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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #16 
Not for nothing, but it would be a complication to have a Pirate side that doesn't side with either the TSN or the enemy, but is simply taking advantage of the chaos for personal gain.

One might say too much of a complication, but if this is going to be a big event over a couple of days, then a "neutral" side could serve as a filler and distraction. I'm thinking of how the pirates played such a major role in the early seasons of Babylon 5, but they disappeared once the big threat materialized. The Pirates could even side (reluctantly) with the TSN in that case.
Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra
Not for nothing, but it would be a complication to have a Pirate side that doesn't side with either the TSN or the enemy, but is simply taking advantage of the chaos for personal gain.


That is pretty much the case here. A specific Pirate with a specific agenda undertakes a specific mission to harm the Terrans. I think in the Armada V trailer video the particular Pirate crew I have in mind was portrayed by members of Notsabbat's band of rogues. They would not be an ongoing enemy on the front lines of the war. Instead they would appear in one of the side adventures and never be seen again. If there is interest we might have opportunities for several crews to take a break from playing TSN and play PvP Pirates for one adventure.

If there is a PvP Ximni crew, that crew would need to be on duty playing a Ximni ship most of the time, and when they were not playing they would need to stay in character as Ximni. They would never get a chance to play on the TSN side and interact with the Admirals and the big strategic map. And truthfully, the game masters would not allow the Ximni crew to "win" no matter how well they played. The outcome of the war must be based on the choices of the TSN players, including the Admirals. The Ximni crew would essentially be rodeo clowns and the game masters would constantly keep their military options hamstrung.

If a TSN crew turns traitor then they, too, would lose the opportunity to "win" the war and henceforth be hamstrung by the game masters. Still, if the TSN players totally bungle the war and the entire Terran Republic gets wiped out, then this hypothetical traitor crew would be the last surviving humans. So there's that.

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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #18 
One other thing we've talked about (and again, nothing set in stone), is that crews won't be locked into playing this RTS all weekend if they choose not to.  There will be other missions they can play, take a break to go off for drinks and come back, and other activities as they choose; of course, the RTS will continue to run in their absence. 
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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #19 
We did a scaled down test of the persistent war RTS last Saturday and it worked pretty well, software-wise. We ran nine servers representing different sectors in a theater of war and players were able to fight in any sector in any combination.

Human player interaction was pretty interesting. As the game wore on the bridges developed a natural crew rotation. Players treated it like a real war. If we hadn't stopped all the servers at 10 PM I think they would all still be playing.

We have a lot of notes about improvements to the mission scripts.

We also have a good idea of what we need:
  • Human-enforced rules for moving from sector to sector.
  • Volunteers to act as Admirals pushing miniature ships around on a big board.
  • Actual miniature ships (and bases and monsters).
  • A big board.
  • An economics system for earning and spending Build Points on ships, bases, tech upgrades, etc.
  • A schedule of war events (i.e. side missions) that will require Admirals to pull one or more ships off the front lines
  • Crews will need runners (or some other form of communication)

Your thoughts and observations are welcome.

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Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny


We also have a good idea of what we need:
  • Human-enforced rules for moving from sector to sector.
  • Volunteers to act as Admirals pushing miniature ships around on a big board.
  • Actual miniature ships (and bases and monsters).
  • A big board.
  • An economics system for earning and spending Build Points on ships, bases, tech upgrades, etc.
  • A schedule of war events (i.e. side missions) that will require Admirals to pull one or more ships off the front lines
  • Crews will need runners (or some other form of communication)

Your thoughts and observations are welcome.


One thing we started doing during the simulated simulation was to park our ship at the "jump points" prior to moving to the adjacent sector. Perhaps that is a way to check that the rules are being followed. I suggest we make the requirement to do so part of the initial briefing.

For the "big board", how does 48" x 48" sound? I am brainstorming some ideas and think a backlit board with a starfield and grid overlay would be pretty cool. We'll need to round up some push sticks too!

The economics system reminds me a lot of the campaign point system from Starfleet Command (PC port of Starfleet Battles). I think basing points on particular events or achievements would be fun. Perhaps points for individual ship achievements would accrue to the ship(s) involved while reinforcements (when needed) would accrue to the admirals. That way there would be a balance between the "rich get richer" dynamic of these kinds of games and the simulation aspect where resources would tend to follow trouble spots.

I would personally love to see a webcam setup in the war room so that admirals could brief ships via video chat (such as Skype) between sorties. ("Nortung, you're the only ship in range, so we're sending you in -- good luck!")

Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel of Rust
One thing we started doing during the simulated simulation was to park our ship at the "jump points" prior to moving to the adjacent sector. Perhaps that is a way to check that the rules are being followed. I suggest we make the requirement to do so part of the initial briefing.


The idea wasn't to have "jump points" on the map. A ship that reaches any point on the east edge of the sector can log into the next sector to the east. Probably we need the script to destroy the ship. The two more difficult issues are:
  • A ship logging into the next sector becomes a "new" ship. All pickups, energy, torpedoes, fighters, and damage are lost and replaced by the new ship. The game master might correct some of this manually but not all of it.
  • Players should only log into the specific adjacent sector. The software can't stop them from logging into any sector they want, so human rules need to do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel of Rust
For the "big board", how does 48" x 48" sound? I am brainstorming some ideas and think a backlit board with a starfield and grid overlay would be pretty cool. We'll need to round up some push sticks too!


At this point I don't know. It depends on how large the model ships are. I was assuming we would need sectors that are about 24" x 24" for a total board size of 72" x 72". But really we just want it to be fun and cool so the starting place is the 3D printed miniatures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel of Rust
The economics system reminds me a lot of the campaign point system from Starfleet Command (PC port of Starfleet Battles). I think basing points on particular events or achievements would be fun. Perhaps points for individual ship achievements would accrue to the ship(s) involved while reinforcements (when needed) would accrue to the admirals. That way there would be a balance between the "rich get richer" dynamic of these kinds of games and the simulation aspect where resources would tend to follow trouble spots.


There is a lot to work out here. In general the Artemis software won't allow a crew to accumulate anything automatically. Probably this is how it will work:
  • Admirals will deploy forces to attack, defend, or patrol sectors.
  • Patrols will prevent enemy attacks.
  • Defense will repel enemy attacks allowing Terran sectors to generate TSN build points.
  • Attacks will disrupt enemy sectors, depriving enemies of build points.
  • Admirals will spend TSN build points to buy better ships.
  • Admirals will assign better ships to crews that have distinguished themselves.
For example, when the Admirals buy the new Battleship Thunderer they may assign it to the crew of Light Cruiser Ajax, which is docked at headquarters being repaired. The Ajax will go into the reserve fleet (possibly a bucket full of miniature starships). Later, after Ajax is repaired and the Scout Amelia returns from its patrol the Admirals may pull Ajax out of the bucket and put Amelia into the bucket, upgrading that crew from Scout to Light Cruiser.

Whenever the Admirals spend build points on a tech upgrade (e.g. better sensors, shields, or weapons) that upgrade will be applied to all player ships equally. For example, the Admirals will buy a TSN shield upgrade and the GMs will set Player Shield Strength to 120% on all servers. That is just how the Artemis software works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel of Rust
I would personally love to see a webcam setup in the war room so that admirals could brief ships via video chat (such as Skype) between sorties. ("Nortung, you're the only ship in range, so we're sending you in -- good luck!")


I think that would be awesome, but I cannot guarantee that we will provide it. If some of the players bring the webcams and computers and set it up that would be fun.

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clavestone

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Reply with quote  #22 
The Pirate Brigatine Carrier "Fulminatae" and the 59th fighter wing is always up for a fight. 

Newley announced fleet. 
Eastern Front 1st CAP light Recon fleet (Civil Air Patrol) - ie Pirates!

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Commander of the 1st CAG Light Recon Fleet stationed at ShoShuShen station, Eastern Front Sector

Gypsyjuggler

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Reply with quote  #23 
Just out of curiosity, i assume the comms text messages at the bottom of the comms screen don't make it out of each "sector" without some assistance?
Darrin

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsyjuggler
Just out of curiosity, i assume the comms text messages at the bottom of the comms screen don't make it out of each "sector" without some assistance?


That's my understanding. The "Chat" message bar will display text messages to all player Comm clients logged into that server. For sending messages to another server... presumably we'll all be in the same ballroom, so you could just yell really loud. 

For the Armada Persistent War, the current thinking is the Comms Officer will be responsible for reporting new information to the Admiralty in charge of the Big Board. We're not quite sure how exactly that will happen just yet. Once we get everybody yelling and screaming at each other in the same ballroom... that might or might not work out as well as we think it would? 




Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #25 
There are a lot of possible communications solutions. For instance, all the Communications officers could just put each other on speed dial.

Someone must manufacture a LAN video conference system that does not require an internet connection.

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NoseyNick

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Reply with quote  #26 
> LAN video conference system that does not require an internet connection
TeamSpeak: voice-only, proprietary, but easy to install and use on a LAN.
Mumble: voice-only, free in both senses of the word, open-source, non-proprietary, easy to install and use but less likely your friends already have it.
Not aware of any that do VIDEO and work OK on a LAN though.   [confused]
e4mafia

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Reply with quote  #27 
Anybody look into OpenMeetings from Apache?
ogremasch

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Reply with quote  #28 
There is an easy solution involving old land line phones. basically the same as old Army Field phones.

two phones and a power supply to make the simple version, this will not allow it to ring unfortunately.

https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/telephone4.htm

Slightly more involved method is:
http://www.techlib.com/electronics/telephone.html


Good video on the topic.



would likely need to make several of these.
e4mafia

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Reply with quote  #29 
seeing something like what happens here:  
 (start at 18s)


would bring such joy to my grizzled. blackened heart. 😉
Protector_Wind

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Reply with quote  #30 
So I'm just seeing this now, but it is terribly exciting, especially in the way it is framed.  I know at least one member of my crew has been saying for years that he would like some on-going conflict that required people to be playing around the clock. (Not necessarily forcing people to play, but making on game always 'on')

I really find the idea of Admirals really interesting. I'd love to take a stab at it (I've done it for a few ships at previous Armadas, but not this big)  I really do like the idea that the Admiral can't manage a ship, only give them deployments and general orders.

All that being said, I am also super-willing to play any kind of NPC we would need for any adventures, missions, admiralty/government briefings, roleplay etc.  My one taste of being an Arvonian Admiral at Armada IV has left me with a itch I need to scratch again.  And I didn't even have a fleet.  I need to get off the beach!

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