Author Topic: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft  (Read 2712 times)

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Offline PVD_Hope

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
The story is fine as is. The plot however needs a bit of work, which is currently what is going on behind the scenes.


This is interesting, I've never heard a distinction between story and plot. Could you explain? I should know for my own mod's sake... :P
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
I've never heard a distinction between story and plot. Could you explain? I should know for my own mod's sake... :P

That's not suprising considering plot and story are used interchangeably often.

A plot is what structures a story, turns it from a sequence of events into a narrative. There is a famous destinction (wikipedia tells me it's a quote from E. M. Forster):
- "The king died and then the queen died" qualifies as a story
- "The king died, and then the queen died of grief" qualifies as a plot

One thing to remember is that not every story must have a plot, but most do - it's just the way we usually think.
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
This has been staring me down from my door far too long:


All mission titles are WIP and maybe subject to change.

Who can say what it is going to look like after this long weekend?



And a long overdue shout-out to HLP-user xenocartographer who has agreed to help out with the plot and the new fiction. Hopefully quelling my lingering fears and making sure you are going to see this campaign in the near future.


Two weeks remain to ask questions....
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 05:33:50 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
"Understand please that as you stand in this hall you stand in a monument of failure. A failure that 30 years of your predecessors have sought to redeem. For 30 years ago the Shivan destroyer [...] Lucifer attacked Vasuda Prime. It decimated our people, it wiped out entire cultures and it reduced our civilisation to ash and glass.

You and your classmates were born in a time were this is irrevocable fact. To let nothing like it happen ever again has been your duty since the day you were born."


- Admiral Usor (GTVA), opening speech to the class of 2365 at the Vasudan Imperial War College



"[...] Earth had been humanity's by coincidence, not by design. For the colonies this could be different: Their worlds had been made by humanity (in a sense) and would continue to be formed by humans. The new society of the colonies, without Earth, would be build from the ground up; No cosmic coincidences, only human ability and determination would make Neo-Terra. As builders Hideo and his peers would eclipse the achievements of the Great War."



Since there were no questions I've been busy writing unlockable bonus content ...
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 03:25:01 am by 0rph3u5 »
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

  

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
Production Update
I usually make these later in month but I want to accellerate the work scheulde a bit and making progress reports seems to keep me on track like it did last year. Screenshots will soon follow, esspecially since the theme is this month's screenshot contest is playing to my advantage :D

1. Mission 10 - working title "Dark Amaltheia"

Mission 10 has been notoriously difficult to get right; simply because where it stands as one of biggest battles of the campaign, but not being a climactic mission. In order to trim the fat almost a 1/5 of original content has gone out of the window, cutting away the inital 2-3 minutes of pure dialogue and an in-mission jump.


All gone.

This has happened because I am transfering some of the content I originally had planned for a fiction entry into the mission. Original dialogue and fiction would have had some overlap as it were, but the pre-mission fiction now has a very different focus so I need to re-write the dialogue. Some of it also transfers over to Missions 11 and 12 which had some inital content overlap in the dialogue (uhm, long development cycle and all). Hopefully it will be also more lean now.

It also has the advantage as it cuts one of the more bug-prone set-ups in the mission which has the actual in-mission jump into an active combat area. The NTF's 71st is now in vanguard of the assault on the Epsilon Pegasi-Capella Node, instead of reinforcing an attack in progress.

While this means that I am skipping out of one of the opportunties SCP-enhancements provide, I hope this will make the mission better in the long run.

The Mission's central feature - that it is tailored to depending on your pick between the Zeus and the Medusa for yourself - is still alive and well. Though the balance is still a bit off, as the Medusa-path seems to easier overall, it will stay the integral part of this mission.

2. Mission 13 - working title "The Good died young"

Speaking of cutting room left-overs:

HEAVY SPOILER WARNING

Hidden Text: Spoiler includes an image • Show
Spoiler:
The GTD Ithaca will no longer make an appearance in Mission 13. She has been replaced by the GTD Phoenicia in all respects.


While no longer in mission per se, I am leaving the ship and related messages in the file. They will be deactivated and hopefully that will be it bugwise

Spoiler:
The original appearance of the Ithaca and her primary squadron the GTVA's 41st Dragon Knights was a shout-out to The Lost Generation's parent campaign, Workings of the Warp. That campaigns protagonist would lead the charge to force the NTF into retreat. However as Workings of the Warp is no longer a thing, I figured to cut out the reference.

As the Phoenicia has a rather unfortunate destiny ahead of her, I figured I would give her a moment of glory here. It also helped culling the number of Orions in the campaign which would have been 6 (GTD Carthage, GTD Messana, NTD Vasa, NTD Vindicator & NTD Uhuru plus the GTD Ithaca) as opposed to 1 Colossus, 1 Hecate, 1 Typhon and 2 Hatshepsuts; something is even more pressing as the both the Aquitane, the Hedetet and the Memphis never appear in any mission of this campaign.
The GTVA's technological advantage should be more appearent now.

3. various missions

I have begun adding the conditions for the unlockable side-stories, which will flesh out aspects of the story or just provide a (hopefully) nice read. All content will be added to the Intelligence section of techroom. Currently there are some incidental clusters of unlocks (e.g. Mission 9 or Mission 12), but I hope to strech them evenly across the campaign.

No techroom-animations are planned right now, but it is something I would like to do after the inital release (just like voice acting).

4. Tables

4a. I have given the IFF system a overhaul, adding 6 new purpose build IFFs via iff_defs.tbl. Considering the original FS2 made due with just five, this happened because I no longer could make due with just the 5 for some mission. Special behavior had to be added.

4b. All tables data for the Bonus mission has been entered into respective ships- and weapons-.tbms, adding 4 new ships, including Black Wolf's GTSC Whiteside and Woomeister's/Trashman's Perseus Adv, as well as 6 new weapons exclusive to the bonus mission. SSM.tbl is in the works.

5. Squadron Logos

To keep with the current scheudle I had to cut corner here and there, so the squadron logos for the NTF's 71st and *spoilers*-squadrons will not make it in the inital release.

The logo for the 71st is a design nightmare, as it has to display the warped self-perception of the self-styled "Liberators" while not being too insensitive or too tame. (Logo designs for the NTF's 38th and 87th squadrons were easy to design in by comparision, as you will see in a post release update)

For the logo for the *spoilers*-squadron I have a very clear vision, as there is a historical example I would like to emulate. Early modern military heraldy is a bit complicated, esspecially when it mixes some very elaborate elements.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 06:59:52 am by 0rph3u5 »
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
Production Update

1. Integration of FuryAI

So to deal with complaints against mission balancing during the Beta Test in November/December I switched from retail AI to Fury AI. This has caused the expected balance upset and I am fixing/micromanaging it.

Act 1 (Mission 1-5) are already done.

I require some beta testers to help me see if things are working out. Apply here:
http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=93316.msg1848154#new


2. Targeting Helper

To prove that I have not been just pressing buttons and playing games in the forced development pause, I added a series of events to several missions in Act 2 (in which you canonically fly a Zeus) which help highlight mission critical ship-to-ship-beam turrets. Now I finally managed to debug it and it works:




3. Message box!

Thanks to Axem, the mod now features the super useful message box-script. This put dialogue front and centre. Also it will be readable regardless of resolution!


Dialogue WIP

4. Mission 11

... is on track now that xenocartographer's script to make the IFF bending happen.


5. Screenshots

... were entred in this month's Screencap Contest.

This is no new material but the AI keeps me busy with the old missions at this time.


More updates next week!
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
Production Update

1. Mission 10 is coming along fine


The NTD Vasa and the GTD Messana ready to fight for control over a jump node - the LOD settings on those Mjolnirs aren't helping.


The NTCv Jacquerie protecting a NTF science cruiser (it's not the Hinton). I like my additional light sources.

Quote
MISSION STATISTICS
Ship Count: 65
Start Count: 1
Waypoint Count: 31
Jump Node Count: 1

Quote
#Wings      ;! 21 total
[...]
#Events      ;! 113 total

... and far from done

2. BETA TESTERS WANTED

Still looking for Beta Testers to help me sort out all the changes after the changing to FuryAI. This is really urgent as all data I previously had is practically worthless at this point.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 06:48:26 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
(cont. from previous)

3. Interface & Mainhall

Another small update:

Thanks to FreeSpaceFreak, Glamep and Flaming_Sword, I know have access to an almost complete set of NTF-specific interface art (the fiction viewer is missing but I can fix that until release)  :yes:

And Mjn.Mixeal's "Soyakaze" mainhall is now working  :yes:

4. Sample fiction

I think you know this one....

Quote
Excerpt from a declassified GTVI report

> Begin Excerpt

The goal of Operation ''Alley Cat'' was determine the current status of the ETAK device(s) as well as to re-evaluate the viability of the ETAK technology as a whole in response to recent developments.

While multiple operatives acquired scans of the NTF Iceni as well as supports ship, including the NTSC Hinton, NTSC Daubney and the NTT Sunder, Special Operations Command was unable to provide additional specifications on the ETAK device(s). Our understanding of the technology Admiral Bosch seeks to utilize remains limited due to the destruction of all original research materials.

In lieu of results from scans, Special Operations Command opted to capture the NTT Sunder while in transit to the Sirius-Regulus Jump Node. While this action compromised all Operatives involved the NTT Sunder was captured.

Preliminary, non-invasive investigation of the NTT Sunder's cargo however revealed that the ship was not carrying proprietary technology unique to the ETAK Project. In fact, as far as Analysis can determine the capture of transport ship had little impact on what material is being loaded onto the NTF Iceni.
This suggests that all critical components for the completion of the ETAK device(s) are already aboard the Rebel command ship or that the device has already been completed.

> End Excerpt
Small note: "Analysis" is an entity within the GTVI, hence the capitialisation.

Spoiler:
If you are know thinking: "wait, the first loop of the main campaign was pointless?" - There is still something you do not know :D
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft

Moving pictures! MOVING pictures!

The mission is obviously not polished to perfection yet but here we are! (same goes for the video but embarassing problem with the capture quality I had last year are gone!)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 12:13:23 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
Production Update

1. Mission 11

Mission 11 almost done. It is going through a debugging phase at the moment. But I am once that is out of the way, I will but the balancing screws in, so to say, and add all those lovely failstates. And it will be finished!

Code: [Select]
MISSION STATISTICS
Ship Count: 59  [may increase due to balancing]
Start Count: 1
Waypoint Count: 45
Jump Node Count: 1

Code: [Select]
#Events ;! 132 total [does not include events for failstates yet]
It is also about 20 minutes long. (Yes, I am considering to add a checkpoint at the 9 minute mark, but finish first quality of life later).

2. Mission 10 - Changes to the Zeus and Medusa

As I talked before, the Mission 10 will have some alterations in response to which bomber you pick. To prevent that there cross-contamination between the archetypes I have established, I introduced a new rule to the -shp.tbm that makes a minor alteration to the loadout options available to the Zeus and Medusa:

Zeus:
- All banks can now take Hornets, previously the Zeus could only take the non-player "Hornet#Weak"
- Banks 1 and 2 can no longer take Cyclops or the non-player Cyclops#Short

Medusa:
- Banks 2 and 3 can no longer take the Stiletto II.

Giving the Zeus Hornets is to further upgrade its role a missile boat, despite its low per bank-capacity (40, 40, 40). It is maneuverable enough to do fine and the selection between 3 kinds of secondaries (including the Infyrno and Harpoon) makes it somewhat versatile.
Taking away the Cyclops from 2 banks means to restrict its maximum loadout of the torpedoes to 2, down from 6. However since there will always be plenty NTF warships around when you fly the Zeus by default, the lack of torpedoes doesn't have a critical impact. This also encourages more anti-turret and anti-subsystem play which is less frustrating than the torpedo dive bombing.

With the Medusa the change is just so you don't cheat your way around the mission rules in Mission 10 (yes, I am petty like that) but I didn't remove the Stiletto from the loadout options completely because using it against turrets is still a good away to increase your survivability. It just means that you only take in the lowest capacity bank (Bank 1 has 40, Bank 2 and 3 have 80 each), so you can still hold up to 5 for an attack.

3. Teasing you

Watch this space on the 22nd.
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
I may not have mastered the art of moving pictures yet but here is another gameplay preview!


Since the campaign is set parallel to the main Freespace 2 campaign it was quite inevitable to address where it would end. This is when the end begins.

The mission is still a bit in disarray due to the implementation of FuryAI - competent wingmen are the worst. And I am sorry that I didn't manage to show you the acrobatics the GVF Heset is capable of (especially now the FuryAI actually makes them use their ability for limited directional thrust), but believe me you are better of hidding form them in the Alexandria's flak screen most of the time.

ps. Moddb-page is now live:
http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-lost-generation-ashcroft
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 05:46:57 am by 0rph3u5 »
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline PVD_Hope

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
Sorry that I didn't get to see this sooner. Nice work! You've made some great progress since I did that bit of testing a while back. Good luck!
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: [PREVIEW & HELP WANTED] The Lost Generation - Ashcroft
Sorry that I didn't get to see this sooner. Nice work! You've made some great progress since I did that bit of testing a while back. Good luck!

.... considering FuryAI is doing most of heavy lifting, Sushi is most deserving of that credit.



So minor, tiny, downright small update:

As I had problems with my GPU recently (that's what you get for getting a 4k capable card, so you won't have to upgrade for some time soon), work came to stand-still I didn't plan for ... and then everything became tangled with my semester work and the on-going pre-production on The Lost Generation - "Serqet" (a working title, another was the "weather project").

All my commitments are wrapping up now and I will be able to get this done soonish.*

* If you would like to help, please build a weather control device. All this summer sunshine is keeping me from working.



Rehosting the screenshots is something I will do over the weekend. Most are either on the mod's or my ModDB page anyway.
"As a rebellion fails, a search begins."
- The Lost Generation - Ashcroft coming soon -



"...because they are not Dragons."