Thursday, 29 August 2013

Training and Testing

With the help of senior officers of the Light Division, I have started creating training documents and examination materials in order to create a more thorough training programme for TSN officers. The training documents provide information for officers to study in preparation for oral examinations. Once they have been created, promotion will be based upon the outcome of the examination, as well as observation of the officer during simulations, where appropriate. 

At the moment, documents are being created for Officer Cadets to study. These documents include all the basic information about each role aboard a TSN vessel. They will also include standard operation procedures and orders, such as in depth detail of combat orders currently in use. Once these have been completed, advanced documents on the different roles will be created, detailing things such as specific manoeuvres or tactics to utilise, as well as how to effectively operate within the specified role. Documents produced for ranks of Lieutenant-Commander and higher will shift focus from knowledge and operation of consoles to tactical considerations and the role of command. Until that point however, all documents will focus upon mastering the different roles.

The progression will be set so that officer must master a number of role, as well as become very competent at all the roles, before progressing on to command ranks. It is essential that all commanding officers are able to operate any console to a high level so that they can train their crew to a high standard. The training programme therefore aims to establish this base of expertise before officers can move to higher ranks. 

Currently, the Helm and Weapon officer documents for Officer Cadet level have been completed and are due to be released shortly. The Engineering, Science and Communications documents should follow shortly. Once they have been release, more rigorous testing of officers will begin and work will start on the next set of documents for Ensigns.

I have been continuing the development of the Sandbox mission script. So far, the script has a total of 4 different systems to explore and two waypoint sectors. In total, there are 14 different sectors to navigate through, some of which have additional hazards within them. There are also 3 working missions and a fourth side mission, requiring the crew can pick up data readings and return them to a research base. I have started a process of more thorough testing of the script itself. At the moment, I have tested that navigation through all nav points and gateways works correctly. Some of the missions have been tested, but not as thoroughly yet. Once I have completed the testing, I want to begin adding more entities such as allied vessels and creatures to the sector map and then start working on additional sectors and missions.

There are a few "upgrades" that I have made to the player ship as well. I have installed the Fuel Collection System in order to increase the operational range of the ship, making the ship able to operate more effectively away from main sectors with bases. In addition, I have added an extra sensor array that can be activated by the Science officer. It allows them to initiate a scan of the local vicinity and gather additional information about phenomena that may be encountered. To tie in with this, the Comms officer can access a number of reports, one being from the sensor arrays. If the sensors activated by the Science officer picks anything up, the Comms officer will be able to see it by requesting a sensor report. The Comms officer can also request reports from "Internal Ops" to get updates on things such as the storage of cargo, or the transfer of passengers, or from "Engineering" to get further details on what is happening on the engineering decks. All these systems are aimed at making the Sandbox more immersive for crews, and add a few extra things that they can access. 

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