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Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:03 pm
by CurseUppl
I'm loving it so far. Yes, definietly make the limiting factor fuel. And yes, the fact that a player can have an impact on the universe (like in EVE, but not in WoW) is also excellent.

Hehe, best of luck then :D

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 7:05 pm
by Crook
I've been working on the playable races today. I don't want so many as to make it a mess, but enough to cope with mods to other universes. Here are my proposed trek TOS races -

UFP General ship
Galactic Association of Free Traders

This will give enough styles of play to be interesting - you can be on the front line or you can play as a trader, avoiding fights in favour of finding mission items for other players and exploration. Pirates will generally be aligned with the klingons and romulans, whereas UFP ships will generally be aligned with Starfleet and the Andorians. Free Traders are essentially neutral along with the Tholians - it will not be beneficial to attack either of these races (in fact, it will be detrimental) and so these can go where they like hopefully with little hassle. They can also trade in information on other races via scans etc - or simply info via chat :)

This is pretty much enough for everyone, but there will be 3 main protagonists in the game - federation, romulan and klingon. This is kind of the template for the game but one can be omitted with little bother for 2 sided game types - like rebels and imperials or suchlike.

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:01 pm
by Kai_Undead_Assassin
Mmmmm.... Delicious updates. Sounds good.

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:10 pm
by Crook
Here are the current ships that you will be able to play as:

(it's a big image but only < 300kb)

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:36 am
by Kai_Undead_Assassin
Very shiny. Hehe, "She needs more nacels Cap'n! And some flame decals! That'll make 'er go faster!"

Very nice all told. I am definately looking forward to a playable beta in the hopefully near future.

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:52 pm
by Crook
Yeah, it's not too far of. Now that I've got some ships, I can build the section of the game where you select your race and ship to play with which can be saved server side, so that when you log on again, your ship is ready saved for you. That leads me into making a 'universe' of player controlled ships server side that can be added onto the star system graphics and served to players when anyone moves in a system. Once linked to a move function, the ships are moving around the universe and everyone is seeing it.

THAT is a first playable game really, where you can fly around and see others fly around, and chat/whistper while you do it. After that I can build in weapons, damage control and other funky systems.

Then comes a complex part to the game - I have to make a proper playable universe with bases for every side, and nice beautiful 'hero' star systems. This is the prototype real game universe. The map making app I have made should allow me to do this well.

Then the really complex bit - build in the mission system. It's going to be based on WoW, where you have to find objects and take them somewhere. You might be able to bypass this by finding them outright but without the knowledge of where to take it you're a bit stuck (thats a downside. the upside is that you can trade it. I might make a 'trade' channel where users can offer and sell/buy goods even)

So I'll need to sit down and write a hell of a lot of mission templates, and then the actual text for the templates, like "You have found the jewel of Thessia. you must transport it to Straleb and hand it to the rightful owner of the jewel", with code to backup what these things are and where they are from/going.

Hopefully I can make the system dynamic, so that I just add in new missions but the game server decides where to put them and when - like when a player finds a new planmet and scans it for a mission or whatever - it can just give a blank one from the list, meaning that whereever you go there should always be missions - in all of the 4 million star systems. Some will obviously have to be generic and computer generated but I hope I can make them varied enough to be useful and non-repetitive.

Then it's almost a working game! Add in a points system and some base building/destroying and it's almost there.

The last thing to build in I think is the NPC ships - lots of them so that even playing on your own you get some action. Have to think of some quick AI for that one.

That's the roadmap at least :)

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:51 pm
by CurseUppl
Hey, when you get to the mission templates, just make a topic 'Mission Templates' and have the entire TGU contribute to them.

You'd need basic sentences 'Go find ** near ** and give it in to **.'

We all make a few dozen (or hundred) different ways of saying the above, by posting each in the topic.

Then we can all contribute by thinking out all these crazy names to fill in the ** (except star systems of course, which I assume you will have name generated.)

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:45 pm
by Crook
I can write a planet/ star/sci-fi name generator (in fact, have done multiple in the past) but I'd like to maybe try a pseudo intelligent version - one that generates according to changable rulesets, and then it generates a batch and I can rank them with a human eye and the app will go back and generate more based on these preferences. With a few recursions I'd hope it would generate thousands of good ones.

This might be above my technical expertise :)

....... brain engages.......

Well, I got stuck into this as a concept. Here's what I came up with:

Take a big list of names
Analyse for structure in terms of vowels and consonants
Analyse probablility of all letters that are in the list
Analyse probability of double letter combinations from AA AB AC AD to ZZ
Generate a random name from a valid vowel-consonant structure
Calculate 'fitness' of name based on probabilities of letters and letter combinations

I'm using a 3000 minor planet name list as a text file, but I guess I could use anything - baby names to generate new ones etc.

Here's a screnshot of the app at work - the closer to the top the 'better' the name is. Not ground breaking, but at least I can pronounce those generated names. Looking down my list there are a lot of foreign sounding names. I'm going to try using different lists to see what I come up with...

Ok, I left it overnight cooking 1000 names and ranked them according to 'fitness'. File attached, but here is the top part of the file:


I'm quite happy with these as readable English, but odd sounding planet names :)

If you fancy a go, here it is, in You can use my included names.txt or substitute one of your own - make sure it has a few thousand names in it.

I just had a go with an English first names list:


These do sound more 'namey' than the list above which to my mind sound more 'planety'

What do you think?