Looking for Serious Plug in Maker for Help with Idea

Hi guys, I already erroneously posted this over on the regular EV Nova board and was shortly redirected over here to this fine establishment. With that said, here's my proposal.

I would like the help of an experienced plug in maker to make an idea i've had recently become reality. The idea is this; the in-game backstory behind the Kestrel (we all know ATMOS put it in there as a bit of an easter egg) is that the ship was found near a wormhole and supposedly came from an alternate dimension. Now, imagine if a very wealthy and successful trader who also happened to be a starship enthusiast bought said ship, and decided to start a company to reverse engineer and begin constructing ships and outfits based on said "alien" design.

Sound interesting? Then read on...

The plug in I imagine would add a new system and planet, along with a description of "Kestrel Shipyards", the aforementioned company that reverse engineered the original Kestrel and all its original outfits (which I know don't really exist so we get to make up some unless we want to use the EVC outifts which has already been done) and designed several new ships based on the original Kestrel.

If anyone is still interested, the idea behind the new ships goes something like this:

Kestrel II: Just like original Kestrel, but much cheaper and a little less powerful.

Macro Kestrel: Much larger (3 times), beefier, and more powerful Kestrel style battleship. Very powerful and expensive and can go head to head with a Polaris Raven right out of the box, and with unique outfits is MORE powerful.

Micro Kestrel: Much smaller (3 time again) Kestrel-derived ship, much like the Starbridge only better.

The outfits are a little trickier and require a bit of imagination on our part. But I basically had the idea of taking a lot of the polaris outfits and changing them around to make them slightly better (I know, it's madness!) and switch from their organic nature into a purely mechanical realm. A few ideas can be found below:

Phase Cannon: Operates by forming a helical plasma stream and accelerating it at high speed. Basically an adult Wraith Graviton Beam only blue with a little less power but more range and 45 degree turreted. Not sure if it should penetrate shields or just be really freakin powerful, but definately one or the other as this is intended to be the new Kestrel variants main weapon. Comes in three flavors; light, medium, and heavy just like blasters (to match the three new Kestrel variants and their sizes).

Phase Lance: Small, short ranged, and pulsed variant of the much larger anti-capital ship Phase Cannons. Imagine a short ranged (a little bit more than a TH lance) bio relay laser sized (but still crackly like the Graviton beam and Phase Cannon) beam that fires in pulses for a quick 1/2 second but is quite damaging. Now imagine this as an automated Point Defense weapon similar to a QLBT and Storm but much lighter and more effective (particularly against one very fast, very powerful organic fighter). Something else that would be nice but not necessary is for them to fire at any ship that is within range, instead of just fighters and missiles (although those would be first priority if possible).

Plasma Torpedoes: Basically Polaron Torpedoes only blue (can you tell I like blue?) and slower but more damaging. No mass just like polaron torps and a fairly high ammo cap of 100.

Singularity Core Reactor: About as powerful as TWO (yes two!) Antimatter Reactors, but with corresponding weight and price (i.e. 30 tons, 5M creds)

Phasic Shield: Someway to dramatically increase the "density" of shielding, powerful enough to let you take a few polaron multi torps and keep on trucking! Something like adding 1000 points of shielding and being able to be applied twice!

Plasma Overdrive: Same as an afterburner, only more powerful with a correspondingly higher energy drain and mass. Cooler graphics would be a plus (I'm thinking more "crackly" with arcs and larger more pronounced "flame").

Armor Channeling: Energy channeling circuitry is embedded into the armor which channels energy from energy weapons (blasters, TH lance, most polaran weapons) into special capacitors, both reducing damage to armor and refilling the ship's energy reserves. Very effective against energy weapons to the point where you basically need a projectile weapon (most auroran or missile weapons including polaron torpedoes for some balance)

Shield Channeling: Same as the channeling for armor, only accomplished by a different means and slightly more effective.

That's all the outfits I've come up with so far, but I'm sure more will follow. As you might be picking up on, the whole idea here is to build a ship that can go head to head (and dominate) the Polaris. A fully upgraded Macro Kestrel with all the Kestrel Shipyards outfits has the potential to take on two or more Ravens at the same time and give you a chance (however slight) to actually dominate a Polaris planet.

So, if anyone will the skills necessary to make this a reality is interested, please let me know and we'll go from there. Thanks for reading!

P.S. To any mods who may happen by, I've taken the liberty of "moving" this myself to see if I can get better feedback sooner. If this in anyway not cool, please let me know and we'll go from there.

This post has been edited by ShaneSerris : 26 March 2010 - 01:29 PM

Welcome to the forums! I just want to give you some hopefully helpful comments and criticism:

- Does this plugin do much more than add a few ships, outfits, and systems? If that is all, it could become another cheat plugin, only with cool outfits. There needs to be a balance so you don't get instant god powers. PlugPack is a good example. For the most part, its outfits have enough weaknesses to balance the strengths, and the player doesn't become instantly indestructible just for using them.

- Why does it have to be about the Kestrel? The Kestrel never had any of those outfits, so while you can simple create a plugin where it may, why would one ship have all those? It would seem more likely that several different ships would have different pieces, unless everyone in this other dimension is a pack rat. 🙂 Why not have the player or someone else "discover" the origin of the Kestrel (the wormhole) and perhaps travel beyond far enough to bring back several new and amazing things? It could be that this other dimension is a ghost universe, with remnants of past civilizations, or who know what.

- If it's really little more than outfits, ships, and such, why not try to make it yourself? I think you'll find the EVN plugin format to be simple enough that you could at least make a working test to get the feel for it. It's a better idea to have a sample of your work ready, then to come to the forums with a great new idea and ask for willing volunteers to help you make it. Besides, making a plugin yourself is fun. Give it a whirl.

Good luck with your plugin! 🙂

Yes, best of luck to you. I tried to make an expansion when I first joined the boards, and I still only have a few ship datas, two missions, and one new base. The moral being that these projects take exponentially longer to complete than you predict them to, especially when you just start out.

Here's a video I found helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD66UFs8TEs&

Wow, first let me say thanks for taking notice! I just have a few things to say and then I'll try and go from there.

First off, Geek, the idea behind the plug in is much simpler and less ambitious than your ideas. It is indeed no more than an attempt to add some cool outfits and 3 (although really only two would be unique) new ships along with a SINGLE new system and company. The premise is also relatively simple in that the EVN Kestrel and some badass and unique outfits that the ship had on it when it was salvaged (that don't really exist) was reverse engineered by said new company.

Another thing, the plug is all about the Kestrel because that's the whole point of it, I love the look and the design of the EVN Kestrel and wanted to do something to make it super badass (even more so than it already is!). The balance (not that there is much admittedly) is that the new outfits can only be applied to the new Kestrel variants (and the original Kestrel you can get from S7evyn) and they are all very expensive so unless you cheat to get the credits, it'll take you a loooong time to be able to get any "god powers".

The thing is guys, I really don't feel like I am capable of making this thing up to par with my vision (corny?), and I was hoping that by coming here and putting my ideas out there, someone with more experience and skill would jump on them and be able to actually do something with them!

Well, if you can get some help, you might be able to expand this eventually into an entire additional storyline, all about the Kestrel! Wouldn't that be something. You don't need to plan it all out now, just go with what you have now, make changes and additions later as you go. I first thought up my TC around five or six years ago, and I'm still adding new stuff to it. That's the beauty of it all, you never have to be finished.

Oh, and oryhara, nice rickroll. 😉

Ok guys, so I've finally started working on this myself. So far I have the new system and planet mostly done and have started working on the outfits. EVNEW is extremely easy to use and I'm finding it to be relatively simple so far.

What I really need now is just technical help and troubleshooting, so I have a few questions that will really help me move forward with this plug. First, I need to know how to set special tech levels for outfits and weapons, and if multiple outfits/weapons can occupy the same special tech level? Second, how do you add a description to outfits/weapons as well as spobs and bars? And lastly, how do you export/import images of outfits and weapons to mess with them?

If you guys could answer these initial (many more to come!) questions, it would really help me out!

Edit: I'm sure there's probably stickys and or other threads that answer these questions, so pointing me in their direction is a perfectly acceptable solution as well.

This post has been edited by ShaneSerris : 28 March 2010 - 03:41 AM

Special Tech Level is really just a way to limit where an outfit can be bought/sold. If you set a weapon's special tech field to 30, then there are two ways it can be handled. You can set a planet's normal tech level to 30 or any higher number, and that outfit would be available. Or, you could put 30 in a spöb's special tech field to make that outfit available in specific planets. There is no limit to how many outfits or planets can reference a Tech field number. It's only to add flavor and realism to the game. In practical use, normal outfits have tech numbers within a fairly low range (like 1-20), and higher numbers are used so specific special weapons will be found at special planets. Note that for a planet's normal tech range, any outfit with a number equal or lesser to the normal tech can be available normally on the planet. If I give a planet a Tech number of 5, all outfits with 5 or less may be found on the planet. On the other hand, special tech fields limit the special outfits to only ones that have that specific number. If I wanted to make the Espresso Beam available only on Joe's World, I would give the weapon a high number like 100, and put 100 in a Special Tech field on Joe's World. At the same time, I could make the Monkey Gun available on George's World with a special tech number of 99, and only George's World would have the Monkey Gun, even though 99 is less than 100. If you wanted to make a range of outfits only available on a planet (or a few specific planets), you would give all the outfits the same tech number, and put that in the special tech field.

This post has been edited by Geek : 28 March 2010 - 05:38 AM

Geek hit it on the nose. Now for descriptions:

With the exception of missions, dësc resources don't need to be set for use with anything. You just need to give them the correct ID number. That, of course, is the trick. You see, different types of resources that use descriptions use different sets of ID numbers for their dëscs. They are as follows:

CODE

Planet Descriptions - ID number is same number as ID of planet
Bar Descriptions - add 9872 to the ID number of the planet ID to
find the number of the bar's description.
Outfit Descriptions - add 2872 to the ID number of the outfit to
find the number of the outfit's description.
Ship Descriptions - add 12872 to the ID number of the ship to
find the number of the ship's description.
Hire Descriptions - add 13872 to the ID number of the ship to
find the number of the ship's hire dësc.

I use a Mac, however, and don't use EVNEW, so I'm not sure how it handles importing images.

This post has been edited by darthkev : 28 March 2010 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE (Geek @ Mar 28 2010, 11:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Special Tech Level is really just a way to limit where an outfit can be bought/sold. If you set a weapon's special tech field to 30, then there are two ways it can be handled. You can set a planet's normal tech level to 30 or any higher number, and that outfit would be available. Or, you could put 30 in a spöb's special tech field to make that outfit available in specific planets. There is no limit to how many outfits or planets can reference a Tech field number. It's only to add flavor and realism to the game. In practical use, normal outfits have tech numbers within a fairly low range (like 1-20), and higher numbers are used so specific special weapons will be found at special planets. Note that for a planet's normal tech range, any outfit with a number equal or lesser to the normal tech can be available normally on the planet. If I give a planet a Tech number of 5, all outfits with 5 or less may be found on the planet. On the other hand, special tech fields limit the special outfits to only ones that have that specific number. If I wanted to make the Espresso Beam available only on Joe's World, I would give the weapon a high number like 100, and put 100 in a Special Tech field on Joe's World. At the same time, I could make the Monkey Gun available on George's World with a special tech number of 99, and only George's World would have the Monkey Gun, even though 99 is less than 100. If you wanted to make a range of outfits only available on a planet (or a few specific planets), you would give all the outfits the same tech number, and put that in the special tech field.

How do you set the special tech for outfits/weapons? I can't find the right field.

Edit: I found how to set special tech, didn't realize the difference between weap and outf files, however I can't for the life of me figure out how to get my weapon outfit to show up in the system I want (or any system for that matter!).

This post has been edited by ShaneSerris : 28 March 2010 - 04:32 PM

Importing images into EVNEW is fairly straightfoward. Under the appropriate resources, such as pict or rleD/8s, just go to file -> import. Browse to the desired graphic, and hit okay. Easy peasy. If you want to get really fancy, you can actually have Nova bring up graphics as part of a desc resource. Kind of cool, actually. I believe you can even have descs bring up a .mov file, which could be really, really cool.

I would recommend using PNG files. They're a bit larger, but Nova does not seem to have a great love of JPEGs, especially with EVNEW, and especially, especially if they're in a sprite (which you're not working with much yet.)

There is not a special tech level for outfits. It's just on spobs. As long as the availability is true and the outfit's odds check out, it will show up on any spob with either a special tech level equal to the outfit's tech level, or a standard tech level equal to or greater than the outfit in question.

Check the tech level you set the outfit to and the "buy random" field. Make sure that the buy random field is not set to 0, otherwise it will never show up. If the tech level is higher than about 8, it probably won't show up in-game, at least stock.

You may want to look at the files to see how things are done there, to give you an idea what you're doing. Doing so helped me a lot when I was starting out.

FYI, you don't need to set special tech for wëap resources. You use oütf resources to reference the wëap resource, and you put the special tech number in the oütf resource only. Think of a wëap resource as a special subset of an oütf resource where you put all the specific specifications of the weapon that the oütf resource doesn't handle.

EDIT: After a buggy attempt to launch EVNEW in WINE (buggy enough that I decided not to mess with it much), I see what may be confusing you. You don't see a "Special Tech" field anywhere in the oütf editor. Just put a number in the Tech field. Just putting that same number in the Special Tech field of a spöb resource is all you need to do to make that outfit available on a specific planet.

This post has been edited by Geek : 28 March 2010 - 09:58 PM

Sorry to suddenly stop in after you're already started, but I suddenly had an idea...

Since you want to introduce new weapons.. why not base them on the kestrel's weapons out of EV?
Maybe just tor storyline flair... don't have to follow it to a tee, but maybe name the blue beam weapon the photon beam since (might be wrong) the kestrel had photon turrets in EV...

and your plug, as it sounds now, would probably be considered a cheat.

Still, we all started our plug-in developing with cheats- nothing wrong with it and a great way to practice... but without drawbacks....

I'm not sure I would ever fly a ship that could beat a raven easily. Seems like the game would be over too quick.
(Took me a couple hours to beat my first raven.... still takes me over half an hour.

This sounds like an interesting idea; I'm reusing the Kestrel in EVN:UGF myself. (In my case, the company that builds it now, Merlin Starcraft Corporation, bought the plans and technical readouts from Matt Burch's in-game persona.) The Kestrel is classified as a light cruiser in EVN:UGF, but that's mainly because everything's more powerful and the Kestrel has more or less stayed the same.

It also reminds me of Atinoda's expanded operations in EV Nova: Realm of Prey. In that game (a port of the EVC TC), Atinoda took the basic Kestrel hull and built a medium freighter called the Peregrine, a frigate-class ship called the Raptor, a miniature Kestrel fighter called the Falcon, a heavy cruiser Condor, and a triple-hulled MegaKestrel battleship. The Kestrel was also adopted and modified by pirates and bounty hunters in two different forms. I'm also making a Pirate Kestrel for EVN:UGF.

Good luck with this.

This post has been edited by StarSword : 05 April 2010 - 09:15 AM

Correction. In RoP the Falcon wasn't a mini-Kestrel, it was simply a fighter that had a similar design. Also, you forgot Atinoda's carrier class, the Osprey. Lastly, the pirates only modified the Kestrel once into the Marauder. The other Atinoda-inspired pirate vessel was the Ravage, based off of the Falcon. I'm a big fan of Tim Isles' work, and turn into a veritable grammar-nazi when anyone gets details involving his work wrong. 🙂

Edit: Oh, and my hijacking is now over. Good luck on completing this, Shane!

This post has been edited by darthkev : 05 April 2010 - 07:40 PM

QUOTE (darthkev @ Apr 5 2010, 08:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Correction. In RoP the Falcon wasn't a mini-Kestrel, it was simply a fighter that had a similar design. Also, you forgot Atinoda's carrier class, the Osprey. Lastly, the pirates only modified the Kestrel once into the Marauder. The other Atinoda-inspired pirate vessel was the Ravage, based off of the Falcon. I'm a big fan of Tim Isles' work, and turn into a veritable grammar-nazi when anyone gets details involving his work wrong. 🙂

Edit: Oh, and my hijacking is now over. Good luck on completing this, Shane!

Yeah well, A, I've never met an Osprey, and B, my pilot file in Realm of Prey got corrupted somehow (once I get into gameplay, I get an illegal operation message and Nova shuts down on me), so I haven't played Realm of Prey in a while.

I meant no offense, StarSword. Like I said, I just wanted to get the facts straight. That said, I'm curious as to why you are getting errors when you try playing it. Very odd... As for not seeing an Osprey, though, that's pretty strange by itself since they show up fairly frequently in the Arthus system, the only entry to Atinoda's system of Avatar. Also, Devon Cruz uses a modified Osprey as his personal starship. That monster was a b*tch to kill. Again, I mean no offense, I just want to make things clear.

This post has been edited by darthkev : 05 April 2010 - 11:49 PM

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