AP Community Project [Released]

The place to discuss scripting and game modifications for X³: Terran Conflict and X³: Albion Prelude.

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DrBullwinkle
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Post by DrBullwinkle » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 02:39

Yeah, I agree with all of that, Drakhar.

I started playing TC just under a year ago. When I first discovered the encyclopedia, it had no useful information. So I ignored it for a very long time before I discovered that new information was added as I went along.

That is why I recommend incoming messages to explain new concepts. They are easy to make, can include detailed content, and then the same content can be posted to the encyclopedia for future reference.

The vanilla game requires use of the forum. It should not be that way -- the forum should be optional. Required information should be available in-game.

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Ketraar
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Post by Ketraar » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 03:03

Scion Drakhar, I think most if not all will say your points are valid and very much known, now I'm from back when XBTF came out so I grew with the game. The question is not if its useful to do a tutorial or not, the real question is, if it's useful/feasible to do. Say we go for the idea of not forcing a new start, integrating a tutorial for players that are well along into their game seams to me a bit futile.

What we could do is, regardless of story or anything, to add a collection information and add that to the ingame encyclopaedia, including possible hints to it etc.
That is why I recommend incoming messages to explain new concepts.
IMs are a very bad choice imo, the game has tool-tips that pop-up when you perform things the first time, additional ones can be made I guess and stored as suggested in a clean place where the player can look it up, the encyclopaedia, even if there needs to be a new section added just for it.

The workload involved in documenting all things in X like you suggest is as big of a project as any major mod, not counting the translations either. I'm not sure this is feasible given the timing imo, but should not be discouraging anyone, I just think it should not be taking the bigger chuck of effort from this project.

MFG

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 03:09

Ketraar wrote:The workload involved in documenting all things in X like you suggest is as big of a project as any major mod, not counting the translations either. I'm not sure this is feasible given the timing imo, but should not be discouraging anyone, I just think it should not be taking the bigger chuck of effort from this project.
Good point. The Terran Defender start already exists as an excellent tutorial start; all it needs is better documentation. And, yes, that is a separate project from doing something fun for people who have been playing for a while.

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apricotslice
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Post by apricotslice » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 04:39

A tutorial could be broken up into levels. So the first part is all basic basics, next level is more into things, etc.

That way, a player can jump forward over the really basic stuff if they already know it, without affecting the playability of it.

One does actually wonder how many people there are who uninstalled the game because the learning curve was too high and they never really got started, who if they learned there was a decent tutorial available, would reinstall it ? One speculates that a lot of people who got cheap steam versions might be among these.

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Post by Scion Drakhar » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 05:55

apricotslice wrote:One does actually wonder how many people there are who uninstalled the game because the learning curve was too high and they never really got started, who if they learned there was a decent tutorial available, would reinstall it ?.

My line of thinking exactly. I was incredibly frustrated when I first started playing. One of the primary issues is that the game manual is missing a great deal of necessary information and I do understand that correcting that is beyond the purview of this project.

Now depending on what the tutorial entails, and that's a big variable by itself, but depending on what the tutorial entails I can see one of two options for implementing it. In a new gamestart the ultra basics can be attached to the flight school tutorial at the beginning or perhaps offered even before that. On the other hand if we want to create a tutorial that teaches the mechanics of trade, or capturing, or fleet building ... you know, the really fun advanced stuff, I see all of that more easily incorporated into missions that are available to anyone as long as they install the content. Missions can be added to the cue immediately for the player to act on, ignore or abort as they choose. Another idea would be for a mission to be offered at a location that we are informed of via IM. I dunno.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

P.S. I really like some of those ships in the first post. That Paranid fighter concept art is seriously hot!

Also, Bullwinkle I laugh every time I look at your avatar. :D
A Pirate's Story.pdf(KIA) by _Zap _ From Nothing.PDF(complete) by _Zap _ Prodigal Son(active) Original Thread, Prodigal Son_PDF

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Post by Roguey » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 12:11

hey guys, ive posted some news about the project onto my x3ap site, as Ketraar requested. I hope it will bring in a few more viewers atleast.
Hope its okay (and all correct): The X3AP Community Project: News.

Let me know if there anything I can do. This is a good idea, which will hopefully turn into a great project.
Roguey's Site: X3, X3TC, X3AP, X-Rebirth, X4.

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Post by eldyranx3 » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 15:48

Seems I'm late to the party again.

Nonetheless, if the team would have me, I would like to contribute whatever else is needed in MD code, overall fiction aspects, and final testing.

I think the player owned sector from TC is sorely missed, and since the sector owner ship itself does little to affect game balance, I would like to offer up the suggestion that the player receives it after a few easy, well guided fetch / gopher missions. It gives the player incentive to put things in it, thus starting the drive for station and fleet infrastructure.

Rough Outline / Proposal- Staking a Claim (cooked up on the fly, grammar issues notwithstanding)

The Big Easy: If the player has less than x flight time or less than y credits, a damaged, average TP warps near the player and hails them, requesting assistance. A slight tutorial on how to eject and use the repair laser ensues. Once the TP reaches 75% hull or greater, it heads to the closest friendly station and asks the player for an escort. It is uneventful.

It turns out the pilot works for PTNI / NMMC, who not only is thankful for the player protecting profits, but also offers a mission to deliver some contracted goods to a station. NMMC gives the player some credits and use of the TP. A short trading tutorial of buying and selling goods from a station ensues. [TRADE]. The player gets to keep the TP and all credits earned.

Any other tutorials go here as stepping stones. [BUILD] [FIGHT]?

The Score: If the player completes the NMMC tasks (tutorials), or if they have completed either side of the war, the player receives a hail asking of they would like to follow up on a prospecting tip. The issue is, NMMC doesn't know if the rumor is reliable. They task the player in doing a bit of legwork to track down the miner who claims to have found a new sector filled with Nvidium [THINK].

After some legwork, go here, talk to this person, get clue, rinse repeat, the miner admits that he or she only suspects that the sector contains Nvidum from all the abandoned Khaak ships found in sector. Because the NPC was one of the few survivors from Presidents End, they high tailed it out before any mineral scans could be completed.

The Claim: The player is tasked with completing the mineral assay on behalf of NMMC. This part of the story should be fairly suspenseful. Imagine entering a dense nebula right out of the jump gate, visibility nil. Radiation from an unknown source cripples the player's sensors. Uneasy, creepy music plays as the player crawls through the sector, exploring. The player passes by un-claimable Kha'ak ships, even an adrift M2.

After scanning some Nvidum rubble, which proves to be nearly depleted, the player is led to the damaged remains of a Khaak station. Ambush! Paranid warships jump in and open fire on the player. It turns out that the TP encountered in the Big Easy actually was on the same mission to locate the sector, but Paranid assets attacked before its pilot could locate it.

When beaten back, the Paranid decide that loosing more warships to patrol an abandoned Khaak sector when the Terran Conflict is in full swing is a waste of resources (not to mention outright embarrassment of having a lower life form best them). Disappointed that the Nvidium is all but tapped out, NMMC leaves you to manage the sector, but requires a annual 'leasing fee'. Once the player makes x amounts of annual payments, the sector becomes permanent player property.

This is just a proposal. I will gladly help out on any other plots as a team member.

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Post by Killjaeden » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 16:07

slight tutorial on how to eject and use the repair laser ensues.
shooting the repairlaser at other races ships counts as hostile act, so that could be possibly confusing
The Claim:
-I don't think you can cripple player sensors in the way you think of
-automatically hostile paranid propably isn't a good idea
-khaak are gone in Ap, so paranids patroulling a former khaak sector is strange.
-if the sector should become player owned, then a dense nebula is propably not a good idea, as you can't remove it afterwards afaik. It's usually pretty unattraktive, and it doesn#t really matter if it's an unkown sector or if its player owned - the benefit is 0. So it would be better if it looks nice right from the start.

The ideas are not bad (just need a little bit more refinement) and with 3 MD coders atm it propably better to have more then just one "workarea"
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Post by eldyranx3 » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 16:14

Those are good points. If you could Killjaeden, go into more detail about the three MD coders work area suggestion? I'm not quite sure that I completely understand what you mean.

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Post by Killjaeden » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 16:25

What i meant is that if there is only one plot, but 3 coders they might get into the way of each other too often.
Ketraar just told me that on-the fly sector change is possible. But there should be something (in the plot) that causes the nebula to disappear
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Post by eldyranx3 » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 16:45

Assuming coders could work on individual steps of the tutorial around a preset framework (Act I - Chapter II - Trade Tutorial), more may mean faster alpha build. But as stated, I'm willing to help out with MD code as needed, such as a second (or third) set of eyes to look for missing conditionals during development or such.

I do also realize my meager skills may not be needed. It was, again, an offer and proposal.

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 16:51

Speaking of plots...

Since AP is, essentially, an improved version of TC, it would make sense to always have the rich TC plots available. Dillpickle has already done the work to port the TC plots, so it would be smart for this project to use Terran Conflict plots for Albion Prelude as the starting point for this add-on.

That way compatibility with the TC plots would be built-in to this project. The combined project would be richer than either mod by itself.

In fact, merging in other existing plots would enhance the overall project (as long as they are compatible). (Yes, I am looking at you, eldyranx3. :) )

From the player point of view, if he must start a new game, then he should have the maximum number of plots to choose from. It would enhance the player's game and reduce compatibility problems simultaneously.
  • (If we take this approach of merging existing good stuff, then IEX might be a candidate, as well.)

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Ketraar
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Post by Ketraar » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 16:55

@apricotslice See eldyranx3's plot suggestion on how to integrate basic and more advanced instructions in plot elements. Even though your line of thought is right, my question is about timing, AP is about to make its 1st anniversary so I really have my doubts about the benefits of such an elaborate tutorial, chance are we would be making content to be skipped by most. I'm not saying we should not make it, just that if integrated within plots/mission its for both new and "old" interesting.

@Roguey Thanks for the advertisment on your site :-)

@eldyranx3 welcome to the project you are never late ;-)
Yes I was also thinking of the player sector as reward, it somehow represents the ultimate X statement, so its always good to have. Your plot idea is a good start for such a rather big reward and I'd like to add some more storytelling to it but more to that later.

Most of the things mentioned can be done trough MD even if some require some hacking, which is not a thing to aim at first. I like to hear from our plot writers what they think of it.

Anyway we still need to decide weather or not to aim for new start, everything depends on that, so again I stress you all to make final thoughts on that.

MFG

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 17:00

@Ketraar: I vote that "new start" is fine, as long as there is sufficient content. Vanilla AP, by itself, is light on content, so it is not a major loss to restart.

(I think that you and I posted at almost the same time, so please be sure to read my suggestion above, regarding merging existing content for both compatibility and richness.)

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Post by Killjaeden » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 17:01

Unless someone has a brilliant story/background idea that ties all the ideas together (in media res, special ship (+with technology?), ...) i'm against it, because it puts many people of. Or they would start new to experience the plot and then continue with their old safe. AP may have "light content" in regards to plots, but it's still an open ended sandbox game where people may have already built huge empires.
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