New Programmer

Already prepared

Hey, I've got some sick ideas for some new plug-ins/TCs, so I'm wanting to start in on plug-in developing. I went through and found all the important software I need, and I also snatched a copy of the Nova Bible. I'm usually able to figure things out after getting the basics, and I don't have the patience to read through the entire Bible, although it's quite easy to understand, looking through it here and there.

So, my question is this: Would anyone be willing to give me the basics of making a TC plug-in, including only the bare minimum of what I need to know about MissionComputer, BlitZen, ConText & ResStore, Duped, EnRLE & DeRLE, NovaTools Words, Sprites, and SndSampler 6.1.1 and how to use them to create TCs from scratch? And also how I could use the Bible as a reference for bits and anything else developers use It to reference would be nice....

Examples would also be extremely helpful, backed up my small pockets of information.

Thanks in advance!

Despite TCs being such a huge task, the best bits of advice are tiny. They are: plan ahead, don't get too ambitious, be patient, know how all the resources work, and be prepared to scale back from your original plans. Mission Computer is easy and straight forward to use. It also has explanations for every field and checkbox, so the best way to learn how to use it is to use it and read those bits. The other tools... not so familiar with.

How can I use the Nova Bible as a reference for these bits? Any advice for creating graphics?

QUOTE (Captain Zaphod Beeblebrox @ Mar 17 2009, 08:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

How can I use the Nova Bible as a reference for these bits? Any advice for creating graphics?

I'm not quite sure how to create rle resources or pict resources with the mac version (thats what it sounds like you're using) but you can use a photo editing program such as the GIMP to create graphics. EnRLE, DeRLE look like what you want.

i wouldn't recommend investing a lot of time and effort into escape velocity. it's an old game, closed source and rather limited in capabilities.
i'd suggest something like naev(http://code.google.com/p/naev/). the benefits being that the engine is still being worked upon and it's open source. this means that you can offer suggestions to the developers on improving the game, as well as improving it yourself if you desire.
say you wanted something specific to happen in one of your missions, but it isn't supported in nova or naev. the chances that ambrosia will help you is nil. the chances that the naev dev(or any other willing developer) will help you is slightly greater. i know where i'd hedge my bets.

escape velocity is dead. rip.

QUOTE (Tycho @ Mar 18 2009, 11:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

escape velocity is dead. rip.

This is probably the saddest true thing I've heard all month 😞

QUOTE (gray_shirt_ninja @ Mar 19 2009, 07:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is probably the saddest true thing I've heard all month 😞

i am greatly sorry and extend my condolences to you.

Have some faith Tycho. Nothing is "dead" until you give up on it.

Zaphod haven't you already posted several of these type threads? but some advice is indeed start small. build from the inside out so that you don't end up with 80 unfinished systems. Use placeholder graphics until you can get your hands on the finished graphics (basically don't procrastinate while waiting for ship graphics). keep it fun get someone else to do all the boring stuff 😛

QUOTE (of doom @ Mar 19 2009, 01:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Have some faith Tycho. Nothing is "dead" until you give up on it.

well, if you want to think of it like that then, escape velocity is a dead end. you can keep developing for it, but in the end you will be forced to move on. in my opinion, it's better to start the transition earlier than later.

QUOTE (Tycho @ Mar 18 2009, 11:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i wouldn't recommend investing a lot of time and effort into escape velocity. it's an old game, closed source and rather limited in capabilities.
i'd suggest something like naev(http://code.google.com/p/naev/). the benefits being that the engine is still being worked upon and it's open source. this means that you can offer suggestions to the developers on improving the game, as well as improving it yourself if you desire.
say you wanted something specific to happen in one of your missions, but it isn't supported in nova or naev. the chances that ambrosia will help you is nil. the chances that the naev dev(or any other willing developer) will help you is slightly greater. i know where i'd hedge my bets.

escape velocity is dead. rip.

But, the difference is, I actually know what EV is. I can already judge what the game can handle. I honestly don't think I'm going to get so advanced that something unsupported will need to take place.

QUOTE (of doom @ Mar 19 2009, 06:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Have some faith Tycho. Nothing is "dead" until you give up on it.

Zaphod haven't you already posted several of these type threads? but some advice is indeed start small. build from the inside out so that you don't end up with 80 unfinished systems. Use placeholder graphics until you can get your hands on the finished graphics (basically don't procrastinate while waiting for ship graphics). keep it fun get someone else to do all the boring stuff 😛

At least this time I have the software. 😛 That's really no excuse though....
Thanks for your helpful advice. I will definitely keep that in mind while making plug-ins.

Stupid Question of the Day: What's a placeholder graphic?

QUOTE (Tycho @ Mar 19 2009, 08:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

well, if you want to think of it like that then, escape velocity is a dead end. you can keep developing for it, but in the end you will be forced to move on. in my opinion, it's better to start the transition earlier than later.

And yet, more people continue playing it. There's much going on in the Nova world. There're so many TCs out there, it's not even funny. (Actually, some are quite funny. Especially ARPIA2.) They even recently updated it to 1.1. I have a strange feeling that they're still developing it, if only passively.
I mean, seriously, it's nowhere near dead. Try all the Nova stock storylines, then try some TCs, like ARPIA2, maybe even try something like Anathema, or Colosseum (don't worry, I'll get around to trying them eventually). Heck, even make your own. With so many people progressively making new plugs for this game, there's really no end to it, until it's incompatible with a new computer's technology. As of now, it's compatible with Leopard, and (correct me if I'm wrong) I also believe it's compatible with Vista.

QUOTE (Captain Zaphod Beeblebrox @ Mar 20 2009, 12:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Stupid Question of the Day: What's a placeholder graphic?

A placeholder graphic is one which you don't plan to use in the final version, but is good enough to stand in for it until you've produced a good enough one. During the development of EV Override , for example, the UE destroyer recycled the graphics from the original game's rebel destroyer until its own art was ready.

Nova is not dead. Not only has it recently been updated to operate on modern Macs (by no means a simple undertaking, just ask around), but people still buy the game. A dead game is one that is no longer supported or purchased (pirating doesn't count). Additionally, there's two major advantages of developing for Nova as opposed to NAEV: already an established player base to enjoy your work and the fact that it's released and guaranteed to be there. There's no guarantee NAEV will ever be finished, no matter what anyone says. Yes, odds may be heavily in favor of it being released eventually (I have no data to say either way), but things happened. Projects get cancelled, builds and back-ups get lost or destroyed, people loose interest, and Real Life™ says hi.

Anyone who claims Nova is dead is merely doomsaying. Yes, eventually it will go away (and was in grave danger of getting killed for awhile there). That could be next year, that could be twenty years for now, that could be beyond our lifetimes. We don't know. There's plenty of ancient games that, even long after official support is dropped, people still play and develop for it.

Now, maybe I'm just some old optimistic fogey. But, as long as there's some of us around making and using plug-ins, Nova will have some spark of life.

QUOTE (JoshTigerheart @ Mar 21 2009, 07:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Nova is not dead. Not only has it recently been updated to operate on modern Macs (by no means a simple undertaking, just ask around), but people still buy the game. A dead game is one that is no longer supported or purchased (pirating doesn't count). Additionally, there's two major advantages of developing for Nova as opposed to NAEV: already an established player base to enjoy your work and the fact that it's released and guaranteed to be there. There's no guarantee NAEV will ever be finished, no matter what anyone says. Yes, odds may be heavily in favor of it being released eventually (I have no data to say either way), but things happened. Projects get cancelled, builds and back-ups get lost or destroyed, people loose interest, and Real Life™ says hi.

Just for the record, I've been working on NAEV for the past 6 years and have no intention to stop. It's like a child to me. On a side note, I don't think I'll ever consider NAEV finished. There is always room in the open source world for improvements.

I have to agree though with the comment that Nova isn't dead. Hell, I wouldn't even consider original EV dead :).

QUOTE (JoshTigerheart @ Mar 20 2009, 11:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Nova is not dead. Not only has it recently been updated to operate on modern Macs (by no means a simple undertaking, just ask around), but people still buy the game. A dead game is one that is no longer supported or purchased (pirating doesn't count). Additionally, there's two major advantages of developing for Nova as opposed to NAEV: already an established player base to enjoy your work and the fact that it's released and guaranteed to be there. There's no guarantee NAEV will ever be finished, no matter what anyone says. Yes, odds may be heavily in favor of it being released eventually (I have no data to say either way), but things happened. Projects get cancelled, builds and back-ups get lost or destroyed, people loose interest, and Real Life™ says hi.

Anyone who claims Nova is dead is merely doomsaying. Yes, eventually it will go away (and was in grave danger of getting killed for awhile there). That could be next year, that could be twenty years for now, that could be beyond our lifetimes. We don't know. There's plenty of ancient games that, even long after official support is dropped, people still play and develop for it.

Now, maybe I'm just some old optimistic fogey. But, as long as there's some of us around making and using plug-ins, Nova will have some spark of life.

And just think of what will come to the Nova world that has been trapped in this ADD-ified mind of mine, once I learn how to make plug-ins....

In store for whenever I learn how to make plug-ins:

  1. FoodStuff (Featuring food ships, food weapons, massive food planets, and a whole storyline to wrap it all together)

  2. Omega Boost (Alphacore has a plan to destroy humankind, and only the Omega Boost can stop it.)

  3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy* (Be Arthur Dent as the Vogons destroy the Earth, and he travels everywhere around the Universe with his friend Ford Prefect, and just happens to come across Trllian, and the 2 headed freak who took her off of Earth: Zaphod Beeblebrox.)

*Because of Copyright issues, I would need Douglas Adams' permission before starting with the project, and even then I'd have a difficult time coming up with a storyline. I mean, think about it....

QUOTE (Captain Zaphod Beeblebrox @ Mar 23 2009, 05:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

*Because of Copyright issues, I would need Douglas Adams' permission before starting with the project, and even then I'd have a difficult time coming up with a storyline. I mean, think about it....

You may run into a few problems with the logistics of that proposal.

We no longer have DNA 😞 Oh well, the logical consequence of this is that all the world's problems will go away within about a century...(/cynic)

QUOTE (Archon @ Mar 23 2009, 02:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You may run into a few problems with the logistics of that proposal.

What, did he die, or something?

Wikipedia is your friend: Douglas Adams

Crying shame, if you ask me. Some of the best books I've ever read. The movie, I felt, was an absolute travesty compared to the literature. Then again, I'm an English teacher. I've rarely seen a movie that lived up to the literature on which it was based.

QUOTE (krugeruwsp @ Mar 23 2009, 02:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The movie, I felt, was an absolute travesty compared to the literature. Then again, I'm an English teacher. I've rarely seen a movie that lived up to the literature on which it was based.

The books weren't the original form of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – it was from the original radio series that everything else flowed. I'd be the last to say the movie was perfect, but at least it got back to having the dialogue performed by real actors. And incidentally, most of the aspects people complained about, including the romance sub-plot, Humma Kavula, and Zaphod's serial heads, were invented by none other than Douglas Adams prior to his death.

I always thought an Escape Velocity version would have you play not as Arthur, but as Ford . . .

...Or Zaphod, for that matter.

No, wait, Ford would work better. We'll see what comes up.

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