EVN - Delphi

I have no clue what happened to ev-nova.net, so I guess a restart of my development thread will be required.

On ev-nova.net, I was under the username Sol, so if anybody is wondering what happened to me, here I am. I had hoped for the longest time that ev-nova.net would come back online, but it seems like it may be gone indefinitely, so I'll begin the recollection of my resources here.

For those who don't know, I am a 19-year-old EV Nova plugin developer working on a new total conversion for Nova, set far into the future in almost a film-noir style of storytelling. The universe is a dark place, and fear and confusion control the hearts of good men.

I'll get around to reposting the entire history of the game universe eventually.

Either way, people from ev-nova.net who were wondering on the status of the TC, here I am.

So far this is what we're looking at:

133 generic missions scripted, to create a "functional" universe.
4 100% complete ships.
6 modelled, rendered ships, waiting to be placed in-game and have their stats balanced accordingly.
52 outfits, about half of them complete (some need to be linked to weapons, ships, mission bits, etc. most still need outfitter images)
681 systems

Just for those keeping track.

Also, as a taste for those who haven't even heard of this before, here's a model I just finished, the Talon Missile Launcher outfit.

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As alway Delphi, your graphics are amazing, and from what I remember the story was such to match. 🙂

Been working a little bit on planetary graphics, namely landing images. Most planets are rather boring and honestly look better from orbit, but there's a select few (such as the player's starting worlds) that just have to be seen from the surface. Surprisingly enough, the Shen'or planet, (for those who know about the aliens from the other forum) has the nasty nature of being ridiculously dark at surface level, due to immense cloud cover and the lack of a native star system, and thus is best viewed from orbit, unless you think a big black square would be a fun landing graphic.

Rogue planets are always lots of fun though, in general.

Anyhow, this decision on my part, to include more surface graphics, that is, has inspired me to release this little tidbit of an image, in the Nova landing graphic aspect ratio and size, just lacking a few further details, including a huge metal tower that'll be the main focus of the shot. Gentlemen, I give you Tirach, the mining world.

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The image was rendered in Bryce 5.5, as is the rest of my 3D work. I noticed a while back that the landing images for Nova were done in Bryce as well, and sadly, some of them seemed a little slapdash in their design. I figured, why not keep it true to the style, but make it look a little nicer.

In the final version, the massive drilling tower will be protruding from the mountainside in the left of the frame, with an entire city of temporary establishments set up at its base, all very rugged in design, to hold up against bitter sandstorms and harsh atmospheric turbulence.

Sorry the for the lack of frequent progress updates, everyone watching this project; I've been getting ready to move out into my own place and it's a bit of a mess getting everything together. Work is going to keep me pretty busy as I support myself and my girlfriend, so I can't guarantee any steady progress on Delphi. Either way, I'll work on it whenever I find the time, so stay posted!

It's amazing what Bryce can do when you work really hard with the boolean rendering. In the space of about three hours of careful calculations, and just generally messing around with materials and the like, I created the model for the Shen'or Sliver Cruiser.

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(Backdrop was added in photoshop)

Historical Database Entry "Shen'or Sliver Ships"
Entered 02:06 on July 20th 2798

The Shen'or use spacecraft that truly are a mystery to NDC scientists, never deviating from their primary "sliver" hull design, which forms the rudimentary "building block" used for all of their larger ships. In the end, their method of larger ship construction is rather ingenius in its efficiency: several of the alien ships join into a complex formation of sorts, and lock each other together at fixed distances using some sort of gravitational/magnetic field. When combined in such a way, the "cruisers" and "battleships" of the Shen'or begin to take shape, allowing the linking of energy between all of the component ships, giving the final craft a unique firepower exclusive to that configuration. The individual sliver ships appear to be at best nothing more than a power core, a faster-than-light engine not yet known to man, and an empty space in which to house the occupants. It is as yet unknown if there are even control facilities on board of any kind, or if the craft operate on the collective instinct of the aliens inside them; perhaps a primitive form of telepathy. The most common argument is that the aliens, being electrically-based in their circulatory functions, simply come into contact and form a circuit with the primary power core, enabling control of energy to the craft through this simple link. The hulls of these metallic craft, thought originally to be mercury in composition but later proven to be a new metal substance unknown to modern science, are highly conductive, to the point that they can discharge energy across space to the hull of a nearby enemy vessel. This appears to be both their only offensive and their only defensive system on board the craft, but the results it leaves are terrifying indeed.

Rumors have begun to circulate over the past weeks that these sliver ships were witnessed at the destruction of the NCS August Rain, reforming their former spacecraft structure into that of a massive ring comprised of hundreds of alien slivers shaped around the human cruiser, moments before it was torn to shreds in a frightening lightning strike of immeasurable magnitude. The Nova Defense Coalition still holds its official statement that that August Rain was lost in a fatal navigational computer error in which it collided with a small moon. The Shen'or are still officially deemed "a minor inconvenience" (Gen. Brian Edselor, statement released publicly on July 14th 2798).

(end of role-playing-logfile stuff)

I'll be using the sliver model to create an entire armada overnight, so wish me luck, and I hope you like it!

I also forgot to note, I completed the entirety of the outfits list resources! Some still need to be linked to weapon resources I haven't written yet, but they're flagged as such and besides those and the 200 x 200 images for the upgrades, the list is fully functional and replaces every outfit in the Nova universe. This is finally starting to look like a TC.

Sweet! The Shen'or ships are looking nice. Keep it up. 🙂

I love the idea of the Sliver ships.

If anybody wants to try their hand at fighting the Shen'or, just let me know and I'll upload the plug-in with just the Shen'or Cruiser. It has its own weapon array encoded as a unique resource in the plug-in, a lightning based weapon that ignores shields. Very deadly, and not something you tangle with easily. You'll need at least a limited knowledge of plug-in making, as you'll have to change Nova files or whatever so the Shen'or dude resource tells it to appear in a system; the dude resource is already in the plug-in, but I wasn't about to go completely rewriting the Nova universe so the ship appears everywhere. I'd recommend placing it somewhere around Krypt or Wraith space, as it will inherently attack any friendlies in the system with you, being xenophobic and all.

I wrote the resources for the Sliver Cruiser as a separate plug just to see if it would even work (the concept of the ship, that is), so this'll be one of only a few chances you'll get to try out one of the ships (or at least pit yourself against it in combat), before an alpha release comes out, with a more substantial universe and more ships. I know it'll take a while, but the payoff should be worth it.

Just let me know if you want to try it, and I'll throw it at you!

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Another quick shot of the Sliver Cruiser, taken from the spin sequence, just before I do the render for the alien fighter. I take high-res spin graphics and resize the sprite sheets later, so they don't lose quality with compression. The actual on-screen ship is much smaller.

I'd very much like to see the plug-in.

The plug-in file is just a little too large to upload using Ambrosia SW's attachment function, so you'll find it temporarily hosted here:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=QPIEFATW

I changed the plug-in so that you don't have to do any rewriting, simply find an appropriate system you can land in, choose the "Shen'or Attack" mission from the mission computer, and the single ship will warp into the system for you to fight, already on the attack. The craft is inertialess, so try to get behind it if possible. Its lightning weapon can only fire forward, so this may be your only hope of beating it. The lightning cuts straight through shields (ignores them), so watch your armor.

As it is, I think the ship replaces the Polaris Dragon, if it appears in the real-world (I didn't check to see what resources it steals, but it takes up ship and shan resources 160, as well at rled 160 and rle8 160). Remember this isn't meant to be a realistic addon plug for you to use on a daily basis, just a little sampler so you can have some fun. To restore the original game, just remove the Shen'or Attack plug from your Nova Plug-ins Folder.

The ship isn't finalized on its shield and armor ratings, but for now it makes for a good challenge in the Nova universe, if not the Delphi one. I took it on with a maxed-out IDA Frigate and survived albeit disabled by the end of the battle, with a little bit of help from a Federation Anaconda, so perhaps you may want to pick up a few escorts.

Windows users will have to convert the plug to .rez format.

This post has been edited by Delphi : 21 July 2007 - 02:50 PM

Very nice.

I wonder how well the fighters in Colosseum would handle the slivers? Maybe I should try that tomorrow after work...

Just as I feared would occur, I've done some major revisions to the Shen'or spacecraft, not in their physical appearance, but in terms of their shields/armor/etc. I even went so far as to carefully remap the lightning exit points on the shan resource so it fires in sequence across the four front-most tips of the cruiser. My original idea was to create a weapon glow for the Shen'or ships that resembled a great ball of lightning that flashes from its core and projects the lightning, hence the center point source of the weapon in the plug I distributed. I also finished the rudimentary ship list, totally 100 unique ships, across four different political systems, including CIV (civilian), NDC, EC, and SHN (shen'or), the short prefixes I use in the resource list to keep them grouped appropriately. Here's a full list of the NDC ships (screenshot from Mission Computer), listed by hull classification, so you get an idea of what I'll be forced to work with:

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It's going to be a vicious undertaking, I know, but I'm determined to make it happen. Also, yes, I know that the Caphecon class appears twice in the list; one instance is the military incarnation, and the second, the science variant of the same ship, hence the prefix difference between C (cruiser) and SC (scientific) in their model numbers. In the NDC military, higher model numbers represent newer ship models within that specific class, so it becomes suddenly quite obvious that some of these ships have been in production for decades by now. However, a science ship with the model number of SC-17 does not mean that it is newer than the HC-10, it simply means that more models have been produced in the scientific category than that of the heavy cruiser, often because of the long-lived durability of the heavier ships, and not to mention, their exorbitant design and production costs. The HC-10 Gammadon Class is actually one of the newest ships in the fleet, just entering its fifth year of service, while the SC-17 Pleides Class is almost thirty years old.

I'll get more about the other ship prefixes later, once I finish the "Ship Nomenclature - Military Prefixes" section of the Delphi technical database, a little RTF file I've been compiling since the beginning, should I suddenly acquire acute juvenile Alzheimer's, or something dreadful to that effect. It's also just so I can track my ideas and guarantee fictional continuity for all the viewers out there, not to mention post little tidbits of Delphi data for my fans to nibble on.

I'll get back to you on the prefix list, as it's rather lengthy, and currently incomplete. I have yet to finish the section regarding Enclave model prefix standards.

This post has been edited by Delphi : 24 July 2007 - 05:02 AM

This looks as if it is going to rock.

I spent most of this week working at my new job as a supervisor for Blockbuster, so not too much was done on the plug. I drew a few sketches for potential civvie ships, but so far that's it for now. I'll update when I've got some new content.

Well now, this topic certainly got bumped from the first page with haste. No problem though...

I promised an update once I had new material, and here it is!

I spent approximately seven hours straight on my laptop today, putting together the model for the Journeyman Class Surveyor, or in other words, the NDC approximation for the ever-favored Starbridge. If I can get the engines together right, you should really enjoy the design of the craft, and hopefully it'll work well in conjunction with the Versatile Class Shuttle in filling its role as a staple ship; one of those golden spacecraft that you hold onto for maybe a whole third of the game, only occasionally changing the weapons or performance. Aside from that, the Journeyman is rather elegant compared to other NDC ships, and features some new design components I'll be applying to all NDC ship models, most obviously visible: the refractor array; the shield generator of the ship.

The following two screenshots are taken from Sketchup, showing the design of the primary hull of the Journeyman, engines detached. The components you see lying to either side of the ship aren't attached to the hull; simply model scraps I'm moving around while I try to come up with a final design for the engines. Once the whole thing is done, it'll bear a slight resemblance to the dropship seen in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, with overhead outboard engines like the wings of a bird, almost. Also note that the mounting pylons for the outboard engines have not been modelled, and when completed will be fitted onto the existing chassis.

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First screenshot, detailing the forward end of the ship's crew compartment, with human figure included for size comparison, if you trace along the character's feet to the red line intersecting the hull near the nose. The two rods off the front of the craft are not weapons, but rather, a deep space sensor antenna system. There is another aft-swept antenna mounted atop the ship, used for ship-to-fleet or ship-to-planet/station communications over great distances, such as would be encountered during a surveyor mission, the craft's primary function. The small armored slot in the front of the craft is a reinforced window to the cockpit, though all of the ship's navigation is managed electronically through sensors, making the window purely for decoration and crew comfort.

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Second screenshot, taken from off the aft left quarter of the ship, as seen from below the craft. This shot reveals the cargo loading bay at the rear of the crew compartment, with another human figure inserted on the loading platform for size comparison. Outward-swinging restricted-motion (preventing inward forcing) airlock doors prevent weapons fire from penetrating the craft from the rear, but also allows for the rapid loading or unloading of cargo into the bay in the back of the ship, behind the living compartment. Cargo floodlights can be seen on the lower aft left quarter as a small rectangular box with a curved lamp inset, and an identical floodlight above the cargo door, for illumination under dark conditions, lighting the entire interior of the ship's aft canopy and providing ground lighting on either side of the ship. On the underside of the vehicle is the variable landing strut, which can be repositioned either forward or backward from the center of the craft, depending on the vessel's center of gravity, allowing for more stable landings. The rest of the ship is held upright on landing by the massive outboard engines, which rotate downward both to assist with atmospheric flight and to serve as giant landing "legs" for the surveyor. By positioning the engines into a downward orientation, this configuration also allows for rapid liftoff in perfect VTOL fashion, negating the need for any forward momentum to achieve escape velocity. The only vehicle that rivals the civilian Journeyman for blastoff time is the military-owned NDC TT-14 Dropship, which is capable of reaching 1 km engagement-zone escape height within eight seconds, if required, albeit a gut-wrenching experience for the passengers.

In both shots, the Nova Technologies Refractor array can be seen as a set of plates striped alongside the vessel's hull, the generators of the specialized graviton-magnetic field, not to be confused with the larger and simpler armored surface panels affixed to the ship's midsection.

There, I hope that gives you something to chew on for a while; I still need to finish the engines.

Very impressive. The prettiest thing shown in this thread so far.

I'm glad you're back! I've been looking forward to your plugin since you started working on it over at evnova.net, and I hated the idea that you were not working on it.

Your ship is really cool! I hope you have more coming.

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