Mod Feature Resource: Bouncing Infection Beam, Map-targetable Siege Cannon

A Cataclysm style targetable siege cannon in HW2 or HWR is at best an impracticality if not an outright impossibility. Targeting an arbitrary map point, firing a weapon on open space, and getting a weapon to detonate at an arbitrary distance are all things we would need engine access to do, right?

Well, kind of yes, but actually no.

It long seemed that way to me, but recently I had an idea, and it works.

Please forgive the crudity of the modeleffects, my focus is on the mechanics. For those who don’t want to watch the video, the short summary is this: A custom code ability on the siege cannon ship spawns a ‘target cursor’ ship. The player uses normal move commands with that cursor ship to pick their target, then activates an ability on it that signals the siege cannon ship to force-attack it with the siege weapon. With bullet steering on and perfect accuracy, the shot will hit the cursor unless something else gets in the way.

There’s a lot more moving parts under the hood that keep you from being able to use the siege cannon any other time, and so forth.

I’m not making cata remastered, and I don’t intend to right away. I also don’t intend to put this ability in Fulcrum any time soon. So if people want to use it, or read it to see how it works, here it is.

There’s some terms inside that should look fairly familiar to anyone who has looked at using Fulcrum assets, but it is meant to be used. I’ve done my best to document the code both inside the files themselves and in an included document describing how they work, and what possible improvements could be made in the future.

Hopefully this effort will grow to include other abilities, if my inspiration and energy holds.

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That’s a novel solution! You could use a holo-reticule kind of fx on the target ship and it’d be totally immersive…

This has given me an idea for installation construction actually… :thinking::thinking::thinking:

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Yeah, that kind of visual turn occurred to me, I just didn’t want to hold up releasing the code while I floundered on art for an interminable duration

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love the solution behind this, using a ship/drone as a targeting beacon

So, the second ability I’m tackling is coming along well, but between that and some discussion on discord, this project seems like it has the potential to grow into a real open community library and knowledge base. I’ve been doing my best to turn the things I learn about the relevant systems into documentation within it while doing so, at the least, and a bitbucket hosted project wiki might satisfy certain wishes of mine for a karos graveyard replacement that other candidates haven’t quite done so. In general it seems a thing worth doing, to me. But that brings up the question of what to call it.

My local copy is just ‘ability demos’, and ‘unit ability library’ seemed like a good idea, but if it’s going to be general scripting and broader features then that seems insufficient. After scrubbing through a number of words to glue together for this, the title I like the best is the Homeworld Mod Feature Resource, abbreviated for function and file prefixes as MFR. I’m open to suggestions though.

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This is a good idea - bits of code ready for people to use our repurpose. I’ll have a think if there is anything I have that would be a good contribution…

After the siege cannon, the natural next step is an infection beam. I know the Cata:R folks did a good amount of work on capturing certain aspects of the beam themselves, but as far as I know and could see it didn’t handle the bouncing aspect of it, so that’s what I tackled.

I also bit the bullet and made myself learn Git(I’m used to it’s much less popular cousin, Mercurial) to turn this into a proper public repository, so here it is.
https://bitbucket.org/EatThePath/homeworld-remastered-mod-feature-resource/src/master/

It’s still in it’s infancy but I’ve also enabled the wiki for this repo and hope to build it up into a successor to the Karos Graveyard wiki. @sastrei has done a lot of great work with https://hwmod.fandom.com/wiki/Hwmod_Wiki but there are certain aspects of it that don’t quite work for me, largely wikiaFandom’s layout and tools. With a bitbucket wiki I can always have a local clone of it, make offline edits and sloppy notes and then push those edits to the main wiki when I have time to tidy them up, and do full text searches with the same code editor I use for scripting. To me, that’s worth the growing pains as I(and perhaps others) fill it out with information. I’ve spoke with @sastrei about it already and we hope the two resources can compliment one another.

I’ve never administered a team repository public or otherwise, so if you decide to contribute to it I hope you will be patient with me as I learn by doing.

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I vaguely recall a conversation I had with another mod developer, regarding the Cataclysm Remastered mod; we were attempting to figure out how to ‘emulate’ the Siege Cannon’s firing sequence (including the charging animation that occurs before the shot itself fires) within the Remastered engine.

Ugh… I wish I had saved that particular conversation… I ‘think’ it had something to do with linking multiple ‘slaved’ animations and ‘dummy turrets’ to each other? And possibly hooking the ability trigger itself with a standard ‘missile dump’ ability hotkey?

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