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

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eMYNOCK
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Post by eMYNOCK » Wed, 3. Oct 12, 02:30

Idea:

everyone knows it, everyone wants it.
what i mean is the "Repair Station Offer" from Trading Stations in X2 The Threat.

I would suggest to "reactivate" this tiny but very usefull feature for Albion.
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Scion Drakhar
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Post by Scion Drakhar » Wed, 3. Oct 12, 02:51

Personally, apricotslice's idea for the tutorial sounds like the perfect foundation for a whole lot more to follow. Specifically we can introduce and flesh out characters. Once a character, be it an individual, the crew of a ship, or a corporation is introduced the plot lines and possibilities are endless and can be endlessly expanded upon. Especially if there are multiple and exclusive choices (choosing to work with guy A instead of guy B, good vs evil, hero vs villain, or simply combat vs trade.)

The tutorial can be fully fleshed out and developed, giving all of us the opportunity to create and get to know each character and then create networks between them to be built upon later. For advanced players there can always be an option to simply skip it, but honestly I believe that if a plot thread is entertaining and rewarding then people will want to play through it regardless of already knowing the skill it teaches.

Now, again, once these characters are in place and we understand their relationship to each other we can build upon them. The tutorial can easily unfold into more and more content. We can create challenges that result in growing the players bank account and fleet. I, for one, am a huge fan of boarding ops for instance and always thought it was a huge opportunity for plot development that was being overlooked in TC. Capturing a ship is a very bold statement. You don't simply cost your enemy a ship, you add that same ship to your forces and that act should have a dramatic impact on both your relationship with the race/faction you steal from but also with the regard you're held in afterward, from everyone! Which could be mechanically demonstrated in terms of fight/trade rank but also could show up in terms of dialogue opportunities with characters that know of your deeds and either want to be angry at you for it or buy you a beer.

Although I do believe that you should be able to do it without losing your marines. To clarify, losing a marine in a boarding op sucks but is acceptable. Losing a whole team of five star marines due to the game forgetting to give them back was just horrifying! Did anyone have their chins hit their chests when the Goners kept your marines after you returned the Truelight Seeker?

Yeah. Okay I'm rambling ...

Cheers
Last edited by Scion Drakhar on Wed, 3. Oct 12, 02:53, edited 1 time in total.
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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Ketraar
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Post by Ketraar » Wed, 3. Oct 12, 02:53

Added to list up to here.

Up front as promised the pic of the ship I refered to before
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Note that it can be tweaked if someone with the right skills wants to have a go at it. It was never used before afaik, so its there if we want it.

Secondly I'd like to address the communication and contact question that was asked via PM.
I'd say all things should be discussed in here and in DevChat there is a Client for it if you prefer. DevchatClient 1.0.5
I mean its there might as well use it :-)

As for the Tutorial I also think its a very good idea, but if done for its only purpose of teaching people to play the game, then I think its too late. Also like gamestart it will exclude everyone that is not keen in restarting the game, so we should keep this into consideration.

Maybe some key/special mechanics can still be "taught" and are worth including. To avoid spammification I'll just link to a Rebirth topic regarding tutorials if you want to know my stances regarding tutorials in games in general. Link to Tutorial opinion

Global suggestion to what I think should be in if possible, without going into detail yet.
  • New assets (people just like new toys), maybe just one ship but a really special one.
  • THINK, I'm an old school X player and really push this agenda of integrating more THINK to the game. Mind it does not mean it needs to be difficult or something.
  • Locations, maybe adding a small amount of new sectors or have some existing ones change.
  • Rewards. Sometimes its easier to find what is it what we want to give the player and work "backwards" from there.
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Post by EmperorJon » Thu, 4. Oct 12, 18:16

I would sign up, but fear my coding skills would be sub-par. As a result, I WILL sign up, as a potential plot/story writer. As you know, many people believe I'm one of the rather eccentric personalities on the forum...
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Post by apricotslice » Fri, 5. Oct 12, 02:24

EmperorJon wrote:As you know, many people believe I'm one of the rather eccentric personalities on the forum...
I'd say that makes you normal here :lol:

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Post by EmperorJon » Fri, 5. Oct 12, 02:26

*hug*
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Post by dillpickle » Fri, 5. Oct 12, 05:07

Sounds interesting - MD coding.

XyDaN
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Post by XyDaN » Fri, 5. Oct 12, 18:40

Sounds like a good idea. I can help with:

Translation - English to Portuguese (and vice-versa)

Good luck to everyone helping ;)

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Ketraar
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Post by Ketraar » Fri, 5. Oct 12, 20:31

Update OP with suggestion from both Devchat and here, also added people up to here.

@XyDaN
Hello fellow countryman :-)
Thanks for your support unfortunately the X games do not support Portuguese language :-(


I would like to use this opportunity to explain what the concept behind the "In medias res" narrative style is.
  • In Medias res means: into the middle of things
    Usually when telling a story you start at the beginning and progress through it in a chronological way. Now with In Medias res you usually place the start somewhere along the story and tell the first part (the chronological beginning) either by sending the player back in time or using flashbacks.

    None of those are really possible in X though, but it does not mean we cant, to some extend, simulate the same type of experience. A practical example would be if you create a new gamestart, set the player smack in the middle of the action (can be from war to whatever), have the player have access to advanced equipment (not the ultra-endgame type) the type of equipment you only get later in game. Then create a story driven event where you strip the player of all its assets and "teleport" him back to poverty, making him having only basic access to equipment like he would have at the start of the game.

    This is the closest you get to experience In Medias res narrative in X as far as I'm aware anyway. This allows to have the player experience the potential of the game right at the start for a glance and when you put him "back" he knows what to work up to and more. It also allows to include tutorial-like experience like suggested by apricotslice.

    In any case one of the early things that need to be defined is what we want. If we want to force a new start or not, as it will limit the options available to us. So everyone should put in a word and state his opinion about that in the new few days so we can move on. Also other ideas for story and "gimmicks" can be posted here or in devchat so that can be listed in OP
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Post by DrBullwinkle » Fri, 5. Oct 12, 21:42

Ketraar wrote:In Medias res ... create a story driven event where you strip the player of all its assets and "teleport" him back to poverty
Oooh... I like that! :)

It is always better to not require a new game start if possible, but that goal should not stop us from requiring a new start, if it is necessary to add the desired features. AP is not very mature yet, so forcing a new game start is not a huge loss to the player.

Regarding a Tutorial
The Terran Defender start is designed as a tutorial. It was my first introduction to X (in TC), and it works extremely well. The lack of jump drives in Terran space, restricted sectors, and balance of high tech but hard-to-find weapons all work perfectly in that environment.

The one thing that I found missing in the Terran Defender start (in terms of learning), is the lack of instructions about how to do things, and the fact that it is easy for a new player to forget details because there are too many new things to learn.

A simple and effective tutorial technique would be to send the player an email when a new concept is explained, including a short "guide" to how a feature works. The email should also be written to the player log book for future reference.

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Post by Killjaeden » Fri, 5. Oct 12, 22:41

the in media res is more or less predestined for use with a new gamestart. Because you wouldn't want to do that to the player if he is into the game for an unknown time. He might have a huge empire and that will possibly fall apart if you put it out of his hands (or need complete reconstruction after he regains control). So it's better for a new start that gives many assets but then removes them after some time.
I'm not a fan of the tutorial - because it will always feel like a tutorial. The only tutorial i could imagine is an NPC explaining economy, like a father would to his son. A creates meat, B uses meat to produce food, etc. But not "push this button, then go to this menu". A video tutorial is a lot more helpfull, doesn't take as much time and is able to explain it way better then just text messages ingame. And it can be done by anybody that understood X, not just by 2 people of the whole community (refering to the rarity of MD scripters).
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Ketraar
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Post by Ketraar » Fri, 5. Oct 12, 23:46

Yes "in medias res" idea is for new start only (if you look at OP thats where its listed).

As for the Tutorial, I get the creeps when I here it but you can do "tutorial like" introduction to the game without it feeling like one. If you read the linked opinion about tutorials you saw that I think a seamless integration of explaining game mechanics with the actual game is the best way to do a "tutorial".

Now, sure its not easy to do in X, but... if we use the tool-tip function, which has been greatly improved and used in AP over TC a lot of things can be explained without it being boring. I'm not a fan of writing things to log tbh, it gets cluttered fast, specially if you use UTs and CAGs and stuff like that. Maybe using the in-game Encyclopaedia is the better way to achieve this, pretty sure there can be added sections, even if we have to poke Cycrow for it. ;-)

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Post by jack775544 » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 00:00

Code: Select all

add encyclopedia custom article: News, id=<Var/String>, title page=<Var/Number>, title id=<Var/Number>, text page=<Var/Number>, text id=<Var/Number>, timeout=<Var/Number>

add encyclopedia custom article: Information, id=<Var/String>, title page=<Var/Number>, title id=<Var/Number>, text page=<Var/Number>, text id=<Var/Number>, timeout=<Var/Number>

add encyclopedia custom article: History, id=<Var/String>, title page=<Var/Number>, title id=<Var/Number>, text page=<Var/Number>, text id=<Var/Number>, timeout=<Var/Number>

add encyclopedia custom article: Stories, id=<Var/String>, title page=<Var/Number>, title id=<Var/Number>, text page=<Var/Number>, text id=<Var/Number>, timeout=<Var/Number>

remove encyclopedia custom article: id=<Var/String> 
These are the script commands for the encyclopedia. By the looks of it you can only add to one of 4 catogories 'News', 'Information', 'History' and 'Stories'.

Source: MSCI Reference
Last edited by jack775544 on Sat, 6. Oct 12, 02:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by DrBullwinkle » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 01:16

Ketraar wrote:I'm not a fan of writing things to log tbh, it gets cluttered fast ... Maybe using the in-game Encyclopaedia is the better way to achieve this
I agree that the encyclopedia is a better reference location, but an incoming message is still the best way to give meaningful instructions to the player.



Another idea: All equipment can be stolen
Ensure that NPC loadouts include all possible equipment, including Turbo Boosters, Explorer Command Software, Trade Command Mk III, Commodity Logistics Software, Docking Computers, Jump Drives, various scanners, ore collectors -- everything.

This would make an all-piracy game more practical. In the vanilla game, it is difficult to be a hard-core pirate because it is necessary to become friends with most races in order to buy their specialized equipment.
Last edited by DrBullwinkle on Sat, 6. Oct 12, 02:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Scion Drakhar » Sat, 6. Oct 12, 02:27

A message telling the player to regularly check his encyclopedia wouldn't hurt either.

Guys I don't know how many of you are relatively new to the X-Universe but I started with TC about four years ago and I can still remember how completely clueless I was. I didn't understand anything. I installed the game, started the game, and found myself sitting in a starship without the first clue of how to fly it or what I was supposed to do with it. The first few fights I got into were impossibly aggravating because I was too slow for the M5's I was chasing and didn't have any fight software AND I didn't know any of that. All I knew was I'd spent twenty minutes chasing this thing called a Xenon N around and had only landed two or three hits that it promptly regenerated. I couldn't kill it to save my bloody life! I spent hours on-line looking up how to play the game and the only reason I bothered with it was because a friend had recommended it to me. I'm willing to bet that there are thousands of people who go through what I went through and just uninstall the game.

There needs to be a more comprehensive series of instructions that take a new player from "Uuuuh, what do I do?" through to at the very least an understanding of the basics. Including, "oh did you know that you HAVE an encyclopedia?" Cos I didn't, and the manual was bordering on useless. It told me all about sezura and mizura and jazura but never once was there a mention of target prediction software or how to use it. You know I was playing for nearly six months before I realized that if I fire my weapons with the keyboard and line up the crosshair, not the reticule but the crosshair, on that prediction icon in front of a targeted enemy, that my fight command software would kick in? I didn't know that. I was so amazed when I found out because I'd read the manual from cover to cover and NO-WHERE was that explained or even mentioned. So my point is that for a new player the learning curve for this game is incredibly steep and anything we can do to flatten it will benefit everyone.

Anyway, I'm done with the filibuster.

Cheers
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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