Game enhancements

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AndyG
Game enhancements

Hi Cmdr Stardust, as I see you are adding more ships, I figure you are planning to enhance the game beyond the Amiga Elite base. I thought I'd stick in thread for people to drop their ideas into.
I'll start ;-)

1. Other player ships (bit of an obvious one). Although I would say there needs to a point to them all.
E.g. Adder (or other small/cheap ship), really needs to be part of an alternate hard start (otherwise why would anyone down grade.
Python (other large ships), presumably less combat efficient, but faster to earn money. Would need a reason to need something to spend the money on, maybe missions that need the extra cargo space?
Asp (combat ships) This would be an easy one to add, if its a better fighter than a Cobra iii, the it would have a big incentive to buy for anyone wanting to improve their rating.

2. More missions, even if they don't come with extra equipment, if they come with points bonuses, then they would be of interest to anyone trying to reach Elite.

AndyG
Credit for ship purchases

If you put in more player ships perhaps you could have them available on credit (with suitable deposit and interest), that way there may be a point to buying the larger trading ships. Interst could be collected prior to launch, if you couldnt afford it you would need to trade back down.

Stardust
Stardust's picture
More player controlled ships

More player controlled ships is indeed on my list; it's a complex feature though (not necessarily implementation-wise), because these new ships must have different cockpits and a different feel to them when flying... Some may not be able to have certain equipment items installed (take, for example, the ship in the naming competition, currently named the Boomslang, if you fly that ship, you may not install a galactic hyperdrive).

I have also thought about a place where to trade those ships... But that place (or those places) must be implemented as well... I won't share the details, now, but suffice it to say: It won't be possible to buy a new ship at every station...

AndyG
Maybe a "used ship" market,

Maybe a "used ship" market, where they would be cheaper, but with reduced performance/more prone to failures (stealing a bit from oolite here).

Skunkworx
What about putting the saves

What about putting the saves in the cloud. So you can play on your mobile while out and about and play on a tablet when you get back home.

Skunkworx
I would like to see the

I would like to see the controls automatically adjusted so that when you view via the left, right and rear views it is easier and more intuitive to control. Also why do we only have one laser temperature and not one per view? 

AndyG
In the original elite (and I

In the original elite (and I assume the Amiga version) there was only one laser temperature. I think Stardust has done a fairly faithful clone of the Amiga version, plus a couple of extra ships.

But I too, would like to see laser temp on a per laser basis, I'm always overheating, so the chance to switch view and keep shooting would be most welcome. Combined with being able to tweak the flight controls based on view would make it worth having the other lasers.

Stardust
Stardust's picture
No worries :)

The additional equipment item is on my list :) --- I can't make any promises as to when the new update will come (Chris has to finish the music, first, too), and I definitely want to fix the major bugs before I think of enhancements, but: It's on my list...

EdzUp
Extra ships would be nice

Extra ships would be nice even starting as a Thargoid ;) One thing I can't stress strongly enough to avoid is multiplayer, if I knew back when I started Elite Multiplayer what was coming I wouldn't have done it. Any version of Elite with multiplayer will get a obligatory 'cease and desist' termination letter from Frontier as it steps on Elite Dangerous's space. Alite is a nice game though and its nice to be able to sit anywhere and shoot pirates :)

Stardust
Stardust's picture
No worries...

Hi EdzUp -- welcome to the forum :)

No worries: I don't like multiplayer games at all :). So, if anyone wants to add multiplayer to Alite, this someone may soon do so, as I am going to release the source code, but I have no interest in multiplayer...

Different ships, Controller support, Fuel injectors (to use torus drive while friendlies are close-by at the cost of some fuel), separate laser cooling tanks (so that each laser mount has its own cooling) are the most frequently asked for enhancements... And yes: They are on my list of things to do, too... :)

Gotta sort out those bugs, too, though... Nexus 9 and 10 are a nightmare, and as yet, I have no clue as to why (it's also hard, because I don't own either device and have to rely on the emulator).

EdzUp
Will we get the other cockpit

Will we get the other cockpit views like Elite (Left, Right and Aft/Rear) :) Thanks for the welcome :) I enjoyed Amiga Elite the most out of all the versions :)

Look forwards to looking at the source, not being amazing at math the Elite controls and AI flight systems has always interested me :)

Stardust
Stardust's picture
Views...

Err.... Left/Right, Front/Rear views _are_ in Alite: Just tap the appropriate region on your radar (see basic flying tutorial for more information)... :)

As for the AI: I'm not too impressed by my AI implementation... While I (believe to) understand the basic maths concepts behind it, the AI is the area in Alite where I see a whole lot of room for improvements :) -- all the enemies do, is basically joust. Then, when they come too close, they turn around and are sitting ducks...

EdzUp
It was the AI pitch and roll

It was the AI pitch and roll to a target that interests me and the player flight controls also. Quaternion math is all greek to me ;)

EdzUp
Would it be possible to have

Would it be possible to have a way t transfer a save between devices, maybe even using the old code screen idea or a external save system?

Stardust
Stardust's picture
Transfer Commanders

As a workaround, you can manually transfer your save games between devices:

Connect your phone to your computer and transfer the directory <AndroidPhone>/Android/data/de.phbouillon.android.games.alite/files/commanders to a location on your computer (or in the cloud, of course). If you transfer the directory to your "target" device (same path), you will have the same save games. If you do not want to overwrite existing save games on your target device, just add to the files in the "commanders" directory.

Uploading the commanders from Alite directly to some cloud drive can be done, though. It's not too hard, I suppose, but I need to find some time to do it (unless you want to give it a shot :)).

valkan
Hey Stardust! FIrst time

Hey Stardust! FIrst time posting here.  Love the work you did with Alite.  I've been waiting for a long time to have a game like this I can fit in my pocket. I have a question about game enhancements too; will you be including support for OXP like Oolite has?  Not that I'll ever run out of stuff to do, but a man can dream. 

Stardust
Stardust's picture
OXPs

Hi Valkan,

glad you like the game :).

As you may know, the complete source of Alite is over at github (https://github.com/CmdrStardust/Alite), so, if nothing else, you can enhance Alite all the way you like.

This being said: I already toyed around with a PList parser, which would at least allow to read basic OXPs. So for example, you could read "color schemes" into Alite. It's a little more work to add - say - additional ships, but still possible.

I think it will be much more difficult to add support for custom written missions/scripts/..., because Alite, due to the nature of its environment (=> smart phones with limited memory), has a different approach than Oolite.

In short: It will take some more time, before even basic oxps are supported. Don't hold your breath for the more complicated ones; but please feel free to add Alite.

Cheers and thanks!!

Stardust

pelya
pelya's picture
How much are you planning to

How much are you planning to improve the game above the original Elite?

I would like to view the market prices of the last 3-5 systems I've visited. If I mplement that myself, will you merge that? Or it will betray the retro experience of writing down all important game stuff on a piece of paper (or doing screenshot)?

I assume you are using Eclipse on Windows, because yoir Git repo has those horrible CRLF line endings, and Java files have some non-UTF-8 symbols. Would you consider switching to Android Studio?

Ælite would be a great name, too bad copyright owners of Elite Dangerous would shoot it down.

Stardust
Stardust's picture
Enhancements Ideas

Hi Pelva,

your market price idea is a good one! How would you like to display the market prices? Would you make a new "Screen" for it, or would you somehow incorporate it into the existing "Buy"-screen? I'd very much like to see your implementation; of course I'd merge it... While you're at it, it might also be a good idea to display how much the player would gain (or lose) from selling an item in his inventory...

I have a bunch of other (more intrusive) enhancement ideas; my limiting factor is -- as usual -- time :). This is strictly a hobby project, so I have to see how much I can do during my off hours...

I must admit, I never paid much attention to the line-endings, but that's a git settings and should have nothing to do with ADT (i.e. Eclipse). I was pretty happy with ADT on Windows, so for Alite, I will probably not move to Android Studio (as I'm unfamiliar with it, yet), but my next project (whatever that will be :)) will most likely be using AS...

Cheers!

Stardust

pelya
pelya's picture
I was thinking of some simple

I was thinking of some simple implementation - prices will be like "123.3 Cr +2.3", where +2.3 is the difference in price compared to the last visited world, and swipe up/down to switch between 5 last visited worlds. The inventory screen will also display the expected profit in the same manner.I've sent my first merge request, if you don't like to change line endings I'll re-format my patch and create another merge request.

Stardust
Stardust's picture
Gyroscope

Hey, thanks for the pull-request. I'm traveling right now, but I'll do the merge tonight.

I'm ok with the line-endings. Unix-style is better.

I'm not so sure about gyroscope control though (note: I've only quickly browsed over the diff, so let me fully understand, what you did, first): Originally, I used the gyroscope to steer the ship, too, but there are various devices, which do not support gyroscopes. I see, you have made it optional, but what does the user gain from using the gyro? More precision? Or yaw control?

Again: Thanks for your effort! My fingers are itching to merge this :)

CWolf
CWolf's picture
I LOVE this version of Elite!

If you do bring in all the extras people are mentioning then please keep the current version available as well!Keep up the awesome work!

Stardust
Stardust's picture
Thanks!

Hey, CWolf and welcome to the Forums!Glad you like the game... I'll answer in more detail after Christmas.... Playin' with the kids for now :)

bilbo
Noise complaints

Am I the only one getting strange looks and complaints from the family while playing Alite?

You can't switch off the sound for combat other wise you don't know when you're being hit or own shots are missing but the SFx for torus & hyperspace jump (& general click noise when buying & selling) are making me rather unpopular!

Can we add another 'non-combat' volume control? Happy to do the work, just not sure if others agree to the addition and what the config option should be - best I have come up with is to split the current Audio 'Effects volume' option into a 'Combat Fx Volume' and 'Other Fx Volume', a bit lame I know.

Stardust
Stardust's picture
Annoying sounds...

Well, you're certainly not the first one to have mentioned the lame hyperspace/torus drive sounds... I've had a request by MrHax (and others) to change the sounds, too, so I am also looking for better alternatives.Making a split volume control might be a problem (from the top of my head), since we're running out of screen space -- but if another volume control slider fits on the screen, why not go for it."Sound FX" and "Combat FX" sounds good to me. So, yeah, why not. I'm still looking for alternative torus/hyperspace sounds...(I usually do play with muted sound or with headphones :))

Frostman1
Spectrum version

If I remember rightly, on the spectrum version of the game there was an unofficial expansion pack that gave a much larger cargo hold and a combination of military and mining lasers (they are the bits I remember), did anything like that turn up on the Amiga version? Ohhh you could also get a cloaking device

Stardust
Stardust's picture
Spectrum version

Well, cloaking device is available in Alite, too.... If you look carefully :)

How much larger is the large Cargo Bay? Currently, 35t is the largest you can get.

And how does a combination of Mining and Military laser work??

Frostman1
If I remember rightly the

If I remember rightly the cargo bay could be expanded to 150 tonnes but I would have to check. The laser was kick arse I remember that....as for the cloak, it was rumoured if you saw a light blinking in the game, it was a cloaked Thargoid, and that if you destroyed it it dropped the cloaking device. I never once saw it.

Stardust
Stardust's picture
150t...

Wow... 150t. Well, I think once Alite features different ship types to buy, you'd be able to buy an Anaconda or a Boa. I don't think it makes sense for a Cobra to provide 150t cargo space.

I assure you, the Cloaking Device is in Alite. If you find information on how the Amiga version worked (which also contained the Cloaking Device), it might give you an idea on how to acquire it in Alite ;).

If you can't find it, drop me a line...
Cheers

Frostman1
I didn't have the 150t cargo

I didn't have the 150t cargo bay on the cobra, I cannot remember which ship it was now.
Oh and possibly a bug from the Spectrum game, if you went into hyperspace just as you were docking, you would be in the space station of whichever system you were flying to. That was not part of the expansion pack

RedThunder
RedThunder's picture
When your looking backwards

When your looking backwards it would be nice for the control  to mirror the forward facing.I have a minig laser on the back and can never hit an asteroid.Mayby a button to toggle reversing the controls ?Just a thought. 

Stardust
Stardust's picture
Backward controls

Hi RedThunder,

we are thinking about providing an "Advanced Control System" as another equipment item, which will then use "forward facing controls" if looking backwards (or sideways).

Using the accelerometer in the rear view _is_ difficult, but after a couple of hours of practice, you start hitting things :)

 

RedThunder
RedThunder's picture
How about being able to drag

How about being able to drag and drop the ships gun around to different mounts :-)Just a thought. 

Keirvosh
First off want to say what a

First off want to say what a cracking job you have done making a version of the great elite available. It's great.In terms of improvements there's lots of good ideas here but if you ae looking for inspiration you might want to see if you can get you hands on Freelancer for the PC and has some pretty neat things in it that you could consider doing.Also Star traders elite on android is quite interesting in term of the way it handles missions, factions, ranking and the breadth and depth of the ships. There's lots of good ideas there that might help get the grey brain cells moving.

Berni314
First things

Hi,

unfortunately I missed Alite for such a long time.
Only yesterday I recognized it first time and I was so impressed, that I decided to write here immediately.

I haven't tested much, but first impression all seems very well.

My primary concern was already spoken here:
In the "good old times" I saved the gamestate, flew to any station and write down the prices. Than I loaded the previously saved game, bought things ... - not nice.

So I also like the idea of "market prices of the last 3-5 visited systems."

But on the other side I ask, in a future with hyperspace jumps, shouldn't it also be possible to send data/messages/information through the hyperspace?
So why not make alle prize-lists available, for example on the screen with details of the planet, also make a "show current prices" here (additional with difference to prices of current station).
Of course the prices are only current ones, which will change when you make a long travel to a far away system.

Next improvements to original elite:
when docking on a station, often/sometimes there are other ships leaving the station.
I would say, there should be a more controlled way in such a developed world.
For example any comunicating, saying:
"keep position" and later "ready for docking".
Or (and) maybe a big green and red lights around the entrance, showing permission if docking is currently allowed.

Other idea:
maybe ENTERING only from the side of the planet, while there is a second gate on the other side where ships left the station.
(But if there are big stations, move the ship inside from entering- to the other-side sounds not good.)

Other ideas:
Maybe bigger stations with more than one docking-station.
And maybe more than only one station per planet.

And finaly (for now) one other thing:

If you need ideas about our next android project, how about "The sentinel"?
http://stuck-on-amber.typepad.com/blog/2010/10/the-sentinel-is-an-extrao...
There is also a free version for windows named Zenith, but I don't know any for android.

Bye,
Bernhard

wheatos
wheatos's picture
Torus drive halts laser cooling and shield repair

Hi Philipp, first of all, thank you so much for creating this version of Alite for Android! I couldn't believe my luck when I stumbled across it in Play store. I'm thoroughly enjoying my trip back to my mispent early-teens in '84 & '85 when I was addicted to Elite. Very good work! :)One thought I had last night was concerning the torus drive. When "friendlies" are in the area, the drive slows down, and then kicks in again to full speed once they are gone. Last night I noticed that when the drive is in full speed, recovery of shields and cooling of lasers are halted. In my game, a thargoid then appeared, terminating the torus drive, but my shields were still low and laser hot from my previous double-thargoid battle, and I was quickly destroyed.Is this an intentional feature (e.g. the torus drive is supposedly powered by the same source that regenerates the shields and cools the laser(s)), or could the laser/shields repair/cool at the speed relative to the torus drive speed? When the torus is in half speed when "friendlies" are present, the shields and lasers recover faster than in normal flight speed anyway, so would be good if they repaired/cooled even faster in the full torus speed.What are your thoughts?Wheatos

Stardust
Stardust's picture
Torus Drive/Time Warp

Hi,

the short answer is: It's intentional. :)
But let me explain:

Prior to Alite 1.4, the torus drive would block if friendlies are close by. Just as it was in the old days on the Amiga. Nowadays, if you can't use the Torus drive most of the time, the game becomes boring and you can't enjoy it as much.

Thus, Steven implemented the 'Time Warp' feature: it increases time by a factor of 10. Thus: When friendlies are close by, you travel at speed X, but time passes 10 times faster, so that it appears as if you were travelling at 10x.
Now, when the friendlies are gone, you travel at 100x, but at 'normal' time, hence the cooling _appears_ to have stopped. But it hasn't. It goes on, but 10x slower.

If you don't want to jump to torus once the friendlies are gone, travel slightly slower than max speed :)

Hth.
Cheers,
Philipp

wheatos
wheatos's picture
Thanks for the explanation

Thanks for the explanation Philipp.  It kinda makes sense.  ☺And cheers for the tip of traveling just below full speed so not to engage torus. _Finally_ completed mission 1 BTW.  Loved it.