[conquest] Conquest GL client graphics upgrade beta test.

Almighty Tallest Cataboligne god.000 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 3 00:52:07 MST 2005

To all list members:

Take heed, a new era of conquest game play may soon be at hand!

For the last several months I have been crafting a graphics update
for the conquest GL client.

The first gfx goal was adding custom planet images to an upgrade that loaded
planet data from a .planetsrc text file upon universe reset.  A quick
lead to a project to obtain trek ship and planet images.

It wasnt long before the images and gfx needs outstripped the purpose of
At this point a .imagesrc was coded with specific animation, scaling and

Not long after I had the core ideas for the full gfx upgrade that now

(codes: TOS = the original series, TMP - the motion pictures, TNG = the next

The following goals have been adhered to:

usage of TOS actual images, scans, art, and images crafted from TOS data.
options to switch on many of these features.

replacement of ship images from art crafted based on original models.
(very few useable overhead [dorsal] model photos exist.)

replacement of photon shots, explosions, and phaser shot from TOS for fed,
kli & rom.
Orion gfx for this set are conquest originals.

inclusion of optional shield visual indicator.  this indicator has been
designed to
correspond as much as possible with available canon trek information.
additionaly an option is added to give the indicator a layer effect.

an optional tactical background (used with LR scan display) based on TOS and
TMP images
where possible with filler created by artistic license (i.e. I put in what
right to make the image work.)  there is also an option to shade the
to user requirements.  (diff. monitors seem to show this particular update

a multi level scaling system.  this allows 3 rescalings:
scaling is programmed with 10% - 1000% limits.  from 50% - 200% is most
practical for game play.

1 - HUD scaling.  the hud can be scaled up or down and locked at a given
(this is especially nice on larger montiors where the up scale makes HUD gfx
This scaling does not change the LR scan or main view scale, however, more
will be
viewed as the HUD is scaled down and less as the HUD is scaled up.

2 - Main viewer scaling - this allows the main view window to be scaled up
and down
higher resolution images provide more detailed gfx at larger scales.  I
added this
mostly to compensate for lack of detail with the new gfx set in smaller
windows and lower
res. monitors.  This scaling does not affect the LR scan view.

3 - Ship scaling - the icons for the ships in the main view can be scaled
of the viewer.  I added this just for bringing out details of ship gfx
without changing the
other aspects of viewer images.

the entire HUD has been iconized.  an option exists to use the old hud, new
hud with old
number boxes, new hud only and new hud with hints from old hud labels.
(hints are for
possible unreadable fed icons at some gfx levels, and translation of race
text for non feds.)

a ship and shield icon have been added to the hud.  an option exists to
conquest status colors with these icons (green = OK, yell = warning, red =

different races have race specific fonts in HUD icons.
gauges have quantity lables.
each ship icon has a set of alert decals corresponding to:

cloak engaged (ship icon is also shaded)
armies carried (includes count)
tractor beam (also indicates ship in tow)
ship under repairs
photon load status (displays available torps for firing)
engines critical (eng temp in red zone)
weapons critical (wep temp in red zone)
shield critical (shield in red zone)
shield fail (shield < 4 units)
hull critical (damage in red zone)
warp core breach (damage > 95 units)

alert status decals have been added corresponding to:
red alert, yellow alert, proximity alert - fed is based on TOS images,
and the rest are artistic license.

heading has an astrogator icon added with a direction pointer.
the fed astrog. is based on the TOS helm console.
the other teams are artistic license.

the warp indicator also has a chart added the displays a visual indication'
of warp speed.  the fed warp chart is based on the TOS engineers console on
bridge.  the other teams are artistic license.

the intro giant "conquest" title has been converted into race specific

the orion team has the most non canon gfx...simply because TOS and TMP
almost nothing in the way of orion images.  Klingon and romulan gfx owe a
to TMP and the Enterprise show.

I hope to have an upgrade package ready for beta testing soon.  I'll prob.
let Jon take
a stab at it prior to general release.

I anticipate scaling issues on other OS and monitor / gfx card configs.
(I have morphix linux 4.x and dual 19" monitors and a geforce 6600GT

further plans in sequence:
convert any images not already in power of 2 sizes to such.
shading on alert decals so shield indicator doesnt swamp them.
improved and optimized hud code.
live key codes to switch viewer scale and some hud opts so you dont have to
call up opts menu.
option to mask viewer edges beyond tactical bkg implied viewscreen and
possibly reconfigure
viewer window to accomodate a more "accurate" viewscreen ideal.
smaller size image sets
icon text labels converted over the .txf font sets if possible.
(this will also make the alert decal hints better...)
possibly improving the option set expansion in some way (just no ideas yet.)

investigating making the hud a separate "floating" window.  I have 2
monitors, so this makes sense to me.
also thinking of an total integrated HUD / viewer.  HUD data would be
arrayed around the viewer in some TOS style fashion with the alert decals /
ship icon being a floater...

In general any suggestions for improvement will be considered.  Here are a
few guidelines -

Suggestions will be accepted for:
scaling and display bugs.
ideas for better contrast of icons and text.
possible image sources that are (proveable) canon, where I used artistic
(specifically *detailed* set photos for TOS, TMP, TNG - all races, that
better icons
could be made from.)

Things of aesthetic design or low priority that I'm not interested in
layout of icons, alert decals.
spacing of gauges, etc.  (I followed the old HUD as closely as possible to
avoid confusion
- if you dont like something or it interferes with _your_ game, well thats
why there are options
to turn stuff off.)

If you dont like the way something looks, I will be providing the source
material so you can
modify it to your hearts content.  Hopefully this will cut down on replies
that go like "thats not a bug" or "thats not a design flaw" because I
designed it to be that way.

What gets included in the official release will be up to Jon since he is the
code base maintainer.

I hope to have a beta ready within 2 weeks.  A few things still need to be
looked at.

      4 | 2
     5--*----> 1   Thing is facing this direction
      6 | 8
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