[UPDATED RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator v1.4.1 (05/06/12)

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[UPDATED RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator v1.4.1 (05/06/12)

Post by Capt. Murphy »

From the read me.
Escape Pod Locator 1.4.1 (05/06/12)
By another_commander further development by capt murphy - 2012
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 : Please visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ for more info.
Requires Oolite 1.76.1

Overview:

Equipment Upgrade to the IFF Scanner and Advanced Space Compass that alerts players to escape pod launches occurring in the same system. Pods are marked on the Advanced Space Compass with an ‘E’ and show up as flashing white/green lollipops when in Scanner Range. Also introduces NPC Search and Rescue ships who actively search for pods.

Description:

Standard Issue Escape Pods are fitted with a high powered distress beacon which broadcasts on a restricted channel. Until recently equipment to detect these distress calls were limited to Galcop vessels and licensed private-sector Search and Rescue vessels.

The authorities and private-sector companies have proved to be less than effective at ensuring the safety of escape pods and a high proportion continue to fall into Slaver or Thargoid hands. Following intense lobbying by Amnesty Intergalactic, Galcop have agreed to license a civilian version of the equipment that can detect escape pod distress calls in an effort to encourage civilian pilots to rescue more pods.

The Escape Pod Locator is available from planets of tech level 8 or higher for 1250 credits, requires the Advanced Space Compass to be fitted and is restricted to pilots with a clean legal status. Galcop have also fitted fail-safes to avoid the equipment falling into criminal hands and it is automatically disabled if the ship it is fitted to is assigned an Offender or Fugitive legal status. It is re-enabled once the legal status is cleared.

The equipment will detect any standard issue escape-pod, but pilots should be aware that some individuals NPC’s may have modified, disabled or removed their escape pod distress beacon and thus won’t be detected by this equipment.

This OXP also introduces Search and Rescue NPC ships which actively search for pods and scoop them. By default the Moray Medical Boat is used for this role, but if you have the Cobra Clipper SAR OXP installed both models will be used. Players should be aware that SAR rescue ships have a direct link to the Galcop legal record database and have authority to apply legal penalties if to any ship that attacks them..

Technical.

When the equipment is installed and working a beacon entity is spawned for new escape pods (standard role ‘escape-capsule’ only) that are launched which tracks the location of the associated pod. The beacon entity is a tiny, low mass entity that is not displayed on the IFF scanner, is too small to be visible to the player and too low in mass to cause damage in the event of a collision. If the beacon entity is inadvertently destroyed it is replaced. The pod itself is given custom scanner colours. If the equipment is damaged or disabled all beacons are removed and the pods revert to standard scanner colours. The equipment can be repaired on the fly by OXP equipment such as Thargoid’s repair bots.

The main script includes two variables which can be changed to limit the detection range of the equipment, either by the end-user or via script by another OXP. Range can be set independently for normal space and interstellar space. Default value for these variables is null which equates to infinite range. End-users can limit the range by editing escapePodLocator.js with an appropriate text editor, and changing the value ‘null’ to a number in lines 10 & 11.

Default:

this.ecl_normalSpaceRange = null;
this.ecl_interstellarSpaceRange = null;

In this example….

this.ecl_normalSpaceRange = 20;
this.ecl_interstellarSpaceRange = 1;

….detection range is limited to 20 x scanner range in normal space, and 1 x scanner range in interstellar space. To effectively disable the equipment in either case set the value to 0.000001.

OXP makers can access these variables from other scripts using

worldScripts["escapePodLocator.js"].ecl_normalSpaceRange
worldScripts["escapePodLocator.js"].ecl_interstellarSpaceRange

This OXP includes code to detect if the range has been altered by another OXP and will log detected changes in latest.log.

Search and Rescue ships use a custom AI and script. To use other models as OXP ships a shipdata entry needs to include the following as a minimum.

ai_type = "ecl_SAR_AI.plist";
roles = "ecl_SAR_ship_OXP";
pilot = "oolite-trader";
has_fuel_injection = 1;
has_scoop = 1;
script = "ecl_SAR_shipscript.js";

Alternatively feel free to use renamed versions of the AI and shipscript in your OXP.

This version ships with a slightly modified homeAI.plist that replaces the core game version and fixes a couple of minor bugs in the escape pod AI. These bugs could cause an escape pod that ‘escapes’ from a scoop attempt, or is jettisoned after scooping to become ‘dead in space’. This is a temporary measure until these bugs are fixed in the core game.

Change Log:

Version 1.0: 28/7/11 – Initial release.

Version 1.1: 2/8/11 – Complete revision of the method used to mark pods on the Advanced Space Compass to avoid conflicts with other OXP’s.

Version 1.2: 20/11/11 – Minor tweak to the scripts to ensure correct beacon placement on being spawned. Reduced density of beacon by another factor of 10. Gave beacon a display name so it plays nice with Talkative Space Compass.oxp.

Version 1.3 10/12/11 – Major script revision. End-users and other scripts can now set a maximum detection range for the equipment independently for normal and interstellar space. Default setting is infinite range. New script method also fixes a minor bug in that escape-pods jettisoned from cargo were not correctly detected. Fixed minor bug with beacons being removed slightly too early in scooping process. Included modified homeAI.plist which fixes two minor core game bugs with the escape pod AI that can cause escape pods that escape a scoop attempt or are jettisoned to become ‘dead in space’.

Version 1.3.1 12/12/11 – Added some entity validation to prevent rare and spurious errors in the log.

Version 1.4 18/12/11 – Changed array iteration method to standard for loop method from array.forEach method following code profiling indicating that array.forEach is a slower and more processor heavy method. Added code to apply legal penalty to ships that attack a Search and Rescue ship. Added code to remove any Cobra Clippers that are spawned with the script/AI from the Cobra Clipper OXP.

Version 1.4.1 05/06/12 - Fixed minor bug in routine to replace accidentally destroyed beacons.
Download from http://www.box.com/s/yryef9mpanhg8t1vjkd2
Last edited by Capt. Murphy on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:15 am, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by Gimi »

Thank you Capt. Murphy.

This fits nicely into my perception of the Ooniverse. A person in distress would blast his message over all the emergency channels and more, and this is also described in the Dark Wheel novella. This type of equipment should really be mandatory (or will be in the RL future of space travel in my view) :D
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by RyanHoots »

Thanks! Finally an easier way to find those pods. I've waited a while for something like this.
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by Capt. Murphy »

Sorry guys but I've withdrawn the download for the time being. Eric (http://www.aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.ph ... 45#p149600) has pointed out some rather fundamental problems with the method I'm using to replace the pods entirely. I can use another technique, just will be a short while to get the new release out as it will be more or less a completely new script
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by RyanHoots »

:( I hope it works. Of course, I'm getting interested in the idea myself, so I might come up with something...
I would imagine the easiest way to do it would be shipdata_overrides and a script.
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by Capt. Murphy »

That wouldn't work either Ryan.....the new script won't do anything to the pods themselves (apart from change scanner colours which can be be done by JS), but will spawn a tiny almost invisible dummy entity separate from the pod which carries the beacon and is scripted to follow the pod around close enough so it looks like it's the pod that's the beacon.
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by RyanHoots »

Makes sense, but it seems like there's a lot that could possibly go go wrong. :wink:
Good luck, Commander.
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by Capt. Murphy »

Less that can go wrong than with the original version.

Anyway - not as much to do as I thought. Initial rewrite is done, will test and tweak and hope to get version 1.1 up in the morning.
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by CommonSenseOTB »

Capt. Murphy. I just downloaded it and I was just about to say nice piece of code. I could not have written this as my knowledge is not quite there yet. Will keep this copy for reference. Thanx. :wink:
Since you have to rewrite anyway, I have 2 thoughts that came to mind.(just thoughts, haven't playtested) Perhaps the populator can create too many recue ships. In the stuff I made from 6 months ago, I had 1 from dictators up and 2 from democracies up(not random) plus a chance of 1 in the planet-sun spacelane and that worked super. Or perhaps the number could be reduced if the equipment is working as I think there would be too much competition for the escape pods otherwise. The other thought is fundamental, about pod pilots not wanting to be found. I think anyone using a pod would want to be found as the result is the same whether it's a rescue ship or a random rescue. Part of the reward pays for the bounty. The pirate goes free in a alot of cases and lives to pirate another day. I think it would require alot of playtesting to insure that there are enough escape pods to make a career of rescue ship pilot while having to compete with the GalCop sanctioned and salaried first responders.
I just had a cool thought. Each system has a certain number of rescue ships predetermined and based at the main station. This is the max rescue ships available for emergencies. Base it on productivity. Say 1 to 4 rescue ships. Whenever an escape capsule is spawned it sends out a beacon call and within 30 seconds a rescue ship is launched from the station and goes for that particular pod. Rescue ships are launched only up to the number available. Also, escorts. Base it on government. Safe systems need no escorts and anarchies get 2 sidewinders. It would be more realistic as fire trucks don't patrol for fires, they wait for a call. Also they would not be there just waiting for pirates to attack them. These rescue ships would have to be given a special ai that would have them fuel inject all the way to the pod. Ships only flee on injectors. How about having a ship with a 7x higher top speed being substituted with the normal one when within range of the pod. They could have an intercept like ai once they clear the station ignoring everything else until they got near the pod. Then do the switch. This is just a thought and may not be doable or practical but boy would it be cool to see a moray tearing out of the coriolis followed by 2 escort sidewinders and heading out at injector speed into the space lane. Then you follow them using your injectors until they reach the scene of the accident and find several pirates battling traders and all hell breaks loose! :D
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by Capt. Murphy »

Thanks CSOTB -

If you take a look at the rescue ship AI and script you'll notice that if they spot a escape pod within 15 scanner ranges of themselves they will inject in it's direction.

As far as the rescue ship populator goes it's based on government type but randomised. Absolute max number (very rare and only would be in a Corporate State) is 8. In my testing which was all done in a corporate state I only actually saw between 2 and 5 being spawned. So most systems with a lesser government type will have fewer than that.

I toyed with the idea of not making them pirate-victims and also giving the player warnings and instant legal penalty if player tries to shoot them.
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by CommonSenseOTB »

Capt. Murphy wrote:Thanks CSOTB -

If you take a look at the rescue ship AI and script you'll notice that if they spot a escape pod within 15 scanner ranges of themselves they will inject in it's direction.

As far as the rescue ship populator goes it's based on government type but randomised. Absolute max number (very rare and only would be in a Corporate State) is 8. In my testing which was all done in a corporate state I only actually saw between 2 and 5 being spawned. So most systems with a lesser government type will have fewer than that.

I toyed with the idea of not making them pirate-victims and also giving the player warnings and instant legal penalty if player tries to shoot them.
Aw, Cool! That's excellent they inject. You're one heck of a programmer. Thanks for clearing that up. I wish I had the time to playtest more. Those were just thoughts by the way. see yah. :D
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by Capt. Murphy »

Ok there will be a little delay for next release- I've decided to make a new tiny tiny model for the beacon and it's taking me a while to get my head round Wings3D, python scripts to convert etc. Plus I'm away for the weekend.

edit 2 add @ CSOTB - the reason some pods won't be detected isn't really by design - it's because some OXP's use a custom role for their pods and this equipment is built to find the standard role escape pod. Random Hits is a prime example. I don't think it needs a huge stretch of the imagination to realise why a Random Hits mark may have disabled or modified their beacon.
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Re: [RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator Equipment OXP v1.0

Post by CommonSenseOTB »

As you say. Have a good weekend. :wink:
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Re: [UPDATED RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator v1.1

Post by Capt. Murphy »

Version 1.1 is up - now uses a separate beacon entity (you shouldn't actually realise it's there) to mark the pod on the advanced space compass. First post edited with updated read me and download link.
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Re: [UPDATED RELEASE] - Escape Pod Locator v1.1

Post by Killer Wolf »

sounds like a cracking OXP.
what about having some nasty pirates/Thargoids spoof a distress signal, so they get victims speeding into an ambush?

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