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Away Site/Ship/Ruins Guidelines

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It's been a while now since the Horizon launched and there's been a lot of great contributions from the community when it comes to overmap content in particular. We'd like to make it easier to know what to in order to have your content approved as well as let you know what we expect to be present. This thread does expect some knowledge of strongDMM and mapping, so it might use terms that are confusing if you're not familiar. You can always talk to me to clarify something though. These guidelines are in effect for PR's made after this post was made. Stuff that was PR'd beforehand isn't beholden to it but we would like older content to be updated eventually.

Away Ships

  • Should consist of multiple "areas" (good rule of thumb is to do it per room). It's required in order to do stuff as minor as assigning ambiences or how the area will affect sounds to controlling local atmospheric pumps or emergency shutters. 
  • Needs functioning power and atmos systems. For the former that means some way to generate power and a SMES to relay it. For the latter that means a way to ventilate the ship by having a source of air present in case the ship loses any and a waste tank or some means to dispose of unwanted gas from the scrubbers line.
  • Require multiple navpoints (landing zones basically) at the outside of a ship. This does not include a navpoint you would put at a docking port. One navpoint for each cardinal direction is good enough for most cases. If it's a particularly big ship or there's some other factor, you could add more than that too to keep an even spread. Make sure these are named so people know where they're going in relation to the ship they're traveling to. Something like "BLV LOVE MIRANDA - STARBOARD" would tell me I'm going to the starboard side of that ship. 
  • If the ship has a shuttle you will want to make sure that shuttle is also powered. Stuff like atmos is also easy enough to do but I wouldn't call it absolutely required if you can't seem to fit it in for whatever reason, but it should be a good reason because it's really going to suck for anyone using that shuttle if/when it vents.
  • If the ship has a shuttle and this shuttle is expected to be able to go into space, you will want to make sure it has a functional airlock. Not an airlock as in a door, but the airlocks you would use to cycle out or in somewhere, like on the Intrepid. Something unique to shuttle airlocks is that they're designed to cycle into and out of different types of atmosphere, so you need vents on the outside of the ship too for that airlock. The Intrepid is the baseline for all of this and you can pretty much wholesale copy how it tags stuff, but you can also ask us over on the coding channel in the discord if it ends up being confusing.
  • Need a good spread of weapon entry points (the marker that determines where opposing shots go if someone shoots a ship gun at you) distributed on the outside of a ship and shuttle. The minimum is four to pass the map checker but there should be more than that to ensure an attacker has options.
  • The ship should face down if you want it to use weapons or if you eventually want it to use those. There's no sprites for any other direction at the moment.

Away Sites

  • Should consist of multiple areas too. This becomes less important if it's a set piece site without power requirements or risk of venting. I'd still encourage its use and planning around it.
  • Should generally respect power requirements (Always exceptions though. One example being having a turret room that doesn't require power in order to fend off would-be-explorers). Atmos becomes more optional here but if the place is obviously designed for habitation it should have it even if it won't actually be functional. You can do neat stuff like have an unpowered station engineers can fix up if they want. 
  • If it's a site that contains humanoid ghost spawns that are active roundstart, power is absolutely required and functioning atmos systems become required if it's in space. 
  • If the site is out in space, make sure there's at least one navpoint in each cardinal direction and be descriptive in its name so people know where they're going. If it's on a planet or some other location where that's not a factor then just try to have more than one navpoint. I'd say aim for three and have an expectation that the area could have the Intrepid and Spark present at the same time as well as one outside visitor.
  • Add weapon entry points to these too if it's in space.

Exoplanet Ruins

  • Unless it's important to the ruin, use the turf passthrough area type on your ruin entirely unless it has a reason to have its own area (could be a building) and use the turf pass through type on any tiles that are just supposed to be a natural part of the exoplanet. This saves you the trouble of manually mapping in that stuff and works just as fine. To visualize that, a "ruin" could look like this and be intended to spawn on a barren exoplanet.
  • Generally, use landmark/clear effects on parts of your ruin that you want free of exoplanet rock/decorations. Might be cases where you don't want to, but this is just better mapping practice.
  • It's not quite the same, but all the points for away sites mostly apply to ruins too. Think of these as away-sites in miniature and with less work involved (usually) in making.

On Ghost Roles

  • A ghost role should have a good reason for existing. Some clear goals they can accomplish that don't rely on others being present all the time is a good idea as there's no real guarantee the Horizon or a third party will come and find them. Last thing we want is a role people spawn in where they do nothing for half an hour and then inevitability ghost.
  • In the description text you would see when picking a ghost role make sure you are descriptive. People shouldn't really need to know anything from the wiki for anything not whitelisted. That means outline what group they are, what they're doing, state their nationality, who they should listen to if there's a leader and anything else that might seem important. 
  • If the role has some important info/lore that can't be conveyed in the selection text before someone selects it, make sure you're using welcome_message on the role itself (check out the ERTs for an example of that) to better explain who they are, what they're doing, their faction and anything else that seems good. It will show up as a message in their chatlog when they spawn.

That is the essentials but I might come back to add more in case I forgot anything. If you approach stuff from the angle of "What if I was adding something to the Horizon/Intrepid?" you probably wouldn't cut corners, so the same expectation is present with overmap content even if it won't be seen or used by as much people.

Feel free to ask questions on the coder channel of the Aurora Discord or to me if anything seems to be missing here or if there's some confusion.


Edited by WickedCybs
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