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Mike Substelny

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We will beta test the next version of Artemis at my place on July 29th. For an invitation and directions send me a friend request on F-Book.

There are new features for players to experience. I am also hoping for enough players so that we can replicate the 6-bridge experience Commodore Erickson creates at Phoenix Comicon.


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LawsonThompson

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*** BEGIN STEALTH MESSAGE ***
... To any embedded intel present at the aforementioned event...
any surviving video record or after-action reports will be greatly appreciated...
*** END ***

Seriously, any insider info to share?


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Mike Substelny

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This time I took few photographs and I shot no video. Perhaps other attendees did. I hope they will post their photos.

On the scale of Artemis beta parties this one was pretty huge, with at least 75 people in attendance. We ran 5 complete bridges plus several fighter squadrons. For a change we had mostly veteran players which helped.

The main new feature we beta tested was the grading system. At the end of a single ship Invasion Mode mission the server now gives your crew a grade. The grade is based on things crews have traditionally ignored. You lose points when friendly ships or friendly bases or surrendered enemies are destroyed. You gain points for helping Story Captains (reboot computer, out of energy, captured by terrorists, etc.).

When I played my crew got a C. An all female crew called "The Amazons of Artemis" earned an A.

Some players were very offended by the letter grade. Apparently the number one nightmare that awakens American adults in the middle of the night is this: You are back in school taking a test for which you are unprepared and you receive a bad grade.

This in mind, Thom has asked me to come up with flavor text to replace the letter grades in the coming release. The text will be a paragraph describing the way history will judge your battle. Excerpts will include things like "From now on TSN Academy cadets will study your brilliant tactics" and "A new Ximni holiday will be named for your glorious ship and crew" and "You are all transferred to desk jobs pending a court martial investigation."

I expect the next version to be released as soon as Thom finishes tweaking the grading system and building the flavor text into the results screen.

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ryleyra

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
You gain points for helping Story Captains (reboot computer, out of energy, captured by terrorists, etc.).


This is a great idea.

Quote:

Some players were very offended by the letter grade. Apparently the number one nightmare that awakens American adults in the middle of the night is this: You are back in school taking a test for which you are unprepared and you receive a bad grade.


I'd just drop the letter grade and display the raw score. Let the flavor text show how well the crew did.

I like the idea of altering the text for the player race, though. [biggrin]

So I need to get cracking on my Simple Sandbox then. Is this all the changes that will be included in the release?

Xavier Wise

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Any news on other bits and pieces such as bug fixes?

Will the grading system have much of an impact on missions and mission scripts? I can imagine the TSN always failing as the Sandbox continually creates and destroys allies and bases. 

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HexCode

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny

Some players were very offended by the letter grade. Apparently the number one nightmare that awakens American adults in the middle of the night is this: You are back in school taking a test for which you are unprepared and you receive a bad grade. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra
I'd just drop the letter grade and display the raw score. Let the flavor text show how well the crew did.

You're not wrong about the nightmare thing (I actually had one a couple weeks ago, myself), but I think I agree with ryleyra here. I would prefer a hard score, be it number or letter. The score that the flavor text corresponds to would eventually be figured out and it could be translated to that score(like the ratings in Pok√©mon Go, for those of you that have played that), but personally speaking, I'd still prefer something quick to understand and easy to compare.


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notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #7 
I also would like a hard score along with the flavor text. Knowing that the Ximni high council will tell stories of my deadsis cool, but is that better than the Arvonians singing my praises at high society events? A hard letter grade or number along with the text would answer that question.

Though I do think the flavor text is good as well.

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ryleyra

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier Wise

Will the grading system have much of an impact on missions and mission scripts? I can imagine the TSN always failing as the Sandbox continually creates and destroys allies and bases. 


I'm guessing that either score will not apply during scripts, or hopefully, scripts will be able to set the score directly, instead of relying on the Invasion Mode scoring system. That would mean scripts can finally set a score without having to rely on fudging game variables.

I'd also be interested in knowing what other modes use the scoring system. Peacetime would definitely benefit from the side missions counting towards score. I can see a different scoring system being helpful in PvP as well.

Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier Wise
Any news on other bits and pieces such as bug fixes? 


I think there were a few bug fixes. I don't remember one in specific.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier Wise
Will the grading system have much of an impact on missions and mission scripts? I can imagine the TSN always failing as the Sandbox continually creates and destroys allies and bases. 


I don't believe this grading system will be in use for scripted missions. A mission script writer should come up with his/her own criteria for success (e.g. "rescue Dr. Zarkov for +10 points" or "make Ming the Merciless surrender for +50 points" or "accidentally hit planet Earth with your own nuke for -500 points").

But you do bring up a good point, Xavier. If Thom is going to make room on the ending screen for a paragraph of flavor text, it would be nice if a mission script could pass a string to that field. It would be fun to compose a paragraph of text describing the players' entry in the history books for various outcomes of a mission script.

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janx

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Reply with quote  #10 
I think a numeric or letter score is a great idea.  the flavor text only really pertains to in-universe setting, which half of us probably don't pay attention to.

You get what you measure.  In the old days, we weren't measured by anything other than surviving, which meant kill the red dots, sacrifice anything that didn't matter to surviving at the end.

getting scored on keeping bases alive, friendly ships alive changes the equation.
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #11 
You could always provide a short "Mission Results" ranking as well as the longer flavor text. For instance, you could have "Failure" for a normal game over due to the ship blowing up, "Unsuccessful" for not achieving basic goals, "Pyrrhic Victory" if you won the game but lost the war, "Nominal Success", "Resounding Success" and "Total Success" for various levels of win. (Or "Nominal Victory", "Strategic Victory" and "Decisive Victory", if you want to use more technical and less intuitive terms) That could simply be substituted for the "A" through "F" grades.
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