XWAUP: 1999 vs 2020

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Re: XWAUP: 1999 vs 2020

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Driftwood
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Post by Driftwood » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:37 am

Keiran, while nobody is stating you must have head tracking or VR functionality to enable or utilize AC/DC functionality you need to understand that to fully utilize the AC/DC functionally without using traditional keybinds or using the default HUD is necessary due to the fact that there are limitations in regards to space and layout of cockpits and virtual player input without the specialized hardware.

I personally would not advocate "pandering" to people that don't have head tracking software for the AC feature simply due to how it functions, say by restricting cockpit button layout to 100% default POV only (though we are close to this), nor would I approve of requiring head tracking to be able to enable the functionality at all if somebody without head tracking wanted to utilize it as we are trying to make things better and more accessible to the greater whole of the community; speaking however from an "ease of access" point of view the ability to "physically press" a button in the cockpit needs an input method with a level of sensitivity that frankly the base game doesn't allow for to my personal taste.

That said it would merely be inconvenient though not impossible with a POV hat for example to move the player perspective around and push buttons, and while this works it's clunky in comparison. This is specifically regarding the "button pressing" that takes place with Active Cockpit functions. You have the choice I believe to do this, but your experience may not be all that great and you perhaps should stick to using keybinds.

Regarding Dynamic Cockpit functions, those have been configured to be as visible as possible (I believe 100%) from a forward facing restricted "default" POV as a consideration for not only those who do not have access to head tracking/VR systems, as well as aesthetics, canon, and allowing for a necessary amount of creative license.

DTM and Blue Max who have been doing all of the work on the cockpits thus far have made every effort to try and make these features as functional, optional, and accessible to as many people as possible as an aesthetic optional upgrade that as I understand has three to four different options 1. Dynamic/Active on, 2. Dynamic On/Active off, 3. AC/DC on/off with or without HUD, and now 4. toggleable HUD. (offhand) As well as to design the cockpit model and textures to as seamlessly function in any configuration that is visually appealing with DC/AC components enabled or disabled that the end user desires.

There has been significant amounts of testing with these features and I'm confident with the statement that I think the community is going to be really happy with the end result of the efforts of those working on these features, and that personally I think you should take a moment to chill out since the AC/DC features are entirely optional.

One thing to note as an aside in regards to options, Blue Max added the ability to switch roll/yaw for joysticks at my request because XWA botched the axis for whatever reason, they are reversed and flat out wrong when compared to any flight sim or aircraft I am aware of! It has driven my nuts for a decade now. However, since not everybody would want this or may care to utilize the function it is disabled by default! Why? Because the change is optional and intended to be as unobtrusive as possible while placating the flight sim enthusiast in me. He didn't have to do this, but he did, and as it turns out I have heard of one or two other people using this functionality since, another just asked me about it today.

Jeremya too has added several features per my and others requests, some of which have already been implemented in opt/game functionality, others that are still pending to be implemented in a release of some sort. And incidentally most of you are not adversely affected.

I would hazard to say that the XWAU team as a whole cares about the experience of the community members, modders or end users alike and we take community feedback seriously and generally make our decisions based on what we consider both reasonable and expected while leaving room for creative license.

While we primarily do what we do for "us", we also want to "share" and benefit "you" as well, because I think we all enjoy this game and want to see it pulled up to more modern standards so we can have our nostalgia cake and modern icing and eat it too.

Otherwise, I guess if you reeeeeally don't like the changes stick with an older version. Nothing wrong with that if you do.

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Post by Marcos_Edson » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:59 am

Great video!
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Post by keiranhalcyon7 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:24 am

Thank you, Driftwood, and Blue_max, for the additional context. I apologize for and retract my protestation. To start, I had forgotten about the "virtual buttons" feature that Blue_max had unveiled and labeled active cockpit, and thus I had mentally equated AC with DC; I included both in my post for the pun value. I only intended to criticize the dynamic cockpit implementation, not active cockpit.

As to that, most of the early DC demos had the instruments too small to read without a headtracking/VR-enabled lean forward, and combined with Charger116's comments, I had the impression that while DC would function without headtracking/VR, it would not be usable in practice, because some instruments would be out of frame or too small to read without it. Thus I was frustrated at being so close, yet so far away, from a more X-Wing/TIE Fighter/XvT-like flying experience. If you say that's not the case, though, then I gladly stand corrected, and thank you for setting me straight.

To reply to some of the other specific points: I have seen many people complain about the joystick axis mapping. It didn't actually originate in XWA, though; it was like that all the way back to X-Wing (although XWA may have arguably compounded it; while the starfighters in all four games in the franchise have a combination yaw and roll on the x-axis, XWA was the first to feature flyable light freighters, which removed the roll component from that axis in an even greater departure from real-world aircraft conventions.) I would also note that this deviation from aircraft controls was common back then: Descent, Tachyon, Freespace, all mapped the x-axis to either a rolling yaw or a straight yaw; it's a product of its era, and I absolutely respect the addition of a user option to implement an axis swap to reverse this design choice.

Blue_max: "intercepting" those keystrokes could be done in two parts: the first, locating and disabling the part of the original game code that toggles the six HUD elements' visibility in response to those six keystrokes (I'm sure Jeremy could help with that; note though that delete and page down have the dual functions of toggling the HUD element visibility and selecting which MFD is the active one). The second part is reading those key events in ddraw to toggle the erase function on/off for the appropriate screen region. (A more literal implementation of "intercepting" the keystrokes would be to respond to the event buffer before the game does and take action within your code, then remove the keystroke event from the buffer so the game never sees it. I think that could be done in dinput.dll, but TBH it's probably more difficult and not worth the effort figuring out how to do.)

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Post by blue_max » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:07 am

I understand your frustration keiranhalcyon7, and I probably would feel the same if I were in your place. On the other hand, your comment made me look closer at the newest (Darksaber/DTM) X-Wing cockpit and I actually had to change the default POV a little bit to get this:
xwing-new-cockpit.jpg
(Beautiful, isn't it? :D )

So, this comment probably goes to DTM: maybe the default POV in the .SHIP file should have Y = 35 or 34 instead or the current 36 so that most of the DC elements are visible? Or maybe two different .SHIP files can be supplied since you already have 2 cockpit versions?

Regarding the HUD element visibility: I've been thinking about this, and we probably don't need to intercept the keystrokes. As you mentioned, it's probably too much trouble. But what if, instead of intercepting the keystroke, we just alter the HUD visibility flags? So, the user presses PgUp to hide part of the HUD; but then ddraw sees the keystroke as well and changes the visibility to "true/visible" and replaces that with an "erase_region" command? Would you know where XWA stores the HUD visibility flags? Somewhere in the PlayerDataTable, perhaps?
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Post by Bman » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:27 am

Looks great. The HUD elements/images are pulled from the container .dat files. As far as intercepting those keystroke, no clue. The strings.txt file in the XWA directory makes a brief reference to the "strings for panels" section if it's even relevant. Engine does pull data from this file.
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Post by DTM » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:41 am

Thanks for your comments. As always, these discussions are important and constructive.

Rule no. 1: you can't please everyone
There are those who want an immersive cockpit, there are those who want maximum visibility as it was in the original game, there are those who turn off the cockpit, there are those who would like to pilot from the external view ... it is impossible to satisfy everyone. We decide on a project line and we follow that. If possible, we offer more options ... but they can only be small variations.

Rule no. 2: we always offer something more, never something less.
When we have the possibility to add something to the game, we always do it avoiding to disable pre-existing functions. As said, the installers that will give you the opportunity to decide whether to disable the HUD, or keep it active.

Rule no. 3: this is and remains a Star Wars game
Spaceships and cockpits must have a distinctive design that makes you say "this is Star Wars". You will never see an XWAUP cockpit made only with MFD screens. The feelings that convey the game are more important than anything else.

Having clarified these concepts, I can say one thing: it is not easy, and it is not obvious that we will always be able to keep these rules. Sometimes compromises will be needed, but only if really necessary.
To create a Dynamic Cockpit it is necessary to insert three MFD schemes (the games prior to XWA had only one), two screens for the sensors (in the previous games the sensors were not part of the cockpit), one screen for the shields, one for the ray weapon (in previous games it was not in the cockpit), four energy levels, speed indicators, missiles, countermeasures, identification number, and buttons for each keyboard function (I may have forgotten something)…
You can understand that it is difficult to insert all these things, respecting the rules above. Furthermore, we want the screens to be legible, without having to get close (it is possible to get closer if you are using a TrackIR or VR, but it is not possible for those who do not use these tools).

Is the Dynamic Cockpit suitable only for players with TrackIR or VR? No! However, the use of a TrackIR is strongly recommended.
I can anticipate that there will be cockpits, where the side screens will not be visible from the front view, simply because there is no room for everything: the TIE Fighters cockpit will have the side screens out of the front view. If we had put all those screens on the front, you would no longer have had the perception of flying inside a TIE Fighter. That's why players can decide to keep even part of the HUD, that is the regions of the side screens.
I hope these decisions satisfy most players. As rule no. 1, this is the best we can do. For everyone else, I'm sorry, but they will have to learn how to create their own mods.

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Post by Jaeven » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:40 pm

I for one, really appreciate the efforts of the team. I personally have neither VR/TrackIR but I'm really looking forward to the final result. The screen above by blue_max is something that is out of this world.

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Post by XDragon » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:30 pm

I've been following you guys for years, occasionally asking for help with my small minor tweaks. I can't believe how far you've all taken the game since 1999, and to think I was blown away by having the SSD to it's full size. I look forward to trying to install these and asking for help haha

But I'm all honesty, this is amazing. You guys have taken this to a whole new level and keeping one of the best star wars games looking amazing long past it's release
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Post by Charger116 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:02 am

That X-Wing cockpit looks absolutely beautiful! Where can I find it? Or has it not been fully released yet?

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Post by Driftwood » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:18 am

Charger116 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:02 am
That X-Wing cockpit looks absolutely beautiful! Where can I find it? Or has it not been fully released yet?
Unreleased. This is a preview for the upcoming major update, release date to be determined.

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Post by Tuskin » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:08 am

Very cool.

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Post by St@rkiller » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:31 pm

I love the new cockpits, but on my Y-Wing, I don't get the center MFD where you identify the targeted craft, and my targeting computer provides any information, which makes it hard on missions like the slave rescue mission where you have to quickly ID the shuttles.
:(
Last edited by St@rkiller on Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Trevor » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:08 pm

If you don't have VR/Track IR then you could just re-enable the HUD... I don't understand what everyone's problem with the HUD is....
Rule no. 2: we always offer something more, never something less.
The HUD is not gone, its advantages are not gone, Dynamic cockpit is "Eye Candy" that while works without VR is lets be honest best suited for VR.

Trying to cram a Cockpit within a single POV is silly. Not to mention that in early days the cockpits were moved out of the way of the forward view to open up forward sight giving even less cockpit space (I know this has changed for DC but just wanted to point it out)

Old flight sims had no choice but to cram a 2d cockpit on the screen, but look at any modern flight sim with a 3d cockpit, you need to use the hat switch or VR to see all the cockpit now.

Sorry for the outburst, but I needed to let it out, DC does not take away any advantage you had with the HUD. If you need the HUD use it, its not gone.

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Post by blue_max » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:47 pm

St@rkiller wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:31 pm
I love the new cockpits, but on my Y-Wing, I don't get the center MFD where you identify the targeted craft,
Try setting "dynamic_cockpit_enabled = 0" in "Dynamic_Cockpit.cfg" to disable DC, that should bring back all the HUDs.

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Post by St@rkiller » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:08 pm

blue_max wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:47 pm
St@rkiller wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:31 pm
I love the new cockpits, but on my Y-Wing, I don't get the center MFD where you identify the targeted craft,
Try setting "dynamic_cockpit_enabled = 0" in "Dynamic_Cockpit.cfg" to disable DC, that should bring back all the HUDs.
Thanks a lot for the reply blue_max!

I didn't wanted to do it for all cockpits as so far the others are working fine, but I found in the previous page about commenting the "erase_region" on the specific cockpits and that did it!

Do you know if this is an issue with the Y-Wing (and if so, if there is or will be a fix)? Or is it an isolated issue on my side?

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Post by blue_max » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:27 pm

St@rkiller wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:08 pm
Do you know if this is an issue with the Y-Wing (and if so, if there is or will be a fix)? Or is it an isolated issue on my side?
I'm not sure what was the issue. Can you post an image?

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Post by St@rkiller » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:38 pm

blue_max wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:27 pm
St@rkiller wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:08 pm
Do you know if this is an issue with the Y-Wing (and if so, if there is or will be a fix)? Or is it an isolated issue on my side?
I'm not sure what was the issue. Can you post an image?

The issue was that i don't get any information on the targeting (center display) computer and not getting the Middle MFD with the targeting information (If you look at the Y-Wing cockpit on the link below, the targeting computer seems to have information about the target, mine was empty, only shows the "brackets), so i couldn't identify or get any information on any ships.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12402&p=163072&hili ... it#p163072

Edit:

Attached is a screenshot of my targeting computer, I have a shuttle selected but it shows no information.
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Post by blue_max » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:52 pm

St@rkiller wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:38 pm
The issue was that i don't get any information on the targeting (center display) computer and not getting the Middle MFD with the targeting information
That may be a bug. Did the display disappear at some point, or it never worked? Can you send me the OPT of the Y-Wing cockpit to take a look at it? The texture names in the OPT may be different from the .DC file. You can check the names in the .DC file and compare them to the contents of the OPT file using XwaOptEditor.

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Post by St@rkiller » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:03 pm

The display doesn't works if I use the dynamic cockpits (If I switch to the default DDraw files.dll and .cfg from a backup, It works with the default cockpit).

I don't have a YwingCockpit.opt file, but have a YwingBCockpit.opt, is it the same?

Thanks again!

Edit:

Sorry, was looking at the wrong folder, here is the file.


Edit 2:

I found the problem! I was missing the YwingCockpit.ac file :kopfwand:

It is working now!!!!! Colors could be better like the X-Wing (the brackets are kind of "brownish" and the text is light blue which makes it hard to read against the yellow background) but at least is there!!!!!!

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Post by blue_max » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:05 pm

St@rkiller wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:03 pm
It is working now!!!!! Colors could be better like the X-Wing
I'm glad it's working for you now. You can change the background color. Open the "YwingCockpit.dc" file and find the line that reads something like:

"uv_coords = TARGETING_COMPUTER_SRC, 0,128, 256,0; 0x004400"

Change the last number to 0x0:

"uv_coords = TARGETING_COMPUTER_SRC, 0,128, 256,0; 0x0"

Don't touch any of the other numbers and save the file. Reload the mission and test.

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Post by St@rkiller » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:00 pm

blue_max wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:05 pm
St@rkiller wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:03 pm
It is working now!!!!! Colors could be better like the X-Wing
I'm glad it's working for you now. You can change the background color. Open the "YwingCockpit.dc" file and find the line that reads something like:

"uv_coords = TARGETING_COMPUTER_SRC, 0,128, 256,0; 0x004400"

Change the last number to 0x0:

"uv_coords = TARGETING_COMPUTER_SRC, 0,128, 256,0; 0x0"

Don't touch any of the other numbers and save the file. Reload the mission and test.

Awesome! It works! I also tried 0x000040 and looks great!

Thank you very much!

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Post by darklord » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:03 am

Got to say I'm loving these WIP dynamic cockpits! Way to bring classic X-Wing/Tie Fighter to XWA.

That said, could we put all these patches in a single thread on the first post? Preferably a sticky? It took me quite awhile to find the latest versions of all the work being done.

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Post by Will T » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:08 pm

darklord wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:03 am
Got to say I'm loving these WIP dynamic cockpits! Way to bring classic X-Wing/Tie Fighter to XWA.

That said, could we put all these patches in a single thread on the first post? Preferably a sticky? It took me quite awhile to find the latest versions of all the work being done.
Yeah, with so many things in the pipeline and with it all taking the form of .dll and .cfg files, it's really hard to keep track of what the correct and compatible versions are of things unless you read through a dozen threads.

That said, I'm sure the guys are working on consolidating this into a future, single XWAU installer and I'm happy to wait for that.

I see the current iterations of all these nifty features as teasers for those willing to keep up with them, and while I've experimented with some of them I don't feel the need to keep up with every version and bug fix just yet.


An installer would also, theoretically, make it easier to pick the right config options with regards to things like VR.
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Post by darklord » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:46 pm

True, it's not ready for primetime, but a something to coordinate everything would be helpful for everyone. Maybe a github project?

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Post by Griffin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:22 pm

DTM wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:35 pm
It is not easy to realize how much XWA has changed over the years. This comparative video can give us a precise idea of all the improvements. Some of the things you see are an anticipation of what will be available in a very short time. Good vision!

https://youtu.be/9BBFVMD-PrU
Great video! I didn't realize how much had changed :shock:

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