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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:20 pm
Posts: 6310
Location: Aboard the Pitviper S.E. "Blackwidow"
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.)

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Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:10 pm 
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It's just my opinion, but feeling the need for macros is the sign that something is wrong in the game: one usually automates the boring and dumb stuff. Why is this stuff still in the game?

I've been a few times in the situation cwalen describes: I did accept a bunch of contracts without looking closely at them, so I ended up with half a dozen of assassins waiting for me at the WP. I think there are several possible ways to improve this scenario and avoid silly situations where you are chased for one hour from the WP to the station by a pack of assassins (been there, done that and in one occasion I was even streaming my game - fortunately, there were no viewer). One possible answer is that assassins should be skilled enough that you shouldn't be able to survive that (maybe the game could "restructure" a pack of 6 low-assassins into a pair of high-skill assassins). Maybe the AI could learn to give up on chasing after a certain amount of time. Maybe it could get frustrated and launch a hardhead). Maybe if an NPC witnesses attacks, it could "call the police" (so you know that vipers should rescue you eventually), or maybe the game could sell a distress beacon for this. Or maybe would could come up with a mine cluster that could help with mass-unlocking and fleeing or with engaging combat. Maybe one should be able to cancel a contract (at huge rep lost) or sell it.

Or, maybe someone fixed the problem and there's an OXP for that already?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:29 am 
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I might look at an OXP solution.

Matchsticks lack elegance, I can't focus on another screen or window, or even look at some of the in game screens without loosing my corkscrew.

I run linux, so while no doubt there is something I can load to keep an individual process being fed by left, up, left, up, left, up. I'ld need to research or have a Samaritan help me out.

Astrobe is right, the most elegant solution would me making two matchsticks less effective.

No AI pilot can cope with such a basic manovoure?
That breaks the fourth wall.

On the other hand before my matchsticks I just tapped keys rhythmically with much the same effect. Up left, up left up left, can be replaced with up, left, up, left, up, right, down..

If we get a macro ed or OXP solution which makes not taking enemy fire a matter of time, and pressing a key? Well I trust my fellow 'lete players to know an exploit when they see one.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:11 am
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Location: Brisbane,Australia
good one Dizzy, i had forgotten about AHK.
until recently i used a Logitech G11 keyboard that had 18 macro keys. it has quite the sophisticated capabilities. it can be put in learn mode where it records not only the keystroke but how long it was pressed for and how long until the next keystroke. or you can program it and specify delays . very handy for those twitch move games....
now i have a mechanical keyboard and the macros are not so good... it only records keystrokes and doesnt record how long a key is pressed.
they are good for relieving RSI from constantly holding down sprint keys or crouch keys...

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OR i could go with
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:32 am 
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A fellow Brisbanite! (waves to Spud)

An oxp exists to improve the AI's aim, and Thargons (sp?) can blow you out of the sky while you corkscrew.

At least I wont get rsi as quickly from beating four keys.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:11 am
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Location: Brisbane,Australia
you will find a few Aussies here.. welcome commander.

Dizzy is from the place that has 4 seasons in one day...lol

_________________
Arthur: OK. Leave this to me. I'm British. I know how to queue.
OR i could go with
Arthur Dent: I always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe.
or simply
42


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