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Niccolò

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Dear Artemis fans,

after a few tries many years ago (all went positive and funny), me and my videogame's companions decided to play again the great Artemis, altogether here in my house.
We were too few to play for a long time, but now things changed and we managed to set up a full 6+1 crew, with eight computes!

Our last play was yesterday, for our Christmas LAN party, and it was all very entertaining and nice! We just noticed that sometimes the time limit may not be truly appreciated...
So I started to look how to change it, and I discovered that things may not be so easy. Let me explain.

First of all, we look for a sort of "endless" game mode. We tried then the "Peace time" scenario, which looks to have quests and random enemy ships.
The time limit of 30 minutes was a little bit annoying but then we asked ourselves: would the game still continue if the time limit variable is just set to an higher value?
I mean, do enemy ships and monsters respawn? Do quests keep starting?

We are really looking forward for a few hours lasting match instead of many lesser games, but I would truly ask you all from the community what's yours experiences about long plays, how is it possible to set them up and if it's feasible to really play Artemis "endlessy", maybe defending space stations from ever spawning pirates and protecting friendly ships coming in and out of the sector.

Many thanks in advance!

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And the sea will grant each men new hopes, as sleep brings dreams.

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Darrin

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Reply with quote  #2 
If you're looking for a longer game, there are some options to explore.

1) Try some pirate missions on the higher difficulty levels. Pirate ships can loot energy from surrendered ships, which means they can continue to operate after all of the friendly bases have been destroyed. So long as you can get enemies to surrender, you can keep playing. 

2) Try a "Sandbox" script. The most robust and well-developed is the "TSN Sandbox". Check this thread for more information on TSN Sandbox 7.4. You need to install the TSN Mod, which can be found here. Xavier has also uploaded some tutorial videos to explain how it works. This is a GM script, so you'll need an additional client and someone to run it as the GM. The GM can generate new threats whenever you like, so these missions can go on indefinitely. 

3) There is another "Simple Sandbox", written by rileyra, that does not use a GM client. He's posted the files in this thread. I think 2.6 is the latest version? If not, check post #58 for version 1.0. The missions are generated from the Comms buttons. I haven't had a chance to play through it yet, but my understanding is you can keep generating new missions for as long as you like. 

4) Mike Substelny has posted the GM script we used for Armada IV in this thread. It's not as well-developed as the TSN Sandbox or Simple Sandbox, but will work in a pinch if you just want a GM to throw some enemies at you when things slow down.

Mike and I are working on a major upgrade of the GM script for Armada V, but we're still fiddling with it. If we have time, we may try and post a more generic version of it here on the forums for other crews to playtest. 

I have also been kicking around some ideas on how I could script a "campaign" style mission where you could play for a couple hours, save the game state, then pick up the mission later. So far I think there are two ways to do this... a "passcode" system similar to how old Nintendo games used to work (Metroid, Kid Icarus, Mega Man, etc.), or you could dump the mission variables into a Log file, then use a batch file to convert the logged variables into a new mission script. (The third option is I annoy/harass the programmer to put in some new code that will allow me to read in variables from an external text file. I will be exploring this option next time I run into Thom.)


Niccolò

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Dear Darrin,

really many thanks for your kind and exhaustive reply!
I would take the freedom, so, to post just a few more small relative questions.

The first may be a stupid one: in the "Pirate Missions", is our player ship the pirate one or shall we fight pirates?

Concerning the "TSN Sandbox" I would simply ask if it is supposed to propose new threats in an automatic and random way or if it is required a game master to operate the "GM Client".
In other worlds, I'm wondering if is there a way to just configure something like a "seed" and let us play without knowing what's going to happen around us, enjoying randomly generated situations (missions, friendly ships and enemy ones which tries to put down the firsts).

I'm going, in while, to study in deep all the precious links you proposed!

Again thanks for yours patience!
And, please, pardon my unperfect English... You haven't heard my funny pronunciation yet!

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And the sea will grant each men new hopes, as sleep brings dreams.

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clavestone

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Reply with quote  #4 
The first may be a stupid one: in the "Pirate Missions", is our player ship the pirate one or shall we fight pirates?


If you go thru the ship selection you'll come across 3 playable pirate ships.

Pirate Longbow (Scout Class)
Pirate Strongbow (Battleship Class)
Pirate Brigantine (Carrier Class)

There are a few "pirate" rules to be aware of....

You cannot dock (stations will not let you/check Comms chatter) unless you have destroyed an enemy ship first. If you accidentally destroy a friendly ship or station, you may be locked out again...

You can "loot" surrendered enemy ships by flying up to them for a few seconds (with new crews I tell helmsman to "bump that ship"). Depending upon strength of enemy ship you may get energy and or weapons from a looted ship. Just keep in mind Engineering DOES NOT LIKE IT when you have over 4,000 energy!

Overall, keep an eye on Comms chatter for side missions. 

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PirateLord Eric Wethington:
Commander of the 1st CAP Light Recon Fleet stationed at ShoShuShen station, Eastern Front Sector
Captain of the Privateer Longbow "Jimi-Saru"
Captain of the Privateer Brigantine "Fulminate" and 59th Pirate Fighter wing "The Reapers"

Charter Member of the Eastern Front online group (PirateLord)



Darrin

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niccolò

The first may be a stupid one: in the "Pirate Missions", is our player ship the pirate one or shall we fight pirates?


As clavestone says, a "Pirate Mission" is just any mission where the players choose one of the three Pirate ships available. You are unable to dock at friendly stations until you destroy at least one enemy (a Kralien, Skaraan, or Torgoth ship).

Another special rule that applies to pirates is that the friendly stations will not give you any nukes, even if you tell them to build nukes and they have plenty to spare. You can salvage nukes from surrendered ships, and get nukes via some side missions. 

If you salvage more than 4000 energy from surrendered ships, the player ship will overheat, and your engineer get very upset. All of your systems will overheat, killing your damcon crews, and essentially wrecking your ship until the energy drops down to a more manageable level. If you ever get in that situation, your best hope for survival is to have Helm immediately gun the throttle to Warp 4 and keep it there, while Weapons switches to manual beams, blind-fires the beam weapons, and load/unload all torpedo tubes. Engineering has to move the damcon teams into the hallways (between the nodes) or they will all die. The faster you drain away that excess energy, the better chance you have to survive. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niccolò

Concerning the "TSN Sandbox" I would simply ask if it is supposed to propose new threats in an automatic and random way or if it is required a game master to operate the "GM Client".


For the TSN Sandbox and the Armada IV script, a player has to act as GM and decide what to throw at the other players. They could introduce a random element if they like, but it would still require a person acting as GM to start a scenario or bring in enemy ships. 

The Simple Sandbox does not require a GM client, and it looks like the missions are randomly generated, although presumably the Comms officer knows which mission he is selecting from the options offered. (If you want something more random, you could ask Comms to roll a die to select the mission, or close his eyes and mash some numbers). Every time you dock at DS1, it will offer you three missions to choose from, so presumably you could keep playing for as many hours as you like. It sounds like the Simple Sandbox is the closer to meeting most of what you want. 


davidtrinh

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Reply with quote  #6 
Sounds like you are looking for a wave mission... like in Gears of War! For a random mission generator, try my API for 2.7.1... looks like I have to do some regression testing. 

https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/code-name-nginecho-9740789?pid=1309546681
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #7 
I haven't updated the Simple Sandbox in a while, but maybe if there is enough attention to it I will. Anyway, my concept in designing the Sandbox is that you can either play one 5-15 minute session, or run several missions which could take you hours. Since the missions don't really threaten the bases, you are unlikely to have to quit due to lack of refueling. Just every 15 minutes or so take a short break, maybe run a few side missions, and then get back to the main missions once everyone's had a chance to rest up and grab some snacks.

Of course, the biggest flaw is the lack of "scope" in the game universe. The TSN Sandbox is a lot better as far as that is concerned. You have a big galaxy map, and can fly around from sector to sector in it. There aren't really any automated missions (although I think they were working on it) but if you have someone who can play a GM this is probably a lot bigger in scope than my so-called "Simple" Sandbox.

I was thinking of creating a Deluxe Sandbox version that would generate extra sectors, randomly, where some missions will take place. It would take you a bit of time to fly to that sector, slowing the pace of the game down. After the mission, you would return to the "hub", which would be consistent every time you came back to it. (But still random between games)

That's an idea for the future. 😃

Oh, and you can choose to play either a TSN ship, a Ximni, or a Pirate. The changes are mostly cosmetic, but Pirates can do some underhanded and sneaky things.
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin

The Simple Sandbox does not require a GM client, and it looks like the missions are randomly generated, although presumably the Comms officer knows which mission he is selecting from the options offered. (If you want something more random, you could ask Comms to roll a die to select the mission, or close his eyes and mash some numbers). Every time you dock at DS1, it will offer you three missions to choose from, so presumably you could keep playing for as many hours as you like. It sounds like the Simple Sandbox is the closer to meeting most of what you want. 


Currently the Simple Sandbox chooses from a selection of 8 missions. The reason three are made available at a time is so the Captain can choose all Combat missions if he wants, or all Trade missions. Also, if you get the same mission twice in a row, you might not want to run it again immediately. I anticipated the Comms officer would ask the Captain for his input before the mission, saying "TSN Command has given us our choice of these three missions," and either giving the mission names, or reading the description from the Read Me file.

Of course, new players aren't going to know what to expect, even from the Read Me descriptions. Figuring out the "trick" to each mission is part of the fun. Once you've played with the Sandbox for a while, you'll know what to expect from the missions, and can choose your favorites.

Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #9 
It might be worthwhile for Thom to create an "Endless" mode for Artemis 3.0, wherein the game simply continues to spawn enemies until all the player ships die. That could conceivably go on for days. It would, of course, be imposwsible to "win" in Endless mode.

Until then, it would be pretty easy to achieve Endless Play in a mission script. Just set up a map and start a few timers. Continue to cycle through the timers, using them to keep spawning enemies forever.

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Xavier Wise

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hello,

I did once work on creating scenarios is the TSN Sandbox, but didn't develop the idea much as there wasn't at that time any need for it in the TSN RP Community. One idea was to have 'mission pods' that would spawn randomly. You'd then be able to rendezvous with the pod and pick up the mission, either accepting on rejecting it. This was before we had Comms buttons and fighters in game.

If I was to add something like this, I could probably create some incoming calls from TSN Command with mission options. They'd pop up on the Comms menu buttons and you'd be able to navigate through the options. I think I should be able to fit things in so that missions spawn within the System you are exploring and work for multiple ships.

In the past, also worked on adding random encounters, where ships would spawn randomly as you fly through and area. I didn't quite get it working as I wanted to at the time, but I think I know what it was that was happening and might give it another try.

If you are interested, give me a shout. The TSN Sandbox is primarily for the TSN and requires our mod to work correctly, but if you are happy to use that, then I will look again at adding the 'Patrol Mode' back into the sandbox.

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Niccolò

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Reply with quote  #11 
Dear friends,

I thank you very much for the so many hints. By reading all the answers I figured out that, as Darrin said, the so-called "Simple Sandbox" seems to be the most interesting option for our personal game style.

During LAN parties, we play many other endless games, such as one called "Emergency 4" where players are supposed to control a city's emergency intervention forces. By completing random and spawning missions, scores are earned, and then there's an online scoreboard (not that we're truly interested in that). We even play an endless defense in Company Of Heroes titles, despite it would be possible to rush for the enemy base and win a match: that's our taste.

So, the Ryleyra's work may be the best solution for us, if random missions with relative enemies & friendlies are proposed to players.
I just found there are four files: two on the first thread's post, one on the #58, as Darrin said, and one in the #59.
While the one in the #59 seems to be a modified version for TSN's users, I'm still unsure which one of the other three is the latest version.

At the end, during our last meetings we decided to practice more on "Peacetime" scenarios, just with an higher time limit. We'll be glad to test the Simple Sandbox script at our new party!
Actually we remained in five, and Science & Comms are grouped under one officer. That's sad but, since he's a good one, we manage to get rid of many situations! By the way we wouldn't have the luxury of a game master...[bawl]

Thanks again for the great help!

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And the sea will grant each men new hopes, as sleep brings dreams.

Cristoforo Colombo
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