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Steel Beasts Pro P E, Version 4.1

July 2019

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#21 Ssnake

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 0222 AM

Is there any limit to the amount of craters you can have in, say, a square mile?

 

I don't think so, but let's test it.


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#22 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 0224 AM

I was thinking of some of the difficulties the British had advancing in Operation Goodwood from the heavy cratering from allied bombers. Granted we dont really fight like that anymore, but I would think some Russian Rocket systems may leave heavy cratering.

 

And of course it would leave you open to put in the MkIV Heavy Tank. :)


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#23 Ssnake

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 0249 AM

Okay... so I went a little bit crazy with them explosives.

 

V4-1_Kablooie.jpg

 

 

The result looks okay-ish at first sight:

 

V4-1_Crater_Field.jpg

 

 

However, objectively it is not. There were more (way more!) IEDs than there are now craters. And on closer inspection there's at least one "flat crater" (has the scorched earth texture but no deformation, to the direct front left of the Chally). Of course the question is, do we allow digging craters into craters; probably not a good idea since it is only a matter of time until someone stacks a high number of IEDs on top of each other to drill a hole all the way to the bottom (-12,800m in the 16 bit world of Steel Beasts, at a height resolution of 39cm), and then possibly crashing it as you try to dig deeper.

 

It wouldn't even require manic energy, as we added an option to duplicate IEDs (that's what I did here), so you can very quickly create an insane number of them in the attempt to break Salisbury Plains.

 

On the other hand... a worthy goal... But think, Nils, think what the Great Man said: Never Go Full Retard!


Edited by Ssnake, 29 May 2019 - 0251 AM.

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#24 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 0253 AM

I think thats very impressive indeed. I dont think you have to model every crater for it to be worth doing. Its going to impede the movement of any forces that try and drive across that.

 

Ive not kept track, can you build Antitank ditches now? From what I saw above, you have some ability to dig scrapes in realtime already?


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#25 Ssnake

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 0255 AM

So, in conclusion, there seems to be an upper limit. A generous upper limit maybe, but it's there. I don't know how high it is exactly, and frankly, I'm not interested enough to do the iterative work of trying to find the optimal packing density for craters, then to fill a significant area uniformly, and then count the crater number.


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#26 Ssnake

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 0257 AM

Anti-tank ditches are an obvious application case for this type of technology, but we haven't gotten arount it yet.

A chain of IEDs however will create a crater line with a similar effect. Not perfect, but maybe an acceptable substitute for a while.

 

You would however want the AI to recognize such an obstacle, and then react to it. This is where things get complicated.


Edited by Ssnake, 29 May 2019 - 0408 AM.

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#27 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 0333 AM

Well very interesting anyway. Thanks for sharing Nils.


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#28 Chris Werb

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 1620 PM

Is 4.1 going to be a pay-for upgrade? Where do I sign up? :)


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#29 Ssnake

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 1744 PM

  1. Yes
  2. The web shop will take preorders in about two weeks.

There will be the following purchase options during the preorder period:

  • Bundle 1: Printed (new) manual, USB stick with map installer, upgrade license, and a surprise item; $49.-
  • "naked" upgrade license: $25.-

 

After the preorder period is over:

  • "new" Bundle 1: Printed manual, USB stick with map installer, upgrade license; $55.-
  • Bundle 2: Printed manual, upgrade license; $45.-
  • Bundle 3: USB stick with map data, upgrade license: $45.-
  • "naked" upgrade license: $30.-

The USB stick will be 16 GByte large and contain an installer for the major maps that were part of previous Steel Beasts installations, now converted into the new format. It will allow to install the map data into an entirely user-defined directory rather than the forced installation into C:\ProgramData; of course, you could just as well do the conversion yourself (not much fun, but possible), or simply download the map installer. But some people are on slow internet connections, and we want to give them a convenient and practical option too.

If we get the timing right the majority of the USB sticks will have arrived by the time that the new version goes live, so people with the USB stick will only need to install SB Pro PE and not have to download the separate map installer.

 

I suppose this would be a good place and also a good moment to talk a bit about the way we're now handling map data. I'll make that a separate post.


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#30 Ssnake

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 1747 PM

Basic Concepts

Steel Beasts renders the virtual 3D environment based on map data, beginning with version 4.1 stored in so-called Map Packages. A map package contains all data required for a map and is stored in a single folder, which can easily be copied or moved around using Windows Explorer or shared via internet or USB-sticks.

 

There are two kinds of map packages: base packages and delta packages. Delta packages always belong to a specific base package and contain only changes to the base package. This provides an efficient way to make minor changes to a map, for example for a given scenario, without altering the original (usually rather large) map. There is no maximum number of delta maps for a given base map. All delta packages are stored in subfolders of the original map package.

 

Note: There is no such thing as a delta map for a delta map, as this might result in an unbearable cascade of changes to previous changes. Changes to a delta map are always stored as new delta maps to the original delta’s base package (or, if the designer wishes, as new base packages).

 

Steel Beasts uses two categories of map packages: published maps and unpublished maps. Maps that are being worked on are always of the unpublished category (which implies among other things that they are stored in an uncompressed manner for faster read/write access, sometimes requiring considerable amounts of space on the hard drive. As soon as a map designer has finished his map, he should convert it to a published map via the option Publish map in the file menu. This map is converted to a read-only state and compressed and any changes to this base package will be saved as a delta package. Only published maps can be used in a scenario, an unpublished map can however be used for testing in the mission editor (so that the map designer can evaluate the map).

 

Up to version 4.0 of Steel Beasts stored maps in two proprietary formats. There were height maps, which stored information about the ground elevation, and terrain maps, which described terrain properties like ground type, vegetation, locations of buildings, roads, and other stationary objects. The combination of a height map file with a terrain map file resulted in a full description of the virtual battleground. In version 4.1 these legacy maps of older scenarios can be converted to new terrain maps with the Map package creation wizard described later in this chapter.

Edited by Ssnake, 31 May 2019 - 1750 PM.

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#31 Chris Werb

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 1956 PM

I am hugely impressed by what you have so far released about the 4.1 upgrade. Can I just ask if the new fragmentation model fixed the "helicopter damage" anomaly?


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#32 Ssnake

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 0047 AM

Not that I remember this particular phrase but if you're asking whether helicopters will go down more reliably now, the answer is "probably yes".


Edited by Ssnake, 01 June 2019 - 0244 AM.

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#33 Ssnake

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 0250 AM

So, we're introducing "terrain theme palettes" now; the old system allowed only for a total of 64 terrain objects for the whole world (because we all know how well nature fits into six bits); so, at least it's now possible to have 64 terrain object types per terrain theme, some improvement. So we can have termite fortresses. Or silly Baobab trees. And acacias:

 


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#34 Chris Werb

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 0615 AM

Not that I remember this particular phrase but if you're asking whether helicopters will go down more reliably now, the answer is "probably yes".

 

Awesome! :)


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#35 Ssnake

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 0648 AM

Well, let's wait with the praise until you have more than my tentative word. I even lied in the Vector video. There's no KPV option for this vehicle, I confused it with the NSVT.


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#36 Chris Werb

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 0750 AM

Well, let's wait with the praise until you have more than my tentative word. I even lied in the Vector video. There's no KPV option for this vehicle, I confused it with the NSVT.

 

When I play a sim, I look out for things that differ from my interpretation of reality - particularly outcomes. SB is truly remarkable in that I can think of very few occasions when I had an outcome that departed significantly from what I would have expected in reality. If we ignore the limitations of AI infantry (and I know you are continually working on that), and a few vehicles driven or flown by ghosts, the helicopter damage model is the only significant departure from reality that I can honestly think of. SB 4.0xx is easily the best value leisure purchase I have ever made in terms of cash spent to time spent and pleasure gained. I can't recommend it enough.


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#37 Ssnake

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 0801 AM

Well, thanks ... and tell your friends. :)


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#38 Mr King

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 1946 PM


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#39 Chris Werb

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 0558 AM

I would if they weren't all socialist peacenik SJWs:p

I do disagree about the utility of GMLRS unitary in game as it has been used frequently and to great effect, even in urban combat. The long minimum range can be overcome by assuming the launch platform is sufficiently distant. However effective they may be, uxo producing DPICM and old style bomblet MLRS are gone or on the way out in most friendly armies. SB doesn't tend to focus on Israel or S. Korea.

I don't want to start yet
Another wish list, but I do hope you're including SMArt or Bonus 155mm this time around.
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#40 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 0907 AM

Id probably get it if it had an Estonia map in it.


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