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Author Topic: EXIT: Some website turbulence is imminent...  (Read 228 times)

Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« on: March 14, 2019, 11:40:50 PM »

Update: A new software release announcement with information is attached to this blog post’s Discussion Forum counterpart.

Update: There’s a new release centered around a new feature called SoftMSM that blends lighting where cells touch in-game.

Heads up, my web-hosting service provider (WebFaction) is in the process of being bought-out/taken-over by GoDaddy. I don’t understand the nature of this kind of transaction myself, since it’s basically just disappearing, by summer. It’s not like GoDaddy is continuing the service, and so it’s hard to gauge what is the value of such a buyout to an entity like GoDaddy. The customers are all going to leave, or are having to leave. I don’t know if GoDaddy is “buying” the infrastructure (old, aging computer stuff, buildings) or what?! Or if it helps the WebFaction owners get out from under a crushing rock of some kind. There’s scant details and no transparency.

My host (since this website, and others, has existed) seems like it was pretty unique, in serving niche for software developers, on a tight budget. I’m not seeing a lot of alternatives to change over to. I may even have to consider giving up on having website(s) for a little while. But I want everyone reading this site to know that everything (except for the vagaries of hosting website(s)) is going very well for Sword of Moonlight. And even though, I should probably keep this a secret for a little longer, I want to share that there are plans underway to resurrect King’s Field, for which the coast seems clear. And also very good things are happening/developing on the VR integration front.

It’s just that, my web-host is going to go offline, permanently, this summer. The truth is, I’ve never had the time and resources to manage a website. None of my sites’ software is up-to-date. Its web-software is all ancient. So it might be a good thing to take some time off. My account is paid through November, but I don’t know what that will mean under GoDaddy. I should probably try to contact them to see if I can rule out any possibility of staying there. The only provider that looks like a possible ship to jump over to is called SSD Nodes. Their operation looks a little dodgy, but it’s probably fine. My 3 options are 1) go nomadic, no websites, retain the domain names for later; 2) start migrating ahead, all but ruling out the possibility of staying with GoDaddy; 3) see if GoDaddy goes smoothly. Option 2 means buying years of service that are nonrefundable. So, there will likely be a period of downtime. Option 3 is just option 1 with a happy ending. Therefor, I think probably there will be at least some days when the sites will go dark, for a while. This post will remain here until the site goes down.

If GoDaddy honors the money in my account, at the same rate, I will be able to put a message up until November. And it should be possible to redirect to a temporary site, where you can follow my efforts to bring the site back, or make other arrangements. If anyone can be a webmaster for future King’s Field, and you are already paying for a host (a VPS like host, that can install/exececute regular applications, SSH, etc.) then please get in touch, and we can get you into our exciting loop, and you and I can work together. If we successfully raise money, webmaster is the foremost paid position in our little company.

If there are new releases I will announce them in this topic/thread until the path seems clear for the website(s).

GoDaddy has owned WebFaction for a long time (2016) without interfering. But the communication with the WebFaction staff has broken down, so everyone's lost confidence that the official decommissioning of WebFaction this summer is going to be a seamless transition.

Even if everything works after the final day I will be very surprised myself. After which, we will have to look at the new prices. I'm actually fortunate that my account is running out of money in November. If this had happened just after buying years of service, it would be more messed up. Currently I have $5 supported on Patreon, so maybe that can help make up the difference of a more expensive monthly hosting plan.


Update: There is a new release up. http://csv.swordofmoonlight.net/SomEx.dll/1.2.2.10.zip is the SomEx.dll file that the updater will prompt to download/update. More information in ensuing replies!

Update: There is a new release up. http://csv.swordofmoonlight.net/SomEx.dll/1.2.2.12.zip is the SomEx.dll file that the updater will prompt to download/update. More information in ensuing replies!
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 04:22:45 AM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 01:02:34 AM »


Cool: I'm going to be uploading a new release very soon. I've mainly tried to fix a list of little bugs I've noticed since the last release, which happens to have been quite a long time ago...

But first, I want to announce that I just added a hot-plugging fix for controllers.

I want to say so before I forget, because it was a very simple last minute fix, that I did just now. I noticed the other day some memory that must have been the controller database, and realized it should be simple to figure out something. This is good for me because I'm regularly unplugging my controllers. Especially since nowadays controllers are wireless they are very often being unplugged...

The fix is so simple it's a wonder SOM didn't implement it. Maybe the only tricky part is knowing how to capture the device plugged/unplugged events. Maybe SOM's developers didn't know, or maybe the need was unconsidered.


The new release is a mishmash of things I worked on for my King's Field II demo. A lot of the work doesn't have anything recognizable as a feature, so much as I did a lot of good work tweaking movement and analog controls. This has been available since the demo as a demonstration build. But I want to get it out as a release.

There are good enhancements for menus too. I just have to wrack my brain for the relevant extensions, or hunt down the old source code file and compare it to the new one to make a list. I should do that to be thorough. I need to document them too.

I added documentation for a fix I did yesterday (http://en.swordofmoonlight.org/wiki/Sword_of_Moonlight_Extension_Library/player_extensions#player_character_radius3_.28item_examination_depth.29) that adds a way to control the distance in the item preview screens. I mainly did it because I've changed the default to match King's Field II; but games can tweak this too to make some items appear closer or further away. KFII puts small items closer, so you can see them better. It uses separate models for this, however SOM does not have this luxury. I think I will use this to make the Star Key items larger.

Those are actually quite small. I don't know if you ever see them in the game in their true size. They are the same size as the ornament that matches them on the pedestals. I wonder if I should call them Star Compact or something, because they are about the same size as a compact, but probably I should stick with the more prosaic language since they work like keys.

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2019, 10:29:13 AM »

A new release (1.2.2.10) is up. A direct link to the DLL can be found at the top of this topic/thread.

A centerpiece of this release is a new depth-based opacity effect that is ideal for water, but has many potential applications. It's described more here (http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/bbs2/index.php?topic=295.0) but remains semi-incomplete because there needs to be an event-based system for determining when the scene moves underwater. I'm doing it in phases. That will have to wait. That problem has two parts: one being the clipping problem ("collision detection") which is a little bit different from normal clipping; and two being that underwater rendering will require a full screen effect to fill everything in where there is otherwise no onscreen geometry. The second problem seems like a project to extend the full screen particle effects system. I've seen some of that in the code for what it's worth.

This week I fixed some bugs. One was the Delete button did not light up in the script editor for the menu text that is built-in Japanese text. Another is I somehow managed to omit/delete some code that was supposed to make it possible to hide magic spells from the menus in the game. The inventory screen worked, but the magic spells didn't go away like they were supposed to.

Earlier today I changed the F7 overlay to show item/magic numbers. The item numbers can be used with player_character_radius3 to customize the viewing distance for items on a per item basis.

There are numerous upgrades I developed for the King's Field II. I'm just going to post about them here whenever I remember them. I may well not remember a lot of it.

The attack buttons on the controllers can now be used like Ctrl and Shift keys on the keyboard. Recall that those are the actual keys used for attacks using the keyboard. The new system waits until the keys/buttons are released to initiate the attack. If another key or button that works with Ctrl and/or Shift modifiers is pressed, this now suppresses the attack.

This doesn't actually delay the attacks because there was already a 100ms delay or more, that is now manually under your control, so that you can attack faster than was previously possible. This also makes it easier to hold down all three buttons, since you don't have to time them to be pressed at the same time. I think it's a really clever development. You can use it to attack more efficiently too, because you can hold down the button, so that all that is required to "unleash" your attack is to let go. (Letting go is faster than pressing a button, because finger movement is one way.)

EDITED: Holding down Ctrl+Shift is now equivalent to the Alt+Alt combination. I think that's true for the keyboard too, although it may be only so for the controller. It cannot enable emulation mode, which is what Alt+Alt by itself does, but I think that probably needs to change. Speaking of Alt+Alt I also worked on a crash bug that would happen when changing the display device settings with the new real-time map overlay system. That and the volume-texture (depth-based opacity) system was enough motivation to really dig into SOM's texture loading/unloading routines and data objects. I intend to do more with that in the future, but nothing immediately. (The aging/almost obsolete "keygen" system needs to be switched over to using file names and I think something like directly supporting DDS or other formats would be helpful for some things.)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 10:42:52 AM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 07:14:15 AM »

Patch: http://csv.swordofmoonlight.net/SomEx.dll/1.2.2.10.zip

This fixes resolution problems when the height is equal to the monitor but the width is less than. Details:
http://www.swordofmoonlight.com/bbs/index.php?topic=1144.msg13709#msg13709

This had been considered "full screen" and was using an old, unsupported path that just happened to work out when the width was the same.

I think I also got the icon to stay put, since Microsoft broke switching in-and-out of framed/unframed windows sometime last year. I thought I fixed it, but they may have further broken it since then.

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 08:02:09 PM »

There's an important patch (below) but first, I've updated the Somversion DLL that the updater (and every program uses.)

Patch: http://csv.swordofmoonlight.net/SomEx.dll/1.2.2.10.zip

This patch is for a bug in the new layers system that is triggered by opening the Maps selection menu. It's important as patches go.

As for Somversion, it's 1.0.4.4 and just has a daylight savings time fix (I hope) owing to Microsoft messing up their implementation of the classic POSIX "stat" system call. I noticed a usability problem in the language selection menu that I've tried to fix. (Not related to DST.) It would disable the menu until unless the package is downloaded. That was a lazy hack, I should not have done. (And I themed the scrollbars to match. I don't know if that was always a problem or not.)

http://csv.swordofmoonlight.net/Somversion.dll/1.0.4.4.zip

This DLL is now in the TOOL folder. But it's in that ZIP too.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 11:20:47 PM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 08:09:50 PM »

PATCH

Critical fix for more SOM_MAP problems born of the the new layer system.

Patch: http://csv.swordofmoonlight.net/SomEx.dll/1.2.2.10.zip

This fixes Copy/Paste on the maps menu, and a big problem with saving your MAP file. Sorry.

I introduced a problem a little while back into the layer system that was meant to be a diagnostic for myself. I really think this is the end of it. For me (debug mode) it would alert me to the problem when saving, but I just never saved after I set it up I guess. I probably thought I would (in time) but I didn't expect the alert to trigger.

I may have been using it in public (release) mode for a time. Or it's just my luck.

I'd like to think this is the end of it, but I only just discovered the Copy/Paste problem last minute.

I'm working on a new release for any day now. But I wanted to get this fix into this release. This morning I worked somewhat doggedly to get the stuff I'm working on right now finished so that this patch cannot present any surprises later, since it has a new MSM blending feature built into it, but it still requires files to work with it that will come later. Maybe I should've enabled the automatic file generating system, but it didn't occur to me to.

P.S. I discovered just earlier that SOM_MAP's = button that does elevation assignment seems not to work for multiple selections. I can't believe I've noticed this before. It really makes me think something is broken. But it's something I have to figure out before a new release.

The new release will just be tacked onto this topic/thread. I think the "website" problems it speaks to are bound to start any day now.

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 01:20:31 AM »

PATCH UPGRADE

Patch: http://csv.swordofmoonlight.net/SomEx.dll/1.2.2.10.zip

I've reuploaded the patch from earlier today with a fix for the = button under multi-select. The problem had to do with work from earlier to let it work with any elevation. The multi-select version took a different path I hadn't thought to consider.

I also enabled the SoftMSM feature for this patch via MapComp to let it be tried out. Maybe that's a bad idea. But what the heck. It won't work automatically for all tiles, since some tiles that should be soft have hard edges.

Today or tomorrow there should be an update/release with some new MSM files, at least for SOM's exterior set. And tools for spotfixing files. There will be a slight language pack element. Now I mainly just need to make the command-line SoftMSM tool a little more user-friendly.

SOM_MAP has a new box for changing the elevation ticker's increment. This came from King's Field II using 0.125 instead of 0.1. There's also an extension to set the project's increment. Currently this increment is just used when holding down the Shift key with the ticker. The large step size of 0.5 is not changed, since for KFII it just means 4 steps instead of 5.

Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 04:15:10 AM »

:blow:New Release (1.2.2.12) Announcement:blow:

The deed is done :king:

Update: There’s a new release centered around a new feature called SoftMSM that blends lighting where cells touch in-game.

Use SVN Update to get the new MSM files that have (all) been modified. It took a real long time to upload them through the SVN system. I don't know why Subversion can't do burst processing of small files on checking in.

Language packages are slightly modified...

English: http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/text/English/Neutral.zip
Japanese: http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/text/日本語/最新.zip

These can be (manually) updated in the updater app (SOM.exe) but there isn't yet an automatic update detection process for the language packs. They add the Tools menu to PrtsEdit and a minor enhancement to SOM_MAP's elevation facility (it lets you change the unit for using with Shift, which is 0.1 by default. KF2 uses 0.125 because of how the PlayStation worked. You can use it to work with any increment, but it's kind of a burden to have to use Shift.) 

There is background information here (http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/bbs2/index.php?topic=297.0) and here (http://www.swordofmoonlight.net/bbs2/index.php?topic=289.msg2716#msg2716).

   

 
[organic cells blended into one large organic map model]


This is a pretty sexy update. It's something I've been planning to do since working on layers last year. It doesn't have anything to do with layers (other than it integrates with them) but the layer work was the impetus to dig into the MapComp tool. I exhausted myself on layers, but planned to return to MapComp to work on this.

After I completed a major project a little while ago I've been doing small things. This idea captured my imagination a week ago. I thought it would go faster than this, but it turned out there are a lot of details involved.

I haven't made an effort to scrutinize every MSM file. I just mass converted them with the new SoftMSM tool (that you shouldn't have to use) and a few of the exterior set MSM files needed to be forced to blend their edges since they looked like hard edge polygons. PrtsEdit has a new Tools menu that provides easy access to this for when you want to just force a particular MSM to blend indiscriminately. It helps for organic models, but if model edges are a mix of hard and soft polygons then you must remodel them to achieve what you want.

This won't always be the case (forever) but there isn't (currently) a guided system for choosing which vertices to blend or not. Worst case scenario you somehow have to make a hard (flat) polygon be ever so slightly soft (somehow) because you want it to blend but you also want it to appear to be flat, or don't have enough geometry to get the effect you want. Usually models are either organic or not. Another possibility is you have an edge that you really want to be hard (flat) but it's connected to a soft polygon. Unfortunately there isn't a fix for this. Just move the feature away from an edge (note: edges belonging to the same cell aren't blended.)


EDITED: If you're in the business of making custom MSM files know that MapComp will automatically modify the files with the same process as the TOOL/SoftMSM.exe (mode 0) so that you don't have do that. If you need to force a tile to be soft (mode 1) then PrtsEdit is available from inside SOM_MAP. It can also force a tile to be hard (mode 2) but that is more like disabling the blending feature for that tile and its neighbors.

The SoftMSM tool also removes duplicate vertices that x2msm generates, and it "normalizes" your surface normals, because they need to be so for the blend feature to efficiently compare their angles. Normally normals are normalized (that's probably why they're called normals or the process is called normalization one) but for whatever reason some or many of SOM's stock MSM files had normals that were far from normalized. Normalization changes their appearance. This is also described in the background links.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 05:55:35 PM by Holy Diver »

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Holy Diver

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Holy Diver says,
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2019, 07:36:21 AM »

minor feature patch

Patch: http://csv.swordofmoonlight.net/SomEx.dll/1.2.2.12.zip

I had an idea to fix the lines in ItemEdit by using the ID3DXLine facility from D3DX.

It's a really minor thing for now, since you only see it on the screen that sets up the relationship of the item to the ground, but it will be a good technique for whenever SOM_MAP gets upgraded to use Direct3D9.

The short explanation is the do_aa function doesn't look good enough on lines. I don't know why precisely that is. But the ID3DXLine facility will draw lines as polygons, but only if the width is more than 1 or the antialiasing mode is used. Fortunately the antialiasing mode looks best.

It was unnecessary to disable the do_aa extension. This is only done if it's used. I'm not posting a screenshot because it's really nothing to look at. What's important is that it looks acceptable, and also it's nice that it matches the rest of the image.

EDITED: Okay, here is a screenshot, I just happened upon. It has dithering enabled, which is not technically related to the effects involved. That's why if you look closely the lines look like they are stippled.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 08:47:09 AM by Holy Diver »

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