Some queries for plug-in makers.

I've been playing the EV series for a while now, first on mac, now on PC, downloading and appreciating the multitudes of plug-ins you guys made to render the entire series so much more fun!

For a while now I've been thinking of making a story-line plugin/TC (mainly because I'm useless with graphics :D). Not being a great programmer or anything (thankfully the logical operators for mission bits are simple!), I'm just planning to edit the base nova files using EVNEW. My idea is something as follows:
1. Reduce the amount of governments to 4-5 (I'm thinking of Feds, Rebels, Aurorans, Polaris & Pirates). I think this can been achieved by editing govt, spob and syst resources? (Of course, I guess the ship resources will need tinkering too, and maybe even outfits?)
2. Reconfigure planets/systems so that we have Feds in center, Aurorans to the south (all Auroran houses become one), Polaris in east, occassional pirate home worlds towards west (along with the existing pirate homeworlds) and rebels to the north.
3. The story starts with the pilot becoming an Ensign in Federation Navy and tasked with defending south western borders from the currently Moash attacks. (After the first induction mission, rest of the missions come from mission BBS). Then once he has achieved a combat rating of 100 (and is a good citizen at Sol), he gets a second mission (again defense but against a bigger fleet). At the end of this mission he is promoted to Lieutenant.
4. As a lieutenant he gets a choice of: intelligence operations/war operations/resupply operations (using 2 seperate missions I guess). Intelligence missions mean spying/infiltrating, resupply means saving escorts/using frieghters to supply front lines and war operations of course mean plain old fighting.
5. After a bit of time he earns more promotions (until Captain) after which he is placed in command of a fleet (using escorts) and tasked to attack various outposts/planets etc.
(Once this part is done, I'm thinking about various forks so that he can turn over to different sides, but before that I need to get the basic structure up).

So now on to the questions:

1. Missions that include dominating planets... I'm guessing that this can be done by evaluating the specific bits before the next mission is given. However I can't figure out a way to make planets switch their goverment upon release. (So that a recently conquered Auroran LP becomes Federation property). Is their any way to push borders?
2. Not being truly gifted in programming, I'm just using Nova's inherent files as a base, resetting the mission bits to my own purpose. I guess that I'm infringing upon a multitude of copyrights here but then I just wanted to do this for myself. So question - would this be against the rules if I decided to post the files for other (if and when it is completed)?
3. Alternatively, can I use the plugin folder to override all mission bits/planets etc in Nova's base files?
4. I'm not very clear on how alliances work in Nova. Is it possible to not change governements and still get the effect I'm looking for? (As in instead of all houses being one, can I leave them as it is and still get same penalty/benefits for the player?)
5. If using alliances, is it possible to change the alliances? Eg, lets say Federation beats Moash, Moash surrender, they become allied to Federation instead of Aurorans?

Regards
Cellinis

This post has been edited by cellinis : 15 February 2009 - 05:55 AM

After going through Pace's excellent Arpia2, I managed to find how he pushed the borders (by replicating systems and controlling visibility by mission bits).
Still can't find a way to change alliances though, as govt resource seems independant of mission bits. Of course one way would be to replicate all their systems and have a secondary government (as in 2 Moash govts instead of one with the latter taking control of the systems after certain mission bits are set). Is their any other way?

@cellinis, on Feb 15 2009, 11:22 AM, said in Some queries for plug-in makers.:

2. Not being truly gifted in programming, I'm just using Nova's inherent files as a base, resetting the mission bits to my own purpose. I guess that I'm infringing upon a multitude of copyrights here but then I just wanted to do this for myself. So question - would this be against the rules if I decided to post the files for other (if and when it is completed)?

I would suggest deleting the unused resources, because otherwise your plug will be as huge as Nova.
It might still be better to try to use new mission bits, because otherwise it could lead to very strange pilot files once you take out the plug-in. To find out which mission bits are "free", I would highly recommend using the EVN Bits Bible (direct download link) of the Add-ons page.

@cellinis, on Feb 15 2009, 11:22 AM, said in Some queries for plug-in makers.:

3. Alternatively, can I use the plugin folder to override all mission bits/planets etc in Nova's base files?

Yes, that's the purpose of the Plug-ins folder 🙂

@cellinis, on Feb 15 2009, 11:22 AM, said in Some queries for plug-in makers.:

4. I'm not very clear on how alliances work in Nova. Is it possible to not change governements and still get the effect I'm looking for? (As in instead of all houses being one, can I leave them as it is and still get same penalty/benefits for the player?)

Alliances help your reputation among different governments and make governments aid each other, but keep the governments separate.
To which penalty/benefits are you referring in particular?

@cellinis, on Feb 15 2009, 11:22 AM, said in Some queries for plug-in makers.:

5. If using alliances, is it possible to change the alliances? Eg, lets say Federation beats Moash, Moash surrender, they become allied to Federation instead of Aurorans?

@cellinis, on Feb 15 2009, 12:42 PM, said in Some queries for plug-in makers.:

Still can't find a way to change alliances though, as govt resource seems independant of mission bits. Of course one way would be to replicate all their systems and have a secondary government (as in 2 Moash govts instead of one with the latter taking control of the systems after certain mission bits are set). Is their any other way?

I'm afraid you'll have to use the method you describe, i.e. replicate systems and governments. At least, I'm not aware of any other ways to do what you hope to achieve.

This post has been edited by Pace : 15 February 2009 - 11:14 AM

The only way to get systems to switch their alleigances as best I know is to have multiple systems whose appearance is determined by the control bits. At the end of a mission, you'd have it set and unset the appearance control bits, effectively switching the systems and the spobs in them. The government for a system is controlled by the system resource itself, not the individual spobs. It's a resource intensive procedure, and that's why you don't often see systems switch hands in Nova or any of the other EV games. It's just difficult to do. Plus, you can't really have many missions to systems that switch hands often, at least not any recurring missions like trade missions, because the engine doesn't like it when you have a mission that is to a system that isn't available. It presents some problems.

The part that confuses me here is why you want to mess with the Nova files so much? Why not just build a storyline extension or a new storyline, rather than reconfigure the whole program? If you're going to keep the same elements of story, why bother to go through all the trouble to reinvent the wheel? I think you have a good concept, it just seems like you want to set to a ton of work to remake something that's already been done.

Thanks a ton Pace 🙂

@on benefits/penalties: Lets say Moash & Aurorans are allied while Federation is an enemy to both of them (actually, another question... do I have to put Federation as an enemy for both of them or would putting Feds as an enemy to Aurorans while Aurorans as ally for Moash would achieve the same purpose?). A Fed mission would give the player +10, would it then give him -10 with both Moash & Aurora?
Alternatively, if a mission gives the player -10 with Aurora, would it also give him -10 with Moash (if they are allied)

@krugeruwsp, on Feb 15 2009, 05:15 PM, said in Some queries for plug-in makers.:

The only way to get systems to switch their alleigances as best I know is to have multiple systems whose appearance is determined by the control bits. At the end of a mission, you'd have it set and unset the appearance control bits, effectively switching the systems and the spobs in them. The government for a system is controlled by the system resource itself, not the individual spobs. It's a resource intensive procedure, and that's why you don't often see systems switch hands in Nova or any of the other EV games. It's just difficult to do. Plus, you can't really have many missions to systems that switch hands often, at least not any recurring missions like trade missions, because the engine doesn't like it when you have a mission that is to a system that isn't available. It presents some problems.

The part that confuses me here is why you want to mess with the Nova files so much? Why not just build a storyline extension or a new storyline, rather than reconfigure the whole program? If you're going to keep the same elements of story, why bother to go through all the trouble to reinvent the wheel? I think you have a good concept, it just seems like you want to set to a ton of work to remake something that's already been done.

For the moment I just have basics of an idea and a (very) rough storyline. So I'm just scouting for possibilities, what is actually possible, what is beyond the engine/my capabilities.
I guess the major reason I wanted to start from scratch with mission bits is to avoid the possibility of mixing mission bits with Nova's original story line. (Something where Pace's suggestion of free even bits might help a lot - once I figure out how to extract it on the PC/refire my old mac up).

@cellinis, on Feb 15 2009, 05:22 AM, said in Some queries for plug-in makers.:

Not being truly gifted in programming, I'm just using Nova's inherent files as a base, resetting the mission bits to my own purpose. I guess that I'm infringing upon a multitude of copyrights here but then I just wanted to do this for myself. So question - would this be against the rules if I decided to post the files for other (if and when it is completed)?

Ambrosia have chosen to allow modifications to the game, and even to distribute those modifications themselves, so that won't be an issue as long as you aren't trying to sell their property or put it into someone else's game.

I'm also moving this into the EV Developer's Corner board so it will come to the attention of more of the people who understand these things (though, as you can see from the responses you've already got, there's a strong overlap.)

I recommend not deleting all the govts and such. Yes, it's a lot to keep up with and everything, but the amount of work you'd need to retool everything to adjust to only four-five governments would far outweigh any benefit you'd get and give a huge chance of bugs cropping up.

@JoshTigerheart - that makes sense. I'm for the moment pulling apart Pace's Arpia & Polycon to get a more in-depth idea about how they went about things.

@David - thanks for clearing that up and thanks for moving the post to the right area. 🙂

@cellinis, on Feb 15 2009, 08:27 AM, said in Some queries for plug-in makers.:

@on benefits/penalties: Lets say Moash & Aurorans are allied while Federation is an enemy to both of them (actually, another question... do I have to put Federation as an enemy for both of them or would putting Feds as an enemy to Aurorans while Aurorans as ally for Moash would achieve the same purpose?). A Fed mission would give the player +10, would it then give him -10 with both Moash & Aurora?
Alternatively, if a mission gives the player -10 with Aurora, would it also give him -10 with Moash (if they are allied)

Governmental politics are handled by classes. So, you would have
Federation be class 1, enemy of class 2;
Auroran/Moash be class 2 enemy of class 1, and ally of class 2.

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