[dev update] Overhaul of the Planetary Exploration System (WIP)

Status of the work of March 20, for this 0.6.18 version:

  • [DONE]  FARC Universe Generator (FUG) updates and improvements.
  • [DONE] Full recalculation of the Epsilon Eridani system with the changes above.
  • [DONE] Weather and Geophysical System (WEAGES) induced region environmental modifiers.
  • [DONE] Weather and Geophysical System (WEAGES) implementation of a probability system, with specific data for each effect, to determine if and how a weather/geophysical effect will hit settlements, expeditions and armies.
  • [DONE/WIP] Addition of the seven factions of origin, including 7 additional starter star systems.
  • [WIP] Full overhaul of the planetary exploration system (PES).
  • [] Modifications in Conversion/Assembling/Building of infrastructures (new Size Indexes, REMs, new duration calculations).
  • [WIP] Infrastructure Reliability and Integrity + Integration with the WEAGES.
  • [WIP] Planetary Features & Artefacts; basic addition and generation.
  • [] Small CSM updates.
  • [] Options Window.
  • [] 100% Revamp of Messages Panels into a Messages Log Window + Rework of Messages
  • [WIP] General Improvements of the User’s Interface.
  • [WIP] Various Bug Fixes.
  • [] Knowledge Base – Session Update
  • 3D
    • [New: DONE] HUD Buttons/fix: prevent the hint to shows if the button is hidden.
    • [New: NOT DEV] HUD Buttons/fix: prevent the area of a hidden button to be clicked.
    • [New: NOT DEV] new HUD button to access the planetary exploration window.
  • Colonization Phase System (CPS)
    • [New: DONE] fix: second anticrash protection in case there is no CPS objectives available.
  • Colony Simulation Model (CSM)
    • [New: DONE] fix: the old code to make calculations of Quality of Life modifier according to the housing space level generated a crash if a colony was set on a satellite. The entire code of the function have been audited and all is working now.
  • Factions / Starting Locations
    • [New: DONE] orbital objects with tectonic activity of Platelet Tectonics or Extreme aren’t taken into the mix. They aren’t the best locations to set a fleeting first colony hehe.
  • Game Saving / Loading
    • [New: DONE] fix: wrong loading of colony’s location in the case when it is located on a satellite. Too much copy/paste into the parameters…
  • Graphics
    • [New: NOT DEV] creation of icons for the HUD button that allows access to the planetary exploration window.
  • Interface – General
    • [New: DONE] the minimum size restraints for the main window are now 1024×768.
    • [New: DONE] improved the readability of all the glow button.
    • [New: NOT DEV] new keyboard shortcut to access the planetary exploration window.
  • Interface – Local Surface
    • [New: DONE] addition of a button “exploration” to connect with the planetary exploration window.
  • Interface – Planetary Exploration
    • [New: WIP] the planetary exploration system is now in its own window and not a panel anymore.
    • [New: WIP] total rework of the user’s interface by using the new window.
  • Interface – Population Panel
    • [New: DONE] correction in color coding for population density data display.
  • Interface – Star Systems Browser
    • [New: DONE] it is now possible to browse any orbital object of any planetary system. I haven’t added this feature before, since there was only Epsilon Eirdani present in the game.
    • [New: DONE] fixed an oversight; I forgot to localize the main title of the window…
  • Misc
    • [New: DONE] the compiled executable uses now a new version of the UI framework TMS VCL UI Pack,
  • Planetary Exloration System (PES)
    • [New: WIP] the crewing of survey vehicles / cybershells is now multispecies/multiclades.
    • [New: WIP] additional support of the features & artifacts, and the biological surveys. Until now the PES was only for geological/resources survey.
    • [New: WIP] removal of the current survey vehicles’ capabilities and replacement by characteristics and abilities fully compatible with the new Unified Resolution System (URES).
    • [New: WIP] integration of the URES in the calculations of survey probabilities, their resolutions, and their possible outcomes. It also includes the uses of the new Region Environmental Modifiers (REM).
    • [New: WIP] linking of the REMs of the possible Weather and Geophysical System effects currently active in the region. This particular data is updated each time any of the WEAGES effects in the region is updated.
    • [New: WIP] integration of a new way to generate resource spots’ size (in accordance to the modified/new infrastructure level calculation). In addition of it, a new data named Total Exploitation Volume is integrated and includes its calculations. It simply means that the resources will be finite in the game, even if vast in certain cases.
  • Production System / Production Modes
    • [New: NOT DEV] Resources Mining: complete and final overhaul on how the Resource Mining Production value is calculated.
  • Products
    • [New: DONE] the function Survey – Air is renamed into Survey Aero.
    • [New: DONE] function Survey – XXX equipments: total overhaul of the old previous capabilities into characteristics and abilities, so they become 100% compliant with the Unified Resolution System.
    • [New: DONE] one unit of equipment represent now one vehicle (and no more a variable group of vehicles).
    • [New: WIP] function Survey – XXX equipments: crew: addition of a new data that specify which category is used. By default, the human baseline categories are used. If the equipment is unmanned and use AI, a NSAI or SAI category is used.
  • Products / Equipments
    • [New: DONE] Antigrav Scout Platforms (Survey – Antigrav): capabilities replaced by URES characteristics and abilities, crew adjusted.
    • [New: DONE] Scout Autonomous Rovers (Survey – Ground): product removed for now.
    • [New: DONE] Autonomous Mobile Digging Platform (Survey – Ground): addition.
    • [New: DONE] Rover Survey Vehicles (Survey – Ground): product removed for now.
    • [New: DONE] Deep Mantle Explorer (Survey – Ground): addition.
    • [New: DONE] Mobile Digger Prospectors (Survey – Ground): addition.
    • [New: DONE] Nuclear VTOL Exploration Aircraft (Survey – Aero): addition.
    • [New: DONE] Survey Airship Drone (Survey – Aero): product renamed from Airships + capabilities replaced by URES characteristics and abilities.
    • [New: DONE] UAVs Survey Vehicles (Survey – Aero): product removed for now.
    • [New: DONE] Utility Fog Scout (Survey – Swarm Antigrav): product removed for now.
  • Time Flow System (TFS) / Tasks Subsystem
    • [New: NOT DEV] addition of a new task: planetary exploration. It includes all its specific data and its full process.
  • Unified Resolution System (URES)
    • [New: DONE] implementation of the concept of hardcoded abilities with their base difficulties, that can be used by any active unit.
    • [New: DONE] the test is expanded as follow. Characteristic vs ability efficiency of the active unit in this ability + experience.
    • [New: DONE] addition of abilities (into a specific XML file for starting values + hardcoded): survey-geological, survey-features & artifacts, survey-biological.

Sorry for the lack of updates, I know it has been a long time but I had to finalize / fix certain design hurdles and take some decisions, which took time. But my goal to release the current version by the end of April stays as it is.

As you can see in the status above, many new steps, other than the PES itself, are in WIP. It is because I also started to work in these fields in FARC, by incidence of working on the planetary exploration system and also because of bugs I seen by myself.

Anyway the design is fully completed, the days of work of it were about the adjustments and modifications of the survey vehicles; I had to redesign and normalize the characteristics and abilities compared to the technologies used and the specific missions for each vehicle.
Also, the crew management, in regard of colony’s population, is using multispecies rules now. All is automated, the player will not have to do anything manually for it (outside to be sure to have enough population in specific categories that are required by the PES).

I also implemented the PES’ window and the user’s interface elements start to populating it. I have not much problems so far but  I badly need to work on it.

That’s it for now, thanks for your interest, and stay tuned!

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