Rebel Flagship Design

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Gidoza
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:49 pm

Rebel Flagship Design

Postby Gidoza » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:26 pm

So I was wondering if there's anyone out there who has experience designing Rebel Flagships [that work] who would be able to help me with a little project to tack on to Captain's Edition.

Inspired by the Flagship Randomizer - my idea is simply to make a big set of pre-made Flagships (instead of totally randomly-generated ones), the likes of which one could be randomly selected for the player to fight each game (or try again if the player likes), each with very different flavors and challenges. Additionally, if I can set up a meaningful framework in which this could work, this could be expanded to regular FTL, or other players could add their own designs, for a wide mix of possibilities - so every round with the Flagship is a bit of a new surprise and challenge.

All my designs are already complete on paper.

The problem I'm having is that I can't seem to get my first test run to work for the life of me. At the moment - the thing just crashes. Then I tinkered a little - and instead of having the assigned artillery show up, all I got was four laser cannons that never fire and aren't even in the right places. I've even tried very strictly following the layout provided from the Vanilla ship and just tinkering with a few values only for nothing whatsoever to change. I have no idea what's causing the crash, but I'm hoping that someone with more knowledge might be able to identify the issue and point me in the right direction. Once I know what the heck I'm doing to get one test case going and confirmed working, presumably the rest should be easy.


Right here I'll include a few files for my first "test case" so that some interested party can take a look what I'm up to and give any kind of meaningful opinion...


http://www.filedropper.com/customflagships_1
This has all the weapon specs for the Flagship - my designs only takes specs from this file.

http://www.filedropper.com/flagb
A combined version of all three levels of Flagship with what I assumed needed to be done to make it work.

http://www.filedropper.com/b1
Flagship first level straight from Superluminal.

http://www.filedropper.com/b2_5
Flagship second level straight from Superluminal.

http://www.filedropper.com/b3_1
Flagship third level straight from Superluminal.



Any help is greatly appreciated - thank you!
-Gidoza
meklozz
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:11 am

Re: Rebel Flagship Design

Postby meklozz » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:25 pm

Loading up the customflagship and then flagb seems to give me something that works just fine:

Image

Which files are you meant to load anyway..? You could clean that up, both the files seem to hold the same stuff and all you really need for your final archive with the flagship are tiny data files with no images or sounds or any of that for anyone to have to keep re-downloading all the time or just to fill up space on the hard drive.

@edit
There were no drone images on the second phase and it crashed on the last one, though. And oxygen and I think medbay were merged. And this first phase seems really weak, btw.
Gidoza
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:49 pm

Re: Rebel Flagship Design

Postby Gidoza » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:08 pm

Hm...weird! When I load CustomFlagships and FlagB, it just crashes for me in the first instance and I don't even see the Flagship at all.

I think I understand Re: The image files - CustomFlagships should hold all the sounds and images and such by itself, and FlagB should just have the skeleton of the Flagship, yes?

No Drone images on second phase - that's weird, because it's supposed to pull Drone images from the typical Drones that CE already has, so if you're using CE, it should be OK there. I'll check again and see if I misnamed something.

EDIT: Oh...it actually looks like you're not using CE, if I think I'm seeing things correctly from your screen. So maybe my thing is conflicting with CE somehow...? Maybe I should just include all the drone image specs into CustomFlagships, and then people will be able to use this mod even if they're not playing CE at all. It'll mean that the Flagship can have random weird weapons that the player would never see...but so what?

Re crashing on last one: Huh? I don't see no Medbay in my skeleton in Superluminal...I didn't even know you could have two systems in the same room! Or a Clonebay and a Medbay at the same time! I'll try deleting the rooms and then re-instating them.

And you're right - that first phase is a bit weak...I forgot to include the level 3 Cloaking device.


Thanks for the help so far! Will poke more at it when I get home. :)
meklozz
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:11 am

Re: Rebel Flagship Design

Postby meklozz » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:25 pm

I didn't have CE isntalled at the moment indeed, that explains the drone images.. And after trying a couple more times, it often crashes on the first phase, too, not just the third, so it might be some random element making issues, which is odd, since I don't think there should be any.

And medbay and oxygen, not clone bay, are melded in phase two, I can see that in the files. (same room assigned)

I saw the augments for phase 1 now, so that makes it stronger by some. Not sure how clone bay interacts with multiple phases and all that, if you can't get a full crew kill that would be a good buff actually, but then again the AI shouldn't trigger in phase 1, so I dunno.

I'll keep trying, having so much stuff (and some duplicates, flagship blueprints in autoblueprints?) in those files is kinda making looking through it tedious, though, just hard to tell what's needed and what's redundant.

@edit
Removing boss_1.txt stops the crashes (I'm only loading FlagB.ftl, now), there must be something wrong with the layout, I'd suggest remaking it in superluminal, maybe some door links or whatever is a problem.
Gidoza
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:49 pm

Re: Rebel Flagship Design

Postby Gidoza » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:16 pm

Huh? Interesting that it only SOMETIMES crashes on the first phase.

But anyways - will try re-making the layout and adding more Drone data to CustomFlagships.ftl and keeping the Flagship design part as minimalist as possible to clean things up - will then present that when I have it done and see how it works.

For Clonebay - I kind of assume that whatever crew are dead when the Flagship is defeated won't appear in the next phase, because it doesn't function as a player ship. Nevertheless, the Backup DNA Bank will make keeping lots of people dead an incredible chore to say the least. The weapons are weaker, but all connected - so a boarding party can't determinedly wipe out two weapons forever. Strengths and weaknesses - that's what I'm aiming for in all the designs. :D (you'll positively want to beat me over the head after you see a couple of the ones I have in mind - this is going to be FUN)


Totally different question - when the Flagship AI triggers, does it always turn off oxygen completely, or is that associated uniquely with the "Invasion" AI? I'm not sure how it works, so ATM I'm just making assumptions and guesses.
meklozz
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:11 am

Re: Rebel Flagship Design

Postby meklozz » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:38 pm

There must be a point where the game checks if the crew is dead to know whether or not to put them on the next phase, and I have no idea whether suspended clones count. You should probably test it to make sure the balance is right (whichever way you go) if you aren't sure either.
Keeping the clonebay down is usually a big part of a boarding strategy, so I think this will only matter with some loadouts, if something uses ion bombs maybe or something similar. Either that or if the player won't even know about it until they start having clones come back.

Turning off oxygen is a CE exclusive and only happens through event on the third phase, always. Nothing to do with AI, as far as I know, or directly with boarding, though that is why it's there. If the crew abandons ship anyway, why leave oxygen.
Gidoza
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:49 pm

Re: Rebel Flagship Design

Postby Gidoza » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:12 pm

meklozz wrote:There must be a point where the game checks if the crew is dead to know whether or not to put them on the next phase, and I have no idea whether suspended clones count. You should probably test it to make sure the balance is right (whichever way you go) if you aren't sure either.
Keeping the clonebay down is usually a big part of a boarding strategy, so I think this will only matter with some loadouts, if something uses ion bombs maybe or something similar. Either that or if the player won't even know about it until they start having clones come back.

Turning off oxygen is a CE exclusive and only happens through event on the third phase, always. Nothing to do with AI, as far as I know, or directly with boarding, though that is why it's there. If the crew abandons ship anyway, why leave oxygen.


Oh, I didn't realize it was CE only on the third phase. Hm. Is there a way to make this trigger in any phase whenever the entire crew complement is dead? Agreed - why leave oxygen if there's no crew? It's part of what makes boarding the 3rd rendition of the Flagship in CE a challenge, and I like that - I want to make that even more global if possible.
meklozz
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:11 am

Re: Rebel Flagship Design

Postby meklozz » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:40 pm

I can't say for sure. You should try editing the BOSS_AUTOMATED event (events_boss.xml) to limit enemy oxygen like CE's BOSS_TEXT_3 does, but I think that might only appear once at the time you kill the crew. So even if it works, you might run into something like: crew kill in phase 1 > oxygen off > phase 2 with o2 active > phase 3 with o2 active (unless still deactivated as in CE permanently).
Last edited by meklozz on Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Gidoza
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:49 pm

Re: Rebel Flagship Design

Postby Gidoza » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:45 pm

meklozz wrote:I can't say for sure. You should try editing the BOSS_AUTOMATED event (events_boss.xml) to limit enemy oxygen like CE's BOSS_TEXT_3 does, but I think that might only appear once at the time you kill the crew. So even if it works, you might run into something like: crew kill in phase 1 > oxygen off > phase 2 with o2 active > phase 3 with o2 active (unless still deactivated as in CE permanently).


Doesn't the "crew dead" pop-up appear every single time you face the next rendition of the Flagship, though? (e.g. you kill them all in 1 and it'll show the message; then when you start the fight with 2, you see the message again if I remember correctly) In any case, I'll take a look at that for sure, thanks. Stay tuned!
meklozz
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:11 am

Re: Rebel Flagship Design

Postby meklozz » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:46 pm

It's possible, I'm gonna be honest I tend to click through no choice events almost automatically by now. I never know how many moons there are.

@edit
And I don't really know what'll happen if you don't have a non-DLC version of the flagship, but if your weapons are in the blueprints.xml even if they use AE mechanics, they may still work with AE off (I thin ksome vanilla weapons got AE effects [stun?] and there's no problem). Yeah maybe someone else can tell for sure, but it shouldn't take you much more than just copy the blueprints and delete the _DLC part. But either way I'd just make it work first and worry about the rest once you know you can make a single flagship work properly, the same with all those extra weapon files and all that, just focus on one thing first so it's easier to fix any problems without having to go through everything, then add more.

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