On 1/18/07, William Balcerski <williamb at its.caltech.edu> wrote:
> > So, and purely FYI, the plan is:
> >
> > 1) Get NetrekXP compiled as C++, because we're in the Future now (done).
> Any comments to improve compile.txt, or was it as easy to compile as I
> hope it is?

Hi Bill, thanks for your interest.  The C++ conversion wasn't that bad:

1) Decorated the uses of C++ keywords (new / delete) being as variable names
2) Changed the use of enum dist_type parameters and variables to ints, as
enums don't provide range checking, so the type casting required was more of
a hindrance than a help.
3) Added a (W_Event * unused) parameter to all the key handlers that were
taking void (and changed the definition).
4) The struct packet_handler handlers[] also needed sorting.  I'm just
casting the handler functions to (void(*)(void *)) in the array
5) I left the rsa_box*.c files as C, as they're auto-generated, and all of
the mpz_foo_bar functions that they call are implemented in a C compiled
library.  I cheated a bit and moved the key_name[] etc variables out to
main.cpp to avoid name mangling issues, although that was mostly laziness.
6) No doubt some other things that I've forgotten, but it was only a couple
of hours work, starting more or less from cold.

I played around with changing tactical size, here's the thing.  If you go
> try and increase the range, ie display beyond a 20000x20000 galactic units
> window, you will have incomplete information, as weapons info is not sent
> beyond that range.  So there is essentially a fog of war for weapons, but
> not ships.  It can make weapons seem to appear out of nowhere.

A bit of fiddling with actual fog might ameliorate that.  I'm not planning
on letting the viewable area get much above the current tactical size
anyway, as that produces tiny ships, unless I scale them up, which leads

> has this problem I believe.   If you instead increase the scale, keeping
> 20000x20000 galactic units but use higher resolution bitmaps, it
> drastically alters game play.  If you increase the scale by 2, you get
> better graphics sure, but you also make phasers twice as long, torps move
> twice as fast.  Screws up all a player's built in skill at dogfighting.  I
> tried it out briefly, I did not like the feel at all.

To be honest, I fully expect existing players to hate this client.  It's
going to look like Netrek-lite and is really intended for players who
wouldn't otherwise consider Netrek as a viable candidate for their gaming

Full screen galactic could be useful for observers, but never for a
> player, it would be flying blind.

Is there any reason why a full screen galactic couldn't show phasers, torps
and ship directions?  OMG INFOBORG aside, I mean?  The client already has
that info; it's purely a convention that we don't see it on the galactic.

> Don't worry about infoborg too much, army count for all planets displayed
> on tactical and galactic without using info key is probably out though
> (it's been rejected by the majority of the community and the RSA keyholder
> (Carlos) as not acceptable).

Really?  It's information that's sent to the client, so I hadn't considered
that showing it would be considered an exploit.

Out of interest, I note that pickled and continuum aren't enforcing RSA
checks at the moment, which makes development a lot easier.  Any idea why
that is?

Incidentally, while I'm strictly white-hat now, I know from experience that
writing an RSA-busting client is about a day's work.  I'll elaborate
off-list if anyone's interested, but as I don't see an obvious solution to
the attack, it's not something that I feel would benefit from being
publically disclosed.

> And of course, a graphics update wouldn't hurt.  But torps and ships move
> in 2d, I can see maybe a quasi-3d client, but full blown 3d? Nah.  As soon
> as you start changing the viewable angle beyond top down, you both mess up
> distance perception as well as lose tactical information on objects
> on the 2d plane your ship is in that are blocked from the viewpoint of the
> camera by the 3d bulky representation of your ship.

Yes, it will suck for playing using anything but a strictly top-down,
zoomed-out camera.  Fortunately for me, I'm free beer anyway, so it can
hardly make me much worse.  Also, is having a plentiful supply of food a
problem for people who don't use it? ;)

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