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Topics - jgatkinsn

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Offtopic / Looking for a new book series to read?
« on: May 30, 2018, 04:59:18 pm »
I've been enjoying this book series:  Galaxy's Edge for quite some time.  It's available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.  It's not quite XCOM, but it's really good.  It has a more of a Star Wars feel to it because there are some sarcastic references taking jabs at the SW universe occasionally.  The best parts are when they focus on "The Legion" and their exploits.


After debating about how to manage the interceptor ranges on the intercept screen, I decided it would be best to make it "moddable".  I've completed the code for this feature in my own fork of OXCE+ and I must say I can't imagine playing without it after all the testing I've done with it.  My son loves it too :)

Below are screenshots of how the range status is encoded for normal or default, TechComm mod, and two TFTD screens showing the out of range and slightly in range status (red squares  & yellow triangles respectively).

This feature is an option that has to be enabled from the Options menu called "Interceptor Range Status".  Once enabled, you only need to click on a possible target and then click the "intercept" button from the target screen.  By default, the shape also indicates the range no matter if the craft is ready or not: X - craft is not allowed to fly there, square - craft is out of range, triangle - craft is borderline in range, and circle - craft is well within range.  The color is used to emphasize the range: red - out or not allowed, green - good to go, yellow - caution, and blue means craft isn't ready.

To change the colors or shapes or both, the interfaces.rul file will need to be changed by providing a copy for you mod.

Code: [Select]
  - type: interceptorRangeStatusReady
      - id: craftNotAllowed
        textShape:  0x0058   # unicode character for X cross (must be hex)
        color:  128      # red
      - id: inRange
        textShape:  0x25CF   # unicode character for circle (must be hex)
        color:  107      # some shade of brightish green
      - id: mightBeInRange
        textShape:  0x25B2   # unicode character for triangle (must be hex)
        color:  251      # golden yellow
      - id: outOfRange
        textShape:  0x25A0   # unicode character for square (must be hex)
        color:  128      # red
  - type: interceptorRangeStatusNotReady
      - id: craftNotAllowed
        textShape:  0x0058   # unicode character for X cross (must be hex)
        color:  80       # dull blue
      - id: inRange
        textShape:  0x25CF   # unicode character for circle (must be hex)
        color:  80       # dull blue
      - id: mightBeInRange
        textShape:  0x25B2   # unicode character for triangle (must be hex)
        color:  80       # dull blue
      - id: outOfRange
        textShape:  0x25A0   # unicode character for square (must be hex)
        color:  80       # dull blue

If you want this integrated into OXCE+ and think it's a must have, you'll have to convince master Meridian :) 

If you want to test the code (and know how to compile), my changes are located in two places:

Feature only:
Feature plus hide purchase items:

Okay, I've finished implementing the ability to hide items in the purchase screen.  It's an option in the Advanced Mods list called "Hide Purchase Items".  As you hide items, an internal list (really a map) is managed that is saved and restored into the save game file.  It's backwards compatible with save game files that don't have the hidden purchase item list in it. 

Users just "right-click" on the item in the purchase screen to "hide" it, and if they want to "unhide" it, they can go the the "Hidden Items" category and right-click on the item again. 

And yes... if you select another category other than "Hidden items", the hidden item will not show up there even it it belongs in that category.

Here's a link of the hiding in action:

Everything is checked into my oxce3.5-plus-proto branch on GitHub if anyone wants to test it.
Let me know if this can be improved.  Would this be better if it was called "Ignore Items" instead of Hidden?

Again, the premise behind this feature is to cut down on the clutter of all the items in the purchase screen you no longer care about because of obsolescence over the course of the game.  This is particularly helpful with the mods with tons of items like XcomFiles and FMP.

So, another idea I got that I think would be nice is a way to toggle the craft's maximum flight range onto the geoscape globe.  I think this would be handy particularly in the XCOM files mod if you want to see if the Hummer or the Mudranger or the Osprey can reach that new point of interest no the map.  Even more important if multiple points of interest have popped in quick succession, and I'm trying to decide which craft is best suited for the mission in range. Then make a decision based on that.  When I'm done deciding which craft to use, I hit the toggle key to remove the circles.

I envisioned possibly making the range circles a different shade per craft at each base and possibly labeling the circle with the craft name.   If the craft has global range, no circle would be displayed. 


OpenXcom Extended / [Question] [Solved] Weapon use hotkeys?
« on: March 20, 2018, 03:29:14 am »
I had another idea that might speed up gameplay for some people like me.

What if there were hotkeys that tell the weapon in your hand how you're going to use it?


LSHIFT A - Left hand weapon Aim
LSHIFT S - Left hand weapon Snap
LSHIFT O - Left hand weapon Auto
LSHIFT P - Left Hand weapon Prime
LSHIFT U - Left Hand weapon Unprime
LSHIFT T - Left Hand weapon Throw

If the key combination doesn't apply, then it just does nothing or pops up a message telling you it doesn't apply.

Then the Right hand would be CTRL or CTRL Shift, so I don't have to take my right hand off the mouse.  Now, I realize as I write this. it would have to be ambidextrous, so any SHIFT is left hand and CTRL SHIFT is right-hand weapons.

Because you ... no wait... I demanded  it, I've implemented a screen in OXCE+ that allows a player to check all the projects being researched at all the bases in one screen.  Using the key "c", you can bring up in two places: Geoscape & a base's current research screen. 

From this screen, if you click on a project in the list, it will take you immediately to that base's current research screen.

This is useful for times when you just can't keep track of all your projects.  When you find yourself saying, "Now which base was researching laser pistols again?" or while watching the globe spin, "How much progress have I made over these past few days?"

Changes are located in my copy of the oxce3.5-plus-proto branch:

Attached is a small screen capture video.

OpenXcom Extended / [Question] [Solved] Problems running OXCE+
« on: March 17, 2018, 05:48:53 pm »
Need help.

I've built a branch of OXCE+ (oxce3.5-plus-proto) with some changes I want to add and test (adding a new screen). However, I can't launch the game, but I could with vanilla OXC no mods enabled.

From the log it looks like it doesn't like the UFO ruleset, and turns if off which kills the game because then it can't find BATTLE.CAT.  Is there a way to get more debug output without firing up the debugger?

Audio error is the same for vanilla OXC, because I'm running in Ubuntu Bash Shell for Windows 10.. so no audio.

Any help is appreciated.

EDIT by Meridian, more info here:,6128.0.html

When you have research projects going on in several bases, it would be nice to have a quick way to see what other bases are currently researching in progress from the research screen.  This could simply be another button from the research screen to click on called "Current Global Research" that pops up a list of all ongoing projects located with the associated basename.   This would help tremendously because I can't keep track of all the projects in progress, so I have to jump around from base to base checking their research projects.

Another perk would be able to jump to another bases's research screen from this global list.

Cheers! :)

EDIT by Meridian: more info here:,6150.0.html

I don't know if this is possible, but it would be nice to mark items on the purchase screen as ignored.  Once the item is marked ignore it won't show up on the purchase list or maybe moved to the very bottom or have an "Ignored items" pull down to show them.  Either way, it would be helpful to have items you no longer care about purchasing cluttering up the screen when I find the items I do care about buying.  This has become more of an issue in the XCOM Files mod with so many weapons available to purchase. I spend a lot of time scrolling up and down sometimes missing the item I'm looking to buy.  Also, some items are great early game, but as you get upgrades, I don't care about the early items anymore and have no desire to purchase them.

Anyway, here's a suggestion that would help improve the game IMHO :)


Released Mods / FMP on GitHub
« on: April 13, 2016, 04:25:48 pm »

Have you ever considered putting your FMP mod up (or at least the text files) on github particularly since this mod is no longer in feature development?  It might make it easier to maintain when people submit bugfixes.  They can do pull requests, and you can review them.   

Troubleshooting / Can't install latest nightlies
« on: February 26, 2016, 05:09:06 pm »
I tried to upgrade to the latest nightlies 2/13 and 2/16, but I'm getting a crash.

Here's a log output:

[26-02-2016 09:06:33]   [INFO]   Data folder is:
[26-02-2016 09:06:33]   [INFO]   Data search is:
[26-02-2016 09:06:33]   [INFO]   - C:\Users\jatkinso\Documents\OpenXcom\
[26-02-2016 09:06:33]   [INFO]   - C:\Program Files\OpenXcom
[26-02-2016 09:06:33]   [INFO]   - C:\Program Files\OpenXcom
[26-02-2016 09:06:33]   [INFO]   User folder is: C:\Users\jatkinso\Documents\OpenXcom\
[26-02-2016 09:06:33]   [INFO]   Config folder is: C:\Users\jatkinso\Documents\OpenXcom\
[26-02-2016 09:06:33]   [INFO]   Options loaded successfully.
[26-02-2016 09:06:33]   [INFO]   SDL initialized successfully.
[26-02-2016 09:06:34]   [INFO]   SDL_mixer initialized successfully.
[26-02-2016 09:06:34]   [INFO]   Attempting to set display to 1440x900x32...
[26-02-2016 09:06:34]   [INFO]   Display set to 1440x900x32.
[26-02-2016 09:06:34]   [INFO]   Loading data...
[26-02-2016 09:06:34]   [INFO]   Scanning standard mods in 'standard'...
[26-02-2016 09:06:34]   [INFO]   Scanning user mods in 'C:\Users\jatkinso\Documents\OpenXcom\mods'...
[26-02-2016 09:06:34]   [INFO]   Mapping resource files...
[26-02-2016 09:06:35]   [INFO]   Resources files mapped successfully.
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   A fatal error has occurred: code 0xc0000005
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   SymFromAddr failed: 487
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   SymFromAddr failed: 487
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   SymFromAddr failed: 487
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   SymFromAddr failed: 487
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   SymFromAddr failed: 487
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   0x7e7eb0 SDL_Error (SymGetLineFromAddr64 failed: 487)
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   0x77799894 free (SymGetLineFromAddr64 failed: 487)
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   StackWalk64 failed: 299
[26-02-2016 09:06:40]   [FATAL]   Crash dump generated at C:\Users\jatkinso\Documents\OpenXcom\26-02-2016_09-06-40.dmp
[26-02-2016 09:06:43]   [FATAL]   OpenXcom has crashed: code 0xc0000005
Extra information has been saved to openxcom.log.
Please report this to the developers.

It's been a while since I've upgraded, but I have been playing with the nightlies normally.  I have  Windows 7 machine 32-bit.

Any suggestions?

Tools / OXC-Moderator (WIP)
« on: July 23, 2015, 07:05:53 am »
So, I'm back to working on the mod installer/updater tool - called OXC-Moderator.  I had about a 3 month break due to life circumstances between family moving in for a while and crazy end of school activities.  Anyway, there's a lot of work to do.  The biggest and most discouraging problem I face is the ever changing web pages for scraping until the REST API gets implemented.  So... parsing for mods is a moving target.

Here's the github project:

It doesn't do much right now other than parse some web pages - poorly now that it's changed again.  I have a TODO list on the project page for perusal.  I would like to use Kivy as a GUI framework, so I can learn it and maybe support the Android port one day. 

I can only work on this about two nights a week right now, so I don't expect anything fully functional for a while.  This is here to help keep me accountable and keep moving forward.  Until I get a stable REST interface, I'll try to start working on the GUI design.

Just picked up a copy of Galaxy Defenders and played it last night.  Awesome game! I bring it to your attention, because it reminds me of X-COM in a board game format.  Now, I know there is a now an board game called "X-COM: The board game", but I hear it greatly abstracts away the tactical combat side of X-COM.  It should probably be called "X-COM: The Geoscape simulator board game".  When I think of X-COM, I think of squad level combat.  Galaxy Defenders does this in an awesome way.  You can pick your agents with differing abilities.  You can pick your equipment and upgrade your equipment over time.  You can improve agent's skills and abilities.  The alien A.I. is pretty slick for a cooperative game (there are rules on the website for a player controlling all aliens).  It comes with 12 missions that can be played in a campaign format, so agents carry their improved abilities over to the next mission.  Also, more missions are available for download on the website.

There will be expansions later this year that will continue the story and add cooler weapons and tougher aliens.

Here's a site with some reviews:

Offtopic / Sometimes a loss is very satisfying!
« on: May 25, 2015, 07:41:32 am »
Just an FYI,  I haven't played OXC in weeks.  Been too busy between life and working on auto update script.

So, I start up a Final Mod Pack at SuperHuman difficulty for the first time.  I promptly shoot down a large scout full of sectoids with my starting crew.  I can't recall ever seeing so many sectoids close to my skyranger (like 5 I think).  Even with smoke put down in the first turn, I'm losing soldiers left and right trying to get off the skyranger and patch up unconscious soldiers.   I slowly clear the LZ at heavy losses (grenades were my salvation), and by the time I get things cleared to the UFO door, I'm down to 3 brave rookies ready to breach.  My first soldier goes into the door, and finds a sectoid with his back to him.  Bang, Bang, it goes down.  The rest slowly clear the UFO and realize that there is at least more outside and it's close to turn 20.  I decide to hunker down inside the craft and wait for them to come to me.  At about turn 22, the final sectoid enters the one of the doors (I'm covering two doors).  Unfortunately, I had two soldiers covering the wrong door, so the other goes down after getting one shot on the sucker.  I try to get the last two remaining soldiers into position, but their reactions just aren't good enough as they go down one by one.

It was a tough loss, but extremely fun :)

Troubleshooting / "id" field problem in new mod metadata.yml.
« on: May 17, 2015, 02:00:19 am »
(I did file bug report just in case)
So, I tried to update to the latest Final Mod Pack mod, but OpenXcom couldn't find the mod when loading a saved game. I think I figured out the problem. 

Final Mod Pack 1.5b has this for it's id field in the metadata.yml "Final Mod Pack" which is same as directory the directory name in mods directory. 
Final Mod Pack 1.5.1 has for it's id field "final-mod-pack" which matches the part for the web location on the mod site.  The "id" field is stored in the options.cfg for that mod pack.  So when I try to load a saved game after updating Final Mod Pack, it can't find the mod and disables the mod.

It was my understanding the "id" field in the metadata.yml was for the mod website, so autoupdating feature could be implemented in another script.

Either "id" should be used for local installs or web site updates, but not both.  I think you'll need a new field for website updates, maybe "url".

Load Final Mod Pack 1.5b.  Verify it loads and save a game with it turned on.
Install Final Mod Pack 1.5.1, and verify the game will not load unless you disable the mods.

Look in options.cfg at Final Mod Pack 1.5b and see id: Final Mod Pack  and then look at it after Final Mod Pack 1.5.1 and it will be "final-mod-pack" like in the website.

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