Author Topic: Open world?  (Read 1391 times)

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I recognize Freespace 2 is a linear mission-based game. Most of the mods I see seem to follow suit. This is not a deal-breaker for me, but it would be nice to have an open world(s?) experience.

Theoretically, is this possible? If true open-world gameplay is not, what about the possibility of open-ended environments? (maybe some smaller stages held together by jump gates or something.)

Has anyone achieved this before? While I am aware the Freespace series has always been about action, I think combining this with some form of exploration could make for a fun experience.

I apologize if this has already been discussed. I promise I searched the forums before posting. In fact, the reason I took to the forums stems from the lack of relevant results when I searched this on google.


 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Axem made something like that. Basically a set of empty missions with some random ships, but you can use jump nodes to travel between the areas. Nothing but a basic prototype, but working.
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I will be sure to check this out. I appreciate the swift response! Maybe it's something I shouldn't tackle right away but it gives me hope that it's possible.

 

Offline Strygon

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You should temper your hopes honestly. The engine was strictly not designed for this kind of stuff. The game space is limited if we're putting it into a single mission (You could split it into multiple mission but good god that's not going to be fun to work with), creating frameworks to fill this open world with is immensely time consuming and, even with Axem's prototype, if you want anything more than just flying around basic setpieces, the complexity increases exponentially. Not to mention the pains of implementing a save system into this.

It's possible to somewhat fake it but it's never worth the gigantic amounts of effort. IMO if you want to make an open-world space game, you'd be better off just starting from scratch on a different engine, depending on your vision for it.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 03:42:15 pm by Strygon »
Makes missions sometimes.
Finished Projects: Operation: Cloak and Dagger

Current Projects: Scrolls Part 2 (FREDding), Dimensional Eclipse (Art),
The First Contact War, GTDr Amazon HTL

[23:22] strypolygon: andrew
[23:22] strypolygon: i have one favor to ask of you
[23:22] strypolygon: never try speaking german again
[23:23] Andrewofdoom: No.

[18:50] 島風改八百三: the duck has multipli
[18:50] 島風改八百三: many duck
[18:50] 島風改八百三: left side
[18:50] 島風改八百三: even side
[18:50] 島風改八百三: handle it

[21:34] MP-Ryan: Why on earth would you Google this
[21:34] The_E: why would you not

[06:46] Strigon: how big is a mini-campaign again?
[06:46] Asteroth: smaller than a campaign
[06:47 ]Strigon: thanks

[05:56] Strigon: If I had to take a shot for each time I randomly decided to change the UI sounds, I'd have died of alcohol poisoning by now

[17:36] qazwsxal: time to have some fun
[17:41] z64555: VC++5 is not my idea of fun

[EatThePath] do your missiles do anything absurd?
[Strigon] describe absurd
[Strigon] the entire mod is absurd

 
I don't think Freespace would work too well as an open world thing.  If you like open world in a space setting, I suggest playing Freelancer, but it's not on Steam or GOG

 

Offline Iain Baker

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Probably the closest thing I have seen to this in FreeSpace is Bem Calvagar with its choose your missions mechanic and one of the missions in JAD 2.2 where you can choose which areas to explore. But as the others have said, the FS engine really isn’t designed for that sort of thing.
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I don't think Freespace would work too well as an open world thing.  If you like open world in a space setting, I suggest playing Freelancer, but it's not on Steam or GOG

I found it on abandonwaregames.com, thanks for the tip.

Probably the closest thing I have seen to this in FreeSpace is Bem Calvagar with its choose your missions mechanic and one of the missions in JAD 2.2 where you can choose which areas to explore. But as the others have said, the FS engine really isn’t designed for that sort of thing.

I see. Slightly disappointed at this revelation, but undeterred. Still excited to see what I can make. I take it something like procedural generation would be out of FSO's scope as well.

Either way, I guess my main goal is to see how I could make a total conversion game that is replayable or at least allows for unique approaches to levels you've already beaten or something. Do you guys see any other mods that achieve this in other ways?










 

Offline Strygon

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Procedural Generation is more or less not an option either. Many have tried but none have so far actually brought any results to the table AFAIK.

It depends entirely on what you mean by "unique approaches". Playing through the campaign once normally and once trying to go for all the side content/bonus objectives/etc. is in many mods, even the base campaign sometimes.
Makes missions sometimes.
Finished Projects: Operation: Cloak and Dagger

Current Projects: Scrolls Part 2 (FREDding), Dimensional Eclipse (Art),
The First Contact War, GTDr Amazon HTL

[23:22] strypolygon: andrew
[23:22] strypolygon: i have one favor to ask of you
[23:22] strypolygon: never try speaking german again
[23:23] Andrewofdoom: No.

[18:50] 島風改八百三: the duck has multipli
[18:50] 島風改八百三: many duck
[18:50] 島風改八百三: left side
[18:50] 島風改八百三: even side
[18:50] 島風改八百三: handle it

[21:34] MP-Ryan: Why on earth would you Google this
[21:34] The_E: why would you not

[06:46] Strigon: how big is a mini-campaign again?
[06:46] Asteroth: smaller than a campaign
[06:47 ]Strigon: thanks

[05:56] Strigon: If I had to take a shot for each time I randomly decided to change the UI sounds, I'd have died of alcohol poisoning by now

[17:36] qazwsxal: time to have some fun
[17:41] z64555: VC++5 is not my idea of fun

[EatThePath] do your missiles do anything absurd?
[Strigon] describe absurd
[Strigon] the entire mod is absurd

 
Procedural Generation is more or less not an option either. Many have tried but none have so far actually brought any results to the table AFAIK.

It depends entirely on what you mean by "unique approaches". Playing through the campaign once normally and once trying to go for all the side content/bonus objectives/etc. is in many mods, even the base campaign sometimes.

Well, what you just mentioned actually would be one of the things I had in mind. I'm also watching tutorials while I'm on here and I'm starting to get a better feel for the actual scope of these tools. I'll save the RPG elements for a more complete game engine, but I'm still excited to learn how to make my own missions and ships.





 

Offline Strygon

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Well, in that case, off the top of my head there's:

-The base campaigns. In order to get all the medals you need to perform all objectives (outside of the scripted fails) and a handful of hidden bonus objectives.

-Trimurti: Collect all the Spoons

-Just Another Day, the later ones I think have some side content.

-Wings of Dawn has some optional content as well.
Makes missions sometimes.
Finished Projects: Operation: Cloak and Dagger

Current Projects: Scrolls Part 2 (FREDding), Dimensional Eclipse (Art),
The First Contact War, GTDr Amazon HTL

[23:22] strypolygon: andrew
[23:22] strypolygon: i have one favor to ask of you
[23:22] strypolygon: never try speaking german again
[23:23] Andrewofdoom: No.

[18:50] 島風改八百三: the duck has multipli
[18:50] 島風改八百三: many duck
[18:50] 島風改八百三: left side
[18:50] 島風改八百三: even side
[18:50] 島風改八百三: handle it

[21:34] MP-Ryan: Why on earth would you Google this
[21:34] The_E: why would you not

[06:46] Strigon: how big is a mini-campaign again?
[06:46] Asteroth: smaller than a campaign
[06:47 ]Strigon: thanks

[05:56] Strigon: If I had to take a shot for each time I randomly decided to change the UI sounds, I'd have died of alcohol poisoning by now

[17:36] qazwsxal: time to have some fun
[17:41] z64555: VC++5 is not my idea of fun

[EatThePath] do your missiles do anything absurd?
[Strigon] describe absurd
[Strigon] the entire mod is absurd

 

Online Goober5000

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Axem made something like that. Basically a set of empty missions with some random ships, but you can use jump nodes to travel between the areas. Nothing but a basic prototype, but working.

If you're talking about FreeSpaceLancer, that was me...

http://staff.hard-light.net/goober5000/downloads/freespacelancer.zip

But Axem took that concept, ran with it, and came up with the mission hub in JAD 2.2x.

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Axem made something like that. Basically a set of empty missions with some random ships, but you can use jump nodes to travel between the areas. Nothing but a basic prototype, but working.

If you're talking about FreeSpaceLancer, that was me...

http://staff.hard-light.net/goober5000/downloads/freespacelancer.zip

But Axem took that concept, ran with it, and came up with the mission hub in JAD 2.2x.
Nah, I remember Axem released something different. Can't find it atm but I played it. It was more of a proof-of-concept that such thing may work, but it was pretty barebones.
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Offline EatThePath

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Procedural Generation is more or less not an option either. Many have tried but none have so far actually brought any results to the table AFAIK.

Honestly, Blighted makes a semi-decent counterpoint I think.
Traditionally fredded sexp-scripted missions are going to be hard to adapt to this, but I think if one embraces lua scripting there's not much actually stopping 'open world' gameplay with distinct 'instances' you jump between, similar to EVE online, or indeed Blighted. You would essentially have to build a new larger scale gameplay loop, more in the design sense than just the programming sense, and track it's state via lua. Either do the mission logic purely in lua or have standard level files that act as a templates for different types of missions that you flesh out with lua data to generate different areas. If memory serves the campaign system is manipulable enough with lua to allow that, but I've never actually dissected any of the mods that push those boundries to see exactly how it's done.

It's also worth mentioning that if you have a specific vision and can identify the individual features, and are patient, you can often get holes in the engine support for your idea filled. If you try to make something like I just described but find that a couple of scripting functions or sexps you can't live without don't exist or a quirk of the engine is roadblocking, don't treat that as the death of the idea. If you tell the developers it might turn out that what you want is doable, or someone might have a clever alternative for you.
Name your damn turrets and sounds! Numbers alone aren't helpful!
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Offline Zarax

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One feature that could be explored more (IMHO, I didn't play every mod) is the ability to store data between missions in one campaign.

With a relatively small settings you could keep track of individual ship health at the end of one mission and depending on scripts you could associate battle damage and secondary objectives with ship/weapon availability.

Not exactly open world, but with enough effort it's pretty dynamic.
The Best is Yet to Come

 

Offline wookieejedi

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Tracking ship stats between missions like that could likely even be done with the sexp container features being added in. Ultimately though, yeah lua will let you do almost anything, including writing/overriding mission files, tracking as many variables as you want, and even doing things like selecting options such as planets from a galaxy map, typing in call sign names for ships, and more.

 
One feature that could be explored more (IMHO, I didn't play every mod) is the ability to store data between missions in one campaign.

With a relatively small settings you could keep track of individual ship health at the end of one mission and depending on scripts you could associate battle damage and secondary objectives with ship/weapon availability.

Not exactly open world, but with enough effort it's pretty dynamic.




Tracking ship stats between missions like that could likely even be done with the sexp container features being added in. Ultimately though, yeah lua will let you do almost anything, including writing/overriding mission files, tracking as many variables as you want, and even doing things like selecting options such as planets from a galaxy map, typing in call sign names for ships, and more.

I guess I'm learning Lua now. Does anyone have a favorite tutorial series/book?

 

Offline Strygon

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Quick question, are you intending to take on all aspects of the mod by yourself? That is, ships, effects, level design, etc. ?
Makes missions sometimes.
Finished Projects: Operation: Cloak and Dagger

Current Projects: Scrolls Part 2 (FREDding), Dimensional Eclipse (Art),
The First Contact War, GTDr Amazon HTL

[23:22] strypolygon: andrew
[23:22] strypolygon: i have one favor to ask of you
[23:22] strypolygon: never try speaking german again
[23:23] Andrewofdoom: No.

[18:50] 島風改八百三: the duck has multipli
[18:50] 島風改八百三: many duck
[18:50] 島風改八百三: left side
[18:50] 島風改八百三: even side
[18:50] 島風改八百三: handle it

[21:34] MP-Ryan: Why on earth would you Google this
[21:34] The_E: why would you not

[06:46] Strigon: how big is a mini-campaign again?
[06:46] Asteroth: smaller than a campaign
[06:47 ]Strigon: thanks

[05:56] Strigon: If I had to take a shot for each time I randomly decided to change the UI sounds, I'd have died of alcohol poisoning by now

[17:36] qazwsxal: time to have some fun
[17:41] z64555: VC++5 is not my idea of fun

[EatThePath] do your missiles do anything absurd?
[Strigon] describe absurd
[Strigon] the entire mod is absurd

 
Quick question, are you intending to take on all aspects of the mod by yourself? That is, ships, effects, level design, etc. ?

Initially. I'm not so sure anymore. That said, I've never gotten a good outcome from trying to start a team. I would love help but I don't bring much to the table to make it worth anyone's while. At least not with how little I know now. Asking for said help with nothing to offer is so intimidating to me.

 

Offline wookieejedi

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If you are planning on learning LUA and doing something like this feel free to PM me on Discord.

 
wookieejedi, how do I find you on discord?