Sunday, 18 August 2013

Wargames, Crew assignments and a Galaxy to explore

The Wargames event was a great success and the crew of the TSN Falcon put on a great display for a live audience. We were able to show how a crew works together on a TSN ship and some of the tactics we use as we approach engagements. TSN Command were also impressed and plans to make additional videos and hold more live stream events in the future. Personally, I hope that in the next we'll be able to demonstrate how several ships operate together. I have already started training officers of the Light Division in basic fleet tactics and manoeouvres, and soon we will be able to move on to the more advanced fleet tactics.

Crew assignments are now my next priority. I now have a list of the crew assignments completed and I have discussed it with my senior officers. The assignments should provide a good balance of experience and expertise to both the TSN Falcon and the TSN Pegasus. I intend to keep the assignments the same for some time to allow the new crews to train together and get used to working together. Eventually, when we have several ships and crews operating, there will be procedures in place to allow officers to apply for new assignments or transfers to other vessels. For now these procedures are still being developed. There will likely be a minimum amount of time that an officer must serve aboard a vessel before they can transfer. This will ensure that crews are not impacted by continual changes to crews. My hope is that the transfers and the chance for officers to change and work with other officers will push the experise and skill of all TSN crews.

New systems have now been implemented across all ships in the Division. Officers are adapting quickly to the new systems and the transition has been relatively smooth. The Skaraans we have encountered recently have confirmed the intelligence reports that I received from TSN Command. Skaraans have improved may of their systems and now have ways to effectively combat our missiles and mines. It would seem that the Hegamoney can now effectively detect our mine fields too. I have observed several changing course to move around the minefields. Although it means that we can destroy fewer ships using minefields, it does mean that the enemy is delayed trying to get around them and gives us more time to get in position to defend allies and stations.

We have also encountered several "biomechs", an advanced space dwelling species of bio mechanical entities. I have heard several reports about the species being agressive, however I have currently only observed them attack in self defense. I have issued orders to the officers of the Light Division that the biomechs are not to be provoked or attacked unless they attack first and that all reasonable measures must be made not to engage the biomechs. In a way, they are like wild animals on Earth. This is their space, their home, and we are the guests.

OOC -  I have started writing a mission script that will allow players to explore USFP space. Using my gateways and nav points, I have created and linked around 14 sectors so far. In all there are four systems (Atlantis, Titan, Al'Mare and Osiris; each with several sectors), and two waypoint sectors. The script allows players to activate gateways and nav points so that they can move around the space. I have a couple of bugs to sort out (there seems to be a problem when moving around sectors in the Al'Mare system) and two or three more sectors in Osiris system to populate with bases, nebula and asteroids but in all, most of the base script is now finished.

Once I have worked the bugs out of the main part of the script, I am going to start adding missions in as well as some upgrades for the ship.  The way the script works should allow me to add missions and upgrade in to the script, without making any changes to the sectors I have already created. There is one mission already; just a simple one requiring supplies to be delivered to another sector. I have also put in my fuel collection code to allow refuelling away from bases.   

I was also considering making the start point random, so that when players start the mission, the start sector is randomly selected. I already have an idea of how to script this and it should be relatively straightforward. I think I'll have it so that the start sector is in one of the main systems, or in a sector with a command base within it, rather then entirely random. Crews could the go out from that main command base and explore the surrounding systems.

The whole script only works with one ship; the Artemis. I have no plans to make the script support multiple ships. I have made a multi-ship script called Guardians, but it took a lot of effort and I'm not sure if all the bugs have been sorted in it yet. I had to add a lot of extra script to support the additional ships and there may still be one or two errors in it, or things I have not considered.

I am going to continue working away at the Sandbox script. The script is available here for anyone who wants to try it. As I work on it, I continually update the file that people can download so that the most current version is always available. It would be worth downloading the script when it is going to be run to ensure the latest version is being used.

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