Cool Nova Hacks

Round 'em up!

Hey all, it's been a while. 😛

I've been out of the Nova scene for nearly a year now, but after coming back and reading some of the cool stuff recently posted (visibly tracking turrets, especially), I recall always intending to make a page simply listing cool Nova hacks we developers have come up with, and I've decided it's about time I buckled down and did it. Now, the problem is, there has been a ton of cool stuff around, and I can't remember it all, and I'm certain there has been a lot of stuff that I've missed.

So, to sum it all up, if anyone has any links to any old topics creating any wicked engine hacks, or even vaguely remembers someone posting something sometime, mention it. Hopefully, someone else will have a link, or remember a little more. With a tad bit of work, we can probably even reconstruct any idea we remember but can't find, but odds are, this shiny new search feature will help out a ton.

First things first:

Working Hacks:

Ack! My post on negative inaccuracies. That post has some wrong information which I corrected in subsequent posts.

Also - weapons with negative inaccuracies don't seem to have the angled effect when used on AI ships. I haven't tested that very much, though, so I'm not sure. (edit) Nevermind, in at least some circumstances the effect does happen on AI ships. They don't much know how to use such weapons though.

This post has been edited by Weepul 884 : 11 February 2005 - 09:26 AM

There was also the way to make a fleet flee if it's flagship was destroyed. I think it was Eugene Chin that came up that too. Let me find ti.

Darth: Fleet Combat Trick

... Wow. Three mentions in as many posts? I know I'm not the only one thinking stuff up on this board.

What about Guy and his work into beams?

Weepul 884, on Feb 10 2005, 04:56 AM, said:

Ack! My post on negative inaccuracies. That post has some wrong information which I corrected in subsequent posts.

Also - weapons with negative inaccuracies don't seem to have the angled effect when used on AI ships. I haven't tested that very much, though, so I'm not sure. (edit) Nevermind, in at least some circumstances the effect does happen on AI ships. They don't much know how to use such weapons though.
View Post

Heh, yeah, it had the greatest concentration of knowledge of all of the posts, though, even if you had one or two inaccuracies.

Excellent work so far; now that it's been mentioned, I do recall when Eugene posting the Flagship trick, great. 😄 That negative-width beam was also quite cool.

(edit: also found Weepul's never-hit-nothin' trick, courtesy of Edward's post in "Making a gun pass over all ships?". Very cool.)

(edit2: Preventing ships from jumping using expanded min jump distances, 99 fuels, etc. link)

~ SP

This post has been edited by SpacePirate : 11 February 2005 - 09:16 PM

Did anything ever come of this topic?

Back in Time!

Basically trying to overflow the time, resulting in going back in time.

(edit: And this one? Random idea about inter-planetary combat, by orcaloverbri, about UE R&D's topic almost two years ago. As a note to orca, I seem to recall that planets can't have weapons, but stations can, which would be the source of the problem you had back then. Meh.

Also, the mrxak challenge was pretty interesting...

I've now dug back through page 10... if anyone wants to continue digging starting on page 11, feel free. :p)

~ SP

This post has been edited by SpacePirate : 11 February 2005 - 10:16 PM

How about the Multiple Ammo Types trick?

kauthor, on Feb 12 2005, 04:22 PM, said:

I remember a certain topic

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/forums/index.php...topic=20337&hl;=
View Post

Yep, that would be the angled shots and submunitions, however, using -180 in order to fire directly out to the sides. 😄

Great topic guy, I remember lots of people asking to do the same. 🙂

~ SP

Link for RANC.

This post has been edited by Guy : 12 February 2005 - 06:21 PM

SpacePirate, on Feb 10 2005, 06:15 AM, said:

Hey all, it's been a while. 😛

I've been out of the Nova scene for nearly a year now, but after coming back and reading some of the cool stuff recently posted (visibly tracking turrets, especially), I recall always intending to make a page simply listing cool Nova hacks we developers have come up with, and I've decided it's about time I buckled down and did it. Now, the problem is, there has been a ton of cool stuff around, and I can't remember it all, and I'm certain there has been a lot of stuff that I've missed.

So, to sum it all up, if anyone has any links to any old topics creating any wicked engine hacks, or even vaguely remembers someone posting something sometime, mention it. Hopefully, someone else will have a link, or remember a little more. With a tad bit of work, we can probably even reconstruct any idea we remember but can't find, but odds are, this shiny new search feature will help out a ton.

First things first:

Visibly Rotating Turrets. Proposed by Weep, realized by Edwards (new guy?!).
BORC counters, RANCs, and some of those other counters...
Cloak-Tracking Missiles, discovered by Eugene Chin. (old-boards link)
Angled Shots & Submunitions. Proposed by pipe, added by Matt, forgotten, remembered, awesome. If anyone still has Boyd's old Missiles plug, or my WeaponsTests plug, it'd be sweet if you could mail 'em to me.
Eugene Chin's BGM method, and my BGM method. If anyone has this file, that too would be sweet.

Anyways, I'm out for now... Let's hear 'em!
~ SP
View Post

**I wrote up the code for the Ship Hangar idea (I believe it was a mrxak challenge).. I'll have to see if I can dig it all up. It was incredibly cool, but very time-consuming to program and awfully clunky in terms of resource usage. Not practical, but still a decent effect.

_bomb

**

I was under the impression that Matt was the only one with rights to mess with the engine.

Bomb, on Feb 15 2005, 07:52 PM, said:

**I wrote up the code for the Ship Hangar idea (I believe it was a mrxak challenge).. I'll have to see if I can dig it all up. It was incredibly cool, but very time-consuming to program and awfully clunky in terms of resource usage. Not practical, but still a decent effect.

_bomb

**
View Post

Were you going about it the way that involved having a silent outfit for every ship and outfit? If you did, ouch...

erikthered, on Feb 16 2005, 12:56 AM, said:

I was under the impression that Matt was the only one with rights to mess with the engine.
View Post

It's not actually screwing with the engine, it's just taking advantage of some unintended quirks in the program. Basically it's taking the engine, screwing with it as much as we can through NovaTools (Or EVNew) and seeing what it can do that it wasn't supposed to do.

No actual changes to the source.

erikthered, on Feb 16 2005, 05:56 AM, said:

I was under the impression that Matt was the only one with rights to mess with the engine.
View Post

**I'm not sure where you got the impression that I (or any others) were messing with the actual source code for the engine- we're simply stretching the boundaries of traditional gameplay within the constraints of the game that Matt built. As Martin Turner and others proved with the EV and EVO game engines, there is plenty you can do that no one else has done with a little ingenuity- EVN is no different- just on a larger scale, given the myriad of improvements and upgrades.

_bomb
**

Requiem, on Feb 16 2005, 05:58 AM, said:

Were you going about it the way that involved having a silent outfit for every ship and outfit? If you did, ouch...
View Post

**That was my original idea- though I became quite convinced there was another and slightly less crude way to do it. Unfortunately due to life and such getting in the way, I never had the time to properly code and test my theory. (It involved invisible, auto-aborting missions) It would have worked, but I'm not entirely sure it would have been useful at all, or even any more efficient than the other way. The only benefit of my hypothetical system was that it saved outfit spots, but badly ate up mission resource spots.

Hell, maybe I'll give it a shot this weekend if I get some time, and if so, I'll start a new topic to discuss the whole idea and see if anyone can improve on it. I'm betting the outfits idea has a better chance of success, but I'm always convinced there is inevitably a better way to do things, and I'm going to at least try and see if that is true in this case.

_bomb

**

Well, my bitChanger utility is a kind of hack.

http://phair.csh.rit.../EV/bitChanger/

As far as I know, no one has found a use for it. If anyone is interested in using this, it would make me very happy for it to have a use.

From the developer's readme.txt:

The What and Why:
For years plug in developers have run into a serious impediment in making plugins; namely, there was a limitation on what pers resources the plugin maker could use if they did not want the player to have to create a new pilot file. If the plugin maker attempted to use a pers resource not present when the player's pilot file was first made, the pers added by the new plugin would never appear.

This is due to how the game engine is designed. When a player first makes a pilot file, the engine looks at all the data and plugin files. For each pers resource it finds, it sets a particlar data block to 1. For all, unactive pers resources, the corresponding data blocks are set to 0. Through the course of the game, perses can be killed by the player. When this happens, the data block in the pilot file corresponding to the pers just killed is set to 0.

Because of this binary data structure, the game engine lacks the ability to differentiate between dead peres, active perses, and perses not present in the data or plugin files. A possible solution to this would be to have 0 represent data not present, 1 meaning active and 2 meaning dead; such changes to the game engine should not be expected, however.

BitChanger allows plugin makers to provide a tool to help players activate pers resources in their already made pilot files. This allows the plugin makers to make chapters to an ongoing story without forcing the player to start a new pilot file and lose the ship and weapons they had previously worked so hard for. One example that immediately comes to mind is the ability to play the EVO plugin 'Beyond the Crescent' without starting a new pilot.

Or you could just make a whole bunch of pers' and have them never show up, then in succesive chapters convert the invisible pers' into new, alive ones. This isnt a retroactive solution, however.

I think this thread was more about hacks within the game engine, though.

I interpreted the term engine hack to mean messing with the code for the engine. Sorry.

I remember discussion about that, seant... however, I never actually saw it released. Your tool goes through the pilot file and activates all the pers's, right? If so, it could be incredibly useful as a standalone development tool, as everyone mentioned way back in the thread.

I'm glad this thread could provoke a bit of discussion around here... I'll be looking forward to such a topic when you get around to it, bomb. 🙂

~ SP

Log in to reply