Open Source TC

Public Plug-in Project

This topic is to here to facilitate the discussion and serve as the medium of communication for the to-be named public, open source TC. This project is open to the public, anyone can help out, at anytime. If you'd like to help, just read on. There's a few guidelines that is strongly recommended you follow to help keep things going smoothly.

This topic will be updated with relevant information, such as project status, file download locations, what resources are used where, and so forth. It will probably get pretty long after some time, but to keep minor issues such as resource ID conflicts from slowing things down, keeping comprehensive information will be pretty important.

Ideas, contributions, and donations are all welcome.

Anyways, here's the present guidelines for anyone wishing to contribute. If you have any suggestions or objections regarding these, feel free to voice them.

- Original content please. In other words, nothing from Star Wars, Firefly, Star Trek, Futurama, Hitchhiker's, etc. This will be an original universe. Content from your abandoned projects, however, are always welcome.

- A general consensus needs to be present for everything we use. It can be assumed that, if nobody objects, consensus is present. However, big, important things, like a mission string, should be discussed before being added.

- Contributors and donors must be open to having others edit and modify their contributions. You may write an awesome planet description, for example, but it'd seem awkward if it didn't fit the tone and style of the rest of the text.

- Contributors and donors must also be willing to go with something they don't quite agree with. For example, if they want to add a super-powered malevolent alien species who swoops in and kills everything and the general consensus isn't for it, then they'd need to be fine not having them if they wished to continue developing. We don't want to stall the whole thing just because a couple of people disagree with something.

- None of the plans are set in stone. An idea that sounds good might not be so good later, and vice versa.

- Public discussion is key. Informing people of your progress and additions, as well as distributing them, are very important. Feedback is critical. If someone adds a weapon, it'd be best if others look at it and see if it needs anything changed about it.

- When you make a resource, please also create all directly related resources. For example, if you create a weapon, please create the outfit resource and its description. If you can, also add outfit graphics, weapon sprites, and firing sounds. If you can't, then please use obvious placeholders. Also, please note all IDs you used in the Vital Statistics file.

- Please keep a log of your actions so we know who has done what.

Now for the vital statistics and all...

File Hosting Location: We are using a shared account at http://getdropbox.com for this TC. You'll need to go there and download the program for your operating system, make an account, and then then link your computer to it. Then just give me or someone else with main account access the email address you use and I'll send you a shared folder invite.

The email for the main account is ossNovaTC (at) gmail (dot) com. I'm going to hold off on making the main account accessible to everyone to avoid file wipes and having to lock out everyone to block one offender.

Please keep back-ups of the files stored locally on your computer! This account is public, so someone could come and wipe out the files in theory. If everyone has back-ups, then there's no worries of such a thing ever setting us back.

Current distribution files (Do not edit these!): Open Source TC Seed
Current development files: DU Data 1, DU Graphics, DU Essentials, ICC, Phoenix-Class Missile
Donations: Random Sounds, Point of Origin Ships, Earth Donation, Ships

General Overview of Scenario: Three-way war, most likely between human factions. Earth is involved in some important way, such as being contested, lost, depopulated, or something else..

Resources IDs used (taken from the OSTC Seed file):
boom: 128
char:
cicn: 10000-10023, 15000, 15001, 18000, 18001, 20000
colr: 128
cron:
desc: 128-136, 3000-3009, 4000-4003, 5000-5002, 10000, 10004, 10007, 10008 13000, 13001, 13004, 14000, 14001 32760-32767
DITL:
DLOG:
dude: 128-131
flet: 128
govt: 128-134
intf: 128
junk:
misn: 128-131
nebu:
oops:
outf: 128-137
pers: 128, 129
PICT: 131, 510, 700, 3000, 3001, 3004, 5000, 5001, 5004, 6000-6009 7500-7508, 7600-7608, 8000, 8010, 8020, 8021, 8030-8032, 8050-8055, 8060-8065, 8080, 8081, 8100, 8500-8533, 8540-8543, 8550-8553, 8560-8563, 9000, 10002, 10004, 10034, 10059, 11010, 11014, 20129
rank:
rle8: 200, 500, 700, 800, 1000, 1126, 1400, 1600, 2000, 4000
rleD: 200-203, 214, 301-303 500, 700, 800, 1000, 1008, 1126, 1400, 1600, 2000, 2003-2005, 2010, 2034, 2059, 4000, 4032, 4033
roid:
shan: 128-132, 895
ship: 128-132
snd: 128-130, 150-154, 200, 201, 211, 301, 302, 370, 371, 400, 600-603
spĂŻn: 400, 500-504, 600-610, 650, 700, 800, 1000, 1003-1005, 1010, 1034, 1059, 3000-3008
spob: 128-136
STR:
STR#: 128, 130, 134, 138, 150, 1000, 1100, 2002, 3000-3002, 4000-4004, 5003, 6999, 7500-7503
syst: 128-132
vers: 1
weap: 128-132
NCBs:

Current Developers: (Please add yourself if you're not on here).

Inactive Developers: JoshTigerheart, Qaanol, Werhner, Nonconventionally Creative, 0101181920', GrayShirtNinja, Of Doom, Geek, Jacabyte, Jalisurr, Kyos

Donors: EVWeb (All Enigma graphics sans logo)

Other credits: Will be added if material created by people not a part of the boards (no longer or ever) is used.

(Darn post merging!)

Sorry for the double post, but I didn't want to muddy it with the stuff here that isn't statistics and all that (any I missed you think?)

Anyways, first, LNSU and Visitor have stuff they both can loan out that might be useful. Personally, I don't think we need a pre-defined galaxy map, mainly since I don't want to be locked into any particular size. I'd rather create systems as we need them so the galaxy naturally grows to the appropriate size. But the other stuff could prove useful and give us a bit of a jump start, even if we were to scrap all of it in the long run.

Anyways, here's a few scenario ideas I've come up with. Feel free to comment on them and voice your own.

  • A true three-way war. Not like Nova's vague three-way conflict, but total war more like EVO's strands. Could be between multiple human factions, or have aliens thrown in. Or even have each side mixed of humans and aliens. In this scenario, I'd be neat if none of the sides were ethically superior, but rather each has their high points and low points so that none can be called either good or evil. Naturally, the player could work for any of the three sides.

  • Another galaxy, arguably more unified. There's a government, but everything is really controlled by large, powerful corporations. Specifically, two powerful corporations. These two corporations control their own fleets and might as well be considered governments for all intents and purposes. They fight to get a monopoly on the market. The player could work for either side or perhaps other groups who don't like companies with so much power.

  • Alien menace from beyond, could be worked into the above or other ideas. However, not the typical evil species with powerful ships and all. Rather, something like a dimensional traveling species. The player will most likely never see their worlds, if they have any at all. They appear in systems mysteriously and attack and will certainly need to be an "Oh crap!" group for the player to fight. Could work well in other stories, appearing at a later point, perhaps as a random branch so sometimes they appear and you have to fight them, sometimes they don't.

Off the top of my head, that's all I have. We probably won't be able to do a whole lot without getting a vague idea of the scenario, even with nice donations.

As for file hosting, I'm good with whatever you guys come up with. I'm not familiar enough in the field beyond using an ordinary file hosting service, which might not be the best idea, or uploading to the addons page, which isn't advisable for something like this.

As for the seed, due my network constantly dropping my connection, I can't upload anything. Though it won't do much good at the moment and it's just an Absolute Minimum type file.

This post has been edited by JoshTigerheart : 03 February 2010 - 07:50 PM

Here is a contribution. Call it the shuttlecraft for the TC, with an upgraded version included as well for some extra visual appeal.

-3x rled's (170, 171, 270)
-2x shan's (170, 171)
-2x ship's (170, 171)

Attachments may not be the best way to have this thing work in the long run, but it'll do for now.

Werhner

Attached File(s)

hows about making the ships virus's, bacteria, etc. planets are ...something(:)). the universe, a macroscopic being. hyperjumping, traveling through the blood stream. escorts/fighters, cell replication. i'm no biologist/zoologist, so correct my poor understanding and terminology.

this is my understanding of a TC. it has to not resemble the original content. spaceships/planets resemble EV.

*Both sides have a good choice and a bad choice they've made.

Ex. Government A: Donates millions of credits to poor planets, but killed millions of people creating a super weapon that ended up killing millions of more when they tested it on xxxx.

Quote

hows about making the ships virus's, bacteria, etc. planets are ...something.

Well, if there are aliens it would end up like War of the Worlds were all the aliens died at the end because of the common cold
Now turn that to humans on other planets with alien life forms. Unless they have been there for centuries, they could not have built up an immunity.

Is the graphics top view or two-thirds view? I have a bunch of top view ships I've made. (Including Kestrels!)

I'm all for Josh's ideas on this one. Acheron actually was originally intended to go this way (I know that was mentioned in the other topic), but that plan didn't entirely work, since I hadn't wanted a whole lot of modification to my original resources and only a little while after it was released a few of us wanted to start work on an "official" expansion, and I haven't seen a whole lot be released to compliment the original files yet.

As per LNSU's suggestion, I'm setting up a Drop Box for file distribution. 2 gigs of space is all we'll need. Once things are set up (which will take some time since I have to download the program on this network's 11 mbps), I'll update the main post (which got merged with my second post. That's rather annoying).

Interesting idea Tycho, but it may be difficult to pull off. We'll see what others think.

What angle we have graphics on could be a point of discussion. Whatever we choose, we'll need to stick with it for consistency.

The ship looks nice Werhner. Remains to be seen were it might be used though.

Could people posting in this topic please indicate whether they'll be working on this project as a dev, donating resources, or just shooting ideas?

Edit: Everything is set-up. Please read the main post for getting connected with the account.

This post has been edited by JoshTigerheart : 16 October 2008 - 11:30 AM

I think something like a cold war in space scenario could be pulled off quite nicely, except without all the deaths of millions of peoples and such. One government could develop some type of super weapon they could fit on a scoutship and deploy anywhere in the universe, and two sides form. The government with the super weapon would be vastly out numbered by the larger confederation, with the only thing preventing them from being taken over being the super weapon.

And guess where the player comes in? He/she could either help the nation with the super weapon, or the confederation. A politically complex situation. 🙂

EVN Firefly was originally being developed this way. Technically it still is, although some aspects of it have become developer-private.

It gave the project a really good jump-start, but ultimately you have to have a single point of editing in order to maintain a consistent voice.

I have a few problems with this idea that bear mentioning, I think. I'm not deliberately trying to crush any newfound spirit of determination in the evdc, or negatively influence any opinions about this plug or anyone's desire to work on it, but here it goes. I am not going to pull any punches either, and, please know that I hold all of you with whom I have shared this game and these forums with for over six years in the highest regard and in the greatest respect.

The very distributed nature of this idea will lead to two difficulties:

First , people are going to have to take time off actually working on it in order to set up web space, a central server or whatnot ever would hold the files, eventually a forum or website, etc. As far as I know the only released plugin that actually had it's own little website and forums was the Arpias, while I had to stop looking though my bookmarks to find the links to all of the unreleased TC/Plug websites and forums that I was going to list here for people to browse through. It's a surprisingly large number, and I remember taking part in animated discussions on many of those boards and even contributed to some of the plugs/TCs that will never see the light of day. Speaking for myself, I have found that having to deal with forums, public progress logs, websites and community involvement to seek inspiration to continue is one of the most damaging aspects of plug creation. I have made more progress by myself, negligent of updating much of anything, on my pet TC than ever I did in the year or more that I had the backing of a fine group of people whom I have quite a bit of esteem for, sitting around on #ev3 and constantly updating and maintaining forums and progress logs and websites, trying to keep people excited enough that I'd be excited enough by it to keep on working. It's a lot of fun when everyone has their own Just Chat and B&B, and while our fans, as it were, gnash their teeth and banter about with us, we stick to our private forums and throw about ideas while simultaneously sitting on #ev3 and not really work on the plug. Tycho and I used to talk about how cool the website for Aftermath was and how somehow, KFLs' site needed to have a coolness of its' own, but now look where both of those are.
I'm not saying that websites and forums and progress logs, and, heaven forbid, sitting about on #ev3 and #kontik, is inherently bad or detrimental in the long run. But I am saying that there are much more important things to worry about when a plug or TC is being created than how awesome your website is or what CVS you are using— or even if such a thing is truly, truly required, which I don't think that it is— or the custom modified version of Solaris that you're going to use for your PHPbb forums, like actually knuckling down and doing some work on the TC or plug. I've seen all of these cool websites and custom-skinned forums and whatnot for all of these TCs and plugs and I can't help but to wonder, "Would this have been released if they put as much effort into their plug as they did on their webboard story/universe bar/whatnot or the uberawesome website?"
Adding things like CVS—es (WTF should I call that in plural???) adds yet another needless complexity. Every project, open source or not, needs and requires a leader. (If anyone really wants my opinion, I would nominate JTH because it's his idea.) Frankly I think that if we can't trust a leader, whom we would submit our created content to, to assemble and release working versions of the TC for us all to try out as we go, then frankly the idea does not cut the mustard. This is not a game engine, or any other comparable large text-based entity that is realistically able to be hosted in a way that anyone could access at any given time and work on, like an open-source piece of software, or even the open-source stories I've seen out there are, and save again to the server for others to look at and have a go at compiling. This is content- something inherently different, I think, and to make it more difficult, it's content with specific hosting and usage requirements. I don't think that a fair solution is using .rez and I don't think that even using ConText/ResStore to make editable spreadsheet versions is the answer either. As far as I am concerned the only realistic way of dealing with it is for someone willing to take on the responsibility of managing the project to locally hold and assemble it, taking the raw text or rles or whatnot sent in by the contributors and putting them into the game themselves, compiling it as it were. That way we don't need the nonsense of people trying to allocate resource ids, people stepping on each others' toes, etc, and we do gain an important asset: someone who knows the content inside and out and where it is and what it's doing in any part of the set. I don't buy the idea that this is some kind of kindergarten floor puzzle that we can all work on when we feel like it and walk away from when we're done, or just throw our stuff at when and if we feel like it (remember Nurdi, anyone?) simply out of the urge to contribute. We all want to make the coolest TC (or see one made in general) but some low responsibility, uncoordinated effort is not going to make it happen. I feel that over time it would become exponentially unwieldy and difficult to manage, so someone will suggest a new content management system, requiring everything to be converted, and with that a new website- and then we could run the latest version of PHPbb, so let's use the opportunity to update our forums, and on and on. Knuckling down and getting work done is not going to always be fun, and there's a large argument that I've heard from people before on how they stopped working on whatever because it stopped being fun. Work is hard. That's why it's called work. But it takes work to make anything good, and all the enthusiasm or open-sourcedness in the world will not make up for that fact. I've spent enough time on this point.

Second , and, to me, more importantly, is the content itself. I've already touched upon my belief that any low expectation, low responsibility, low budget as it were attempt at anything, let alone a TC, is bound to be subpar, if it's released at all. So what? you may say. We'll just make improved, better content, and have strict quality requirements. ( I will probably sound like a jerk now, and for that I'm sorry... ) Personally, I would not take the time and effort out of my busy life to bother working on this in any way if there was some, even small, chance that what I took the effort to create was subject to some kind of discretionary vote on wether or not it was to be included. I'm not trying to toot my own horn by any means— I have no released plug or anything of that nature to my credit, and I use Mechanisto , for gods' sake— but when I work I work hard and put my whole heart into what I'm doing. I'd be offended to the core of my being if for some reason, good or not, the story arc that I'd taken weeks to work on was deemed unsuitable, perhaps because while I was working the TCs ambitions or settings or some other detail had changed to such a magnitude that what I had done was now utterly incompatible with it, or because someone else had already done one that the group felt was in some way better or for any other reason, including because it was just bad despite the effort that I'd put into it. If I had bothered to spend the days it takes to render a good-sized ship on my computer for that (can't run classic on this machine and I JUST DON'T CARE about Wings3d or Blender or whatever- I like Mechanisto, but that's not here nor there) and submitted it, only to find that government X had had it's colors changed or now already had a ship of XCKEPS class or whatever and what I had done was superfluous, or, again, what I had done was just bad, I'd be a little upset.

Any project that has aspirations to be more than a rough collection of parts, barely held together by a limited, inconsistent framework, supported by more than it's own overenthusiastic developers, needs more credit to itself than this idea. If the EVDC collectively really wants to do something like this then do it right. All of this that I've written, despite how negative it all seems to me as I go back and read it again, is only my way of saying how this could be done and done well. There needs to be a leader, pure and simple, who would assemble everything and know what was missing to make a complete whole. There needs to be more than enthusiasm, and dare I say, more than a website, content management systems or any of this: there needs to be actual concrete work. I know that Josh Tigerheart said much the same thing in his original post, but once talk starts moving onto special content management systems and whatnot (and, personally, I would be willing to guarantee a project of any magnitude at all would eventually need it's own forum outside of the EVDC to get the job done- nothing like this can permanently reside in one or two topics on this board) you start talking about people putting time and effort into something other than this plug/TC idea, even though it looks as if they are. Putting together websites and forums and CVS-es is lots of fun, but anything, most especially total conversions, require so much more than fun. They need goals, strict deadlines, benchmarks and work work work: I learned this the hard way (Thanks, Dan) and I regret it- it's certainly no fun to me anymore.

Again, let me emphasize that I'm not setting out to crush this idea, as if I could, like Richard Dawkins wants to crush the idea of religion. I've felt that this needed to be said and I've fought with myself on weather or not I should. I hold Josh Tigerheart in nothing but the highest esteem, and frankly, if we want to look at any kind of measurable credibility around here, his released Colosseum is a whole lot more than my unreleased project that I cannot guarantee will ever see the light of day. If you all go about with this and something great comes of it, then guess what: I'll download and play it and congratulate you all with my greatest of complements, whatever that vague proclamation means. But I really, really feel that this is all going to be another great white wasted effort as I've outlined above unless it's put together a little better, also as I have suggested above. I have a midterm to take, so this is enough of this.

I certainly see where you're coming from with all of that. It's certainly issues that I've considered, mainly keeping everyone up to date and coordinated. Luckily, LNSU's idea of using Drop Box is nothing short of great. Everyone logs onto the same account and uploads their files to there. The files are immediately downloaded onto anyone's computer who downloaded the program for it and logs into the account (though you can disable auto-downloading) into a specified folder. It also keeps tracks of revisions and allows the restoration of deleted files. It essentially solves the file distribution problem. That, and keeping discussions on the EVDC, should take care of the whole "lets go build a website!" problem.

Content wise, I can see the problem with that. But personally, I suspect that content made specifically for the plug-in will, at worse, get edited for consistency (such as adjusting the tone of a desc). Donated stuff that's been made for other projects is most likely to not be used, since it might not work with what he have. If you were to write out a whole storyline, hours and hours worth of work, complete with missions, I'd be in the party saying we use it just so content catered for the project isn't wasted. So long as we don't hit any resource limits (and I suspect we won't get close), there'd be no reason why we couldn't have two stories for a faction should two people accidentally write one. I actually think that'd be kind of neat to have two different story possibilities for a faction. To keep people from getting hit from behind by changes is why I emphasize communication. Not even something like this will last without it.

Anyways, those are all good points. Everyone, especially those who've never developed a TC before, should really keep what rmx said in mind. I learned a lot of that on my own, (well, minus the whole thing about making awesome websites, since I never made one for CTC) even though I was expecting it. This isn't going to be a "poof" and we're done project unless we make something on the scale of Teacup. And even then that would probably take a couple of weeks at the very least (and when it comes to TC time estimates, it seems to be the most accurate when you cube your values, so make that eight weeks).

Anyways, if you haven't already, if you log onto the drop box account with the email mentioned in the top post, you should see some files: a trio of text files, two of which are copy and pastes from the top post, and one I'm using for my personal progress to keep everyone updated with what I'm doing. You'll also find the ships Wehrner donated and the "Seed" for the TC, which is essentially an Absolute Minimum type file. I'll probably wind up using that as the main plug-in file that contributions are eventually added to (barring any file splits due to size limits).

Finally, I think it might be best if I impose a deadline for scenario ideas: Friday, the 17th, 11:59 P.M. CST/UTC - 6. We should have a scenario chosen by Monday, that way we can actually get started on the resources.

I will repeat my idea from earlier in a little more detail:
You somehow are taken (escape) from Earth and are thrust into a conflict of which you know nothing at all.
Naturally, the people who find you first (and rescue you?) have some claim on your loyalty, but can you trust them?

Note that this could easily be combined with any set of actual opposing govts.

If I contribute, I'll probably mainly be doing weapons and descriptions. Should be fun, though. I think I'll devote the Inertial Compression Cannon from the Behemoth to this as well.

I'll second JTH for a/the leadership function within this project. I don't think we can be democratic on something requiring so much creativity and work done in relative isolation.

I agree with LNSU on low expectation yielding low quality. I'm not sure of the way around this, as far as structural solutions go. However, I know that seeing high quality work from other members has driven me to put a more effort into my own ship models. I'd hope that content submitters for this project would be good examples for each other, ideally driving every one to create products on the higher end of the spectrum. I suppose this sounds a little optimistic, but I think quality control of a structural or legalistic sort would choke this project.

Finally, I'm not sure about the role of this particular topic on EVDC. Is the point for us to have discussions within the post, via replies? Regardless of the answer, I'm submitting my scenario ideas at a .txt in the dropbox.

Werhner

The role of the EVDC is just for rough discussion. Anything that matters goes in the dropbox.

Regardless of how much of a dictator you want me to be or not, I still believe at least the general scenario should be open to some discussion before we settle on one, assuming we can settle in a timely manner.

By the way, I assume nc-primary is Nonconventionally Creative?

I don't have another scenario to suggest, but I do have a name: Destination Unknown. The name could stem from one of the storylines, the general theme of the TC, or from the fact that we don't know where this project is headed. Your call.

I would be glad to help with this, per free time. My main skill is writing, and I can come up with unique universe elements easily. I also have loads of MC experience from tinkering, and while I can't create a good plug from scratch because I lack the patience to build something like that alone, I can easily beta-test and fix small bugs, as well as fix grammar errors in dëscs. 🙂

Yes, nc-primary is my ubuntu install. I may also add a nc-Win2k or nc-vm for my other boots, if I work there.

@werhner, on Oct 16 2008, 04:24 PM, said in Open Source TC:

Finally, I'm not sure about the role of this particular topic on EVDC. Is the point for us to have discussions within the post, via replies? Regardless of the answer, I'm submitting my scenario ideas at a .txt in the dropbox.

Werhner

I don't see it. What's it called?

I second JacaByte's name suggestion as a codename for the working project. We can change it once we have a story.

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