Home » MODDING HQ 1.13 » v1.13 Idea Incubation Lab  » New CTH system - Presentation
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260059] Sat, 21 August 2010 02:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ormus n2o

 
Messages:31
Registered:March 2010
Location: Poland; Wielkopolska; Pi&...
Did in this year will by open beta tests? From what i know feature list HAM 4.0 is impressive. U wait for specific occasion to show it? Or u just think "Who cares" cuz i can't just friggin wait to see at least feature list Very Happy.

[Updated on: Sat, 21 August 2010 02:22] by Moderator

Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260061] Sat, 21 August 2010 02:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
Did in this year will by open beta tests?


Hopefully!

Quote:
From what i know feature list HAM 4.0 is impressive.


Actually, it's surprisingly short compared to most HAM releases. It will contain NCTH and the Manual Mobile Militia Restrictions.

HAM 4.1 will probably add several smaller things, like contact explosives (grenades that explode when they hit anything, no bouncing) and self-adjusting equipment (stocks that fold when you click a button). Also, I hope, ammo that works like an attachment, allowing realistic magazines (that can be emptied and refilled...).

I've got lots of ideas lined up though.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260167] Sat, 21 August 2010 20:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
[size:!4pt]Targeting study[/size]

As part of NCTH, today I've completed a study of target sizes. In other words, I've figured out the surface area of a target in different stances and different directions. Since NCTH works in terms of area (I.E., the amount of muzzle sway and gun accuracy affect the size of the area where bullets can go), knowing the size of the target can help us calculate the necessary balance for various NCTH factors.

THE METHOD

To perform this test, I rigged the firing system to create a large number of bullets for every single shot. Instead of firing one bullet at the center of the target, I fired a dozen bullets spread out along a line (either vertical or horizontal as necessary) with equal intervals between them. This is similar to firing a shotgun with a duckbill.

The initial bullet (#1) would be fired exactly 1 tile to the left of the center of the bodypart we are aiming for. The second bullet is fired exactly 0.90 tiles (half a game distance unit) to the right of the first bullet, and so forth. The last bullet (#N) is fired 1 tile to the right of the center of the bodypart. By this logic, the middle bullet (#N/2) is fired at the exact center of the target.

Then I put in a tiny bit of code that reports whether or not each bullet hit the target, and which bodypart was hit.

I proceeded to fire these test rounds repeatedly at a standing, crouched, and prone target, both from the front and from the side, each time recording how many bullets hit the target and where.

Then, I repeated the process with a vertical spread, starting at elevation 0 (the ground at the bottom of the target) and ending at elevation 25 (the top height of a tile, just below the roof). Again, results were recorded to determine how high the target is in each stance, and how high each bodypart is.

THE RESULTS

Here are the results of my firing test, based on direction and target stance. Each result is displayed as X,Y , where X is the width of the bodypart, and Y is the height. The results are in Distance Units, each equal to 1/10 of a tile. In parenthesis is the surface area of the bodypart, calculated as X*Y.

STANDING TARGET, front
   Head:   3,4   (12)
   Torso:  7,6   (42)
   Legs:   7,10  (70)
   Total target height:          20
   Total target surface area:    124

STANDING TARGET, profile
   Head:   3,4   (12)
   Torso:  3,6   (18)
   Legs:   3,10  (30)
   Total target height:          20
   Total target surface area:    60

CROUCHING TARGET, front
   Head:   3,3   (9)
   Torso:  6,5   (30)
   Legs:   7,5   (35)
   Total target height:          13
   Total target surface area:    74

CROUCHING TARGET, profile
   Head:   3,3   (9)
   Torso:  6,5   (30)
   Legs:   7,5   (35)
   Total target height:          13
   Total target surface area:    74

PRONE TARGET, front
   Torso:  7,7   (49)

PRONE TARGET, profile
   Torso:  13,7  (91)


Please note that for crouching targets, the width of the head is really difficult to understand properly, and it may actually be as wide as the torso. I have yet to fully explore this, however it's irrelevant for NCTH at this time anyway.

CONCLUSIONS

There are many things to be learned from this analysis about shooting and stances in general. For instance, a crouched soldier coming under attack from the side is better off standing up. Also, prone targets appear to be unfortunately a little taller than its standing-up torso, and I don't think that can be helped.

However, for NCTH we are primarily concerned with the results of a standing target fired at from the front. The size of this target can be used for determining accuracy at various ranges, just like a "silhouette target" used on firing ranges.

One conclusion we can draw is the size of the shooting aperture required to hit a target at 1x Normal range, 100% of the time, in its various bodyparts:

Torso shot:
Width is greater than height, and height is 6. So to hit the torso dead-center with 100% probability, we need a shooting aperture that is no larger than 6/2 = 3 units.

Head shot:
Height is greater than width, and width is 3. So to his the head dead-center with 100% probability, we need a shooting aperture no larger than 3/2 = 1.5 units.

Since aperture grows with distance, we can extrapolate the accuracy required to hit the target at higher range. For instance, at range 2x normal (14 tiles) we need a deviation of no more than 1.5 units to hit the target's torso with 100% probability, and 0.75 for the head.

This sort of statistic is great for measuring a gun's inherent accuracy. It lets us know the minimum amount of accuracy we need for the gun to hit its target every time, assuming that it is being aimed 100% perfectly.

Since we're only measuring the probability of hitting the target in the intended bodypart (that is, hitting the head when aiming for the head, hitting the torso when aiming for the torso), and not a generalized "anywhere on the target" hit, these statistics are primarily important for determining gun accuracy. When feeding a gun's accuracy into a formula, we can determine whether the gun can reliably hit the target at any given distance, when perfectly aimed.

(To be continued)



Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260361] Mon, 23 August 2010 13:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
datakurs

 
Messages:166
Registered:June 2009
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Mr. Headrock, I have some ideas related to corpses for a future HAM version:
- Enemies should be alerted when a corpse is noticed (is this working yet?)
- If so, corpses should be dragged away to prevent the alert.
- After an urban battle it is unlikely that civilians let everyone rot for days, even their militia buddies. Corpses should disappear for the next day from the streets.
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260366] Mon, 23 August 2010 14:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
That's great... But this isn't the HAM thread.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260375] Mon, 23 August 2010 18:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3490
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
A question:
Since you already analyzed the hit-zones on different stances... is it possible to hit the head of a prone target? My snipers do headshots all the time, but I can't think of an instance when the 'Headshot'-Message was displayed for a target in 'prone' stance.

Another question:
In the beginning of this thread, you explained how the fired bullets should be inside certain circle around the target, with the size of the circle dependant on accuracy, scopes and much more.
You also stated that a bullet can never deviate more than 22,5 degree to the right or left, because otherwise it would fly very awkward (considering there's basically 8 directions in the game).
Now, my question is: What will you do with targets that are just barely in a targetting segment?
Consider an enemy at the border, so far right that if he moved another tile our shooter would have to change his viewing segment. If your theory from page 1 is applied, almost half of all bullets would ahve to be fired so far right that they would deviate more than 22,5 degrees. But we do not want that. So what do you do with these bullets? I've thought a while and didn't find a good solution...

Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:



Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260383] Mon, 23 August 2010 20:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
Since you already analyzed the hit-zones on different stances... is it possible to hit the head of a prone target? My snipers do headshots all the time, but I can't think of an instance when the 'Headshot'-Message was displayed for a target in 'prone' stance.


It is impossible to hit the head of a prone target. It's a limitation by the game that wouldn't be easy to break...

Quote:
Consider an enemy at the border, so far right that if he moved another tile our shooter would have to change his viewing segment. If your theory from page 1 is applied, almost half of all bullets would ahve to be fired so far right that they would deviate more than 22,5 degrees. But we do not want that. So what do you do with these bullets? I've thought a while and didn't find a good solution...


Well, it's difficult to explain it with words, but in the simplest terms I can put it:

The "maximum shooting angle" is 22.5 degrees off to either side of the TARGET, not the shooter's facing.

The maximum angle a target can be at any time off the shooter's facing is also 22.5 (if it's more, the shooter changes facing by 45 degrees anyway...)

The result is that shots can go up to 45 degrees off the shooter's facing. This is still within acceptable visual range, it does look a little weird but it's always been like that in JA2, and I don't think people have complained.

Additionally, note that I've actually reduced the max shooting angle to 11.25 degrees to make all shots more accurate. I'm not sure whether I'll keep that in the future.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260473] Tue, 24 August 2010 18:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3490
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Ah, ok. I guess I must've misread that. Thanks for your explanation Smile


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260806] Sat, 28 August 2010 01:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wil473

 
Messages:2842
Registered:September 2004
Location: Canada
Headrock, if you have a few minutes, I've got a few thoughts on the data entry side of New CTH:

1) Are the new tags located at the end of the list for each item? (Actually does it matter what order tags appear in?)

2) Can the obsolete tags be left in (perhaps to facilitate an Old-CTH mode)?

3) Presuming the obsolete tags are harmless, would it be easier to start the testing with an item mod that only has the original "vanilla" items plus a few attachments enabled for New CTH? Everything else would be disabled until someone gets around to upgrading the tags.

The last is an idea I've been toying with for a while, but haven't the courage to implement.

[Updated on: Sat, 28 August 2010 01:31] by Moderator



Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260815] Sat, 28 August 2010 02:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
1) Are the new tags located at the end of the list for each item? (Actually does it matter what order tags appear in?)


For the vast majority of XMLs, JA2 reads tags in any given order. It's always a good idea to keep the Index tag at the top of an item entry though, because some XML readers will need to read that before anything else.
There will be one exception for this in NCTH: Up to 3 (? can't remember) recoil X/Y tags can be added for each weapon, and the order they are in tell the game which bullet they relate to. The first two tags encountered by the game will apply to the first bullet. The second set (if any) will apply to the second bullet. The last set (might be the first one if there's only one) applies to the rest of the bullets. This is the only order that must be kept as far as NCTH is concerned. You can put those sets anywhere you want in the weapon data.

P.S. Warmsteel and I were discussing changing the XML reader so that items don't have to be organized by uiIndex. I'm sure many modders will like that very much, and it's not even difficult to do. Just sayin'. Wink

Quote:
2) Can the obsolete tags be left in (perhaps to facilitate an Old-CTH mode)?


Yes, they can. The HAM EXE will simply ignore them.

Also, since it's likely that NCTH will only be accepted into 1.13 if it can be toggled on/off, there may actually be a need to keep BOTH tag sets in. I don't like this solution one bit, given that it would confuse so many modders, but I don't like any of the other solutions either...

Quote:
3) Presuming the obsolete tags are harmless, would it be easier to start the testing with an item mod that only has the original "vanilla" items plus a few attachments enabled for New CTH? Everything else would be disabled until someone gets around to upgrading the tags.


So... the XMLs from \DATA\TableData? I guess you're right - that may save a LOT of work!


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260876] Sat, 28 August 2010 16:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wil473

 
Messages:2842
Registered:September 2004
Location: Canada
Using the XML's from the DATA folder instead of DATA-1.13 is one way... however I was just thinking of setting Coolness = 0 for most items beyond the vanilla items. Perhaps also setting the Not Buyable tag as well. This way items can simpily be reactivated by resetting the Coolness tag and Not Buyable tag when they are ready for NCTH

As long as you are not using a NAS configured items.xml, this is something that can be done in Excel in a couple of minutes. Otherwise a Search/Replace command, but that would take somewhat longer). If you want I can do the above (in Excel) to a copy of items.xml from the v1.13 SVN.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260879] Sat, 28 August 2010 16:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Well why not? Very Happy

Actually maybe it would be even easier if you could teach me how to do that.

EDIT: I've been thinking... isn't something like that likely to cause a lot of problems? For starters, setting an item to coolness 0 doesn't completely remove it from the game - there's still merc starting gear. Mercs could still start with items that don't have the appropriate tags... Any ways around this problem?


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260880] Sat, 28 August 2010 17:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wil473

 
Messages:2842
Registered:September 2004
Location: Canada
pre-NAS items.xml just opens in Excel as a simple spreadsheet (NAS items.xml causes Excel 2003 to CTD, can't handle multiples of the same tag under one item). All I would do is find the first item to be disabled, set Coolness to 0 and select everything below it to use the Fill Down command on it. Repeat with the Not Buyable column.

It is something I cannot do anymore with the UC-1.13NAS items.xml, but I have considered simplifying things on occassion when stability issues start cropping up with the main SVN JA2.exe.

EDIT: Copy Merc Starting Gear from the Vanilla Data folder. Otherwise, isn't there an option to use prof.dat instead of the XML's for merc/NPC/RPC gear? My idea is to prevent additional work in future of having to rebuild the merger tables and such. However if complete removal of items is needed, then yes using only the Vanilla Data XML's would be the better idea.

[Updated on: Sat, 28 August 2010 17:15] by Moderator



Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260881] Sat, 28 August 2010 17:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
pre-NAS items.xml just opens in Excel as a simple spreadsheet (NAS items.xml causes Excel 2003 to CTD, can't handle multiples of the same tag under one item). All I would do is find the first item to be disabled, set Coolness to 0 and select everything below it to use the Fill Down command on it. Repeat with the Not Buyable column.


It does for me, but I don't think I can save it the same way. Using a really old Excel here (excel 2002 I think).

Also, which item is last? Don't LBEs have to remain also?

Quote:
It is something I cannot do anymore with the UC-1.13NAS items.xml, but I have considered simplifying things on occassion when stability issues start cropping up with the main SVN JA2.exe.


There's something called a DTD or XML Schema (two different things but basically the same) that could help with that. Unfortunately I don't know how to create them or whether or not Excel can be told how to read them... Maybe some of the more techie people around here can help with that?

Quote:
EDIT: Copy Merc Starting Gear from the Vanilla Data folder. Otherwise, isn't there an option to use prof.dat instead of the XML's for merc/NPC/RPC gear?


Copying the merc starting gear would be pointless - I just looked at it, and it's empty.

Wouldn't turning off mercstartinggear cause problems with NIV though? Prof.DAT gear doesn't include LBEs (that was the main reason why MercStartingGear.XML was created)...

Quote:
My idea is to prevent additional work in future of having to rebuild the merger tables and such. However if complete removal of items is needed, then yes using only the Vanilla Data XML's would be the better idea.


Having examined the DATA xml, I think that wouldn't be a good choice.

*Sigh* this is very confusing...

Anyhow, if you can produce an XML with those coolness and buyable tags turned off, I'll see if I can't get that to work. At worst I can simply enable the weapons and attachments included in mercstartinggear.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260882] Sat, 28 August 2010 17:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wil473

 
Messages:2842
Registered:September 2004
Location: Canada
I think Starwalker put most of the LBE in one cluster, so it shouldn't be too bad to keep most of the LBE enabled. The important thing is to disable the weapons.

I need a break from resizing the UC items, so I'll have something ready in a few min.

EDIT: hey I just remembered, I can copy the contents of items.xml into another worksheet and sort by tag. I've produced a items.xml where all but the true vanilla weapons are "disabled" (no UB weapons) so you only have to worry about upgrading fifty or so weapons, plus the attachments. I left the attachments active because I get the feeling that you may want to have them available for the NCTH testing. I'm going to start a quick game of v1.13 to make sure things work as planned. Where should I send it if all goes well?

[Updated on: Sat, 28 August 2010 17:44] by Moderator



Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260886] Sat, 28 August 2010 17:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
I left the attachments active because I get the feeling that you may want to have them available for the NCTH testing.


Yes, absolutely.

Quote:
Where should I send it if all goes well?


If you don't have a place to post them on the internet, try sending them to my e-mail address (it's listed).


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260887] Sat, 28 August 2010 18:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wil473

 
Messages:2842
Registered:September 2004
Location: Canada
Seems to be working ok. BR's is stocking all sorts of unusable ammo, but hopefully the testers won't mind... If you want I can go through MercStartingGear.xml and give everyone a MP5k.

EDIT: I've emailed the items.xml from the UC project gmail address.

[Updated on: Sat, 28 August 2010 18:08] by Moderator



Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260888] Sat, 28 August 2010 18:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
LOL no, that's fine. At worst I'll simply redo all the starting weapons too. Should be no more than 50 or so.

Quote:
EDIT: I've emailed the items.xml from the UC project gmail address.


Thanks Wil, I really appreciate this. I'll put you in for some credits. Wink


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260889] Sat, 28 August 2010 18:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wil473

 
Messages:2842
Registered:September 2004
Location: Canada
No problem, now I need to figure out a way to do this to my own projects when NCTH is ready.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #260890] Sat, 28 August 2010 18:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
In the meanwhile, I've run into a completely different issue. I was hoping to add DDD's Aimed Burst functionality to HAM, but after examining the DDD code I realized that I have no idea how to read most of it. Like HAM, it's a mass of many different features and changes. Unfortunately, unlike HAM, it is hardly commented at all, and in the few places that it is, it's in Russian.

So I guess the only option is to try doing Zilpin's Aimed Burst instead. This unfortunately means no scrollwheel functionality, which is a damn shame. Also IIRC I had some problems with Zilpin's code, though I think they were my fault.

In any case, I'll wait with that until AFTER the XML work is done. Whether or not NCTH will be released for Alpha testing with or without aimed bursts is currently unknown.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261125] Tue, 31 August 2010 06:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Alright. Here's the deal.

PROGRESS UPDATE

Today there are several important points to cover, since I got some critical work done.

XML RE-FORMAT

I started today by completing work on the basic 1.13 XML. I have redone all attachments available in vanilla 1.13, and all weapons from Vanilla JA2, as Wil473 suggested. This allows basic testing of the game, although I will do my best to process more weapons in the future. Thanks go to Wil473 for the idea and the basic XML, and to Smeagol for help with deciding how attachments should work.

Amongst other things, Bipods will now provide both increased accuracy and better autofire just like they did before, although they also make weapons less easy to handle when not prone.

Reflex Sight is now one of the more powerful items, as it reduces the amount of extra aim levels for the gun by 1. This is actually a good thing, since fewer aiming levels means you can reach the gun's maximum aiming potential faster. The sight also gives a 1.4x projection bonus (makes all shots 1.4x better) at a range of up to 9 tiles, and a good bonus of several CTH points for any shot at any range.

Folding stocks still provide a great draw cost bonus, but now they come at a severe price - reduced accuracy when autofiring, especially for heavy weapons (like the RPK), and an increased aiming time (+1 aiming level, see above). I guess this still needs to be tweaked, so ideas will be welcome on this particular attachment.

Other attachments have also been revamped. All scopes now have a suitable Magnification Factor, and all lasers have a Projection Factor. Match sights are now a basic projection bonus of 1.1x (giving pistols 10% better accuracy at a range up to 8 tiles). The list goes on.

Armor items now give different penalties in different stances. Vests reduce accuracy mostly when crouched, less so when prone, and least when standing. Helmets give an accuracy penalty in all stances. Leggings currently give no penalty other than the AP penalty common to most armors. I might add a small penalty for leggings when crouched, in the future.

Ammo has also been revamped: Match and Flechette bullets increase the accuracy of the gun by a good amount. Accuracy Bonuses are a little "odd" - they give less of a bonus when the gun is already very accurate. This is because the difference between 0 and 20 accuracy is negligible, while the difference between 90 and 92 is immense.
Tracer bullets of course no longer have a direct effect on recoil - instead they operate by increasing Recoil Counter-force Accuracy, and giving out free Counter-force Frequency attempts whenever they are fired. This is all handled by the tracer flag on the magazine, and is no longer a straightforward bonus.

READY... AIIIIMMMM....

After yesterday's utter failure in reading the DDD source code, I've decided to add Zilpin's Burst/Autofire Aiming functionality instead. I spent a good couple of hours doing this. As a bonus, I added his Single-Click Max Aiming / Max Autofire options (toggleable through the options menu, and also reversed when pressing the ALT button).

Unfortunately, once finished, I realized that Zilpin had decided NOT to implement Autofire Aiming, and only left us the Aimed Burst option. Zilpin was obviously concerned that aimed autofire would be too powerful, and so did not add that ability to his code.

I spent the rest of the day bashing my head against the DDD code again, trying to figure out how Aimed Autofire was implemented there. As some of you know, DDD does this using the mouse scroll wheel, but unfortunately the system was a little too complicated for me to work out.

However, I did manage to implement Aimed Autofire anyway. Instead of using the mouse-wheel to increase the number of bullets fired, I set it up to have two separate levels. First, you right-click to add aim levels normally, as is done with single-shots and (now) aimed bursts. Once satisfied with the aperture size, you click the left mouse button to go into Volley Size mode. The CTH indicator turns from colorful to grey to indicate the change of mode. In this mode, right-clicking will increase the number of bullets fired in the volley. Another left-click releases the volley.

While this is less than optimal, it's still friendly enough, and testing shows that it is fairly intuitive. I'm going to augment this functionality in the future with some eye-candy to make it even nicer. In the meanwhile, this WORKS - autofire volleys can now benefit from extra aiming, making the first bullet fly closer to the target, and hence making it easier to strike the target with subsequent bullets as well (given good counter-force application).

A balancing factor of course is the fact that increasing aiming generally sucks out the APs that can be used for increasing the size of the volley, so it's a give-and-take: either increase your aim, or fire more bullets. If this turns out to be too powerful, there are several ways to nerf it down without having to change any code (thanks to the NCTH INI file).

Note: The AI does NOT currently know how to use this ability. It is currently unknown whether I'll be able to hook it up to use it at all. However, I have the feeling that it IS possible, so I will make my best attempt at it.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261167] Tue, 31 August 2010 21:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2678
Registered:May 2009
Thanks for the update. Still sounds very promising. :naughty:

Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261248] Wed, 01 September 2010 17:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
I've got some screenshots from work done on the CTH indicator.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v726/Headrock/Jagged%20Alliance%202/HAM/HAM%204/CTH/Indicator-Labels-1.png http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v726/Headrock/Jagged%20Alliance%202/HAM/HAM%204/CTH/Indicator-Labels-2.png http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v726/Headrock/Jagged%20Alliance%202/HAM/HAM%204/CTH/Indicator-Labels-3.png

Here's a list of things done with it:
  • MAGnification indicator (top left)
    • Tells us how much optical magnification we're using. It's always 1.0 without extra aiming. Here, the bright red color in pics #1 and #2 indicates that we are using a scope that is designed for a longer range. Hence we're getting a 2.9x bonus, but also suffering a penalty to aiming. In the third pic, a green indicator shows that we're getting a 1.2x bonus without any penalties - this is thanks to a laser installed on the gun. Scopes get green too, when used at or above their designated range.
  • Aiming levels indicator (top right)
    • Since the aiming rings have been removed, this is a numerical display of how many clicks we've applied, and how many we CAN apply at all given our current APs and the weapon we're using. It turns Orange when you reach the max.
  • AP indicator (bottom left)
    • The AP cost for a shot has been moved out of the center of the cursor to the bottom left, so as not to obscure the important part which is the crosshairs meeting at the center of the target. It also shows the maximum APs of the shooter for quick comparison.
  • Shooting mode and bullets indicator (bottom right)
    • Shows the current firing mode. In Burst mode, it displays the number of bullets to be fired. In Autofire mode it displays the currently selected number of bullets, and the maximum number of bullets that can be fired given the shooter's APs. One cool thing about this, combined with the new Aimed Autofire system, is that when you are in Aiming mode, adding (or removing) extra aiming levels will automatically adjust the number of bullets that can be fired with the remaining APs after aiming.
  • Crosshairs Color
    • The color of the crosshairs indicates to us how much improvement we're getting from extra aiming. The circle starts reddish when no extra aiming is applied. As CTH rises from extra aiming, the circle and crosshairs change color from red to orange to yellow to green.
      The Grey circle in the picture above indicates that we are not in aiming mode, but rather are setting the number of bullets to be fired in autofire mode. This only happens in autofire mode, after the first left-click confirms the selected number of extra aiming levels. The next click will confirm the number of bullets selected, and fire the volley. In that middle picture, a left-click will fire a volley with 3 aiming levels and 5 bullets.

One thing that should be noted: Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, the location of all parts of the CTH indicator are based on the center of the tile the target is in. Therefore, when the target's animation is not perfectly centered in its tile (as in the above pictures), the crosshairs appear to be converging on the wrong spot. They only move up and down when you change the targeted bodypart, but remain centered on the tile in regards to left/right. This is something that I can't currently avoid, since it's impossible to draw a variably-sized indicator into the cursor buffer. This is a little annoying, but that's what we have right now.

----------------

Clarification on this indicator:

Smeagol has commented that this indicator looks like a book, with regards to how much text is displayed on screen at the same time. It does look a little confusing, but when you actually use it in the game it provides exactly as much information as you need. You can ignore what you don't need, and only glance at info that's necessary to you.
Hopefully, you guys will actually be able to test this indicator real soon, since it's one of the last pieces of code I need to write before NCTH Alpha Testing can commence.

----------------

Feedback request:

Anything you have to say about this indicator will be welcome, and that includes moving parts around, removing (or adding) data, colors, the shape of the circle and crosshairs, etcetera.

----------------

Next step:

I'm going to make one last attempt to draw these into the cursor buffer so they'll move together with the mouse. There's absolutely no guarantee that that would work.

After that, I'm going to try to teach the AI to use extra aiming. It's conceptually difficult, but easy to implement if I can find out how.

Finally, I'll add NCTH tags to all the UB weapons and Starting Gear weapons, so that the game has more than the basic weapons to play with.

Then it's a question of upgrading HAM 4 to match the latest SVN code - a monumental task, but one that has to be done.

And then it's ready for Alpha release!


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261253] Wed, 01 September 2010 19:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
clbg

 
Messages:35
Registered:February 2007
Location: Moscow, Russia
OMG, looks beautiful Smile But it seems a little over complicated, me think. Just like in Mechwarrior or other look a like games. What i'm gonna say - JA2 have it's own style, with lack of any forms of cyberpunk. So ... these digits all over there just dont match the style a little bit. Is there a possibility to make it an ini-option? Maybe with different levels of complicity?
I'm very happy with JA2 oldstyle reticle mark aiming rings. Have it gone for eternal absence or there's still a hope to be ressurected? Why not to took back aiming rings, but give them a new sense?
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261262] Wed, 01 September 2010 20:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CptMoore

 
Messages:224
Registered:March 2009
Headrock
As CTH rises from extra aiming

Im confused, extra aiming should just waste AP not CTH!
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261263] Wed, 01 September 2010 20:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nickfighter

 
Messages:118
Registered:December 2007
Location: Poland
CptMoore
Headrock
As CTH rises from extra aiming

Im confused, extra aiming should just waste AP not CTH!

RISES! IT RISES! It means Chance to hit becomes higher\better.
God damn, you are SERIOUSLY confused Razz
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261264] Wed, 01 September 2010 20:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CptMoore

 
Messages:224
Registered:March 2009
:headbanger: :wb: :computer2: :rant2: :whoknows: :goodnews: :dontlike: :roulette: :headscratch:
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261267] Wed, 01 September 2010 20:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3490
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
It looks great!

My three cents:
1. If the circle crosshair colour can be yellow, and the aiming level and the amount of aps are yellow too, one might not be able to read that. Perhaps another colour for the numbers? (Something manly, like ... purple! Not.)
2. If you can display these values based on an ini-setting, could there also be an option to show magnification only if it is not 1.0x?
3. On the last picture, the yellow bar of the left part of the crosshair seems to have disappeared.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261284] Wed, 01 September 2010 23:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
But it seems a little over complicated, me think. Just like in Mechwarrior or other look a like games. What i'm gonna say - JA2 have it's own style, with lack of any forms of cyberpunk. So ... these digits all over there just dont match the style a little bit. Is there a possibility to make it an ini-option? Maybe with different levels of complicity?


There are several problems in this regard, but they aren't unsolvable. The main problem is that much of this information is not something you can just remove from the screen without utterly confusing the shooter. We have to have some sort of aiming level indicator, some indicator of how many bullets we're setting to fire, and something telling us how many APs it's going to cost. And these things can't be displayed close to the center of the cursor, because they'll obscure the meeting point between the crosshairs - and that's VERY bad.

However, I may implement a menu option that turns off everything except those three most important numbers, and link it to a hotkey that toggles the option on and off.
BUT, I also think I can reduce the level of confusion by doing something different - reducing the amount of text and numbers and replacing them with simple graphical indicators. That would be easier on the eye, though harder to figure out when you play for the first time. For more of this possibility, please read below.

Quote:
I'm very happy with JA2 oldstyle reticle mark aiming rings. Have it gone for eternal absence or there's still a hope to be ressurected? Why not to took back aiming rings, but give them a new sense?


I didn't set out to change the CTH indicator, I set out to make a whole new CTH system, so the result was that the old indicator with the rings simply wasn't suitable, and I prefered designing a new one to replace it.

As to going back - this change is currently a part of HAM 4, and I don't intend to suggest it for 1.13 use (and don't expect it'll be accepted into 1.13) if it can't be made optional. However, even if optionalized, you would HAVE to switch cursors from the old one to the new one if you turn on the NCTH system. There's no going around that, because the old cursor is simply unsuitable.

Quote:
If the circle crosshair colour can be yellow, and the aiming level and the amount of aps are yellow too, one might not be able to read that. Perhaps another colour for the numbers? (Something manly, like ... purple! Not.)


I've already thought of that - I'm going to dynamically move the labels and data so that it NEVER touches the circle, no matter its size.

Also as stated above, I may be switching from numbers to graphics (see more on this below).

Quote:
If you can display these values based on an ini-setting, could there also be an option to show magnification only if it is not 1.0x?


Actually I was considering this earlier. I may just make it work that way without the INI setting. There isn't much reason to show that.

Quote:
On the last picture, the yellow bar of the left part of the crosshair seems to have disappeared.


Yeah, it's due to the way I draw these things. I'll optimize it later, it's just copying a lot of code. I'll do it for the beta. Smile

-----------------------------------------------------



Firstly, In 1.13 there's already a lot of information drawn on the cursor, like AP cost (shown in the center), bullets to fire (shown in the upper right), the CTH bar, and the targeting circle (which gets smaller as you add extra aiming). Not to mention the cursor image itself (the small red circle with notches - that one's visible in the images above). Since the aiming level circle has been replaced with the big shooting circle and the crosshairs, It's important to move all that extra data to other places, so it doesn't obscure the meeting point between the crosshairs. After all, that's the one thing you're most interested in: how accurate your shot is going to be.

So I decided to move the data around, and the result is what you see in the image above, where the data is arranged in a way that it's still visible, properly labeled, and can't obscure the crosshairs at any time.

One thing I CAN improve is to add more graphical elements instead of text. For instance, the label for MAG factor can be removed, leaving just the number. The aiming indicator can get a bar under it that shows how many aiming levels we've added, instead of a numerical count. There's also been a discussion in IRC about using bullets instead of numbers, which I tried earlier but found it was a little confusing. Then again, any graphical representation instead of text is always confusing to beginners, then later you get used to them and then they're easier to live with than lots of text floating around.

----------------------

PROGRESS UPDATE

I've just solved one of the major problems of the CTH indicator, one that I've been trying to solve for a while. The indicator was previously static - it was centered around the center of the tile where the target is standing. Since the target itself isn't always in the middle (it depends on stance), the indicator sometimes appeared to be pointed wrong. This is visible in the pictures above.

However, I've finally managed to get the indicator to move together with the mouse. It moves as one cohesive piece, with the labels and values, to center always on the mouse cursor.

In effect, I've turned this indicator into a cursor, without using the cursor system (which previously prevented it from working). It's not a nice workaround in programming terms, but it works great and looks great. I'm also going to attach the character's label to the mouse cursor when using targeting, so that it moves together with the other parts.





Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261294] Wed, 01 September 2010 23:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Loucipher

 
Messages:159
Registered:October 2009
For me, it looks great. I've always been a fan of aircraft simulator games, and this here reminds me of the best HUD systems out there. All the info you need, exactly where you need it. Headrock, you're my hero.
Thumbs up on graphical representation, if that's possible to code in at all. I'd rather leave magnification as it is, since it's not easy to depict it otherwise - I think your idea is optimal here. Aim levels can be depicted just like CTH is now - as a fillable bar. While less accurate, it still can tell you at a glance how many times have you aimed and how many more times you can.
I don't really think you need current AP on that HUD as well - people are now perfectly happy with just AP cost of current shot displayed. Sure, makes it more convenient to check how much AP allowance you're using up on that particular action, but if it clouds someone's vision, I feel it might be left out. Same with bullets - if this X/Y mumbo jumbo confuses people, why not just use the X (how many you fire). Most of us would click until the bullet count was reduced to 1 again.

One thing I'd love to have is the variable radius of that circle, depicting at a glance my relative hit zone at the time. You know, the basis of the concept - the smaller the circle, the easier to hit the target. On your pics up there, it seems fixed (correct me if I'm wrong). In OCTH, adding aim levels made the "aiming circle" getting smaller, changing to yellow on max aim level. So I think it should be possible. If you can code it, it would be much more "intuitive" than just changing the crosshairs colour (I doubt I'd see the difference in the heat of battle anyway). What's more, with this circle, you probably wouldn't need the crosshairs at all - it doubles up with JA2's native "red reticle" cursor, and actually seems obstructive to me (makes the target area too "cluttered" with targeting symbology).

Just my $0,02 worth of comments.
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261298] Thu, 02 September 2010 00:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
One thing I'd love to have is the variable radius of that circle, depicting at a glance my relative hit zone at the time. You know, the basis of the concept - the smaller the circle, the easier to hit the target. On your pics up there, it seems fixed (correct me if I'm wrong). In OCTH, adding aim levels made the "aiming circle" getting smaller, changing to yellow on max aim level. So I think it should be possible. If you can code it, it would be much more "intuitive" than just changing the crosshairs colour (I doubt I'd see the difference in the heat of battle anyway).


That's already how it works. The crosshairs get closer together as your aim gets better. The color is simply a second indicator.

Quote:
What's more, with this circle, you probably wouldn't need the crosshairs at all - it doubles up with JA2's native "red reticle" cursor, and actually seems obstructive to me (makes the target area too "cluttered" with targeting symbology).


The outer circle shows the "maximum", I.E. how wide your shot would be when you don't spend any extra aiming at all. Go back a few pages, there are animations showing the entire process.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261304] Thu, 02 September 2010 00:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wil473

 
Messages:2842
Registered:September 2004
Location: Canada
Perhaps a way to avoid cluttering the "tactical screen" would be an option to display the numerical information in the corners of the interface box displaying the gun being fired.

If no numbers are wanted, an option would be a bar across the top of the screen indicating percentage of available AP devoted to aiming, AP devoted to Autofire/burst and leftover AP.

These are basically human interface issues, numbers vs. symbology.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261307] Thu, 02 September 2010 00:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
Perhaps a way to avoid cluttering the "tactical screen" would be an option to display the numerical information in the corners of the interface box displaying the gun being fired.


No, not good. You'd have to glance away a considerable distance from the cursor, that's never good. The data has to be displayed near the cursor, or nowhere at all.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261309] Thu, 02 September 2010 00:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Madeiner

 
Messages:13
Registered:November 2008
New thingie is great, can't wait to try it out!

Just one thing... where is the CTH indicator now?
I mean, percent indicator, or the bar like it is now.

I think it is very useful, since sometimes you get like 10% CTH with 1 click, 12% with 2 clicks, and then 90% with 3 clicks (probably due to lasers or scopes, i dunno)

Do the circles get proportionally smaller as CTH increases? If so, how can one know the CTH of subsequent shots?
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261313] Thu, 02 September 2010 00:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Loucipher

 
Messages:159
Registered:October 2009
Headrock
That's already how it works. The crosshairs get closer together as your aim gets better. The color is simply a second indicator.
(...)
The outer circle shows the "maximum", I.E. how wide your shot would be when you don't spend any extra aiming at all. Go back a few pages, there are animations showing the entire process.

I've seen them, and they are all pretty informative. Still, I don't quite like the crosshairs - somebody already pointed out earlier than me that it's too big and obtrusive. How about a "two circles" approach - the outer, "fixed" aperture circle, and the inner, variable-radius circle that shows the effect of your aiming? (It can even be color coded if you want to keep that feature). The reticle cursor is still there, and together with the crosshairs, they obscure the area where your target is.
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261315] Thu, 02 September 2010 00:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
Do the circles get proportionally smaller as CTH increases? If so, how can one know the CTH of subsequent shots?


I would encourage you to read the rest of the article, where all this is answered. In short (again), the crosshairs get closer together as your aim gets better. They indicate how wide your shot might go once fired.

Quote:
How about a "two circles" approach


I tried that, it looked a little ugly. Might be better now that I've gotten rid of all the access baggage from the OCTH indicator.

Quote:
The reticle cursor is still there, and together with the crosshairs, they obscure the area where your target is.


The reticle always obscured the target, which was its own problem. I'm hoping to remove the reticle completely, and replace it with a very small indicator of where the mouse cursor is (possibly a thin PLUS sign, or a thin X). The crosshairs and the target will be much more visible that way. I -might- also make the crosshairs thinner.


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261323] Thu, 02 September 2010 02:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
PROGRESS UPDATE

The enemy is now capable of aiming his burst and autofire shots.

Yes.

-------------------

In addition, counter-force accuracy now depends on whether or not we can see the target. It really goes to hell if the target is obscured, but only halved (!!) when the target is visible to someone else on the team. This nerfs down the ability of characters (and enemies ^^ ) to accurately spray someone to death without actually seeing them.

Very cool stuff, nonetheless.

-------------------

So I guess that leaves more XML work... and then upgrading HAM 4 to SVN standards.

By a rough guess, each task could take a while, possibly a week if not more. However, once both are done, that will be the first Alpha Testing version of HAM 4.

(!!)


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261326] Thu, 02 September 2010 02:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2045
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Looking good Headpebble my friend! Probably should use a variation of the original size cursor though, as that great big thing looks like you are in an apache gunship about to release Hellfire missles on the poor bastard. Other than that love it Smile


Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261331] Thu, 02 September 2010 04:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
orko_oskar

 
Messages:74
Registered:April 2007
Location: Sweden
Looking really good.

Is there anyway to incorperate the mod that allows you to use the mousewheel to aim and autofire in this as an NCTH option/default?

Zilpins spreadpatterns would be nice as well. Smile

Looking forward to NCTH.
Keep up the excellent work.
Re: New CTH system - Presentation[message #261332] Thu, 02 September 2010 04:48 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Headrock

 
Messages:1774
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
Is there anyway to incorperate the mod that allows you to use the mousewheel to aim and autofire in this as an NCTH option/default?


Unfortunately no. As explained earlier, the DDD code that enabled this is too hard for me to read, so I couldn't manage to add mouse-wheel functionality (OR middle-mouse functionality.... Yeah it's a shame).

If any of the people who worked on this code or similar code can help, JA2 could SERIOUSLY use this.


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