I'm pretty sure my sporadic presence over the last couple of years isn't news to the regulars.. one of the reasons for this has been the game The Long Dark
, into which I've put over 550 hours.
I'll dodge the temptation to rave about the game and instead tell you about one of its shortcomings, and one of the solutions, which might be at least slightly useful in Oolite.
TLD has sometimes been described as a "walking simulator". And yes, you do do one hell of a lot of walking around, by means of holding down a key, in amongst the cool & fun other shit that happens to you. Having to hold down a single key for 10-15 minutes isn't that uncommon, and some people struggle with that, or just dislike it.
Despite a couple of years or more of pleading for an 'autowalk' feature, the devs have not yet seen fit to provide one.
This is where AutoHotKey
comes in. AHK is quite literally "The ultimate automation scripting language for Windows". It lets you script almost any actions you might want to take on a computer, and launch them with a couple of keystrokes. The things people have been able to automate is incredible. The AHK tool has been around for over 10 years, is free to use, and is highly regarded in tech circles. Resource use is tiny, even when using many large scripts.
But it also comes in useful in gaming. It can be used for intercepting keystrokes, then altering the output, optionally applying conditional logic beforehand, if desired.
Using AHK, some friends and I created a script that toggled the 'walk' key on and off. Certain other keypresses were permitted because their effects did not logically impact the walking process, but all other keys were locked out when walking. We also added an autofire toggle to one key because the wolf-struggle mechanism involved a LOT of mouse-clicking. This is a massive under-use of the program's capabilities, but you can do some pretty amazing gaming things with it. There are thousands of different scripts available for all kinds of games.
It occurs to me that there may be some uses for AHK with Oolite.
One that comes to mind was inspired by a post by cwalen
, in which he wrote "The solution I have found? Point your head towards the planet use matchsticks to jam left and down on your keyboard and come back in 10 minutes.
With full pitch and roll it's a cold day in hell before anyone can hit you. It takes a while to corkscrew towards a zone where the galcops will take care of the pirates following you but a pack that can tear you apart in seconds wont get a hit in."
This reminded me of guys playing TLD who used to stack coins on the 'walk' key, or jam keys with them, and how there's a much more elegant solution available.
So, I think I'll try making a AHK "corkscrew" toggle for Oolite.
In the meantime, feel free to suggest other potential key combinations or clever tricks you'd like to try and get Oolite to do. We might be able to build up a library of useful routines.
(Example: Do you always/often perform the same sequence of keystrokes after arriving at a station? Bind the lot to a keystroke combo, with full control over delays, duration, other keys, mouse movement & clicking, and more.)