Programming & Tools

For tool-related and client/server plugin development discussion.

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  • Efforts to reverse-engineer and document the internal workings of Freelancer’s binary files.

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    I’ve added every URL and timestamp I could find on the former ‘Misc’ section. In this search for URLs I noticed that some of the offsets were miscredited, e.g.

    “don’t show the unknown graphics card warning” was already found by OutCast in 2011; and “Name of folder where FLSpew.txt is stored” is actually found by HeIIoween in 2015.

    @IrateRedKite I like your recategorization of the Misc section 🙂 However, we now have an ‘equipment’ section and an ‘Equipment’ section which are actually distinct. Also, the sync between the payload and Laz’s page seems to be lost, is this indeed the case?

  • Release: Advanced Renderer public beta 2.2

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    I finished beta 2.2: Download beta 2.2

    Example video: FLAR beta 2.2.mp4

    The focus was mainly helping modders and smaller improvements.

    Changes are:

    Added additional developer options window which allows you to reload textures within “FLARDATA\Textures” folder, reload shader, reload “materials.json” file, edit materials live and save the changes (see video for details) Screenshots are now saved as PNG Existing keyboard hook will now be recognized and handled accordingly (meaning no crash anymore) Offset hack for low resolution texture problem on some PCs is now applied on startup Minor shader cleanup

    Note: Texture preview for non power of two texture sizes does currently not work, as the GUI I use does not support it (will fix it later)

    To use the new developer options window you have to add the additional key bind “USER_RADAR” the same way as I described for the settings window in my first post.

    @Timmy51m Thanks 🙂 Let me know what you think once you checked it out!

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    I appreciate the offer, if we’re up against the wall I’ll reach out.

  • Freelancer XML Project in Github Workflows

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    Here’s the source. No makefile or solution, I must have just built it straight from the command line: cl /nologo /W3 /O2 /MD /EHsc *.cpp /Fexml2utf.exe. I should integrate it with XMLUTF (via defines), but heaven knows when.

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  • @Adoxa : Bugfix for Territory.dll plugin

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    Yep, had the user who had the issue pop up very consistently confirm that 1.03 dll fixes the issue. Much appreciated.

  • ALE Editor Alpha 4.2 Release

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    @WatercoolerWarrior This should be up for a little longer, but there’s an attachment on the old TSP forum here: https://old.the-starport.net/freelancer/forum/viewtopic.php?post_id=66464#forumpost66464 (it’ll be up for about another week)

    We’re looking at forum attachments/an alternative in the meantime for hosted files!

  • New Renderer (OpenGL 3.3)

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    I wanted to give you guys a quick update after my last post. I still am working on the renderer and have fixed many bugs (mostly visible rendering issues) since the public beta release. Also there has been a lot of optimization work and I am currently working on some more optimizations for the shadow calculation/rendering. After that the list of remaining bugs is very small (and are minor ones). It should be out of beta once the last ones are fixed. Then I hopefully can start working on releasing the tools so that everyone can use it.

    One recent change is the improvement of the light scattering. Now it knows where the suns are and only is enabled for them (before that it only used the first light source (not sun!) in the system). Also you now can have up to 8 suns with light scattering in one scene (the maximum limit actually is currently arbitrary set from me). You can reduce the maximum number in the settings window of the renderer (e.g. if you have a slower graphics card).
    If no sun is visible light scattering is disabled now (before it was always on when in an asteroid field or nebula).

    Example screenshot of 3 suns with light scattering:

    One bug that has given me trouble for a very long time is some weird memory behaviour. After some time the renderer just could not reserve any more memory resulting in missing textures and crash of Freelancer shortly after. On some PCs this even was after 15 minutes when switching between many systems (I finally was able to reproduce it after switching nonstop systems for about 45 minutes on my PC). For the technically inclined: Address Sanitizer using VS2022 (https://learn.microsoft.com/de-de/cpp/sanitizers/asan?view=msvc-170 and Visual Leak Detector using VS2017) do not find anything. Also lets just say I usually know how to avoid and also find memory leaks.

    My current (also not so good solution) is to enable the Large Adress Aware flag for the Freelancer.exe. After I have had the registry setting “MEM_TOP_DOWN” on for some weeks I can at least confirm that Freelancer has no problem with the flag (while the registry setting funnily broke some windows 7 control panel applications, meaning they are not large address aware). For now that solved it for our players (unless you play for lots of hours).

    I suspect memory fragmentaion going on here, but that remains to be seen. I will come back to this later and it also might have disappeared by then due to my optimization work and code cleanup process.

    I was planning for some time now to post some sort of FAQ thread where I explain what the renderer can do and what you need to do to convert your mod, but (as always) I did not have the time to do that, yet.