Heart of Darkness for Nova Public Beta

Beta Testers Wanted

Hi everyone.

I posted this on the Nova boards, but also wanted to make sure everyone here saw it too. Some of you may remember me from long ago. I used to be fairly active on these boards and created the Unity plugins. Despite disappearing without a trace, I did not die, but rather got swept up in the busy life of a college student. Without any free time, my projects and ideas became de facto vaporware.

However, I was recently home and going through some files on my old computer when I came across my conversion of Tim Isles' EVC plugin Heart of Darkness. To my surprise, the plugin was almost complete and I decided to try and finish it. After a few weeks of intermittent work (and a rare lull in my schedule), I feel the plugin is ready for public beta testing.

While there are still a few things left to do, the plugin is fully playable (I've played through both mission strings myself). There have been many changes that take advantage of the Nova engine. While these changes are detailed fully in the readme (which I IMPLORE you to read before attempting to play), the most notable are:

- Ship variants for all ships
- Upgradeable escorts
- Particle trails for projectile weapons
- Government borders and news reports
- New outfits and more

Before You Try to Install

This plugin requires you to install the EV Nova Classic port before attempting to install Heart of Darkness. The EVC port can be downloaded here for mac.

And here for windows.

Please note there are in fact two Nova ports of EV Classic available on the Ambrosia Website. One (I believe) is the official port made by the ATMOS people. This is the one I have provided the links to. The other one is an unofficial port. I have tested the plugin briefly using this version. The game does load. However, there are several bugs immediately noticeable. Therefore, I do NOT recommend using this version of the EVC port, as the plugin will not play properly.

AFTER you have installed the EVC port (make sure you backup your original EVN data files somewhere!), the plugin can be found here.

Please read the readme before attempting to play. You may have to empty your pilots folder in order to get the game to load properly. Also, this plugin is almost definitely not compatible with any others.

My only request is that, if you find a bug, that you bring it to my attention. You can e-mail (see the readme) me or post it here.

I hope you all enjoy the plugin.

- Agee (MacDevil)

This post has been edited by MacDevil : 27 October 2007 - 10:16 AM

Wow! It's the Unity guy! I'll be sure try it. 🙂

I love you :wub:

I keep getting a "Can not unstuff - may be damaged" type error.

Yeah -- When I download, I get a .sitx.txt file. Opening it with Stuffit Expander 10.0.0 gives "error #17537," regardless of whether I remove the .txt from the file name manually.

MacDeveil, I recommend Plugin Archiver.

@dr--trowel, on Oct 26 2007, 03:14 PM, said in Heart of Darkness for Nova Public Beta:

Yeah -- When I download, I get a .sitx.txt file. Opening it with Stuffit Expander 10.0.0 gives "error #17537," regardless of whether I remove the .txt from the file name manually.

MacDeveil, I recommend Plugin Archiver.

Taken care of, see post below.

This post has been edited by MacDevil : 27 October 2007 - 10:15 AM

I've uploaded a new version of the archive, which Tim has confirmed decompresses properly. You can download it here.

I've also updated the link in my original post. Both should work fine.

Download now works. Thanks!

Very interesting as we discussed this many years ago.

Hmm, I seem to have problems playing it, when it finishes loading up the green bar, Nova force quits itself out.

@coraxus, on Oct 29 2007, 10:55 PM, said in Heart of Darkness for Nova Public Beta:

Hmm, I seem to have problems playing it, when it finishes loading up the green bar, Nova force quits itself out.

Off the top of my head, here are two things you might check:

  1. That you're using the correct EVC port
  2. That you don't have any EVN pilot files in your pilots folder. This has caused the game to crash on me before as the pilot files will often refer to resources that do not exist in the EVC port or in the plugin. Try emptying your pilots folder and see if that fixes it.

If neither of these helps, could you post a debug log?

I did a fresh install of the EVC port and things are working correctly now.

Problems I noticed, apart from a few minor spelling errors:

  • The "Upgraded" shuttle only has 1 jump's worth of fuel.

  • Would it be possible to improve the resolution of the graphics?

  • Are all the energy weapons supposed to have such a long range?

  • A number of the missions don't show the little green marker for the destination system. Was that supposed to happen?

I think that's everything. Despite those little quirks, I liked it.

I noticed that the particle turrets on my Saa'rel Surveyor are blind to the rear. I don't mind this, but I'm curious: is the Surveyor blind to the rear, or is it the turrets?

@starsword, on Nov 3 2007, 11:25 AM, said in Heart of Darkness for Nova Public Beta:

Problems I noticed, apart from a few minor spelling errors:

  • The "Upgraded" shuttle only has 1 jump's worth of fuel.

  • Would it be possible to improve the resolution of the graphics?

  • Are all the energy weapons supposed to have such a long range?

  • A number of the missions don't show the little green marker for the destination system. Was that supposed to happen?

I think that's everything. Despite those little quirks, I liked it.

I noticed that the particle turrets on my Saa'rel Surveyor are blind to the rear. I don't mind this, but I'm curious: is the Surveyor blind to the rear, or is it the turrets?

  • Typo. Taken care of.

  • Unfortunately, no. The graphics are the ones from the original plugin. Improving the resolution would require someone to completely rerender all the ships, which I do not have the knowledge or the capability to do. If someone is interested though, let me know.

  • I don't recall ever changing the range stats from the original plugin. But I will check on that.

  • All missions were copied directly from the original plugin. If they are missing the green arrow, it was likely done on purpose.

Also, there are many ships, including the Surveyor, that have blind spots in the rear. This was done on purpose.

Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the plugin.

I'm running through the DESC resources and editing grammar and spelling. I'm also adding gender-activated text (i.e. {G "Mr." "Ms.}) where appropriate.

I'll upload the file and post a link when I'm done.

The other port you are referring to is probably Guy's, which is in a number of ways preferable to the official one, not the least of which being compatibility with plug-ins converted using SpacePort.

...which is actually exactly what I would recommend you do. Once I get some fixes in. I've been putting it off in order to suck at Starcraft for far too long. This topic has convinced me to get to work. Thanks!

nvm

This post has been edited by Guy : 11 November 2007 - 03:51 AM

@orcaloverbri9, on Nov 10 2007, 06:13 PM, said in Heart of Darkness for Nova Public Beta:

The other port you are referring to is probably Guy's, which is in a number of ways preferable to the official one, not the least of which being compatibility with plug-ins converted using SpacePort.

...which is actually exactly what I would recommend you do. Once I get some fixes in. I've been putting it off in order to suck at Starcraft for far too long. This topic has convinced me to get to work. Thanks!

I did use SpacePort for many of the resource conversions, though I had to make many changes by hand. Clearly, there seems to be a consensus that the other port would work better. I'll look into it and it it isn't too difficult I will switch over to that one. However, I still don't feel it really matters which port is used, as so many resource are overridden by the plugin that it really should be a non-issue.

I know that the roids are an issue. Are there any others out there that I should be on the look out for that might cause a compatibility problem?

@orcaloverbri9, on Nov 10 2007, 06:13 PM, said in Heart of Darkness for Nova Public Beta:

The other port you are referring to is probably Guy's, which is in a number of ways preferable to the official one, not the least of which being compatibility with plug-ins converted using SpacePort.

...which is actually exactly what I would recommend you do. Once I get some fixes in. I've been putting it off in order to suck at Starcraft for far too long. This topic has convinced me to get to work. Thanks!

I've done some testing. After copying over the roid resources from the other port so that the systems load properly, the plugin played almost exactly the same with the other port. The only difference that was immediately noticeable was that my ship seemed to enter hyperspace faster. While it looks like it will be very easy to make the plugin compatible with both ports (since it changes so many resources), could someone please tell me exactly why Guy's port is preferable? I have noticed almost no difference between the two aside from a few cosmetic differences.

Okay, big problem. The map now covers the entire map dialog box...
Attached File map_bug.JPG (54.92K)
Number of downloads: 52
... meaning I can't see the lists of stellars, commodities, nav hazards, or services. The escort dialog box is similarly glitched:
Attached File esc_hail_bug.JPG (41.42K)
Number of downloads: 49
What the heck happened?

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