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Pioneer Star Trek Mod - Darkman


Darkman
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I've been watching some of the 90's era Star Trek series episodes since November last year ( Next Gen, DS9 and Voyager ) and started having thoughts about modding Pioneer so that it features the different ship classes, stations, races, star systems etc of that universe.

The Milky Way map could be divided in to the four quadrants and the territories of each of the major organisations. These can be represented in different colours. You could even have some of the main ships from each of those series flying around as NPC's in game and if you're lucky you may even find the USS Voyager heading home in the Delta Quadrant around those years when it got lost.

You could have two modes of game play, free roaming and mission based. Missions would be issued from Star Fleet Command in order to deliver needed resources to desperate systems, rescue missions, exploration etc. If you want a break from these missions then you can just go anywhere you want for a while and come back later.

You can start out as an Ensign commanding a small ship such as an Oberth class or a Shuttle Craft ( lol ) and work your way up through the different ship classes ( constitution, excelsior, ambassador, galaxy, sovereign etc ) until you reach Rear Admiral. It's kind of like Star Trek Online but way better as you have a full realistic galaxy to play around in with realistic planets to perform missions on, although 1st person aspects will have to be left out - at least until the mod is more mature.

For economy we can use Federation credits as they were mentioned as a sort of trading currency in the series and you can use this to acquire deuterium, anti-matter and dilithium crystals to power your ship. The cargo bays of your ship can be used just like in Pioneer in order to trade or transport for missions.

There's lots of resources on the web like Memory Alpha to get the background info for each of the series or whatever we need.

The galaxy could just evolve over time just as I hope Pioneer's will eventually.

Models could be acquired from those already created for certain mods like with Bridge Commander, of course with the authors' permission. I know they would have to be converted first or have their complexity reduced/ textures re-worked.

I think the Pioneer game is a great stage to set a Star Trek Mod in as you have a full galaxy that can be utilised just as I said above. Imagine flying over to the Delta Quadrant on the other side of the galaxy and having encounters with The Borg or take a trip through the worm hole at DS9 to visit another corner of the galaxy. There's such a rich universe to make use of,

The Mod could be called: "Star Trek: Pioneer"

I think I will personally look in to this as I'm in part-time work right now and re-learning my programming languages such as Microsoft Visual Basic and Visual C++. I'm also somewhat experienced with computer art which will come in handy for the gfx side of things.

It's just an idea at this stage and I'm looking at what I can do to make a start on this.

I have downloaded the source for Pioneer and I'm really impressed with the coding. The LUA functionality will be very useful in the development of this mod. I would like to develop this mod alongside the alpha releases of Pioneer. Anyway, sine it's open source freeware there are no license issues with Paramount Pictures and other's are creating open source freeware Star Trek games, such as the upcoming Star Trek: Excalibur game ( which looks fantastic so far ).


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Darkman
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I've just created a blog to post updates on the mod as and when they are available.

http://startrekpioneer.wordpress.com/

"Star Trek: Pioneer" is the initial title just to get started and may change at any time.

I understand that modding a game, simulation or whatver can take a lot of work and I have no delusions that something grand is going to be churned out any time soon. All I'm doing at this stage is investigating how I'm going to go about modding the latest alpha.

At this time I'm looking in to:

- model replacements.

- screen redesigns ( ship info, cargo, bulletin board etc ).

- coding investigation, in order to learn more about Pioneer's programming.


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fluffyfreak
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I think there are some obvious differences in the flight models for Pioneer and Star Trek but it sounds like a really good project to do and I wish you luck with it! πŸ™‚


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Darkman
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RE:fluffyfreak

Thanks for your feedback :). You're right of course, the flight model is something different and that will need some re-working or modifying. At this stage I'm just looking in to it all to see how feasible it will be to do a modification. Some experimentation with the code is always worthwhile.

Pioneer is looking good and continues to evolve, the fact that it's open source is something I've wanted since the Elite Club idea that David Braben had. One of the goals I have for this project is to evolve it alongside Pioneer's alpha releases so changes and additions are fed back in to the mod.

I'm open to have help with this of course so if anyone wants to contribute to this project, in any way, they can feel free. I will sort something out on Github so if anyone wants to develop their own branch they can do so, we can merge our contributions that way.

I will add a point of contact to the blog and look in to setting up chat system for developers.

I have an idea for the ship's computer to store data on:

- planets, moons, stations, systems visited in a log.

- missions completed, people contacted etc.

- and more.

This information would be stored in a relational database so that you can back it up in case of damage etc. It will grow over time but with current hard disc capacities isn't a problem. Such a feature could be submitted to the Pioneer project so that they could incorporate it if the developers wanted to.


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Pinback
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Very nice idea Darkman although I prefer Babylon 5 over the Star Trek myself. πŸ˜€

Hope it takes off and we may see other doing mods for the game.


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Darkman
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RE: PINBACK

I remember Babylon 5 when it was on Channel 4. I watched episodes here and there but never the whole series all the way through. Last I checked you could get everything they made in a DVD box set for Γƒβ€šΓ‚Β£55 on Amazon.co.uk. I wouldn't mind seeing it all the way through :).

I have a fondness of Trek because I grew up with it, especially when Next Generation started in the late 80's. I remember the original films the classic crew made and recently caught up with their remastered original series episodes on DVD. 90's Trek was my favourite decade as it was so successful at the time and it was popular at high school. As for Enterprise, it was ok but not what I thought it would be which was a shame although their last season was the best. Guess that's why I wanted to set the mod at the time of the three series on air in the 90's.


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Marcel
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You should definitely watch Babylon 5 all the way through. If you can, watch the pilot TV movie 'The Gathering' first. Coincidentally, just finished doing that a couple of months ago. πŸ™‚


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Geraldine
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PINBACK wrote:
Very nice idea Darkman although I prefer Babylon 5 over the Star Trek myself. πŸ˜€

Hope it takes off and we may see other doing mods for the game.

+1 from me!

Yea, B5 was great, I loved the movie In The Beginning.

Good luck with your mod Darkman, one thing I would say though. Remember that the base game is still in development, so many of its possible features are still to be added. So as a suggestion, it might be best for now to hold off for a bit until the game is a bit further down the road or perhaps you yourself could add things to the base game that later on will help with your mod in the future?


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Darkman
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RE: Marcel

All right I will keep an eye on the complete set and wait for the price to come down again. I just checked on Amazon and the price is back up through third party sellers at the moment.

RE: Geraldine

Yes you're right, I did some more thinking today and thought about waiting until Pioneer is completed at version 1. I understand the devs are thinking of taking it to Frontier's level at version 1 then evolving it in to it's own afterwards with more features etc. It sure beats having to transfer the mod code over to the main Pioneer code after each new alpha is released.

I am keen to learn about the coding and working of Pioneer in the meantime and do some experimenting first to see what can be done. I hope I can develop some code that the Pioneer team may find useful along the way.

As for the Lua side of things, I have some ideas I want to write with that too for Pioneer.


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Pinback
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Got all five season of B5 on video tape back in the 90s then the DVD when they first come out, IIRC they were about Γƒβ€šΓ‚Β£45 per season so getting all 5 season for Γƒβ€šΓ‚Β£55 is a bargain.

Also as Geraldine said get a copy of ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ…β€œIn the BeginningΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ‚Β as it set up the series better than The Gathering as the Gathering was the pilot episode and a number of ideas and actors were changed for the series.

Theres lots of Star Trek models which could used for a mod just getting then into the game a bit of a problem

What pioneer needs and I remember saying this in one of the early threads is some sort of model installer which can take the standard model format and turn it into one the game can use.

Which I guess is a probably a lot easier to say than do.


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Marcel
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Darkman, if you do this, I advise that you don't watch the commentaries until you've seen an entire season, because they contain some major spoilers. Babylon 5 is like a very long movie. One of, if not the first, series with an arc. And for God's sake, don't let anyone tell you the plot! At first I thought of it as a cheap Deep Space 9 clone, but there were occasional moments of pure lyric beauty that made me keep watching, and I'm very glad I did. 😎


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Geraldine
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"Marcel" wrote:
At first I thought of it as a cheap Deep Space 9 clone, but there were occasional moments of pure lyric beauty that made me keep watching, and I'm very glad I did. <img src="' http://spacesimcentral.com/forum/public/style_emoticons//icon_cool.gi f"' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='8-)' />

Actually, I always thought it was the other way around! <img src="' http://spacesimcentral.com/forum/public/style_emoticons//icon_lol.gi f"' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='' />

And yea stick with it Darkman, the first season is slow to start but its vital to lay the ground work for what comes later <img src="' http://spacesimcentral.com/forum/public/style_emoticons//icon_cool.gi f"' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='8-)' />


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Darkman
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RE: PINBACK and MARCEL

Ok, your advice is thus noted - I'm still buying Deep Space 9 on slimline DVD ( currently at season 2 ). Never watched it all the way through before. Will be getting Voyager season 1 on DVD after that - I'm trying to watch everything in the order they were released. After I've completed my Star Trek purchases I will take on Babylon 5. I won't watch the special features the 1st time πŸ˜‰ .

It's great to be able to watch these series on DVD for so little cost and be able to skip adverts, watch special features and not have to wait between episodes πŸ™‚ . It used to take years to get through a TV series on broadcast back then and sometimes have to wait painfully between two-parters. My boss at work mentioned that many people have their own viewing schedule on DVD ( or Blu-ray ) these days as there is so much rubbish on TV now like those boring reality shows ( or cheap TV as I call it ). I hardly watch broadcast programs any more and tend to let my Freeview recorder build up a backlog of the stuff I do want to watch, great way to save viewing time since you can just skip the adverts.

A model converter/installer for Pioneer would be wonderful and instantly make it easy to get all those fancy models on the web in to the game including the Star Trek ones, +1 from me.

RE: Geraldine

I actually did get to see most of the 1st season way back then and a handful of late season episodes several years later. Liked it how they got that ship from 2010: Odyssey Two in to the series with the spinning gravity section.


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Geraldine
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Yea some of the ship designs were inspired in B5 and as for the extra features, ONLY watch In The Beginning and leave the rest for later. That first feature has no spoilers and will actually help you understand many of the references in the early season episodes. I envy you watching all this for the first time!


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Brianetta
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Geraldine wrote:
That first feature has no spoilers and will actually help you understand many of the references in the early season episodes.

YMMV. Personally, I think it answers too many questions and robs the earlier seasons of some of their mystery. In that sense, it *is* a spoiler.


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Pinback
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Darkman wrote:

I actually did get to see most of the 1st season way back then and a handful of late season episodes several years later. Liked it how they got that ship from 2010: Odyssey Two in to the series with the spinning gravity section.

Probably and Earth Alliance destroyer

b5tech.jpg

One of things why I like about B5 is the fact that the Earth Alliance does not have the best ships tec or the biggest guns unlike StarTreks Federation which always seems to have the best in everything.

Anyhow back pioneer mods

Need some sort of mission editor for the creation of mission for which film or TV universe it set in.

Also a way to create custom solar system in the game, so if you goto DS9 you would find Bajor ect.


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robn
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PINBACK wrote:
Need some sort of mission editor for the creation of mission for which film or TV universe it set in.

Also a way to create custom solar system in the game, so if you goto DS9 you would find Bajor ect.

These two are already possible to varying extents via existing facilities. Missions (as seen on the bulletin board) are implemented in Lua scripts, stored in data/modules. Similarly, customised systems are implemented in the scripts in data/systems.

There isn't an established asset pipeline for models. Currently all models require a Lua script to define how the meshes, hardpoints and other stuff should be assembled. There's documentation on the wiki about it. The existing models are of varying quality and consistency depending on their age. The Natrix is probably the best example to crib from when you're getting started.

I don't know what flight model you have in mind, but you should understand that the current physics and flight model is really the core of Pioneer, and attempting to change this is going to be a massive undertaking. By all means, give it a try, but don't expect it to be easy.

Finally, do keep talking to us. There's a lot of stuff in Pioneer that isn't fleshed out yet, and much of it is really waiting for a reason. Player/developer demand has been a great motivator in the past, so if you're running into a problem that you think even standard Pioneer will need, open an issue and yell at the devs, maybe it will make it up the list.

Good luck!


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Darkman
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Re: Geraldine

I've only watched a handful of series for the first time on DVD and the ones I own that I watched in the original run were fun to seen again but you can't beat the first run through πŸ™‚ .

Re: Brianetta

I do prefer to watch in airing or production order, gives a sense of what it was like back in the day when the series was on television - except the repeats of course.

Re: PINBACK

First time I caught that ship when I watched one of the later season episodes years ago all I could think of was copyright. I guess they added that ship to the show as it was favourite of one of the production crew and as a homage to 2010.

RE: robn

I think the physics can remain as they are, as for the flight model I would attempt only minor attempts at modification. Lua looks good so writing these missions for Pioneer would be a good start. I have submitted a couple of ideas to the dev team on Github already so I won't hesitate at doing that again in the future. Will have to see if they were pulled or not. Thanks for the luck !


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bchimself
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i have every episode of every series of every season of star trek ever and play them in the background during all of my let's plays.

(and i didnt pay a dime hehe)


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s2odan
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hehe, ah but do you have TOS in HD?


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bchimself
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s2odan wrote:
hehe, ah but do you have TOS in HD?

I do. Fully remastered. With every special feature as well.

lol nerd competitions πŸ˜›


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Potsmoke66
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in general no bad idea,

but ST, wow, you like to do it the hard way!

i guess there to much differencences in all aspects, but for fun it's ok.

what i miss mainly in ST are Fighters

we could discuss now how useful such is at all, or if tactical weapons would have priority over manned fighters.

i guess that's not the "universe" we have in pioneer.

i we look at the plot (frontier in this case) it's far closer to a Star Wars universe rather a ST universe.

lonesome pilots carrying under risky conditions a few tonnes of goods from system a to system b.

technology of space flight is widely spread but not very advanced and certainly not well understood by all.

primitive missiles and laser guns (what about ballistic weapons or combinied, i would like it, so far to "powerful weapons for small ships").

people get shot in space and no one cares... (you get rewarded for it with points ;))

a very egoistic behave in all, including the systems and their cummunities.

no real good or evil situation, one is as good or as evil as the other.

this situation is also reflected by the "low-tech" hyperdrive, where you enter in unpoliced space and you are able to shoot down who you like

and no one notices it. scanners or any else methods that didn't allow a observation above 1AU, sounds stupid but somehow given by the plot.

that's really not much we found in ST

i guess anything that's based on a less advanced technology will fit better.

space is deadly in pioneer, no place to discuss the meaning of life... ( πŸ’‘ )

---

but i'm interested to and guess i can help in certain cases, e.g. to build a proper ST galaxy.

but one big difference will stay, hyperspace instead of warp.

now "that won't influence the game", at least with a warp drive you can enter "normal space" at any coordinates (simplified said).

let's say a common hyperdrive needs a mass like a star to enter "normal space", that's why you materialise in a certain range to the systems gravitational center.

of course that's both just fictional more or less and somekind of storybound.


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Potsmoke66
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Quote:
A model converter/installer for Pioneer would be wonderful and instantly make it easy to get all those fancy models on the web in to the game including the Star Trek ones, +1 from me.

nearly impossible, it's to imagine to setup the script halfaways automated, they're working on it (if that's still is pendant)

but converting, especially CGI models to pioneer with a routine, is like you would like to translate swiss-german to english by pressing of a button and expect the proper result (i promise that will be to read like vulcan language, anyone knows spocks name? i can't remember it but it's not to spell, this i remember).

it needs a human brain to check what can be done with the model, machines have yet no real intelligence.

besides, how far are the ongoings to replace or remove the LUA from the models? i mean not that i'm completely against it, but from a certain point on i thought, ok, makes not much sense to make a lot of new models if everything changes "soon" (soon could be 6months up to one year).

i guess if it's something like XNA all has do be rebuild or at least overhauled, if we ever have matrix animations it really will be a lot of work to change them.

(to check how the shit works in blender, i didn't used a simple model, i took a nice animation of a steamwheel, i mean you like to learn how it's nicely done, no? at least i think so)

i found a guy who worked on a solution for animating wavefront more comfortable, i haven't checked it out so far and it's not free (costs a little fee). but pehaps we should get at least in contact with him, in one or the other way.

http://public.sangui...php?id=wastudio

i will snoop into it, and report what it's good for.

---

now to the trekkie stuff

nice idea! as i always said, pioneer is predestinated for such mods, imo (i know opinions are like... ah... <3, <img src="' http://spacesimcentral.com/forum/public/style_emoticons//icon_e_smile.gi f"' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> not everybody likes to share mine) (we have now even the "fluffy" smilies here, geraldine, noticed it? feels like "home")

the flight model, well different, but hey, it will give the trek ships at least some realistic maneuvering and no turns and stops as if the inertia dampers would be stronger as the main engine, which is, sorry folks, really stupid, if that would be so, i repeat myself, i would use the inertia dampers instead the mainengine, even when that would mean my ship crawls sidewards.

hyperspace instead of warp will really be cruel for the ST idea.

besides of that, as aged as i'm, i followed ST since the 70's, DS9 and B5 i watched simultaneously, which has confused me sometimes a little <img src="' http://spacesimcentral.com/forum/public/style_emoticons//wink3.gi f"' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />.

but i miss sometimes the humor of TOS and many other old series, sci-fi should imo always have a little of this component, like "that was a real horror" - "no, this is science-fiction".

true, yes DS9 had fortunately a real plot, but somertimes it was annoying too, it bounds you to it, i mean you have to watch each episode.

what has made it hard for me, i'm not the one who plans his evenings by a tv programs shedule (neither i will buy tv serials on dvd, i even rarely buy movies, only real classics, like chaplins movies, some outraking cartoons like coonskin and of course concerts, this has most value to me, you can watch them over and over again). plus our german private broadcasters are specialists in mixing up a plot, sometimes, don't ask me why it wasn't chronological. perhaps because of synchronizing had to be done first.

they are also able to leave single episodes away, if they think it won't work for the german market.

how much i was addicted? much! i also made my girlfriends addicted to it, even when they said in the beginning "i'm not interested in sci-fi"

private broadcasters respect not much, only the money from the advertisers counts, if they feel it gains not enough watchers, you will never see it.

cablecom is rude, they control now already the market here in switzerland and more and more german stations will be replaced by permanent advertise channels, argh. they call this "free tv" i wonder what's so free about! it's a dictatorship and not free.

as i'm a german who lives in switzerland i liked to have the WDR, BR3, SWF3, but slice by slice they get removed and if i like to get them back i have to pay a lot extra (more then double) to get the full set of channels they offer. this only perhaps because i like to watch BR3's "space night" and most of all "alpha centauri" (a educational broadcast about astronomy), now i can't anymore (fortunately they are present on the channels archive in the web), instead i have this nice "dauerwerbesendung" now, ahh thanks cablecom, i always wanted this channel, permanent advertises, yeah, i can't live without them....

oh, i guess we slip slowly into this scenario of "demolition man" and we will only know tunes from advertises...

fortunately i'm a foreigner, and so i'm "allowed" to have a satellite receiver without to get a (sort of) "license" for it, they have to grant foreigners that they can watch the channels from home. funny no? a swiss can have one of course to, but he has to report it to the local authority, theoretically they could say no, or limit the size of the dish for him, depending on what's on their mind (the bad aspect of a true federation - it's seen as a altering of the buildings original construction, this to avoid antenna forests, harder even in a block of flats, you have to mount one for all or none, with the exclusion for foreigners of course, lol. law can be rediculous stupid sometimes. but some citizens went up to bruxelles to get the right for free receiving granted, especially for foreigners. so a turkish or greek can watch broadcasts in their own language, a human right you can say. while the swiss has still the possibility to receive terrestrial broadcasts in his language for free, even when this are (was) only 3 channels, it get's a little better now with DVB).


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