Trouble with an AL mod I'm making


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#1 Patupi

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:29 PM

After a long time away from Afterlight I've got back into it and decided to do my own mod for it. I've done little single weapon and char mods before and other minor things but never a full mod.

While I was making it I did test what I was putting in piece by piece, but I didn't go far into the game each time. Mostly just using the tutorial with Gene to test damage effects etc, or looking around the base screen to test the stats were going in correctly. When v0.1 was ready I finally set up to play test it... and the storage screen crashes the game! I guess I just never went into the storage screen earlier on.

My mod started out by revamping and rebalancing the lasers in the game (pretty much all of them) but has expanded to include adding damage types, rebalancing resistances for all units (mainly to projectile and laser, some minor changes, a few major ones), adding a few chars with scientist or technician abilities (Ute of course  :clapping:  ), giving most of the alien allies base science, two new research topics and adding about 12 new ammo clips for various weapons. I've gone through what I've changed with a fine tooth comb and haven't found any typos, accidentally deleted start or end blocks or quotes etc. I've added everything to the loc pack, entities, everything SEEMS to work, except for the storage page. I wondered if Edward Barker's char or Pack entry was messed up, but I can't see anything wrong!

I pretty much started this one cold, not looking up anyone else's mod for assistance... except when the damage types wouldn't work. I admit I did look up Shadow's Rebalance mod to see how he got them to work. Who'd have thought new names STRs wouldn't work with that? Weird! I'm pretty sure I got rid of any  old mod stuff (including uninstalling AMM ) so that shouldn't be interfering.

I've included a link to my current working Lasermod (have to change the name now it includes other stuff) and wondered if there was anyone still here that has any idea why this might not be working? I know the activity here is down to virtually nothing (at least for AL) but hope someone still frequents the site.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Test of my mod:Lasermod V0.1

#2 yeni

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:57 PM

I suspect that you know more about modding AL than I do, but from where it crashes, one thing to investigate might be how the weapon addon slots are set up, as that's handled on the storage screen?

#3 Patupi

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:53 PM

View Postyeni, on 30th January 2012, 7:57pm, said:

I suspect that you know more about modding AL than I do, but from where it crashes, one thing to investigate might be how the weapon addon slots are set up, as that's handled on the storage screen?
Hmm, I don't recall messing with add on slots. I wanted to to enable some power switching to enable the archeological laser to have a 'power up' add on to give a special function to make normal pulse laser shots but never got around to doing any of that. Also was thinking of adding a 'focussing' add on to make all lasers slightly longer ranged. Basically a barrel add on. The main advantage of reticulan lasers in this mod is they are long ranged (yup, I know Shadow did that before. I was trying to think of some variance to make it a different advantage and nothing really struck me. Plus given how lasers are in the real world it makes sense for them to be accurate and longer ranged than projectile weapons generally)

I'll double check my code. It's possible I started with an old mod that DID alter the ad-ons... but I'm pretty sure I started by copying from the game date file this time around. I wanted to make sure it was from a blank slate

#4 Patupi

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:48 PM

OK, can't seem to find any add-on slot trouble (unless I'm missing something) so I'll keep looking for what the trouble might be with this.

I know this is just a test version, not even a beta, but I figure I might as well list what it does.

1st, no model or icon changes at all. All I've done is text file changes so far. I've tried messing with icons and models before and not had much luck (admittedly I only tried putting in a model of mine once, a long time ago).

1- 2 new damage types: Laser Beam, and Armor piercing.

    Laser Beam is the non armor piercing version of normal laser (which is considered pulse laser, though I don't think I can change the name of the basic laser type damage). Laser and laser beam is now a little longer ranged than other dam types, laser beam is a little more accurate, does a little more damage overall in lots of little packets. Basically does a handfull of points of damage but rapid fire. (I'd like to get a beam visual effect that lasts a hair longer so they merge together and similar for a 'bzz' style sound effect that merges into the next shot, thus giving it a 'beam' feel rather than lots of individual shots. But that's for another time if I ever figure that out. I may end up going for the plasma beam FX eventually, though I'd prefer something more like a needle thin laser graphically)
    I altered the damage resistance of enemies a bit vs lasers (both laser and laser beam) and both Matriarchs and robots are not as vulnerable to them as before. They still will hurt them, and the inherent high accuracy of lasers means they still are good vs these, but with good marksmen it might be better to go for AP bullets or something. As I said, lasers are the AP versions of beam lasers in this, so reticulan lasers and human pulse lasers are better vs heavier foes (if lasers affect them) and beam lasers are better against weaker, unarmored enemies.

    Armor piercing projectile damage is a little more extreme than I've seen before, basically normal projectile damage is good vs unarmored targets (beastmen, shaman etc) and armor piercing is good damage vs heavily armored targets (rollers, matriarchs etc... though accuracy vs matriarchs is still low... they dodge bullets :clapping: ) Armor piercing damage tends to blow through unarmored targets and do very low damage. You can't just switch to AP bullets late game to deal with everyone! Martians too are particularly immune to AP rounds, more so than normal projectile damage.
    Also, I replaced the existing High damage bullets with AP bullets (could this be a problem with the mod? Hmm, maybe I can't alter the existing ammo type? I might try disallowing the high damage bullets, but leaving them as normal, then adding AP bullets separately)

    I altered the long range bullets (for all guns that use them) to work over a longer range, be slightly more accurate, but do much less damage than normal. I think this should open up a bit more strategic options, though I might have to reduce the damage more to balance it out later (right now it's at about 60% normal)

2- Changed quite a few existing weapons:
    Scientific laser now does laser beam damage and I've put in an option for 'laser autofire' mode which just cools down quicker between bursts. I was hoping to add in the add-on slot for the cooler on the scientific laser later.
    Laser rifle comes earlier and does laser beam damage only (to begin with. I'm hoping to add an add on to make it use the 'ret power shot' mode to fire normal pulse lasers). It doesn't use crystals to build it like the laser cannon.
    Laser cannon has laser beam in it's 'laser autofire' mode, but other wise is similar to normal. I have adjusted the energy consumption vs energy in batteries so when  it uses a battery up it actually is used completely. I've had too many games where I kept glancing in my inventory and thought I had tons of ammo... but they all had one shot left! Frustrating, and pretty pointless.
    All the old earth guns now can have both long range and AP rounds. An early research topic allows you to build ammo for these (first just normal ammo, advanced firearms gives the others), not building the guns themselves, but this leads to the normal 'firearms' topic. I'm considering allowing them to all to have a few more add ons too, though not all three. You need some other reason to make the weapons you make later be more adaptable than the old ones.
    I removed the prerequisites of 'martian language' and 'magnetron' from EM handling and plasma handling (but not from EM theory and Plasma theory), meaning you can USE these weapons earlier, but still not research any human designed weapons etc. I also took out the Plasma handling skill from the plasma throw (flamethrower) mode of the martian plasma cannon so anyone can use it. I also made plasma martian weapons more effective. Beware Matriarchs with these now! The flamethrower is slightly longer ranged and a bit quicker and the plasma shot (big flashy glowing ball thingy) travel faster and quicker to ready. This is true for ALL plasma weapons, including robot ones :P
    I added advanced robot battery that has twice as much storage as before (and costs more to make) coming in at the same time as adv battery. Also added in AP and Long ranged robot bullets.
    All batteries have ten times as many 'rounds' in them, but normal shots cost more 'rounds' too. Only beam lasers cost 1 or 2 shots every time they fire. They fire so rapidly it was neccessary or beam lasers would use one battery every few seconds!
    (Edit: Almost forgot!) Altered the shotgun and the beastmen cannon. The Beast cannon is now more damaging, but closer ranged, plus uses 3 rounds, not 2. Now it uses up the ammo mag completely. The shotgun now has three ammo types.
     Shell: a slug that does normal damage but NOT shotgun style. It's a bullet, there is a chance for it too miss! It doesn't just go downn in damage at range. Modes aimed and snap only.
     Buckshot: has scattershot mode only, but has increased range, but reduced damage. It only uses one shot when fired but the mag hold 6 shots rather than the 8 in the shell mag.
     Flechette: basically scattershot but it does AP damage, fires multiple small tungsten, spin stabilized darts. Just like AP ammo it's good vs armored foes, not so good vs unarmored. This is slightly more accurate than buckshot

I think that covers it for the moment. I hope I can get this thing working right soon! Later I hope to add in some mods to one or two armor types and (if I can figure it out) change some of the graphics, at least the icons on the ammos. Right now the FN-2000 and others have ammo that looks identical if it's normal, AP or LR. I'd also like to add in some more high energy weapons late game, like a rapid fire Pulse laser (definitely be a heavy weapon) and perhaps some form of particle weapon... not sure about that, it would have to have some kind of damage varience over different targets that would differentiate it from other types of damage. Otherwise it'd be a 'big laser' in all but name. Anti matter particle gun? Meson gun that skips objects and walls etc? (though I don't think the 'shoot through walls' mode works for any weapon but psi, and that's hard limited to the ret Psiweapon. :D ) One thing I thought of was some  form of autocannon, basically a heavy calibre machine gun with varying munition. Not sure if you can get explosions to work with direct fire weapons though. Looking through the radius weapon layouts it doesn't look good. Can't seem to see a way to project the 'explosion' away from the firer and onto the target unless it's a missile. ;)

#5 Patupi

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:58 PM

OK, I've tried taking out the 'AP damage ammo' replacing the 'large damage ammo' and put the AP one in  a new equip item... didn't work. Still crashed on the storage screen. Managed to see the error message. It says 'invalid vector <T> subscript' Not sure if that means anything. I think I'm going to try taking out the effect change I made to make the flamethrower mode of the plasma cannon not need plasma skill. Maybe you can't mess with that?

#6 yeni

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:17 AM

Wow, you're a lot more ambitious than anything I've done with AL modding - my limits are more like changing the characters (yes, Yet Another Character Mod, lol)  and changing the starting base layout to sort the buildings how i want them in the People screen.

What I was thinking was more that you're adding things similar to what Shadowarrior had added in his rebalance mod, and I remember some of his discussion in threads here and there about difficulties and limitations he's faced - he did successfully add new weapons and new types of weapon slots in there, but I don't understand all the details.  I know it would be a lot of reading, but you might find some good tips reading thru the forum threads about his mods, both here and (mostly) on the official AL forums.

#7 Patupi

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:43 AM

A long time ago I did go through a lot of that, but I think I'd better go back through it. I've done a lot of simple mods before, changing the odd weapon, character mods (of course, most of the time I played the game I made most of the soldiers I wanted to play with have science or tech too :clapping: ), tried a little model interjection... but failed at that. I managed to partially get an icon in once but right now I don't have a paint package that can handle layers so I don't think I can import the TIFFs successfully and convert them back afterwards. If I get paintshop pro dug out again (I know I have an old disk somewhere) I might try that once again.

Right now I'm kind of scratching my head as to why this is  doing this. I'm betting it's just a typo. I checked things incrementally but I just didn't go to the storage page... Well, I rarely do when I play the game *shrugs* So this trouble could have cropped up at any time. I'm seriously considering trying to paste in all my changes into fresh files from the gamedata folder and checking it one at a time. Recently I've been a little overworked (6 day weeks, 10hr days :P ) but finally that's over and I do have a little time to myself and I'm going to try to get back into this. It's just disheartening not to have a clue where this might be coming from.

As an aside I'm considering an addition to the robots if I can do it. Not sure yet. I'm going to try to add some capabilities to one of the turrets that will apply mods to the stats of the bot. Increase HPs, decrease speed, increase chance for an enemy to hit it etc. Basically to represent a larger robot. I think the 4 weapon chassis should be bigger to allow all those guns so something like that seems right to me. Ages ago I tried to get a 'auto medic' unit for a robot. It worked, but only if I disallow the reticulan psi damage from their second level of... oh, what is that science skill of theirs? I forget the name now. Anyway, I hacked the damage rating for that to be negative, not possitive, changed what it affects, and voila, a heal field. But it works the same for reticulans as the robot with the ability so I'd have to cancel it for them or just rename it as "Psi healing"

#8 yeni

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:08 AM

As for the character mod, what I do is try to apply some common sense changes - some helpful, some not so much  - one thing I do is make all the humans be not pure soldiers, the reasoning being "you're in command of a base with 5000 (or is it 50.000 ? i've forgot which) humans at the base, most in cold sleep. Your task (up until the point of the tutorial mission) has been solely scientific and technical, not military, so there is no need to keep dedicated military troops as non-popsicles, therefore everyone awake will have science or technical levels"  (but no more than 10 max soldiers available, kids included - so less room for error and more likelihood of using the alien soldiers).  For similar reasons, I have all the kids available on day 1, all soldiers are reduced to level 1 with no trainings, and *evil grin* soldier stats are reduced further, so it's impossible to max all stats - plan your stats carefully for your role!

For the robots, I don't know if the mods you're envisioning are possible, again going on memories of shadowarrior's mod - the HP for bots seems to be linked to the base chassis, of which there's only 1 type of human bot in the game, so changing HP might have to be emulated by raising armor ratings instead - or maybe it's possible to add a 'heavy wheeled chassis' that's required for the heavy turrets? That might be complicated, as i think I've seen bots in some of the race files as well.... :P

A healing bot is a rather interesting idea, but what about a bot repair kit for a bot?  That could allow people to run all-bot teams - and there's the idea I've had on a back burner for a while, to look into a mod witht he ability to make bots on day 1, but you only get about 3-4 human soldiers (as medics and bot repair crew, mainly) - for that, I see the best initial bot weapon as a weakened bot laser rifle, call it the bot science laser :clapping:

#9 Patupi

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 01:52 AM

It's been a while since I did that mod that made the automed bot, but I seem to remember I did  try making the 'damage' mechanical rather than organic and it did work. If I remember right it was an effect thus was always on. What I'd like would be some sort of weapon that you could turn on and off so it wouldn't run out of power, but I'm pretty sure that's impossible. What I was envisioning was linking it to a turret without a weapon (like the turtle) so it would limit it, or maybe have just one weapon slot. Unfortunately since changes to the style of damage would be to the effect you couldn't have both a medbot and a repair bot. You'd have to pick one or the other for that mod.

Hmm, what I was thinking of for HPs was to do something similar to a 'training regimen'. Is it possible to make a turret give the effect of a training skill/gear mod in the same way the power armour gave the drug boost add on to increase strength? I may have a look at that, giving a bot the equivalent of the hitpoints boost that troops get from health training. Like you said though, I too remember vaguely that Shadow said that the HPs of drones was linked to the base value. Here's hoping there is a way.

I usually do give most soldiers sci/tech add ons and make more dual sci and tech that aren't soldiers, but usually I do that when I do the martian assault etc making things much more difficult (especially vs the Matriarchs later on) with larger enemy groups, different groupings, usually getting a few 'leaders' of higher skill coming earlier etc.

#10 yeni

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 02:58 AM

View PostPatupi, on 16th February 2012, 8:52pm, said:

I usually do give most soldiers sci/tech add ons and make more dual sci and tech that aren't soldiers, but usually I do that when I do the martian assault etc making things much more difficult (especially vs the Matriarchs later on) with larger enemy groups, different groupings, usually getting a few 'leaders' of higher skill coming earlier etc.

I suspect that it won't work because for humans, there is the Constitution secondary stat, while the bots don't have a HP related secondary - though I could be wrong in how the drugs work.

yeah, I use the martian assault mod (yay for target rich environments, :clapping: ) and the advanced missions mod, unless I'm trying to play a straight vanilla game - though when i do use the AMM, i tweak its settings file  (i make the capture/assassinate targets a lot less chicken, and i turn off the allied reinforcements, as i've had pathing problems with them on the map

(edited - messed up the quoting)

#11 Patupi

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:55 PM

OK, I finally got back into working on this, but it just wouldn't work. Hence I've had to start from scratch again! This time I'm saving my work as I go and it seems to be working.

Right now just lasers and old Earth weapon ammo tech is back up, plus I added in a regenerative life support suit that continuously heals the wearer. The only thing I couldn't get right with that suit is that it shows the wearer 'on fire' the whole time. Seems I can't change the base fire damage's icon and that's what I used to implement the regeneration. It is a different 'effect' from fire or acid so those should stack OK, but the icon won't show anything but one fire I think. Haven't tested regen stacked with fire or acid yet.

In this version, now renamed 'Human Tech Rebuild', all modified or new equipment is available at the start to test it out. Unbalanced but it helps in testing. Also the new suit does not require Suit Wearing Major to operate as it will eventually. The suit is as tough as life support armor (slightly more so) but vulnerable to EM damage.

Let me know how this works for you. This version has no alteration to characters or modification to 'subrace' that allows Reticulans and Expedition to use each other's suits. Usually I add a version of both to any mod I run myself, but for public use I think a more generic setup is valid.

What I hope to implement soon:
  • Two ballistic robot weapons, single shot 'rifle', and machine gun
  • AP ammunition (again) for all human guns. The AP damage type is already implemented, just no ammo uses it yet.
  • Altering the Martian plasma cannons back the way I had them in the old version.
One thing I'd like is any help getting icons out of the game, or models or icons back into the game successfully. I can make models but have had very little luck getting them in game. I can get a model in, but it looses it's location and shows out of true relative to the hand plus I can't get the UV map to work correctly. I'm using Milkshape 3D and I think it has issues with this. Also I can't seem to load the icon files for items to alter and reload back into the game. I've tried renaming the existing file to different formats, using the bin-text converter, but nothing will load into any art package I can find.


HTRmod:ftp://gpenman@www.clayspaces.com/public_html/videogames/HTRmod-0.1.zip




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