Demo installer for Evochron Legacy SE version 2.0008...
Version 2.0008 includes the following improvements:
- Larger cockpit displays and HUD readout text.
- Primary rendering API now Vulkan with OpenGL fallback.
- Most textures/images updated to lossless full quality format.
- Codebase entirely rewritten in new development platform/language.
- Default radar range (ID and IFF) extended to 25K with 5K intervals.
- Long Range Radar equipment item range (no ID/IFF) extended to 50K.
- Directional audio system implemented for various external sound effects.
- New explosion effects with debris that 'burns away' with an orange-red color tone.
- OCRS (helmet mounted camera system) visibility setting added to 3D cockpit option menu.
- Added ability to remap the external ship tracking view mode zoom key and button controls.
- Save game importing system added to convert profiles from DirectX version to Vulkan version.
- New lighting system and effects implemented for explosions, weapon flashes, and tractor beam.
- New options added to the quest system to destroy or damage other ships (details in sample file).
- Increasing rank and civilian rating are now displayed as a popup message with an image of the earned level.
- Profile name queue system implemented to significantly decrease initial loading time of pilot profile menu.
- Heavily revised planetary terrain detail management system for improved performance and framerate stability.
- New coastline element added to planetary terrain shader for a more distinct division between water and land.
- Player-to-player contract system expanded to permit one player hiring another player to destroy them (wager).
- Higher precision collision system added for mining effect to better place sparks and smoke on surface of asteroids.
- Inertial compensator disabling of particle cannons at around 5K removed to allow firing particle cannons at very high speed.
- Added companion app option (dubbed LinkApp) to link an Android phone or tablet to the game wirelessly to display location and status details.
- Rail Cannon added as a secondary weapon type (energy based, requires 8 hardpoints and charging), rarely available for sale at some planet-side locations.
- Hiring/paying player in trade console contracts now has exclusive authority to adjust parameters (including credits).
- Player that sends the 'Arrange Contract' request in the trade console is now designated as the hiring/paying player.
- New shader effect implemented for asteroid explosions to render a smoke/dust based explosion rather than fire based.
- Added ability to map axis inputs as buttons in the key/button configuration menu (marked as 'A' for Axis).
- New 'Sandbox Mode' added providing shortcuts to locations, weapons, equipment, cargo, repair, and credits.
- Credit rewards for completing contracts are now more clearly indicated with green text in message log.
- Joystick animation movement in cockpit can now be changed to respond to roll input (see notes).
- Default text font updated for improved legibility (spacing, color tones/ranges, sizes, etc).
- Instrumentation font updated to match default text font, including more defined color tones.
- Disruptors expanded to include knocking out shield arrays on ships in range when detonated.
- Hired/paid player in trade console contracts now has exclusive access to 'Accept' button.
- Base engine and thruster performance increased across the board by 50%-100% (see notes).
- Added ability to map controller axis inputs to roll and movement on X/Y/Z view control.
- AI systems updated to increase detection and attack distances for new 25K radar range.
- Cube mapping for water effect updated to better show reflections from nearby terrain.
- Experimental terrain rovers now very rarely available at some planet-side locations.
- Spark effect applied to cockpit displays when taking direct weapon impact damage.
- Added ability to change brightness of all message log and menu text (see notes).
- Smoother gun turret operation and movement interpolation for connected players.
- Reward sound effect added for contract completions and rank/rating increases.
- Zoom control rate in external view modes now scales with tracked ship size.
- Elevation indicators added to 3D radar mode ship and object contact blips.
- Experimental/unsupported VR mode ported to new plugin for Vulkan version.
- 'Trade Score' added to pilot statistics list in the information console.
- Floor pathway hologram and humidity vapor effects added to main menu.
- Improvements to nebula and gas giant cloud effects in external views.
- New Rocket Pack weapon type added (mounted to secondary hardpoints).
- New Torpedo weapon type added (mounted to secondary hardpoints).
- New hangar entrance shield effects for carriers and stations.
- Currency character marker added to most displayed prices.
- New post processing jump drive streak effect added.
- Stats/status option now key and button mappable.
- New custom cockpit display system implemented.
- Comets added as new rare environmental entity.
- User interface changes and improvements.
- New quest download system added.
Engine/Thruster Power Levels:
Baseline engine and thruster power levels have been increased by 50-100%. This is to help rebalance performance between ships and individual engine/thruster systems as well as increase agility overall for all ship types.
Radar Detection Ranges:
The default radar range has been increased from 10K to 25K. Likewise, the long range radar equipment item has had its range extended to 50K. As a result, hostile ship detection and attack distances have also been increased to match along with increased initial ship placements for combat contract waypoints. Radar range setting step values have also been increased from 2K intervals to 5K intervals.
Gas Giant Planet Environment:
The gas giant planet environment now renders cloud layers a bit softer to look more realistic and align with the overall darker/thicker environment.
Comets have been added as a rare entity close to stars in a few systems. To enable this capability and retain multiplayer functionality, it has been added as a permanent element into the universe data set with calibrated orbital patterns (so they orbit their host star at close range in sector). They are functional for mining (with the added challenge of a moving target) and include collision systems for weapons and player ships. They contain high amounts of water (ice) and platinum with lessor quantities of diamonds. Their tails point away from their host stars as they fly in their orbits and the tails also have a subtle movement effect to them (much like the aurora effect on planets). When detected by nav sensors, they will appear with a new comet icon on the nav map and also include a nav point selection button in the local points of interest list.
Through a series of rewritten shaders along with newly coded lens flare, placement, and activity routines, a more advanced lighting system has been introduced that provides new effects such as a soft blue flickering light source for the mining/tractor beam (reflecting off asteroids, terrain, and other objects nearby) and improved particle cannon light flashes along with new lens flares and bright pulses/flashes for explosions. This new system more accurately applies variable illumination based on material/surface reflective properties defined in texture data as well as intensity and range variation. Changes and improvements to the lighting system also carry over into better reflection glowing from bioluminescent and lava sources on planets.
LinkApp Companion Display System:
The Evochron Legacy SE LinkAPP connects with an Android phone or tablet wirelessly (or by ethernet) over a local network to communicate with the game in order to display location, ship, and target details on the mobile device as an auxiliary display while playing the game. To use the app, first download the APK installer available here (consult your device's documentation on side loading apps): Starwraith.com
Place the APK installer on the mobile device you want to use with the game and launch the APK on the device to install it. Once the app is installed, you can enable the 'Activate LinkApp' option in-game in the Options > 3D Cockpit menu. Enabling the option will create a text file inside the game's save data folder (default location is '\Documents\EvochronLegacySE') named 'savedataapp.txt' and the first line contains the update rate with a value from 100 to 1000 (higher is possible, but not generally recommended). This value specifies how frequently the game will broadcast data to the mobile device in milliseconds. 200 is generally a good default value. You can optionally change the value if you want to try a different update rate. After launching the game from the main menu and once the game's startup sequence has finished, this green message will be displayed in the message log: '< Connection established for LinkApp >' That message indicates the game successfully started the network connection to link to the app and will include the current IP address and port number of the connection which you will need for the app to connect with. Once that's done and the game is running, you can launch the LinkApp on the mobile device. It will first prompt you to enter the IP address to connect to the game with. Enter the address and tap '[ OK ]'. If successful, the app will advance to the default 'Location' mode and begin displaying data transmitted from the game. You can tap 'Ship Status' for readouts about your ship or 'Target Details' for readouts about your current target. A few control options are also available.
Custom Cockpit Display System:
A new custom cockpit display system has been added which lets you add, place, scale, and rotate custom cockpit displays with information and/or images you choose to render on them. An example is now included with the newly revised cockpit viewer program that places a custom display on top of one of the original default displays in the civilian design. You can use that example as a template to create your own custom displays. Up to 9 individual displays can be added with up to 9 indicators or readouts each (digital/text or bar graphs). You can include custom static images on the base display structure for reminders, notes, or just eye candy. You can also use a custom static image as a background for frames and/or descriptions around readouts/indicators that are rendered on top. You can then add individual indicators using either digital/text readouts or bar graphs to display various values related to ship systems. Some bar graph options will display on or off indicators, so you can make alert or status lights with those (including individual custom images for the lights). Full position, scaling, and rotation options are available for both the base displays and their indicators. For digital/text indicators, you can also set the spacing between individual characters.
Instructions are included in the 'CustomDisplays.txt' configuration file included in the 'media\hud' folder in the sample file set with the cockpit viewing program (another copy is available in the 'hud' folder with the sample file set for the customizing kit). The revised cockpit viewing program is available here: Starwraith.com
User Interface Improvements:
Scroll bars have been updated to a clearer one color scroll range, further distinguishing them from any up or down buttons that may be nearby. Several scroll bars have also been moved to align better with their scroll range and buttons. A new inverse button highlight has been added for multiple menu modes to help visually distinguish a current mode from other available modes. Button frames and mouse over highlighting have also been updated to reduce color saturation and provide a more gradient look with softer tones. The editable currency indicator ('$' by default in lines 173 and 535 in 'text.dat') has now been added as a marker to most values displayed in the game for consistency. Some text lines have also been shortened for a little less clutter and to make room for including the new character. Menu frames have also been updated to provide finer lines and a little more space in some areas. Several menus also have revised button positions for improved alignment and accessibility.
Axis Inputs for Key/Button Controls:
You can now map axis inputs for key and button controls in the configuration menu. They will be displayed as 'A#' in the configuration menu where '#' indicates which axis channel has been mapped. When mapping, axis inputs must be moved by a default 50% of the range of their motion in either direction from center to provide an on/off signal to map a control to. This range value can be changed via a text file placed in the \media folder named 'axisbuttonrange.txt' and in the first line, enter the percentage of movement you want axis inputs to respond at (default 50). This new control addition also means that you may see new 'A#' values displayed in the key and button configuration menu when a control device is idle if any axis inputs are not centered (such as throttle or rotary controls). Any controls that are not centered when activating the mapping mode will be ignored for no interference when mapping buttons and keys. You can also bind either a positive or negative movement direction on an axis independently. Axis inputs bound to button control functions will display '+' or '-' after their respective axis channel number depending on the direction of movement from center. So binding positive movement of axis 1 to an input will show 'Device #, A1+' in the configuration menu. You can then optionally recenter the axis and bind the negative range of movement to a different control, if desired.
An experimental terrain rover can now (very rarely) be available at some select planet-side locations. It operates much like a terrain walker in terms of equipment hardpoint loading and terrain-side activation, but is capable of relatively high speed with its built-in overdrive system that is engaged with the default space bar key. It has one powerful cannon mounted on the top of its roof that tracks where the driver looks (view control is done with the mouse) and has a powerful mining system equal to that of a walker. The rover has gravity and thruster stabilizers to reduce the chance of getting stuck and also an energy based suspension system that insulates against drops/impacts. It also includes shielding, four wheel steering, optional chase view, and a cargo bay. It's still considered an experimental technology with some quirks and one that only rarely shows up in the marketplace. It's also known to command an extremely high price.
Message and Menu Text Brightness:
The brightness of all in-game message and menu text can now be changed with a new custom file option named 'setfontbright.txt' placed in the '\media' folder. Simply create a file with that name in the '\media' folder and in the first line, indicate the multiplier for how bright you want the text to be. The default value is 1.0. So values above 1.0 will be brighter, below 1.0 will be darker.
The new rail cannon is the only energy based weapon that can be installed on secondary weapon hardpoints. It requires all 8 secondary hardpoints (much like the Excalibur missile pack) as well as charging before firing its single round. The projectile is a condensed energy cell fired at extremely high velocity with a range of around 5K (before it burns out) through a technique similar to magnetic rail cannons, but instead uses fulcrum field emitters to provide the 'rail' acceleration. The condensed nature of the projectile combined with is ultra high speed produces an immense level of damage upon impact. However, after it fires, it needs to recharge for a rather long period of time before it can fire again. The rail cannon is also a highly volatile weapon. Once it enters the charging phase, it will need to be fired within about 10-15 seconds. Otherwise, the internals of the weapon will overheat and explode (an alarm will sound and caution alert on the HUD will flash when the weapon gets close to detonation). So when operating this weapon, you'll need to be certain that you are ready to charge and fire it before doing so.
A new Rocket Pack weapon is available that provides a high damage, long range (5K), rapid fire, unguided, ultra high speed missile option. Rockets do not require a lock and must be aimed manually at targets, but travel at extremely high speed and inflict a high level of damage for their size. Each Rocket Pack contains 16 small rockets inside a pod and are fired in paired sequence. During the firing sequence, you will need to maintain a direct line of site to the target you are firing on, which may require maintaining your aim on a moving target until the weapon finishes firing all 16 rockets. The firing rate is faster than the Excalibur and the level of damage is much higher, but they must be aimed manually and are ammo limited. After firing each salvo of 16 rockets, the weapon is exhausted and the next secondary weapon in line will be armed. You can mount up to 8 packs with 16 rockets each for a total of 128 rockets on an 8-secondary hardpoint configuration. Rocket Packs are also relatively expensive, but can be an effective weapon for capital ship, station, and city strike attacks.
Torpedoes are long range high speed weapons with a high yield. They lack a guidance system and must be aimed manually, but are heavily armored and resistant to capital ship AMS (Anti-Missile System) beam cannons. They are less expensive than rockets (30-50%) and deliver their yield in one hit rather than dividing it up into a series of impacts.
Cockpit Joystick Animation Axis:
By default, the cockpit joystick will respond to yaw/turn input from a connected flight control device. You can now change this to respond to roll input instead by a new line available in the 'joystickthrottle.txt' custom file option (detailed in the customizing kit). The first 8 values specify the joystick and throttle structural positions and rotation multiplier as indicated in the customizing kit. A new 9th value is available which lets you specify the control input the left/right movement of the joystick will respond to. The default value is 0 for yaw/turn or enter 1 for roll.
Quest Download System:
The new quest download system (accessed via the 'Download' button in the quest menu) allows players to retrieve quests from the official SW3DG website. This way, quests can be installed either by placing the needed files manually or through the download option which will automatically install the files for them. There is currently only one quest available via download in index 5, but if more are added, they can also be accessed via this new menu option. Downloaded quest files are automatically routed to the save data folder for installation (the game can use either the '\media\Quests' folder inside the installation folder or the save data folder, the '\Documents\EvochronLegacy\quests' save data folder is checked first, then the '\media\Quests' folder). A protection system is in place for existing script files in the save data folder, so if you download new quests and still have old 'Quest#.txt' files left behind, the game will back up those files first before replacing them with the download versions. This way, if you create a quest of your own in an index that a downloadable quest also uses, your script file will be preserved with a '-bak#' label where '#' will be a number starting at 0 up to the number of backups made. You can optionally remove those backup script files if desired or clear out the '\quests' folder in the save data folder (if it exists) first, then download any available quest(s).
Player-To-Player Contract System Expanded:
You can now hire another player to destroy you in a wager through the multiplayer player-to-player contract system in the trade console. So you can bet them a number of credits to see if they can destroy you by setting it up in the trade console contract menu, then once they click on 'Accept', you will be linked to pay them if they destroy you. Other selectable objectives have also been improved to be more reliable under a variety of conditions. There are new dedicated hiring and hired modes for each player accessing the trade contract system. The first player to click on 'Arrange Contract' in the trade console is designated the 'hiring' player status. This gives them exclusive control over the contract parameters (objective, target/amount, and credits). The second player is designated the 'hired' player status, which gives them exclusive access to the 'Accept' button. This way, the 'hired' player can review the parameters selected by the 'hiring' player, then decide if they want to accept the contract not.
Save Game/Pilot Profile Importing:
The Vulkan version of the game utilizes a new save game template format designed to better accommodate the new development system. However, this does not mean old save games can't be loaded in this version of the game. I've included an automated conversion and importing system that will look for pilot profiles in the original format and then transfer them to the new folder location as well as update them for the new save template. When you launch the Vulkan version of the game for the first time, it will automatically look for pilot profiles in the original folder location (\Documents\EvochronLegacy). If it finds any, it will display a message about importing them and begin the process (a small progress indicator will also be displayed). It's important to allow that process to finish, even if it takes several minutes. The time it takes will vary depending on the performance of your system and how many pilot profiles it needs to convert. The updated pilot profiles will be saved in the new folder location (\Documents\EvochronLegacySE). The game will also copy over any engineering templates, flight logs, map logs, and ship templates it finds. Once finished, you should be able to access your original pilot profile(s) in the Vulkan version of the game. The original files will remain in their original location, so you can go back to the 'classic' DirectX version (via separate installation) of the game any time. Updated profiles are not backwards compatible with the original format, so be sure to back up any compatible versions you want to keep to use with whichever version of the game you play. Updated pilot profiles will contain the letters 'se' after their number in their filenames.
If you have specified a custom folder or want to later transfer over pilot profiles from the original DirectX version of the game over to the Vulkan version, you can simply create the 'EvochronLegacy' folder inside the '\Documents' folder if it doesn't already exist, then place the pilot profile(s) (pilot*.sw) you want to transfer in that folder. From there, locate the 'UpdateSE.sw' file in the new '\Documents\EvochronLegacySE' folder and either delete or rename the file. This will prompt the game to again look for original format pilot profiles to copy and convert. An important note about this process, the game will not override any pilot profiles that are already in the '\EvochronLegacySE' folder. So if you want to transfer an original pilot profile over to an existing index, you'll need to relocate or rename the pilot profile file that is in the index you want to update. For example, if you have a pilot profile from the DirectX version of the game named 'pilot1.sw' that you want to import into the Vulkan version of the game, but there is already a 'pilot1se.sw' file in the 'Documents\EvochronLegacySE' folder, rename the file in the 'Documents\EvochronLegacySE' folder to something like 'pilot1se-bak.sw' to back it up, then launch the game with the 'UpdateSE.sw' file removed from the same folder to prompt the game to convert the profile over from the original '\Documents\EvochronLegacy' folder to the same index.
The Sandbox Mode is a new separate gameplay mode capability allowing the player to quickly access locations, equipment, weapons, cargo, and credits by simply typing in commands with parameters within brackets in the message log. Options to destroy the current targeted ship, change the current contract's pay amount, and repair all hull and subsystem damage on the player's ship are also available. The sandbox mode is available in the 'Available Pilot Profiles' menu and manages its own separate set of save games dedicated to the sandbox mode. Simply select the 'Sandbox Mode Pilot Profiles' option next to the 'Standard Mode Pilot Profiles' option, then create a new profile and launch the game. Once in the game, press enter to open the message log's entry prompt and type in one of the commands listed (with parameters as required for the commands that need them), then press enter again. If the command and parameters are valid, the selected action will be performed. Here is a list of the available commands (this list is also provided in-game when opening the message log entry prompt):
For commands that involve cargo, equipment, and weapons, a list of available values is displayed for reference and color coded for each item category. Each selected item will automatically be routed to its compatible ship hardpoint. Any item can be placed in an available cargo bay. So you can also place equipment and weapons in your ship's cargo bays by using the 'cargo' command rather than the 'equipment' or 'weapon' commands. Equipment items will be added to the specified hardpoint/slot, overwriting an item if one is already in place and/or is of the same type. For example, you can install a Fulcrum Jump Drive C4 on a hardpoint if your ship has no jump drive or replace an existing jump drive with the C4 model if you specify the same hardpoint where a jump drive is already installed. Cannon weapons will overwrite their respective slots (slot number doesn't matter) while missiles will be applied in the specified slot. You can quickly transport your ship anywhere in the Evochron quadrant using the 'transport' command and specifying the SX, SY, and SZ sector coordinates, along with the X, Y, and Z in-sector coordinates. Just be carefull not to transport yourself into a planet, star, or moon. :) There is no fuel penalty when using the transport option in sandbox mode. Transporting is also confined to the Evochron quadrant (so values in the -5500 to +5500 SX and SZ range). The 'credit' command will add credits to your in-game total. You can add up to 100-million credits at a time up to 1-billion to effectively be able to buy, hire, or fleet recruit any time. The 'contractpay' command lets you alter the currently selected contract. You can change a contract's pay before you accept it while reviewing or after you accept it. As with the 'credits' option, you can increase the value up to 100-million credits. The 'destroyship' command will destroy the ship you currently have targeted. The 'repair' command will repair your ship's hull and subsystems. Multiplayer is still available in sandbox mode, but it requires the server to be set to accept sandbox mode profiles (so public standard mode multiplayer sessions are not available when using sandbox mode profiles). See the 'text8.dat' file included with the server program for details and once set to sandbox mode, you can connect to a sandbox mode server via direct IP.