Author Topic: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot  (Read 567 times)

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Offline Axem

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Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Over the last 13 or so years here, I've come up with a lot of campaign ideas. As weird as it may seem from my recent released works, not all of them were cranky high school anime girls saving the universe.

Hard to believe, I know.

(My first ever attempt at an outline from 13 years ago had 40-mission Act 1...  :nono: Mind you, no missions were actually mapped out. I just had, "Act 1", "[crappy synopsis]", "30-40 missions long")

Anyhow, I did have a few outlines that I seriously wanted to do, just as soon as I had some open free time. But my development speed has really slowed down in the last few years and I don't see me actually ever starting a new substantial campaign. Rather than let some of these ideas just die out and never be seen, I'm going to release some of the outlines here gradually (I just need to clean some of them up a bit, or add some last minute fleshing out). So if you're a new FREDder that wants to make something but doesn't have a good story idea, or maybe you just want to daydream some new missions, these are for you!

The outlines are still in a generally draft stage. Not perfect, but good enough to begin work on and let changes come through as the campaign gets developed. Maybe you've got some good plot twists or ways to polish plot development. (Apologies if people are suddenly renamed midway through, or ship's names are all over the place, I'm bad with naming)

For the most part, I tried to keep these campaigns using ships that already exist, any models needed would be from community releases. (With oooone eventual exception)

First off, a pair of NTF campaigns!

Exiles - An FS2-era campaign
NTF Campaign: Just before Admiral Koth's assault on Epsilon Pegasi, Admiral Bosch sends in expeditionary force of 7 ships into unknown systems. Their mission: find and secure a vital asset for Neo-Terra. The task force, led by Admiral Marcellus of the NTD Maissala, embarks on a perilous journey into the unknown.
(Note, this has nothing to do with Exile, I came up with the title super separately! But I'd change it to something else if this would get released today)

Inextinguishable - An FS2-era campaign
NTF Campaign: The 11th Vasudan Battlegroup and the 4th Terran Fleet are poised to invade the NTF-held Sirius system, defended only by the 3rd NTF Fleet. Outnumbering the enemy 2:1 and being supported by a number of pro-Alliance groups in the system, the Alliance seeks a quick a decisive victory to pave the way to the invasion of Regulus and ultimately, Polaris. This is the story of the ensuing conflict and the people involved.
 
This is the art of war. Admirals facing admirals, bound by the restrictions of politics and grim reality. There are no Shivans, or magic trump card. These men only have their wits to save themselves.


Next batch... maybe Children of Shiva? (Does anyone remember that?) Maybe even a quarter-thought out FreeSpace 3 from my mind?

 

Offline Firesteel

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Thanks for sharing! Reminds me of the campaign doc I have sitting on my hard drive staring at me year upon year.

The persistent space frame idea in Exiles sounds like more than just a gameplay gimmick and could make for an interesting additional feature for a lot of campaigns.

Inextinguishable is a great premise and your inspiration from Legend of the Galactic Heroes is both another reason for me to get around to watching that show and a fantastic goal to shoot for (if this project ever got picked up again). It also made me want to work on something inspired by Gundam Thunderbolt's hellish duel and massive cost over an ultimately worthless part of space.
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Offline Axem

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
The problem with persistent space frames though is you might reach a point where certain missions become impossible/really hard due to bad luck in previous missions. And you'd have very little control over how the AI brings back their fighters. You might be reduced to flying Amazons by the end of the campaign!

The persistence idea might be better for a open or procedural "rouge-like" campaign (Bem Cavalgar had something like that).

 

Offline Firesteel

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Obviously what's there is a very rough draft. You could have separate thresholds for the AI as they're often taking more damage than the player. Also if the state of a single ship is determined by the amount of time between missions having more than a day between sorties could certainly help with both realism and balance.

I'd need to brush up on my Battle of Midway history but the main engagement didn't last much more than a day from what I remember (now that's WWII on Earth and not a system-wide space conflict).

For something procedural I can definitely see it being used as a way to force some kind of end state and that could be interesting...maybe even interesting enough to convince my graduate advisor that it's worth looking into.
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Offline Axem

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
And honestly, I wasn't so sure if I even wanted that system in there in the end. Mission balancing is hard and having potentially a lot of variation would just make things worse. But it was a neat thought experiment.

 

Offline Firesteel

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
You certainly don't have the luxury of Homeworld's ability to build new ships on the fly as part of the world and yeah trying to balance that against everything else you already need to factor in sounds like hell (and again maybe something interesting for me to look at for graduate school).
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
If it was made a central part of the campaign design, I get the feeling it might work quite well actually.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
 :lol: I think I still have a brain storming doc I contributed to Children of Shiva.
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Yeah... I had similar idea to Exiles called Vagabonds: Out of the Ashes. My NTF fleet was based on NTD Vassal - enchanced Orion class destroyer [Trashman's Mk. 2] that survived in the post-NTF systems and benefit from chaos caused by Capella to escape GTVA fleets. First stage of journey was old GTI base, where they constructed Hades destroyer [unknown system beyond Mirfak]. Admiral Deckard Langalis, CO of the Vassal was later converted to be one of Cerberus commanding officers in sequel of Shadow Genesis. I wanted to show lost and independent human and vasudan colonists, which crossed unknown nodes during reconstruction era, find NTF remnants who fled beyond Knossns, meet the shivans etc. only to finally meet Ancients, instead of vasudan colony. Expedition into unknown systems was always very tempting idea, but I eventually failed at filling later stages of campaign with content that would be satisfying for me. If I remember correctly, I released first single mission on old and now defunct polish freespace forum.

I remember Children of Shiva and I remember Nukemod. General idea was always cool, despite very messy description on Game-Warden forums. I'm still interested in CoS plotline.
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Offline Axem

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Okay, next batch here...

Children of Shiva - A Post FS2-era Campaign
Save the GTVA from an insane death cult led by a Vasudan named Rane Gribek. Rane Gribek believes that when we die, how we die is how we are born into the Next Life. The sick and infirm are useless, and common civilians are no better than cattle. He seeks to grow his Next Army by killing as many warriors in a great battle as possible.

Miscellaneous Very Short Campaign Outlines - A trio of FS2-era Campaigns
A collection of 3 campaign outlines: Fate of the Damned, saving an NTF corvette in the nebula while the GTVA is trying to get out; Operation December, playing as an NTF force at the immediate onset of the uprising, trying to hijack ships and supplies; and Black Ash, a campaign that I finished but never released because of hilariously oversized plot holes in the final mission.

Both docs have some links to Vassago's Dirge, which I think is neat. So even if you have ideas that you think are really cool, and are forced to drop them, keep them around! You'll never know when you can use them again!

I should note that this latest batch was from a much earlier... uh... era. Like pre-2010. 2010 was when I released Vassago and felt that I got FreeSpace, mission design and storytelling. Inextinguishable and Exiles was post-2010, so that's why they're a lot more thought out and detailed.

Next time, Axem's FS3 and... maybe something else. I dunno, this old stuff is just so hilariously trite and I don't even know what I was trying to go for. I would feel intense and permanent embarrassment if I were to show some of this stuff of.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 10:11:41 pm by Axem »

 

Offline Firesteel

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Maybe I should keep working on this micro-campaign I have on my HDD. You're an inspiration Axem. I still somewhat fondly remember my days of messing around in retail FRED having no idea what I was doing. I was about 12 or 13 at the time.

Nice little insight as to where Vassago came from plus some really weird stuff. I like weird stuff.
Current Projects:

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Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Children of Shiva script is actually pretty cool. Perfect basics for Transcendent/Tenebra style campaign. I've never seen anything like this before, thus the pirate thread was never explored properly in any FS2 mod. Maybe except The Search for Bosch :P.

...and Nukemod was cool!.
Exile | Shadow Genesis | DA Profile | P3D Profile

MY RELEASED CONTENT SO FAR
Old Conversions | GTSD Anchorage | ORFg Tychicus | GTCa Sagittarius | SCv Scylla | EFC Evangelist | EFFg Solomon | GTL Latona | SC Raguel | PVD Atum | GTCv Eurynome | FractalSpace - Apophysis Skydome Pack | Updated Ancients Models
All of my stuff can be used ONLY in Freespace campaigns and missions.

Veteran modder and graphic designer of all kinds. 3D is my speciality. Feel free to PM me if you looking for a model or other GFX help.

 

Offline Goober5000

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Ooh, cool stuff.  It's fun reading how mission designers' thought processes have evolved over the years.

Speaking of which, this is a good segue into some forum shuffling that really should have been completed back in 2005.  Stand by...

 

Offline Axem

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Trying to come up with a story of Children of Shiva was an interesting time. I was mainly focused on taking what the mod pack had and throwing it into... some kind of story. So there were always pirates, and some new cool looking GTVA stuff and... a giant Shivan ship. So obviously the story tended to pirates and uncovering a giant Shivan ship. From Nuke's tech room entries, he had a group called the "Death Cult". So that brought in the idea of crazy cults. And freaky brainwashing stuff.

Its too bad there weren't any other real pirate campaigns done for FreeSpace. They always seem to appear in every other campaign, but never as a player-aligned faction. The closest thing would be Homesick with the Custodian's mercenary group, but they were more lawful good than the down and dirty pirate stuff. It might've been nice to see a pirate campaign where its a bunch of outcasts trying to survive out in space. Bring a bit of motivation to why these guys are in 90% of campaigns (and then never seen after the first act...)

 
Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Well, you get to go undercover as a mercenary for a little while in Derelict...does that count?  :p

Pirates are interesting. Honestly, I think a better idea for early-game trash-mob factions would be basically setting up the idea that there are always little insurrections going on. Something that doesn't come up very often in SF is the sheer scale of a spacefaring civilization. Admittedly, subspace might have short-circuited things a bit -- allowing interstellar colonization without the level of population growth you would expect -- but given the amount of space involved, just one star system could easily have a large enough population for enormous rebel movements to show up, but never be mentioned because they're so insignificant on the grand scale.

It's never really established how large the GTVA military is, but I've been sort of developing a headcanon that they actually have like hundreds of destroyers and equivalent numbers of smaller craft, but almost all of them are always occupied serving as police forces to keep the huge populations in line. (That way if you have a campaign where things get really serious, you can justify the GTVA suddenly fielding ten times as many capital ships as we ever saw in canon.)

 

Offline Firesteel

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
I did think of Derelict when the pirates thing came up. I'm actually a little surprised there hasn't been a dedicated pirate campaign though I think some of it is probably because the NTF and HoL exist canonically and have a lot more predefined backstory than random pirate fodder.

I could imagine something like Firefly or even Iron Blooded Orphans styled mob groups fitting reasonably well. More campaign ideas.


It's never really established how large the GTVA military is, but I've been sort of developing a headcanon that they actually have like hundreds of destroyers and equivalent numbers of smaller craft, but almost all of them are always occupied serving as police forces to keep the huge populations in line. (That way if you have a campaign where things get really serious, you can justify the GTVA suddenly fielding ten times as many capital ships as we ever saw in canon.)

We aren't ever given numbers but the FS1 description of the Orion makes it seem like they're constantly on patrol when not engaged in some sort of fleet action though I think hundreds of destroyers is a bit high especially considering how small explored space in Freespace is relative to the likes of Star Trek or Star Wars but who knows how many Orions were put into production during the Terran-Vasudan War.
Current Projects:

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Offline Goober5000

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Orions were supposedly somewhat uncommon during the Great War, per this description from the FreeSpace Reference Bible...

Quote
The mother of all Terran ships.  Measuring a frightening 2.1 kilometers in length, the cost to build one of these far outweighs the cost of paying the crew of this ship for 3 years.  There is no more important symbol of Terran Pride than a ship like the Galatea or the Intrepid cruising past a colonized planet, patrolling the system and ensuring safety.  In the course of the 14 year war, very few of these have ever been lost, and each that one was considered a horrid defeat.  While a temporary stay makes any inhabitants of the system happy, a prolonged tour of duty in a system instills fear into the hearts of civilians.  For the GTA would never send a Orion Destroyer anywhere near a safe system.  Where these ships wander, war is certain to follow.

The last few sentences were deleted from the tech room entry, making me wonder if :v: changed their minds.  We already know of these canonically active destroyers:

Pre-FS1 (unknown if these are Orions):
Eisenhower
Goliath

FS1:
Amadeus
Bastion
Galatea
Intrepid
Minnow

ST:
the mysterious GTD
Krios
Myrmidon
Soyakaze

On the other hand, if you exclude the Silent Threat destroyers and assume the five FS1 destroyers constitute all or nearly all of the Terran fleet, then the GTA lost 40% of its capital ship firepower thanks to the Shivans.  That's a huge loss, and fits with the "truly horrible defeat" sentiment.

 
Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
Yeah, there's also the fact that the way capital ships are thought of in the fluff does not really match up with how they function in gameplay. Like, in FS2, you're just taking down NTF cap ships left and right. You destroy...what, two Orions? The Uhuru and the Vindicator? And neither is given much fanfare -- they're not really treated like uber-rare system-grade bases of operations. Oh, there's the Repulse, too. It does pretty much get the portrayal one would expect, but the others don't.

But I guess that's sort of an inconsistency between the two games, really. In FS1 destroyers kind of are treated the way the lore would indicate. And part of it's a balance issue -- you're flying a strikecraft, so of course they're the kings of the battlefield; hence why one wing of bombers can splash a destroyer with little effort. (I watched Battuta's interview with Space Game Junkie last night, and it raised some of these issues.)

Also, you didn't mention the possibly-Legion. And...there's a ship in Silent Threat just called the GTD? That's amazing. I haven't played the original...

 

Offline Firesteel

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Re: Axem's Abandoned Campaign Outline Depot
As far as the gameplay allowing a well escorted bomber group to splash a destroyer, that's actually reasonable if you look at it from a naval perspective (and yes I know that the future is the future but Freespace is still very much WWII in space). Small craft are very hard to hit and if the ships destroyed solely by bomber groups didn't have time to scramble interceptors you're looking at some Battle of Midway levels of carnage. I wouldn't go so far as to say fighters and bombers are kings of the battlefield, especially when looking at their attrition rates in game, but they aren't something to be taken lightly which appears to be the goal.
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- A short campaign inspired by a certain command briefing animation