Under the Bonnet | Patch 11

Written by Parias on . Posted in Scattered Chatter, Under The Bonnet

With each new build of the hangar module, I’ve been keeping my own dumps of the game folders, running diffs against the varying versions, and making internal notes just out of nerdy curiosity for what’s actually being changed under the hood. I figured I’d start sharing some of these results, as others might find this interesting too. I plan to make this a recurring thing with each new patch until it becomes impractical.

This won’t cover each and every single byte difference between builds – just major points of interest that I find in doing diff-comparisons; in particular things which might not have been directly mentioned in the patch notes. There’s also a LOT to manually go through between builds, so it’s likely that I’ll miss some things.

This will generally be a bit of a disorganized mess as it’s more or less a brain dump as I go, but I’ll try to keep things as neat as I can. Bear in mind as well that 99% of this document will be my own conjecture – I may (and likely will) be wrong about my interpretation of a lot of things.

Summary:

(As per \CitizenClient\Client_Release.id)

Wow! Each patch is getting more and more complex in the changes that are being made, which represents good, clear evidence of the progress the development team is making in turning the base hangar module content into an actual game. One immediately noteworthy thing is the insane jump in build numbers (from 44 to 5513) – although they already reset this count once way back on the October 22nd update, so this may be ultimately meaningless.

Unfortunately I was out of town for the release of this latest patch, which is why this post is so late. I’m going to only gloss over some of the bigger things that parties like AnythingFPS have already uncovered (such as the Freelancer variants) and focus instead on some of the other less obvious tidbits I’ve found.

Let’s get started!

Patch Breakdown

ANIMATIONS / CHARACTER MODELS

  • The Cutlass of course had a whole bunch of animations added, and is actually “usable” now. On top of the obvious benefits for machinima artists (yay, landing gear anims!), there’s quite a few other things that just look neat. I’ve compiled a little animations dump that can be found here for anybody who hasn’t already seen them: http://youtu.be/Hcg43EcXsu8

Note that there are some referenced anims for “drive_pitch_up”, “drive_pitch_down”, etc which I assume are supposed to rotate the rear thrusters up and down – however said animations haven’t actually been included with this hangar module build yet.

  • This is new in \Animations.pak\Animations\Mannequin\ADB\hitDeathTags.xml – I think this is supposed to reflect some of the work towards zero-G combat:
<!-- CIG BEGIN - ernst @ IllFonic : Added zero gravity stance support -->
<Tag name="STANCE_ZEROG"/>
<!-- CIG END -->
  • Evidence of a new “comm relay” space object can be found in Animations.pak\Animations\Objects\comm_relay. This includes some animations called “relay_brackets_close” (and open) and “relay_spin”. I haven’t found a correlating model yet, though there is a definition for it (Scripts.pak\Scripts\Entities\Vehicles\Implementations\Xml\RSI_Comm_Relay.xml) with some basic (probably placeholder) stats and details.
  • A bunch of animations have been added / moved for something called “WeaponsCannonMicrowave”, “WeaponsCombustionPistol”, and “WeaponsRifleLaserAssault”. Further hints at upcoming FPS gameplay, perhaps. Some aspects of these existed in previous builds, but now have even more animation content added to them. Elsewhere in ObjectsWeapons.pak\Objects\Weapons, there’s also a new object called “IL_Knife_Combat”.

SCRIPTS / GAME DATA

  • Here’s a cool-sounding file! GameData.pak\Libs\GameTokens\S42_Mission_01.xml . This doesn’t actually contain anything meaningful in terms of a working S42 mission structure yet, but has some preliminary lines for setting up AI waves and mission objectives.
  • There are a couple of new entities which probably reflect the planned autopilot / navigation gameplay elements: GameData.pak\Entities\AutopilotZone.ent and NavBounds.ent. These don’t have much of interest in them yet though.
  • There’s also a cool-sounding new map layer file: GameData.pak\GameLayers\Kythera\Maneuvers.lyr (this is significant because normally this houses the files for setting up the three hangar types – Discount, Business, and Deluxe, and has never had new stuff added to it before now). The contents show a bunch of spawned “NavSpline” objects named “Corkscrew”, “Stall”, “Sidewinder”, and so forth. These seem as if they relate to some kind of testbed map (perhaps to test AI driven / independent ship maneuvers), but trying to force it into the current hangar module build just gives you a pitch-black space map with all of your hangar objects crammed together around the spawn point. I don’t think there’s anything usable we can experiment with in this new map layer at this time.
  • People still irrationally thinking that CIG isn’t going to properly cater to the joystick crowd should take a look in GameData.pak\Libs\Config\joystick and take note of the new files in there. Also, defaultProfile.xml in the Config folder has a few interesting new lines – there’s a new “mobiglas” action bound to “p”, and references to inputs for a new “gforce_tuning_mode” action map.
  • Initial work on cockpit-specific audio is evident in Scripts.pak\Scripts\Sounds\CockpitResponses.xml:
CockpitResponses.xml Determines all of the possible responses that the cockpit audio system, "Bitching Betty" can produce based on various inputs.
The idea here is that a "concept" message is sent based on one of several types defined in code. Responses have a concept associated with them as well as a series of optional rules.
If a response is requested, all responses with the associated concept are checked and the most appropriate one is selected.

There are references to dialogue items for “Dlg_BB_shields_25pc_right” or “50pc_left” (for example), as well as “ship_overheating”, “scanners_scanning”, “autopilot_engaged”, and so forth. You can see further evidence of bitching betty / general dialogue work in English.pak\Dialog.

  • There’s actually a ton of other updated dialog examples in English.pak\Dialog too – I’m pretty sure most of this is still placeholder / test stuff (the developers commented on this previously), but it’s kinda fascinating to read through. Some of it sounds like it will actually stick (like the contents of Dlg_A1677F56.xml).
  • Academic note: The multiplayer map referenced in Engine.pak\Config\autoexec-server.cfg changed again – instead of “DogFight_MP002”, it’s now “DogFight_V1”.

SHIP / WEAPON / OTHER OBJECTS

  • There are a whole CRAPLOAD of new static models in ObjectsBrushPlanet.pak. In particular, fans of the asteroid hangar will want to check out \Objects\brush\planet\uee\kits\hangar_asteroid_pirate_kit_master, which has example models for hangar doors, cargo containers, random support struts and beams, and so much more! Many are of course still untextured – I’d post a screenshot, but lining all these assets up into a single map would take forever. If you’re curious, I recommend copying over the corresponding .pak into the free Cryengine editor and browsing through using the built-in character editor. It’s well worth the look!
  • We have a new helmet model! It’s in ObjectsCharacters.pak\Objects\Characters\Human\Male\Helmets\UEE_Marine_Helmet. Here’s how it looks next to our intrepid hero (with broken glass textures): http://i.imgur.com/x7pwP0d.png
  • There’s a new particle library called “Asteroid_Hangar.xml” in GameData.pak\Libs\Particles. Nothing close to an actual map (just some generic Smoke, Fog, and Dust items), but interesting just the same. There’s also another particle library called “JakeLibrary” with a bunch of new asteroid dust / debris particles.
  • GameData.pak\Prefabs has a BUNCH of interesting new things in it – “hangar.xml” has a “t1.asteroid_hangar_t1_facade_a” prefab, and there are a few other new files like “SQ42_Asteroids.xml”, “Lawless_Mining.xml”, “stanton.xml”, and so on.
  • The infamous “AdvancedUI_Status_Screen_by_z_design.dds” got removed from the Cutlass texture files – probably both because it wasn’t needed anymore (now that the Cutlass has been developed further), and because it caused so much silly controversy despite being a placeholder item.
  • For some reason, Scripts.pak\Scripts\Entities\Items\XML\Devices\Footlocker.xml’s “mass” value was changed from 400 to 60000.
  • There’s a new toy – Scripts.pak\Scripts\Entities\Items\XML\Spaceships\AIModule\RSI_DefaultTurretAIModule.xml . “TurretAIModule” probably fits into the option to make your turrets automated with an optional upgrade.

TL;DR / MEDIA COMPILATION SECTION

With each new build of the hangar module, Parias likes to run diffs against the varying versions, and make notes just out of nerdy curiosity for what’s actually being changed under the hood —  in particular things which might not have been directly mentioned in the patch notes.

99% of this document will be personal conjecture – Parias may (and likely will) be wrong on the interpretation of a lot of things.

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