What are .ssi and .ssl files & the significant differences?

DBF68
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What are .ssi and .ssl files & the significant differences?

Postby DBF68 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:55 am

Just posting something for fun.

Got the Borland precompiler installed and running properly with the necessary modified cw and cn batch files via RHCD. Also, had to amend the Win 7 Environment Variables - System Variables PATH statement to make Borland operable anywhere outside of it's root C: drive folder. At the moment, I'm going to stick with Borland and Notepad++ instead of messing around with MS VS 2015 Community Edition.

MS VS 2015 Community Edition is free and the iso is roughly 4GB. So, I downloaded it, installed it with WinCDEmu, and took a look at it. After awhile, I decided it would be a mouse-elephant gun scenario to some extent, especially with the learning curve. So, I opted to go back in the other direction.

Installed the KA Scripting Package (KASP) and immediately took the readme file and created a Word doc out of it for easier reading, important info highlighting, indenting, and nuance identification. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems the KASP was a bit incomplete in terms of not having all the files and parts present. The KA website search consensus of other modders in the KA scripting forum seemed to agree.

Most notable omissions of personal importance were files for the "Klingon Academy Mission Camera Fly By Editor (KCFBe.ssl)" and working functionality of the "KA Camera Fly By editing suite (CFBe.ssi)". After I got Win7's search function set up properly to search for .ssi and .ssl stand alone file names and file names mentioned in the contents of .ssi and .ssl files, like in KCFBe.ssl, it seemed clear some files didn't make it to the KASP. Even though the "KA Camera Fly By editing suite (CFBe.ssi)" does load, there's no intro or walk-thru dialogue as implied by the scripting in the CFBe.ssi file. So, you just end up in deep space with your finger up your exhaust port.

Spent some time looking through the KASP scripts for external and lbx camera related references. Also, was trying to get a feel for the way things are structured in terms of form and syntax. At the moment, it's kind of like trying to learn Russian using only Cliffs Notes.

After beating myself silly with script searching, reading, digestion for the past few days, I decided it might be better to try one of RHCD's Mission Scripting Tutorials (MST). So, I went through MST1, read some instructions that I thought might be better served if I didn't replace all k00 references in a file with k90 references, which turned out to be true. Had I just blindly replaced all k00 references with k90 references, I would have changed some unrelated file references that were important to get MST1 to work. So, after editing some things in the MST1 PDF tutorial and getting things to compile right the first time, I hopped into KA and ran the Tutorial Mission.

Basically, the Tutorial Mission is very similar to RHCD's Ship Size Comparison mod. After playing around in the Tutorial Mission, I determined this should be my test environment for any camera related script testing because it's a very simple no frills environment. To go on to the other tutorials at this moment would add another layer of clutter stuff I don't need for my experimentation.

One nice thing about having the source files for the MST is that I figured out where I could change the system environment from Deep Boring Space to Planetary Atmosphere fun. Then, I figured out how to change the ships from the stock FCA and KCAC to the modded TMP 1701 and K'T'inga, which was nice. Even so, for camera experimentation purposes, I think I'll revert to the stock ships. For one reason, the TMP K'T'inga is a little higher up along the Y-axis in the Tutorial Mission environment than the stock model. So, that difference is just going to cause a problem at the moment in terms of apples to apples scripting changes and effects.

Another nice thing is that I can now modify Bobby's Battle Viewer to have battles take place some place other than Deep Boring Space because he included the source files. :mrgreen:

That's all for now.
Last edited by DBF68 on Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ShadowX
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Re: What are .ssi and .ssl files & the significant differenc

Postby ShadowX » Sun May 22, 2016 9:09 pm

Any luck modifying camera view? Heck, I might be content just having the external camera start from a position in FRONT of the player ship as opposed to the starboard side.

ShadowX

DBF68
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Re: What are .ssi and .ssl files & the significant differenc

Postby DBF68 » Mon May 23, 2016 3:06 am

ShadowX wrote:Any luck modifying camera view? Heck, I might be content just having the external camera start from a position in FRONT of the player ship as opposed to the starboard side.

ShadowX

Unfortunately, no. :( I spent a couple of weeks, maybe 8 hours or more a day, going over things and familiarizing myself with the scripting package. There were some stand alone programs that seemed to be geared towards camera related stuff, but the program seemed incomplete. As a result, I had a long back and forth conversation with our KA admin, John, about what I was doing, had found, and I wanted to get his input on some things. He hadn't really delved into the scripting, but he agreed that there were probably some elements of the scripting package that weren't complete. So, it's possibly a moot point back burner project for now since real life has intervened. Maybe when I get some free time, I'll hit up a source I have and pick his brain.

As for the SSI and SSL files, I found that one or the other was a file type that was created by the compiler program. Some where in my KA scripting forum searches, I think I saw something mentioned that the file created by the compiler program could be deleted. What you really needed for a scripted mod to work was "possibly" the SSI file, but it's been so long since I worked on that stuff, I might be wrong, but it seems right in a "chicken or the egg" sense.
Last edited by DBF68 on Mon May 23, 2016 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DBF68
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Re: What are .ssi and .ssl files & the significant differenc

Postby DBF68 » Mon May 23, 2016 3:15 am

ShadowX wrote:Any luck modifying camera view? Heck, I might be content just having the external camera start from a position in FRONT of the player ship as opposed to the starboard side.

ShadowX

Also, if you haven't discovered it yet, you might try chase view. It's the only camera view mode I use to play the game, which I haven't played in months. The external camera view will just let you use your keyboard arrow keys pivot around the ship. I use ECV mode to swing the camera to the bow of the ship so that if I need to quickly check out what's going on aft of me, the camera is already in place and all I have to do to look aft it hit the ECV key.
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Re: What are .ssi and .ssl files & the significant differenc

Postby ShadowX » Tue May 24, 2016 5:42 pm

...external camera view will just let you use your keyboard arrow keys pivot... around the ship... use ECV mode to swing the camera to the bow...


Me too! That's what I meant by "...having the external camera start from a position in FRONT..." -- I hate having to manually rotate just for an aft view. ALSO: I hate how you go to one of the "station" screens, finishing in-system warp travel, etc. & return to the HUD only to having the camera set to default zoom rather than remembering what zoom setting the player had it set to. I would imagine that is controlled by the .EXE, but I have no idea (yet) where.

Ever take a gander @ the "DEFAULT.KMF" & "DEFAULT.KBF" files? I have a 'gut feeling' what you (& me) are looking for is controlled there.

ShadowX

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Re: What are .ssi and .ssl files & the significant differenc

Postby DBF68 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:07 pm

ShadowX wrote:
...external camera view will just let you use your keyboard arrow keys pivot... around the ship... use ECV mode to swing the camera to the bow...


Me too! That's what I meant by "...having the external camera start from a position in FRONT..." -- I hate having to manually rotate just for an aft view. ALSO: I hate how you go to one of the "station" screens, finishing in-system warp travel, etc. & return to the HUD only to having the camera set to default zoom rather than remembering what zoom setting the player had it set to. I would imagine that is controlled by the .EXE, but I have no idea (yet) where.

Ever take a gander @ the "DEFAULT.KMF" & "DEFAULT.KBF" files? I have a 'gut feeling' what you (& me) are looking for is controlled there.

ShadowX

Sorry for getting back to you so late. Real life intervened.

Yes, I thought the same thing. It would have been nice if there was the option or auto-means of having the camera placed where you wanted it always after you moved it. It always drove me nuts that I had to re-re-re-re-move the camera for the benefit of situational awareness around me, at least, behind me. KA was made too much like a cockpit fighter sim with little input on how it sucked, but then I wasn't on the external testing team, which was probably due to the fact that I kept poking holes and giving critiques to what was being done. Sometimes the squeaky wheel is ignored.

I don't recall if I've opened up the kmf and kbf files in notepad to see if there was anything coherently modifiable or if they were just number values associated with oddball words that wouldn't mean anything on the surface.
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