Starting a TC

I want to start a Total Conversion. I already have a planet and a shuttle like ship to start in. I am using JoshTigerheart's Colloseum TC as the template and borrowed his nova essentials rez thinking it was all I needed to have the game start. When I try to start I get an error code 128 saying that it could not load the sp*n something from pict. Is there a file that has the minimum requirements for nova to run in nova files? I have modified nova but I don't want to have deal with huge amounts of null resources to get rid of the nova universe.

This post has been edited by rafy23 : 13 February 2009 - 08:41 PM

Have you ever made plug-ins before? If no, it is impossible to recommend enough that you stop right now and start with much smaller and simpler plugs. Total Conversions are a huge undertaking. Colosseum, a small TC, took two years. There's been TCs that were in development for a few years before I started CTC that still aren't done yet.

If you have made plug-ins before and actually have experience and are additionally willing to commit large chunks of your free time to a project for the next few years, then continue reading.

Don't use CTC as a template to build off of. It's not meant to be one and could cause problems. However, Absolute Minimum was created to be a starting place for TCs, containing all the necessary resources to allow Nova to start up (though I recommend you copy the hyperspace sound effects from Nova into it to avoid an odd bug that causes 2x speed every time a sound is played). You can run AM by itself without help from the Nova Files folder.

Now, for segregating it from the Nova Files, in the past you just renamed your Nova Files folder and kept them some place safe before creating a new Nova Files folder and working on your TC from it. 1.1.0 works a bit differently and, not having had the chance to do any development work on anything since before its release, I don't recall the exact method. Can someone fill that in please?

Finally, don't get too ambitious. Too much ambition kills most projects.

Besides seconding through forty-fifthing everything Josh just said, I would venture a guess that your problem is that you either don't have a spin resource for ID128, or you didn't properly ID the rleD/rle8 resource to draw from. Just a guess.

I'm also going to take a guess that this is your first rodeo? Just so you don't end up hurting yourself: start small. Seriously. Make a plug that adds one ship to stock Nova. Then add a mission. Then a planet. Master each individual aspect of the bible before you start futzing with multiple aspects at the same time. I've been developing plugs for quite literally a few years, and I still can't make crons work to save my soul. Once you've been able to make several different resources work harmoniously together, then I'd say think about creating an extensive plug that significantly modifies stock Nova. Once you're dang confident with that, then consider tackling a TC.

And are you thinking about tackling said project alone? With the exception of Teacup TC and perhaps one or two other tiny TCs that are out there, nobody should do this without a team of people. Unless you really have no RealLife¬ô to bog you down, I would say that it's absolutely unrealistic to think that you could pump a TC out in any realistic length of time all by yourself.

Actually I have been modding since EVN came out for windows and I beat all scenarios. I have already inserted planets, systems, ships, weapons, missions, crons, dudes(fleets/ship groups), and more. I stopped playing and modding for a few years and forgot quite a bit of it but I have gotten interested in it again.I just never ventured into TCs because there were plenty to download and play. Now I have either played them all or am incapable of doing so because the downloads don't work so I want to start my own project. It doesn't really matter to me how much work it takes since I see this as a hobby and part of ReaLife since I have a bit of time between work, college and more hands on fun. I just want to see my universe realized and then I can think about sharing it. If I worry about getting my project to the standards of this board before I start, I might as well not start because it will take years. If I see it as a personal project for fun then I can enjoy the creation process and not worry about an end. I will probably make a big TC later after I have made this small one to test out the concepts without having nova get in my way.

Anyway, where can I get Absolute Minimum?

By the way, JoshTigerheart, I absolutely loved Colloseum. Great work.

This post has been edited by rafy23 : 13 February 2009 - 08:40 PM

Congratulations! Starting work on a total conversion is a good move. It's long and difficult, certainly, but it's a highly rewarding project even if you never end up finishing it. Also, you can find AbsoluteMinimum on the Nova addons page.

Thanks for the compliment.

There really isn't a "standards of the boards" that a plug-in designer must follow. When I work on something like a plug-in, the only standards I'm concerned about reaching are mine (which for my own work, are pretty high). This, in turn, might be why I work slowly on things. Whatever I make has to work exactly as I intend it to and I'll tweak it until it does or accidentally winds up behaving in an even more desirable way. If later additions call for for more tweaks, I'll make those again. On the other hand, I violated "standards of the boards" in Colosseum. The most obvious example is the writing style. To the best of my knowledge, every other plug-in available writes in second-person. I used third. That actually stirred up a bit of controversy when I announced that's how I was going to handle the writing.

If you want another example of a TC that ignores any standards, look at Teacup. Those standards demand good graphics, good gameplay, and good storyline. Teacup has very simply graphics, no sound, simplistic gameplay, and almost no story, but is still popular nonetheless. Or Acheron. Awesome graphics and sounds, good gameplay, but, outside of the backstory, absolutely no plot. Yet it is also quite popular.

So just work to your own standards. If people aren't entirely happy with it and your goal wasn't to please but just to share your universe, then your goals are met and you can be happy. GSN was pretty ecstatic about releasing Ashen Galaxy, even though it wasn't even completed nor the highest quality. Yes, it had short comings, but GSN can still look out at all those others and say, "I too did the impossible and released a Nova TC."

I thought Uncle Twitchy did most of his SFA plug on his own? That is massive... Don't write things off just cause other people couldn't.

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