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Stephen G Tuggy
@stephengtuggy
Hey, @BenjamenMeyer . How goes the infrastructure work?
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
coming - slow b/c I have to wait so long on ansible for the stage I'm at
but it's coming
thanks for asking :)
Evert Vorster
@evertvorster
And now for something completely different:
Vega Strike is foremost a good space simulator, and our efforts in coding should go towards that aim. However, what keeps people coming back again and again, long after the initial wow of the graphics has faded is a good story.
I played Chrono Trigger for hours on end, every day for MONTHS, because of the good story with it.
In Vega Strike, the missions have the making of a good story, but they just don't seem to be cohesive.
It turns out that there is a cheat sheet for writing a good story:
Is there any knowledge out there of efforts to create a good story to go with Vega Strike?
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
@evertvorster @Loki1950 has noted that there is a story outlined but it hasn't been completed. Not sure where you'd find it.
Nothing to say we can't start another one too, but let's at least see what the status and details are for the current one
Loki1950
@Loki1950
Our @ministerofinformation is the one with the story outline
Evert Vorster
@evertvorster
Thanks, @Loki1950 and @BenjamenMeyer
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
@evertvorster we need some play testing on vegastrike/Vega-Strike-Engine-Source#327. Could you do a round?
Evert Vorster
@evertvorster
@BenjamenMeyer Just updating it now
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
thanks
Evert Vorster
@evertvorster
I have approved #327, it seems to play normally, as far as I can tell.
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
thanks!
merged
Evert Vorster
@evertvorster
Local branches updated, and am rebuilding my master now... :)
If I do find something screwy, I will let you know.
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
@evertvorster vegastrike/Vega-Strike-Engine-Source#328 should track anything with the missiles that's fall-out from that PR; we do expect some things
Evert Vorster
@evertvorster
OK, thanks for the pointer
Roy Falk
@royfalk
Thank you @BenjamenMeyer and @evertvorster for assisting in #327. @BenjamenMeyer, I took a look and saw that there are a couple of open PR's. I'm looking especially at #119 that has not changed in months. I'll take a look at it and see if I can move it forward. Good night everyone.
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
@royfalk thanks!
J. S.
@ministerofinformation

Vega Strike is foremost a good space simulator, and our efforts in coding should go towards that aim. However, what keeps people coming back again and again, long after the initial wow of the graphics has faded is a good story.

Re: where to start regarding stories -- a couple of thoughts:
1) There's an outline of what should be happening in the overall setting over the course of the UtCS game time-period (in the lore document). This effectively divides the game into some reasonably distinct chapters that the player-story should align with. To what degree we want player actions to trigger advancement of the setting-scale-story and to what degree we want to do the reverse is probably not a uniform decision. There would be benefits to having the first movement from the introductory phase of Aeran action against the Forsaken to the full-blown war between Confed and Ascendancy be player-triggered-if-possible (i.e. how much cheesing of not-advancing-the-plot-for-game-mechanics-advantage you want to accept). After that, having the setting-story advance independently and trigger availability of different story path options becomes potentially more interesting.
2) There is very little groundwork that has been done in player-story beyond the first chapter of setting-story. There was some discussion of a series of lightly railroaded mission goals to take the player on a bit of a grand tour of unique handcrafted locations (i.e. Sol, Kubernan, Ktah, etc. [of which only Sol exists as an asset, currently]) and introducing characters of later potential importance/path opportunities (e.g. Mirabel as a contact for the Andolian military, gearing up for the expected conflict ) before ending with Lauktk's memorial service back on Ktah.
3) From a story-philosophy perspective, we never particularly expect Deucalion to enact radical change on the course of history by the course of his actions during the game, or at least not to do so on most possible paths. As an analogy, if the setting is WWII, then the general expectation is that it is a" Casablanca" story or a "Saving Private Ryan" story, not a "Tora! Tora! Tora!" or "Midway" story. The setting is big and doing its own thing, and Deucalion is living through it and finding his own path - which will hopefully interact with the setting, but not likely be one of the easily remembered names in the history books, so to speak. After all, if you go full on merchant/smuggler/etc. you're more Rhett Butler than Christopher Blair...

3b) Done well, the focus should be on Deucalion and the impact on his life and those around him, which should be plenty big enough without him becoming "hero of the universe" or some such :)
J. S.
@ministerofinformation
3c) Canonically, Deucalion also continues to exist for a very long time (his lifespan is technically indefinite if not killed/injured/etc. and even then there are some complications with the "library" that created him) - one potential idea for a menu-level framing story was to have him recounting the tale of his own exploits (or those of others, depending on the time period) to a group of soldiers while in transit prior to an unspecified engagement in the far future shrug - no need to rush on that one
3d) To the degree that there was any thinking about D's story post-first-chapter it was that it may be simpler to start with a model that has him effectively selecting a particular storyline for the rest of the game over the course of the first chapter than to consider a fully branching story model. In essence, a "pick a character class after the intro" model of gameplay that would set up the "career"/"adventure-set"/goals/etc. for the rest of the game based on what you decided to do with yourself after Lauktk's death, ranging from the wing-commander-esque (re-up with the Protectorate, get ordered to kill things) to the piratical, to the vengeance-tale (screw the war, I'm killing the people who killed my best friend, etc.)
Loki1950
@Loki1950
For those with interest those preliminary discussions they where hosted on our forum in a hidden sub-form named Authoring under Content Development those wanting to see them just PM me on the forum so you can be added to the group.
J. S.
@ministerofinformation
Section 4.3 (Single Player) in the Design Doc pulls out some of the relevant bits from the canon doc
(As an aside - Scripting-wise, the Oswald tutorial is a kludge and should really be moved to a separate main menu-selected tutorial mission; it makes no sense in-universe for Deucalion to be reminded how to fly after he's already in space - makes lots of sense that he'd need recertification/medical check off before being allowed to fly again post crash landing.)
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
@Loki1950 @ministerofinformation would it be beneficial to pull those things out of the forum and into a repository where we can model it and track the history easier?
Also, while I'd first like to see UtCS done first, there should be room for additional stories too.
J. S.
@ministerofinformation
(also chapter 6 in the design doc)

@Loki1950 @ministerofinformation would it be beneficial to pull those things out of the forum and into a repository where we can model it and track the history easier?

Don't see why not - the discussions in that forum should probably be merged into one or both of the design/lore docs, depending on what was being discussed; some of it's assuredly already there and some of the discussion is useful as context notes, but not useful for general reading, so should probably be relegated to end-note/discussion sections out of the main flow of the documents, I suspect.

Evert Vorster
@evertvorster
I like the open-endedness, and picking various story lines. For instance, you could join the military and be sent on missions.... attack this, protect that. Gain some rank. Or you could go Indiana Jones and look for Uln artifacts... Or just be a merchant... Or a tourist. One thing that should be a buyable artifact is a map for say ten jumps in any direction.
It's a bit overused, but we could start Deucalion with no memory, and him finding out who he is through speaking to various people. This would also open the way for loads of little stories, with a mission or two. These mini stories would be a good way to get the practice in writing in the Vega Strike universe.
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
I started establishing some Social Media accounts last night; just created one on Twitter for Vega Strike as a whole (https://twitter.com/vega_strike - need to do one for UtCS still); the standard Vega Strike ()image (https://www.vega-strike.org/assets/img/masters/vegastrike_logo.png) is too large for the profile pic on Twitter. Can someone create something for the VS Engine for Twitter?
For the VS:UtCS account would be good to have an image with the main character in it ;)
J. S.
@ministerofinformation
It's a bit overused, but we could start Deucalion with no memory, and him finding out who he is through speaking to various people. This would also open the way for loads of little stories, with a mission or two. These mini stories would be a good way to get the practice in writing in the Vega Strike universe.
(Whoops - entering text on my phone and fat-fingered the edit)
1) Re: memory - as part of the Andolian Protectorate, not remembering things would be an in-universe oddity
2) Re: small stories - there's no reason why we shouldn't support standalone vignettes
Loki1950
@Loki1950
Yeah noticed that do not think that @evertvorster has read all of the back story and cultural environment.
J. S.
@ministerofinformation
2b) we could frame them as "memory replays" or whatever nomenclature best emerges, but setting small self-contained multi-mission or even single mission arcs as a way to get (optional) exposition and backstory would be a possible approach that would avoid having to hit every player with an info dump every time they meet a new character Deucalion is supposed to know already
J. S.
@ministerofinformation
2c) small, self-contained "pocket universes" for playing out these side/past/etc. stories may also be useful for engine development, and scripting/tools developmentas well as bootstrapping authoring into a shared universe anthology model
Benjamen Meyer
@BenjamenMeyer
We could do the "pocket universes" as secondary games perhaps. Would be interesting there to be able to tie in saved games between different games that way.
Loki1950
@Loki1950
:+1: