Friday, October 14, 2011

Improving the vintage

Our old and rusty faction terminal, the very first feature of 2238 could use some improvements. While we started the project few years ago, we couldn't hope for client scripts, nor for easy scripting client-side GUI. The only possibility was to use existing dialog functionalities.

Over the time it became obvious, that using such 'interface' is really big pain, and the usability of our game is not up to modern standards by a mile or two. But we have left that part unchanged, as there were other things to do (and still are). The upcoming wipe will not change it drastically, but it will surely improve the way factions are managed.

Multiple bases

There were so many factions created since the last wipe that we've run out of names. Several times. Most of them were only created to alleviate one problem - a faction is meant to have only one base, and all members have access to it, some were created when factions were creating an alliance, and some only because some rich player wanted private workbench and whores.

Of course, not all problems will be fixed immediately, but we're going to allow one faction to own multiple hideouts.


To simplify things, the access will be resolved on per-rank and per-status basis. This means it won't be possible to do it per-player and per-faction (not yet at least), but still, that simple modification should make life of faction leaders much, much easier, and it should increase the importance of proper rank assignment.

Easier status change

We've also added the ability to create list of known factions. Such list is then used to alter the status of all members of said faction at once.It should work well with per-status access for bases. While we still have basic statuses: friend/neutral/enemy/invited, the system should allow for more so we could improve one that. Question is, whether it's gonna be worked on, or whether web-faction-terminal will takeover.


So why we haven't reworked it from the scratch, possibly creating client-side interface for it? Well, there are few reasons. First of course are, the plans for web faction terminal (which does not rule out easy client-side interface alongside with web interface). The other is that we're still working on GUI internals, our GUI code differs from the default SDK, and we're working on a ways to make them compatible. Sometimes it's good to work on internals first.