Posts by Kentington

    Hey. As you might've guessed by now, my workload hasn't let up in the past month. I can't remember the last time I played Minecraft - or any game - let alone had the spare time to work on personal projects. I don't want to disappoint you guys again, especially considering how abruptly I had to cancel the first Rocket Science, but nor can I promise any progress at all on RS2. My current project at work ends in the next month or so, but it's anyone's guess as to whether I'll be assigned something similarly taxing afterwards. I'm sorry it has to end like this, but until further notice, assume that development has stopped.

    I'll be sure to let you know if the situation changes.

    -The space suit is a nice first draft, but it could use a bit more detail. The back is also a bit asymmetrical. Other than that, nice job!
    -The Mechanism is planned to be a purely mechanical component. There will also be various circuit boards, so there's no need for wires. I can see how multiple gears would be an issue - if that proves too difficult, maybe a gyro or other nice-looking mechanical gadget?
    -The RS drills are intended to be superior pickaxes that consume fuel as a balancing mechanism. They'll still break, unlike IC2's drills, but their durability and mining speed are significantly better than a pickaxe of the same material. When crafted, a drill has no engine, so you'll need to install one using a Tinkering Bench before you can use the drill. Different engines and fuels grant different bonuses. The bench can also be used to install up to four upgrades ("Fragment Vacuum" and "Computerized Deposit Locator" grant Fortune I and II respectively, "Jackhammer Piston" grants Efficiency III, "Superconducting Bearings" grants Efficiency I and Unbreaking II, "Polymer Lubricant" grants Unbreaking II, etc.) with cumulative enchantment effects, plus effects that don't exist in vanilla enchantments (once you unlock nanotech in a future version, you can create self-repairing tools). Engines and upgrades can be retrieved from a broken drill before it's scrapped. Currently there are five drills planned: iron, steel, diamond-tipped steel, superalloy, and hybrid (diamond-tipped superalloy).

    Thutmose: Heh, I appreciate you taking the time to type out that lecture, but I already know all of that. Recently got my recent Master's in nuclear engineering. :)

    (But yes, there will be multiple varieties of fusion reactor in RS, all of which will be large multi-block structures. Once I have time to resume the project in earnest I'll go more into detail about the power plant mechanics I have planned)

    Development update: I'm still working nights and weekends and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. (Long story short, I had an idea the corporate overlords liked and promptly got stuck implementing it) I might have time before the end of the month to throw together a demo build highlighting just the rocketry aspect.

    Wasmic, engineer404, Javascap, and anyone else interested in spriting: Would you mind putting together a few sample sprites? I'd like to gauge your abilities and see if your art style matches what I have in mind. Maybe create:

    • A generic "Mechanism" item used as a crafting component. Should probably incorporate gears.
    • A mining drill with detailed base and a long enough shaft for palette-swaps (corresponding to different materials) to be immediately recognizable.
    • Space helmet.

    By the way, can any of you model? I'm decent enough with Techne but it would probably be easier from a workflow perspective to have the texturer design their own models.

    Development update:

    • The launch pad and its associated rocket-assembly mechanics are done. Rocket flight itself is ~80% complete, still having issues with living payloads.
    • No, you can't have screenshots. My spriter has left the project, so it's all half-assed MS Paint placeholders for now.
    • If you know of any competent spriters, please send them my way.
    • My professional life is going to interfere with RS development for the next couple weeks. The new project is great for the company and good for me, but I won't have time for side projects until it's complete.

    Lots of work done lately, but sadly not of the sort that makes pretty screenshots. So here's my planned release schedule as a consolation prize:

    Alpha release (aka, not content-complete but all core systems implemented) will probably come in late February, heavily subject to my work schedule, and will be released to a few testers (more on that in a future post). Features include:

    • Research tree covering all of the below, including upgrades to the research equipment itself. Only terrestrial devices (20th-early 21st century) will be available at this point. There will be an in-game crafting guide, so once you've built your laboratory there's no need to check a wiki for crafting instructions.
    • New terrestrial ores (aluminum, titanium, tungsten, chromium) and special smelting/alloying equipment
    • Tinkering system allowing for customization and upgrades to individual tools/machines/vehicles
    • Multi-tier rocketry system including modular construction, targeting, and various payloads
    • Fuel processing and storage infrastructure allowing the mixing of thousands of possible combinations, which may prove useful... or explosive.
    • Various machinery and tools (unfortunately not even half of what's planned for the full release)
    • Electricity/steam/fuel transmission infrastructure (I realize that this duplicates some IC2 functionality, but it was unavoidable. However, one of the design goals for RS electricity is to more closely approach real-world grids - in particular, that means no storage blocks exist, and the number of machines you can have running simultaneously is limited by generation capacity)
    • GPS and imaging satellites
    • Basic personal space stations, plus oxygen mechanics for airless regions
    • Vehicle bay and rover vehicle (with a few upgrade modules)

    Soon after I'll release an update to testers which includes all remaining terrestrial tools, machines, satellites, rover upgrades, and the like.

    The "Moon Update" will be the first one released to the general public once beta testing is complete. (Your guess is as good as mine as to when that will be!) Features:

    • Moon dimension, accessible via rocket once certain research is complete
    • Fusion reactors and "Fusion Age" (near-futuristic) gadgets, researchable once you start mining lunar helium-3. New equipment will be available in all categories - you'll be able to double smelting efficiency with the new Plasma Furnace and blow holes in creepers with your Gauss rifle.
    • Plasma engines for improved spacecraft, enabling automated asteroid mining and quicker trips to the moon
    • Space elevators for cheaper space station access
    • Powered exoskeletons (with upgrade modules!) which provide both armor and life support
    • API allowing modders to produce add-ons and custom planets
    • Official Rocket Science site

    Then comes a minor interoperability update which is scheduled to include Industrial Energy Converter blocks to allow exchange between IC2 and RS power. There will likely be some energy lost during conversion for balance reasons. (Interoperability with certain other mods is planned, but not relevant here)

    Finally, the last update for which I have concrete plans is the "Mars Project." This one will be probably take a good deal longer than the Moon Update, as it includes:

    • Mars dimension, accessible via rocket (with plasma engine) once certain research is completed
    • Abandoned alien outpost beneath the Martian surface, crawling with new mobs... and filled with treasures which can be reverse-engineered to unlock new research projects involving exotic-matter physics and nanotechnology. But first you'll have to undertake a quest to retrieve the station's precious data server and translate the alien language...
    • Top-tier technology which improves on every existing item and adds several new features. Without giving too many spoilers, let's just say that personal UFOs are just the beginning...

    I have a few plans beyond this point, but nothing I'm willing to commit to at the moment.

    DJ: Electromagnetic weapons are planned, yes, but they're one tier below alien tech. Specifically, once you've made it to the moon and developed miniaturized fusion reactors, you can research a Gauss rifle (for personal use) and a railgun (long-ranged artillery block).

    Wasmic: Currently the only celestial objects planned are Mars and the moon (as well as asteroids you can mine with drones but not personally travel to), but there will be a planet API released with v1.0 that allows others modders to add planets reachable with Rocket Science tech. Long-term (read: not in the first release), I plan to implement procedurally-generated alien planets that you can reach with the warp drive and terraform to your desires. (This actually grew out of an earlier modding project to add an EntityLivingGeneric class that could use models, behaviors, and drops specified in NBT tags and allow players to genetically engineer custom mobs from dozens of pre-made parts. The goal is letting players design their own ecosystems, and having 'corrupted' versions of their custom mobs spawn as hostiles)

    Dalsio: Go ahead and start, I don't think I'll be able to get the beta out until late January. The new ores will generate on other planets as well as Earth, and you don't need too many of them to reach the moon.

    Glad to see there's still so much interest in my work. Next time: the research system.

    No screenshots yet (my modeler/spriter is on holiday break), but most of the core systems of RS:R have been at least partially implemented.

    Today I finished a mechanic you might be interested in - using the new tinkering bench block, you can package several items into one (stored in NBT tags) and create novel combinations of tools, upgrades, and power sources. Let's say that you've just made it to Mars and reverse-engineered the alien technology you found there. Now your handy laser rifle - which seemed so amazing when you first built it - looks downright obsolete. One use of the tinkering bench later, and you've swapped out the microfusion cell that used to power it for a shiny new exotic-matter reactor, installed new focus optics which allow it to melt blocks as well as mobs, and upgraded the cooling system so it can fire more rapidly. After a little field testing, you decide that while it's quite fun to use by hand, your shiny new Personal UFO needs an armament too. So, back to the Tinkering Bench, and now your UFO has an upgraded laser rifle attached (which automatically draws its exotic-matter fuel from the UFO's inventory). Eventually you realize that you need to mine more resources, and you only ever built one exotic-matter reactor. Once more, back to the tinkering bench to yank the reactor out of your rifle and stick it in your mining drill (RS:R has its own mining drill with different mechanics than IC2's). That upgraded drill can then be attached to a mining drone using the (you guessed it) Tinkering Bench, which will perform considerably better than a standard mining drone.

    Next time: an update on the rockets themselves, or possibly the research system.

    I figure I owe you folks a slight apology for ending Rocket Science development so abruptly, especially since there's still so much interest in my addon. So... this might be slightly premature, but I'd like to announce that development of Rocket Science: Reloaded has begun.

    RS:R is no longer simply an IC2 addon but a full tech mod in its own right - though one with heavy IC2 interoperability if the player desires. Most RS:R features can be powered either by native RS:R resources or via IC2 energy. Conversely, once you start mining the lunar surface for helium-3, that shiny new fusion reactor isn't restricted to powering your space elevator - it can be hooked up to your existing IC2 power grid.

    Wait, did I say you'd be building space elevators and mining the moon? Indeed, RS:R will give our old friend Steve the chance to undertake a one-man space program. From your earliest fumbling experiments with rocket fuel (better build a non-flammable lab!) to the successful development of the warp drive, the new research system provides gradual access to features and areas. If you've ever dreamed of building your own private space station, launching imaging satellites to spy on your rival's lair, exploring the surface of the moon in a heavily-armored rover (gotta watch out for those Lunar Creepers and Astronaut Skeletons), or launching a fleet of mining drones to recover resources from asteroids, RS:R has you covered. You might even detect a long-abandoned alien outpost on Mars and launch a mission to salvage its technology...

    While the development schedule is still very much up in the air, current plans call for a preview release in January, and plenty of juicy screenshots along the way.

    Hey, all. I hate to say this, but my current research jobs leave me with about half the free time I need for my hobbies. Since I haven't invented time travel yet, I have to lay a few projects on the chopping block, Rocket Science included.

    If any serious modders out there want to take over RS, I'd be more than willing to pass on the source code. Misspelled requests from users without Java/Minecraft modding experience will be ignored or mocked.

    mark1997: You need to supply the laser with 100,000EU to activate it.

    Marhfg: The stack trace shows that you didn't replace EnergyNet with my modified version. Gotta love it when someone is too lazy to read the install directions yet demands in a run-on sentence that I "reply fast".

    Darth Geek: I can't help you without your ModLoader log.

    metalearza: I need more information (or preferably a screenshot). Does the laser fire? They do have a small miss chance - I should've been more clear about that in the post. Updating now.

    PringleMan: That got scrapped due to compatibility issues with adding dimensions. However, the new Forge version appears to add the proper hooks, so maybe someday Steve will pay a visit to the moon after all...

    Lmcgyver: Eh, you make a good point. It wouldn't hurt to add a "Target incoming missile origin" switch to the targeting system. I've never used the ComputerCraft API, but if there's enough interest, maybe.

    Rashan: That's unusual, I recognize that exception from development. It occurs when IC2 failed to properly initialize before Rocket Science (that line is the first to call upon IC2's item class). May I see your ModLoader logs?

    Tslavo: Curses, onBlockDestroyedByExplosion is acting up. I'll get on that. (What sort of missile exploded with no force? If it's an incendiary, they explode with strength 1, which isn't enough to break cobblestone, and if the ground is too far below, no fire gets spawned.)

    TampaPowers: I just added a method to EnergyNet to make connected blocks visible to other classes, so that defense systems could use standard cables for communication. I might ask Al to change the visibility of certain EnergyNet methods so that future versions don't need my modifications.

    cpy: There are currently no plans to port Rocket Science to Bukkit. That was the original idea, yes, but it was based on the faulty assumption that Bukkit was easier to develop for than vanilla SMP, and I think I've said so several times already. If someone else wants to take on that task once the full version is released, they can go wild.

    Lmcgyver: Missiles launched via the targeting block will always use the block's coordinates, which default to zero. This is intentional. Suppose that your arch-nemesis Bob has a number of missile silos spread across the continent, and a single primary base linked to all of them via cheap tin cables. If your defense system automatically targeted the origin of the incoming missiles, you'd blow up his now-empty silos and leave his base unscathed - whereas under the current system you can have your missiles aimed at his base, just waiting for him to pull the trigger...

    I haven't seen your GUI issues during testing - screenshots would be appreciated. (I like the idea of further defense system customization, but this release was kind of rushed. Maybe I'll get the chance to implement it later. I also want the option to configure your defense system to ignore non-nuclear missiles, in case your foes lob a bunch of cheap incendiaries at you to drain your lasers before they send the nukes)

    Killgore: Sure, once SMP compatibility is fully realized, there will be plenty of config options. Disabling missiles (or just nukes) is definitely something that will be included. Some people think the fusion reactor is overpowered (rubbish!), so I guess I'll let them prevent their players from building one.

    v0.89 is out, adding missile defense systems and support for IC2 v1.95. Consider this a pre-release, there are still a few known bugs (defense laser graphics don't always fire in the right direction, certain blocks look funky in your inventory) and SMP isn't supported yet. v0.9 is next on the agenda - it'll add bugfixes and SMP. Then comes the satellite update, and finally the Mad Science Pack - including freeze rays, cloning vats, and plasma throwers (among other nifty gadgets) - before Rocket Science is declared complete.

    (Please note that the install instructions have changed - I had to modify EnergyNet to get defense module communication working)