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LawsonThompson

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Monthly back-to-back conventions? Yes, we're all in!

On Saturday March 7 and Sunday March 8, 2020, the LTE Bridge team deployed our standard 6-player bridge at the H. O'dell Weeks Activity Center in Aiken, South Carolina during AgamaCon 2020.

This is a small convention in its early growth phase, with about 1,000 typical attendance each year. Many from the AgamaCon volunteer team worked with us at DragonCon 2019!

We had 20 mission time slots: of those, only 3 were "missed flights" due to not enough players.

The 17 missions that ran hosted 93 total players over the weekend, most of whom had not played previously--and then played several times!

Mission Flow

This was the first deployment of our full pre-flight training video, which I've posted online: we ran this video before any mission with 3 or more first-time players. 



For crews with 1 or 2 new players, we'd offer to show the portions of the video with just the positions they were more interested to see.

Overall, the video was well-received, and saved a good amount of my voice! 

We ran "Armada Jr" (which is just the original Armada IV script with all "dangerous" creatures commented out) at level 4, with a TSN Dreadnaught. I would spawn the Liberty sector, then 2 small enemy fleets in A3 and D5.

Then, we explain to the Captain that we'll walk through getting a direction from Science; show Helm how to turn to that direction; then have Weapons fire a probe. 

We modified our Engineering presets 1 thru 8 to match the 8 systems: 1 for beam boost, 2 for torpedo, etc thru 8 for rear shield boost. Not sure why IT TOOK FIVE YEARS for me to figure this out, but for first time players this makes SO MUCH more sense! I may even make a little touchpad or LED buttons to mount right on the edge of the screen so you have a preset button under each system to boost that system safely.

As crews destroyed each fleet, I'd spawn in another to keep at least 1 full fleet somewhere on the map, usually going small, small, medium, then if there were at least 10 minutes left I'd somewhat dramatically say: "Captain, you have 10 minutes remaining and have beaten small and medium fleets: will you claim victory here, or would you like to take on a final large fleet?"  

Every crew had the same response: the Captain would look at the crew, and without fail they'd conclude "bring it on!"

One experienced crew tried the Ximni Tournament mission, and did rather well. The "trade run" component wasn't well handled, due to a lack of experience. The helm of that crew figured out the jump drive instantly, and she coordinated with engineering so well it seems the countdown was never more than 3 seconds. Things got... INTENSE! 




Other notable crews:
  • All-female crew, mostly in various Star Trek era cosplay, and a male Captain. The temptation to make Kirk references was strong with this one!
  • A crew of friends who game together frequently, and whose captain is a current gunnery sergeant in the US military. It was the most organized tactical crew by far!
  • The 10-year-old boy who managed to organize a great series of mine "bombing runs" with a mostly-newbie crew.
Overall, this was a great convention, and we're quite likely going to make AgamaCon a yearly thing based on the feedback we received.

And finally: we had NO, repeat, NO server crashes with version 2.7.5 the entire weekend!


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Darrin

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawsonThompson

And finally: we had NO, repeat, NO server crashes with version 2.7.5 the entire weekend!


Did you run any procedurally-generated missions (Siege, Double Front, etc.) or was it all run with the Armada IV GM module?


Mike Substelny

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That looks fantastic, LawsonThompson!

It occurs to me that the game should load with those eight presets as defaults instead of empty. That would not only make things easier on you, it would help new Engineers understand the meaning of the presets.

I think you are going to love the new mission scripts that will be released after Armada. Thom has added some nice features to Artemis 2.7.5 scripting.

Darrin, the video shows a crew playing the Ximni Tournament, which has no GM but also is not procedurally generated. Ximni Tournament is pretty challenging. I'm not surprised that newbies struggled with the "trade run" part of that script. It's not essential for success, but if the Comms Officer is constantly routing freighters to the right bases requesting certain cargoes the players get bonus torpedoes and fighters and such. The mission is supposed to keep all the players 100% stressed for 48 minutes, and a Comms Officer who doesn't pay attention to the "trade runs" will only be 80% stressed. [wink]

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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin


Did you run any procedurally-generated missions (Siege, Double Front, etc.) or was it all run with the Armada IV GM module?




We ran only one procedural mission: Siege at level 4. Got through it with no oddities. Everything else was scripted.

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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
That looks fantastic, LawsonThompson!

It occurs to me that the game should load with those eight presets as defaults instead of empty. That would not only make things easier on you, it would help new Engineers understand the meaning of the presets.



I rather like that idea! 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny

I think you are going to love the new mission scripts that will be released after Armada. Thom has added some nice features to Artemis 2.7.5 scripting.


There are a few legacy scripts I may revisit with said new features myself. First... finishing the Fighter training and Captain summary!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny

Darrin, the video shows a crew playing the Ximni Tournament...

The mission is supposed to keep all the players 100% stressed for 48 minutes...


CONCLUSION: True!

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