Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nos' Companions, Tracking Plug-Ins

Just ran a quick test of my newly redesigned from the ground up 'Pip-Boy plug-in'.

Success, this time; the emergency reset function fired without a hitch. Menu displayed properly, item equipped and added its token; which appears to have removed itself correctly.

This one working, I'm going to expand it, and see if I can get the summon and tracking cycle functions to work.

As it stands, it works like this:

Initiate dialog with companion. At the top of the dialog chain will be the option "Give me your Pip-Boy plugin". Which they, of course, do - being good girls and all. From there on, you have an item in your inventory, on the armor screen, named '(Companion's name) Pip-Boy Plugin'.

Equip the item, and a menu will open, giving you the option to initiate emergency reset, or cancel. The reset command teleports the companion to you, plus 128 units on the X axis, and re-applies the follow package. Cancel, unsurprisingly enough, simply closes the menu with no action taken.

I want to expand it to include two other options. The 'tracking cycle' which will add the tracking quest if it's disabled, or vice-versa; and the 'summon' command, which would be like a radio call. The summoned companion would move normally to your position, from wherever they are in the game world.

Though that third option may well be superfluous. I want it for immersion purposes... but I know perfectly well most people (myself included in all likelihood) would simply 'port the companion in when they want them handy; so I wonder if it's not a waste of time to bother scripting in.

Planning to reduce the X distance that the companion warps in at, as well. I happened to be in a metro tunnel entryway when I tested the function, and 128 nearly put her into the wall; had I been standing any further over than the center life could've gotten interesting.

Am thinking at the moment that 32 units would probably be sufficient to keep them from spawning on top of you, but still keep them out of walls and such in tight quarters.

May investigate more advanced functions that would allow the companion to always teleport in directly in front of you; so you can control where they come in by the direction you're looking.

Also considering making the plugin ability one that is not a freebie. Something you'll have to scavenge from Vault-Tec HQ or such. Would be simple enough to drop a set of "schematics" on a desk in there someplace to teach the player to integrate the prototype technology into their Pip-Boys.

Edit, 0925: Well, the beta plugin apparently isn't as far off as I thought. Just tested the expanded plugin, and while the automatically stage-detecting tracking cycler doesn't work, swapping it out for a simple set of On and Off options works without a problem.

Going to do a bit more testing; check that it works with she and I in different cells, using different packages, etc - but I think it looks promising.

6 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear this is finally starting to please you rather than make you pull your hair out!

    The in-game application and functionality of it sounds really cool. If you need a third party to do any testing, feel free to ask. I know from my own experiences that sometimes you can test something over and over till you're blue and be certain it's fine, but as soon as you upload it somebody will find a bug you hadn't thought to look for. Anyway, when you get it the way you want it I'd be happy to give it a whirl.

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  2. I wouldn't celebrate just yet. The base form works - doesn't mean it'll keep working once I ramp the functionality up.

    Not much to share at the moment, anyway. Rather than write up ten only to find out they don't work, I've only created the one for alpha testing, and it's for one of the special companions that you guys don't have access to, so it wouldn't do you much good to get the plugin anyhow.

    Don't worry, though, I'll release a beta for the companions pack once I'm satisfied it works fairly well.

    Not that you're itching to get your little paws on the code or anything, huh?

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  3. Hey you two

    Is it the one with the cool looking tail or another one we don't have unless we make?

    I was hoping you would make something like this as I find I lose the companions when I jump off a ledge to save time as they like to walk around but it does sound fun on what you have plan and what is working.

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  4. No, the tail and horns and crap aren't in any of my mods directly. Not for lack of trying, I assure you - I could just never get the parts to line up right. I don't know what black magic the original author used, but the stuff doesn't want to work in any other plugin. If you're looking for them to add to your companions, you can grab the package here. Has horns, cat ears, wolf ears, tails, all that jazz.

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  5. There is a mod on the nexus called Radio Your Friends (http://fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=6828) that gave you radios to give your companions. It has a time delay based on how far they are when you "called" them. It requires FOSE but you could probably toy with it. Obviously it wouldn't work on dogs but neither fwakes because they equip it in an armor slot. Although it was handy, I use different mod now. I like where you going with it though, especially the tracking since I loose the companions.

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  6. I appreciate the thought, drktrper, but I try my best to keep FOSE out of my mods. While it certainly has uses, it also causes complications with several versions of the game (most notably the Steam and Direct-to-Drive versions of the game don't work with it at all).

    The summoning thing is just a simple command to initiate dialog - it's only one line of code in the script; two at the max.

    I'm leaving it out at the moment to try to keep the script streamlined and y'know... working and whatnot.

    So far the other options are behaving, so I may give it a shot anyway.

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