Modding, Mission Design, and Coding > Help Wanted/Offering Help

The "Project Pendragon" recruitment drive!


About three and half years ago, while I was working on a project to break from modding into full-on indie development (which fell apart gradually because I am hardly leadership material) my then partner and I started a original story seperate and aside from that. We were hoping to join our expertise to produce a series of a small audio-dramas set in an original sci-fi universe of our creation. We involved a number of our friends into writing process and as a perliminary cast.

However then I finished my B.A. and decided it was time to "have a change in scenery". My partner was not going to follow me, for variety of reasons, but we were able to split somewhat amicably (amazingly). But it ended the project right there; Like many projects born out of relationship, it stopped when the relationship ended.

However recently I "got the band back together" and an agreement has been reached that most of the material that was worked on, has been finished and full creative control will be passed to me.

And on the basis of these materials, I intend to go ahead and try to create a new, original project that will be released in far future. Codename Pendragon.
And I want to start it right here on HLP.

Enought of my private life: What is right now in demand?

Assets from concept art to fully build models for the "Mechanosphere":
An important aspect of Pendragon's universe is to create an "artificial wildneress" fromed across millenia. Civilisations have risen and fallen in the dark ages before humans arrived from the Milky Way, and most have left behind autonomous creations - which then by themselves by chance and interaction, interconnected in a way similar to how life developed into fully formed ecosystems. These range from rodent-sized drones that till soil and grow biofuel plants for more advanced machines, "hives" of airplane-sized drones that collect raw materials across star systems, to giant "mechanical space whales" that consume asteroids to sustain their internal mechanisms and grow.
Variety is requirement here, not uniformity - and outlandish and alien desings are greatly appricated. Think of games like Mega Man Legends and Horizont: Zero Dawn.

I am not look for frim commitments right now, but any contribution is appricated! Also I will not hold you to keep your work exclusve to Pendragon.  :D

Concept art for characters and locations for the principal group of protagonists:

The Royal Guard of the Braemer Dynasty:
After the Commonwealth fell in the war against the Engimabuilders, Artemios Braemer led a mutiny against the leadership of the Commonwealth remants; Braemer declared the war had been finished after the Engimabuilders seized hostilities (a fact the Commonwealth remants would only later realize). While the muniteer's fleet was small, their Commonwealth-build warships were far superior to anything local governments and pirate lords to field. Following the munity, Braemer estalbished his own small empire from a few worlds - now known as the Empire under the Azure Star.
That was seven centuires ago, and the Braemer dynasty has faded from prominence while the Empire transitions into a Republic - maintaining the monarchy in name only. However the throne still holds a strange attraction to many, and the Royal Guard watches closely over all those who desire the office of Emperor.

Unlike work on the Mechanosphere, I would like to keep work here behind closed doors.

What does the existence of Pendragon mean for Freespace projects?
Nothing. I am working off my project according to my internal scheudle and they actually build on each other (e.g. Vega must burn is packaging a number of FREDing problems I need to be solved for other projects in an format that can be released seperately). All their results will eventually lead into Pendragon naturally. Meanwhile I get to play with all the random ideas that don't fit in the confines of the Freespace universe.

Strange, ambitious, exotic... Interesting. I love Horizon. Your idea sounds like a good basis for darker, mysterious lore. Somewhat sci-fi, galaxy-spanning post-apo. As I know and like your imagination from your mod projects, I believe it has potential. I rarely visit HLP nowadays, so I haven't noticed this before.

With more time I would provide services of my shipyards. My gopniks never worked on mechanic animal-like things, but it certainly would be a refreshing and challenging experience. Sadly my time is always limited. I also doubt if it's possible to create setting you have in mind with only efforts of few hobbists... And with no money. This is likely to be requiring few asset developers working on semi-regular income. Probably per asset.

...but still I'm curious. What exactly do you want this project to be? FS-like space-sim? What engine and technology do you want to use here? Current description is not explaining much about technical aspect of the project. As I know from my own experience, idea is first and the easiest step.


--- Quote from: Nyctaeus on May 03, 2019, 04:46:11 pm ---What exactly do you want this project to be? FS-like space-sim? What engine and technology do you want to use here? Current description is not explaining much about technical aspect of the project. As I know from my own experience, idea is first and the easiest step.

--- End quote ---

I am currently planning to work with FS_Open, but I am not averse to switching to Unity if technical problems become unurmountable - and right now the only big ticket technical problem I see is beating the Campaign Editor into submission.

As for genre, thanks to work Spoon and Axem have done for Wings of Dawn, I was able to scale the narrative ideas into a FS-like frame (exploratory looks at the VN-script and weapons crafting suggest that it could be retooled for my purposes) - originally I was thinking of going more into a cap-ship command angle, but since the model of warfare in Pendragon is heavily reliant on UAVs anyway it was an easy fix to go there. Basically instead being a fighter pilot, you use telepresence from your control ship to fly your "fighter" (and just to keep the stakes, there are penalities for loosing a drone other than drone being unavalible).

Speaking of Control Ship, the idea is also to add a layer of ressource and crew management to the mission-per-mission proceedings, think of a mix of Persona 5 and Battletech - i.e. each "step" in the campaign is on a timer, waiting has its advantages (esspecially to recover from penatlies) but acting faster will yield higher rewards. (part of the mechanics nearly made it into Vega must burn - but that campaign is too short to do repair times on your fighter supply)

To illustrate:
Spoiler:On the structure: The first three Episodes, subdivided into chapters, are about getting the cast assembled and universe presented - the fourth Episode is then supposed to be an three (possibly four) faction race for an objective outside the territories of the human factions. There is no fixed number of missions per chapter, but they are supposed to have at least one mandatory mission.

Episode 1, Chapter 3 starts with the Pendragon (let's call her that for now, placeholder is Esarai's Emperor) having just made a narrow escape from an enemy force. Between events of previous two chapters the Pendragon is supposed to be in bad shape, most systems are down and she had left port without a full crew compliment anyway, so the losses among the crew count twice.

However thanks to the cricumstances of their escape, the Pendragon is safe for now - even to the crew it was a miracle that it worked. But now thoughts turn towards recovery, as well as planning to "fix the situation". Plans are made to bring the Pendragon to an out-of-way base where the Royal Guard keeps some of their Commonwealth-era tech, including ships they don't have the manpower to crew. But considering the movements of the enemies involved, the anchorage may not be safe to visist.

Going right away will mean that you have to defend a severely damaged Pendragon, so the mission can fail more quickly. Waiting some "turns" will off-set the damage to the Pendragon but it will also mean that between the arrival of the Pendragon and the arrival of the enemy force less supplies will be loaded, meaning at very least you don't get upgrade points (read: repairs) for the Pendragon's systems. If you wait too long, you might also have additional penality of the new drone operator not being avalible right away. (This is the stage at which Crew Penatlities would get introduced.)

Anyway, if you complete the mission you gain a "scout ship" (placeholder Esarai's Phoenix Rising) which is basically the tool through which you then have the option to do optional missions for additional rewards, but now the enemy as a lead to hunt for the Pendragon, so you are back on a timer.


--- Quote from: Nyctaeus on May 03, 2019, 04:46:11 pm ---post-apo.

--- End quote ---

I was a bit unsure if or how to respond to that. Party because I am trying not give away too much, but also because a full explaination would get fairly technical and include more than semester's worth of reading assignments.
But since previously I hinted at the idea that there is hierarchy of technology at play in the lore, I feel like I have to actually adjust the prespective on that front.

I would not use the term "post-apocalyptic" to describe the world-building for Pendragon on the human side - what I am trying to accomplish could be best called "post-catastrophic".

The fall of the Commonwealth is transformative event in the lore, as it starts what is essentially a "dark age". However the "break" in the "line of civilisation" is not accompanied by some kind forgotten truth reemerging or new transformative idea being born. The institutions of the Commonwealth-era are destroyed and important knowledge is (temporarily) lost, but most consequences of that are highly subjective - and still motiveate the principal players into the era when Pendragon is set. On the subject of Commonwealth-era tech, its superiority is more about being made from materials that are difficult to acquire without a certain ammount of ressources (*hint* "giant mechanical space whales *hint*).

As for the circumstances of the Mechanosphere, it more a natural feature of the universe that exists; it's supposed to be ... sedimentary rather than designed. It's form is more equilibrium than design.

So following last nights/this mornings discussion on the Discord about me doing this...

Because of how the missile launchers are set up, they will have to stay for now.

... to Esarai's Phoenix_Rising-Frigate.

I thought I better but a bit more to paper publicly about the direction I want for combat in Pendragon.

As I pointed out earlier UAVs (unmanned arial vehicles) are a big part of the Pendragon's combat; basically you are not going to be flying a fighter, like an Apollo or an Ares, but what ammounts to an unmanned weapons plattfrom, which is controlled from a capital ship. These plattfroms are called Remotes. However Remotes are not the sole actors in the combat space.

The following model is planned to strickly apply to the human factions regardless of their technological prowess. Mechanosphere Objects can work differently.

Capital Ships are meant to rarely engage each other, they are considered not only a massive expendeture but to build an interstellar ship certain ressources are required that are not easily optained. When an engagement takes place it is mostly drive off or capture the enemy vessel. To that end capital ships engage each other at long range, with their Drones and Remotes fighting in the space in-between. As soon as one ship achieves arial superiority, the winning ship will close in to medium range and deploy dedicated anti-capital ship-Drones. During the mid-range engagement the loosing ship either has to disengage and jump out or risk being disabled and then boarded.
On their own Capital Ships employ a number of highly adaptive weapon systems to defend themselves from incoming fire and direct Drone/Remote attacks at below medium range.

Drones are fully automated weapons plattforms that vary in size and mission profile - from smaller Interceptor Drones to larger Anti-Capital Ship Drones, which augment their parent ships firepower. Usually they are only capable of executing simplistic commands and require a dedicated Controller on nearby capital ship to actually function. The operational range of Drones may be extended through Repeater Units. Should the Controller or Repeater a group of Drones is connected too be destroyed, they will become inactive as failsafe measure against enemy tampering.

Remotes are a huge step up from Drones. Controlled by a telepresence Operator from their parent ship, they are highly adaptable to the changing combat situation and generally are used to turn the tide in a Drone engagement. The elimination of enemy Remotes is also considered the lowest threshold for the deployment of the Anti-Captial Ship-Drones. Operators may also customize their Remotes before deployment further specialising or broadening their mission profile. The requirements to secure Operator-Remote-connection however means that the maximum number of Remotes can be deployed by any parent ship is highly restricted.

ps. That has indeed a few problems with how the Freespace AI works, but I hope to solve that in time. It's not like I am in a hurry  :)


[0] Message Index

Go to full version