Homeworld

Progress log

Presentation

Homeworld (tentative name) is yet an other TC... though with a twist. Unlike all other TCs that I know off, Homeworld happens in the near future (2325, to be precise) and before any kind of hyper-space travel exist. Yep, that means that everything happens in the solar system (made up of 2 or so sΛ™st).

Governments & planets

Earth is still the most important planet by far, with six space ports split between three powers:

Western Alliance: Basically a loose federation of the EU, the US, Latin America and a couple of associated countries. Generally the most powerful Human government. Controls half of the Moon, Mercury, various stations/arcologies, Ceres and other asteroids.

Confucian Confederation: China with the rest of East Asia as vassals. The great rival of the WA ("Cold War" style though, while missions/descriptions makes it clear that they are opposed, they are not at war). Controls the other half of the Moon, most of Venus, various arcologies and some asteroids.

Indian Federation: Present-day India. Only other Earth government with a space presence, but very much a second-rank power compared to the other two. One port on Venus and some arcologies.

Martian Republic: recently proclaimed its independence, uniting the former Western and Confucian colonies on Mars. Still at war with both of them, though only the WA is still actively trying to get its possessions back.

Galilean Union: Independent, but as vassal from Western Alliance. Controls several Jovian moons; based on Callisto. Claims the whole of the Jovian system. At war with Jovians and Europa.

Jovian Federation: Independent, but as vassal from Confucians. Controls several Jovian moons; based on Ganymede. Claims the whole of the Jovian system. At war with Galileans and Europa.

Europa: Only truly independent state in the Jovian System. Holds Europa. At war with Jovians and Galileans.

Exos: Post-humans genetically modified to survive in vacuum. Mainly occupy the Asteroid Belt. At war with the Earth powers, actively raiding them for resources. Generally more advanced technologically.

Economics

One of the dominant theme of the TC is tritium. Pseudo-science, I know, but anyway, here is how it goes πŸ˜‰ : most things in Homeworld (including spaceships) are powered by nuclear fusion, which requires tritium. Tritium is itself energy-intensive to produce - only abundant solar energy is really enough. As a result, there is a System-wide supply chain of it: the cheapest is made on Mercury, the rest either on the Moon or in great "Solar Feeders" in orbit around the main planets, and it is shipped to the major industrial centres. As a result, the further away you are from the Sun, the more expensive it generally gets.
The other great source of resources, this time mostly metal and pure carbon, is the asteroid belt. It is thus a vital area and a fighting ground for the various governments.

Spaceports

Since I needed to have different landing locations on most planets, I used "spaceports": the planet itself is a spΓΆb on which t's impossible to land, and the various spaceports are independent spΓΆbs floating on top of it. It works quite well, with the usual caveat on sΛ™sts split between governments. Earth itself is made up of two systems, one with its Western Hemisphere showing, the other with the Eastern one:

Posted Image Posted Image
Note that ship graphics in those screenshots comes from Polycon

Graphics

While I aim to have 100% original graphics in the end, for the moment nearly all the ships comes from the Polycon TC (with the author's permission, of course). Custom graphics already done include mainly spΓΆbs so far. Samples:

Confucian arcology (small):
Posted Image

Western Alliance arcology (large):
Posted Image

Human asteroid settlement (landing view):
Posted Image

Exo asteroid settlement:
Posted Image

"Galaxy"

The Solar System is made up of a great number of systems, mostly "clumps" corresponding to each planetary system connected by long paths. The fairly long paths are made long on purpose - they may take some time to cross, especially the first time, but they make the player "feel" the distance between planets. I'm tired of universes where any good ship can go from one end of the galaxy to the other in 30 sec... I want going from Earth to Mars to be a journey, from Venus to Jupiter to be an expedition, and from Mercury to Neptune to be an odyssey! BTW, most ships (exceptions include the shuttle and some cheap fighters) have fuel for at least ten jumps, so it's not like it's not possible to travel from one planet to an other in one go either.

Earth, Mars, Asteroid Belt
Venus, Mercury, The Sun

Missions

Barely started that part, but basically I'm going to try doing something a bit different from the usual "recurring missions for cash" + "mission strings" EV thing. The main idea is that the various governments will have a large number of recurring missions of varying difficulty and importance. Which of those missions are available depends on your grade in that government. Progressing in that (including getting the initial grade) requires doing special one-off missions - but chaining those is not really possible, since everyone of them requires a much better legal record than the preceding one, and the only real way of getting that record up is to make the regular missions. Exemple, from the Western Alliance mission "block":

- Transition mission one: emergency delivery of military equipment, under fire. Grants "Auxiliary Private" grade and access to:
- Recurring military cargo shipment missions
- Transition mission two (available after two-three cargo shipments): observation of Martian fleet. Grants "Auxiliary Private First Class" and access to:
- Enemy monitoring missions, crew rescue missions
- Transition mission three: undercover destruction of Confucian freighter carrying important cargo. Grants "Auxiliary Sergeant" and access to next set of missions, ect.

This has two main aims: first, to give players more interesting ways of earning money than to courrier around for ever, and second, to stop players from just playing all the non-recurring missions one after the other and end the TC in two hours πŸ˜‰

Progress log, 8/10/2006:

Non-graphic:

"Galaxy": Halfway done (Sun to Belt, plus empty Jovian system)
Ships: Half done
Outfits: Half done
Missions: just started

Graphic:

SpΓΆbs: Mostly done. Only some more spacestations
Ships: Not started
Outfits/weapons: One third done

Comments and reactions welcome - if there's something people react very negatively to from the start, I'd rather know it now πŸ˜‰

Offers of help, especially graphics and testing, welcome too. Someone feeling like doing say the ships of one government or an other would be a godsend πŸ˜„

This post has been edited by Kinniken : 08 October 2006 - 02:02 PM

Wow. I think this is one of the few TC announcements that has some promise. If you need help writing planet + bar dΓ«scs and doing testing on a Mac, PM me. I'd be happy to help. I can also do some basic graphics for planets and weapons.

I must say, this is one of the best TC-in-progress announcements I've seen in all the time I've been on these boards. The concept looks good, you've already made a significant amount of progress, and your grammar and spelling are perfect (believe me, that's rare).
Now, in no particular order, here are my comments so far:

Map
Interesting design, and a definite change from the more common "the solar system is a uniform disk of systems" map design. It gives the impression that the solar system is a loosely bound cluster of independent groups, rather than a homogeneous whole.

Missions
Interesting design. I'd like to see some mini-strings thrown in along with everything else, sort of like the UE missions in EVO. (A bunch of short, 5-7 mission strings that the player can do in no particular order. Some of them are required for others, but there are long gaps between them.)

Governments
These look good. The one thing I'd be careful of is the "Exos". To quote from Part I of Bomb's Plug-in Guide:
"A few things to avoid (that have been heavily overused)...
-The very technological, mysterious alien/human species: I'm guilty of this one myself. It's an easy one to fall back on."
(As a side note, the Bomb's Plug-in Guide forum also contains Zacha Pedro's Annotated Templates. I'd recommend reading everything in there.)

Spaceport
Be very, very careful about spreading the ports for one planet across two systems. I personally would avoid that like the plague, but I suppose it's your plug. At the very least, I'd put in some sort of "go to other side" wormhole in the systems.

Other TCs With Similar Twists πŸ˜›
First, Galaxy's Edge, for EVO, was an attempt at putting as much realism into EV as possible. Unfortunately, it suffered from some problems in the execution: 1) It drastically limited fuel, requiring you to sit around recharging in nearly every system on the long routes between planets, while at the same time not having many missions within planetary systems. 2) It removed the mission computer entirely, so you could only pick up one mission at a time. 3) General weapon/ship balance made early gameplay very hard. I never got far enough to know what flying the larger ships was like.

Second, Sephil Saga (old site) is a TC-in-development for Nova. It is set a couple hundred years in the future, and has humans all over the solar system. Read the old version of the site for information about the plug, but be warned that nothing there has been updated for a couple years.

Edwards

I'll agree with Edwards about the announcement there πŸ™‚
About the spaceports though, are they supposed to be stations (as in orbiting the earth) or just ports on the ground? If the former I see no reason why you couldn't put them all on the same side of the earth but if the latter, I hope you're planning to make them look as such.
Is the earth image taken from Google Earth? It looks identical except it's lacking the nice atmosphere I see in my version πŸ˜‰

Sounds very cool. I should mention that Sephil Saga is still going on, but because I don't have any jurisdiction over the web page, there's nothing I can do about its extreme suckage.

Nice to see positive reactions πŸ™‚

@gray-shirt-ninja, on Oct 9 2006, 12:55 AM, said in Homeworld:

Wow. I think this is one of the few TC announcements that has some promise. If you need help writing planet + bar dΓ«scs and doing testing on a Mac, PM me. I'd be happy to help. I can also do some basic graphics for planets and weapons.

Planet and bar dΓ«scs unfortunately are not something I need that much, and they are hard to write without knowing the story-line fully... The main written help I can use is with missions. If you can't/won't do the missions themselves, do you think you could write up decent texts based on bare-bone texts? Say, I would make a mission where you have to rescue a WA ship under fire and put something like "Colonel Mores needs help rescuing WA Cruiser disabled by Exos in <DST>" as the opening dialog, and you would write a more consequent dialog from it? That would be very, very useful to me - I'm not very good at mission dialogs and it's greatly slowing down my work on missions.

For graphics, can you do outfit graphics? I've done some, but I need more. Planets are not really needed - the real planets are existing ones, so I use real pictures of them, and the space-stations I'll rather do myself, they are my favourites πŸ˜‰

As for testing, that's always a great help πŸ™‚ Let me do a little cleanup and I'll send you today a link to my work in progress so you can have a look and give me some feedback. Thanks!

@edwards, on Oct 9 2006, 04:00 AM, said in Homeworld:

Map
Interesting design, and a definite change from the more common "the solar system is a uniform disk of systems" map design. It gives the impression that the solar system is a loosely bound cluster of independent groups, rather than a homogeneous whole.

It's partly for "realism" reasons and partly as an attempt to give each planetary system more of an identity. The "corridors" are often fairly dangerous as well (pirates, Exos) to make going from one to the other not so easy.

@edwards, on Oct 9 2006, 04:00 AM, said in Homeworld:

Missions
Interesting design. I'd like to see some mini-strings thrown in along with everything else, sort of like the UE missions in EVO. (A bunch of short, 5-7 mission strings that the player can do in no particular order. Some of them are required for others, but there are long gaps between them.)

Mini-strings would be nice, but I'm going to concentrate on the main blocks for now.

@edwards, on Oct 9 2006, 04:00 AM, said in Homeworld:

Governments
These look good. The one thing I'd be careful of is the "Exos". To quote from Part I of Bomb's Plug-in Guide:
"A few things to avoid (that have been heavily overused)...
-The very technological, mysterious alien/human species: I'm guilty of this one myself. It's an easy one to fall back on."
(As a side note, the Bomb's Plug-in Guide forum also contains Zacha Pedro's Annotated Templates. I'd recommend reading everything in there.)

Yeah, I know πŸ˜› Though don't read too much in the "very technological" part - Exos have better tech, but not immensely better so. The main difference between them and the "regular" human is genetic adaptation. Whether their heavy use of genetic engineering to adapt themselves to space rather than "adapt" space to them as the human do makes them monsters or the futur of humanity, or both for that matter, is yours to decide.

@edwards, on Oct 9 2006, 04:00 AM, said in Homeworld:

Spaceport
Be very, very careful about spreading the ports for one planet across two systems. I personally would avoid that like the plague, but I suppose it's your plug. At the very least, I'd put in some sort of "go to other side" wormhole in the systems.

I don't get your objection to it - it's a little akward, but is it that much of a problem? The two systems are of course one jump away, and jumps are cheap. And putting them in the same system has the problem that I want the western half to be in a Western Alliance system and the eastern one in a Confucian one. Already, having the Indian spaceport be in an Confucian system annoys me and I'm wondering whether I should create a third, "South Hemisphere" system...

@edwards, on Oct 9 2006, 04:00 AM, said in Homeworld:

Other TCs With Similar Twists πŸ˜›
First, Galaxy's Edge, for EVO, was an attempt at putting as much realism into EV as possible. Unfortunately, it suffered from some problems in the execution: 1) It drastically limited fuel, requiring you to sit around recharging in nearly every system on the long routes between planets, while at the same time not having many missions within planetary systems. 2) It removed the mission computer entirely, so you could only pick up one mission at a time. 3) General weapon/ship balance made early gameplay very hard. I never got far enough to know what flying the larger ships was like.

Second, Sephil Saga (old site) is a TC-in-development for Nova. It is set a couple hundred years in the future, and has humans all over the solar system. Read the old version of the site for information about the plug, but be warned that nothing there has been updated for a couple years.

Edwards

Rats! Here goes my ultra-original twist πŸ˜›

I'll have a look at both of those.

@guy, on Oct 9 2006, 07:03 AM, said in Homeworld:

About the spaceports though, are they supposed to be stations (as in orbiting the earth) or just ports on the ground? If the former I see no reason why you couldn't put them all on the same side of the earth but if the latter, I hope you're planning to make them look as such.

Latter (the ones in the screenshots include Cap Kennedy, Kourou and Baikonour Kosmodrome), and yes I need to make a proper graphic for it πŸ˜‰ Simply not decided yet on what to use. Probably some kind of icon/symbol rather than a 3D graphic since it's not representing anything visible from space.

@guy, on Oct 9 2006, 07:03 AM, said in Homeworld:

Is the earth image taken from Google Earth? It looks identical except it's lacking the nice atmosphere I see in my version πŸ˜‰

Correct πŸ˜‰

It's a stopgag until I get round to mapping the Blue Marble picture on a sphere to produce nice picts of whichever angle I need.

Edit: done. Should have done it from the start, barely longer than using Google Earth and looks much nice.

This post has been edited by Kinniken : 09 October 2006 - 02:31 AM

@kinniken, on Oct 8 2006, 02:59 PM, said in Homeworld:

Ex e mple, from the Western Alliance mission "block"

@edwards, on Oct 8 2006, 10:00 PM, said in Homeworld:

your grammar and spelling are perfect (believe me, that's rare).

Now, I wouldn't say perfect... πŸ˜› But, your spelling and grammer are far better than most who start a TC, or attempt to. I will enjoy playing your TC when it comes out!

@kinniken, on Oct 8 2006, 11:54 PM, said in Homeworld:

I don't get your objection to it - it's a little akward, but is it that much of a problem? The two systems are of course one jump away, and jumps are cheap.

I suppose that it depends on exactly how your hyperjumps are balanced, and whether the player is likely to want to go between the two hemispheres regularly. I just don't like the unrealism factor of placing a single planet in multiple systems. However, looking at your map, it seems that the scale is small enough that you might be able to get away with this. You'll need to see how it goes in actual gameplay.

@wonderboy, on Oct 9 2006, 04:00 PM, said in Homeworld:

Now, I wouldn't say perfect... πŸ˜›

Quite honestly, I'm amazed it took this long for someone to go through his post carefully enough to find an example of imperfect spelling. I knew when I posted that line that I was effectively asking for someone to do that...

Edwards

@wonderboy, on Oct 10 2006, 01:00 AM, said in Homeworld:

Now, I wouldn't say perfect... πŸ˜›

πŸ˜›

I hate that word. "Exemple" in French, "example" in English, I mix them up half the time.

@edwards, on Oct 10 2006, 03:32 AM, said in Homeworld:

I suppose that it depends on exactly how your hyperjumps are balanced, and whether the player is likely to want to go between the two hemispheres regularly. I just don't like the unrealism factor of placing a single planet in multiple systems. However, looking at your map, it seems that the scale is small enough that you might be able to get away with this. You'll need to see how it goes in actual gameplay.

In actual gameplay, it doesn't bother me much - don't know for other players πŸ˜‰ Thing is, with the scale as it is, lower orbit itself is a jump away - hey, the Moon is four jumps away from Earth, and Jupiter (same system in EVN...) is maybe 20-25 jumps from Earth.

@edwards, on Oct 9 2006, 09:32 PM, said in Homeworld:

Quite honestly, I'm amazed it took this long for someone to go through his post carefully enough to find an example of imperfect spelling. I knew when I posted that line that I was effectively asking for someone to do that...

I noticed that the first time I read through it. Then I saw your post and could not resist, I mean, its just a perfect setup!

@kinniken, on Oct 10 2006, 03:24 AM, said in Homeworld:

I hate that word. "Exemple" in French, "example" in English, I mix them up half the time.

Ah, 'ya learn something new every day!

Well, so far the distance thing hasn't bothered me. I think it makes the universe seem bigger and scarier.

Good, it should be πŸ˜‰

Completed the Jovian system. Nasty area. I think I will stop there with the solar system for the time being, partly because I'm not yet sure of what I want to do with the outer planets and partly because I'd like to get more work on the rest. Missions are progressing quite well too.

People willing to make graphics, especially ships, would be very very welcome.

@wonderboy, on Oct 11 2006, 01:06 AM, said in Homeworld:

Then I saw your post and could not resist, I mean, its just a perfect setup!

Oh, and that should be: "I mean, it's just a perfect setup!" πŸ˜‰

I'm not the one making the TC, now am I? πŸ˜›

This is by far the most promising TC I have seen in a very long time! Spob graphics look great.

@kinniken, on Oct 12 2006, 11:55 AM, said in Homeworld:

People willing to make graphics, especially ships, would be very very welcome.

I could possibly do some untextured models in Wings, but I can't wrok on a schedule, do to busyness with school. Anyway, PM me or something. Good luck with this! πŸ™‚

@darth_vader, on Oct 18 2006, 05:19 AM, said in Homeworld:

This is by far the most promising TC I have seen in a very long time! Spob graphics look great.
I could possibly do some untextured models in Wings, but I can't wrok on a schedule, do to busyness with school. Anyway, PM me or something. Good luck with this! πŸ™‚

Nice to see some enthusiasm πŸ™‚

Thanks for the offer, but Werhner is already helping me with the ship graphics, and together it should do fine. Would you want to do preview testing? Feedback is what I need most at this point.

About the whole "hemisphere" thing... Why not make "Earth" a conglomerate of systems with, say, blue background and "clouds"? (with maybe each spaceport with a system of its own...)

Of course, if you've already done the systems, then this is irrelevant.

@scratskinner, on Oct 18 2006, 10:56 PM, said in Homeworld:

About the whole "hemisphere" thing... Why not make "Earth" a conglomerate of systems with, say, blue background and "clouds"? (with maybe each spaceport with a system of its own...)

Of course, if you've already done the systems, then this is irrelevant.

Yes, I've already done the systems πŸ˜‰ Anyway while this idea is interesting it would be very complex to pull off. The two hemisphere system is a bit of a kludge but it's only for one planet and in practice isn't too glaring a problem I think.

And now an other little preview... Graphism for three ships and an outfit (more have been done, this is just a teaser).

Tritium Tanker:

Posted Image

Exo Seeker:

Posted Image

Exo Hunter:

Posted Image

500mm Howitzer (fixed version) used by the Confucian Confederation:

Posted Image

@kinniken, on Oct 18 2006, 05:19 PM, said in Homeworld:

Yes, I've already done the systems πŸ˜‰ Anyway while this idea is interesting it would be very complex to pull off. The two hemisphere system is a bit of a kludge but it's only for one planet and in practice isn't too glaring a problem I think.

And now an other little preview...

Exo Seeker:

Posted Image

Exo Hunter:

Posted Image

I don't know about you, but these ships remind me of the ones in the Argolian Aliance plug-in. Maybe you could look at those... (just a thought)

Is that barely visible glowy-shield thing on the front of Hunter intentional?

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