. /../Noctis IV inbox! Now!/ 1234
lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Dec 14, 2008 21:46
Whoa! You work fast! entirely different than me

I suppose it'd be better to echo that post in the Noctis home thread. Or, feel free to place them directly there yourself. It might allow you.

Let me be the first to say thank you!
I suppose others will follow...
krasnyj bibliotekar
written by Serpens on Dec 14, 2008 21:57
Alex said:
Let me be the first to say thank you!
I suppose others will follow...
Yes, yes, let me be the second (at the time of writing this) person who says his belated "thank you", Neuzd! Because of the long-lasting hassle with different NICE and Starmap versions (no offense to Megagun and Shadowlord here, I spent hundreds of hours with NICE 7a, 8 and 8.5), and the improper behavior of vanilla Noctis IV, I simply couldn't decide what to do. All the newer NICE versions provided regular inboxes, but had the new Starmap (which meant leaving behind all my earlier names and notes) and were vastly different. On the other hand, Noctis IV and my beloved NICE 7a and NICE 8 had the old Starmap, and also didn't see a new Inbox in ages. So, this is not the fault of NICE or anything else, just a bunch of unfortunate conditions and my indecisiveness. I couldn't properly ejnoy exploration without being thorough and making notes. Now, I could easily make my decision and all the joy is back. So, thank you again! (and sorry for this rant)
lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Dec 14, 2008 22:10
Uhm... on the topic of different starmap formats, could someone update me (even briefly) about what happened? The questions that come to mind are:

- should NICE replace the "historical" version, NIV?

- could the old starmap format be imported into NICE once and forever, so we could use the new format from now on?

or,

- would it be better for most of us to keep NIV and the current format?

ps.
Sorry, I've been away for too long.
r'lyeh sweet r'lyeh
written by Neuzd on Dec 14, 2008 22:41
Before the talk about file formats, I'd like to be sure that NOTES themselves are compatible.

There's the main fact that NICE (I admit to ignore if this is just from a certain version) has a different terrain generation algorythm, and every piece of land looks different from NICE to NIV.

If notes are only about description from space, they most surely will match, but if there's the description of a mountain or something like that, then simply merging informations will be at least inaccurate.

About the other topics, there are several points of view as well.
I see that NIV shouldn't be let die, it was good to try to improve it (and lots of NICE features are just perfect) but probably making it so different alienated several aficionados.

I've been in a state of indecision like Serpens for a loong time, then I decided that my efforts could have brought some results if applied to NIV data files.
The fact that NIV remained in a frozen status for almost 4 years (since the last inbox update) also made it easier to understand where to begin from.

....those you ask are really strange questions, by the way. I hope others will have their say.
lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Dec 14, 2008 22:53
Ah, yeah, I forgot the "butterfly effect" of the PRNGs. Yeah the overall change of landmarks makes them incompatible. Ok, ok, let's keep NIV.
krasnyj bibliotekar
written by Serpens on Dec 14, 2008 22:59
I'm no expert and in no position to make any decisive statements, but let me add what little I do know and what I feel about the whole matter.

First, it is true that NICE has very different terrain than Noctis IV. And actually, many NICE versions differ from themselves in this aspect. For example, NICE 7a and Noctis completely do not match. NICE 8.5 (or 8) and 7a also do not match, because there was a big change in the former version (which added depth to the game, by the way). And all those versions use the old Starmap. This causes a big problem for notes, yes, and it's difficult to come with a solution unless...

Yes, my dream would be an official, unified version of Noctis, combining the features of both vanilla NIV and NICE, and probably with the new Starmap. This would eliminate the notes problems, but also would require much effort and discussion, I imagine. Still, I can't currently think of anything better. That's all from me.
lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Dec 14, 2008 23:05
I don't think such a compromise would be possible at all. By what I remember of it, NIV (and NICE) had the same problem: limited memory for the code segments (they live in 640 Kb, and also along with data segments). This might exclude the possibility of having two different terrain generators running concurrently.

But anyway, my whole set of questions wasn't taking that problem in consideration, I simply forgot to consider it. I was thinking only to starmap format differences as an obstacle between the two.

postscript :
in general, however, it could be possible to import some features from NICE, but personally, I just can't think of me coping again with the messy environment of BC++ 3.1. I had worked with it for years, often in cases of products that weren't at all as creative and interesting as Noctis. With time, I admittedly began detesting that implementation of C++, and I just want to see the Linoleum version completed, nothing else.
krasnyj bibliotekar
written by Serpens on Dec 14, 2008 23:11
Alex said:
I don't think such a compromise would be possible at all. By what I remember of it, NIV (and NICE) had the same problem: limited memory for the code segments (they live in 640 Kb, and also along with data segments). This might exclude the possibility of having two different terrain generators running concurrently.
I'm not sure if I understood this correctly, but if so, why not select only one, which would become the "standard"? This wouldn't be compatible with many of the earlier versions and notes, granted, but on the other hand, I'm afraid that many such discrepancies already exist among the notes, simply because there are so many versions to choose from. Selecting one would make things easier in the future. But perhaps I'm entirely wrong.
lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Dec 14, 2008 23:20
mmh... I don't even know if NICE users sent outboxes. If they did, then we'll in fact have unmatched notes. At this point, though, not knowing the details, I'd recommend keeping NIV as the standard anyway, while the NICe universe could have its own data repository in its own format... but then we'd need someone to keep up also submissions to NICE's data set.

hrm... the situation got confused.
r'lyeh sweet r'lyeh
written by Neuzd on Dec 14, 2008 23:26
Alex said:
the NICe universe could have its own data repository in its own format... but then we'd need someone to keep up also submissions to NICE's data set.

hrm... the situation got confused.
Well, Megagun was doing that since some time ago, but he recently said he wanted to announce his resignation also because in a bug in SyncStarmap (NICE's tool for starmap updates).

I came across the source of SyncStarmap just today and i'm gonna have a look at that in the next weeks, to see if I can do something also for NICE.

Thats' all.
: P
night fth
written by Ferinex on Dec 14, 2008 23:29
Well, as far as merging NICE and NIV together, you could either revert NICE's algorithm to NIV's, or...

Get rid of the notes that were recorded using NIV, which would also probably make the inbox smaller again . You could leave planet and star names as they are. To figure out if notes were recorded using an older version of the algorithm, just remove all notes that were recorded prior to the date the new algorithm was released. It is possible some notes were recorded after the new algorithm was release, using the old algorithm, but you could figure this out by the format of the starmap outbox, couldn't you?

Or instead of outright removing the old notes, just flag them as having been recorded using the old algorithm.

There probably wouldn't be a 100% success rate using this method, but it would still be better.
krasnyj bibliotekar
written by Serpens on Dec 14, 2008 23:35
To convolute the situation even more ( ), I'd like to add that NICE has Starmap3 only since NICE 9 version, if I remember correctly. Earlier ones were in use for a long time, probably being very popular. Since they used the old Starmap, people probably sent their outboxes to you, Alex, because, well, what else could they do?

Tough situation, isn't it?
night fth
written by Ferinex on Dec 14, 2008 23:37
It would probably be smart to have GUIDE notes start appending the version of NIV/NICE they were recorded in Then only that version of NIV/NICE would display the notes. If you ever finally decide on a single algorithm that you stick to, you could just have it continue displaying the notes from the previous versions that used the same algorithm.

EDIT:
Neuzd, this is in the SyncStarmap source, near the top:
probably never TODO: 3) Protoceratops - Converts a SM1 inbox (or outbox, since the file format is the same) to a SM3 outbox (which can then be imported and turned into a SM3 inbox by CreateInbox3). (PROTOCERATOPS would be defined)

So that answers my question. :]
└> last changed by Ferinex on December 15, 2008 at 00:00
lost, not forgotten
written by Alex on Dec 15, 2008 00:02
Well, if that "you" refers to me, let me please point out that I was particularly happy Neuzd volunteered for creating inboxes in place of me exactly because I did not want to spend time making changes to the old NIV. To clarify, I myself practically abandoned NIV many years ago, save for (at least in theory) processing outboxes from time to time, and I still wouldn't be happy to have to code any significant changes to its code. It's... a relic of my past, which only needs a brand new version (Noctis V) to be "fixed", in my point of view.

In retrospect, since I didn't think of mismatching descriptions in the guide when I posted my questions, well.. I've simply made a mistake posting them in the first place. And so, by now I'd like a solution that doesn't involve time-consuming amounts of work from my side. And at this point begin suspecting the best solutions would be either leaving things as they are... with NIV being kept as the reference for the guide's notes, or having two different data sets.
krasnyj bibliotekar
written by Serpens on Dec 15, 2008 00:12
Alex: I never meant to force you into unwanted work, I was just surfacing my ideas about the possible solution. I'm sorry if you felt so.

Megagun lately said that he's probably not going to make further versions of NICE, but there are still those multiple older ones, each with different surfaces. Oh, well... Maybe we should really change nothing - for now, or at all.
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