Navs, orientations, and ship positions


Okay, I'm getting very disorientated with orientations and the relation between within navpoints and nav positions globally.

Caution: This might come off a littler rant-ish. I apologize in advance. Most of this stems from frustration over trying to figure out and explain the confusion/issues with the current nav system and orientations. So Eddie, don't take anything here personally. As you well know, code that looks like it should work to create an intuitive interface, environment, and/or presentation may not work like it should.

Instead of putting this one on the issues board, the exact nature of the problems needs to be ironed out first in a discussion.

First off, ship orientations appear to be very trial and error. All ships in the mission editor may be facing the same way, but in-game they aren't. This is occurs more often when copying and pasting ships (apparently even when using wordpad (WTH????). Still I think there is actually a fairly major bug here, and an odd one considering orientation shouldn't be so difficult to deal with. A ship natively would point in one direction and then there are rotations from that point. And all ships would face the same direction natively. Obviously I'm referring to using absolute orientation, which I think that is what was intended. Fixing this issue might fix the orientation function in mission scripting, which seems to rotate a ship from its current orientation rather than setting it to an absolute orientation.

That one is really an annoyance. Initially, I was very frustatied trying to figure out navpoints. Mainly whether ship positions in the subnavpoint grid would correlate to the larger navpoint grid and what direction a player actually faces. The confusion over this is more of an issue with me than some since I'm a stickler for intramission continuity.

Mission Continuity IE: Assuming a 135 degree angle between navs 1 and 3 from vertex nav 2, then when I autopilot from nav 1 to 2, nav 3 should be to my forward left by 45 degrees.

So I'm not seeing this and at first I was wondering how the orientation of the player's ship was determined. From some recent tests, the player's ship must be returning to the zero orientation (consistently, which given what I've already noted with orientation is rather surpirsing), so at every nav I'm facing south as it would appear on the mission editor irregardless of my first navpoint orientation. Knowing this told me that each navpoint is essientially a zoom-in from the navpoint editor, which makes ship placement much more intuitive. Still have autopilot end, but not the same direction is rather disconcerting for a mission designer.


Okay, I've got some good news regarding the navpoints. The set Orientation function can be easily applied for your flights of craft at the beginning of each navpoint (including the player) without requiring any AI disabling or cutscene initiation.

It's a simple matter now of just estimating the orientation of your craft as it goes from one nav to the next using the mission editor and setting this for each fighter and craft following you to the nav.

I think I can draft up one of those advanced mission tutorials now.


*swipes sweat off brow*

Dang, that wasn't a tutorial, that was a research paper. :p

Well the Advanced Mission Building Tutorial is complete. It covers, well, most everything it seems:

Mission Building Tips,
Mission Continuity (in-depth)
Various Mission Scripting Tricks and Ideas for different situations
Spawning Functions

It is essentially complete, but I will give it a once over tomorrow to ensure it reads correctly.

Just a warning, it is quite lengthy (18,000 characters without spaces, 3500 words, and a limited amount of code).