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-   -   [Universe II] Updates Go Here (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=21185)

Kilgs December 16th, 2009 06:06 PM

[Universe II] Updates Go Here
 
I just thought I'd make a handy, easy-to-find thread for Hemdian to give us updates about Universe II :-)

Magnus von Thornwood December 16th, 2009 10:40 PM

Yea!
 
Now I can find out how the version two is going, which I am not sure how I feel about this as I just got Universe I (BITS finally had a copy, might still have five left. I had to get it as it is never there all other times I checked...).

So once I get my copy of TU and play with it, I suppose I will understand just how cool TUII will be right? :)

Kilgs December 16th, 2009 10:50 PM

Yes, yes you will.

(I sure hope you don't have Vista...)

Magnus von Thornwood December 16th, 2009 11:03 PM

Plu-lease!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kilgs (Post 338188)
Yes, yes you will.

(I sure hope you don't have Vista...)

Hell no, my OS are Mac and a truly PC version of Win.

So, having checked the charts, it looks good for me on all machines, probably will be able to run TUII as well.

Hemdian December 17th, 2009 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kilgs (Post 338161)
I just thought I'd make a handy, easy-to-find thread for Hemdian to give us updates about Universe II :-)

Well, this caught me a little off guard, but I suppose that while I work on getting Universe 2 ready I can give out some information here.

The original aim was to produce the ultimate mapping and note organising tool ... broken into three stages. The first stage was to reproduce the functionality found in Galactic (Jim V’s excellent DOS-based program). This was Universe 1. The second stage was to add the system generation functionality found in Stuart Fenris’s program Heaven & Earth. The third stage was to build in functionality to control minor NPC actions and other aspects. This is still the road map I am working to.

Universe 1 was written in VB6 and used the InterBase database engine. It has become readily apparent that these technologies won’t support the project going forward. For one thing there is difficulty running on Vista. For another, the internal structure made certain enhancements problematic. Thus the decision was made that Universe 2, while still blending Galactic and HE, would be a complete rewrite from the ground up (this time using C#.NET and MS SQL Server).

It is intended that Universe 2 will run on current versions of Windows. That is, Windows 7, Vista, and XP. Anything else is bonus.

Universe 2 has been styled as if it were part of the MS Office 2007 suite.

One major change that wasn’t on the original road map is a redesign of the security model. Universe 1 had a separate database for each campaign and allowed for a referee and a player log in. However, this didn’t take into account when a referee wanted to use the same campaign universe for more than one group. Universe 2 allows each ‘campaign’ to have a referee and multiple players (or player groups). In addition to each player group having their own set of private notes, sectors can be made visible to them on a case by case basis. This was a user requested change.

Also in Universe 1 individual systems had an ‘explored’ flag that would control whether or not that system’s UWP information was visible. In Universe 2 this has been replaced with ‘knowledge level’ that ranges from system not known to full knowledge (this is per player group). This should prove useful when running an exploration game. (Level 0 means the system doesn’t even appear on the map. Level 1 means the players know there is a system in the hex but know nothing about it. Level 2 means the system contents ... gas giants, etc, ... have been detected. Level 3 means the mainworld’s physical stats are known but not the social. Level 4 means social stats are known as well.)

Player groups can be added, deleted, toggles active/inactive, cloned (with or without notes), and merged.

Another change in Universe 2 was to make the campaign’s physical structure (how may parsecs in a sector and subsector) parameter driven. It’s not been fully tested yet but it is hoped that this will facilitate non-OTU games (eg. 10x10 hexes to a subsector, and 5x5 subsectors to a sector are possible). This was a user requested change.

Some database functions were performed by a separate program in Universe 1 called TUmanager. In Universe 2 these functions have been integrated into the main program.

In Universe 1, loading an external sector file was a single step process that ended with the production of a notepad report listing which systems had failed to load. But in Universe 2 the external sector is loaded into a grid and errors indicated. This grid can edited so that errors can be dealt with before the final load is completed.

There is built-in support for T5 (so far that means a choice of classic or T5 trade codes).

There are a myriad of lesser changes too. Basically every aspect of the original design is being re-examined and tweaked. Improved usability, improved performance.



Still in being developed:
  • The ability to import from Galactic SAR files (basically ZIP files) is still missing.

  • The DGP extensions to Book 6 system generation (Grand Survey/Grand Census, and World Builders Handbook) are off limits for copyright reasons. So I am in the process of designing my own equivalents. Some stuff (like the relationship between radius, volume, mass, density, surface gravity, etc) are okay because they are real world, but things like actually setting the density is out because it was based on a DGP table (I need to make my own, similar but different, table). Nothing major, but still, it’s another thing that needs doing, and it needs to be compatible with the DGP stuff.

  • I’m trying to understand 3D graphics so I can render each solar system ... showing planetary positions based on date.

  • Installation and auto-patching still need to be looked at.

  • And I’d like the ability to share individually detailed systems via the internet. Ie. Before generating a system the program should check the online database for other people’s published versions (with referee notes) and offer that as a first choice.

It’s clear I’m not going to make my Christmas deadline and I don’t have a new date yet. But I may be able to save time by pulling out some features and releasing them later in a free patch.

Kilgs December 17th, 2009 12:42 PM

I take it that Mongoose Trade Codes are off-limits? If that is the case, a user-input field for "generic codes" would be helpful. I think that was already part of U1.

As for being caught off-guard... I haven't pestered you in months! You had to realize this was coming ;-) Either way, it sounds EXCELLENT!

aramis December 17th, 2009 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kilgs (Post 338250)
I take it that Mongoose Trade Codes are off-limits? If that is the case, a user-input field for "generic codes" would be helpful. I think that was already part of U1.

As for being caught off-guard... I haven't pestered you in months! You had to realize this was coming ;-) Either way, it sounds EXCELLENT!

Per the Mongoose Traveller Trademark License, ANY software involving MGT requires a non-open license arranged separately. In short, no "fan software" for MGT.

Andrew Boulton December 17th, 2009 02:15 PM

Great news!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hemdian (Post 338248)
The DGP extensions to Book 6 system generation (Grand Survey/Grand Census, and World Builders Handbook) are off limits for copyright reasons.

Have you checked that with Marc?

E.D.Quibell December 17th, 2009 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hemdian (Post 338248)
[*]The DGP extensions to Book 6 system generation (Grand Survey/Grand Census, and World Builders Handbook) are off limits for copyright reasons. So I am in the process of designing my own equivalents. Some stuff (like the relationship between radius, volume, mass, density, surface gravity, etc) are okay because they are real world, but things like actually setting the density is out because it was based on a DGP table (I need to make my own, similar but different, table). Nothing major, but still, it’s another thing that needs doing, and it needs to be compatible with the DGP stuff.

You can't copyright the rules, so putting the WBH and/or GS/GS rules into Universe II is not a problem as long as you don't use the same text that they did in the book to explain them. And as you are not explaining them (just using them) that won't be a problem either.

I say this for two reasons; firstly because it's true, and secondly because I'd like to see WBH rules in Universe II.

Best Regards,

Ewan

DonM December 17th, 2009 11:03 PM

Might I suggest a different solution to the DGP question?

Contact me at don.mckinney@gmail.com; perhaps we can get Roger Sanger to give you permission to reference DGP items, so there's no question at all?


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