I'm well into developing a TC....

[VAPORWARE]

Hi! This is my first post on this or any other forum, but I've hung around here and at EVNova.net for quite a while. It's pretty sad that that site went down-I visited it every day 😞
But as far as the aforementioned total conversion goes-I've always thought that one thing EV Nova lacked was immersiveness, especially when compared to new games like Freelancer (compare freelancer's news system to EV Nova's), and the only plugin that ever made me feel really involved was ARPIA 2 (which is really excellant). Polycon is really just as good as any other EV game, even though it's only a TC (heh. only?), but I didn't feel that it played especially differently than EV Nova when you compare actual gameplay. By immersiveness, I mean the feeling that this world is really occupied with other, individual space captains and people, and that other people than you (the player) do things all the time. So I decided to make a TC of my own, which had these features. I realize that not everything is possible with this engine, but I'm determined to make the effort!

Basically, right now I'm making a basic, small area, with a small number of ships (22, in 8 different categories). This area is just intended to give me room to begin crafting the missions and factions which will form the 'world'. I have some nifty ideas involving multiple misn files being used during what you'd think was a single mission to give you more options-for example, when taking on a bounty during a bounty hunting mission he will try to bribe you into leaving him alone. This uses three misn's-one for getting to the bounty, one for accepting the bribe, and one for just killing him rather than accepting the bribe. I haven't tested this but I think that it should work. I'm also going to make it so that you buy separate subsystems to upgrade your ships-for example, you start out with x engines, and upgrade to y engine. There will be capital ships available to purchase as well (not battleships-battleships in my TC are unattainable, really, REALLY big navy issue line warships whereas capital ships are basically a step beyond heavy fighter class ships).

Here's a picture of a Cavalier class capital ship

Please post and tell me what you think!

(by the way, how do signatures and avatars work? I can't quite get it.)

This post has been edited by Shlimazel : 16 December 2010 - 08:28 PM

The picture doesn't work. What do you men by "How do they work"? If you mean how do you make them, you click on "my controls" and then "change signature" or "change avatar".

Wow, fast response!

Yeah, I think that I hit enter by accident without checking to make sure that the picture had been added properly and that's why there wasn't a picture.

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What do you men by "How do they work"? If you mean how do you make them, you click on "my controls" and then "change signature" or "change avatar".

Yeah, that's what I meant. I guess that I should have been clearer-thanks for your help. As you can see, I now have a sig 😉

Here's the picture. (I hope!) I'll add some more pictures periodically. I come here every day, so it's no problem.

I'm new at this whole 'posting' scheme so please bear with me 🙂

Well, as you probably know, TCs take a very long time. Colosseum is a small TC and has been in development for over a year (but fortunately is the closest to being done :D). You're determined and on fire now, but that is the biggest problem with TCs: staying determined to finish it. If you can handle the eventual motivation issues, I'm sure you'll finish.

Though I might point out that using seperate ship parts to build on a ship isn't a new feature. I.E, Colosseum requires you to purchase an engine, a reactor, a layer of armor, and a shield generator to have a fully functional fighter. There's at least one other TC out there that has you purchase parts like that as well.

Yeah, I've attempted to do big projects before in the past so I know what you're saying :). That's why I'm keeping the project small and completable. And besides, half of my ships and planets are done already 🆒

Actually, I've heard of your plug before, and the fact that you are getting that particular feature to work with yours made me decide to do it in my plug as well. I got the idea mainly from Vega Strike and Freelancer.

And... First post and I got all kinds of responses? BOOYAH! throws party

Here's another picture... a Talon class heavy fighter

Sounds great. It sounds like you've really done your homework with plugin design. Remember not to make it too ambitious. You have no idea how many newbies say "I think I'll make a TC. It will have (thing impossible with the nova engine) and (other thing impossible with the nova engine). It will have (ridiculous number) of systems and ships, and it will be the most ambitious TC ever. Where do I start?" It's nice to see someone who actually knows what he's doing.

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It's nice to see someone who actually knows what he's doing.

(/joking) Wow! I know what I'm doing?!?! (/joking)

Seriously, thanks for the kind words. And don't worry-I'm going to keep it fairly small for now so that I can actually release it. You have no IDEA how many ideas I'm repressing until version 1.0 😉

Say, another noobish question. How can I post more than one picture at a time? Just chop the file size down further, or is there some feature that I'm missing?

Host it somewhere, such as Photobucket, and link to it via (/img) tags. There's a nice button you can click in regular post/edit and quick edit mode that'll make it easy to use the (/img) tags properly.

And Colosseum has 3 ships...not counting A.I. variants. Counting those there's 61 ships total.

Edit: OH! That reminds me! This is important if you're using this outfit systems to build ships. Keep in mind the A.I. CANNOT use most outfits, and the ones they can are not useful in this feature. So, therefore, you'll need to create A.I. variants with actual attributes in place so they'll work. However, this leaves us with a problem: capturing ships. The simplest method is to give all ships a crew of zero, making ships uncapturable. You can then change the boarding message to something, such as "Input error" or, as I use, "Boarding ships is strictly against Colosseum rules!" Another solution would be to come up with some nifty, complicated system using bits and/or crons to give the player invisisble outfits that remove said attributes. Though this is probably not worth the effort.

You also could always have only some ships customizable like that, but that's not so fun without some good reasoning behind it.

This post has been edited by JoshTigerheart : 18 August 2007 - 09:37 PM

Really? The AI won't use outfits? Huh! I'm assuming that there are some that they do use, since there's ships in stock nova that I'm sure use cloaking devices. Can't you just put the outfits on the AI ships and just have them there for when the player boards the ship-oh. That still wouldn't work, because the outfits wouldn't effect the AI ship's performance, right? Geez. And I had such a nifty idea involved with outfits and and targeting picts. Hmm. I'll have to think about that-thanks.

Also, my idea for using multiple misn resources to give the player more options during missions might not work. Here's what I'd planned.

Basically for a bounty hunting mission, the base misn (misn 1) is a 'go to x syst' mission. Then, upon arrival, the misn completes, and sets bit 9001. Since bit 9001 is available, misn 2a becomes available.
Here's the problem.
My logic was, then, that the misn (2a) would show up immediately. But then, I realized that there was nothing in stock nova to lead me to expect that to work. The misn probably would become available, but not until you either deliberately hail a ship or land on a planet. And who is going to pay attention to a hail message from a bounty target and respond? I wouldn't.
Anyway, in theory, misn 2a would be a 'board ship' misn. The text would be an 'Oh, please take this money! Don't kill me!' kind of message. If you agree to take the criminal's money, then you accept the misn and board the ship to get your bribe. If you click 'no' then refusing the misn sets bit 9002, which causes misn 2b to show up. Misn 2 is a non refusable 'kill ship x' misn targeted at the bounty, which pays you whatever. Then, the bits would all be cleared on mission completion. It's sad that it probably won't work.

Oh, and it occured to me that I haven't really posted all that much for you to look forward to story and universe wise. I'll post some stuff later after I finish modelling my 2 new ships.

@joshtigerheart, on Aug 19 2007, 04:32 AM, said in I'm well into developing a TC....:

Another solution would be to come up with some nifty, complicated system using bits and/or crons to give the player invisisble outfits that remove said attributes. Though this is probably not worth the effort.

You also could always have only some ships customizable like that, but that's not so fun without some good reasoning behind it.

Or you could make it way simpler. If OnCapture works in a certain way.

That is to say I can't remember exactly how OnCapture behaves, if it also works for ships you capture as escorts or if it works only for ships you take to be your own.
If the latter, then you can customise AI ships as much as you wish, and just have a "Cxxx" operator (or E, or H) inside that forces the player to change ship, to get a standard, player-customisable ship.
That, and the fact that I can't remember if Nova likes forcing the player into a non-captured ship while flying (though it handles it when you have a dësc, I know that for sure given that I've done it in ARPIA2 in a bonus mission, where you board a ship and it can become your own in-flight), are the two unknowns.

Hmm, OnCapture... Thank you! That looks like it might be promising. I'd hate to have to give up on the whole idea before I've even tried to get it to work.

I've decided not to give up on my whole misn scheme until I have had the chance to test it extensively. I hope to begin testing it later today.

I can give you some info on my game scheme now (since I've eaten!). Basically, the first release will have only factions. No real governments. I have ideas for government ships so a later release will introduce some nations and such, as well as the ability to join the navy and crack some heads. My factions are: the bounty hunter's guild, the joining of which allows you to get access to harder bounties, the pirates, the corbaran syndicate, which is an opponent of the bounty hunter's guild, and probably a few mercenary's guilds and millitia factions. Also the police, who treat EVERYONE as a potential law-breaker. You can take a regular bounty at any time, but joining the guild gives you bigger bounties and also access to a unique ship!

Here's a picture from the Cavalier's sprite file so that you can see that it looks better from above.

Hmm. I would appreciate some advice as to wether or not that mission idea sounds practical. I'm going to try to get it working well enough to test it in stock nova in order to work out the kinks, but I'm not really experienced in mission construction.

Okay, I made my first real test of my mission theory, and I was right. Nothing happened 😞

Oh, well, I'll keep on working on it.

This post has been edited by Shlimazel : 19 August 2007 - 01:50 PM

Well, instead of using bits, here's what you can do. Here's a bit from the bible.

Axxx - if mission ID xxx is currently active, abort it.

Fxxx - if mission ID xxx is currently active, cause it to fail.

Sxxx - start mission ID xxx automatically. 

Gxxx - grant one of outfit item ID xxx to the player

Dxxx - remove (Delete) one of outfit item ID xxx from the player

Mxxx - move the player to system xxx. The player will be put on top of the
	   first stellar in the system, or in the center of the system if no
	   stellars exist there.

Nxxx - move the player to system xxx. The player will remain at the same
	   x/y coordinates, relative to the center of the system.

Cxxx - change the player's ship to ship type (ID) xxx. The player will keep all
	   of his previous outfit items and won't be given any of the default
	   weapons or items that come with ship type xxx.
	   
Exxx - change the player's ship to ship type (ID) xxx. The player will keep all
	   of his previous outfit items and will also be given all of the default
	   weapons and items that come with ship type xxx.
	   
Hxxx - change the player's ship to ship type (ID) xxx. The player will lose any
	   nonpersistent outfit items he previously had, but will be given all of
	   the default weapons and items that come with ship type xxx.

Kxxx - activate rank ID xxx.

Lxxx - deactivate rank ID xxx.

Pxxx - play sound with ID xxx.

Yxxx - destroy stellar ID xxx.

Uxxx - regenerate (Un-destroy) stellar ID xxx.

Qxxx - make the player immediately leave (absquatulate) whatever stellar he's
	   landed on and return to space, and show a message at the bottom of the
	   screen. The message is randomly selected from the STR# resource with
	   ID xxx, and is parsed for mission text tags (e.g. <PSN> and <PRK> )
	   but not text-selection tags like those above (e.g. {G "he" "she"} )
	   (see d‘sc and m•sn resource descriptions for more examples)
	   
Txxx - change the name (Title) of the player's ship to a string randomly
	   selected from STR# resource ID xxx. The previous ship name will be
	   substituted for any '*' characters which are encountered in the
	   new string.

Xxxx - make system ID xxx be explored.

Using Fxxx, Sxxx, and Gxxx could get you past the mission problem. Using Hxxx could work with the ship problem.

BOOYAH! Thanks a lot, that is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I should have known better than to say x would not work when I hadn't checked the manual. I'm working on getting the mission to work now, so stay tuned.

Pace suggested using OnCapture for ships, so maybe using Hxxx in conjunction with OnCapture would work. As for the other, the adjustment should take no time at all.

Really, thanks!

In the EV Nova folder, in the Documentation section, is the Nova Bible. Use it. Even I, after doing this for over two years, have to refer to it a lot. Saves a lot of trouble. Remember: CTRL-F is your friend.

Well, sxxx works great! It doesn't do what I want it to, but it works. See, I want the player to go to system x and be offered mission y. Not given-offered. I'm still working on it but the future looks grim for the bounty hunter mission.

What's funny is that the mission that you are offered is set to make the feds like you less in the test version. So when my shuttle flying test pilot landed on the planet, he got fried 😉 Guess I'll need a new test pilot..

I should have also mentioned that I don't want to need to land on a planet. Is there a way around that?

This post has been edited by Shlimazel : 19 August 2007 - 02:45 PM

How about if it gives a mission that gives you the choice of taking the bribe or not? Does the mission that's given has the option of saying yes/no? You could make the 'On Accept' field have Sxxx, give the mission for taking it, and the 'On Refuse' field have Sxxx, the mission that you shoot him six times in the face. Try that and see if it works.

Maybe I should explain what's happening.

You take mission BH1 from the mission board. BH1 is, in function, a 'go to system x mission'. When you arrive at system x, you need to land at a planet. On landing, you auto complete mission BH2a, which is the mission to dock with ship x and recieve the bribe. This also modifies your relation to the feds. Obviously none of this is what I want to happen. What I want to happen is there is a target ship in system x. When you enter system x mission BH1 completes. You are offered mission BH2a by the bounty ship. When you refuse mission BH2a it leads to BH2b which is the mission where you

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shoot him six times in the face.

😉 This isn't what I'm getting.

Maybe you could make the mission the type of thing where instead of having to go to a ship, you first land and look around, hunt down rumors of his whereabouts, find out he's fleeing the system, and you go up to stop him. You disable him and take him, and then go back to the planet. He offers you a bribe on the planet, and from there you can either accept it or not. And make it a Wanted: Alive not Dead type of thing. That makes it believable that you would capture him and take him to the planet first.

Hmm, that sounds good. I'll try that now. And it makes it more dramatic, too. Good idea!

This post has been edited by Shlimazel : 19 August 2007 - 03:29 PM

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