Hard Light Productions Forums

FreeSpace Releases => Mission & Campaign Releases => Topic started by: Bryan See on March 26, 2021, 12:21:34 pm

Title: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on March 26, 2021, 12:21:34 pm
(https://fsnebula.global.ssl.fastly.net/storage/8c/f6/5c31cd0e0146c6d3b5ff09fa99d76c4f483313b77f36c4c32b5115063406.png)
Story:
Following the Battle of Deneb, the NTF is forced to withdraw to Sirius by the arrival of the GTD Aquitaine and the GVD Psamtik. The NTD Cyrene is tasked to hold off a two-pronged offensive launched from Alpha Centauri and Deneb, culminating in a confrontation at the jump node with the 13th Vasudan Battle Group...

Info:
Cyrene vs. Psamtik is a short two-mission mini-campaign taking place during the events of FreeSpace 2. It chronicles the Battle of Sirius viewed in both perspectives of the NTF and the GTVA, headed by the Cyrene and the Psamtik respectively.

Release:
Only on Knossos: https://fsnebula.org/mod/cyrenevspsamtik (https://fsnebula.org/mod/cyrenevspsamtik)

Notes:
This campaign do seem to be different than others, because it features more than one perspective players assume. In traditional campaigns, players assume the role of Alpha 1 of the same faction all the time. Whereas in this campaign, you play as both Alpha 1 of both differing factions. I think this is partly inspired by another space combat game, Star Wars: Squadrons.

And finally, it still lacks voice-acting and any of the custom assets.

I hope this campaign, along with Lost in the Mist (https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97404.0), will regain my reputation as a saving grace, especially after I got blocked from the FSOpen GitHub by DahBlount and The E via decision on 22 March 2021 for making a fool of myself by creating "useless" pull requests, thus pushing me closer to near perma-banning (I don't want it to happen), and throwing all my modding/campaign-making prospects into further doubt and uncertainty, though I have one modding project based on Galaxian3/Starblade as requested by starlord and a few small campaigns set within the FreeSpace 2 timeline, and many huge projects I'm currently stepping away.

P.S. I hope someone (Strygon) will give me support in this turbulent time.

EDIT:
Changes in 1.0.1:

Changes in 1.0.2:
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: ShivanSlayer on March 26, 2021, 01:26:26 pm
Good minicampaign, and I like the ones taking place during the main campaigns that show battles the Alliance wins without Alpha 1.  One thing you might want to fix though is that you get told you did not have authorization to return to base whether you complete the mission or not.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on March 26, 2021, 01:32:38 pm
Good minicampaign, and I like the ones taking place during the main campaigns that show battles the Alliance wins without Alpha 1.  One thing you might want to fix though is that you get told you did not have authorization to return to base whether you complete the mission or not.
In case you're wondering, this campaign is influenced by the single player campaign of Star Wars Squadrons, a recently released space combat game. That's what makes this stands out, and thus it is unlike any other campaigns made before.

Regarding the fix, I'll implement it ASAP.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: ShivanSlayer on March 26, 2021, 01:35:53 pm
Yeah, until I found the flaw was in both missions, I was going to say that the NTF lost the war by executing good pilots for no reason whatsoever
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on March 26, 2021, 01:39:07 pm
Yeah, until I found the flaw was in both missions, I was going to say that the NTF lost the war by executing good pilots for no reason whatsoever
Update is on the way.

However, did anyone got this problem?
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Strygon on March 26, 2021, 02:52:08 pm
Played through it just now. You're definitely getting better with each release.

The missions weren't too short this time, there was stuff to do and (usually) clear objectives.

That being said, there are still some issues. Mission 1's Debriefing shows both the execution debrief and the victory debrief when you land on the Cyrene.
Balancing is also a bit of a problem. An Aeolus is extremely powerful in anti-fighter roles. I was basically watching the two cruisers knock the Vasudan fighters around like a soccer ball at some point.

Mission 2 is a bit needlessly difficult. You're appropriately told and warned about the bombers in-mission but the real threat are actually the beam cannons that nearly made me lose twice, yet I don't recall them being mentioned.

Other than that, keep it up. You're getting better.

P.S. I hope someone (Strygon) will give me support in this turbulent time.

Where did that assumption come from???
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on March 26, 2021, 03:07:23 pm
Played through it just now. You're definitely getting better with each release.

The missions weren't too short this time, there was stuff to do and (usually) clear objectives.

That being said, there are still some issues. Mission 1's Debriefing shows both the execution debrief and the victory debrief when you land on the Cyrene.
Balancing is also a bit of a problem. An Aeolus is extremely powerful in anti-fighter roles. I was basically watching the two cruisers knock the Vasudan fighters around like a soccer ball at some point.

Mission 2 is a bit needlessly difficult. You're appropriately told and warned about the bombers in-mission but the real threat are actually the beam cannons that nearly made me lose twice, yet I don't recall them being mentioned.

Other than that, keep it up. You're getting better.
I'd like it :)

I'll keep it up.

I'll include these fixes in the next update.

P.S. I hope someone (Strygon) will give me support in this turbulent time.

Where did that assumption come from???
That assumption comes from when you started reviewing my releases, starting from Lost in the Mist. On 22 March 2020, I got blocked from the FS2 Open Github by decision from The E and DahBlount for fooling myself. Now, with this release, I sincerely hope The E will reconsider because he's the one who in 2013 asked me to do such campaigns.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: The E on March 26, 2021, 03:59:27 pm
That assumption comes from when you started reviewing my releases, starting from Lost in the Mist. On 22 March 2020, I got blocked from the FS2 Open Github by decision from The E and DahBlount for fooling myself. Now, with this release, I sincerely hope The E will reconsider because he's the one who in 2013 asked me to do such campaigns.

To be absolutely clear about this: Our decision to block you from the Github is based purely on our judgment that as a coder you are not competent enough to participate there. This is a purely professional judgment based on your demonstrated lack of skill when it comes to software development tasks, and this decision is completely independent of your output as a mission designer. It's nice to see that, after 7 years of attempting to point you in the right direction, you are finally taking at least some hints seriously, and I genuinely applaud the progress you are making here -- but that won't get you unblocked on github.

In order for that to happen, we would need you to show some genuine skill when it comes to writing useful and usable software; It doesn't even need to be FSO-related to qualify. We would need to see evidence that you were able to make a coherent design, execute it, and react appropriately to feedback - most importantly however, it needs to be a finished work. If you can come up with that, I will promise you that we will have a chat about unblocking you.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Colonol Dekker on March 26, 2021, 07:25:23 pm
Honestly, BS, Fredding is the skill you should hone, get one perfect mission done and the rest is easy.  You're getting feedback and acting on it.  Positive steps 👍

Coding is some sort of arcane voodoo that is best left to the experts.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: NeonShivan on March 26, 2021, 07:55:19 pm
Coding is some sort of arcane voodoo that is best left to the experts.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/zIwIWQx12YNEI/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on March 27, 2021, 01:36:45 pm
It's nice to see that, after 7 years of attempting to point you in the right direction, you are finally taking at least some hints seriously, and I genuinely applaud the progress you are making here
I appreciate your comment. I'll apply to the approach of using mods via Knossos, since I've got one under development as requested by starlord last October regarding the UIMS/Starblade/Galaxian3 models.

Honestly, BS, Fredding is the skill you should hone, get one perfect mission done and the rest is easy.  You're getting feedback and acting on it.  Positive steps 👍
Next stop, custom scripts, assets and voice acting.

On the campaign front, I've updated it to version 1.0.2.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Strygon on March 27, 2021, 02:24:41 pm

*snippy*

Next stop, custom scripts, assets and voice acting.


Err... all of these take a hell of a lot of work, y'know, especially scrips and assets. Maybe you should still stick to retail campaigns for now.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on March 27, 2021, 02:44:35 pm

*snippy*

Next stop, custom scripts, assets and voice acting.


Err... all of these take a hell of a lot of work, y'know, especially scrips and assets.
I know that, unless if I get it right and functional (i.e. not causing FSO to crash to desktop).

Maybe you should still stick to retail campaigns for now.
And what about FS1-era campaigns AKA FSPort? Or Alt-History retail campaigns (i.e. Alt-History campaigns that set within the timeline of FS2)?
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Strygon on March 27, 2021, 02:46:31 pm
I mean FSport should probably be fine given all the assetwork has already been done?
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Colonol Dekker on March 27, 2021, 02:54:16 pm
Quick point,  "mastery" means consistent quality results.

Not just one-off.   

Enjoy the process, make repeated quality single missions.

Bask in the glory and praise (when appropriately deserved) and it will spur you on.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on March 27, 2021, 02:57:35 pm
I mean FSport should probably be fine given all the assetwork has already been done?
Yes. It's included in the MediaVPs proper since version 4.0.0.
Quick point,  "mastery" means consistent quality results.

Not just one-off.   

Enjoy the process, make repeated quality single missions.

Bask in the glory and praise (when appropriately deserved) and it will spur you on.
Thanks for the info, Colonol Dekker. If I can keep this up, maybe I can do campaigns that make use of custom scripts, music and assets. One tiny step at a time.

Back to the version 1.0.2 update: How is it?
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: woutersmits on March 28, 2021, 05:55:19 am
This is your best campaign ever made
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on March 28, 2021, 11:59:26 am
This is your best campaign ever made
Nice complements to you, woutersmits :)
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: woutersmits on March 29, 2021, 08:06:02 am
Bryan see continue this campaign there can be more
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on March 29, 2021, 11:44:35 am
Bryan see continue this campaign there can be more
This is a one-off, sorry.

I have more small campaigns in the pipeline, but I have nothing to say about them.

Thanks.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Mito [PL] on April 13, 2021, 12:18:35 pm
To be honest, this release has surprised me with its quality. I've taken a moment to play through it a couple weeks back and I genuinely enjoyed it. Now, it's time for some sort of feedback, even if a very late one.

From the gameplay standpoint, most things are really solid. You've got decent writing going, both missions are paced pretty well, and aren't exceedingly difficult. They technically seem to be tied together pretty well. Beyond that, I haven't encountered any major bugs preventing me from progressing. I've enjoyed playing this.
Also you have brought in a couple of pretty novel, if rather minor, design decisions: using the perspective of two separate pilots and needing to scan the enemy destroyer's subsystems before commencing another destroyer to engage. These I haven't seen used in the community much and they work pretty well here. Although in your future campaigns please use these sparingly, they won't bring much positive quality if overused.

There's still a couple things you might like to polish up in the missions to make them as good as they can be. In the first mission, I have also experienced an issue with debriefing - I got both the positive outcome and AWOL debriefings after landing on the Cyrene. I believe it might be related to the "Protect Alba" directive that never actually becomes complete. Also, in my experience, the defense of the Alba gets a bit tough near the end, as the amount of enemies incoming at the same time increases about that time, but it's manageable.

In the second mission, I've noticed that the player craft is invulnerable since the start, which would be a really quick fix to do. Also, given how massive of a threat are the Orion's beams, I think the mission should tell the player to strike the beam cannons on Psamtik's side as soon as the scanning is done. I nearly lost the destroyer before I've noticed just how much damage can the Orion put out in a short period of time.


Also a word of comfort: while I'm not versed in the GitHub situation, remember that this community doesn't ban people just because some might find them annoying, or for poor quality mods, or for anything that isn't really harmful to anyone. If it did, I would have been kicked off months ago. :P

I may have a tiny suggestion too, actually: you could try using a single, about one second long fade-out to black when the player is landing on the Cyrene in the first mission. While it's a purely cosmetic thing, I think it could make the ending of this mission one tiny bit smoother and easier on players' eyes.

That said, carry on and good luck! I'm interested in seeing more campaigns like these.
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Bryan See on May 04, 2021, 10:50:15 am
To be honest, this release has surprised me with its quality. I've taken a moment to play through it a couple weeks back and I genuinely enjoyed it. Now, it's time for some sort of feedback, even if a very late one.

From the gameplay standpoint, most things are really solid. You've got decent writing going, both missions are paced pretty well, and aren't exceedingly difficult. They technically seem to be tied together pretty well. Beyond that, I haven't encountered any major bugs preventing me from progressing. I've enjoyed playing this.
Also you have brought in a couple of pretty novel, if rather minor, design decisions: using the perspective of two separate pilots and needing to scan the enemy destroyer's subsystems before commencing another destroyer to engage. These I haven't seen used in the community much and they work pretty well here. Although in your future campaigns please use these sparingly, they won't bring much positive quality if overused.

There's still a couple things you might like to polish up in the missions to make them as good as they can be. In the first mission, I have also experienced an issue with debriefing - I got both the positive outcome and AWOL debriefings after landing on the Cyrene. I believe it might be related to the "Protect Alba" directive that never actually becomes complete. Also, in my experience, the defense of the Alba gets a bit tough near the end, as the amount of enemies incoming at the same time increases about that time, but it's manageable.

In the second mission, I've noticed that the player craft is invulnerable since the start, which would be a really quick fix to do. Also, given how massive of a threat are the Orion's beams, I think the mission should tell the player to strike the beam cannons on Psamtik's side as soon as the scanning is done. I nearly lost the destroyer before I've noticed just how much damage can the Orion put out in a short period of time.


Also a word of comfort: while I'm not versed in the GitHub situation, remember that this community doesn't ban people just because some might find them annoying, or for poor quality mods, or for anything that isn't really harmful to anyone. If it did, I would have been kicked off months ago. :P

I may have a tiny suggestion too, actually: you could try using a single, about one second long fade-out to black when the player is landing on the Cyrene in the first mission. While it's a purely cosmetic thing, I think it could make the ending of this mission one tiny bit smoother and easier on players' eyes.

That said, carry on and good luck! I'm interested in seeing more campaigns like these.
I take this as a word for encouragement :)
Title: Re: RELEASE: Cyrene vs. Psamtik
Post by: Colonol Dekker on May 04, 2021, 11:44:51 am
Please be encouraged.  I encourage I'm depth playtesting and bug fixing before release though.  As a process, I'm saying your latest work has any bugs that I know of.