Progress Report #29: A Lot To Unpack

Contributed by Timrod

Space Station 14 underwent so many changes in November that we had to split them off into a separate progress report. From November 4th to December 4th, the Space Station 14 code base had 357 contributions made - easily beating the two month period covered by Progress Report 28.

This progress report features two new playable maps: Packed Station and Knightship, along with the return of the Chaplain, Chemist, and Warden. Also featured are liquid carpets, liquid bees, milkable cows, and new ways to make shuttles move.

The past month has also been huge for the player base, with thousands of new players being accepted into the Steam playtest each week. The game reached a new peak of over 100 players on at once, and continues to be populated every day.

Maps

Packed Station

Contributed by Timrod, Solbusaur, 20kdc and Efruit

The station that the /vg/ wiki describes as “Like eating poison ivy” is back! Designed to support SS14’s growing player base, Packed Station is a nearly completely accurate port of the map as seen on /vg/’s SS13 codebase with some new features - like a full Atmos department (codenamed “The Hand of Atmosia”) designed by Solbusaur and an SS14-compliant wiring system by Efruit. 20kdc added support for the Traitor Deathmatch gamemode and filled the hallways with trash. There may be another surprise somewhere - but you’ll have to explore it to find out.

Packed Station supports up to 50 players, and can be voted for once the server is over 15 players. It also supports three returning jobs not seen on Saltern - the Quartermaster, Chaplain, and Warden.

Knightship

Contributed by 20kdc

20kdc invoked the 25th-century minimalist movement in creating Knightship, a tiny, efficient ship-style station designed for up to 8 players where most jobs are done by the Heads of Staff - but are they really the head of anything when they’re the only person in their department?

Syndicate Puddle-Jumper

Contributed by 20kdc

Having determined that Nanotrasen’s station captains have been lulled into a false sense of security, the Syndicate has launched their first shuttle for carrying heavily-armed nuclear ops teams to the station. Now might not be a bad time to get the Nuclear Authentication Disk back from the Clown…

Content

Chemical carpets

Contributed by mirrorcult

Mirrorcult proves once again that common sense has no place in a chemistry lab, adding in the ability to grind jumpsuits in a blender in order to create liquid carpet that can be sprayed or dumped onto floors to instantly carpet them. Interior design will never be the same.

Directional Windows

Contributed by mirrorcult

Directional Windows (also known as “thindows”) are a core element of most SS13 maps, used to divide rooms without the need for full walls. They’re also the number one source of anxiety among mappers, who live in constant fear that they forgot one somewhere. Thanks to mirrorcult, maps ported from SS13 can feel a little more like SS13.

Nuke

Contributed by Macoron

Macoron added a core element for the Nuclear Emergency game mode: the nuclear bomb. Located in the vault on Packed Station (and in most SS13-derived stations) and in the Nuke Op shuttle, these are capable of destroying the entire station.. provided you didn’t forget the code.

Shuttle thrusters

Contributed by metalgearsloth

The space magic that allowed entire stations to fly without any apparent source of propulsion has waned, and metalgearsloth instead added thrusters that can be attached to a station or shuttle to, well… thrust. They can be ordered from cargo and are extremely deadly if you stand on the wrong end.

Animal mechanics

Contributed by FoLoKe

FoLoKe reworked animals in SS14, allowing for a lot of basic interactions that didn’t previously exist - such as feeding them or putting them on tables. As a result, you’ll no longer need to ask “Does that monkey have a gun?” because yes, it does. This also allows the vicious and highly lethal space carp to survive their natural habitat.

Cow milking

Contributed by FoLoKe

For ages, the Chef has asked a single question: “How do I get milk?” FoLoKe answered that by allowing the Chef (or anyone with a bucket) to milk cows that have been properly fed. The Chef has responded thus far by ignoring the milk entirely and butchering every cow Nanotrasen has sent them.

Shuttle docking

Contributed by metalgearsloth

metalgearsloth added a system for shuttle docking using docking airlocks, a vast improvement on the previous docking method of blowing a hole in the station big enough to drive a shuttle into. Any shuttle equipped with one or more docking airlocks will now be able to lock on to the station.

Station Events and Space Kudzu

Contributed by moony

Moony re-enabled automatic station events, which have a chance of occurring each round. These range from deadly radiation pulses to the station being hit by meteors.

In an unrelated note, Centcom is reporting that the highly annoying and extremely fast-growing Space Kudzu has once again reappeared in local space. Centcom recommends the use of flame-based weaponry like welders, along with liberal application of the “wide attack” button, to combat this new menace.

Centcom would also like to remind you that “the station is being eaten by a horrible plant” is not on the list of valid reasons for handing out the nuclear codes.

Radiationstorm shader & sfx

Contributed by Efruit

It’s a known fact that radiation storms in space do not look like flat green circles, something that Efruit fixed by implementing a new (and much more visually impressive) shader for bursts of radiation, as well as a new set of sound effects to match.

Nettles

Contributed by Rane

Since their introduction to Space Station 14, the Botanists have had a difficult time finding ways to cause chaos. Enter the humble nettle plant, which can be used as a weapon to deal toxin damage or ground up into a liquid poison and slipped into a drink for a more subtle approach.

Blockgame ghosts

Contributed by Tomeno

Hardcore Nanotrasen Block Game players cheered this month as drop ghosts were added to Nanotrasen Block Game, thanks to Tomeno. Finally, Space Station 14 can be what it was always meant to be: a competitive block dropping puzzle game. What, you thought the atmospheric simulation was the game?

pAis play music

Contributed by Hubismal

Hubismal enabled the music player on Personal AI devices, allowing them to voice their general discontent with humanity through a chiptune synthesizer, as opposed to merely vocalizing it to everyone within earshot.

Chemist job

Contributed by Rane

Rane added the Chemist job, with doors and access to match. Now you can be sure that the person running around force-feeding everyone poison is board-certified.

Cargo crates & bureaucracy

Contributed by ElectroJr

Deciding that Cargo didn’t have enough crates to waste the station’s budget on, ElectroJr gave them the ability to order pizza and handcrafted cigarette parts, while also locking down the cargo console to ensure that no one can stop the cargo techs from flooding disposals with their empty pizza boxes. Cargo also now has access to manifests with each crate, so there’s even a paper trail of how much pizza cargo has ordered.

Map voting

Contributed by mirrorcult and moony

With the advent of Packed Station came a need for a way to select a map. Enter the Map Select Vote, which mirrorcult added to allow everyone the pleasure of dying to vacuum on the beta version of Packed Station that had no firelocks… assuming they didn’t die to the numerous plasma fires.

moony later made map choices dependent on server population, ensuring that a 50-player server cannot vote for Knightship.

Metabolism rework

Contributed by mirrorcult

Mirrorcult overhauled the way metabolism works by splitting up chemicals into categories and having each organ process certain groups of chemicals - this also allows for different species to react to the same chemical in different ways. Regrettably, this means the Head of Personnel can no longer feed Ian entirely with chocolate bars from the vending machines.

Job refactor

Contributed by moony

moony changed the way Centcom hands out jobs, retiring the dartboard in HR that was used previously. Each station map now has its own job list based on what the station supports - as an example, Packed Station has a Chaplain slot while Saltern and Knightship do not. This also allows Centcom to have more than one station in space at the same time, with each having its own crew.

Epinephrine and Autoinjectors

Contributed by mirrorcult

The starting equipment for everyone on the station has gotten a bit heavier thanks to Mirrorcult, who added epinephrine autoinjectors to the survival box all players start with. These can be used to revive people who have gone into critical health… or to poison people with a highly lethal overdose. Epinephrine has also been added to the list of chemicals Chemistry can make, giving the chemists something new to leave lying around on the floor in pill form.

Bee chemical & Electrocution chemical

Contributed by moony

You really can liquefy just about anything - as moony proved by adding in liquid bees and liquid electricity. These shocking new developments can be made in Chemistry with the right equipment and the right ingredients.. but should you?

Acids and Napalm

Contributed by mirrorcult

Mirrorcult implemented a bunch of new ways for Chemistry to blow itself up and set everything on fire, including polytrinic acid, napalm, phlogiston and CLF3. Medical will probably want to keep that cloner close by - just not so close that it gets blown up or melted.

Admin logs

Contributed by DrSmugleaf

DrSmugleaf added a logging system for admin use, which can track everything from damage to interacting with items. Centcom now knows when that Assistant steals the Head of Security’s shoes, when someone eats all of the Chef’s pizza, and when Security “forgets” to turn their stun baton off combat mode.

Decals

Contributed by PaulRitter

Paul also added a system for decals, which are used to make the station’s walls and floors look more visually distinct and are a map designer’s best friend. The first decals to be implemented are crayon drawings, which are now part of the floor rather than an object that sits on top of it.

Technical

Update to .NET 6 and C# 10

Contributed by DrSmugleaf and PJB

RobustToolbox and Space Station 14 were updated this month to use .NET 6 and C# 10, the latest release of both standards. While this change mostly affects contributors (who will have to update to a development environment that supports these standards if they haven’t already) it also comes with some small performance boosts out of the box.

Test pooling

Contributed by DrSmugleaf

DrSmugleaf pooled a bunch of tests Github uses when testing code contributions, reducing the time they take by 57% to an average of just 90 seconds. For contributors, this means less time taken between each code commit. For players, this instead means that coders can speedrun a patch that fills every inventory slot with banana peels even faster.

RSIEdit

Contributed by DrSmugleaf

“It looks like ass” - DrSmugleaf

RSIEdit is a development tool for creating Robust Station Image (RSI) files, which contain all of the sprites used in SS14 - as well as their animation states, rotations, and relevant license information. While it doesn’t support sprite editing, it does allow contributors to directly import sprites from the DMI files used by BYOND to store sprite data.

Automatic client zipping

Contributed by 20kdc

20kdc added automatic compression for parts of SS14’s source code, making it easier than ever to host an SS14 fork.

PVS Refactor

Contributed by PaulRitter

Paul optimized and cleaned up the code governing the Potentially Visible Set (PVS, for short) system, which dictates what you can see in-game. This ensures that you’ll only see what’s around you, and not the horrible atrocities being committed by the chef behind closed doors.

Credits

Contributors Since Last Progress Report

713 commits, authored by:

20kdc, AJCM-git, Acruid, Alex Evgrashin, AndresE55, Antoine Chavasse, Azzy, Clyybber, DrSmugleaf, EFR, Rane, Ephememory, Flipp Syder, FoLoKe, Hoolny, ElectroSr, Matt, Mith-randalf, Moony, Nikita Brancatisano, Pancake, Paul Ritter, Peptide90, Pieter-Jan Briers, ShadowCommander, Spartak, Swept, T-Stalker, TaralGit, TemporalOroboros, TimrodDX, Tomeno, Visne, ZeroDayDaemon, ZorenZal, cheesePizza2, hubismal, iczero, ike709, metalgearsloth, mirrorcult, moonheart08, pointer-to-null, shaeone, wrexbe, xRiriq, Zumorica

Patrons

Alex Tempest, Altana, Anthony Fleck, Await Future, Blaise M., Bobberunio, Chase Trotter, Citizen Battle, clyf, CPM311, Daniel Thompson, Darren Brady, Daskata, DramaBuns, Durp, Eric VW, Ethan Keller, Evan Armstrong, Farewell Fire, Florian, Kerb 755, KrystalDisc, Mono, Nicholas Hillblom, Robin Rottstock, S.C., spinnermaster, ThatGuyGW, The Hateful Flesh, Tomeno, Valinov, vifs_vestige, Viridian, Will M., Zandario