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Proposal - Increase number of runway sizes


TonyE
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Divefreak has requested an increase to the number of runway sizes in the DB structure and perhaps more importantly to actually include them in the import/export process so that they flow from the PE to the commondb.res and back.  This is not a trivial change in terms of level of effort but it is a similar pattern to what we have done in the last couple of months with increasing the number of country names and aircraft types.

 

Level of programming effort for the PE <-> commondb.res changes: ~20 hours

Level of programming effort to modify the game logic to understand and use more runway sizes: TBD (research will take ~1 hour)

 

To put the programming commitment into perspective, until November or so I was managing about 15 minutes of HC programming time per week.  There was an additional hour or so of support, forum time and such.  I've found/made more time since Ralf re-emerged and sparked interest in collaborative improvements to the game.  Still, my average is 3-4 hours per week of HC programming time.  

Other things 20-30 hours could do:

  • Solidify a design for expanding annexes to nearly unlimited entries.  This wouldn't be the coding to make it work, just the design work for the structures and conversion approach to maintain compatibility.
  • Get a first release of the new HC Launcher out to anyone interested in testing.
  • Meaningful progress on the map interface for a web-based remote viewer (so the map component rather than making said component integrate much or at all with the game)

 

So DB authors, where do you prioritize increasing the number of runway sizes?  It has certainly been on the wishlist for a long time but I don't have a good feel for what is most important to you.

 

 

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I feel the first priority should be the launcher. With the problems that some new members are having trouble installing them in the HCE directory to use some of the user designed scenarios. It will help to keep their frustration level down and maybe cause you to spend time with them individually. In the end TonyE may have more programming time.

I feel working to make the Annexes in the db to almost unlimited size would be the next priority. We need to get Brad interested  in updating the Official HC db and HCDB2. The only annex I have to watch in my magazine annex which I use as a simulation of underway replenishment.

Modernizing the airfields to due to the addition of UAV's into the game needs to be addresses. I don''t really understand the programming aspect of the issue since I just assumed that the PE took care of that . I guess that's why TonyE gets paid the big bucks to do the programming and integrate our requests into the HCE code. :)

 

 

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I'm heavily leaning toward attempting to implement the greater number of runway sizes.  I did some research into the code over the weekend and there is only one spot where we'll have to be creative with a rule and that is defining the minimum size of a runway (i.e. bomb a helo pad all you want and it'll probably still work as a helo pad).

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On 1/30/2021 at 4:09 PM, eeustice said:

I feel working to make the Annexes in the db to almost unlimited size would be the next priority. We need to get Brad interested  in updating the Official HC db and HCDB2.

 

Eric, you're quite correct that this is the key issue for me.

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On 2/2/2021 at 1:01 AM, TonyE said:

... (i.e. bomb a helo pad all you want and it'll probably still work as a helo pad).

 

And this makes good sense, of course. For land based operations, a helo can land most anywhere as long as the land is reasonably level and the area cleared and big enough to accommodate it. It does not have to be a nice, clean concrete pad in a particular location.

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Thank you all for the thoughtful responses.  I firmly believe the right route is to deny Rene's request for more runway sizes and apply the time and effort elsewhere.  Naturally I'm implementing his request anyway.  My ability to prioritize for the greater good still needs work!  I'm crossing my fingers that more runways will lead to Rene's DB re-emerging sooner leading to the new BattleSet getting ready sooner, leading to more interested players that will need a launcher.  From there it is only a few rainbows and unicorns to greatly increasing the database limits so Brad can run free with HCDBn.

 

Can I say how great it is to get this much feedback!

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Completed today unless I find any last-minute bugs.  Note that this is the ninth runway size indicating that more than 8 work.  You can have as many as 128 runway sizes.  No runway can be damaged beyond the 4th smallest size by hard-coded game rule.  That has traditionally been the STOL runway size.

 

HCRunwaySizes.png

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Allrighty, 2021.002 posted!  Broncepulido, your comment does trigger me to mention that I fully expect long runway length names to result in some buffer overflow errors.  I'll hopefully squash them for 2021.003.  It is up to the DB author to include the length in the runway size name if they so desire.

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3 minutes ago, TonyE said:

Allrighty, 2021.002 posted!  Broncepulido, your comment does trigger me to mention that I fully expect long runway length names to result in some buffer overflow errors.  I'll hopefully squash them for 2021.003.  It is up to the DB author to include the length in the runway size name if they so desire.

Hmm, actually hard to believe but it looks like all of the buffers were long enough to handle the increase from 16 to 32 character max length of runway size descriptions.  2021.002 should be good in that regard!

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