Author Topic: OutpostHD - An Open Source Remake of OUTPOST by Sierra On-Line  (Read 51913 times)

Offline White Claw

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #100 on: March 27, 2018, 11:58:50 PM »
I'm still around also, checking the forums periodically. Things were a bit crazy for me the last couple months, but I'm hoping all that will stay settled. I've not made any new buildings in a while, though I did start some 3D modeling again just a couple weeks ago (not Outpost related). Going to try to finish that project over the next couple weeks (if work doesn't stop me), then perhaps back over to remaking the buildings.

Cheers!

Offline Hooman

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #101 on: March 28, 2018, 04:23:52 AM »
Cool, great to hear from both of you.

I just checked out the PVS-Studio Analyzer website. Neat little tool. Looks to do the same sort of thing as Coverity Scan.

White Claw, what's your other project? Anything worth starting a new thread about?

Offline White Claw

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #102 on: March 28, 2018, 10:13:09 PM »
White Claw, what's your other project? Anything worth starting a new thread about?

Probably nothing worth an entire new thread, but I went ahead and added it to the other 3D modeling thread since it's completely off topic here.

http://forum.outpost2.net/index.php/topic,5951.msg86223.html#msg86223

Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #103 on: March 28, 2018, 11:24:14 PM »
I just checked out the PVS-Studio Analyzer website. Neat little tool. Looks to do the same sort of thing as Coverity Scan.

It basically is but it integrates well with Visual Studio and its code analysis has helped me find many bugs in my other project Rogue Arena. I didn't realize how useful static code analysis was. It also turns out that Visual Studio has static code analysis built into it even in the free community edition though it missed a lot of what PVS-Studio flagged (and found things PVS-Studio missed).

Offline Hooman

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #104 on: March 29, 2018, 10:03:13 AM »
I love static code analysis.  :)

Which is also one of the reasons why I like compiled languages. They generally do at least some basic syntax and semantic checking up front during the compile stage, so you can catch a whole wide range of errors easily and quickly.

Then there are other software packages (I think one culprit was MatLab), where a program can run for an hour before aborting with a syntax error.  >:(

When I first moved to Ruby, I sorely missed the syntax check from a compile phase. Automated tests become a lot more important in a language like that. Which unfortunately have to be manually written.

It is impressive though what some of those C++ static analysis tools can catch, which a compiler typically won't check for. Glad you got that working.  :)

Offline JetMech1999

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #105 on: March 30, 2018, 07:15:46 PM »
Glad to hear everyone is doing well and that none of you fell off the planet.  Looking forward to the status updates (when life gives you a few moments to post them) as well as any new graphics (test or otherwise).

Offline macksting

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #106 on: May 13, 2018, 05:50:24 AM »
Every now and then I scratch the itch to play Outpost, or look for something else that will scratch it.
This is probably the first time I've ever seen a post about a remake within the same year it was last spoken of.
I was gonna say "I'll try not to get too optimistic," but then I checked the other topics, and it looks like this is surprisingly far along.

I wonder if there's some way I can help. I doubt it, but if there's simple scripting or bug testing, you might be able to shove some grunt work off on somebody else.

Offline Hooman

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #107 on: May 13, 2018, 07:36:31 AM »
In my experience, the most effective way to contribute to a project, any project, is to poke around until you find something you can do, and then just do it. You know your own skills and interests the best. Plus, the majority of projects are generally not organized enough to know where they might need help.

Though I noticed you suggested a few possible ways you could help, which is a better start than most offers to help.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #108 on: May 13, 2018, 10:57:54 AM »
Hey, macksting! Welcome to the forums!

Yes, I just recently released the newest versions -- see first post for download link.

I'm going to assume you're not a developer... which is great because it means you're a user! Users are some of the most helpful contributors to a project like this. I could use your feedback on any of the topics in this thread (especially the UI discussions). Play the current build, see if you find any issues, if you do, report them. Finding and squashing bugs is an ongoing process and as the lead developer I may not think to go through a series of actions that a user may follow -- e.g., I know how you're 'supposed' to do things so I tend not to deviate from that but that often leads to logic paths I hadn't considered which is where you, the user, comes in. :D

Anyway, keep checking back! It's been awhile since I posted a major update (last one was july last year) but I want to avoid a long development cycle like that.

Offline macksting

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #109 on: May 26, 2018, 05:29:37 PM »
Let's see if I'm wakeful enough to wrestle with this today.

Probably not. I'm not entirely accustomed to the process of compiling from source in Linux, so I'm having a little trouble remembering the process and not seeing anything that looks familiar enough to latch onto other than makefile, which eventually I tried, knowing full well I was jumping the gun. (Sure enough, it didn't yield much of use on its own.) I'll go start a topic for this, I think.

Offline Hooman

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #110 on: May 27, 2018, 02:33:33 PM »
Huh, that's much more of an attempt than I expected. Indeed, there is a makefile, though there are 2 projects that need to be compiled together, NAS2D and OutpostHD. I'll have to dig up some of my old notes.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #111 on: May 27, 2018, 07:10:46 PM »
I set up an Ubuntu VM and tried building from source but I'm getting hung up compiling SDL 2.0.5 (Apt is still using 2.0.4 annoyingly enough). It's a linker error regarding some functions it can't find, I dunno. I suspect after I compile SDL2.0.5 NAS2D will build which will let me build OutpostHD.

Today's been a super lazy day -- been in bed watching star trek all day. Yeah, one of those. :D

I'll see what I can figure out from there maybe with your assistance. I've got all the instructions required for downloading and installing the dependencies to build all of the projects.

Offline macksting

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #112 on: May 27, 2018, 11:38:58 PM »
Huh, that's much more of an attempt than I expected. Indeed, there is a makefile, though there are 2 projects that need to be compiled together, NAS2D and OutpostHD. I'll have to dig up some of my old notes.

If you've been waiting to see a unicorn as long as I have... - Molly Grue

I've helped out with a couple things, very much a layman in such matters but willing to learn something long enough to apply it (and then, due to disuse, promptly forget about it.)

Offline Hooman

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #113 on: May 28, 2018, 07:28:35 AM »
Ubuntu 18.04 is now out. I just checked the download page. The new version of Ubuntu should have up-to-date Apt packages, that will be sufficient for building OutpostHD.

You can also try the stuff in that docker thread from a couple months back, which was using a Docker image for Ubuntu 18.04.

I think my SDL2 source install script was not complete, in that it only compiled the modules it needed up to date versions of, not all modules used. I'm not sure mixed Apt and source install versions play well together. With all the things I've done locally on my machine, it's possible I missed the mixed version issue in my earlier attempts.


I've had Star Trek binge days. Awesome.  :)

Though I've never seen The Last Unicorn.

Offline macksting

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #114 on: June 15, 2018, 11:54:41 AM »
It's probably one of my top favorite books. In some ways it reminds me of some of the more peculiar new wave science fiction stories I've read; if Beagle wrote a science fiction story, I'd eat it right up. The movie's good, too, great actors, kept most of the important parts of the book, music's nice, etc. But I feel it's a rare case where reading the book first would improve watching the film, since it's close enough to the book to not have the film insult the reader's intelligence, and the book gives the events in the movie more context.

Uh, anyway, I'll consider upgrading soon. It's gonna be a busy summer, though.

Offline chris2222

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #115 on: September 08, 2018, 05:52:25 PM »
Hi!  It's been a long time since I last visited this forum.  Every once and a while I think about digging out OP1 and playing it but short on time and busy family life, you all know how it is.  Didn't really get into Outpost2 wasn't as beautiful a game as the original Outpost.  Anyways, I can't recall ever knowing about this Outpost remake, OutpostHD is looking quite awesome!  Just googled "games like outpost" and happened to be reading a forum that led me to OupostHD, this is awesome!
I don't know that I can help but I certainly appreciate all the work that has been done on this project.  I have the original boxed outpost still in great condition with it's manual and a rather large Outpost strategy guide I had bought after a few weeks of playing OP1.  Just wondering if you all have access to these manuals?  I'm pretty sure you do, but if you don't I could provide information from these that could help? 

I realize OPHD is almost ready to release version 0.7.9.  I'm sure everything has mostly been thought about. 
CRTL F12 was a way to force a choice of a natural disaster on your colony.  Monorails I think was never properly implemented in OP1.  I'll have to do some digging, but this looks fun! 


Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #116 on: September 08, 2018, 09:37:06 PM »
Very glad you decided to pop in and say something! It helps to know that there's a bit of buzz (even if it's just a tiny amount) for OutpostHD.

I also have the manual and the 'official strategy guide' (which is more of the witty quips of Bruce Balfour in book form more than anything else).

The best way to help is to play the game as it is and let me know if you find any mistakes, any bugs, any usability issues and present any ideas you may have. You might think of something I haven't though of or (as in the case with another user) come across a usability issue that isn't obvious to me as the developer. Feedback from users is extremely important and helps me to know where to focus development efforts.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you around more often!

Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Redesign
« Reply #117 on: October 06, 2018, 11:27:25 PM »
Thought I'd provide a bit of an update for the main OPHD thread. :D

As the various other threads in this subforum suggest, OPHD has seen a huge amount of progress over the last few years. It's really beginning to look and feel like a finished game. To that end, I've been keeping the first post updated to the best of my ability.

That stated, I'm really bad at writing 'flavor text' and the UI panels are beginning to need that. Additionally, the research tree is going to need some help writing the flavor text for the individual research topics. If anybody is up to the challenge, please let me know and we can get something going.

I also wanted to reiterate my appreciation for the support and contributions from everybody here on the forums. Thanks for making this such a great process! I know it's taken a lot of time to become a thing (kind of the nature of a hobby programming project) but I really do appreciate all of the feedback I've gotten!

2018 is drawing to a close and I look forward to pushing development even further in 2019!

Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Remake
« Reply #118 on: October 19, 2018, 10:29:54 PM »
It's been a couple of weeks and it's time for a quick update!

I've run across a design limitation (read flaw) in the way NAS2D implements its signals/slots paradigm. It leaves open the possibility of a type of race condition caused by asynchronous code modifying a container while it's being iterated over. Simply put, the way I built some event handling code in OutpostHD broke horribly. There were two ways to address this -- rewrite the part of NAS2D that's faulty to harden it against this kind of problem (not easy but ultimately needs to be done) or rewrite parts of OutpostHD's event handling code (band-aid solution but the fastest viable option).

So I chose the latter. I have some great thoughts on how to make it work for NAS2D... but it would have taken awhile to get right and I wanted to get OPHD moving forward again so I changed its internal handling of events. It's ugly. I don't really like it. It works though.

So that's where I'm at. I worked around a show stopping design flaw in the middle ware, fixed a few bugs that were causing crashing in OPHD and now I'm ready to push forward and get 0.7.9 out the door. Not sure exactly how long it'll take but I'm pretty hopeful that the UI changes involved will make the game much more accessible.

Offline Hooman

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Remake
« Reply #119 on: October 22, 2018, 02:16:41 AM »
Hmm, that could actually be a pretty interesting side discussion if you were able to clearly explain the problem in a new thread. I'm actually rather curious how the problem came up, and how it was resolved. I bet there are other people that would love to delve into the event handling system of a game, and see where the hidden problems are.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Remake
« Reply #120 on: October 22, 2018, 11:41:13 PM »
See, now you done gone and made me do a thing.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Outpost Remake
« Reply #121 on: January 14, 2019, 06:14:43 PM »
Figured I should keep the main topic updated as well.

Long story short -- holidays were busy, I got sick like I usually do at the end of the year, I'm recovering and picking back up on development for OutpostHD.

All that stated, I've overcome a lot of difficulties in the underlying architecture of the messaging/event handling system. It's not perfect. It's not even particularly great. But it works. I'm sure at some point in the future I'll make it much more elegant but eh, atm I just want to make this thing freaking work.

The main two full-screen UI's I wanted to have finished for this release are effectively done. Warehouse UI needs some touching up and there are some rules I want to add when handling some actions but otherwise it's feature complete. I hope to have a release out this week. I've addressed a couple of bugs I found since the last release including a crash bug that would occur sometime around 200 turns related to aging robots.

So yay! ::thumbsup:: Progress!

Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Open Source Remake of OUTPOST by Sierra On-Line
« Reply #122 on: March 02, 2019, 02:07:27 PM »
Been about six weeks and another release is out! I'm very pleased with the changes in this one -- the bulk of the changes are due to user feedback that I found too important to wait on. There are also a number of bug fixes (many thanks to Sirbomber for fixing one that I was too lazy to look into and finding another that I never would have found on my own).

So yeah, on to v0.8.0! This new version will focus on resource production and in particular truck routing, mine production and fine-tuned resource management.

As always, if you're not a developer or artist and you want to contribute, download the game. Play it. Provide feedback. Break it in unusual and horrible ways! I love getting bug reports. :D

Offline jballou

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Re: OutpostHD - An Open Source Remake of OUTPOST by Sierra On-Line
« Reply #123 on: April 20, 2019, 11:28:43 AM »
Hey, first off I wanted to say thanks for undertaking such a huge amount of work, the game is coming along nicely and the thought of playing Outpost in a less broken state is really appealing to me. I've got a bunch of questions and suggestions, but please know that I raise these because I like what you're doing and want to see it get better, it's not a criticism by any means.

On the first page, the "how to play" link should point to https://wiki.outpost2.net/doku.php?id=outposthd:how_to_play

As far as the game itself, I'm a little lost on the interface.

I think it might be a good idea to add a "tips" feature to help give the player some in-game tutorial on the basics, just things like "land the seed factory here" and "build an agridome and CHAP before you bring down colonists" or whatever. The lack of clear direction on getting the basics was a problem for me in the original, putting in a little bit of handholding for new players will go a long way here.

Does the lab have any research options yet? I see no menu to do anything there.

I'm not sure where to find the Master Reports, if it's not implemented no worries but if it is you may want to document how to do access them on the wiki.

For the Morale, it would be nice if the game gave me an indication of why my morale is changing (i.e. +2 from residential, +2 from park, -3 from police).

For population, it would be good to have an indication or tip on how to get more workers or scientists, and a little bit of context as to what the classes of colonist are.

With Factories, I get an indication that it's on "Turn 5/5" for a long time. Is that because I don't have enough materials, or another reason?

For resources, having a dialog showing me where they are being consumed would be great, I'm having resources seemingly disappear and have no idea where to.

I also got "you have failed, your colony is dead" without any clear reason why. I had enough food, energy, housing, and materials, morale was around 300, and game over. Having some sort of alert like "your people are dying fast" or "morale is too low, people are air locking themselves to escape this existence" would be great.

I'm also a developer, usually FPS stuff but I've worked on a number of different mod teams all over. I'm not a C++ guy, but I can give you some time around doing documentation and other non-coding non-artistic stuff.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: OutpostHD - An Open Source Remake of OUTPOST by Sierra On-Line
« Reply #124 on: April 20, 2019, 08:26:03 PM »
Hey, first off I wanted to say thanks for undertaking such a huge amount of work, the game is coming along nicely and the thought of playing Outpost in a less broken state is really appealing to me. I've got a bunch of questions and suggestions, but please know that I raise these because I like what you're doing and want to see it get better, it's not a criticism by any means.

Thanks for posting! Constructive criticism is never a bad thing -- in fact I find it to be extremely helpful. I very much appreciate you taking the time to post your thoughts -- without users like you it's hard to know where I need to focus my efforts.

On the first page, the "how to play" link should point to https://wiki.outpost2.net/doku.php?id=outposthd:how_to_play

Good catch! Seems the link broke after we forced HTTPS rewrite rules on the server. This has been fixed.

As far as the game itself, I'm a little lost on the interface.

I think it might be a good idea to add a "tips" feature to help give the player some in-game tutorial on the basics, just things like "land the seed factory here" and "build an agridome and CHAP before you bring down colonists" or whatever. The lack of clear direction on getting the basics was a problem for me in the original, putting in a little bit of handholding for new players will go a long way here.

Understandable. The interface needs work; I suppose that's part of the "work in progress" aspect to this. I very much agree with your suggestion -- it's something I'd like to see in the final product though I wanted to at least get resource management and research going before I spent time on it.

Does the lab have any research options yet? I see no menu to do anything there.

Not yet. See the GitHub Milestones page for my planned development route. It's slated for v0.9.0 but I think I'm going to switch that to v0.8.5 and move structural integrity decay to v0.9.0 instead -- the game is playable but there's a distinct feeling of lack of progress atm which I think technology improvements will help to alleviate.

I'm not sure where to find the Master Reports, if it's not implemented no worries but if it is you may want to document how to do access them on the wiki.

There isn't really a master report ATM but there are main report windows for Factories. You can access this by double-clicking on a factory. Pressing F1 will also bring this up though for now this is a debug aid, not sure if it'll stay that way or if I'll add a button somewhere to the HUD or just have double-clicking on a Command Center do this.

For the Morale, it would be nice if the game gave me an indication of why my morale is changing (i.e. +2 from residential, +2 from park, -3 from police).

I hadn't considered this but I think it's a really good suggestion. I'll slate this for the current release being worked on.

For population, it would be good to have an indication or tip on how to get more workers or scientists, and a little bit of context as to what the classes of colonist are.

Good point -- there's a bit of an assumption made that someone playing the game is familiar with the original game. I had opted for the wiki/manual to sort of explain this (at least for now) but in-game explanations are also a good idea. This is something I'll slate for a later release.

With Factories, I get an indication that it's on "Turn 5/5" for a long time. Is that because I don't have enough materials, or another reason?

This happens when the factory is producing a product that doesn't have storage space. Either it's a robot but there is no additional robot command capacity (e.g., you have three robots already and haven't yet built a Robot Command Center) or you're producing a product, say clothing, but you either have no warehouses or the warehouses are full. This isn't well indicated in the current release. I'm sort of scratching my head on how to indicate this well to the user -- it could just be a note in the Factory Inspector Window, the Factory Reports screen or both.

Ultimately I intend this to be a 'beginning of turn' notification type of deal -- e.g., you have an indicator appear on the screen alerting you to issues like this. It's talked about a bit in this thread.

For resources, having a dialog showing me where they are being consumed would be great, I'm having resources seemingly disappear and have no idea where to.

Similar to the Morale suggestion you had, this is also something I've been thinking about. There's the current resource breakdown which shows changes over time but nothing that indicates where resources are going. I'm not sure where to put the details though -- I've though about the Mining Master View (naming is inconsistent here, I apologize) -- but basically the full-screen UI.

I'm open to suggestion on this, of course. As I've stated in other threads (and in the first post of this one), I'm really bad at UI and interface design. This is evident in the minimalist approach that most of the interface takes. I use the excuse that "I'm the developer so I don't really need to focus my time on the UI" but the reality is that this thinking does a disservice to the potential users. Sure, the game is a work in progress but it's the users that need to be heeded here. The last two versions of the game that I published were heavily driven by a user on IRC from SimTropolis (I'm unable to access the website for months now which is a crying shame as the user was very helpful) who provided a great deal of feedback. This feedback pushed me to make the UI changes that are now present in the game.

Anyway, long story short, I'm open to suggestions about the overall design of the interface. Having a mockup that I can look at helps me to actually develop the underlying code. The coding isn't really the hard part (even though it's sort of tedious), but knowing what to put on screen is a real challenge.

I also got "you have failed, your colony is dead" without any clear reason why. I had enough food, energy, housing, and materials, morale was around 300, and game over. Having some sort of alert like "your people are dying fast" or "morale is too low, people are air locking themselves to escape this existence" would be great.

Yeah... that's an on-going issue. It's almost always due to a shortage of a critical resource (usually rare minerals) that lead to the CHAP facility shutting down which causes everything to collapse immediately and very suddenly. Part of the notification tasks I linked to earlier will be to warn users very loudly about critical resources getting too low. ATM resources that are reaching limits will start to glow red. It's a start but it's not the really loud "You're about to lose your colony because Resource X is dwindling -- bulldoze a structure or two NOW before this happens" that needs to happen.

Basically, I'm working on it. :D

I'm also a developer, usually FPS stuff but I've worked on a number of different mod teams all over. I'm not a C++ guy, but I can give you some time around doing documentation and other non-coding non-artistic stuff.

By all means! I could really use help with in-game tips and help text and help with the Wiki 'manual' as well. I'm not a great writer and the task is often daunting to me.

If you'd like to help on the Wiki, let me know and I'll PM you temporary login info based on your username here. We had a lot of issues with spam there so I have the wiki locked down.



So... apologies for the wall of text. I hope I answered your questions. If you have more thoughts or questions, please post! I really do love getting bug reports and feedback from users. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again, without user feedback I can't make this game great. So again, thank you!