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Author Topic: The End of the Beginning  (Read 5541 times)

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January 19, 2015, 10:04:39 PM

Offline Corey

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The End of the Beginning
« on: January 19, 2015, 10:04:39 PM »

...Countdown...

We've officially finished all of the content we had planned for the beta (we're going to call it 0.9 from now on). For those who don't remember what that is, it includes the New Republic and Imperial Remnant fully playable with all-new ships, structures and research trees. It also includes all of the non-factional new mechanics we've explained so far in news posts like ship performance that degrades with damage, migration, escape pods. With the release itself we'll provide full documentation on the changes and how everything works. All that's left for us to do is to clean up some UI and text components, do some balance adjustments and finalize a few assets. This means we can finally move on from estimates and give a solid release date for 0.9.

Unless something goes very wrong, 0.9 will be uploaded on:

Friday, February 6th



Keep in mind that this is a beta (technically alpha, really), and therefore there are still many things that are still not done yet or unbalanced to some degree. The primary goal with it is to give everything to a larger audience to help generate new ideas, have more data to help balance, and get feedback on systems so we can weed out or change them before they get too entrenched. The primary focus of this news post is going to be to discuss several of the features and content we've still got on the backburner for the full release and beyond, some more specific than others.

...Vision of the Future...

1.0 will essentially be used to finalize existing content and polish what's already there. The first priority of 1.0 will be to finish fleshing out any incomplete areas of the Remnant and New Republic. On 0.9 they have about 90-100 techs each, for example, but there's still room where we feel there could be more, which we'll use to fill out any gaps in their existing trees. We also plan to add one or two new ships. Secondly, this is when the bulk of unit VOs will be added and we'll make a final decision on music. You might be saying "well why don't you just throw in regular Star Wars music," but there are potential issues with that. We'll also finish off planet textures, backgrounds and begin to redo some of the models and skins that need it (something you'll know we do quite often, if you've followed our work on Thrawn's Revenge). Also more maps. Always more maps.



Beyond that, though, there are still many things we want to add and change, but did not want to overpack the first release with a mess of changes, or delay it longer. We've started a lot of our military changes with 0.9, and that will always be a focus, however there are several systems we're looking to implement and change in the economic, diplomatic and cultural components of the game to help it live up the the 4X genre. We'll talk about these more in future updates after the release of 0.9.

Another area we've talked about before is trying to make the game feel like a more "living galaxy." There are a few primary ways we intend to do this that we haven't implemented for 0.9. The first is to give planets more unique characteristics; Kuat ideally shouldn't feel the same as every Tier 3 Terran planet, and Coruscant shouldn't be the same as every Ecumenopolis. One way we aim to change this is through specific planet bonuses and artifacts. Another is through unique (functional) structures and landmarks, like Centerpoint at Corellia. We also intend to use random events.



Finally, and I'm sure for many people most importantly, we still have several factions to go now that the first two are essentially finished. First off, we have the Empire of the Hand, which is itself sitting pretty close to completion and will either be in 1.0 or 1.1. Secondly, we have the Ssi-Ruuvi Imperium. Thirdly, the Yuuzhan Vong, which we haven't officially mentioned before but which we have hinted at and everyone picked up on, and even hidden some Vong fleets in a few screenshots which I don't think anyone's found. Finally, we've been talking internally about what to do with the Hapans. Initially we planned to make them one of the playable factions but leave them relatively underdeveloped, which none of us were very happy with. The other option was to do what we did with the Empire of the Hand and further fleshing them out on our own; they're a faction that canonically has a pretty significant chunk of territory and although they're most famous for the Battle Dragon, Miy'tils and Nova Cruisers, they are mentioned as having multiple other classes (Hetrinar bombers, Beta Cruisers) so it's a bit of a grey zone for us, especially since with the whole Legends canon thing they're unlikely to ever get fleshed out more. Alternatively, if nobody is happy with either of those options they'll be subsumed as a branch of the New Republic's diplomatic tree and left as militia-style forces.

If you want to join the team while we work on this stuff, we have a thread where we describe the kinds of positions we could always use more help in on our forums, so click here if you're interested.

Finally, here's the first part of our second Let's Play of the mod, in which I complain about the Hobbit and Slevered forgets to queue his mic.



That's all for now. The next news post that doesn't have a Let's Play will have a download link for 0.9

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« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 10:26:53 PM by Corey »
I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about mod development and gaming, do tutorials, and Let's Plays. If you like the content, consider supporting it on Patreon


January 19, 2015, 10:19:16 PMReply #1

Offline exwarrior 2015

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Re: Let's Test Ascendancy #2 Part 1: Space Ferrets
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 10:19:16 PM »
Will we still get these let's plays once it is released? Really enjoy them and want them to continue??

January 19, 2015, 10:22:39 PMReply #2

Offline Corey

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 10:22:39 PM »
Yeah. There's still tons of content we're adding, so there'll be LPs as we go between versions (EotH, Ssi-Ruuvi and Vong for sure will get at least one series each). Also, I've talked to Technophobeus from Star Trek Armada about some cross-team LPs in each others mods which may happen.
I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about mod development and gaming, do tutorials, and Let's Plays. If you like the content, consider supporting it on Patreon


January 19, 2015, 10:26:19 PMReply #3

Offline hrissker

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 10:26:19 PM »
thanks mate, great mod

January 19, 2015, 10:34:53 PMReply #4

Offline Settra

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 10:34:53 PM »
Oh baby potential playable Hapans
How do I even

January 19, 2015, 11:03:56 PMReply #5

Offline redleader102

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 11:03:56 PM »
Is there a way I could try to help with VO's, or does your development team already have everything they need lined up?

January 20, 2015, 12:17:40 AMReply #6

Offline Corey

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 12:17:40 AM »
We could always use more VO people. If you want to try out, just email [email protected] with samples.
I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about mod development and gaming, do tutorials, and Let's Plays. If you like the content, consider supporting it on Patreon


January 21, 2015, 12:29:36 AMReply #7

Offline Settra

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2015, 12:29:36 AM »
So how into giving the Hapans a EoTH treatment is the team?
How do I even

January 21, 2015, 01:58:50 AMReply #8

Offline Corey

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2015, 01:58:50 AM »
I'm pretty sure Kalo wants to do them, and most of the rest of us are at least neutral to the idea. Haven't done one of these non-Dev-Diary Wall of Text posts in a while....

Depends who and when you ask, and how many resources we get. We're reluctant to go too far off the grounds of canon here, for one thing. When deciding how to deal with factions we tend to take an approach pretty much inspired by how the Total War series picks factions and time periods. Basically, are they in a position where the right chain of events could put them in a position of at least notable power? Is there something unique stylistically about them, aesthetically or playstyle? Also, for us, is there enough canon information to work with?

With the Empire of the Hand we explicitly wanted to cover a very large and obviously powerful faction with a diverse military that just didn't get much attention in-universe, as well as providing us a way to be creative. With the Ssi-Ruuvi, they aren't the biggest faction but they're extremely expansionist, unique, and have a mostly-developed military, with very clear themes we can extrapolate from to make the ships they need (especially on the larger end) as a sort of "what if they hadn't gotten absolutely facerolled by the Empire of the Hand, New Republic and Yuuzhan Vong before they could make any progress" situation. The Vong are the Vong. Unique, fleshed out, and considering they almost conquered the whole galaxy they were certainly in a position of power. Also, considering the focus of our work (Thrawn, the unknown regions and the Empire of the Hand) the absence of the Vong and Ssi-Ruu in ICW and Ascendancy is a pretty considerable hole.

The Hapans, on the other hand, are a bit of a different harder to commit to either way. Territory-wise I'd be willing to say they qualify, if only just. They had 63 inhabited systems, which doesn't sound like much but by the start of the Vong War the Remnant had at absolute most 400 (50 per sector being the definitional limit, and they had 8 sectors). The problem there is that they weren't really looking to get beyond that. They were pretty much happy to always just be the NR's little brother and the junior-junior partner of the Galactic Alliance. Stylistically there's something there, artwise. The biggest draw for me is this mental picture I have of large, ostentatious fleets, and something can probably be done with the Battledragon Wall and social hierarchy to build some sort of uniqueish playstyle. The biggest drawback is the lack of canon material to work with. Enough has been mentioned to know that they don't *just* have Battle Dragons and Nova Cruisers, and that in order to build stuff like Song of War and Star Home they must have pretty decently sized shipyards somewhere, but as far as ship classes go we on;y have the two designs to work with, and we'd need to make up everything else which is a pretty big workload.

I'd say it's a lot more likely if we had at least one more good concept artist and another modeler/skinner, or if we get really far ahead with the other 3 factions (which is fairly likely but depends on how much EotH stuff needs redoing). As it is, the art "department" on the team is Slevered, Davis, Kalo, Codeuser and myself. Kalo's been busy with school, and hasn't been able to do much recently, though he was actually working on a design for the other canon Hapan ship (the Beta). Codeuser's pretty much the same; he'll occaisionally contribute a model like the Acclamator most recently, but when he's working it's mostly on particle effects. Slevered and I are pretty occupied with the other aspects of the mod (I do all of the coding and map design and whatnot, while he's been doing a lot of the UI work in OzWolf's absence), and we'll probably be the main ones who work on redoing Empire of the Hand assets that need it. Davis is the best of us at organic shapes, so he's pretty much always working on Mon Calamari, Ssi-Ruuvi or Vong stuff.
I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about mod development and gaming, do tutorials, and Let's Plays. If you like the content, consider supporting it on Patreon


January 27, 2015, 02:34:31 AMReply #9

Offline Settra

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2015, 02:34:31 AM »
Now I may be misunderstanding or may have missed it stated otherwise, but are the Ssi-Ruuvi up for potential full faction status? If so would it a spot competition between them and the Hapans (assuming the Armada III team 5 faction is the limit)? They certainly have some very interesting ideas to build upon, though this is of course assuming real life doesn't intervene. If there is spot competition I'd imagine it should go to the Ssi-Ruuvi, as I at least cannot see how to make the Hapans more interesting gameplaywise as compared to them, though I may just lack the creativity.
How do I even

January 27, 2015, 08:19:12 AMReply #10

Offline jordanthejq12

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2015, 08:19:12 AM »
The game can handle up to ten playable factions (although I daresay this mod won't be having that many), so the Ssi-Ruuvi and Hapans can both slide in alongside the NR, IR, EoTH, and Vong with room to spare.
"Show the same loyalty you have in the past, Mandalore. If there is a Mandalorian crusade, let it be for something that will carry your people's memory into the future, so when the time comes when there are no more Mandalorians, than at least their honor will remain."
--Kreia, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

January 27, 2015, 09:31:38 AMReply #11

Offline tlmiller

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2015, 09:31:38 AM »
And yes, Corey has indeed stated they're considering making the Ssi-Ruuvi a full playable faction.
People should not be afraid of their government...governments should be afraid of their people.

January 27, 2015, 09:38:49 AMReply #12

Offline Lord Xizer

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2015, 09:38:49 AM »
We could always use more VO people. If you want to try out, just email [email protected] with samples.

Sigh, well I'll be in full production swing when I return in late July.
"I do not intend to be the Emperor's servant forever..."-High Inquisitor Jerec

"The New Order has never fallen. Only the Emperor."-Grand Moff Ardus Kaine

January 27, 2015, 07:24:59 PMReply #13

Offline Corey

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2015, 07:24:59 PM »
Hapans as a potential playable faction is independent of the fact that the Ssi-Ruuvi are going to be one. There's the NR/IR, then we're doing the EotH, then Ssi-Ruuvi, then Vong, then maybe Hapans. We already have all the EotH art assets ingame except fighters and a new capital ship, so Ssi-Ruuvi art will be worked on while EotH coding is done (Davis has already been working on their stuff, and we have 4 units ingame plus some other art done). Once you have the basics down, they're pretty easy to do. It's all just variations on the same theme so it's easy to stay within it.
I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about mod development and gaming, do tutorials, and Let's Plays. If you like the content, consider supporting it on Patreon


February 05, 2015, 04:53:14 AMReply #14

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2015, 04:53:14 AM »
Are you guys making a special version of Galaxy Forge so it will be easy for us non developers to make custom maps as you talked about and still keep that feeling of "lived in space " and which database are you guys using as your basis the wookipedia or something else ?


February 05, 2015, 07:29:46 AMReply #15

Offline IronChefChrisWok

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2015, 07:29:46 AM »
As a "new" fan of ICW and owner of SoSE:R having played SOGE and Armada III, the feature I want most out of Ascendancy is Star Wars Heroes in a SoSE:R game

February 05, 2015, 03:22:46 PMReply #16

Offline Corey

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Re: The End of the Beginning
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2015, 03:22:46 PM »
Are you guys making a special version of Galaxy Forge so it will be easy for us non developers to make custom maps as you talked about and still keep that feeling of "lived in space " and which database are you guys using as your basis the wookipedia or something else ?

You don't really need a special edition of galaxy forge, just the mod's scenariodefs file. Right now the icons are all the same in the map editor, which we may look into changing (and removing the vanilla planet types which we no longer use) so it's a bit more user friendly but that's really all you need. There's also a sort of "source" map included in the mod which is what I build the scenarios off of, which has pretty much as many planets in their canon placements as I can add, whch I intend to keep adding to although it's at several hundred right now. As for sources, we mostly use the maps in the New Essential Guides and Modi's maps (who worked on the NEG), as well as some inferences for some planets based on the sector they're supposed to be in and whatever else.
I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about mod development and gaming, do tutorials, and Let's Plays. If you like the content, consider supporting it on Patreon


 

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