!

Just like any other OpenGL software, running VSMap3D in fullscreen (F11) is faster. The tree and the output console are not disabled in fullscreen mode, they are just collapsed. So, if you need to navigate the tree, just pull the slider.

Try it out and tell me what you think and if it's worth being improved more. The functionality it provides right now is something I'd like to have in the game. In fact, an additional button at the mission computer called "map" should provide me what VSMap3D does.
Last edited by templer666 on Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:24 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Postby loki1950 » Tue Apr 25, 2006 6:06 pm

templer666 would using qt 3 be posiable as most distros have not moved up yet.

Enjoy the Choice :)
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Postby templer666 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:21 am

loki1950, thanks for the comment!

Changing that code back to Qt3 would be a real pain, though possible. But due to a lot of little improvements within Qt4 that code is much easier to write and read now than it was with Qt3.

Besides, I doubt there's a single distri out there not providing Qt4 packages! However, if you're familiar with Qt3 go on and down-port the code. 8)

Also the primary reason for using Qt4 is: It's finally free for Windows, too. That wasn't the case with Qt3.
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Postby Halleck » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:31 am

Hey, that's pretty good! Also, welcome to the Vega Strike forums. :)

I do have some feedback for you:

1.It seems like you're combining the navigation functionality of VSNav with the display functionality of the ingame nav console. This is a step in the right direction, so kudos for that. :cool:

2. You need to supply some documentation. I figured out that the scroll wheel = dolly the camera, and that the arrow keys tilt and pan the camera. I couldn't figure out how to plot paths.

3. From what I was able to figure out, I think the ingame orthographic nav system has better controls. These ones feel pretty clunky aside from the ultra-streamlined vsnav-style system jump. It would feel more natural to have the mouse wheel do immediately responsive dollying, like in google earth. Yours seems to trigger a "dolly forward/backward" event that lasts for about a second after you stop scrolling. This gives the controls a laggy feeling to them and that's never good. Also, there seems to be about four or so set "velocities", and the fastest one is still way too slow. I can wear my fingers out scrolling really fast but it still moves at a slug's pace. Also, I think that being able to click the scroll wheel and "orbit" the selected system would be nice, like you can do in the ingame navsystem's ortho mode.

Since you have tilt, pan, and dolly controls, you should also have crab (strafe) and boom controls. I would recommend moving the tilt/pan to mouselook (right click?) functions, and using the arrow keys or wasd for dolly and crab, or boom and crab. You can also, as per blender, use ctrl-mousewheel and shift-mousewheel for crab and boom, respectively.

Oh, and sorry for using film terminology. Here's a chart of names for camera movements: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v450/ ... /cmove.gif
basically, crab=x axis movement, boom=y axis movement, dolly = z axis movement.

4. Shortcomings aside, you do a great job at conveying information to the players visually. This really feels like massive 3d space. On the ingame nav console, it can be displaying the same information but it feels like everything is being crammed in instead of spread out in 3d.
Also, I like the view options. I was amazed to see how many systems there are that were off the jump network! I knew that we had some, but it looks like 50-75% of the systems have no jump points. I'll have to try flying to some of them in CVS... :D

5. Yes, I noticed the "turbo titlebar" bug. Not sure if it's any help, but I noticed that the titlebar is actually draggable like an icon... could it be some quirk in QT?

6. One request, can you have it save the location of your VS installation? It's annoying to specify it every time- so maybe have the same dialogue come up on launch (so you can change it if you want), but just make it default to the last directory you specified.

loki1950 wrote:templer666 would using qt 3 be posiable as most distros have not moved up yet.

Meh... there's no free Qt3 for windows at all.

EDIT: Just saw you responded. I took so long writing this post that you slipped right in! :wink:
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Postby loki1950 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:42 am

i was not aware of the windows issue with Qt3 so by all means full speed to the future with Qt4.

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Postby templer666 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:30 am

Hallek,
thanks for your response. I'll work on your points the next weeks.

So indeed I admit the programm might need an online help. But I was satisfied how much you figured out yourself ;-)

So here's a howto list:
Key_Left, Key_Right: turn y-axis
Hold right mouse button and move mouse left right does the same

Key_Up, Key_Down: turn x-axis
Hold right mouse button and move mouse up down does the same

Key_Plus, Key_Minus: zoom in out (faster than with mouse wheel)
You guess it, mouse wheele zooms in out, too, but softer.

To select a sector click on it in the tree view on the left. That will show all jumps of the sector and all names of its stars. Jumps and names that are red, are neighbours of that sector and can be reached from systems within the sector.
That should stay that way if you toggle names and jumps.

To select a system click on it in the tree view on the left. That will show the name of the system and all its jumps. Its neighbours' names are red. That should stay that way if you toggle names and jumps.

Now here comes a cool thing: Double click a system in the list and the camera will fly to it.

To highlight a path, choose View->Find Path. If you can type quick, selected the From-combobox using the TAB key and start typing, eg. "cephi". Qt will browse through the stars and select Cephid_17 for you. But you can also do it the hard way: scroll it up and click on it. Then hit Enter or click search and the path will be highlighted in the 3D view. However, the camera won't be turned on it. So you might have to have a look around.
Unset a path by setting From and To to the same system.

That's about all you can do with it right now.
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Postby Halleck » Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:28 am

Ok, I had figured out everything except zooming w/ keys, pathing, and using the right mouse button for "mouse look".

Have a look at google earth and feel how quickly the mouse look responds. I think it operates on a powers-of-ten scale instead of linear... the farther out you are, the faster you zoom. It lets you scroll quickly, and within a second or two go from high earth orbit to your house, and then back out again just as quickly. But cause it's powers of ten and depends on the velocity of the mouse wheel, you can also make small movements with a reasonable degree of accuracy. That's how the mouse wheel should function.

And earlier I was complementing you on the "fly-to system" function. :D

Halleck wrote:... aside from the ultra-streamlined vsnav-style system jump.


So don't worry, it's not lost on me. :wink:
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Postby templer666 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:55 am

Yes, I know google earth and in fact my first zoom implementation tried to do the same. But for some reason the code was not right and I skipped it for now and used the current simpler way. Which I don't like, too, by the way. So that's gonna change in the nearer future. :-)

New Version 1.1 is available on my homepage.
It brings the new feature of mulitple selection in the tree. Actually, I just forgot to activate it. :roll: So now it's there.
Also it fixes the Sol-Bug which is, if Sol-System was selected, the whole Sol sector got selected as the name is the same. Now, selection doesn't confuse sectors and systems any more.

Next on my todo list is the zooming code.
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Postby Halleck » Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:04 am

Great!

My reccomendation is to use the mouse wheel, but forget google earth style "smooth scrolling" if you have to, it's not important. It can go step by step like in the VS nav console if that's easier to program. Just make sure it's not laggy and that it responds to fast scrolling with fast zooming, much faster than you have now for the scrollwheel.
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Postby prestidigitator » Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:19 pm

Qt4 can coexist fine with Qt3 on Linux, right? I have so many packages that depend on Qt3....
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Postby templer666 » Sun Apr 30, 2006 1:53 pm

In fact, it does. Both work fine together on my system.
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Postby templer666 » Mon May 01, 2006 5:51 pm

So here it is (available on my website):

VSMap3D 1.2 I call it.

This new version features accelerating zooming. But be warned to scroll your mouse wheele like crazy as neccessary in earlier versions. You'd fly outa visible space faster than a blink!
That brings me to the idea, that some "recenter" functionality would be cool.

Also this version remembers the location of your vegastrike installation once choosen. You'll still see the dialog though, but allready with the VS dir selected. Hitting enter will load the universe.

I'm gonna do some more faction highlighting next. That is, you'd be able to toggle system names to the color of the owning faction and for the jumps I'm gonna do something like in the game itself (fading color).

The request for having the cam rotated around a selected system is also up next.

Enjoy the vast universe!
Last edited by templer666 on Tue May 02, 2006 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Halleck » Tue May 02, 2006 2:37 am

Cool!

The scrolling is much improved. I would rather have it be based on how fast you are scrolling instead of how long you are scrolling (which seems to be the basis now) but it's nice to be able to get around with the scroll wheel in any capacity. Still feels slightly laggy but way better than it used to.

The directory saving works, thanks for implementing it so quickly. I did find a bug in the loader, though...
The first time I ran the program, I specified the directory and it loaded lightning fast.

The second time I ran it, I specified the (automatically selected) directory, and it loaded really really slow.

But this time, clicking on "Sector/System" doesn't magically speed it up!

Also, one more thing... you can make it more convenient for your users to download VSNav by linking to the page directly in your first post, like so: Download VSMap3D.
Quote my post to get the code for this if you're unfamiliar with bbcode.

Finally, thanks for your hard work and responsiveness! :D
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Postby templer666 » Tue May 02, 2006 8:56 am

Thanks for your comments Halleck!

That is a good point with scroll speed. I'm going to work on it then.

I did find a bug in the loader, though...
The first time I ran the program, I specified the directory and it loaded lightning fast.

The second time I ran it, I specified the (automatically selected) directory, and it loaded really really slow.

But this time, clicking on "Sector/System" doesn't magically speed it up!


I cannot confirm this bug on my machine. If you remove the vsmap3dconfig.xml that's been created and start the proggy again, will it load at lighspeed again? Clicking sector/system never worked for me. Only clicking the titlebar did.

I discovered something in my "GUI programming with Qt3" book that might cease that specific problem. It seems like I need to prevent the tree view from being updated with each new item since there's one item for each system. That makes more than 5000 items. So I'll play with event filtering a little bit and see what happens.

Well, thanks a lot for the appreciation of my work. That actually makes me feel that someone else but me needs and uses it ;-)
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Postby Oblivion » Wed May 03, 2006 12:21 am

Great work Templer! :D I wonder if this could be usable ingame?
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Postby Halleck » Wed May 03, 2006 3:12 pm

Without reinstalling, it seems to work the same whether or not the xml file is there.

I tried clicking on the title bar... if the window is small, it seems to go for "lightspeed" for about 20-30% and then goes back to a crawl. Clicking the title bar again speeds it up for another 20-30%, and so on.

When it's maximized, clicking the title bar has no effect.

templer666 wrote:Well, thanks a lot for the appreciation of my work. That actually makes me feel that someone else but me needs and uses it.

You're welcome. I know from developing Elite Strike that there's nothing like user feedback to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :wink:
Even negative feedback is preferable to silence; at least you know people are taking the time to try your program. :)
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Postby SGCharest » Sun May 21, 2006 9:10 pm

Great program!

Is it possible to display or even print a list of jump points for a long path? I.e., if your path starts at New Mountain Home and you're on your way to Sol, can you list just the jump points without a visual on the display?

Also, as it stands now VS3D doesn't show the planets, stations, etc. in each system, correct? (I imagine that would be a huge task for software)

Thanks, good stuff!
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Postby templer666 » Wed May 31, 2006 1:27 pm

The path list is printed below the 3D view in the textfield. You can copy and paste that.

Correct, right now no in-system view is implemented. Due to my studies I'm a bit short of time to code much right now, but that'll change again.
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Postby z30 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:54 am

Thank you very much for this great utility, it had no problems reading in th Privateer Remake universe file (just had to rename it to milky_way.xml) :

Image

This is going to be helpful in extending the PR universe for the usermod we're building.
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Postby templer666 » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:39 pm

You're welcome!

Thanks for the feedback. At this point I also would like to thank all the other Vega Strike users who have downloaded my little baby ;-) I just realized that about 50% of my website usage since about July is due to this program!

Well thanks again. And if you read this and have tried this tool, please don't be afraid to post or mail some comments, good and bad, and thoughts to me.
I know I haven't done much more since the last release, but that's mainly because it fits my needs right now.

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Postby curufir » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:30 am

Hello out there,

I'm new at vegastrike and face problems to handle VSMap3D.
The Program is running but I don't know what to open.
I know now that it goes arround milky_way.xml. But when I select the directory universe the program says something like 'couldn't load/find' ... (not readable,truncated). What is the trick :shock: :?:

curufir

Edit :
I found this

http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/forum ... ht=vsmap3d

Aha the home directory of VS !!!!

I'll come back here and write the results ;-)
I have to try it at home cause I'm still at work ;-)

Here we are again, fully satisfied and a bit ashamed :oops: lol
System is running :twisted:
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Postby pyramid » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:11 pm

An interesting tool.

What are the instructions needed to compile the tool on linux?
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Postby loki1950 » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:25 pm

@pyramid real simple
Code: Select all
qmake-qt4
make

took me awhile to figure out that i had to use the qt4 addition :oops: at least hat's how fedora deferences qt3 and qt4 check your bin directory for what your distro calls it :wink:

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about "opening" the installation directory

Postby templer666 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:04 am

Hi guys. Although I haven't done any work on VSMap3D the last years I feel the need to explain something that seems to keep people troubling using that tool.

In the File->open dialog one has to choose the vegastrike/privateer installation directory for a reason. When I started working on VSMap3D I wanted something as zoltar-pdp requested. To get this, opening the universe|milky_way.xml is not enough, as the game spreads the full universe information over several files. When you play a new game, the only system's internals fully known are those from cephid_17. You need to jump into systems for the game randomly initializing them as you visit for the first time. Hence VSMap3D, as it is right now, would actually only need the mily_way.xml file for its functionality. Once one would start digging into the systems other files are required, too. That's the reason for having to choose the installation directory for loading rather than your universe file.

Hope that helps understanding that point.
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Postby loki1950 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:51 am

Thx for the explanation templer666 8)

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