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FreeSpace Releases => Mission & Campaign Releases => Topic started by: SilverAngelX on July 18, 2021, 09:38:34 am

Title: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on July 18, 2021, 09:38:34 am
(https://i.imgur.com/L099rtN.png)
After a lot of work and finetuning I am happy to announce the release of part 1 of my campaign series:
New Path
Chapter 1: Scientific Revenge

The GTVA survived the Second Shivan Incursion and the Capella Catastrophe. But more challenges lie ahead and the question remains: What is the best way to approach them? Does humanity learn from the mistakes of the past and change its way or do they continue as before?
 
Five years have passed since Capella and a new administration has taken the reigns and tries to answer that question. Their goal is to not repeat past mistakes and put humanity on a New Path...


This campaign is now available on Knossos or here (https://fsnebula.org/mod/NewPath). It features:

Setting and Story
This campaign takes places 5 years after Capella. This event had - unsurprisingly - caused a massive shakeup in the Alliance and its consequences can be felt to this day. But despite the odds the Alliance, for the most part, has weathered that storm quite well so far. While a lot of issues still remain to be solved, the GTVA seems to be on a good path, in part thanks to recent political changes. A new adminstration has taken over and they vowed to learn from the mistakes of the past and put humanity and the GTVA on a new path to the future. So far this has played out decently. But will that new path work out with the threat of another Shivan attack looming on the horizon? Only time will tell...

You are Carl Bristow, a veteran of the Second Shivan Incursion. After several months of injury absence you return to your post onboard the GTD Phoenicia as squadron leader shortly before the 5th anniversary of the Capelle supernova. What seems to be routine at first, will turn to anything but routine quickly as you come across new threats and notice things happening around you. Can you face the new threats of the GTVA and keep the GTVA on its new path?

Sorry, no more spoilers. You will have to find out the rest yourself.

FAQ
Q: What's the focus of this campaign?
A: The focus is on story telling. While I tried to also make a decent and varied gameplay, the story always comes first. So, if you want to have challenging dogfights, massive space battles or really long missions all the time, this might not be for you. If you want to see my take on a continuation of the FS story (or at least the first chapter of it), be my guest.

What mission or gameplay style can I expect?
A: My style is what some would call "Vanilla FreeSpace", so missions with a variety of objectives and classic FreeSpace gameplay as you would find it in the original campaigns. There are some improvements of the SCP used by my campaign, but carefully dosed. While I applaud those campaign devs who push the engine to new grounds gameplay-wise, that isn't my personal style and preferred gameplay. That's why I kept this campaign fairly traditional.

Q: Does this campaign take place in the same universe as other campaigns?
A: No, this is a seperate timeline, literally a new path. But there are references to other well-known campaigns like ST:R or Blue Planet.

Q: Is there voice acting in this campaign?
A: No, there is no voice acting so far. While I hope to add that one day, it's not my priority at the moment. I want to focus on the remaining story first. And maybe then add a full voice acting later. Since I have a lot of named characters, having their arcs completed and being able to record all their lines at the same time would also lower the risk of having to re-cast them between chapters.

Q: When can we expect the next chapter? This better not be another campaign left hanging in the air after the first part...
A: While I can't promise a certain date (and don't want to either), I have the next chapters already planned out. But before I start fredding them, I always take my time to flesh out and refine the scripts. This first chapter took a bit more than a year and a half from first script idea to final release. The next chapters will be a bit shorter, so I hope to do it in about a year. Still, as I can't predict the future and what will happen in RL, I won't commit to a certain date. In that regard, my attitude is a bit like the classic Blizzard style: "It's done when it's done".

Q: I found a bug, where can I report it?
A: Just report it in this thread or contact me on Discord: SilverAngelX#8757

Have fun playing.
SilverAngelX


Patch 1.0.1 Changes

Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Colonol Dekker on July 18, 2021, 02:47:50 pm
I'm curious about these live action cutscenes.... Curious and excited.

Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: 5thAce on July 18, 2021, 03:53:00 pm
  • 5 cutscenes, 4 of them live action (think of them as a nod to the good old C&C cutscenes)
   

No capitalism in SPAAACE!
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: ShivanSlayer on July 19, 2021, 01:58:02 am
Took me several hours, but I beat it.  Was quite a challenge so I definitely needed a beer afterwards.   Decent story, nice callbacks to the vanilla Freespace 2 campaign, the cutscenes are well made, and the cliffhanger leaves me wanting more.  You even made a scanning mission that does NOT give me aneurysms.  The custom made credits scene is also a nice touch, and more custom made campaigns should have end credits like that.   Two major negatives though,  the mission to destroy the intrepid is tedious because of how hard it is to damage the engines, and having to do it 5 times. Also, on the mission to disable the Bosch, poor wingman A.I make it hard to get your wingmates to attack the Bosch.  Lost it at least 4 times due to wingmates ignoring orders and attacking fighters instead
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on July 19, 2021, 09:46:09 am
Thanks for the feedback. In regards to your negatives:
- Mission 17 was meant to be kind of tedious, and I already toned it down during playtesting compared to my first draft. But still, maybe it could have been a little bit shorter and less frustrating. It was (and is) really hard to find the right balance for that one. Maybe I'll do some more rebalancing in a future update.
- With mission 20 I agree, the wingman AI doesn't help a lot. In most of my test runs I basically let them play with the enemy fighters and did the disarming and disabling mostly by myself, with some help from Alpha 2 who has a higher AI level. I at least had the impression that it helped a bit compared to the rest.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: KarvedOnions on July 19, 2021, 01:03:18 pm
Is there any particular reason why the MV_Advanced packages are required? I'm really interested in getting this mod and it looks cool but I don't want to risk the several gigabyte download size when it requires packages that are meant only for higher end machines and I have a very basic PC.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on July 19, 2021, 02:02:56 pm
Is there any particular reason why the MV_Advanced packages are required?
To be honest, I'm not sure whether I had a particular reason when I set up the dependencies (it was a while ago). I will have a look and check if I can remove it as a required package for the next version.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: KarvedOnions on July 19, 2021, 02:14:32 pm
If you do I'll be very interested in checking out New Path, thanks for the response
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: praseodym on July 25, 2021, 10:38:22 am
First mission: If ignoring the Acheron and after the fight, if I try to complete the waypoints, the "subspace transmission" occurs (again), even after the Acheron left the field!
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Fusion on July 26, 2021, 02:01:35 am
There are some spelling errors, and it is possible to break some things(eg. take out turrets before they're supposed to fire and destroy a ship), but the campaign as a whole was good. The live action GNN cutscenes were good, and kudos to Mjn for helping create command briefing animations - it really differentiated this campaign from a lot of the other stuff out there.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on July 26, 2021, 10:08:51 am
Thanks for your feedback. Could you give me a list of the spelling errors you found? And be a bit more specific about the gameplay issues you found? I'm currently preparing a small update to address some of the things mentioned here.

Regarding the CB anims and without wanting to downplay Mjn's outstanding animation skills: He did provide two of the anims and an updated starmap which I used for some more, but most of the anims were made by myself.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: 5thAce on August 01, 2021, 02:40:26 am
So currently playing through the campaign and I'll say for the most part, so far so good. One major criticism I do have though is this campaign has a case of what I call "Alpha wing syndrome". What this is, is that in most missions where you would expect to have multiple friendly wings assisting you, it turns out that either only Alpha wing is deployed to the area, or it's Alpha wing and perhaps one other smaller or damaged wing. In other words in some of these mission you get overwhelmed quite easily.

Here is an example: In the mission Enif, the Massana jumps in but does not deploy any reinforcement wings what so ever.
"Ahab" is another instance, when the gas miner convoy jumps in, and Alpha alone needs to defend it against multiple wings.
Instances like this where logically an additional wing or two would be deployed along side alpha or you get mid mission reinforcements, simply don't happen.

In "Raiding Raiders", I would personally make those containers invincible since during the firefight, some fighters will actually attack the cargo. Losing even one of those containers fails the mission.

Now mind you I'm only 50% through the campaign, and I play on Hard difficulty so my experience may not be completely representative. When I complete the campaign I'll get back to this review.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on August 01, 2021, 03:44:19 am
Hi there, thanks for the feedback.

The lack of reinforcements is intentional. The background scenario of the whole campaign is that the Alliance is still recovering from Capella. As a result there's a lack of assets, lack of parts and also lack of pilots, while on the other hand there's no shortage of places where help is needed. So, Fleet Command has to be very careful and consider how many ships/wings they can actually send to each of the mission sites. That does mean of course that you are on your own a lot of times, especially for some of the smaller scale missions.

Regarding the containers: It's intentional again that they're not invincible. It would make the mission too easy in my opinion of you can simply destroy the freighters without thinking about the containers at all. It wouldn't make too much sense from a lore consistency point of view too. I did make a compromise in terms of gameplay, though: I raised their HP significantly and also did some scripting to give them a certain amount of protection, but after all it's the mission goal to protect them.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on August 01, 2021, 09:55:36 am
I have just published a first minor update to address some of the feedback from this thread and also a little bit of the feedback from Discord.

Patch 1.0.1 Changes

Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: ShivanSlayer on August 01, 2021, 12:03:18 pm
Liking the new description for the Boanerges.  But one thing I would like to add is how the Boanerges is not very viable for attacking anything that doesn't require torpedoes to take down because it only has two guns.  Say what you want about the Ursa's super slow speed, but it can actually be a viable dogfighter in a head to head slugging match where its armor allows it to tank incoming fire while its own guns wear down the enemy fighter's weaker shields and armor.  Usually when flying one, I can take down a few fighter escorts. Load it with dual maxims, and you can rip apart convoys and cruisers with ease while saving torpedos for ships that cannot be taken down with your guns. A Boanerges is outgunned by any ship in a head on match.  I mostly use the Boanerges when speed is of the utmost importance
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Belisarius on August 11, 2021, 10:46:24 pm
I like the campaign so far. More story driven than action packed is the way to go for me. But I seem to have trouble loading textures from certain installation type models that are not part of the MVP package. I ran veryfication checks several time for the mod and the media vps, but that didn't return anything. Thanks to the helpfull hands of JadedDragoon on Discord we figured out that the mod is missing the related files it seems. Below are the errors I get when loading the Asteria installation in the tech room with a debug build, but other installation models also don't seem to load all textures, but I haven't checked them all.

Here the FS2 log: https://fsnebula.org/log/61148ed3b15aef1dcc95ce59

Code: [Select]
Warning: Couldn't open texture 'install01-05'
referenced by model 'GTI_Asteria.pof'

File: modelread.cpp
Line: 2576


Warning: Couldn't open texture 'install01-02'
referenced by model 'GTI_Asteria.pof'

File: modelread.cpp
Line: 2576

Warning: Couldn't open texture 'capital05-02'
referenced by model 'GTI_Asteria.pof'

File: modelread.cpp
Line: 2576

Warning: Couldn't open texture 'doctile4'
referenced by model 'GTI_Asteria.pof'

File: modelread.cpp
Line: 2576

Warning: Couldn't open texture 'install01-06'
referenced by model 'GTI_Asteria.pof'

File: modelread.cpp
Line: 2576

Warning: Couldn't open texture 'aeolus-htl_debris'
referenced by model 'GTI_Asteria.pof'

File: modelread.cpp
Line: 2576
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Nyctaeus on August 12, 2021, 02:23:01 am
You need MV_Compatibility.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Belisarius on August 12, 2021, 03:20:10 am
You need MV_Compatibility.
I thought I had it downloaded when I downloaded everything else. Did so now and the missing textures are there now. Thank you
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on August 12, 2021, 08:15:34 am
Thanks for the report. I will add MV_Compatibility to the list of required packages from the MVPs for the next update.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Belisarius on August 13, 2021, 03:23:15 am
Now I'm through the campaign's first chapter and overall I like it really much. It uses the original music, original backgrounds and weapons which keeps the original feeling of Freespace, love it. The missions are action packed, but you never get lost with one exception:

Spoiler:
When the Bosch self destructed and the pod left the hangar, I was completely lost, because if I stay too close to the Bosch I get killed by the blast and if I try to avoid that by keeping my distance I can't even see the pod except on the radar. I couldn't target it either by pressing H, but had to scroll through the targets with T, so I missed it quite a few times.

I also love the news flashes. Only thing that troubles me with it is that they are extremely loud and there's no chance, except via windows sound controll, to turn down the volume.

Other than that it's a cool campaign and I'm eager to play through the second act.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Ferret on September 11, 2021, 06:47:38 pm
I'm really enjoying the campaign, but I just got to mission 16 Interference and I have a game breaking bug.

Spoiler:
The "silent mode" wont initialise. I'm hitting 1 as hard as I can. On numpad too and it's just not doing anything, all the while Command is having a go at me. I've ensured it's unbound to anything else but still nothing. Tried rolling my face across the keyboard and nothing works. Any ideas? I'm just running through Knossos with FSO 21.4.0-RC3
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on September 12, 2021, 07:02:44 am
That's strange. I was unable to reproduce this behavior, neither with RC3 nor RC4. In all cases I tried, the game reacted as expected. It would seem that there must be some sort of configuration thing on your side. But since the key is unbound, as you say, I have no idea at the moment what that could be. Maybe someone else with more knowledge of the inner workings of the engine has a clue...
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Goober5000 on September 12, 2021, 03:37:39 pm
It's probably because the key is unbound that it's not working.  Try binding it to "(Multiplayer) Message All".
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Ferret on September 12, 2021, 06:30:03 pm
It's probably because the key is unbound that it's not working.  Try binding it to "(Multiplayer) Message All".

That actually worked. Thanks! I have no idea how it got unbound in the first place.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: Colt on February 03, 2022, 10:22:58 am
Finally got around to playing New Path a couple of days ago. This was a very fun campaign, and I particularly liked the world building. Mission balance was nice with very few hiccups along the way. It's certainly replay worthy! I'm eagerly looking forward to Act 2.  :nod:

A couple of little bugs I came across:

Spoiler:
In the mission where you and your wings are in silent mode waiting for the enemy convoy to arrive, Alpha 4 and Beta 4 still had their engine thrusters enabled.

In the penultimate I got both the good and bad debriefing after McPherson's pod was towed away. Fortunately the mission still proceeded.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on February 04, 2022, 12:27:30 pm
Thanks for the feedback, I will check on those. I hope I can get a bugfixing update out within the next couple of weeks. It will likely be the last one before chapter 2 (writing is progressing; slower than I had hoped, but progressing nevertheless).
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: 0rph3u5 on February 12, 2022, 11:54:02 am
Okay, I made it past mission 18, so I feel qualified to review this campaign - I am going to finish it later but going from Mission 17 into the Mission 18 kinda exhausted me...

First, I would like to commend you - for your first campaign this is solid writing, even thought there are a few cringe elements there; and I am saying this after having stared down my own first campaign recently, which were of much lesser quality and need(ed) a lot of polish before I could be satisfied with them.
The scenario, while wholly original (it reminds me a bit of the Auriga-subplot in Derelict), is well executed and with much more attention to making it credible than previous versions I've played.

The bad mostly comes from stuff that I can understand as being the result of a lack of experience but should nonetheless be mentioned here:

- The balance of many missions can swing wildly; sometimes its is an overreliance on the "Near Ship"-arrival anchor which introduces "wild" variation through the sheer distance a player has to travel, where it is not needed (e.g. Missions 5 and 11), other times it appears to be that the balance was done using subtraction method of balancing (i.e. start with a high volume of the enemy fighters and reduce their numbers to balance), which can compound with the existing familiarity of the mission to declare the balancing okay prematurely (I know, I am guitly of that many times over).

- Towards the end the scenario trips over itself and goes against it previously established creditibility - Mission 17 and Mission 18 reduce the countering the supposed enemy brain power into exercises in tedium. If you are enemies are supposed to be that smart as suggested before those mission, these kind of attrition based scenarios should allow them to do more - A steady drip may errode a mountain, but the moutain doesn't have the ability and smarts to make an umbrella. /tortured metaphore

- Another thing - which ususally is not something you hold against a first time-campaign maker, but Mission 5 made it painfully obvious - is that the campaign could benefit from allowing more "partial success" states for its missions - these add some replayability to the campaign but also function as an acknowledgement of player skill, which create a sense of ackomplishment not just completion.

- And some newer techniques to improve battlefield awareness could provide a significant improvement on occassion - e.g. to use a consistent lingustic framing for the directives which makes a difference between fighter wings ("Destroy") and bomber wings ("Intercept").


In a nutshell, a first outing with some familiar issues for first time campaign makers but still wroth the time investment to check it out - not only to enjoy the novelty of the FMV cutscenes.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: 0rph3u5 on February 13, 2022, 08:06:36 am
Two bugs I found in Mission 19:
Spoiler:
When the Bosch reaches the Node and self-destructs, the same dialogue as if Lambda had docked - even if Lambda was not arrived yet.

Transport Omega is not secured against being disabled and the mission always fails if it doesn't dock with the Pod.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on February 13, 2022, 09:32:13 am
Hi 0rph3u5,
thanks for your feedback. I added the two bugs to my to-do list.

Regarding your general feedback:

Again, thanks for the feedback and I will certainly have some more awareness to some of the things during the development of chapter 2.
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: 0rph3u5 on February 13, 2022, 10:56:13 am
Near ship anchor: This one's an example of finding the right compromise between in-universe realism and gameplay balancing. In-universe it does make a lot of sense for an attack on a stationary target to jump in from various attack vectors for the expressed purpose of making the defenders fly long distances. In case of mission 11 I do agree, that the large hitbox of an Arcadia makes that more challenging than it should be and I've already changed the mission to have a more localized entry area for the attackers.

Ironically, there is a way to fix that which uses "Near Ship" - you just have to stop using Acadia as the Anchor but instead use an alternative:

e.g. the new Omnibus-version of Rain on Ribos IV, Mission 12 uses stealthed and cloacked nav buoys to keep Durga and Kali wing from arriving at wildly disadvantageous positions:
1) Durga wing data
Code: [Select]
$Name: Durga
[...]
$Arrival Location: Near Ship
+Arrival Distance: 150
$Arrival Anchor: Durga arrival anchor
[...]
2) event moving the Durga arrival anchor
Code: [Select]
$Formula: ( every-time-argument
   ( any-of "Duty" "Loyality" )
   ( and
      ( has-arrived-delay 0 "<argument>" )
      ( not
         ( destroyed-or-departed-delay
            0
            "Duty"
            "Loyalty"
         )
      )
   )
   ( set-object-position
      "Durga arrival anchor"
      ( get-object-x
         "<argument>"
         "<none>"
         2000
         300
         -800
      )
      ( get-object-y
         "<argument>"
         "<none>"
         2000
         300
         -800
      )
      ( get-object-z
         "<argument>"
         "<none>"
         2000
         300
         -800
      )
   )
)
+Name: durga arrival point move
+Repeat Count: 1
+Interval: 1
You can add a random element with something similar to the following (from RoR_17a-new):
Code: [Select]
$Formula: ( when-argument
   ( random-multiple-of
      "Paimon anchor 1"
      "Paimon anchor 2"
      "Paimon anchor 3"
      "Paimon anchor 4"
   )
   ( true )
   ( set-arrival-info
      "Krishna#wave 1"
      "Near Ship"
      "<argument>"
      0
      120
      0
      ( true )
   )
)
+Name: arrival anchor wave 1-1
+Repeat Count: 1
+Interval: 1
... or just appyling a varibale that is randomized each time the event executes and setting the position of anchor each time to a set of coordinates linked to each possible value of the variable.

That way you get the attack wings to attack from different vectors but also retain some control so the spread is not as wild as with a pure "Near Ship".
Title: Re: RELEASE: New Path Chapter 1
Post by: SilverAngelX on February 13, 2022, 12:45:51 pm
Yeah, the nav buoy is my solution as well.