Author Topic: Release: Mantle 1.0.0  (Read 19502 times)

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Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
I haven't played it yet, but I will certainly do when you can get rid off the BP-dependency (that would make things much easier for me). :)

Mind sharing the thoughts you had for the side-story/sequel/whatever? Probably there are some people interested in that.

 
Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
Right. So, Mantle was envisioned as a...probably something like forty-mission-long campaign. What I released was just the first section -- it was never intended to be the complete story; I just released it the way I did because I wanted to put something out and it made for a decent stopping-point.

Now, as for what the rest of it was going to be like...

Spoiler:
The story picks up with the Apocalypse and its crew in the system designated "Eden". After a few days of regrouping, Alpha wing is sent scouting. Deeper in the system, they find a debris field -- the remains of a planet. Investigating energy signatures, they come upon another Knossos device -- heavily damaged -- and two groups of primitive alien craft engaged in battle. Fearing that the second Knossos will be destroyed, potentially trapping them in-system, Amenophis orders the alien ships wiped out.

They report back, and Runihara sends out some more scouting missions to capture one of the alien craft so they can gather data. It turns out that the aliens are a species of quadrupedal reptiles who live in the debris field -- it used to be their homeworld, but it was destroyed hundreds of years ago during a huge conflict. The two warring factions are still carrying on their battle in the ruins.

The aliens are quite technologically backward compared to Terrans and Vasudans. They have no subspace capability, no shields, no energy weapons -- just rocket engines and mass drivers, basically. Runihara announces that these aliens must be blasphemers, and that the Shivans brought the Apocalypse here to destroy them.

The HoL launch an extermination campaign against the hapless aliens. It goes very easily, even after the two alien factions stop fighting and join forces. The only hiccup for the HoL occurs when the aliens manage to ambush and capture the Witness (that's the Bes-class freighter). Regardless, the Apocalypse wipes out the last of the alien habitats, secures the Knossos, and jumps through.

A tiny number of the aliens evaded detection, however, and they launch a strike against the Apocalypse in subspace using a light carrier rigged up with the Witness's subspace drive. But the HoL kill them anyway.

So the Apocalypse makes it back out into the next system, which, surprise surprise, is full of more Shivans. Including the same Lucifer that was chasing them before! So basically, the Eden system was this inaccessible island with only two nodes out, both of which were blocked by nonfunctional Knossos gates. But outside of it, everything is interconnected.

Anyway, they fight the Shivans some more. They start capturing and retrofitting Shivan fighters to replace their own destroyed craft -- then Shivan cruisers, then corvettes. Eventually they actually manage to attack and disable the Redeemer (the Lucifer-class), and then they gut the thing and stick its shields and armor and beams onto the Apocalypse.

They dick around with the Shivans some more, and go through a couple more systems. They run into some Sathanases, run away from them, and -- having hastily jumped through a subspace node -- they find themselves in the outer reaches of the Sol system, with the Shivans nowhere to be found.

Naturally, the HoL proceeds to murder everyone in sight. This goes on for a while. Amenophis starts to lose faith a bit. Maybe Dakarai dies or something? I dunno. Anyway, the Apocalypse blows up everything and then glasses Earth. This is basically the final combat mission.

Then -- well, I didn't have this planned out all that specifically, but the idea is that the player is meant to think the HoL are obviously delusional, and that they're spinning this whole grand tale about how the Shivans are shepherding them around when clearly they're just trying to kill the HoL like they try to kill everyone. Somehow or another, this idea would be driven home in the aftermath of Earth's destruction -- maybe with Amenophis renouncing the HoL.

Then a huge armada of Sathanas juggernauts shows up out of nowhere and starts talking to them, telling them that they've passed the test and the Shivans are going to take them into their fold.

So the campaign could have ended there, with a huge orgy of destruction followed by a stupid twist. There's another idea I came up with, though, in an attempt to make the whole thing at least somewhat thematically cohesive...at the cost of being an even stupider twist than the last one. In that version most of the same events would happen, but spooky stuff would start showing up during the last combat mission. You'd finish the mission, but then you'd somehow be unavoidably killed, and the mission would reset -- but the characters would remember the first attempt. This would happen a few times, and the whole thing would be really surreal. And then eventually the Shivans would show up and start talking.

The Shivans would reveal that things aren't quite as they seem. See, during the second-to-last mission of the released section -- the one where you're escorting the Apocalypse to the node while all the bombers ever are trying to kill you -- the Shivans had actually jumped all their capital ships in at close range and disabled the Apocalypse, along with all the fighters and other ships. Then they captured all the HoL pilots and crew, brought them aboard the Lucifer-class, and stuck them in a simulation where they basically let the HoL do everything they wanted to do, in an attempt to show them how empty and pointless it was. It didn't take at first, but they've been in the simulator for years -- running through the same series of events, over and over.

See, the Shivans in general have the goal of destroying all life, albeit in a somewhat roundabout way -- but the ones in Gethsemane are a breakaway faction, who no longer share the values of their brethren. They've decided to recruit the Hammer of Light (for some reason) as a guerilla force to use against the main Shivan faction, and did all that stuff with the simulation in order to teach them what they should value.

The HoL finally comes around and accepts the offer, probably. Except Runihara, I guess. He probably dies somehow. Also maybe there were some people who died during the later parts of the campaign but are actually alive because it was a simulation? Or vice versa? I dunno.

---------------------------------------------------------

So that's what it was going to be like. You can probably see why I'm not super invested in finishing the campaign: it never really goes anywhere. All the stuff with the warring aliens, and then the HoL starting to use Shivan tech, is obviously about the HoL symbolically becoming the Shivans -- taking up the mantle, if you will. But I struggled to fit that into any kind of larger thematic framework. After all, the HoL becoming Shivans is a fine idea, but it's pretty one-note -- that alone isn't enough to sustain a whole campaign, not without some kind of punchline to it.

The whole destroying-Earth thing was conceived as a sort of black-comedy type deal -- "those wacky doomsday cultists"! But that didn't fit the tone of the story all that well, and over time I kept trying to figure out how to give it some kind of actual meaning. I didn't really want the story to just be "the HoL get really good at killing and kill a whole bunch of people, the end". But the best I could come up with was that nonsense about rebel Shivans teaching them the meaning of friendship by showing them how unfulfilling simulated genocide was.

Oh, and I was also sort of wanting to incorporate this into my larger ideas for the FS universe, which don't involve Earth getting suddenly glassed by random Hammer of Light lunatics from nowhere. That was part of the reason for the simulation thing.

Anyway. Maybe there'll be some interesting discussion of this. I think the alien arc was a pretty solid concept -- a reenactment of FS1 with the HoL as the Lucifer fleet. I had plans for what ships I was going to use, too. And the whole "stealing all the Shivans' stuff and retrofitting it" bit would have been fun from a gameplay perspective -- getting cool new loot is something I really enjoy in FS campaigns. But I don't know if I could have spun it all together into a satisfying story, so I think maybe it's best Mantle stays where it is.

Oh, and clearing up one quick thing: I'm not sure if I made it clear in the campaign itself or not (well, obviously I didn't make it clear enough), but Abdaraxus Clade isn't a person. It's a small group of Vasudan engineering savants that serve aboard the Apocalypse. The idea is that some Vasudans innately have these bursts of crazy high-level skill in certain areas, and so you get stuff where a Vasudan will go into an engineering trance and then end up with some awesome new piece of technology, or an unreasonably quick repair job. I thought it was a cool idea, and also a good way to handwave how easily the Apocalypse seems to deal with technology and logistics.

I was even thinking of trying to incorporate it into gameplay -- have Amenophis be a battle savant, who could do this bullet-time thing. I didn't get very far trying to implement it, though.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
Wow, that’s wild. Sounds like it could’ve been a real mind****.

 
Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
While I can mostly agree with your assessment of the plot (although it would definitely be really interesting if it happened to get released someday), I think that if someone happened to give you some kind of a good idea on how to get rid of the shortcomings of your rough draft... Maybe most of it could be salvageable.

Also, going wild is a cool thing too!
Mito [PL] - Today at 8:52 PM
I was supposed to make a short presentation about basics of optical fibers and here I am, listening to Eurobeat while reading about quantum cryptography.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
So, I am at the Mission 13/14 now. I will complete my review once that is done, but because that mission is hard for a number of reasons I wanted to drop a perliminary, esspecially because there are a number of things I noticed, I remember getting advice on with my first campaigns too.

Technical issues:
- I got 13 errors on start up; none of it is gamebreaking, some of it appears to come from BP-dependency as it references bp-wep.tbm. Other stuff is poor table clean-up, e.g. there is reference to the ML-16 in there.
- The mission briefings appear to not change camera after the initial stage, meaning all the icons are not displayed. (I just checked with the first mission to confirm, all of the stage are set to the same camera orientation/position.)

Technical suggestions:
- While the BP HUD config somewhat mitigates the absence of voice acting by the prominent placement of the message box, allow me nonetheless to suggest that you use signal "voice" files. - The FREDdocs come with a basic message beep that everyone uses (msgstart.wav).
- Also, I would like to suggest as well as that you expand the ship-guardian of your story wingmen to their engines and weapons, similar to how you do it with player comms and sensors.

Gameplay suggestion/issue:
- In some missions, e.g. Mission 2 or Mission 5, it appears that you are a bit too reliant on the dynamic AI, which causes ships that are escorting other ships to not respond to your presence until they or their charge are shot at.
- In some missions, e.g. Mission 2 and Mission 13, I am not sure how balancing curve is supposed to look like. I am as guilty as the next guy of the "f* it, I am doing waves"-approach but I think going back and splitting up wings might give you a better means to escalate/deescalate mission difficulty. (EDIT: re Mission 13, okay I got the balancing curve - it's not really elegant. The comment stands)

Narrative question:
What's your pool of references for the Abdaraxus Clade/Hammer of Light? (Not having read the spoiler tagged-section yet, so I don't know if it is intentional that the portrail feels a bit tightly bound to a specific set of religious teachings and practices)



Quote
have Amenophis be a battle savant, who could do this bullet-time thing. I didn't get very far trying to implement it, though.

Might I suggest that you check out Vidmaster's Dark Children for TBP? - He did make a bullet-time thing back 2008 before we had fancy scripting; I don't remember how he did though but the tech is there.



EDIT: On Mission 14, have you tried setting "Hulk 2" to kamikaze instead having it self-destruct?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 01:47:27 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
(double post sry)

... and now for the conclusion:

Gameplay notes on Mission 13 and 14:
Spoiler:
Mission 13 could really benefit from a less swarmy approach to both sides, simply so that you don't get as many "run-away gap"-scenarios, where the difference between the player's forces combined power and the enemy forces combined power suddenly widens. Yes, these are the final mission and both sides put everything on the line but if you can sell that without getting yourself into mechanical trouble that's enough.

Mission 14 plays considerably better once battle moves away from the Knossos, however the fighters you do not command never actually do that - with the bombers you can actually help youself a bit because you can order them guard the Revelation or the Apocalypse.



The campaign as is very much a gem in need of polish - both in terms of balancing and narrative. But I encourage you to keep going, there is start of promising style here.

On the balancing side, I already pointed out a few things - and maybe looking at more in-depth at how other campaigns do their balancing, will provide more context.

In terms of narrative, I think you are working with a quite limited toolset here. You are probably going to benefit a lot from trying to expand your pool of references when it comes to the protrail of the Hammer of Light.
Spoiler:
If you want to do an Apotheosis-story, maybe use the Labours of Hercules as foil. It's not unprecedented to interpred the contents of labour as "the perfection of man" in reinissance and neo-classical reworkings... or maybe take some of the Dionysus-mythology for inspiriation... just a thought
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 03:01:56 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 
Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
Is something going on with this in Knossos now?  I've recently installed Linux Mint (Windows 7 was just turning this machine into a snail) and I've been going through all the campaigns I wanted to try.  Figured I'd see if I still had the loadout problem on a completely different OS.  But now I'm getting the attached error message.

"A critical error occurred! Knossos might not work correctly until you restart it.  The error has been reported and will hopefully be fixed soon."

I'm not getting this with any of the other mods I'm installing.  Honestly not sure whether to post this in a Knossos thread or this one, but I figured I'd start here because...

...I never got around to typing up my praise for this campaign.  Seriously, this was good.  REALLY good!  Even having to play it through the Tech Room, I still was really drawn into the story and the characters, start to finish.  In terms of making you question your assumptions, and trying to get into the head of someone / something completely unlike yourself, I thought you did a fantastic job Kestrellius!  The game play was also clever and fun.  I had no bugs in any of the missions I played in the Tech Room.

I definitely intend to play through again (obviously), I'm just in a little need of help getting there.

[attachment eaten by a Shivan]
"Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day to day living that wears you out." – Anton Chekhov

 

Offline SL1

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Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
Attempting to launch 1.0.4 results in Knossos telling me it can't launch because the MediaVPs are missing, even though I have them installed.

 
Hi.

I'm unable to play this mod. It keeps saying that "too many classes before Cyclops#HoL. Maximum is 300"

After this, it just closes the FSO.

Would appreciate if anyone guides me. Thanks in advance! :)
Requiescat in pace

 
Hey, this is probably an issue related to the latest Blue Planet updates (new weapon classes were probably introduced, which forced the total amount of weapons to exceed the hardcoded limit). I've quickly made a modified mod.json file that forces Mantle to use the version of BP it was originally designed for, there are still about a dozen of warnings but it doesn't seem to be anything game-breaking, but if there are any problems, please post them here.

The problem with this quick fix is that it will need downloading an older version of Blue Planet, so there's quite a bit of downloading...

Grab it here (temporary "hosting" in a Discord attachment because why not?) https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/223511363807346691/648118526967676951/mod.json
Just replace your <mod library>/FS2/Mantle-1.0.4/mod.json file with this, and then reload Knossos (refresh button in the top right corner) or outright restart it. If you have Blue Planet Complete 1.0.1 installed already, it should just launch fine, but if you don't, I think you'd need to either use "Verify game files" or mod settings -> "Modify", either of those will allow you to download the missing BP packages.

I think this attachment should work long enough for Kestrellius to be able to push a quick update that adresses this (and maybe changes used MVPS version to 4.0.0?).
Mito [PL] - Today at 8:52 PM
I was supposed to make a short presentation about basics of optical fibers and here I am, listening to Eurobeat while reading about quantum cryptography.

 
Uploaded 1.0.5. Should be working now, unless I've screwed something up.

Turned out that, A, we were over the weapon limit by exactly one, and B, I had a single extraneous weapon entry left over from testing that I could delete.

If BP adds any more weapons, well, that'll require a more complicated fix.

 

Offline Antares

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Mantle's got some busted dependencies in Knossos; "MVPS" is missing.
We have returned to continue our purification of this galaxy. It is again your turn to be crushed beneath the great force that is the Antaran army. All your petty squabbling with the other beings in this galaxy is meaningless. The Antaran fleet will destroy you all, one by one. You may not surrender. You cannot win. Your only option is death.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Mantle's got some busted dependencies in Knossos; "MVPS" is missing.

The dependency is not "busted" per se. This message pops up with mods that have their MVP dependency fixed to anything but "newest". Check if you still have the required version of the MVPs installed (go to "Options" -> "Modifiy" in Knossos to check the version number).
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

==================

"I am Curiosity, and I've always wondered what would become of you, here at the end of the world." - The Guide/The Curious Other, Othercide

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Antares

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I've installed every version of the MVPs available in Knossos, and Mantle is throwing the same error.
We have returned to continue our purification of this galaxy. It is again your turn to be crushed beneath the great force that is the Antaran army. All your petty squabbling with the other beings in this galaxy is meaningless. The Antaran fleet will destroy you all, one by one. You may not surrender. You cannot win. Your only option is death.

 
Mantle has been updated to 1.0.7. The compatibility issue should be fixed, at least for now. (I have at least one user reporting that the new version works, but I can't be sure it'll work for everyone.)

The new version contains fixes to various issues and oversights, a few dialogue tweaks here and there, some minor gameplay, balance, and visual changes, and the inclusion of a Vasudan HUD. Nothing earth-shattering, but it's a bit more polished now.

See credits.txt for updated credits information.

 

Offline Iain Baker

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Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
I'm getting the following error when trying to launch the campaign through Knossos:

Too many weapon classes before 'HOL Huge Turret'; maximum is 300.

File: weapons.cpp
Line: 816


Here is a debug log: https://fsnebula.org/log/5eb9723fcb0d3321b2c98667

 
Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
Mantle depends on BP, whereas BP depends on the MVPs. FSO can't have more than 300 weapons, but BP and MVP have almost as much.

  
Re: Release: Mantle 1.0.0
Code: [Select]
  -mod Mantle-1.0.9,blueplanetcomplete-1.0.10,MVPS-4.2.3
Quick peek into the mod.json:
Code: [Select]
                    "id": "MVPS",
                    "version": null,
Code: [Select]
                    "id": "blueplanetcomplete",
                    "version": null,

...sigh.
Okay, so the mod.json does not specify any target version of the dependencies, and Knossos just defaults to the newest one.

Which in this case is a tragedy, as recent MVPS updates brought in multiple new weapon variants and Blue Planet was already topping off the limit even with older MVPS version, not to even mention the new weapons introduced by Mantle.

The fix there is to modify the quoted lines of mod.json file to actually specify versions, and then poke Kestrellius to update metadata. Also pls get rid of the trash command line arguments, thank you.

Does anyone remember which BPC/MVPS version Mantle works well with? Was it BPC 1.0.8 and MVPS 4.1?


Also, remember that version should be surrounded with quotation marks:
Code: [Select]
                    "version": "1.0.8"
Mito [PL] - Today at 8:52 PM
I was supposed to make a short presentation about basics of optical fibers and here I am, listening to Eurobeat while reading about quantum cryptography.