Poll

What do you think about the subject?

I wholeheartedly agree. More Terran factions would have ensured a deeper and meaningful plot.
I agree, but only partially. At least one alien species is necessary to consider FreeSpace a true space shooter
I don't agree. I think more Terran opponents, however, may have raised the overall quality of FreeSpace.
I don't agree. Things are fine as they are, and I can't think of any Terran faction which may have replaced the Vasudans and/or the Shivans.
I don't agree. More Alien species would have been a great idea.
Snuffleupagus. Sincerely indifferent to the topic, as I put hostile Terran factions and alien species to the same level.

Author Topic: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?  (Read 8692 times)

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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Herra, stop spoiling things.  :mad:

You stop validating my spoilers!

They aren't spoilers if they don't know they are! :lol:
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Offline headdie

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
* headdie grabbs the arms of his chair and waits to ride the thread in its descent to chaos
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Herra, stop spoiling things.  :mad:

You stop validating my spoilers!

They aren't spoilers if they don't know they are! :lol:

HRRRRRRRRRNGH

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
* Herra Tohtori imagines campaign-start-up screen where you roll and assign STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS and CHAR values to the character, and the campaign will use these values somehow...

Transcend: Okay, now roll SAN.
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Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
As soon as Niven or whatever his name was started the countdown, I started formulating a plan which involved targeting Niven, expecting the squadron to fall into disarray due to loss of leadership, and then shoot my way out using tempests. Not in those words of course, since I was only about 8/9. :P And unfortunately FS doesn't model the loss of leadership within a squadron.


...you COULD technically probably FRED that sort of thing.

Morale would affect the hostiles' and friendly ships' AI levels. A squadron losing their leader would fall apart unless the second in command saved their morale check and took command immediately.
Well interestingly enough I have FREDed a similar kind of thing (one of the proof of concept missions I have lying around in hard to find places) where the squadron lost the squadron commander and several pilots decided to attack, others with no orders, and one jumping out. Although this was from an SOC perspective and the the SOC pilots subsequently took advantage of the situation by crushing the enemy fighter escort and capturing the freighter (objective of the mission).

I found it quite funny the first time, seeing the enemy fighters scatter in a 'bomb-burst' type formation.

Anyway, interesting thing to try out/think about. At the time of FREDing I was toying around with using a random number variable to determine which pilots broke, which of them departed, and which of them did nothing. Come to think of it, I should've implemented a "2IC save", where the squadron retained cohesion due to the swift action of the 2IC.

Man, this is sounding more like warhammer 40k. :P
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Freespace Rap: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,62924.0.html

The Fighter Pilot Series: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=72431.msg1431423#msg1431423

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Squad broken?
17:37:02   Quanto: I want to have sexual intercourse with every space elf in existence
17:37:11   SpardaSon21: even the males?
17:37:22   Quanto: its not gay if its an elf

[21:51] <@Droid803> I now realize
[21:51] <@Droid803> this will be SLIIIIIGHTLY awkward
[21:51] <@Droid803> as this rich psychic girl will now be tsundere for a loli.
[21:51] <@Droid803> OH WELLL.

See what you're missing in #WoD and #Fsquest?

[07:57:32] <Caiaphas> inspired by HerraTohtori i built a supermaneuverable plane in ksp
[07:57:43] <Caiaphas> i just killed my pilots with a high-g maneuver
[07:58:19] <Caiaphas> apparently people can't take 20 gees for 5 continuous seconds
[08:00:11] <Caiaphas> the plane however performed admirably, and only crashed because it no longer had any guidance systems

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
It's in War in Heaven a few places. I don't know how noticeable it actually is; there would probably have to be explicit messages about it for the player to really see the change.

 

Offline Androgeos Exeunt

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Quote
has anyone ever felt sad when taking down an NTF fighter or bomber?

Why would I be? They shot first.
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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Yes.  Just like Han Solo did.

And feel free to interpret it as a mocking of the asinine re-write or a declaration of the truth of Han shooting first, either way makes sense.
17:37:02   Quanto: I want to have sexual intercourse with every space elf in existence
17:37:11   SpardaSon21: even the males?
17:37:22   Quanto: its not gay if its an elf

[21:51] <@Droid803> I now realize
[21:51] <@Droid803> this will be SLIIIIIGHTLY awkward
[21:51] <@Droid803> as this rich psychic girl will now be tsundere for a loli.
[21:51] <@Droid803> OH WELLL.

See what you're missing in #WoD and #Fsquest?

[07:57:32] <Caiaphas> inspired by HerraTohtori i built a supermaneuverable plane in ksp
[07:57:43] <Caiaphas> i just killed my pilots with a high-g maneuver
[07:58:19] <Caiaphas> apparently people can't take 20 gees for 5 continuous seconds
[08:00:11] <Caiaphas> the plane however performed admirably, and only crashed because it no longer had any guidance systems

 

Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Yes.  Just like Han Solo did.

And feel free to interpret it as a mocking of the asinine re-write or a declaration of the truth of Han shooting first, either way makes sense.
Yeah. Pilots rarely feel the same kind of remorse as infantry do to 'killing', and hell, they don't typically view themselves as killing anything, you'll find that most pilots stuck their thoughts to "I'm shooting down a machine". In any pilot's career, the number of times a dogfight becomes 'personal' is a mere handful, from what I've read of pilot bios.

When your mate goes down, etc, those are the kind of events that typically brought pilots back to reality, and the fact that they were killing people. It's generally a taboo subject anyway, and for good reason.

But back to a squadron losing cohesion upon the loss of the squadron commander, you could also argue that in combat, this wouldn't affect the unit nearly as much as it would if it were an infantry unit. Why? Because all of these pilots are officers, people with leadership ability who can and will take command in the absence of leadership in these kind of situations. And especially in the case of fighters, those are the real bright bunch of boys and girls there, most of whom would not crack under pressure.
Trendy Lefty. Good music from a good friend of mine.

Freespace Rap: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,62924.0.html

The Fighter Pilot Series: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=72431.msg1431423#msg1431423

The word 'Yo' is only ever to be used as a singular greeting.
It is considered an insult to destroy a perfectly acceptable greeting by misuse. A 'Yo-Yo' is a toy spun from the index finger by small children and enthusiasts,
any such use as a greeting will result in prompt reprimand by any member of the 'African-American' or 'Sri-Lankans-who-think-they're-black' community

Fury`: if General Krav Maga wouldn't be enough, beating up 16 teenagers is going to get me into jail :p /
BlackMan: Maybe if you turned into pedobear you'd be more of a threat

 

Offline Lucika

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
I always love listening to people coming up with rationales for being bastards. :p

First, :P
Second, I was thinking that the loop would be, in fact, a lot longer.  :nod:
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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
For a game that's over a decade old, we can't really expect it to be as indepth. Take for an example, Mass Effect's universe compared to any older RPGs. Old games just don't develop the same kind of really immersive and indepth universes. Sequals and novels usually attempt to expand on the game universe and since there's no FS3, there isn't a more indepth game. I think it's very possible to have more human aspects personal depth  in the game but that would involve removing the generic pilot Alpha 1 and/or making others more fleshed out instead of unnamed wingman #45.

As for pilots panicking and breaking apart, it would probably have to involve most of the squadron dying with the survivors facing overwhelming odds, kinda like Lt. Ash in the FS1 intro.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
That's ... astonishingly wrong. I will point you towards Planescape: Torment, and leave it there. I'm quite sure there are other games that are just as in-depth as Mass Effect that are even older than that.
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Offline headdie

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
UFO Enemy unknown (X-Com: UFO Defense If your American) 1994

if a soldier got killed it knocked the remainder of the squad and the higher rank the killed soldier the bigger the impact.  the lower a soldiers moral got the more likely they were to panic resulting in either freezing to the spot for a turn, shooting randomly or dropping anything in their hands and running blindly.  also take into account atmospheric music, chilling sound effects, some well thought out plot points, imaginative bad-guys ( /me still shivers at the thought of Chryssalid 15 years after playing the demo) and character development for all stats on all soldiers (I have had games with 45+ soldiers across different response bases)
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 03:34:24 pm by headdie »
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Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
That'd probably be an accurate representation of how things would function in an infantry section, but in the section, things are very different to how they function in a squadron. An infantry officer tells his platoon (generally) how he wants things done and is the sole officer within the unit, supported by the Sergeant(s) and so on. Once all the NCOs are gone, there's no-one to take leadership, and once the Platoon commander is down, there are no other officers in the platoon, which is a worry for morale.

In the squadron though, the Squadron Commander is really a Captain among Captains, as the saying goes. All the pilots are officers, and none will hesitate to take command in the absence of leadership, therefore I think there'd be a much higher chance of the squadron recovering from the loss of the squadron commander.

As for pilots panicking and breaking apart, it would probably have to involve most of the squadron dying with the survivors facing overwhelming odds, kinda like Lt. Ash in the FS1 intro.
This I'd agree with, but even then, I don't think it'd be more than a 1/2 chance.

Trendy Lefty. Good music from a good friend of mine.

Freespace Rap: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,62924.0.html

The Fighter Pilot Series: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=72431.msg1431423#msg1431423

The word 'Yo' is only ever to be used as a singular greeting.
It is considered an insult to destroy a perfectly acceptable greeting by misuse. A 'Yo-Yo' is a toy spun from the index finger by small children and enthusiasts,
any such use as a greeting will result in prompt reprimand by any member of the 'African-American' or 'Sri-Lankans-who-think-they're-black' community

Fury`: if General Krav Maga wouldn't be enough, beating up 16 teenagers is going to get me into jail :p /
BlackMan: Maybe if you turned into pedobear you'd be more of a threat

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
For a game that's over a decade old, we can't really expect it to be as indepth. Take for an example, Mass Effect's universe compared to any older RPGs. Old games just do-

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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
In the squadron though, the Squadron Commander is really a Captain among Captains, as the saying goes. All the pilots are officers, and none will hesitate to take command in the absence of leadership, therefore I think there'd be a much higher chance of the squadron recovering from the loss of the squadron commander.

The effect of losing a squadron leader is generally more of a long-term worry than an immediate danger in a fight. Fighter units will usually manuver and attack by element in combat, and with everyone essentially fighting their own seperate 2-vs-all or 4-vs-all the presence of an overriding squadron command level is somewhat superfluous.

In the long term, losing the squadron commander, particularly in a fighter unit with a sensation that things are not going well, is probably the single most destructive event for morale. It's less important for bombers since most Western countries and Russia/Japan can point to serious bomber losses on a regular basis as having been the norm in their experience, and bomber crew exists as a sub-unit within the unit so to speak; it's losing the pilot that will spook a crew, not losing the squadron commander. Similarly in modern times bombers might move in groups, but mostly they attack singly.
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Offline Dilmah G

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
Yeah, it is. By recovering from the loss of the squadron commander, I was referring to the situation in combat.

I recall reading a book about the Battle of Britain which featured a guy who'd been appointed the Squadron's new commander after the previous three had died in the two weeks before or something to that effect. At that point, I'd have imagined it causing a considerable drop in morale and by extension, their combat performance.

Trendy Lefty. Good music from a good friend of mine.

Freespace Rap: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,62924.0.html

The Fighter Pilot Series: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=72431.msg1431423#msg1431423

The word 'Yo' is only ever to be used as a singular greeting.
It is considered an insult to destroy a perfectly acceptable greeting by misuse. A 'Yo-Yo' is a toy spun from the index finger by small children and enthusiasts,
any such use as a greeting will result in prompt reprimand by any member of the 'African-American' or 'Sri-Lankans-who-think-they're-black' community

Fury`: if General Krav Maga wouldn't be enough, beating up 16 teenagers is going to get me into jail :p /
BlackMan: Maybe if you turned into pedobear you'd be more of a threat

 
Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
That's ... astonishingly wrong. I will point you towards Planescape: Torment, and leave it there. I'm quite sure there are other games that are just as in-depth as Mass Effect that are even older than that.

I take my statement back and apologize for my ignorance, although what I'm trying to say is that sequals tend to be more indepth. This is based on the observation that games tend to become more well defined. Look at Half-Life to Half-Life 2 or even Freespace 1 to Freespace 2. What I'm simply trying to say is that Freespace 3 if it was ever developed would have more personal elements.

 

Offline Gregster2k

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Re: Vasudans and Shivans: Responsible for limiting the depth of FreeSpace's plot?
It's not about the nature of enemies - alien or human.  It's not about how many Terran factions there are.  It's not even about whether you can empathize with your foe or not.  It's about the quantity, detail, and quality of information about the game universe, and how the plot takes advantage of it.

FreeSpace has plot, but very little lore.  If you compare the amount of lore provided as backing material to FreeSpace with that of Wing Commander, Wing Commander wins by a landslide (it provides massive star maps, historical time lines from the start of the Human-Kilrathi War to the end of it, dates and times, important political characters and their motivations and personalities).  Volition barely bothered by comparison.

Volition skipped the entire Terran-Vasudan War to get straight to the Shivan aspect of things.  Vasudans are people too -- :v: could have spent an entire game fleshing out the Terrans and Vasudans, providing backstories, factions, politics, leaders, peoples, their hearts, minds and (very differing) philosophies.  After playing that game, the player might object to the alliance with the Vasudans just like other pilots by the time the Shivans showed up - or even empathize with the Vasudans.  Volition didn't bother.

Volition focused on a very simple plot - two sworn enemies unite against a common, completely unreasonable foe, vanquish it, think they're awesome, and get humbled by that same common foe later.  Unreasonable foes like Shivans do make easy to write plots, but mainly because when the plot is "for humanity's survival," it's easy to dodge the question "Why am I fighting? What am I fighting for?" with the answer "To save mankind," rather than "for moral value X or moral value Y."

"Aliens are attacking, go save Earth" stories are easy to write.  You don't necessarily need a whole lot of lore or backstory for this to be exciting, and it's difficult to cram lore into a mission based format without having too much exposition.  The fact that Wing Commander bothered to provide the informational lore that it did (via game manuals, tech databases, cutscenes, etc.) is admirable; it went above and beyond the call of duty required to keep a player mindlessly fighting towards the next mission.  It gave them a universe.

It was Volition's choice to make their universe so simplistic.  Don't blame the Shivans - blame Volition.  Volition still could have provided information about the Terrans during the war against the Shivans which would have made the player wonder who they are fighting for.  They sort of touched upon this in FreeSpace 2, but never got much further than a single pilot complaining about the Iceni.  

I do believe that the Terrans could have been explored a little more.  Some of the biggest depth we got was knowing that corporations still exist in the GTA / GTVA, the GTI Rebellion, and the motivations of Admiral Aken Bosch and the NTF.  I spent a lot of time poring over the Tech Database's descriptions of Earth and Humans, wanting far more than it gave.  What about how planets are governed?  What are the people's rights?  Are people happy in the GTVA?  What about civilians?

The lack of information like this tends to force us to make up our own.  And that's what we do with our user-made campaigns...
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 03:17:26 am by Gregster2k »