Under the Bonnet | Patch 10

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)

The dev team has clearly been hard at work – we’ve gone up a huge number of builds this time (the last patch jumped only from build 12 to build 15 for the couple of months between releases). It’s hard to gauge anything definitive from this of course as their process for logging build numbers may be arbitrary – or maybe it reflects that they hit an unexpected number of bugs this time and had to do a large number of iterations before getting something usable.

Regardless, this was a pretty tremendous update. Under the hood, the development team has been continuing to leak bits and pieces of actual gameplay into the hangar module files – we’re now seeing new sound and item resources for shield effects for example, and even more code related to the AI back-end (and the spawning of ships therein). There are also some new models to play with, and an all-new hidden Hornet variant!

Read on for the specific details. Expect this to be a big one.

Patch Breakdown

ANIMATIONS / CHARACTER MODELS

  • Machinima artists take note: they’ve finally added some textures / model files for the space suit shown in the official footage (if not necessarily a corresponding head / helmet) – it’s available from \ObjectsCharacters.pak\Objects\Characters\Human\Male\Bodies\UEE_Pilot. I made a wacky picture.
  • They pulled out some of Henri’s spine! In \ObjectsCharacters.pak\Objects\Characters\Human\Male\Skeletons\BHLM_Skel.chrparams, “<CollidingBone name=”Spine” />” on line 213 was pulled out with the following put in it’s place:
        <!-- pjackson: Disable this until STAP is disabled. STAP puts the arms out like wings, making you too wide! -->
        <!-- <CollidingBone name="LeftArm" /> -->
        <!-- <CollidingBone name="RightArm" /> -->
  • With the Cutlass now in the hangar module in a usable, non-statue state (more or less), I’m not really going to bother going over \Scripts.pak\Scripts\Entities\Vehicles\Implementations\Xml\DRAK_Cutlass.xml since the entire file would have obviously been completely overhauled. Fans of the ship however may find interest in this commented section towards the bottom:
    <Animations>
        <!-- Disabled for now until Animation fix -->
        <!--<Action name="Landing_Gear" state="Deploy" />-->
        <!--<Action name="Entrance_Door" play="Close" />-->
    </Animations>    
    
  • During today’s livestream, Chris Roberts made some rather extensive mention of animation sets for “g-force” reactions that they were building into the game. A lot of these already existed in the hangar module files before, but now there are even more of them (i.e. \Animations\Characters\Human\Male\Ships\Cockpits\CockpitFighterH\3P). Might be useful for giving machinima that extra touch of flourish.

SCRIPTS / GAME DATA

  • MORE AI-CONTROLLED SHIP ADDITIONS! In the last build, they added some basic new entities for spawning waves of AI ships on different teams (Hornets) and making them… do things. Try as I might, I couldn’t find any way to trigger these spawns in the hangar module. The team has now added three new files to \GameData.pak\Libs\FlowgraphModules; SpawnAI.xml, SpawnedAI_GoToPlayer.xml, and WaitForAiDeath.xml.

It may still not be possible to actually do anything with these yet, but I intend to screw around with them until I find out!

  • With the addition of the shooting range, the hangar layer files in \GameData.pak\Gamelayers have obviously all been overhauled. Not too much of surprise here, but the additions to the layer files (particularly around the “Firing_Range” bits) might be of interest to those of us who have been looking into ways of manually expanding the hangar and spawning things into it by directly editing the map files (instead of replacing ship objects).
  • If you’ve been (irrationally) worried about CIG not building the game around hardcore HOTAS systems, worry no more! Take note that a new input definitions file has been added to \Gamedata.pak\Libs\Config: defaultProfile_X65_Pedals.xml. Neat!
  • A slight change to \Engine.pak\Config\autoexec-server.cfg (I missed the interesting existence of this previously): “map DogFight_MP001” became “map DogFight_MP002”. This is probably the current technical map name for the level used in the Dogfighting Module build.
  • A rather amusing change in \Scripts.pak\Scripts\Entities\Vehicles\VehiclePool.lua, starting on line 195:
    gVehicle.Event_Kill = function(self)
        -- If the vehicle isn't already dead, have it hit itself for 100k damage
        if (not self:IsDead()) then
            local pos = System.GetEntity(self.id):GetWorldPos();
            local typeId = g_gameRules.game:GetHitTypeId("event");
            self.vehicle:OnHit(self.id,self.id,100000,pos,0,typeId,0);
        end
    end
    

This is now:

    gVehicle.Event_Kill = function(self)
        -- If the vehicle isn't already dead, destroy it
        if (not self:IsDead()) then
            self.vehicle:Destroy();
        end
    end

SHIP / WEAPON / OTHER OBJECTS

  • Implementation / loadout files for a “Dogfight” variant of the Hornet is the hangar module files now! This is found in \Scripts.pak\Scripts\Entities\Vehicles\Implementations\Xml\ANVL_Hornet_Dogfight.xml, and is unique in that it has actively blinking navigation lights – even when just parked in your hangar.

Spawning it in the hangar and getting into it crashes the game, interestingly – and there’s a big white wall that blocks your view which is presumably a broken reference to the HUD that would normally appear. Here’s a walk-around video showing it off:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC8F01oP2Hw

  • As discussed during the Live Stream, they’ve been actively tweaking the Hornet’s movement speed for DFM balancing. We can see evidence of this in the hangar module files even though this doesn’t technically impact us at all yet; on line 1089 of \Scripts.pak\Entities\Vehicles\Implementations\Xml\ANVL_Hornet.xml, we can see “maxCruiseSpeed” was changed from 60 to 100.

There was also a weird change to the “Modification” section at the bottom – previously some references for the Super Hornet variant were set wrong (remember, all of the variants are referenced in this single file now):

   <Modification name="F7CM"> <!-- Super Hornet -->
       <Elems>
       <Elem idRef="idVehicleClass" name="displayname" value="Anvil Hornet F7CR"/>
       <Elem idRef="idMainPart" name="name" value="Anvil_Hornet_F7CR"/>
       <Elem idRef="idHullPartName" name="part" value="Anvil_Hornet_F7CR"/>
       <etc...>

These have now been properly set to F7CM.

  • Here’s something neat wasn’t present before: \TexturesCubemaps.pak\Textures\cubemaps\station_lawless_pyro_pyrovi_ruinstation\ . Right now this has a bunch of basic environmental probe textures which probably aren’t too interesting, but “station_lawless_pyro_pyrovi_ruinstation” sounds like a hint of a potentially cool piece of content that’s being worked on.

Most of the textures are too dark to see anything useful, but one of them looked neat:

http://i.imgur.com/sdNNJfp.png

  • Aside from the obvious addition of new weapon sounds (to complement the publicly-released weapons test platform), they’ve also been expanding the library of shield sound effects. “GODI_AllStopFR.fsb”, “shields.fdp”, and “shields.fev” can be found in \Sounds.pak\Sounds\shields.

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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