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Uss Lucidity: An Artemis Campaign

posted Jul 02, 2012 14:46:41 by Wacko
Hi guys, My name is Peter, better known as Wacko.

I’ve been dabbling in live events and special effects videos for a long time. I’ve wanted to do an interactive bridge ever since I first played Star Trek Bridge Commander and now thanks to Thom that dream is finally coming true!

What I plan to do is ambitious and I’m eager to share it with you guys.

I already have a spaceship in my basement for an internet review show and I’ve retrofitted it to be a full 360 bridge. While making my show I’ve met some people from a high profile internet review site and they've agreed to be the crew for the campaign I’m running.

The plan is to make a campaign that is half Artemis and half roleplaying game. (as in we make real puzzles for them to solve and characters to interact with that require nothing from artemis other than atmosphere .) We will then film these adventures on a three camera set up and make a show out of it. I’m not ready to talk about what site this is for, but to me, it’s a pretty big deal.

I’ve already been working on this for over a month so I have a solid plot and loose game mechanic to share. Because it’s real world as well as in-game there’s a lot to cover so I’m a little overwhelmed at where to start... Not with the project, but with presenting this to you so you know I’m serious and it’s within my skill set.

Let me start with this...

The above graphic links to to a PDF I created as a player’s guide, a primer to the background of the lucidity universe. (btw I made it Lucidity because that was the ship's name when I started, there’s a dedication plaque already on the set.)

This starchart represents the 13 sectors the ship can travel to, and each sector represents a module I will create in artemis. One sector might be “defend space station under attack” another might be “navigate this asteroid field under low power to avoid detection.” while another might be a fleet of non hostile ships with a planet in the skybox to represent the Massoomian homeworld.

Whenever the crew uses the SDC engine to jump to a sector I load the appropriate module up for them to explore. I have the plot points / game mechanic I want to see for each sector, so the next step for me is to create these mods. Once that’s done the game and filming can begin.

Coding is not my strong point so not only will I have lots of questions, I want to make sure you guys can contribute if you want to. Anyone who has ideas for a sector can feel free to share and we can work together on them.

If this becomes a popular show (and there’s a good chance it might) I want to make sure I represent the game and the community like it deserves. So everyone who helps will get their name in the credits at the end of each episode.

Once this campaign is done I will be releasing it for everyone to play. (after it’s aired of course, I don’t want spoilers to be easy to find.)

This post is really long as it is, so I’ll leave it here. Please feel free to ask questions about the universe, gameplay or show aspects and I’ll fill any confusing holes I left in this post.

I don’t know if this is the direction Thom intended to take Artemis, but I hope he will be pleased with the end result.
[Last edited Jul 02, 2012 21:48:59]
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62 replies
DwayneShaffer said Jul 02, 2012 16:55:33
Peter my name is Dwayne Shaffer I am currently Moding the BSG_MOD for Artemis. I am willing to help when I can. I Work full time and raising my granddaughter. And when I am not doing that I am working on the BSG mod. The main thing I ask is that Thom gets positive credits for this amazing game. It is truly a players game because the player can be involved in ever aspect of it. There is allot of good talent here too. Like Mike one of the leading mission writers, Hissatsu the designer of the artemis extender, the Mission editor and the engineering preset. TreChipmen Star Trek TMP Mod.. and many more.
Dwayne Shaffer C.O.
Vidar GSR 3701
C.D.F. 7th Fleet
Wacko said Jul 02, 2012 17:28:27
Thanks for the welcome, Dwayne!

I've been stalking the page for a while now, and I'm really impressed with what you guys have come up with, that's why I want you to know what I'm working on so you're not yelling at the screen on how I could have done it better. :)

Yea, Thom will get his credit. I plan to do a longer version of what I use for my series.

Here's an example.

I'll put it right in the opening of the show gene Roddenberry style!

When I get home tonight I'll be working on the first sector (the one in the middle of the grid) its going to be simple with a nebula and a few asteroids, and nothing else.

This is because when my players start the game, they're going to be in the airlock of the ship. They will have to find the power, location the stations, and then hack the ships AI to even begin playing.

Once they have a feel for flying the ship they will leave the nebula and be attacked by a low power enemy. This enemy will be the last member of a failed expedition sent to find the lucidity and will be driven mad by what he had to do to survive long enough to get his revenge. Comms are controlled by the ships AI because instead of playing sound bites I will be playing this part off screen, just below the main viewer.

This should get players use to combat, and after that battle, the players will have access to the interactive star chart that gives them a brief overview of what they might expect in each area. They can then head out in any direction one square from the starting point.

What do you guys think? will this be enough of a training mission? Should I add more things like "scan asteroids to look for bombs left by the mad man" or anything like that before they move on?

P.S. if you do have ideas like that, help with the code would be very welcome.
Wacko said Jul 02, 2012 17:34:56
Oh, by the way, the ships AI is a full sized remote control robot named DamCom Alpha run by a dedicated person. No joke.
DwayneShaffer said Jul 02, 2012 18:39:21
I like the plot

My 1st question would be are you make each sector an separate mission or are you planning to use the entire map for the complete series of missions.

2nd the Asteroids in the game are unnamed object there for can not be scanned by the science officer unless one is created in the vesseldata.xml but this will only give it the properties if a ship. They should get the idea of scanning when they scan the enemy ship to find it weaknesses. One thing to remember about asteroids is that if you run into them the ship will take damage so if your shields are not up then you Damcomm teams will be busy LOL.

Here is an idea have them come across a derelict ship left behind by the failed expedition. After they realizes that it abandoned they will want to get closer. To check it out that's when they will realize it is a booby trap and it will blow up with the effect of a nuke.

code example

Scripting a Nuke Blast

This should give you the effect that you are looking for. things to remember are the push radius of both objects and how much damage you are looking for. I tested it in the sim. and it works pretty good. The effect is that of a nuke going off and it was cool LOL.

<event name_arme="Event 2" id_arme="42b2db07-07d4-4064-90e2-4748d48c774e">
<if_exists name="Artemis" />
<if_variable name="trap" comparator="NOT" value="1.0" />
<if_distance name1="Artemis" name2="YourObject" comparator="LESS_EQUAL" value="300.0" />
<create count="1" type="mines" startX="50450.0" startY="-10.0" startZ="43850.0" endX="50450.0" endY="-10.0" endZ="43850.0" />
<set_variable name="trap" value="1.0" />

<event name_arme="Event 1" id_arme="26835f61-f55f-4b67-a714-9f4f0f49cd15">
<if_exists name="Artemis" />
<if_distance name1="Artemis" name2="YourObject" comparator="LESS_EQUAL" value="300.0" />
<if_variable name="trap" comparator="EQUALS" value="1.0" />
<if_variable name="ambush1" comparator="NOT" value="1.0" />
<addto_object_property value="1.0" property="triggersMines" name="Artemis" />
<set_variable name="ambush1" value="1.0" />

I added this line in the start area were I create the YourObject to keep it from moving to represent a derelict ship.

<add_ai type="DIR_THROTTLE" value1="0.0" value2="0.0" name="YourObject" />

Dwayne Shaffer C.O.
Vidar GSR 3701
C.D.F. 7th Fleet
DwayneShaffer said Jul 02, 2012 19:22:15
Well just took a look at your online resume, You just got another + from me LOL. I am a former Air force security policeman. 85-89.
Dwayne Shaffer C.O.
Vidar GSR 3701
C.D.F. 7th Fleet
Wacko said Jul 02, 2012 19:43:10
Oh yea that's a really good idea!

I was going to establish that Cyclone sent them into the system with little more then a shuttle. This explained how our heroes got there without them always thinking "well we could use the ship we came in to do X" Maybe instead I could have their original ship explode like this, and then have them under attack by the guy that did it.

I need there to be some kind of battle so there is room to establish how crazy the attacker guy is. It also lets the crew know that the man who sent them there is a bit shady while teaching them basic combat. Oh and asteroids being harmful with no shields is part of the plan. I want them to figure that out safely so the difficulty will be pretty low in the nebula and will grow as they travel further.

To answer question one: Each square you see in the StarChart is a different mission chosen at the Artemis menu screen, a total reload of everything.

I'm a flash animator for technical drawings during the day, so it's really easy for me to make an interactive star map. While they are seeing that on the main viewer, I'll load the new mission in the background. The Ship's AI will serve as a link between the gamemaster and the crew, so all the captain will have to say is "AL, set a course for sector B5." This will also allow the crew to take breaks, because we can always explain that some jumps take longer then others.

Doing this as separate missions will also make it easier for me to be sure the code will run as I expect. (no bad guys from another sector attacking where they should not) I'm working with what I know, and it's easier for me to do as many things outside of the game as I can. This might change as you guys fill in my missing code ability, but the more I do practically the more real it will seem to the player and therefore the audience.

One final note on this idea is that the space between sectors is crossable by other ships, but it takes them days or weeks, so they won't be able to follow our crew because of the SDC engine in a reasonable amount of time so even the most pissed off will wait for their return.

Some sectors have home world, some have space stations, some are major trade routes between friendly species, some will be a battle ground of an endless war, where the crew has to fly through navigational hazards to not be detected.

This might make some sectors seem rather empty of gameplay, but combat isn't the only thing the crew has to deal with, often times they have to verbally deal with characters they encounter and that's done through the gamemaster (and friends) so full hostile sectors will be rare.

Has I work on each sector I'll give you the plot I have in mind, I have no doubt you'll have some useful input to make them their best and I can implement these without worrying how they will impact other areas.
avbeeri said Jul 02, 2012 20:18:52
This is sounding really cool. You might have some problems loading missions in the background, because the experience isn't seamless from the client point of view. The players will see the simulation end in between missions.
Wacko said Jul 02, 2012 21:47:37
Them seeing the mission end won't be a problem, I need to keep it seamless for the video version of the show, not to the players so I'll be creating a sling shot effect in post production. If it's between episodes that's where I'll roll the credits.
avbeeri said Jul 02, 2012 22:18:49
Ah, thats alright then :)
Wacko said Jul 02, 2012 22:52:53
You can tell by my wordy posts that I mostly enjoy the story elements of this project...


I'm sitting at home right now looking at the editor and not even sure how to make this nebula bigger then a single dot let alone add Dwayne's code...

I hate asking for this basic level of help, I really do.. but... I could really use a pushstart. I'm good at modifying code, I do it for action script all the time, but I do need a basic understanding of the variables before I can do that.

Here's what I have so far.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
-<mission_data background_id_arme="f7146095-0ab4-422a-abf8-35d4bf7697e3" version="1.65"> -<start name_arme="Start"> <create endZ="40097.0" endY="0.0" endX="52913.0" startZ="40097.0" startY="0.0" startX="52913.0" type="nebulas" count="10"/> <create type="player" name="Lucidity" angle="0" z="50000.0" y="0.0" x="50000.0"/> <set_difficulty_level value="5"/> <set_skybox_index index="9"/> <big_message title="Sector Epsilon Gamma" subtitle2="adventure for Artemis 1.65" subtitle1="The Shuko Nebula"/> <set_timer name="start_mission_timer_1" seconds="10"/> <set_variable name="chapter_1" value="1"/> </start> </mission_data>

How do I make the nebula take up a large circular portion of his map? and, related to that, how do I use the coordinate system? Or rather how do I find the coordinates so I can set them?
[Last edited Jul 02, 2012 22:54:07]
avbeeri said Jul 02, 2012 23:00:03
An example of the code which produces a circular portion of the map:

<create count="480" type="nebulas" startX="50000.0" startY="0.0" startZ="50000.0" radius="12000" randomRange="7000" randomSeed="42" />

The radius defines the base line for the nebula.
The randomRange specifes how far at random away from the radius of the circle the nebula can spread.
The randomSeed is just a value which the random number generate uses to pick the randomness of the placement of the nebula. By giving it a fixed number, you should get the same nebula each time.

I recommend playing with the values in that and seeing what changes. Create a simple script for just trying out individual features. Thats the best way to learn :)
Wacko said Jul 02, 2012 23:14:24
THANK YOU! that really helped. Everything being at zero was a bit confusing, I can use those numbers to make it how I wanted it to be. I'll update in a bit when I have what I think I need, you guys can let me know if it's good.
avbeeri said Jul 02, 2012 23:33:06
No problem :) The co-ordinate system is a little odd in Artemis. The X axis goes right to left, 0 to 100000, and Z goes up to down, 0 to 100000.

Each grid square is 20000 in width and height.
Y is usually zero for objects, since Artemis tends to play in only 2 dimensions, but there are applications to using the 3rd dimension.

This really helped me understand the co-ordinates:

The missions-docs text file in the Artemis install directory explains the commands rather well. I don't usually use the mission editor, but to be honest, starting from raw xml is probably a good start. there are example missions which are worth looking at also.
[Last edited Jul 02, 2012 23:40:02]
DwayneShaffer said Jul 02, 2012 23:38:38
I would also take a look at the code snippets section of missions script forum. Will give you some ideas of what can be done in the game. If you can not find something in there then all you have to do is ask and someone will try to figure it out.
Dwayne Shaffer C.O.
Vidar GSR 3701
C.D.F. 7th Fleet
Wacko said Jul 03, 2012 00:38:20
Ok, here's what I have so far.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
-<mission_data background_id_arme="f7146095-0ab4-422a-abf8-35d4bf7697e3" version="1.65"> -<start name_arme="Start"> <create randomRange="25000" radius="25000" startZ="65097.0" startY="0.0" startX="62913.0" type="nebulas" count="999"/> <create randomRange="25000" radius="45000" startZ="95000.0" startY="0.0" startX="85982.0" type="asteroids" count="200" endAngle="0" startAngle="90"/> <create randomRange="10000" startZ="32613.0" startY="0.0" startX="95000.0" type="mines" count="20" endZ="35613.0" endY="0.0" endX="29070.0"/> <create randomRange="15000" startZ="59546.0" startY="0.0" startX="15000.0" type="mines" count="20" endZ="95546.0" endY="0.0" endX="25000.0"/> <create type="player" name="Lucidity" angle="0" z="65000.0" y="0.0" x="65000.0"/> <set_difficulty_level value="5"/> <set_skybox_index index="9"/> <big_message title="Sector Epsilon Gamma" subtitle2="adventure for Artemis 1.65" subtitle1="The Shuko Nebula"/> <set_timer name="start_mission_timer_1" seconds="10"/> <set_variable name="chapter_1" value="1"/> </start> </mission_data>

With the mission editor, how do you add the code Dwayne shared earlier? Should I just open notepad, and if so should I add it to the bottom of the string?
[Last edited Jul 03, 2012 00:40:22]
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