[SCRIPT] PIRACY! Package : Preview : 13-04-12

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[SCRIPT] PIRACY! Package : Preview : 13-04-12

Post by mr.bear » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 00:24

Hello scripters :)

This is a preview of some Terran Conflict scripts I've almost finished - have a look! (Sorry about the scanlines in the screenshots, click them to enlarge)

PIRACY!

All these scripts focus on adding new capabilities for the player, rather than adding objects to the universe. The main selling point of these scripts is the immersion created from the rather impressive graphics. I'm going to package the necessary script code into a separate release, and hopefully, some of you reading this will be willing to integrate it into your own scripts. Although certain types of scripts require no user interface at all, some of the scripts on this forum are DESPERATELY in need of a graphical interface to make them user friendly. Please note this isn't a mod, everything I've done here is done purely with X3:TC 3.0 SE. These type of graphics could easily be added to any of your scripts.

Here is an overview of the mechanics of the features I've created:

Civilians

Civilians now play a major role for a pirate. I felt they were originally a nice addition to the game, but added no real gameplay value. Now they're a precious resource - if you can kidnap them! You can now assign a hotkey to your teleporter, move in close, shoot them a few times, and beam them away. While all this happening, a rather brilliant little progress bar will appear at the bottom of the screen showing you the progress of your kidnapping, the number of people remaining and to what degrees you've angered the local police. Kidnapping transfers the pilot and any civilians on board into passengers on your ship, leaving the ship empty for capture, if you wish.

The following image shows the bottom of the screen during kidnapping. You can see the number of civilians kidnapped, as well at the anger of the local police. When the local police are eventually alerted, you receive a video of the policeman above the red progress bar. He threatens, then attacks you.

Image


Enslaving Passengers

I've always liked the feature of enslaving escaped enemy pilots at the local pirate base, but the reality is that you get tuppence per slave and don't even get to hear them scream. I wanted to flesh out this idea because a slave is alive - valuable and capable - yet in X they're worth less than most wares. Slaves are now created by enslaving previously kidnapped civilians. Enslaving is a messy business, with lots of rather brutal options like extortion, enslaving or just plain murder.

I'll explain the purpose of owning slaves in a moment.

The first of the following two images show the enslaving interface. This allows you to enslave all your passengers unilaterally or offer to release those capable of paying a bribe. If you have Low-Yield Sidearms on board you can unlock higher bribe sizes. The second image shows how you can keep your word and let them go or break your word and space them.

Because the player has no Disintegrator Rifles on board, the final two options are hidden. One of those options is to enslave those paid the bribes anyway. That kind of ruthlessness requires the larger weapons, and a greater number of them too.

Image


Black Market

Although the economy in X is brilliant, the illegal goods always seemed to get short thrift. If I'm to play as a pirate then I want a high-risk-high-reward strategy that's almost always available. I've created a shadow economy with the same supply-and-demand economics of the real economy (ie. rare goods are expensive and common goods are cheap). This is achieved through the Pirate Network a hidden communication network between all pirate bases, and the occasional apparently honest station. The network allows you to detect pirate bases in nearby systems, to check their goods remotely and to detect whether there's a pirate base in the current system. There is no docking however; trading is done illicily by moving within range of the station and using the transporter. If the station is hostile, you can temporarily buy their favour with a horrendously over-priced login. This allows you to trade for 30 minutes.

The images below show the pirate bases and stations in nearby sectors. The strange symbols indicate a special pirate base is in a nearby sector. Selecting a station from the list will display the trading interface (shown on the right). This shows you the goods the station deals in and their prices. You can also see the lower half is greyed (disabled) because a) the player has not bought an access code yet and b) they are not within transport distance.

Image

These new features allow you to sell the following goods at very high prices:

Artifacts
Cartography Chips
Disintegrator Rifles
Hand Weapons
Jewels
Low-yield Sidearms
Narcotics
Pirate Sidearms
Plutonium
Slaves
Space Weed
Space Fuel
Spaceflies
Spacefly Eggs

The images below show how the trading interface appears when the station is friendly and no access code is required. Your goods are highlighted in white and the coloured bars indicate the quality of the price, with a large green bar indicating a good deal, and a short red bar indicating a terrible one. The image on the right hand side shows what you see during a sale. Selling goods is simple, just click the wares you wish to sell.

Image

Since these are plot wares, they are very rarely found in the game. However these goods are now routinely found in appropriate vessels. The civilian archeologist for example, is highly likely to be carrying artifacts. The civilian casino ship carries jewels and Spacefly Eggs can be obtained using the new Spacefly Beacon (more on that later).

Pirate Bases

Sometimes Pirate Bases can be tricky to find, so I created this; it determines whether a pirate base is located within the current system, and if so, how far away. It doesn't tell you anything else, so you have to find it yourself. I liked the compromise between something that can be used to locate pirate bases without giving away their markers on the map until you find them.

The images below are fairly self explanatory.

Image


Looting Ship and Station Wrecks

I love the fact that the universe is littered with wrecks, but hate the fact that they're useless! A few people on here have tried to make this feature but were doomed to failure without a complex user interface. Well i've succeeded! This feature allows you to try to loot any ship or station wreck in the universe by moving within a few kilometers. Each wreck is unique and in varying condition, which is important because every attempt at salvage reduces the condition of the wreck until it eventually explodes, often taking a lot of slaves with it. The interface shows you the components available for salvaging, the amount of damage they have sustained and the difficulty of retrieving them from the wreck. Ideally you are hoping to find easy to recover components in excellent condition, as before you can use any of your salvage, it must be repaired with the Repair Salvage interface.

The images below show the salvage interface for a 'badly damaged' Khaak Carrier containing extremely difficult to remove components that are badly damaged anyway. You can see in the second picture that attempting to remove the 200MJ shield results in a dramatic loss of life, but on the plus side, a significant boost to cargo space!

NOTE: I'm still debugging this one, hence the phrase 'STR.REMOVED', the hideous light blue colour and the unintelligible column of numbers

Image


Ship Repair Slave Gangs

I think this might be the most original feature of this script pack, and I love it. Using the Repair Ship interface, you can eject your slaves in groups, or work-gangs, and assign them to a ship. They swarm around it firing their repair lasers all over the place. Occasionally one of them will make a bid for freedom and attempt to report you to police, I recommend you shoot them. Any ship can be repaired, obviously the capital ships require much greater numbers of slaves. And the process is slow, realistic, repairing a heavily damaged capital ship takes around 15 minutes, however the whole process is automated (except for hunting down runaways) so you can watch the ship be repaired in real-time or come back later. Your slaves are so brutalised that most will wait patiently for you to return.

I can't really screenshot this feature, but repairing a capital ship looks awesome


Spacefly Beacon

Awwww, I love the little spaceflies, but I can never find the buggers, so this little device brings the moutain to Mohammed. Activate it within a few kilometers of a high yield asteroid and you'll have all the spaceflies you can handle. This device attracts the spaceflies from their asteroids directly into your cargobay. There's a great deal of spillage and basically spaceflies end up everywhere. Particular high yield asteroids result in you attracting a lot of spacefly eggs - which you can then sell on the black market for a great profit. I actually wrote these scripts a long time ago and there's all sorts of stuff I can't remember, but I vaguely recall that if you attempt to install this (Split) upgrade onto a Boron ship, you get blown to smithereens, so remember to wear a hat.

The picture below shows a marquee-style progress bar bouncing back and forth along the bottom of the screen, which indicates that the Spacefly Beacon is active. Along with showing you how many spaceflies have been collected so far, the indicator on the right shows the quality of your location ie. whether you're near a high yield asteroid. A higher quality results in a greater number of spaceflies.

Image


Repercussions

Using most of the features you've seen above will have repercussions with your reputation. Enslaving Borons for example, doesn't do you any favours with the Boron Queen, but where you perform the actions is just as important as what you do.

Performing illegal activities in core sectors results in double the reputation damage. Performing illegal activities in a sector with military/police vessels will likely draw them to attack you, depending on the severity of the crime. Performing these activities in an enemy or unclaimed sector almost always results in no repurcussions at all, assuming you survive the natives of course. Some activities intentionally raise your reputation with the pirate faction, which i thought might be useful to some players. It's realistic too, what better way to gain their trust than piracy?


Sector Traffic Analysis

This is definitely the script I'm most unsure about, lots of feedback on this would be awesome. I was sick of searching each ship in the sector for ones with the most valuable cargo, so I created an everything-but-a-pirate scanner.

The images below show how you can switch the display between civilian, police and freighters but you can also sort the ships by their shield strength, firepower or cargo value.

Image

If you select one of the ships in the list, you'll see the resultant analysis which contains everything about the ship. Cargo, likelihood of pilot to bail, weapons, weapons and shields of any docked or escorting ships... The only balance this feature has is that it only works in the player's sector, but I still feel it's over-powered.

See the images below for a closer look:

Image

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

That's all for now folks! What do you think?

I'm planning to release these to celebrate releasing X-Studio, the development environment for the first three X games that I've been working on since time began. Since that won't be ready for another 3-4 weeks, I expect it'll be another 5-6 weeks before I release Piracy!, but please let me know what you think!!. Ideas, criticism, all welcome.

Thanks for reading my incredibly long post!!

Mister B.



{Oversize images changed to links - Terre}
{sorry about that, they were very large. ive replaced them with jpg thumbnail links to the png originals - mister b}
Last edited by mr.bear on Fri, 27. Apr 12, 21:12, edited 7 times in total.
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Post by mr.bear » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 00:25

Suggested Improvements:
  • Ability to salvage wares and possibly small ships from a wreck, rather than just components.
    Ability to buy and sell items with commercial pirate ships in pirate sectors, but at unfavourable prices.
    Different reactions from the game if a repair slave successfully escapes, ranging from a small vessel to a task force, depending on the size of the repair gang.
    Pay a premium to equip your ship repair slaves with radio collars that explode if they attempt to flee.
    Buy and sell captured ships with Pirate Bases through the Black Market Interface, but at unfavourable prices.
Last edited by mr.bear on Sun, 18. Mar 12, 13:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mr.bear » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 00:25

*Reserved* for bug listing
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Post by Sorkvild » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 00:34

Damn, this looks fine to me, nothing like a good pirate plugin!
You could create an option to trade with a pirate weapon dealer, something like rare quantities for really high price. For example when you're a total pirate you will be banned in every sector and such shady traders are sources of you weapon supply etc. Guns, ships extensions, assorted wared that sort of thing.
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Post by mr.bear » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 01:30

thanks sork, i like that idea!
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Post by apricotslice » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 03:21

Brilliant !

Added suggestions :

Incorporate my Abeam hotkey, which beams aboard ejected pilots. Then turn them into slaves. Since nothing was done to capture them, you did actually rescue them, albiet without their permission, there should be no rep hit as no-one in the sector will know what you did, unless one gets free and busts you with the authorities. (Abeam actually gives them a race of the players name, so they become non-citizens of their actual race.)

On that latter note, you mentioned slaves making a bid for freedom, if one makes it to a station, then one could assume the authorities are made aware of your existence. This could trigger a taskforce to hunt you down.

Have you also considered training slaves as marines ? Someone wrote a good marine training script, which I removed the money from and sped up (for TC), on the basis that you purchase (my interpretation) a holographic drill sargent who turns yours slaves into marines and trains them up to high stars. High star marines are very valuable. You could also perhaps turn them into the equivalent of a Borg Drone and sell them at pirate bases.

I end up with dozens of civs on board and never have managed to do anything with them yet. So options in that regard, even used not strictly in a pirate sense, would be welcome.

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Post by jack775544 » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 05:13

Can you add an option that allows you to salvage a ship for wares for the HQ. So instead of giving you equipment your slaves will just smash everything in sight and give the components back to you.

Thanks
Jack

EDIT: I do like the look of the menu's and the completion bar
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Post by apricotslice » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 06:49

jack775544 wrote:Can you add an option that allows you to salvage a ship for wares for the HQ. So instead of giving you equipment your slaves will just smash everything in sight and give the components back to you.
How would you do that ? It would need a reverse engineer for all guns and stuff.

Why reduce a gun down to ecells when its valuable to sell as it is ?

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Post by Drockt1 » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 08:43

Wow.. i have no suggestions at the moment(i really should be sleeping), but this looks really awesome, and im sure took alot of work.. hopefully when you get it out, it can work with some of the bigger mods like XTC.

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Post by jack775544 » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 08:56

apricotslice wrote:
jack775544 wrote:Can you add an option that allows you to salvage a ship for wares for the HQ. So instead of giving you equipment your slaves will just smash everything in sight and give the components back to you.
How would you do that ? It would need a reverse engineer for all guns and stuff.

Why reduce a gun down to ecells when its valuable to sell as it is ?
How? Just base the amount of wares recieved based off the price.
Why? Since if you are a pirate and you have a PHQ it can be a tad hard to get a Teladianium foundry or 6 off the Teladi if you have either capped or destroyed half their military :lol: .
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Post by apricotslice » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 09:00

Teladanium you get plenty of from scrapping ships. Why scrap a gun ?

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Post by jack775544 » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 11:09

apricotslice wrote:Teladanium you get plenty of from scrapping ships. Why scrap a gun ?
Since I want to keep the ships and scrap the wrecks when they have stuff they don't need eg. if I don't want an EBC I can scrap it and use it for building a ship.
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Post by Vayde » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 20:46

How about an option for the ship to be stripped before being broken? The sale of guns and shields should net you enough cash to buy more HQ resources than just striping alone. But the option to break all should cover any possibilities.
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Post by mr.bear » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 22:47

thanks for the comments people.

in response to jack and Vayde, i'm totally horrified by the idea of clicking on a wreck and a box popping up saying "you've got X this, Y the other, Z something else", but how about a compromise?

At the moment the player retrieves damaged components, repairs them and then sells/uses them. Note that I only introduced the repair mechanic for balance; if I introduced 'remaining cargo' (ie. wares) alongside the salvageable components, there'd have to be something to make that a bit of a gamble - otherwise it wouldn't be fun, you could just go stripping president's end at the start of every game.

if you were doing this for real then all goods would be stored in anonymous looking mass produced containers which you'd only open once you got home... So how about this mechanic: player can determine the amount, the type and the danger of retrieving each of the wares available, but player can't determine how many of them are damaged/ruined until they've salvaged them?

Take a look at the Look Wreck pictures again, the 'Recovery' column indicates each item's chance of being slaved, the 'Damage' column indicates how much repair work is needed if you do salvage it. I could add wares to this list of components, and for ware items the damage column could be blank.

The player would have to choose whether they're willing to take a blind risk to get an unknown amount of a high value ware, or settle for a safer but less profitable component.

thoughts?
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Post by mr.bear » Wed, 14. Mar 12, 23:19

I don't mean to be rude but I'm kinda astounded that nobody's mentioned the graphics? Plus what you can't actually see in the screenshots is that I've also cracked the video system ego use for displaying videos of wares while trading and for communicating with other ships. I'm offering a whole new way for people to write their scripts, to finally leave behind bland and identical looking menus after more bland and identical looking menus, or to even break free of that altogeter and create the interface using graphics along the bottom of the screen! was I wrong? do people actually like those menus? :oops:


EDIT: Apologies for ranting, that was really inappropriate.
Last edited by mr.bear on Thu, 15. Mar 12, 22:36, edited 1 time in total.
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