Captain's Log

Discussion and information relevant to creating special missions, new ships, skins etc.

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ozhank
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Captain's Log

Post by ozhank »

I know of the explorers log but was wondering if thought had ever been given to a captains log - log where I've visited, what I carried/bought/sold and profit/loss made at each docking, pirates and other incidents to help review and find more profitable trading routes.

I also find quite often oxp's mentioned here is the BBS that aren't listed in the wiki (well at least I haven't found them) eg super sidewinder and nexus
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Re: Captain's Log

Post by Wildeblood »

Yes, a Captain's Log OXP that would take the data stored by Explorers' Club, Trophy Collector and Trading Assistant, and present them on a single screen, updated with each dayChanged event, has been on my to-do list for a while.

See Flight Log OXP which provides a list of the last ten systems visited, with changes in kill count and cash.

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Re: Captain's Log

Post by Walbrigg »

There's also a "ship's accountant" OXP in development: tracks your profit-and-loss from trading, damage, bounties, scooped cargo, and shows you reports by date, by jump, or by activity.

It's not far off a "WIP" pre-release state, now. The report layout needs a little work, and I haven't tested unusual occurrences (buying a new ship, escape capsule, maintenance overhaul). The day-to-day stuff seems to be working.

One report looks a bit like this (can't be bothered to work out how to upload a screenshot)
  • Bought fuel -118.4
    Bounty Cobra Mark III 25.0
    Bounty Gecko 28.0
    Bounty Moray Star Boat 31.0
    Equipment Damaged Target System Memory Expansion -625.0
    Fired missile ECM Hardened Missile -350.0
    Scooped cargo alloys 32.4
    Scooped cargo food 8.0
    Scooped cargo gem_stones 422.4
    Scooped cargo gold 1184.0
    Trading computers 232.8
    Trading furs 372.0
    Trading gold 36.0
    Trading liquor_wines 31.2

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Re: Captain's Log

Post by Thargoid »

The main problem with this type of OXP is working out how to fit it all (and indeed what to fit) on the screen and still make it usable and worthwhile. That's why in Flight Log I limited what was stored/displayed and the number of past systems to 10.

If you end up in a big furball then you'll have a lot of kills, and if you store each one along with its individual bounty then you'll end up with several screenfulls and it gets complex to show it all.

But if you can get a good way to handle that, then very good luck to you ;)

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Re: Captain's Log

Post by spara »

Thargoid wrote:
If you end up in a big furball then you'll have a lot of kills, and if you store each one along with its individual bounty then you'll end up with several screenfulls and it gets complex to show it all.
That's also the reason why Trophy Collector keeps only 38 entries in it's in-flight log.

There's data out there, that might be interesting/useful. The challenge comes from displaying or visualizing it. For example Explorer's Club does an excellent job by showing the visited systems in the map. Much easier to read than a list of visited systems. With Trophies I tried to make the actual Trophy list as readable as possible by using 2-column layout and by ordering it alphabetically and showing only ship names and quantities.

With this one, I would take an ambiance type of approach. Make it feel like Captains Log from Star Trek or something. Some variating and atmospheric description templates for different situations. And keep only a limited number of entries like in Flight Log, don't think people will read very old entries. Or they would have to be very old and that would make the save file explode. Entries could be something like:

20030203: 12:32:12 Entered the notorious Riedquat system.
20030203: 12:41:10 Encountered 2 hostile Sidewinders attacking a lonely Mamba. Chose to engage.
20030203: 12:43:10 Killed 2 hostile Sidewinders (bounty 68 cr). Suffered some serious damage. Injectors need repairing.

Achieving this is not a trivial task. It would require clever scripting to identify situations and quite a selection of entry templates to be filled. Don't think I'm up for this job :D . Hopefully someone else is.

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Re: Captain's Log

Post by Walbrigg »

I have a set of different reports you can cycle through (and may add a menu to choose one as I add more: currently there are 6). So if one overloads you with detail, you can see one that gives a higher-level view, or covers a shorter period.

That said, the UI is the limiting bit: I'd love to have more of a web-browser-like API to the mission screen, with form fields and callbacks. But that's going some distance from what oolite is really supposed to be.
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Re: Captain's Log

Post by ozhank »

Wow - thanks for the replies and all the effort that is already going into the idea. I was just thinking about it, and it would be of help to me. I've tried writing it down - but it takes too long - maybe just write to xml file and have another reader handle it. As far as the bounties go, could just be summarised as income - bounties, and similar summaries for trading, expenses etc.
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Re: Captain's Log

Post by CommRLock78 »

I like this idea, especially of trading history. And something more long-term would be great; I've been using Flight log for a while (which I just updated from 1.03 to 1.06 :)), but a real history of activity would be awesome. It could even be, as I think Ozhank is suggesting, written to an external file that could be easily read and reviewed :D.
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Re: Captain's Log

Post by spara »

ozhank wrote:Wow - thanks for the replies and all the effort that is already going into the idea. I was just thinking about it, and it would be of help to me. I've tried writing it down - but it takes too long - maybe just write to xml file and have another reader handle it. As far as the bounties go, could just be summarised as income - bounties, and similar summaries for trading, expenses etc.
Extra challenge comes from all the oxps. Suddenly you receive 300 credits, is it a kill job, insurance, bounty for capturing a criminal, black box retrieval, mission reward, cargo delivery, passenger drop, extra cargoes ...? I once tried to do some income accounting, but quickly gave it up. It just didn't feel worth the effort. I wish good luck to anyone trying to create an all-in accountant oxp :D. I would still vote for the atmospheric type of approach to give some ambiance rather than exact accounting.
CommRLock78 wrote: It could even be, as I think Ozhank is suggesting, written to an external file that could be easily read and reviewed :D.
This has been discussed before and the game is limited to write latest.log and previous.log. Which I find a good thing data security-wise and should not be changed.

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Re: Captain's Log

Post by CommRLock78 »

spara wrote:
CommRLock78 wrote: It could even be, as I think Ozhank is suggesting, written to an external file that could be easily read and reviewed :D.
This has been discussed before and the game is limited to write latest.log and previous.log. Which I find a good thing data security-wise and should not be changed.
Hmm, never thought about security issue from something like that - but I don't doubt that you're right. Well, 'twas a thought :P.
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Re: Captain's Log

Post by Wildeblood »

My thoughts on this have always been what Spara describes in his first post up there: the Star Trek, "Captain's Log stardate: blah, blah" approach. As each dayChanged occurs, generate a screenful of text describing the events of that day, write it to Latest.log and a mission variable, from where it can be displayed any time until the next dayChanged overwrites it.
spara wrote:Achieving this is not a trivial task. It would require clever scripting to identify situations and quite a selection of entry templates to be filled. Don't think I'm up for this job :D
Same here. That's why it's been on the to-do list, but never actually started. :(
spara wrote:This has been discussed before and the game is limited to write latest.log and previous.log.
It's fairly trivial to output neatly formatted HTML to Latest.log, all ready to cut and paste, though.
CommRLock78 wrote:I like this idea, especially of trading history. And something more long-term would be great...
You know that the current version of Trading Assistant keeps running tallies of every cargo pod you buy or sell, forever?

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Re: Captain's Log

Post by Commander McLane »

spara wrote:
CommRLock78 wrote: It could even be, as I think Ozhank is suggesting, written to an external file that could be easily read and reviewed :D.
This has been discussed before and the game is limited to write latest.log and previous.log. Which I find a good thing data security-wise and should not be changed.
Small correction: this hasn't been "discussed", because it was never an issue that was in any way open to debate. The game (and especially the JS-scripting engine) will never be allowed to write anything externally, except for the logs. Period. Our developers are neither stupid nor crazy.

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Re: Captain's Log

Post by cim »

Commander McLane wrote:The game (and especially the JS-scripting engine) will never be allowed to write anything externally, except for the logs.
...and, to be picky, screenshots and saved games. You could stick the data in mission variables, and read the savegame with an external tool into another application, for instance.

In test builds you can also use the debug console protocol to collect/send data over TCP to an application which is not the provided debug console. There are potential exotic applications of that for the dedicated programmer, though the result would be considerably harder to install than an OXP is.

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Re: Captain's Log

Post by Halfhand »

ozhank wrote: I also find quite often oxp's mentioned here is the BBS that aren't listed in the wiki (well at least I haven't found them)
I just tried to search for [RELEASE] in "Expansion Pack" topic titles and the bb reported the following

Code: Select all

The following words in your search query were ignored because they are too common words: release.
You must specify at least one word to search for. Each word must consist of at least 3 characters and must not contain more than 14 characters excluding wildcards.
Perhaps this tip from the forums at phpbb.com might help.

Code: Select all

In the Administration Control Panel under the General tab -> Server Configuration -> Search Settings, is a setting for Common word threshold. This setting can be  raised so words will be less common. When you change this setting, the Search Index needs to be rebuilt which is done under Maintenance -> Search Index.
A setting of 0 is supposed to disable common words all together
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Re: Captain's Log

Post by Smivs »

ozhank wrote: I also find quite often oxp's mentioned here is the BBS that aren't listed in the wiki (well at least I haven't found them) eg super sidewinder and nexus
Nearly all OXPs are listed on the Wiki OXP table, although if an individual ship is part of a bigger OXP, only the 'containing' OXP may be listed.
Re the two you mention, the Super Sidewinder is not listed although its author, UK_Eliter, apparently did list it but it looks to have been a test release and may no longer be available. The Nexus I assume is the Nexus Missile which is another of UK_Eliter's OXPs and is listed in the table.
The alternative is to search the BB for the relevant threads which is what I did to gather the details above. :wink:
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