Mobile Patch Testing, and Docking Revision
Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Unfortunately, cold season has arrived, and all of us were pretty much down for the count. The sniffles and sneezes continue, but I think we're getting back to normal.
In mobile news, the patch is uploaded, and we've been able to verify most of the fixes so far. One thing left to check, and I think we can issue the patch to both iOS and Android. Hopefully this week!
And on the docking front, the weekend gave me a bit of perspective on the docking system challenge. I decided I was over-engineering by trying to build this fully generic menu system that could support all kinds of inputs. It was getting really hard to figure out how to make it do what I wanted without adding even more generic systems to handle special cases.
So I put all that aside, and just trimmed it down to a really specific case: air traffic control (ATC) docking clearance. The menus became easier to manage, the menu can remember important things about the current situation, and I can get the docking ring and menu to talk to each other more effectively.
Similarly, I decided there was no advantage to having both share the same screen. In fact, it was probably a step backward to do that. It means the user would need to constantly swap screens using buttons, plus having the side-by-side screens looks a bit closer to what I want: an actual space cockpit panel.
So now, the ATC comms and clearance stuff are all done on the right side of the panel, while the docking ring alignment is on the left. And for reference, the separate panel for plotting course is at the top of the image above.
Between these three, I should be able to control where I am in the system, control which station I'm docking with, and control whether that docking works or not. (And corresponding un-docking stuff.)
I've already started tying all of these GUIs into the game data, and it's quite a bit easier now for me to do than last week's over-engineered system. In fact, I'm almost able to perform my first test. I start in the System docked with Ceres, and can walk over to the nav console to see where I am in the system. From there, I can switch to the docking control panel, see that my docking ring is aligned and clamped, and use the menu system to request undocking clearance. That'll automatically be granted, then I can unclamp and push away from dock to begin my flight.
The main issues I have yet to tackle are:
1 - The orbital plotter has a bug that shows me at Ceres but thinks I'm at 0,0 (in the Sun). I think this is just a problem with the player's ship not being added correctly to the system, as I am docked and everything, but the System has no record of my ship, so I have zeroed coords.
2 - Once I complete a trip, I expect I'm going to need to tweak the effective docking ranges of my ship. 50km might be too close to achieve without a lot of finagling (i.e. not fun). Maybe I'll bump that up to a big number for now, to move forward.
3 - Oh, and I'll need another station. Should only be a line or two of code to add one, though. None of these stations are very complicated yet. Just placeholder layouts with unique station names/positions.
Feels good to be moving forward again!