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My Introduction, an Expression of Interest, and Questions

Discussion in 'MS:Source Discussions' started by WHITE-LION, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. WHITE-LION

    WHITE-LION New Adventurer Source Developer

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    Hello

    This is my first thread on the forums yet I have been a part of MSC for a long time. My first time playing was somewhere in 2008 or 2009 while I was in junior high. I used a different name then but for reasons concerning the history of that name and its account I have created a new account with a new name. Now I am The White Lion.

    There is something enchanting about MSC, it has a kind of genius which inspires my imagination. It is a wonderful fantasy and it is my muse.
    I have an interest in developing content for this game, so I offer my skills as a computer programmer to help this project. Though I have no formal education in Computer Science, I have educated myself how to program with books. The C language is my most familiar and, considering its similarity with C++, I know some C++ as well. However, I program only on Linux and I know nothing about the Windows environment but I can learn how.
    The source code of a program I made has been attached to this post, the program uses the Cairo API to draw text onto png images and the xlib API to display a preview of the image before the user saves it to a file or destroys the image. You must compile this program for a Linux based computer operating system: gcc caption.c -o caption -lX11 -lcairo. I understand that you are probably using Windows, nonetheless this program demonstrates that I am capable of programming.

    Now here are the questions. What is the current status of the MSS project? How much progress has been made since its beginning? How much left is there to do before it can be published? I am eager to work on MSS, even though I love MSC I believe that the limitations of the Gold Source engine should be extended to the limits of the Source engine. This game has great potential and it is restricted by the technologies of the 90s:

    1) The grid-space of maps in Gold Source is considerably smaller than the grid-space of maps in Source. Large and open landscapes cannot be created in Gold Source, or rather not efficiently.
    2) Organically shaped terrain is more easily created in Source than in Gold source. Creating natural terrain in Gold Source is possible by using tetrahedron solids but it is tedious.
    3) Source has the capability of simulating realistic physics, while the physics in Gold Source is primitive.

    I am sad to see so few players in MSC, I remember when this game was alive and flourishing with regular and new players, I made friends here. The community of MSC is one of the reasons this game is so great, I only want to make my own contribution to the community so that we can all enjoy it as we did.

    Bye.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Welcome back, [some guy]!

    Judging by your classwork here, dun think you're quite ready for a task this epic, but as MSS has no coder or head at the moment, I'm tempted to make it open source, temporarily at least, in which case you'll be free to play with it. It isn't at the point where having the source could be used to build cheats or anything - doesn't have much beyond the base SDK, save for an inventory system.

    As for how far along it is, code side, just that. There's several very lovely maps and models, some of the best I've ever seen, but nothing to make them actually do anything.

    I'll give a few days for @BoX or @Orochi (the last two project leaders) to object, but after that, I'll put a link to the source materials in a sticky here. I dun think any mappers/modelers should have an issue with their source materials being posted, as both of those are completely decompilable under Source - though I'll stick a GPL license on it or something, so they can't legally get used in other projects without permission.

    May even make a Git for it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  3. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    Eh, was intending that to be private. I mean, I don't think he really needed to reinvent himself post maturing (like maybe I should have :wink:) but wasn't planning on standing in the way
     
  4. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Oh fine, I suppose I'll respect the European right to be forgotten, but it's not as if he was so hated by the community he'd need to change his identity. ;)

    Suffice to say, we know who you are, and dun have a problem with it.
     
  5. WHITE-LION

    WHITE-LION New Adventurer Source Developer

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    Yes, well, I would prefer to use this name anyway.

    Classwork? Hmp! If you would allow me to access the MSS source I would be able to study it and prove myself.
     
  6. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    Don't take it personally. Game programming isn't really something you just dive into. Trust me, I tried the same thing with MS:C my first year of college with nothing but Java and TI-83 under my belt (and believe me I can still hear Thoth's cross-country groan from when I asked what "->" meant...)

    Point is, you're dabbling, and that's good, but you need to know way more about C++ and code styles. Yes, syntactically C and C++ are similar, but having a bit of knowledge of C isn't going to allow you to write C++. You can probably read simple programs, but a large application with classes all over the place and tons of code without comments... it's really rough.

    My suggestion would be to start on C++ proper. Pay careful attention to memory management, as a program meant to run for a long time is much more prone to memory leaks than a command line tool.

    Read some style guides and/or find open source programs so you can examine their code. One of the things that jumps out about your code is the trying to cram a lot of code onto one line. People think it's a sign of elegance to condense their code to as few lines as possible, and yeah it may be cool at times, but the secondary goal of code should be understandability by other readers and yourself. Break up lines. Use temporary variables with clear names and use comments. The easier code is to understand the easier it is to debug when there's a problem (and there always will be)

    If you do start digging into MSS in a few days, spend a loooot of time reading before you try to write anything.
     
  7. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Heh, gonna old fart out here, but I grew up "coding" on the Odyssey and TSR-80, which had all of 4K RAM, so you HAD to cram everything you could, not only onto a single line, but with as little parsing as possible, making it completely illegible, as the code itself could easily get large enough to eat all the memory you had. By the time HS came around and I took a Pascal class on the Apple II's (with their wopping 16K-128K RAM) the teacher there beat the sh*t out of me until I stopped doing that. (RIP Mr. Taylor)

    He beat me well, as these days, I kinda have the opposite problem, and parse everything out as much as I can and as close to plain english as possible. But yes, ideally, a layman with no coding experience should be able to follow your code.
     
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  8. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    Did he also teach you to prepend every variable with "thoth_"? :p
     
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  9. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Meh, used to that in the code as I had no idea what variables or words might be reserved. You'll notice I don't do it in my scripts. ;) There, at least, even if you use reserved words, provided you keep to our syntax rule that the var is in ALL_CAPS, it won't hurt anything, and most all the global variables are prefixed with "G_", and most base variables are prefixed in some way. MSC's code has just had so many hands in it that there's little in the way of fixed conventions, so I'm paranoid.
     
  10. WHITE-LION

    WHITE-LION New Adventurer Source Developer

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    By your suggestion I have ordered Stroustrup's C++ book from Amazon it should be arriving today.
    How many lines of code is the Source SDK base?

    I wish I had been alive to experience the beginning of personal computing during the 80s. There is a computer museum in Seattle which has vintage computers the public can use. I had gone there during an event where people brought their old computers. One of the computers had a giant, tall CRT monitor and the screen was colored only green and black. That one was running genuine UNIX and it was the property of SDF Public Acccess Unix System iirc. There was a Commodore 64 there too, which I had little idea how to use, and some old Apple computers. It was a funny thing, I like to think of myself as being computer literate and I know my way around a bash shell but I was clueless for how to use the software on many of the computers there. You need to understand that some of those computers was older than I am, some of them was ~30 years old while I am in my early 20s. It was fun.
     
  11. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    Excellent. If you need any questions answered, I can help. Don't know the source SDK at all, but general C++ and whatever the two SDKs have in common i can probably do. No idea how many lines, but I would say in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions
     
  12. WHITE-LION

    WHITE-LION New Adventurer Source Developer

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    I actually have a question about the SDK. Which SDK was being used to develop MSS? There are multiple...2006,2007,2013...which one should I use? I am installing Visual Studio 2013 right now and the SSDK wiki focuses on 2013.

    fugg :oldlol:
     
  13. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    I *think* it was updated to Source SDK2013, though it might have been compiled under VS2010. Bleh, my local archive isn't up to date though, lemme check the online one - be a bit, few gigs to download.
     
  14. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    Hence my warning :wink: Biggest issue with a project like this is you have to know what you're looking for, because it's not like you can look through all the code and hope you run across something understandable. Another reason why naming practices are so important, so you can search efficiently.
     
  15. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Gah, I think some things are missing from this archive (maybe BoX pulled a rage quit when he left...) :(

    So... Lessee... Think we have all the map and model folders, as they were uploaded more recently, but the only user folder with anything in it is Vomika's (and the logo's I contributed, for some reason). Dun seem to have BoX's code, dammitall.

    The latest code source under Archives seems to be "MSS-master.7z" - the build files say VS2010, but I canna find the "everything.sln" or "games.sln" the two createprojects reference.

    ...and I'm not even sure which Source SDK it's built under, as the game_info.txt doesn't specify - though I suppose someone more familiar with the more recent Source changes could tell from the formatting:
    Code:
    "GameInfo"
    {
    	game	"Master Sword: Source"
    	title	"Master Sword"
    	title2	""
    	type multiplayer_only
    	nomodels 1
    	nohimodel 1
    	nocrosshair 1
    	GameData	"MSS.fgd"
    	icon 		"resource/MSS"
    
    	FileSystem
    	{
    		SteamAppId	243750
    		SearchPaths
    		{
    			game+mod+mod_write+default_write_path		|gameinfo_path|.
    			gamebin				|gameinfo_path|bin
    			game+mod			hl2mp/hl2mp_english.vpk
    			game+mod			hl2mp/hl2mp_pak.vpk
    			game				|all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_english.vpk
    			game				|all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_pak.vpk
    			game				|all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_textures.vpk
    			game				|all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_sound_vo_english.vpk
    			game				|all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_sound_misc.vpk
    			game				|all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_misc.vpk
    			platform			|all_source_engine_paths|platform/platform_misc.vpk
    		}
    	}
    }
    
    I kinda gave up on Source back in 2010 (or maybe it was 2013) when they changed the game_info.txt formatting and killed nearly all the existing mods - though that is what resulted in us getting models from Eclipse (they threw in the towel at that moment too, due to other changes that sabotaged their mod), so I guess it wasn't all bad.
     
  16. TheOysterHippopotami

    TheOysterHippopotami Active Adventurer Source Developer Developer DarkTide RiP

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  17. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Almost all of them... But the only one's we are currently using are The Keepers (hunderswamp) and a fragment of a bridge (the_wall2). Any new ones would need converting. I'd rather not use the player model though - as if anyone ever picks up that project again, she'd be kinda iconic to the game.

    Those pumpkins are a default HL2 resource, so we can't really use those - but we do have a pumpkin model we can use, if ya need it, as part of the Halloween event materials that keep getting back burnered (guess I'm busy in October).

    Maybe BoX didn't rage quit delete, but just made these user folders that no one used, save Vomika and myself, and didn't even use his own - as I'm seeing comments by him in the Gitignore inside MSS-master.7z. So... Maybe he just really sucked at orginizing and this is indeed his code.
     
  18. TheOysterHippopotami

    TheOysterHippopotami Active Adventurer Source Developer Developer DarkTide RiP

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    I think we should use that player model. The odds of anyone ever picking up that project again are next to zero (sadly) and she looks way better than our current female model. Even if someone did revive Eclipse I don't think anyone would have a problem with using that model since we have permission. It's certainly sad to see a model of that quality go unused.

    Are there other monster models as well?
     
  19. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Well, in addition to crushing my hopes and dreams, she'd need a lot of converting, as she's too high poly, and those pigtails are gonna cause issues, plus we'd have to redesign our female armors again - something I barely pulled off the first time we did it back when I was, much better put together. Oh, yeah, and we'd have to rig her to the current player model boneset, which is just straight outside my skill set (Truewarrior might be able to though).

    Don't *think* there's any other monster models (did have to split that one up a bit due to the poly count), mostly just ruins and such. The game mostly used HL2 spiders and some sprite effects for its other monsters.

    Also this thread was not supposed to go to No Man's Land! >< Fixing... Fixed.
     
  20. WHITE-LION

    WHITE-LION New Adventurer Source Developer

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    This was posted Monday and 4 days have past, has Orochi or BoX objected to the MSS source being made public?
     
  21. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Eh, well, it's not midnight here yet, so Friday's not over. :p But no, seriously, I'll start assembling the package tomorrow, had to deal with some alien drama today, and I'm kinda done. Gave what little time I had for MSC today to Dridje's new map.
     
  22. WHITE-LION

    WHITE-LION New Adventurer Source Developer

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    What do you mean alien drama?
     
  23. Kanta

    Kanta Active Adventurer

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    ms_swamp
    Thothie is fostering a few aliens from neighboring star systems. Sometimes they don't get along very well and he has to sing them lullabies to calm them down.

    The mysterious radiation waves emanating from their skin also explain his rapidly fluctuating state of health.
     
  24. WHITE-LION

    WHITE-LION New Adventurer Source Developer

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    XUJgJ5R.png
     
  25. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Something like that, yes... >_>

    Bleh, the whole archive is nearly 3GB... I dun have any place to put that just now (dun wanna make the MSS FTP public, nor load a duplicate 3GB onto RKS without notice). I might have to dedicate a dropbox to it or something.

    But as all ya want is the code (and you've been so patient), I'll get that up to ya now and make a sticky when I've got the package properly split up and commented.

    http://www.thothie.com/mss/MSS-master.7z (~50MB - suspect it has build files that could be stripped)
     

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