Author Topic: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1  (Read 9374 times)

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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
This thread is an enjoyable read...I really dig the astropolitical landscape you're constructing.

You are just saying that because it's got so many awefully incompetent people :D

I could put in some stock shots of the Vasudan ships whose models and stats I took from the Frontlines 2334-mod - if you want that just shout...

I do! :D Actually, I'm mostly just curious which ships you ended up using. ;)

I am going to make a video/stream about that once my BA-thesis is at the printer's ... bear with me a bit because the last time I attempted something of the sort was for the Darkest Dungeon LP and that didn't work out the way I liked ("try big, fail, try again, fail better" as they say)



So... huff, huff ... time went by and I was terribly busy elsewhere (last two weeks for my BA thesis are ticking down); So I was unable to finish the backstory piece I was going to put in here...

But as a sign of life I am going to give you the bulletpoints of what I was going to write up:

1. The PVE has a huge problem with its population growth prior the outbreak of the T-V War. Compared to the ressources they have on their homeworld and technology they can muster, the Vasudan galactic civilisation is unable to reach an economic state that has any kind of sustainability. Only the rigid monarchic and aristocratic elements of the PVE were keeping it going, simply by virtue that the Emperor could command policy thought his or her ambassadors with total disregard for popular opinion.*

2. The answer to the population problem (which in reverse might rather be a depletion of ressources problem, as some voices would point out) is "found" when the subspace drive is invented and shipping people off to other celestial bodies becomes an viable option. This kickstarts a massive space flight boom on Vasuda Prime because they can now "export people" and import ressources, alleviating the pressure on their homeworld.

3. Because of the lack of ressources in the Vasudan economy, almost all colonies and outpost are forced to become self-sustaining from the start but have to remain politically bound to Vasuda Prime. This is a hard and violent process as PVE cracks down hard on any kind of separatist movement with it's freshly chartered Navy. The only reason this policy doesn't fall before the T-V War is the general consensus on Vasuda Prime (where the decisions get made) that any kind of separation from the homeworld might lead to a blowback effect that once more can bring the Vasudan civilisation to the brink of self-extinction (again).

4. When first contact with the Terrans is made, they are recognized as possible threat but systems in-between Sol and Vasuda are judged to be space enough for either side to coexist right now. There is even some political movement to redirect the expansion of the PVE away from the jump nodes leading to Terran space, but it never gains any viable support because of a mixture of arguments (Terran subspace-capable ships are up until that point not in mass-production; the GTA is still more a joint space-agency of Earth's nations then their government**; there is thought to be ample to time to settle any dispute; the PVN apparently has a technological and structural leg-up on the GTA, so even if it comes to war the PVN should be able to win right out of the gate***; etc etc and more)

* A distribution of power that reverts itself after the Antares Accords, which are followed by a rapid-fire succession of Emperors
** As far as OSaM is concerned that only changes with the T-V War not beforehand, especially in the wake of the Antares Accords (which are a huge embarrassment for the civilian leadership of the GTA)
*** As far as OSaM is concerned that was an accurate assessment until the GTA began building ships-of-the-line, especially the GTC Ratatoskr-class, which were build with fighting the PVN in specifically in mind.



More and better, once I am done with my thesis
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 01:30:46 pm by 0rph3u5 »
Set out to correct the world's wrongs and you will most certainly add to them.

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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Bad news, the mod-pack exploded into my face recently... so I have to perform some rollback and see what exactly didn't work
Set out to correct the world's wrongs and you will most certainly add to them.

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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Alright ... so here I am again with no progress update ... this is mostly because this project requires a lot of writing on different scales and different timelines, since a generational dynamic is part of this project. And of course I had to set different priorities earlier this year and when I tried to get back in just now I managed to give myself writer's block through the amount of information I had to reabsorb (and my "process" is not very tidy or clean-cut. Oftentimes I can't even follow a line of thought from earlier on the same day :rolleyes:)

But since this project is not dead, I think it is a good exercise for myself and might be an interesting read for all of you to go back in time and revisit the genesis of the idea behind Of Shivans and Men, with a little retrospective.

Workings of the Warp and the Intermediaries

Back when I got into FS2 modding here at HLP, I came through The Babylon Project back in touch with the FS-universe. Originally I sought out Freespace as a setting only for its lack of "moving parts": Unlike much of the Sci-Fi I read and watch there is not a lot of internal mechanics in the explicit words of it. While having my fun with the universe of Babylon 5 I always had to observe a number of rules and plot points coming from the source material. Freespace was -while not devoid of complexities- easily accessible and offered quite a bit a "canvas space" to create my own fan-fiction niche.

When I set out I overreached by a great margin, starting a project titled "Workings of the Warp" (WotW). One of the big points behind WotW was the idea that through the destruction of Capella by a Shivan Subspace Weapon the doors for a new understanding of the subspace technology was being opened to the GTVA, which then in turn would be kickstarted as their experiments into these new technologies would bring about another threat to the GTVA: the Constructors.

The backstroy behind these machines and their purpose is inconsequential right now (especially since the first iterations of the ideas behind them were rather silly), but to realise what I had in mind I imagined the conflict between the Constructors and the GTVA as such a devastating loss for the Terran-Vasudan-side - only limited in its scale since the Constructors were in fact not a military force and so not bound by military directives (which is what kept them from continuing a conflict).

As part of a GTVA-comeback I imagined the GTVA going through several different methods, including seeking to contact the Shivans for aid and protection. I scrapped a lot of ideas in that vein, simply because many of them would have detracted from the mystery surrounding the Shivans. But one basic idea stuck around: that any interaction between the Shivans and the GTVA would be indirect, moderated by a circle of persons called the "Intermediaries".

The first "Intermediary"of course was Aken Bosch, which since the character is not my own, would work with extensively. But since the number and names of the officers which accompanied Bosch on the shivan transport were never made explicit, I dared to insert some of my own creation in there. This added another set of problems: The canon about the NTF made it pretty clear that none of the rebels were "nice people". In turn did not deliver much of a motive why officers (most of which served during the Great War) would cooperate with the Shivans - there were just too many obstacles I could imagine for a fruitful relationship between Terrans and Shivans.
In short, there was so little there that would explain the inner workings of any NTF character besides Bosch. So I had to start to flesh out some ideas that would turn out at least one character with which interaction would not feel forced.

Writing there quickly became a runaway project of its own - even spawning a spin-off project called The Lost Generation (Link to mission dump) - and the basic ideas formulated there will feed into Of Shivans and Men.

That is not to say that this is going to be a project that will turn into NTF somehow into a force for good but rather illuminate why it might have been easy to turn away from the GTVA ... as for the particulars, you will just have to see :P
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Offline woutersmits

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Why do. You stop your priviewed projacts its fun just to go on
Can you finish this for real or you gonna dunp agein
Same as other projacts of yours

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Why do. You stop your priviewed projacts its fun just to go on
Can you finish this for real or you gonna dunp agein
Same as other projacts of yours

I thought long and hard about the answer to this one, and not just because of the language barrier...

I stopped other projects because they were not working, not on a creative level and not on a workload level, if you factor in that real life also has it's element to throw roadblocks at one (I am a rather private person, so you have to go with that vague answer)...

As for Of Shivans and Men I am very committed to this project, more so than to any other project before. The reason for that is acutally two-fold:


1. In the past two years I matured both personally and as a story-teller. I left much of my childish happy-go-lucky appraoch to story-telling behind and got far more serious about it, same goes for my otherwise very preachy attitude when I was trying make a point (or the simulacra of that which my younger self thought of).


2. During the development of Of Shivans and Men "real world issues" made the point I am thinking of putting into the campaign(s) more urgent, in a bittersweet twist. You see, when I was starting out with the writing of Of Shivans and Men I was working my way towards the topic from the angle most familiar to me: Class-struggle (e.g. in the fluff piece here; Styling the Vasudans -from a Terran perspecitive- as "unwahsed rabble" takes a lot of inspiration from the "distaste" "some elites" of the 19th century expressed in face of social development of their time, including but not limited to the mass-migration into cities and resulting bad conditions). That was in part because I am more familiar with the rhetoric but also because I am more attuned to subject matter - from national pride to nationalism, these have always been a closed book to me and so I shied away from emulating those. But thanks to the misfortune and unfortunate situation of the refugees coming to Europe during this past year and the response of the various publics, I gained new insights into the subject and stylings of self-proclaimed "cultural warriors". (I still find their reasonings and world views hard to access and non of their arguments stick with me, but for the academic exercise I at least have enought data to go foward)

While capitilizing from a situation I find difficult to witness (to say the least) for "my little project" makes me feel bad in many distinct ways (including but not limited to my own suitability as moral being), I also want to take the opportunity to make a point. This does not mean this is going to be a holier-than-you morality tale or a heavy-handed-think-piece (at least that is what I hope will come out of it, you can always fail your goals). That is why I am glad that I have choosen to take an episodic appraoch (even if I have been forced to reconsider the nature of an "episode" for narrative purposed), so I can respond to critcism and make adjustments as I see fit.


Now, I am down to hoping this doesn't explode into my face.


And next time, I will come back to the scheduled musings about "what consitutes an episode"...



EDIT: 16-01-16

an un-scheudled and sneaky preview: if you thought the LL-9 and the ML-11 were bad, wait for the LL-4c:
Quote from: osam-wep.tbl
After the LL-4 for was pulled from military service in favour of the ML-10 and the LL-9, the GTA authorised Crayven Cooperation to produce a de-militarized versions of the LL-4 for civilian use. The civilian version of LL-4 lacks two main features of the military version: it has no overload suppressors - resulting in a low and unreliable rate of fire - and it has no stabilizer assembly - causing every shot to rock the craft it is mounted on. Civilian pilots usually accept this flaw as the alternative is using weapons that are designed to be mounted on Transports or Freighters, cutting in the space available for life-support and fuel.

SECURITY ALERT: ALL GTA SECURITY PERSONEL ARE ADVISED THAT THE CRAYVEN COOPERATION SHIPPED AN UNKNOWN QUANTITY OF ''LL-4c'' TO THE PVN PRIOR THE RE-PATROISATION OF THE COMPANY. THE PVN MIGHT ISSUE THE WEAPON TO TERRAN NON-COMBATANTS AS PART OF PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED. ELIMINATION OF ANY CHACES OF ''LL-4c'' UNDER VASUDAN CONTROL IS A CATEGORY C-OBJECTIVE.
(Note: Features of the LL-4c will require a 3.7.3 build to work, so the weapon is NOT balanced yet)

A cookie to the first one who comes up with a solution why a laser weapon has recoil :D

Also, next time will feature a preview of the Mehku Enterprises Laertes-fighter which will surely make a lot of you do this:  :banghead: (take comfort that it is not the Anticlea-fighter which would have too poor stats to even be viable ;) )
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 02:53:22 pm by 0rph3u5 »
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Crayven Corporation, now that sounds familiar.  ;7

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
The preview for the Laertes took a while because a) I have not figured out a bug that applies to its external primary weapons (they keep disappearing at some point) and b) I have not looked at the shine map which in turn makes them look like something Francisco Scaramanga would equip his personal craft with. (both you will see in the screenshots featured below).



The Laertes-class Fighter


The Laertes without external primary weapons mounted

After the 2324 March Stalemate the PVE was faced with a difficult situation: While the conflict had been contained to a two key-systems (namely Beta Aquilae and Sirius) the rapid expansion policy of the GTA following the Antares Accords had left dozens of outposts in these very systems and more which were now separated from the Terran core worlds. The PVN entered the situation that they were legally bound to police and support these outpost, most of GTA had been maintaining these outposts at a loss to maintain their claims.

The Three Pillar Offensive of the 2322/23 had already pushed the ability of the Vasudan economy to its limits. The large scale militarization of civilian ships had killed the once booming interstellar trade and with it pushed several smaller colonies and outposts in Vega and Altair to the brink of collapse, as local economies based on ressource export struggled. On top of that, political will in the vasudan Parliament for the Fleet Modernisation Plan was still fragile after the Three Pillar Offensive had proven what commentors (both contemporary and current) called "a victory of tactics over technology".

Now allocating funds and personnel to police the aliens within their territory was close to political suicide for some, but the consequences of hostile action or inaction was deemed too risky - especially that the PVE had only been saved by the faltering political support for continued warfare after the Battle for Beta Aquilae 2321. Worse still, calling for support from the GTA would reveal just how unbalanced the situation in the PVE was and might even have risked the integrity of the Antares Accords, as the inability of the PVE could have been maliciously interpreted as unwillingness to comply with the treaty.

Help came from an unexpected direction: Many terran settlers were keenly aware that the GTA military and intelligence divisions had all but seized control over the public opinion back home. Turing the Antares Accords into a "stab in the back of the victorious troops" and fresh memory of the vasudan offensive the GTA Admiralty had turned the public that had stalled after the victory in Beta Aquilae to their side.
While the hard militarization of Earth society and Terran culture in general was still years in the future, key figures from the larger outposts in Capella and Epsilon Pegasi did not feel beholden to their ties to militarizing Earth. They contacted the PVE with plans that if the PVN would provide the ships for the task the Terran settlers would police and support themselves. Since Mekhu Enterprises had lost out on most of the defense contracts in favour of the Akheton Cooperation, Neema Applied Robotics and Sahr Cooperation, the company lobbied for the proposal from within hoping for fresh contracts - a move that paid off handsomely as the proposal was approved.

While Mekhu was prohibited from outfitting vasudan ship for Terran users on reasons of national security, they were allowed the manufacture a special line of ships for the Terrans to use. Even though these ships had severe limitations due to technical restrictions dictated by the PVN, the companies' engineers were able to make up for them with by building low cost units that were easily maintained. While models of transport class and beyond never gained a relevant market share, the Laertes-class single-person space-frame, introduced in 2326, became a smash hit.

In fact, it was so successful that when Mekhu Enterprises began it's collaboration with Triton Dynamics in 2335, the integration of Vasudan and Terran technologies was being tested on the Laertes-frame and the GTF Ulysses still shares a similar design.



Now that I have taken care of the fluff, on the details

The Laertes is based on PeterV's Bad Ulysses. I made some slight alternations to the model to bring it in line with other player ships, most notably reducing the number of primary weapons it can mount to 1 while mainting the two original firepoints.  The idea to use this model did not originate with me, so a special credit goes to ... someone, mostly likely Black Wolf, because he, like me, has been scouring the community for what could be good T-V era ships. (sadly I can't find the thread, so I can't tell for sure)


The Laertes WITH external primary weapons mounted - please note external primary weapon models may be subject to change

As for the ship's stats and armament: they may still change a bit (mostly because I have not finished any mission that requires you to fly it) but Laertes is designed to perform below all military combat craft. Right now it has only 80 hitpoints (by comparison: the Manticore has 100, the Anubis has 160, the Nhu has 180), the maneuverability stats are slightly below the Anubis and it does not carry any countermeasures. The only reason it has an afterburner is for the cathartic effect of pressing the afterburner button when you are trying to go somewhere.


A view at afterburner speed and armament - may still be subject to change, especially when it comes to the secondary weapons as those will be specialized on a per-mission-basis

As a primary weapon it can only mount the LL-4c Laser which is one of the worst possible weapons - Behold:

Before:

After 30 seconds:


While the exact weapon stats may be subject to change - in fact, a feature of weapon is not yet available because it requires a 3.7.3 build - this primary weapon is bad. While it is doing additional damage to subsystems it does hardly any damage to a ships hull. This is to represent that this weapon is at least a generation behind military-grade hardware.

The secondary weapons are all mission specific: e.g. the SAR version the Laertis may feature a limited use sealant system instead of missiles, so it can keep going even despite envoirmental dangers.


The Laertes is by all means intentionally designed to be bad. For one, it is put remind you that when you are flying a Laertes you are NOT a military pilot but just someone who needs to get from point A to point B. Secondly, this is to encourage you to seek other avenues of gameplay to succeed without upsetting balancing everywhere else - turning a GTSG Watchdog into a mortal enemy should encourage you to e.g. take advantage of an EMP-generator. Thirdly, Of Shivans and Men is set in time periods during which you might not be invested in the fighting going on around you - a rebel who escaped the military dictatorship that the GTA eventually will become might not have a reason to fight with or against the PVN. It is not a very smart design choice, but I hope it remains one that can be understood.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 07:30:54 pm by 0rph3u5 »
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Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
I really like it, especially with new icon. I'm impressed how big story you can pack inside a single Ulysses refit :P
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Offline starlord

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Will you also fracture the anticlea?

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
I really like it, especially with new icon. I'm impressed how big story you can pack inside a single Ulysses refit :P

The icon is included in the original download, I am just using it

As for the story, much trickels down from other sources, and I am not very content with that piece BTW

Will you also fracture the anticlea?

No, there are no plans to feature the Anticlea in anything but the background text and may the dialogue - Of Shivans and Men takes place too far from the Terran core systems (Sol, Delta Serpentis etc.) for it to be a viable inclusion


And in the main news, Black Wolf over at Frontlines made his pre-cruiser GTGs Titan avalible ... I had one variant of the ship for some time and can now feature the screenshots with it, so expect more of those soon to come
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Fresh new screenshots:






ps. please keep in mind that I am like 10 houres ahead of HLP
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Offline tomimaki

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Wait... Shadows, Centauri and Narns? :wtf:

Ah, nvm.  :o
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 06:01:47 pm by tomimaki »

 

Offline Lepanto

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
...Huh. Those images don't seem to be directly related to the socioeconomic plights of Terran warmongering and Vasudan poverty. Call it a hunch. :p

Call me intrigued.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
So, I pulled some of my old images for a little prank on April Fools; the first two are from proof-of-concept-stuff I did for The Babylon Project a while back, both of which had some bearing on how I am going to do some stuff with Of Shivans and Men, and the thrid one is a ghost of campaigns both past and future :D

But you are not around to hear me go on and on about weird stuff about my evolution as a FREDer, so let's have some progress updates:

Pythia's New Robes?


Current Mock-up for the GTF Pythia

I have been trying to make the Pythia more visually distinct from the stock Apollo, in recent weeks. It is all rather complicated because the Apollo still has a very low resolution UV-map... with weird angles all over...
The current mock-up that I like best is based on the "Lt. Ash"-skin but with a green rather than a red palette, I switched the glowpoint-pattern from Blue & Red to Green & Yellow.

So, maybe just maybe if someone could go over and do something about the HTL Apollo that has been dormant for a period of ... almost three years. That would be much appricated.

While we are on the subject of the Pythia...

Cruiser on Cruiser-combat


A Ratatoskr and a Khepri fighting

If the fight in the picture above seems one sides to you, that's because it is. This is not the problem - the problem is that is not very engaging to watch, let alone interact with...

The previous idea for the implimentation of the Pythia was, to have the Bombers overwhelm the enemy turrets with changing barrages of missiles, the Siren (which would be a decoy) and the Sphinx (which would do damage). (This came from the concept that Pythias operated in pairs, with one bomber carrying the LL-9 and the other having the ML-11 for a primary, which is still intact) The big drawback of course is that it doesn't work with Cruisers that have only four to six turrets without looking like too much effort for the task at hand - it would work with FS2-era ships which have more guns (I bet we are going to see somthing like that in Blue Planet at some point).

So right now I am looking into the options of breaking up the Cruiser on Cruiser-combat model without having to re-introduce ships and give a new way to interact with them (thanksfully no mission depends on it, the player's interaction with C-on-C so far was been more of a distraction than a gameplay staple) ... and I already think I found a solution, I just have to make it look good and not at all like a beam canon.



I promised a look into what content is coming, and why it is taking so long ... I am sorry but I am stuck on the issue what to present you without going into spoiler territory. But you can expect it along with another small update in June. There will be no update in May because I will be very busy that month.

And last but not least, I urge you to check in with the Memories of the Great War-test, I have yet no testers for. Also expect that update to drop around May 7th.



EDIT 22/04/16: oh forgot this:

We did not mourn for the nation states, because their deaths made us whole. We did not mourn for the arts, for with their end our world became whole. We did not mourn for free enterprise, for it's death made us free.
- anonymous, published in 2326
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 05:39:43 am by 0rph3u5 »
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Offline Lykurgos88

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Cool, keep up the good work!  :pimp:

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
"In our war three things are certain: Death, Deception and stupid plans"
- GTA Fighter Pilot Maxine "Dropkick" Skrocki


I am back on track ... updates will arrive soon ...
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 06:52:04 am by 0rph3u5 »
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Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
:bump:

Any updates :D?
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
Any updates :D?

Sorry but setting up my Patreon took forever /joke (not I don't have a Patreon, that would be silly considering I am neither prolific nor productive enough to deserve such a plattfrom. But I am accepting ceremonial offerings of chocolate...)

Joke aside, I still owe you all a look into what is going on and why I threw my original time table far out of the window.... so here goes....



Starting with some pictures, the GTA's mid war line-up has recieved two additional entires:


The GTB (classification ex-post) Jason is great-granddad of the infamous Trebuchet-sweeps and distant cousin to the bombers of the Great War. The PVN's numerical superiority (the Vasudans were able to re-fit large numbers of civilian craft from their colonisation and exploration programms for combat assignments, while the GTA developed its Navy from scratch) was main problem in early war and as rememdy the Jason was deployed. A barely maneuverable missile-boat which could attack multiple targets from long range, utilizing it's jump drive to deploy and disengage with the terran cruisers. However the improvements made to missile countermeasures for fighters and over small craft reduced the advantages of Jason, and the introduction of the PVF Horus made the Jason obsolete.

Gameplaywise, the Jason is meant to be a long range threat which has to be out-run rather than fought. Sadly, I had to learn that giving it a missile which uses the multi-locking code, which had been previewed by Wings of Dawn, cannot be done with the Trunk build of FSO, as the code is not in the trunk for a (moderately) good reason. Currently I am working to have the Jason be just as much a menace without the beeping from the lock-on warning.


The GTF Medea is the first generation terran interceptor/dogfighter, still in use during the year 2327 but after that pretty much delegated to police duty. Originally fighters were not part of the GTA strategy (they relied more on cruisers) but the events of the war turned that plan on its head. The Medea is hardly comparable with Great War-era interceptors and outclassed by them.

Gameplaywise, the Medea is straight forward, as it is a standard fighter. However you might encounter them a few times in a police role (with Disruptors in one of their primary banks), which might proove a new kind threat to the Laertes. So if you see a Centaur alongside a Medea you might want to protect your engines ;)

ps. a certain someone still hasn't replied if they have updated textures for this model... please do.

Last but not least, I would like to encourage you to applaud community member fightermedic for his work on the High-Poly Apollo. I certainly would like to update the Pythia to that model :D



Now there is still the issue of the original timetable being dead, a topic I wanted to address for some time but never quite got around to. Finally here goes:

Originally I was going to release Of Shivans and Men in (mostly) self-contained mini-campaign installments one-by-one, which would be tied together by common plot-points and characters. That had a few advantages however also a few major challanges, most namely a problem of payoff and retaining audience focus. At one point I decided to bundle two stories together, which for Episode 1 are now four stories (with the working titles "Fall from Grace", "A view from low places", "Strange Alliances" and "Tiamat").

However another problem came along with another goal I had set myself: I wanted to portrait both sides of the T-V War and the founding of GTVA from their own vantage points. And considering the "Vasudans"-shelf in the Freespace Canon is kinda empty, I had to make up some stuff, mostly to make plot points of the original Freespace matter in context of my story/-ies (e.g. the Destruction of Vasuda Prime). Creating new elements was not the problem, I am well read and go plenty of material to re-mix and work with. The catch was exposition, as in introducing the new elements to the player which would not be new elements to characters in-universe (e.g. an Imperial Vasudan would at least know about Keh'Est and general culture of its people, while the player would not know.)

That is why I pushed the Vasudan stories back and further back again, while still spending a good chunk of time writing the details that will later make up the background for those stories. Some of this you will see in "Tiamat".



And to close out, I would like you to tell what I am doing now (apart from debuging for Inferno): Prototyping

As mentioned earlier, I re-shuffled what content is going to release. This has forced me to focus on gameplay issues I did push ahead of myself for a good reason: FS was not made for a civilian scenario (like "Tiamat" or "A view from low placed") and translating non-combat activities into gameplay that is not boring (e.g. flying waypoints for X minutes) is a problem, so I have been and am currently throwing ideas against the wall and see what works. This is a slower and more deliberate process than my usual "dumb the pieces on the floor and see what fits" approach to FREDing, but I hope to create something that breaks the mold of standard FS gameplay while remaining entertaining.

So for everything I could show you now, there is at least one (if not half a dozen) gameplay tests that did not make the cut for various reasons. Considering I had to put a little effort into some of these before scrapping them whole. Some of that isn't even visually all that interesting so showing them really doesn't do much. But doing so is slowing down my process quite a bit.
Set out to correct the world's wrongs and you will most certainly add to them.

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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
So I have gone a while without an update ... but as always there is a certain method to my ''madness'' ...

As for the current progress, I am working at another release at the moment - so, OSaM is on the backbruner for a bit. More on that at a later date...

But progress is being made and because that is so I took some time today to try a new kind of format for introducing elements of the OSaM fiction:


Announcer:   You are listening to the Galactic Terran News Network. As a public service we provide you with first rate information about news stories from all settled worlds as well as the most extensive library of background information available in GTVA space. The GTNN’s service is provided to you by the GTVA Office of Public Education to all citizens of the GTVA for free.

Gutierrez:   Welcome, listeners, I am Alan Gutierrez and this is the Modern History Broadcast of the GTNN. For this edition of our broadcast I am joined by Carmen Simek, fellow of the Cygnus Prime’s New Talin University and sitting professor of Vasudan History. Thank you for joining our programme today, Carmen.

Simek:   Thank you for having me, Alan.

Gutierrez:   On the day this broadcast becomes available to the public, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Seize Fire between the GTA and PVN on January 23rd 2335, which paved the way for the lasting alliance between the Terrans and Vasudans. As such the editors of the GTNN and I have chosen to honour the occasion with an ongoing series about often untold aspects of the Vasudan people.
Carmen, in your opinion, is it surprising that even after this amount of time, still so little is known about the Vasudan people in general public?

Simek:   It is not. On Earth complete and accurate information about the many cultures was not common for much of our history. When at the end of 20th century we received the first publicly accessible information sphere, getting accurate knowledge of a foreign culture, even one that was globally speaking ‘in your neighbourhood’ was still nearly impossible.

With the Vasudans, we have to first cut through the rigid control of information the Intelligence branch of the GTA had. Contact with the Vasudans without supervision of a GTA officers was de facto illegal under the Admiralty Board’s Standing Order concerning espionage. This then left of us with a large junk heap of misinformation and perpetuated stereotypes.

Gutierrez:   But the GTI has been disbanded for decades now and in that time our interactions with the Vasudan have become more frequent and intense as we build a strong and lasting alliance.

Simek:   It is indeed so that we, on grand scale, interact more with the Vasudan economy and culture than we did 20 years ago. However the network of persons which facilities the exchange between Terrans and Vasudans has been largely unchanged. There is still a number of core spokespeople and ambassadors we turn to when a vasudan matter warrants explaination, and many of these served the GTA. And today these people still act as gatekeepers in exchanges with Vasudans.

But it is not only that. Actually many of the organisations that foster Terran-Vasudan relations are very open when it comes to membership and participation. There are little hurdles for a child from as far away as Luyten to travel and visit a Vasudan colony. Even more so if like at Swiss Plains Exclave it is actively supported by the local administration for people from all over to come and visit.

Gutierrez:   That sounds amazing but does it explain it all?

Simek:   Of course not. But a colleague of mine Tomas Valerik would be more suited to talk about why the Terran society mostly looked inward after the Great War. There seemed not be so much curiosity about the Vasudan people, when big problems at home were still unresolved.

Gutierrez:   Then let us start to remedy the situation. What is, in your opinion, the most pressing misconception about the Vasudans that needs to be dispelled?

Simek:   The Imperial Hegemony. And I can say that without a doubt.

Gutierrez:   That is a very emphatic statement coming from a leading voice in the field. What exactly do you mean by that?

Simek:   It is the misconception that all Vasudans are part of the Imperial culture. It all started with the GTSC Horizons:

When the Horizons first made contact with a Vasudan ship, they encountered the Emboldened Seeker, which was only technically a ship of the Parliamentary Vasudan Navy. The crew of the Seeker themselves did not reciprocate the contact attempts of the Horizons but only a day after the initial contact another Vasudan ship arrived at the scene, the Diligence. The crew of the Diligence were much friendlier and open towards the crew of the Horizons.

These Vasudans of course were not only members of the PVN but also Imperial Vasudans, while the crew of the Seeker had been keh’Estian. Since the encounter with the Imperial Vasudan yielded a success story, and produced all the nice, smooth media images both parties took home.

Going forward the representatives of the GTA only ever interacted with officials of the Parliamentary Vasudan Empire. These were also exclusively Imperials. That way Imperial Vasudan became equal with Vasudan in public consciousness.

Gutierrez:   But there must have been contacts with other Vasudan cultures or ethnicities that dispelled that notion. You said yourself that the crew of the Emboldened Seeker were not Imperials.

Simek:   Not exactly. At the end of the 22nd century Vasuda Prime had a host global problems, most pressingly the depletion of natural resources. For the resolution of these large-scale problems many governments on the Planet turned towards the Imperium, which at the time had the most advanced infrastructure for space flight. The Imperium was elevated from a prominent power to a super power through union with some and alliance with others.

As part of the exchange many of the cultural institutions of the Imperium became pervasive across the planet. Not everyone of course became an orthodox royalist but the principle of aekie'shep'uotadan became widely accepted, even if cultures like Tf-Xva’Syuu or Covenants of Keh’Est still maintained their identity. That’s why the contact with Emboldened Seeker was so cold, the keh’estian crew aboard passed the contact with strange aliens to a higher authority closer the Imperium’s shep as they were required in their way of thinking.

Gutierrez:   But isn’t that principle still in effect: Emperor Konsu II is a central figure in politics of the GTVA and widely considered an authority even in GTVA General Assembly. For example, no vasudan Assembly Representative has ever voted against a proposal brought forth by the Emperor.

Simek:   That is true. But the situation after the destruction of Vasuda Prime is much different than it was before. For example, the culture of Keh’Est only lives on in the Vega colonies, with a population in the low hundred thousand. The cities of the Shifting Sea, all founded from the metropolis of Keh’Est over a period of ten thousand years, however were major population centres – their 1,8 billion inhabitants accounting for greatest group remaining on the planet. Cultures like Tf-Xva’Syuu which were even more rooted in their homeland, have almost completely gone extinct and only live on in memory because because from them emerged heroic figures like Iaa’vh.

Please don’t mistake my position either. After the death of four billion people and destruction of much of their culture, the Vasudans apparently needed a leader. It was fortunate for them that Konsu II emerged as such after the Succession Crisis. But because the Vasudan Emperor is now a prominent figure and the culture his office is part of, were dominant for the past 150 years, it doesn’t follow that the Vasudans are a monolithic block.

Like any culture and any society they are a collection of diverse and often wonderful individuals who have come together to a common end. We should not belittle them all by thinking them uniform.


[...]



ps. I just noticed the adjective for "member of the Tf-Xva'Syuu culture, being of the Tf-Xva'Syuu culture" was lost somewhere in a revision. It's "syuutan".
Don't ask me for a pronounciation guide ATM.
Set out to correct the world's wrongs and you will most certainly add to them.

"...because they are not Dragons."

"... The sandwich saved me!"

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Announcement: Of Shivans and Men, Episode 1
I like it! First contact event and internal structure of vasudan society was never explained well in any projects. Especialy when both GTA and PVN were explained as monolithic by original FS. Both need some colors :yes:
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