Posts by Kentington

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    Ion Drive

    Our ion drives are based on the same glowstone technology as the Electric Jetpack. They are reusable, consuming 50,000EU per launch. Ion drives can be used in passenger rockets as shown (you'll have to charge the rocket before use):


    The ultimate in automated mining technology, our Mobile Auto-Miner needs no supervision - it will automatically withdraw pipe after it hits an obstacle. Better yet, it can run on Lapotrons and has a slot for a Recycler to turn unwanted stone into scrap! And best of all, after withdrawing its pipe, it will rocket off to a new position (moving outwards in a spiral pattern in multiples of nine squares) and begin mining again. This continues until its inventory is full or it runs out of energy.

    To start the Auto-Miner, place the drill, scanner, and recycler (optional) in the appropriate slots, then place mining pipe and batteries/crystals/Lapotrons in any of its inventory slots. Once it shuts down, free up inventory space/replace the batteries and then simply punch it - the autominer will then resume its work and continue moving in the same spiral pattern.

    Autominer Locator

    Worried about where your Autominer went? Maybe loading it up with a dozen Lapotrons wasn't the greatest idea - it could be anywhere by now! This simple gadget tells you the relative locations of all nearby Autominers (that is, in all loaded chunks).

    Wet/Dry Vac

    Right-clicking with this handy gadget will suck up a cubic meter per second of water, lava, sand, or gravel! Note that you need to have empty cells in order to harvest liquids.

    Hand Pump

    Use this low-tech gadget to place water from your Water Cells.

    Missile Defense System
    So all of your neighbors have purchased our lovely missiles, and now they're gazing enviously upon the mine beneath your base? No worries! With a small investment in our state-of-the-art missile defense system, even nuclear weapons won't scratch your precious fortress.

    Tell me more! How does it work?

    Our missile defense system is entirely modular, and its pieces can be connected using any standard cable! Please note that components must be connected directly - that is, there must be an uninterrupted cable path between components for them to communicate (they can't, say, pass through an MFSU). Cables can carry both data and energy simultaneously.

    Step one is detecting incoming missiles. For that, you'll have to use our patent-pending missile detection radar:

    This ultra-efficient radar uses only 2EU/tick, yet scans a 50-block radius! Any missile targeted at a block in this radius will cause the radar to send a trigger signal to the defense coordinator block(s) it's attached to. What are defense coordinator blocks, you ask? Well...

    Defense coordinators are the backbone of your missile defense system. Once an attached radar informs a defense coordinator that there's an incoming missile, the coordinator fires attached lasers one by one until the threat has been neutralized. In the event that you desire burning radioactive vengeance, it will also trigger all attached targeting systems to launch their missiles. Examining the status screens on your defense coordinator shows how many missile defense lasers (charged and discharged), radars, and targeting systems are attached. Please note that a radar won't count as connected unless it's receiving power!

    So what about these defense lasers? Our industrial espionage teams have reverse-engineered Alblaka's mining laser technology to produce a higher-power, long-range turret capable of shooting down incoming missiles:

    Firing a defense laser costs 100,000EU, and each laser can hold one charge at a time. Luckily, these wonderful gadgets can actually accept EV packets straight from transformers, providing rapid charging time in response to massive nuclear bombardment! Bear in mind that shooting down an ICBM is no small feat, so your defense lasers each have a 25% miss chance. (This is in no way a deliberate attempt to convince you to purchase more!)

    And for the aggressors in the crowd, a missile targeting system:

    Missiles can be connected to the targeting system via cable. Any connected missile will be fed the system's coordinates, which can be incremented in units of one, ten, and one hundred. You can also launch all attached missiles with the press of a button, or let your defense coordinator do it automatically! We've also included a slot for targeting discs produced by future Rocket Science products...

    Here's an example of a full missile defense setup:


    Q: Is SMP supported?
    A: v0.84b (for IC2 1.71) is partially compatible with SMP, while the current version (0.89) is not - I had to revamp a few things due to version changes and haven't gotten around to SMP compatibility yet. That's next on the agenda.

    Q: I can't craft anything from this mod! (Alternatively, I get TileEntity bugs - Minecraft thinks the fusion reactor is something else, for example)
    A: It's most likely an ID conflict. Rocket Science's default configuration is known to not play nice with Forestry and a few other mods, so if you have them installed, try using ID Resolver or manually changing IDs. I've added code in the latest release that identifies ID conflicts in the ModLoader log.

    Q: How do I get lithium?
    A: It's a secret. Sort of. There are quite a few sources of lithium in real life - try checking Wikipedia for a lithium source that's not quite a mineral and exists in Minecraft.

    Q: Okay, I have some lithium-6. Why can't I breed it in a fission reactor?
    A: Unfortunately the vanilla IC2 reactor isn't at all moddable (it has a hardcoded list of items it accepts) so I refrained from touching it for compatibility's sake.

    Q: Do you have a donate button?
    A: Nope! I've been lucky enough to make a decent amount of money from a couple of other hobby projects, so Rocket Science is my gift to you all. Support Alblaka if you have some spare change.

    Q: Is there a high-res texture pack available?
    A: Redled72 has been kind enough to produce a military-themed texture pack for Rocket Science. You can find it here.

    Hey all. That side job I mentioned is finished, so I can probably crank out an update sometime this week/end. I can't promise that I'll have time to finish Bukkit compatibility, but (given how much trouble some of you are having) I'll definitely implement an easier way to find your Autominers and better ID collision handling. There might also be a new fusion fuel for you to play with. This is unfortunately going to be the last update for a while - my qualifying exams (aka, the second-most-terrifying grad school experience, right below thesis defense) are on the 25th-27th and I'll be spending the intervening time with my nose in various books trying to prepare.

    (Also, regarding pipes - I'm not familiar with Buildcraft or similar mods, but if there's an API I can use, I'll consider adding pipe compatibility in the next release)

    Huh. My first guess would be that the code which spawns the rocket entity and deletes the rocket blocks when a redstone current is applied has glitched. The fact that the lag recurs when you reopen the world might imply that the game has generated and saved more than one entity, and processing them is slowing down your computer. Try opening your world in MCEdit, check the area for entities, see how many show up.

    Looks like nanotech is the crowd favorite, so I guess I'll confirm that it's coming after the satellite update. Current plans include:

    -Molecular dissembler machine, which breaks down blocks and items into resources. I plan to do this by element, rather than having it produce generic scrap like the recycler - for example, sticking in something organic will produce carbon (not in a valuable form like carbon plates - these will have to be assembled later), inserting sand will give you silicon, etc. IC2 machines will give back all of their components in unprocessed form (metal dust, etc). There's a chance that, say, cobblestone will contain a trace amount of something valuable and will increase that element's extraction gauge by 1-3% (giving you the resource - say a pile of gold dust - when it hits 100%). You'll also be able to use the dissembler to record an item's pattern into a nano-blueprint, destroying the item but allowing your nanofactories to produce more of them.
    -Dissembler nanites, which act as a splash weapon and quickly eat through blocks and entities nearby - only a nano- or quantum-suit provides much defense. They'll excrete elements as above.
    -Nanofactory machine. As I've said before, operation will involve a "minigame" like heat management in IC2's reactors, based around containing unwanted self-replicating structures. Nanofactories require the use of a blueprint created by the dissembler, and will specify how much of each valuable element is required for assembly of the desired object. Most nanotech, including dissembler nanite grenades, will only be craftable through this machine. (If it doesn't irritate too many of you, I might require the same of the nanosuit and quantum suit - it makes more sense that technologies like this require nano-assemblers to create)
    -(Pending certain Forge hooks) Nano-augmentations. Think the original Deus Ex - Steve will be able to supplement his biology with wonderful new abilities. Using them will deplete your hunger bar.
    -Rapid construction systems. Think construction foam on steroids - with the ability to package just about any arrangement of blocks into an easily transportable package. (It's entirely possible to have an "instant house", for example)

    It may even be possible to use rapid construction systems in conjunction with dissemblers, nanofactories, and autominers to produce a self-replicating mining base. That is, it'll use the resources dug up by the autominer to construct a copy of itself elsewhere... and so on. More advanced possibilities include large-scale terraforming beyond what's possible with the vanilla IC2 terraformer.

    I agree wholeheartedly that implementing nanotech is fraught with game balance issues (since a real-world nanofactory could easily convert the carbon in a block of wood or a lump of coal into a diamond, to pick one example). If Rocket Science does end up going in that direction I plan to make the nanofactory into a "minigame" similar to heat management in IC2's nuclear reactors - the idea being that this is first-generation nanotech without many safeguards, and the slightest goof could accidentally create self-replicating structures that need to be contained, lest they devour surrounding blocks. (On the other hand, at least it'll be a prettier way to destroy your house than a nuclear explosion - picture the rogue nanites turning everything into blocks of the same endlessly repeated crystal lattice) Less catastrophic errors would result in the item's molecular structure being slightly off and rendering it less durable - so you might get your desired diamond armor out of the machine, but it's riddled with plane fractures and has only a tenth of the health it should. Anyway, just my ideas.

    Had no idea that Al was working on agriculture - thanks for saving me the time.

    Had some free time today, worked on the design docs for the next few versions. There are a few ways Rocket Science could go after the satellite update, and I'd like some feedback on what you'd like to see first:

    -Focus on multiplayer conflict. Add more missile defense options (kinetic kill vehicle, etc.), countermeasures (MIRV, chaff, etc.) that can be added to missiles to help them defeat defense systems, and new uses for nukes (detonate in the upper atmosphere to produce an EMP that shorts electrical machines). Maybe add a research system to facilitate a Cold War-style arms race. Implement team features and bases.
    -Explore nanotech. Add dissembler nanite swarms that eat multiple blocks before running out of charge and excrete scrap; add special missiles to deliver dissemblers to enemy bases. Add medical nanotech that can rapidly heal wounds or assemble fully-grown creatures from DNA samples. Maybe implement a nano-assembler that can create finished goods from scrap (with a random loot element).
    -Automate agriculture and harvesting of renewable resources. Add an arboretum that automatically grows and harvests trees, automatic planters and harvesters, perhaps a cloning device that produces baby animals. Implement genetic engineering of crops (and perhaps animals) to improve yield and growth rate.

    Let me know which you prefer!

    AgentKid: Thanks for the offer, but I don't even have a PayPal account. I'll hack that diamond into my main world, though! =P

    IDN: Good catch. I didn't have time to change the color of the ion drive missile entity or create a new EntityFX class for the plasma trail - next update will fix this.

    MagnaPants: Also a good catch. The SMP update will change the nuke code to ignore bedrock.

    Maeyanie: If I have trouble (never worked with Bukkit before), I might just take you up on that.

    Streetstar: Nope, sorry.

    Koboldbard: Making the ion rockets into chargeable blocks would take up another block ID (or two, depending on how I handled the warhead) - the standard missile's TileEntity doesn't implement the energy-accepting interface. Due to inherent limitations in the Minecraft engine, modders have to minimize the number of BlockID's our mods use for compatibility's sake. (Speaking of which, I've never even heard of MineUp and can't be expected to help you without an error log)

    Mike: Once the satellite update is released, you'll have the option of telling the autominer to return to specified global coordinates (assuming you've previously launched a GPS satellite). (Alternatively, shooting a couple of incendiary missiles at that forest should get rid of it in a hurry!)

    Version 0.7 has been released! I've made the following changes:

    -Added ion drives, which can be used in reusable passenger rockets and the Autominer. Ion drives consume 50,000EU per use and can hold two full charges - enough to journey into the unknown and return home.
    -Added the mobile auto-miner. This handy device has an internal chest and requires no supervision as it drills down to bedrock, withdraws its pipe, and rockets off to mine elsewhere. Moreover, it can be powered by Lapotrons and has a slot for a Recycler to dispose of unwanted stone! The autominer's jumps take it outward from its original position in a spiral pattern (multiples of nine squares).
    -Major bugfix involving missile rendering - warheads should no longer disappear or show up as saplings.
    -Removed crystal and lapotron batpacks now that the LapPack exists. Installation should be easier now, no need to muck around with the IC2 jar.
    -Changed the booster module recipe to use coalfuel or biofuel cells rather than fuel cans; this should help reduce crafting bugs.

    Once exams end on the 20th, I can begin work on SMP support and some multiplayer-oriented features (missile defense laser, radar, etc.). Does anyone object to simply porting this mod to Bukkit?

    After the SMP update, I plan to add satellites to Rocket Science - yes, this includes an orbital laser and the mighty Ion Cannon. Less murderous technologies include GPS, a mapping satellite, zoomable spy satellites, and even ground-penetrating radar to help locate ores and underground structures. Once your GPS network is up, you'll be able to see exactly where you are and to target rockets at global coordinates - for example, you can set up multiple bases, store their coordinates, and travel rapidly between them with reusable ion drives. Of course, communicating with your satellites requires quite a bit of infrastructure, which will be a tempting target for your SMP foes...

    Fnordman: Yup! The autominer inherits from the standard miner and doesn't change most of its code.

    I planned to release the update today, but apparently one of my co-workers stored the sensitive equipment I need near a high-energy-storage capacitor bank and the EMPs from repeatedly discharging the capacitors fried it. So I spent the whole day trying to jury-rig an alternative from the equipment we had available. Isn't grad school great? Tomorrow's schedule is full, so we're looking at a probable Thursday release. (I might include a special treat to make up for the delay; satellites don't do much yet, but I wrote the partial code over Thanksgiving so including it shouldn't add any additional delay)

    That sounds like it would be a very successful standalone add-on too! You should consider that...

    The autominer uses my rocket code for its movement (ie, it flies up to the map's max height and parachutes down to its new location) and its crafting recipe includes two ion drive modules. I suppose I could write a standalone version where it just teleports to the next spot, but it's not a very high priority.

    Been a little overworked lately. I should have the autominer update (and v1.337 compatibility) ready in the next couple of days. Changes:

    -Added ion drive for reusable passenger rockets. They're costly to make and consume 50,000EU per launch, but think of all the iron you'll save in the long run!
    -Added mobile auto-miner. This handy (and quite expensive) device mines until it runs out of pipe or hits an obstacle, then withdraws its pipe and rockets to a new position nine squares away. It'll repeat this process until its inventory fills up or the Lapotrons run out. The autominer's jumps take it outward from its original position in a spiral pattern, guaranteeing it will harvest all ore in the area.
    -Removed crystal and lapotron batpacks now that the LapPack exists. Installation should be easier now, no need to muck around with the IC2 jar.
    -Changed the booster module recipe to use coalfuel or biofuel cells rather than fuel cans; this should help reduce crafting bugs.
    -Some general bugfixes and optimizations.

    Next on the agenda is SMP support, with a few accompanying features to make nuclear missiles less likely to ruin your day. (The most notable of these is the missile defense laser; based on how many radar dishes you place next to it, a missile defense laser has a certain probability of shooting down a missile within a fifty-block radius. Of course, they take a while to charge, and if you shoot enough missiles at your target, one or two might get through...) If enough interest is shown, I might also try to add team features for SMP servers that want to experience a new Cold War.

    And after that? Well, based on your lukewarm (at best) support for the moon dimension, I've decided to shift gears somewhat. Suffice it to say that you'll discover a terrestrial source of lithium (from which you can breed tritium for the much more useful D-T fusion reaction), and that I have another use for spacefaring rockets planned...

    Krazygluon: Love the name!

    fzymnr: You likely have a block or item ID conflict. Since this is such a frequent problem I think I'm just going to add custom error-handling in the next release (I wish Mojang had made Minecraft's error reports more accessible to the user, but...) and automatically pick a free block or item ID if a conflict is detected. Until then, run Minecraft from the command line to figure out what ID is conflicting and change the config file.

    Sleeeper: I haven't taken Buildcraft pipes into account yet, but the full release will include greater Buildcraft compatibility (fusion reactors will distribute fuel between slots, etc.).

    ttradno: The laser rangefinder (since v.65) might be the solution you're looking for. Left-click a missile while holding one and it will input the rangefinder's last coordinates.

    MagusUnion: Sure, I'm helping out with a new antenna my adviser developed to pick up electron Bernstein waves from fusion plasmas. Assuming we can get the damn thing to work, it's going into the DIII-D tokamak next year. (And don't say you're "only" a geologist, all areas of science are worthy of study)

    Tremelay: If you're getting an ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException, you (or ID Resolver) have set an ID number higher than the size of Minecraft's ID array. Setting the warhead block to ID 30258 is definitely your issue, since Minecraft can only handle 256 blocks (items are a different story).

    General news: Since I'm not going to get multiplayer support done before the conference, I figure that including reusable passenger rockets (replace the chemical-fueled booster with a rechargeable ion drive, HAYO!) and a mobile auto-miner in this weekend's update should be a decent consolation prize. You're going to love the autominer - it'll mine down to bedrock, pull its pipe up, move over nine squares, and repeat until the Lapotrons run out.

    Multiple bugfixes in the latest release - missile boosters are now properly crafted with legitimately-crafted fuel cans, BatPacks work with vanilla IC2 items, crafting shapes are made more flexible, and some texture issues are resolved, among other things. I've also added the hand pump for those of you who want to use your water cells like buckets. One other new feature is the ability to left-click a missile with your laser rangefinder, which will store the rangefinder's last coordinates in the missile.

    SMP support is still coming, but might take a while - my work is going to take me to the APS plasma physics conference next week.