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Skull132

SO, about that New Big Thing

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[Authorized for public release.]

For those of you who don't remember, this is a follow-up to this:

It's been a year and a half. Which is fine. For context, the current Aurora map started concept development in the summer of 2014, to be launched in late 2016 (I think?). And in that process included a loooot of rethinking as time went on. Well, this time is no different!

Initially we had the idea for a colony type deal, but two major issues stuck out. The first issue was that, it'd still be a static setting. Which is kind of unfortunate, specially with our propensity for running event chains that would be served by getting out there more often. Another point is that it relied too much of mechanics which didn't exist, and the procurement of which would have been difficult. So do took some stock and revised.

So, what did we end up on and why? We decided to start moving on a project which we could effectively start working on without any technical prerequisites. So basically: mappers could git to work immediately. And all of the planned features could be accomplished as the map progressed or even after the initial launch. So basically, the minimum viable product of this new plan is a slightly modified space station that coders can do more shit to in the future, in order to make gameplay more interesting.

And what is it that we're working on? An exploration ship. (Hold your "REE WE'RE GONNA BE BAY!" shit for just ein moment.) The general gist off it is, that the NCV Aurora will be a smoll exploration ship accompanied by a few automated ships sponsored by multiple corporations. As noted, the minimum viable product is just a static ship, so it'll be much like the space station at first. But in the future, there will be plans. And actually, some of these plans have been manifesting right now, so there's a very high possibility that we'll launch with a fully "mobile" ship!

In comparison to Bay, we're also looking to look more slick. Basically, our ship is to be more of a standard exploration/travel affair, whereas theirs is clearly a military one. If you want a point of comparison, think Andromeda vs Normandy from the Mass Effect series.

But now, here's a short-list of features and key points planned (NOTE: these are subject to change, dropping, rework, and delay; SS13 is a game that's constantly being developed, so providing a definitive list is difficultūüėě)

  • Mobile ship mechanics. Ala Bay though we want to encourage more of the crew to get out there. The ship will be capable of landing, so there's a very high possibility of the entire crew being able to hop off to perform various duties, as opposed to having to use a shuttle. Though the exploration shuttle will still remain. No outright exploration department is planned, as we fear this would result in Just Them doing the exploration work, and gimping everyone else.
  • Minimized NT-centrism. So as noted, the ship will be a part of a multi-corporation exploration effort. We will no longer have a situation where NT is the "default" faction for every role. Instead, presently as is planned, each department will have a different "Primary" corporation to play, with one or two others providing more flavour, as they currently do for NT. This will allow more roleplay avenues and create a more varied setting, hopefully.
  • Security, cargo, and command are getting larger changes. Obviously the present command structure is not fit for a ship, so that's gonna be changed. I think at least 1 if not 2 roles are gonna be reworked-lost, with 1-2 new roles emerging from the restructure? Security will also be diddled, though not depsec, we are looking to minimizing their permanent contingent and seeing how well a crew militia can handle things on red alert. And finally, cargo's gonna be rebranded and given a few duties. Is the present plan, anyways.
  • The ship can (probably) land at places! Okay, you know how, right now, we have these really world-changing events that SOMEHOW have to involve that one research station in the fuck-off middle of nowhere? And how it's kinda weird if you start thinking about it? Well, we had ideas where, for a specific event arc, we could permadock the ship at a given planet for the duration of the arc. It would give mappers more stuff to do, allow lore writers to perhaps write more natural event arcs, and provide the players with new settings to explore (possibly also new temporary characters to play as).
  • Better departmental mapping. More specifically: a more open design to departments. Instead of blocking the section with department specific hallways, we're looking to make more areas publicly accessible. With only the specific working spaces being carded off. This should allow for more and better antag shenaniganry, among just also feeling gooder to play in.

And now for the final answer. WHEN!? Well, my condition for writing this post was that we actually have some preproduction completed and are moving to putting in tangible work. Matt has been doing code work on this for a bit now, importing (or working on importing) Bay's overmap shenanigans and so forth. We already have dynamic map loading for away missions present as well. But this week, the mapping and design team created the first actual mock-up of the map and I think they're now transitioning to working on a prototype map. Which is, ayy, something tangible. But those specific details will be revealed when the mapping team is more comfortable with how it's all gonna play out, so right now, just take this concept art from Kyres:

image.png.613ea3fb026a55f0b1455f47b367542a.png

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6 hours ago, Skull132 said:

Matt has been doing code work on this for a bit now, importing (or working on importing) Bay's overmap shenanigans and so forth.

please help

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Only issue I might have with this is that characters and the map itself is too disconnected from Tau Ceti itself ?Or any system for that matter. It will give room to new cannon events and noncannon gimicks, But asks alot of questions. 

One for example, if this is an exploration ship, where do people live ? Does it do like daily/weekly/monthly trips out into deep space to then fly back to Tau ceti or alike to dock ? 
Tau Ceti as a setting was good because the small system was designed as a melting pot of cultures, having minorities arrive there and different ideologies clash. 

I am not saying this is a bad change, I am just saying it needs to work in more ways than mechanics, and I am looking forward to see how it will go!

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1 minute ago, A.I.M.M.O. said:

One for example, if this is an exploration ship, where do people live

Loreman told me that there'll be an automated support fleet attached to the vessel. To include a cryosleep ship. So the people will live there.

1 minute ago, A.I.M.M.O. said:

Does it do like daily/weekly/monthly trips out into deep space to then fly back to Tau ceti or alike to dock ? 

The ship will probably at some point have to dock regardless, yes. Maybe, who knows!

2 minutes ago, A.I.M.M.O. said:

Tau Ceti as a setting was good because the small system was designed as a melting pot of cultures, having minorities arrive there and different ideologies clash. 

This is planned as an enterprise undertaken by multiple large megacorporations. So explaining why some species or culture is around is easy enough, still.

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Freaking wonderful, I can hardly wait. My mind is buzzing with ideas and hopes for the final implementation!

One question that is currently egging a bit, is whether any new antagonists will be added/removed/reworked in a notable fashion. Have you guys anything to share on this topic at this time?

I can imagine that this setting will be more focused on the RP that rise from  encounters, rather than inship antaggery, or is this a misconception on my part?

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3 minutes ago, NerdyVampire said:

I can imagine that this setting will be more focused on the RP that rise from  encounters, rather than inship antaggery, or is this a misconception on my part?

In an ideal world, this is how it'll work. But the world is not ideal. Expect the minimum viable product to be just a moving space station. A better result will yeah be antags or other actors from the away sites, like the kosmostrelski. But one does not replace the other.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Skull132 said:

In an ideal world, this is how it'll work. But the world is not ideal. Expect the minimum viable product to be just a moving space station. A better result will yeah be antags or other actors from the away sites, like the kosmostrelski. But one does not replace the other.

So how elite is this multi-corp platform gonna be?

My immediate question is how we can adjust current lore and characters to this? Everyone with wacky mallcops, runaway soviet tigers and deadbeats who went corporate for the money fits into the bar for entry for working in some shitty multi-utility mining station; but I don't think they would a corperate exploration vessel.

So what exactly the overall-setting idea for the ship so that older characters can tag along? Or are we gonna be making the mature decision to say the level of professionalism reflected in characters needs to raise a bar to get into corperate-NASA?

And are we gonna be making a quasi-copy of Expeditionary Command or make it extremely corp-mix focused with only very few characters representing being picked by a unifying entity? One distinct way to make it less like another Expeditionary Command would be to not have some 'default generic exploration company' organization for everyone, just literally the highest non-departmental command staff.

Edited by QuestioningMark

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Sounds like a neat concept for now. I'm just trying to visualize what the gameplay be like and the endgame goal. The first thing that comes to my mind is Star Trek: The Original Series. The second thing that comes to my mind is relating to FTL13 (A SS13 game adaption for Faster Than Light).

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I'm optimistic, but it's all I can say this early.

Someone give the hypothetical Aurora its head back.

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LETS FUCKING GOOOOOO!!!!

We're going to be in our own ship!!!!?!?!?

 

AAAAAAA, SO EXCITED!!!!

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