Author Topic: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?  (Read 51430 times)

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Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
By that rationale, I submit that the addition of the "Fighters" for the mod are based on a balance necessity for non-cannon missions.

Examination of the Crusade eps, particularly Warzone, shows a lot of light blue pulses coming from some place other than the Excalibur.  It's possible these are from our hypothetical Drakh fighters. :)



 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
The Narn and quite a few of the league species bought and sold weapons to each other.  Hell seeing a Centari beam on a Brakiri ship wouldn't seem to be that uncommon.  Narn reverse engineer the weapons and sell them.  The Drazi sold ships, weapons, and parts to just about everyone if I recall.  Heck I'm amazed the EA isn't seen firing multiple beam colors from the same ship especially in the EMW when things got desperate.

I agree with you on this, partly, and we know for sure that they EA bought their beams from the Narn which is why they look similar on the show. But on the other hand, more advanced races like the Centauri or Minbari will surely try to avoid having their weapons fall into the hands of their enemies! So to me it makes sense, that EA and Narn share the same type (because of the above), also Drazi and Brakiri (because the league will stick together) but the Centauri should have something a bit more advanced. Also Minbari and Vorlons build the White Stars to help B5 instead of just delivering new tech because I doubt normal EA tech would be able to use them. Think of energy level, artificial gravity and similar. This also explains why the X-Omega destroyers had only Drakh beams installed and not Shadow beams, probably no way to do this on a normal fusion reactor. You see, it must have some logic behind it, because I always loved this about B5 :)!

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Anyway my point is why not leave the existing beam colors and give new optional ones as well.  Let the mission designer decide.

As far as I know this is always an option and very easy to do in the mission files, as I have seen often with the Vorlons. But still I think that my version and even more so that of Slasher adds needed weapons that are just not available. Like this yellow beam which is clearly seen on the show...

 

Offline -Norbert-

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
I don't think the League shares that many weapons. It's called "League of non alligned worlds" rather than "Allied worlds" for a reason. They seem to be more like the NATO or UNO or something even more loosely affiliated rather than any alliance close enough to share their most powerfull weapons with each other.

Sure the Drazi sell to just about anyone who can afford it and at least the Pak'ma'ra have been buying from them, but the league has many races and we can't judge them all because of how the Drazi act.
For example I've yet to see Vree weapons mounted on another race's ship and we havn't even seen any Abbai or Gaim ships (except for tabletop and rpg games which are non-canon) or what kind of weapons the Ipsha employ.

 

Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
I'm not saying not to add them I'm saying keep an open mind to what may and may not be canon.  Narn using Cenauri beams would fit because the Narn used Centauri tech against the Centauri when the broke out of slavery.    So why would they change color of the beams?  Maybe they didn't.  Maybe the beams the Narn/Centauri/EA/ and other "younger races" use are actually invisible and the color we see is added for aiming reasons and can be changed as simple as changing a light bulb so they changed the color so they could tell friendly vs hostile fire. 

Lets go with another example those Drakh ships.  As alread shown there is very little evidence of what they fire.  Heck we don't even know if they had multiple fighter types.  What we do have is one ship shooting blue beams with pulses then the color changes when seen later on.  What we have is a ship that shoots pulse turrets and has an option beam as well as a second fighter.  Now lets look at that blue beam in the pic from the show.  How do we know those pulses are part of the beam and not a second weapon?  Those blue pluses seen around the Excalibur could be the same weapon being fired at the same time as the beam but the beams have been upgraded with Shadow tech so they are no longer blue, possibly do more damage, but can't be fired as often so you now have pulses being fired without beams. 

Is that all just speculation?  Yep.  But until something canon comes out and says it's dead wrong then it's possible TBP got it right. 

No-one ever listens to Zathras. Quite mad, they say. It is good that Zathras does not mind. He's even grown to like it. Oh yes. -Zathras

 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
I'm not saying not to add them I'm saying keep an open mind to what may and may not be canon.

I don't think we will ever know what is canon. So for me only what is seen on the show, and even more so, only at the time when Ron Thornton and FI had control over the CGI is considered canon or whatever. If you read the articles at the B5 Scrolls, you will notice that the guys at FI really cared about bringing some logic into the B5 world, compared to the technobabble we knew from ST, down to getting the inertia of the Starfuries right and the gravity of the station itself. And even they made errors, like the Omegas firing beams out of the wrong guns and never using their missiles.

The rest I explain to myself by comparing the technological states of the different races which did play a huge role in B5. Vorlons and Shadows being the most powerful, use beams no other races use. Already here I dislike the Spitfires and Scouts not using beams but this is like it was shown. Their main helper races the Minbari and Drakh again use beams no other races use because they won't submit their advantage easily. With them I really dislike the ugly Drakh ship design and would rather have seen the much stranger looking Streib ships in their place, which (not by accident?), use blue beams as well, as did the X-Omega destroyers, which are based on Shadow tech. So far it all makes some sense to me.

EA and Narn using the same beams is logical too, and I don't think we are talking about easily replaceable colors here. I bet the FI guys wanted to differentiate the races and their technological state by their weapons. They did so regarding the engines and the artificial gravity too. Vorlons, Shadows, Minbari, Drakh and several league races all have no jet engines and supposedly artificial gravity. Centauri have the latter but classical engines, so they could be somewhere inbetween. EA and Narn have jet engines and no gravity, so it all makes sense in perspective of their development! BTW, did we ever get to see a Pak'ma'ra ship? I can't honestly remember...

 

Offline -Norbert-

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
The only Pak'ma'ra owned ship we ever saw in the show was a Drazi Sunhawk (or Firehawk... but I think the former), which was destroyed by the Drakh shortly before they sent their ambassador to meet with Delenn and Forell on a White Star.

And I never saw any Drakh fire violet beams. The only thing I saw firing violet beams were Shadow ships and the Death Cloud (which is fully Shadow tech that the Drakh used, but didn't build themselfs). According to the show the Drakh found the cloud itself and according to the Centauri Trilogy books they found an automated factory that build it for them, which Vir and some technomages destroyed before it could finish a second cloud.

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
At least in this release of the effects the Advanced Omega uses the same beam graphics and translation values as the Drakh minus the pulses, as per "Between the Darkness and the Light." 

It makes you wonder if Clark hadn't been disposed and Earth had continued on "that" path if humanity would have ended up another Shadow thrall race like the Drakh. 

 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
And I never saw any Drakh fire violet beams.

Yes, because even the Shadows wanted to keep some advantage over their peers. As did the Vorlons...

 

Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
You also have to remember the Shadows and Vorlons had organic tech which may have not been entirely reproducible by the Drakh or even the ISA ships with organic hulls.  The different color beams might just be a hybrid tech of the shadow weapons and the existing species weapons. 
No-one ever listens to Zathras. Quite mad, they say. It is good that Zathras does not mind. He's even grown to like it. Oh yes. -Zathras

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Regarding Shadow ship explosions, I'm pretty sure we can specify a specific explosion animation for individual ship classes. We are very fortunate in this case that the original table editors for TBP did not give the Shadow ships a shockwave effect be default.  Therefore, swapping in the asteroid explosion should be simple, though I'd like to think we can do better than that.  If I can pull it off, I'm going to make the explosion a deeper black, like the ship itself. 

I'm not so sure about individual ship classes, or species for that matter, being allowed a unique damage/particle spew.  I always imagined the Shadow ships in the game should "bleed" like the wounded ones in the show do, rather than spout those little trails of flame like all the other ships.  I know SCP is in a code freeze right now, and even if they weren't, I doubt unique damage spews would be high on their list.

 

Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Particle spew defined in species_defs has been broke since retail but hopefully will be fixed soon if it wasn't in the last couple of weeks.  Then we can just use an existing shadow map for the pieces.
No-one ever listens to Zathras. Quite mad, they say. It is good that Zathras does not mind. He's even grown to like it. Oh yes. -Zathras

 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Regarding Shadow ship explosions, I'm pretty sure we can specify a specific explosion animation for individual ship classes.

While we are talking about explosions, Slasher, I know your current effects project goes in the opposite direction :), but do you think it would be possible to make the explosions more like in the FI time of the show itself? Without any of these clouds and shockwaves, just a bright flash with sparks and then the ship breaking apart?

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
You mean like the Season 1 explosions? :D

It's doable for fighters and small ships, like transports.  I haven't fully tested m!m's particle trail script with TBP yet, so it might help in pulling off that effect.  Explosion effects will probably be revisited anyway since this was my first time working with that particular animation editor.

For big ships were stuck with big, fiery Hollywood explosions unless we can cut capital ship explosion times down to a couple seconds.  I'm not a huge fan of the Star Warsy shockwaves myself, but they're a gameplay concession from/for TBP 3.4.

 

Offline wesp5

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
You mean like the Season 1 explosions? :D

I'm pretty sure they were like this until FI was kicked out. Just look at Shadow Dancing! There are only very few cloud explosions and most of them not much larger than the exploding ship itself. All the others are just bright lights and a lots of small spark-like particles.

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For big ships were stuck with big, fiery Hollywood explosions unless we can cut capital ship explosion times down to a couple seconds.  I'm not a huge fan of the Star Warsy shockwaves myself, but they're a gameplay concession from/for TBP 3.4.

I just did a quick test by removing the big explosions by limiting the animations to just the first frame. But then even with the ships breaking up fine, there is some kind of light and particle effect missing to make it look like a real explosion at all...

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
It's not the length of the animation I'm concerned about so much as the time it takes for a capital ship to break apart.  I have far less control over that, so we fit the explosion animation accordingly.

 

Offline FUBAR-BDHR

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
If you want to play with it I suggest checking the Wiki as a number of new features for ship deaths have been added since 3.6.12:  http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/index.php/Ships.tbl#.24Expl_Inner_Rad:
No-one ever listens to Zathras. Quite mad, they say. It is good that Zathras does not mind. He's even grown to like it. Oh yes. -Zathras

 

Offline Slasher

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
It looks like particle spew characteristics can still be modified except for the actual graphic itself.  I remember earlier this year I tried to use the particle effect for glowing hit decals by giving them a velocity of zero, but then they didn't move with the ship they were on.  Still, given the options available, I can at least try to get a more "organic" explosion for the Shadow ships.

 
Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Me n my bros have recently downloaded TBP and love it. How does one acquire all these cool updates that you guys are working on in this thread?

 

Offline -Norbert-

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
By patiently waiting for them to finish the work and release it would be my best guess.

 

Offline Vidmaster

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Re: If TBP could have new effects, what would you want to see?
Shadow Craps vomiting out their entrails upon death would certainly add a lot to the game's atmosphere.
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Does crazy Software Engineering for a living, until he finally musters the courage to start building games for real. Might never happen.