So that's it. Thanks to a lot of stuff already being available it was finished really fast.
Some things i encountered, that might be useful sometime (or are already there but i don't know how to make it work?)
Possibility of spawning Entities within weighted areas but out of ?Area part (Spawning more Aliens across the map when having a bigger UFO) -> So global spawn depending on 'Bossarea'
noSmoke=1 for destroying props as the map sometimes gets a littlebit smokey when the randomisation is completed.
Working with 8.7.
Oops, I totally missed this thread until now (I'm going to make a separate board for new mods now that we've got a lot more threads).
Global spawning dependent on the presence of a specific area won't be added to the current map generator, though it is definitely an important feature we'll need in the next one. For now all you can use is the ?MAP section.
I do like the idea of NO_SMOKE=1 for SA-based prop/cell destruction. I'll see about adding that for R9. Right now smoke is purely material-controlled, so one way to get around it would be to copy the material(s) used for those prop(s) in particular and change their Smoke/Rubble value to 0, but that is obviously a non-ideal solution.
How much more tweaking are you going to do before considering this mod done? I'll have to find some time to try this out soon!
Wow, I just played this and you did a great job of recreating the farm mission. Very nice replica of a battleship... Other notes from my playthrough:
While I don't believe it was nearly that hard to see through crops in the original, it is a pretty neat effect much more similar to a real cornfield where you can't see anything but what's right in front of you. Could lead to some interesting encounters.
Smashing makes it nice and easy to get through short hedges, rather than having to shoot through them, so that's a nice change.
Your Skyranger is much cooler than mine
Maybe you could change the spawn order so that the units at the back of the Skyranger spawn first. This could make disembarking quicker for anyone who uses the tab key to cycle between units (me, and I don't know who else...).
You should change the mission success text to "You cleared the site successfully." to improve the grammar.
I didn't really notice the smoke at all. Only when I was specifically looking for it *after* my first playthrough did I see some when I revealed the entire map through debug.
I had a bit of the "last alien syndrome" feeling since I'd checked most of the map/battleship and still there was one enemy left. I just quickly passed two turns and he showed up on his own, though.
I quit my first try after spending several turns combing the area around the Skyranger and seeing nothing, finally cheating to reveal the map and find that there was only one small UFO on the far side. Kind of annoying/boring to trudge all over the map to search for just a couple/few aliens that would be hard to spot due to the generally small FOV. (The battleship was much more fun ;p)
I suppose that's part of the farm experience, though normally you'd know what kind of UFO was downed since you'd shot it down, so how about at the beginning of the mission you put something in the log telling the player what kind of UFO was downed? That way the player would have the choice to restart if they didn't want that UFO type. You could do this by creating a special invisible prop for each UFO type and place it in the UFO area, and on the first turn the prop sends out a global message for the player, with maybe a reminder in parenthesis: "(press F10 for a different mission)" or something like that.
I would also suggest adding some more UFO types. The battleship is great! For my mod I'm using the medium and large scouts, and the terror ship.
FARM would be a good candidate for upgrading to R9 with sound, since it sticks to vanilla content.
I'm already at work with the next UFOs. I'm in some kind of UFO-painting-frency so i already competed the large scout, the harvester and the abductor (being the most difficult due to all those diagonal tiles). I have to add spawning before uploading, but that takes some time as i have some idea to get a better spawning.
Short story on coding and enthusiasm: As i started the game to control the new UFOs, i was confused because everything was ok, but the harvester had the northern and southern areas exchanged. After some searching i found i had painted them that way
Comments: Skyranger: it is as close to the original as i could do it (despite accidently switching from N-S to W-E)
Small scout: in the original game the small scout can be found on a 4X4-map. That's much easier to do, but we don't have that at that time, so we have to live with it for now. I'll add some message..
I didn't even think about smashing, but it sounds like it adds to the game.
I'm playing with the idea to let those powersources randomly explode at startup to get those missions where you really shot down those UFOs, but the impact is a lot more intense than the original due to physics. (use mininukes at the battleship if you want to know, what i mean)
[Edit No. X] And sometime the text might even be readable... [/Edit]
[PS] I'm in urgent need for some [SPAWN_PROPS]X .. [/PS]
[PS2] The more i do, the more ideas i have.. [CUBE] in relation to the meta-area would be nice, making entities wander all around a 3X3-zone without leaving it. [/PS2]
You now get messages which UFO you are fighting against.
More UFOs to fight against (large scout, harvester, abductor)
new spawning system spawning aliens across the map according to the UFO you are against.
Reaper spawning at the battleship. (Sometimes inside, sometimes somewhere)
Yet to do:
Terrorship and supplier. (small scout would be silly, so i won't include him)
Potential switch of faction (Floater are easy, now you are up against Snakemen,.. Mutone.. ETHERALs ... or even an mix with mutone soldiers, snakeman engineers, sectoid medics, floater navigator and the etheral commander ... and some chryssalids
Oh, and crashed UFOs (but i'm not sure about that one, yet)
I could add [SPAWN_PROPS], but can't you just write a [PROP] that uses a [CUBE] spawn area, then copy paste that line a bunch of times? (probably what you're doing) Annoying but... see below.
Meta-area-relative [CUBE]s would be more time-consuming to implement and I'd prefer to avoid major upgrades to the soon-to-be-defunct map generation system. This will be possible in the map editor, for sure. I've needed it myself before, but held back the desire to implement it.
Don't worry, R9 comes with a nice changelog for modders, as I've taken almost all other suggestions and implemented them already.
Ah yes, I forgot the scout map specifically could be smaller. That would definitely make sense since it's way too large as is.
Do you find the difficulty okay? I personally think it's easy enough to warrant upping spawn counts to superhuman levels (or greater) as listed on UFOPaedia.org. I can beat the battleship without losing a single soldier, and not even trying too hard at that.
Did you do this before I even put up the changelog? Sheesh man, you're fast.
I guess even though I hardcoded the preview to run Ground Zero, you can still override that with the -mod switch. The main thing I was going to announce with the M6 release was that you may have to tweak your materials file to make it more close to mine (I redid EmptyMod as the base example, coming w/M6) so that it's better compatible with the "sound classes" I created, rather than having to define your own sounds/classes.
Yeah, I didn't add a tank tread sound yet. Considered it but put it off since I'm not using a tracked tank, though I could work on that later.
Anyway, your mod is definitely a great candidate for R9 sound since you use all the default content for which I have sound effects. Was hoping we could convert yours over at some point, but damn, you're already done...
If you don't mind, I'd like to officially release your mod after I come back from my trip next month, on 4/20, so there's still time to continue expanding and polishing it before then. (Obviously you can call it 1.0 even further after that if you like, just saying there won't be enough time for a dedicated post before then.) I also want to play it some more and help out with testing, but that'll have to wait for a few days at least.