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There are currently 85 users playing Freelancer on 42 servers.
July. 8, 2020

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[Never mind; somehow my mod was corrupted] Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf?
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I've been working on re-designing New Berlin, including a bigger version of The Ring, which is to be an 8-base construction around Potsdam, which has been relocated to where planet New Berlin used to be. Planet New Berlin has moved to the center. The foundations are already done and are afaik not the problem here.

I've been adding many child objects (the objects with "parent = " in their setup) but at one point I noticed they disappear

I haven't narrowed it down precisely, but there are now 364 [Object]s in my file. There is no warning or other indication concerning this in the Spew, so I presume it is not an actual performance issue, but a limit set by the developers (which I imagine to be 360 because it is a neat, round number).

As our computers today are much better than when Freelancer was released, I presume they should also be able to render more than 360 objects in a StarSystem file.*

Can any of you hackers please look into this?

* (While typing this, I had to think of QBasic, which was limited to use only a -to modern standards ridiculously small- portion of the computer's memory. I hope this case is different. Rheinland deserves an upgraded Ring!)

Posted on: 2017/10/23 9:08
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Re: Yet another annoying limit: Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Quote:

Moonhead wrote:
As our computers today are much better than when Freelancer was released, I presume they should also be able to render more than 360 objects in a StarSystem file.*


FL has no this limits. I have systems with more than 500 objects in one little zone.

Posted on: 2017/10/24 9:12
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Re: Yet another annoying limit: Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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I created another 400 space_industrial objects attached to Detroit and they all showed up.

Posted on: 2017/10/24 12:37
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Re: Yet another annoying limit: Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Quote:

adoxa wrote:
I created another 400 space_industrial objects attached to Detroit and they all showed up.


I must admit that I too was under the impression that I built way more excessive, baroque bases in earlier years...

Btw the objects that at one point stopped being rendered, are (sofar) custom models (actually, parts of bases that are not separate SATELLITE objects in vanilla, like the disc (decagon) 'space city' and a tower with a cap. (I either made these myself or used them from some pack someone released; can't remember and unfortunately not all my old files and archives survived all the moving around between computers and HDs). Those were rendered just fine until recently, like vanilla SATELLITEs, but now they aren't (and no 'missing archetype' in the Spew — so not an actual error).

Do you have any clue / suggestion to what can cause this? (And, more important, how to fix it?)

Posted on: 2017/10/24 14:29
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Are this objects shown properly in FL Mod Studio?

Posted on: 2017/10/26 9:21
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Sorry for neglecting this thread. My modem broke down, and then when I installed the new one, I had to catch up with the games I play (mainly SWL nowadays).

Quote:

Jeider wrote:
Are this objects shown properly in FL Mod Studio?


To be honest, I don't use that, and I'm not sure whether it would work very well with my method of building a mod, which is with 'modular'-based .xml files (inspired by ARGH's toolkit mods). So, while at the look of it, FL Mod Studio is a great tool, I think using it will be like learning a new trade. (Which by itself might be a worthy effort, but not for now.)

One of the reasons I was thinking it is some FL performance issue, it that also (in that StarSystem) seems to be having LOD performance issues on the (vanilla) space_research objects (the very long construction beams), like it only switches to the detailed .DDS when you are very near, and uses a rather featureless version (I presume a small image blown up, hence blurry) otherwise.

Anyway, I'll try to figure out how much I have to remove to make everything visible again, then try to narrow it down.

Posted on: 2017/10/26 10:57
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Some more finds:

The problem with the objects is one of visibility: I can collide with them.

Some things I tried (without sofar having fixed it):

  1. I removed more lines from the StarSystem file. I'm pretty sure now that I brought back the file to a state (size; number of objects) in which it previously worked.

  2. I figured that it might be that files got corrupted, so I replaced the .cmp files of the invisible archetypes with their equivalents from earlier backups of the mod. (BTW they use the same generic .MAT files as the other SATELLITE and STATION archetypes)

  3. I replaced the .exe file in my mod with one from an earlier backup, in case it might have gotten corrupted

  4. I removed (commented-out) the space_research objects, because I have some vague memory that they, when used in abundance, can trigger issues.


But it still remains the same. I'll keep you posted (in case someone else might run into a same problem. I always hate it when I google for a problem, then find someone who has had the same, problem a few years ago and than that thread ends prematurely! Did they solve it and didn't bother to report back? Didn't they solve it at all?? Future internet archaeologists might find out ) which is also a convenient way for me to make notes.

Posted on: 2017/10/26 11:47
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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I tried both the archetypes out in another system. Here the issue is the same:
  • they are invisible

  • I can collide with them


Another custom archetype (a huge version of the space_habitat_wide with its own texture files) works fine.

So, this to me seems that either the files of those missing archetypes have gone corrupted —but I replaced them with earlier versions that I know have until recently worked just fine— or something in my Freelancer's operating has been changed. But I haven't done any modifications to e.g. the .exe file recently; I did one some weeks ago but the archetypes showed up fine after that. Besides, I replaced the freelancer.exe as well.

EDIT: I reinstalled the game (incl. patch 1.1 and LouvaDeus' FreelancerSDK-v1.5beta, like I always use) — but that too did not help.

I ask this to people with more understanding of the tech side of FL: what files (internal or external) influence how FL renders objects? What issue do you think of, when a few custom archetypea (based on vanilla archs and using the same .mat files as they all do) suddenly stops being visible, even though it worked just fine before that?

Posted on: 2017/10/26 12:08
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Too many words... Can you send corrupted files to me? I will try to fix them.

Posted on: 2017/10/26 13:16
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Look for LOD-s and distance where they switch. Both the cmp/3db and in the .ini files.

Posted on: 2017/10/26 14:05
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Quote:

cata123 wrote:
Look for LOD-s and distance where they switch. Both the cmp/3db and in the .ini files.


Thanks for the advice. But that issue occurs especially in unmodded archetypes, which makes me suspect the issue isn't in those files, but rather an oddity on my machine... I did not recently update video card drivers, or I would have suspected that.

Quote:

Jeider wrote:
Too many words... Can you send corrupted files to me? I will try to fix them.


I've replaced those files with earlier versions that actually worked, so the issue is not in those files.


Btw I now do see something in the Spew that might be relevant:

Code:
E:\FL\Scratch\Source\Common\Archetype.cpp(1920) : *** ERROR: Attempt to load a solar group into a solar that wasn't loaded.


Kinda cryptic, to be honest.

Posted on: 2017/10/26 23:21
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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The message seems to mean you've got a [CollisionGroup] with no prior [Solar].

Posted on: 2017/10/27 2:05
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Quote:

adoxa wrote:
The message seems to mean you've got a [CollisionGroup] with no prior [Solar].

Fascinating... I haven't done anything to those, but I presume the issue might be connected.

I had some earlier weird stuff going on... It would seem likely that my entire install went corrupt — but I've reinstalled the game so that's not likely either.

Oh well I first got to sort out my SolarArch.ini for now.

Posted on: 2017/10/27 10:21
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Re: Yet another annoying limit, or some fault on my behalf? Only so much [Object]s are rendered
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Hmmm on my old laptop, the game + mod work fine. The archetypes show up as they should.

So, there is an issue on my PC that is *not* simply in one of Freelancer's files, because I've re-installed it...

NEVER MIND

I've copied the laptop's copy of the mod to my PC and now I can see the archetypes. So there were some files corrupted in my mod somehow. But not the .cmp , .sur and/or texture files, because I replaced them with older versions, and as far as I could tell also not the SolarArch... So, it'll remain a mystery, that I ideally should trace back to its source, to learn from it. But now that stuff seems to be working again, I have quite some work with restoring all the stuff I took out.

Posted on: 2017/10/27 10:52
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