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Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010
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Author:  Draconisaurus [ Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Name: Draco Astreus
Position: Everything except what tatu & Nem do
Occupation: Artist, Writer, Mytholographer
Age: 22
Listening to: Johann Sebastian Bach Radio

An update from me on this. I have been off of TresCom and mostly off of messenger (and even stopped my exercises and other activities) for the past few weeks in an attempt to run JPDS into the ground and get my part in it finished. It's taken far more time than I anticipated. It is finally coming to the very final steps on my part as I recombine the sublevels into JPDS1... I almost got done with that but now the level has started becoming unstable after a certain point of mass-imports, even while the max object count is yet 20 thousand away or so. :? It's a pretty serious issue. The version of JPDS1 pre-split got over 50 thousand without this issue. I have a few theories in mind. One is that there might be an unknown limitation in the size or number of new meshes in the GRF. Nem's TL1, which nearly got to the Tres limit of 65+ thousand, did not have this issue when I reimported its contents into a blank level for him. I suspect that was because I was able to do the whole thing by selecting clone-series at a time and importing those alone. He was also using a lot fewer unique meshes in his level, mooost of the objects by far were clones. The way the sub-levels work, besides the basement which is fully constructed first, I import base objects (anything in the play area which uses submodels or magnets), and then "Mult" TPM files which are huge selections of objects all at once. It's rather a lot for GeomAdd to handle, but it was working fine until now. I also wonder if it is simply a matter of GeomAdd error. While importing the last fully successful sublevel, I found that importing the exact same objects in the same order would crash the game in the way I had been doing, and would work fine if I imported very small groups at a time.

Anyway it's gotten to the point where I can't even import a single pteranodon without a crash - which sometimes happens after walking around for a few moments. Just more blah. I tried backing up a few sublevels and doing things in a different order, but it just came back to this. The next thing I'm going to try is importing the "base" files from all the sublevels FIRST, now that I have them all, and then the "mult" files from each. It would, though, be better if I reexported all the "mult" files anew, so they are in smaller groups. GeomAdd seems to do things more "correctly" that way. :? The work required for this level keeps growing but I will stick with it. You should all be warned, though, that in order for JPDS1 to be releasable as a stable enough level, I may have to include a lot fewer dinosaurs than hoped for. JPDS is exploration- and puzzle-based enough that this should not keep it from being fun.

Oh and my mom is now back from the hospital and doing well. The couple weeks she was absent gave an important opportunity for many things, including this.. And just to reiterate, my work on the level will be done as soon as I finish the puzzles in the recombined level. The dinosaur design and much of the gun placement, and TPA stocking, will be up to the rest of the team. I don't know how long that will take, but probably not long.

Author:  LtSten [ Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Great news to hear and read through, Drac, on the fact that it's closer to completion, but not on the import/export stuff. I'm afraid I cannot help at all. :P I think we'd be happy enough with a release without dinosaurs. Just shooting a load with one small puzzle would kinda suck, however I suppose the other way around isn't all that much fun either. Personally, I'd prefer puzzles over dinosaurs. ;)

Good to hear your mum is better now, I wish her all the best. 8)

Author:  machf [ Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Try using GUIapp after each import to regenerate the level partitions... maybe that will help.

Author:  jetblack [ Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

I wouldn't mind few dinosaurs, as long as you still have one that can knock a building down... :lol:

Author:  Draconisaurus [ Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Thanks Sten.

Hmmm... partitions... Who knows, I have certainly had crashes relating to those before. In the first half of recombining, I saved the level with TresEd after each GeomAdd import of a Mult file, as a double-check for stability (including its version of scene partitions), but eventually stopped doing it so often because it was taking time and didn't seem to affect things when I skipped it. GUIApp takes a long time to load JPDS1 at its current state.. never mind saving a SCN file.. I will consider it though..

Yeah that guy will still be there :P

I have an idea. I'm going to try skipping all the foliage in the sublevels this time around. Then after everything is in, I'll make a new foliage sublevel, import the foliage from each other sublevel, and then the master-foliage set from the pre-split JPDS1 (to include everything + new ones & updates), and then import it all, one tree-clone-series at a time. GeomAdd should be much happier with that, and it's closer to the TL1 proven method. And I'll save between each step.

Author:  Draconisaurus [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Small update.. So far the bit-by-bit combining is going well. Leaving all foliage out and having Tatu assemble it from the various levels into a pure foliage/rock/dinobones level, allowing one fell swoop of exports/imports for each object. Almost had a total failure today though.. The level was crashing after importing all the objects from JPDS~lodge. I thought GeomAdd was just too poor at this to successfully import everything raw even with my new method. Started considering splitting JPDS1 up into many levels where you would still be able to move non-linearly but would not get to bring weapons around or permanently kill dinos.. The GUIApp-made SCNs involved with that would actually be pretty fun to make, and the level would run smoother, but no, I found a single trigger responsible for the error.. And it's a damn good thing too because part of what's being used to salvage JPDS1 is the level-wide puzzles. There is a slim chance the foliage/trnobj import stage will still cause that, cross your fingers... maybe chant some rune lines..

Author:  machf [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

"Stercus, stercus, stercus, moriturus sum"...

Author:  LtSten [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

machf wrote:
"Stercus, stercus, stercus, moriturus sum"...

Hah, I laughed at that.

Drac, ARE WE THERE YET? I mean, don't make promises about it being released on a weekend when it actualy wont be.. This is really just a mini Trespasser.. "Yeah, we're going to have this feature, and more, and it's going to be released soon." ... "Okay, we can't get that to work.." "Okay, we need more time for bugfixing so it actually runs.." "Okay, we're releasing it later." "And later." "We've got no features." "It's being released in 37 years."

If you take my point.

Author:  Draconisaurus [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Lol, not THAT! :lol:

Uh :yum: I am keeping you guys posted on the status. I believe a month ago or so I made the mistake of attempting a make-or-break deadline.. it was simply totally unrealistic for approaching a completed version of this. I'm still not giving you any potential release dates because I won't be the one doing the last steps anyway.

Author:  jetblack [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Heh, as long as it's out before I need medicare and a hearing aid....

Author:  Draconisaurus [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Alright everyone. I've just done some thinking and consulting and have decided: JPDS1 will be split into several inter-connected and retracable smaller levels. Not as many as were used for sublevel production, but still several.

This time what happened was... the Hillside Research Station, a collection of 4 thickly-populated buildings, is unstable in the combined level, despite the inclusion of occlusion objects and all. It crashes after you walk a few meters into it. :? It was already a little iffy when turning your head quickly in some spots. There is not even any foliage in the combined level yet, so I see this as a very clear sign that I need to shift gears now before I lose more hours of work. I plan to eventually release past versions of JPDS1 that were combined, for people to enjoy a bit, but the official release will be split up in this way. There are some level-wide puzzles that will now have to be a bit altered in order to work.. and a thing or two which must be cast out entirely... including the super-awesome bus system.. but alas, that is the cost of developing a playable level.

On the bright side: Splitting up JPDS1 like this means that each level will now have more ground foliage and dinosaur capacity. It means there will be a bit of additional work going on after I give over the level to me fellow JPDS Teamsters, and ultimately it means JPDS will just look cooler.

It uh, also means the download will be a little larger :P but the audio files won't have duplicates, so it won't be too bad..

And to whomever was crossing their fingers and/or chanting rune lines, you guys need a lot of work!!! :lol:

Author:  jetblack [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Ehhhh. That's too bad. And, uh, what bus system? This is the first I'm hearing of a bus system...

Author:  LtSten [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

jetblack wrote:
Ehhhh. That's too bad. And, uh, what bus system? This is the first I'm hearing of a bus system...

A really cool, interesting teleport bus system. ;)

Author:  jetblack [ Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

Honestly, I don't know if I'd have wanted a bus system...I like exploring on foot, but that could be just me being cynical... :P

Author:  Draconisaurus [ Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Draco - Saturday, 24 July 2010

I will explain the would-be bus system another day. You were only allowed to visit bus stops you'd previously visited - and only while standing at a bus stop.

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