Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Slow March to Beta

Internal alpha on the sorters continues; and is nearing completion. I've gotten just about all the holes filled for item sorting, and the new method of using quest scripts entirely (rather than dialogue result scripts) has yet to fail in tests.

I wanted the companion reloading sorter to let me know when it ran; but since you can't see item add/remove notifications on containers other than the player, I had to approach it somewhat differently. I decided to have it display a simple message once the sorting code had all run, just before it reset the variable to zero to stop the script:




I had originally only intended this for the companion sorter, since there was no other way to get a notification as to when and if the code had actually fired correctly.

As I played on, though, I came to know better the full range of items available in FNV. The full Survival sorter takes more than ninety seconds to display all the item removal notifications; and the General sorter isn't far behind.

After about the third time of sitting and waiting on them to finish the stack of notes, I decided it was high time to do something similar to the above. I added the "silent" flag to every removeitem command on the player, and substituted instead a simple message to note that the items had finished sorting. No issues with it failing to run correctly thus far, so I think I'm going to keep the cleaner interface. It won't tell you which items are sorted anymore, but I think that's a small price to pay to not have to sit through five minutes of notifications.

I also discovered a bit of a flaw in the whole idea. Being able to sort and store at a dialogue command's whim means you pick up a lot more. A lot more. We came out of South Vegas, the sign factory, and Vault 3 with more than sixteen hundred pounds of swag.

Now, back in Oblivion, there was a well known bug that made items temporarily disappear when you got too many in one container. FO3/NV have not had a resurgence in that bug thankfully; but by the time we hit a merchant to start offloading loot, when I emptied the holding containers into my personal inventory there were so many items it goddamned near crashed the game. I didn't stop to count, but it had to be well over a thousand items -- not counting ammunition.

I may have to implement some sort of weight and/or item count limit on the containers. We'll wait and see, but I'm betting if I can get it to almost crash, someone else is going to try and cart around half the game at once and cause a save game corruption or something...

I've logged quite a few more hours through yesterday afternoon, last night, and this morning; and so far the code all works quite well. I'm still tweaking a bit here and there, trying to make sure I didn't miss any more common items. Unfortunately, I'm not heavily experienced with the Survival crafting thing, so it's entirely possible I missed a few recipe components. Nonetheless, I think it's about ready to begin the migration into NCCS v0.8.

While I was playing, I also got... not quite bored; but feeling that the game was lacking something. Some personality for my girls. So I set about adding some. Players of the RR Companions Vault are probably not unfamiliar with my brand of witty dialogue, already... but this being a personal plugin I decided not to censor myself in any way.

Maeva got the General container and sorting code:








Natasha handles Reloading:





And also weighs in on ammunition when I ask for a particular set of components to reload:






And Mystery-chan lets me know what she thinks of the quality of New Vegas (New Vegan?) food when asked to stow the food/drinks/survival components:




Now, obviously this stuff won't be making it verbatim into NCCS, but I think I'm going to add in some snarky comments here and there for sorting/retrieval. I also think I'm going to add an "All" command that runs all four sorters in one chain; for those times when you're feeling extra lazy.

I should be careful though, I'm going to fuck around and the companions will unionize. Do they have Pinkertons in New Vegas? I should check into that.

8 comments:

  1. Lol! I love those comments, they're great! I hope you decide to upload this version for your loyal readers :D

    I have my fingers crossed that this version of your sorter continues to work. Just out of curiosity, and I just thought of this, how much more of a nightmare would this idea be as a separate plug-in for New Vegas in general? Not applied to any specific companions or companion systems, just a stand alone plug-in?

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  2. "I have my fingers crossed that this version of your sorter continues to work."

    I played for... probably five odd hours tonight and this morning and haven't had any issues with the sorters. They fire every time; even two or three in rapid-ish succession (not waiting on the messages to clear before starting the next one).

    The only problems have not been functional, but relating to preference -- I'm still trying to decide which container some items need to go into; and how many of which food and chems should be left behind after the survival sorter runs.


    "Just out of curiosity, and I just thought of this, how much more of a nightmare would this idea be as a separate plug-in for New Vegas in general? Not applied to any specific companions or companion systems, just a stand alone plug-in? "

    Well, as I said the other day in relation to moving the mess to NCCS (remember: my personal companions are total standalone; while they're the test bed for most new NCCS features, the two mods are not interdependent in any way), the scripts are the bear. Once those are written, I can copy the script body, have Wordpad or whatever search and replace the container reference names from one mod with those from the other, and copy the scripts in.

    Beyond that it's a matter of... I don't know; thirty, maybe forty minutes' work? Four quests, four quest scripts, four messages, a few lines of dialogue, three containers to create and name. Once the back end -- the actual scripts -- are done, the rest is pretty simple and straight forward.

    My question to you would be this: how would the sorters be implemented standalone? I can about guarantee the cries of cheat mod will be deafening if any NPC in the game suddenly acquires the ability to teleport your loot into null space and back on command.

    Would you want containers that are accessible in the world -- similar to the sorters in the armory in RR; something to organize stuff once you get it home? Or would it be something akin to onboard storage for NPCs?

    If you're willing to throw realism out the window totally, I can write the front-end of the sorters so that no NPCs are even required -- the whole thing could be controlled via equippable items or consumables or whatever.

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  3. I completely forgot that your three favourite ladies are running on their own companion system: thus their scariness in combat.

    I think "standalone" was a poor choice of words. I was thinking of it being the onboard storage for NPCs other than NCCS. I wasn't even thinking of a sorted container system, but if you threw reality away completely, a portable container that would sort items into an "at home" storage would be handy, but not Home Base specific without building it in as a feature of said Home Base.

    I am not suggesting or asking that you change your plans for the sorter feature, I was just curious as to the feasibility of implementing it other ways.

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  4. I also love the comments and hope to see them in NCCS. One of my favorite Oblivion companions, Valeria Caresse, had many similar quips, including commentary about her inventory, the hair on her legs growing and the fact that she had beans for dinner...

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  5. "I completely forgot that your three favourite ladies are running on their own companion system: thus their scariness in combat."

    I know it seems like I'm keeping the good stuff to myself -- which granted, depending on your definition of the term, I may be -- but it's better on the whole to keep them in their own plugin.

    The companions I like are pretty radically different from the ones that seem to go over well for public releases. For example, they have no adjustability whatsoever -- they follow at one distance, use one combat style and class, have one aggression setting and one confidence setting; one essential setting (1). The companions are who I want them to be from the start; so I don't have to weigh the dialogue menu down with that other nonsense. They also lack a settable "home" marker (never needed one -- if I want them to stay somewhere in a mod-added location, I make a bridge plugin).

    I found out with RR that I end up switching so much of the companion system off for my own companions that it's just better to have them standalone so I don't have to worry about any of my edits interfering with testing updates to the main mod.

    But their combat styles are not so much more advanced as the ones I've released as tailored to the individual characters' personalities. Since nothing about the plugin is unknown (in a companion system, I can't know your character names, refs, personalities, or what-have-you, so everything has to be kept vague), I'm free to craft everything around the characters as specifically as I feel like. With FNV acting less shitty since the video driver update, I've been making things quite a bit more specific the last couple days.


    "I think "standalone" was a poor choice of words. I was thinking of it being the onboard storage for NPCs other than NCCS. I wasn't even thinking of a sorted container system,"

    Sorry... maybe my brain's not working right today (it wouldn't be the first time) but I'm having trouble figuring out what exactly you would want the plugin to do, then.

    Without sorting containers... what exactly does an item sorter do? Are you thinking having it deposit directly into NPC inventories, or what?

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  6. "Valeria Caresse, had many similar quips, including commentary about her inventory, the hair on her legs growing and the fact that she had beans for dinner... "

    They have more comments; those are just the ones I thought to screenshot.

    They each have greetings as well, and inventory access comments (one including not having had a chance to do laundry lately; that I think I partially stole from Montanas Sexy Companion II, but I don't recall offhand). Natasha actually has three possible comments for each cartridge's components you ask for.

    I plan to expand them some more.

    I also really need to add some more dialogue to NCCS. Am thinking of getting more specific and adding comments for various factions, as well... but I didn't want to drop in too much dialogue until I had the scripting more or less finalized, since you have to copy resultscripts to each possible response in a dialogue line. Gets tedious when there are ten or twenty possible responses.

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  7. Sorry Nos, I have had some difficulty in the last couple of days trying to put my thoughts into words properly. I think the more I try to explain myself, the worse it gets.

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  8. Eh, s'okay; we all have those days/weeks/months/years/lives.

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