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 Forum index » Modding Central » Public Project Announcements
Pheonix Chronicles: An OpenRA Project
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Darkstorm
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Joined: 20 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:56 pm    Post subject:  Pheonix Chronicles: An OpenRA Project
Subject description: Formerly Defcon One
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Development halted until further notice.

Moddb Page

So I've decided to rename the project given the new setting and story. See the moddb for more details on that. I've also gone and cleaned up the moddb page of any excess images that were out of date or scrapped content.

I'm still working on the models for Aegis' buildings but have shifted somewhat over to working on getting an pre-alpha going. The first stumbling block I found was I needed to do the UI differently as both factions will have vastly different building systems. I spent the weekend writing the code for a logic for the UI to handle an array of tabs production tabs. This is so the production can be split between an Aegis and a Manticore section without making double the tabs which would be useless half the time. Now I'm going to work on the graphical side of the user interface then probably do a video on user interfaces before continuing with the Aegis models.

ORIGINAL POST:

This is a small project that I'm going to be working on while doing my Let's Mod series for OpenRA. I could use some help fleshing out what the factions' arsenals are going to be like. I'm pretty set on the building systems though. Not sure how I'm going to do capturing or build queues yet.

I don't really have a backstory yet to the setting but here's a lazy one that I'll replace in the future with a proper one. Twenty minutes into the future a series of coordinated terrorist attacks or <insert global catastrophe here> happens and the world reeling from it assembles an organization to ensure nothing like it ever happens again - Aegis. Read GDI clone. Opposing them is the terrorist organization Manticore. Their ideal to see the world burn and want to seize global control for themselves. They're kind of like Nod mixed with the GLA.

To begin, we'll look at the Aegis initiative. They'll play similar to a traditional C&C faction. For my video series, we'll keep it relatively simple giving them a basic tech tree that follows a logical path. The only thing real special that they'll have is power turbines and hardpoints that act like component towers.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is Manticore which will push more toward the limits of the engine. The build system will be a paradrop production system that will deliver trucks that deploy into buildings like nanocores except they may be undeployable (haven't decided yet) and certain buildings will be completely mobile like the Refinery which will just be a mining vehicle that refines as it harvests and a radar van that provides radar and tech. Defenses will be built by a mobile truck that can will build near itself. It's going to be a very mobile and aggressive faction inspired partly by the Goo in Grey Goo.

Anyhow, any feedback given would be nice. I'm currently working on models for Aegis' buildings.
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Last edited by Darkstorm on Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:21 pm; edited 11 times in total

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PillBox20
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Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Location: Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suggestions:

1. Manticore

A. Is it aggressive enough to deliver 2-3 infantries at a time with a
helicopter drop? (production wise)

B. As basic infantries they could have a defender infantry with longer
range weapon, but slow ROF and an assault infantry with high ROF, low
range and a 1 ammo grenade that recharges.

C. Their engineer infantries should use the insta capture method.


2. Aegis

A. Their engineer infantries should use the Generals's capture method.

B. Their infantries should be regular with no specific weakness. They
should get more armor when phrone.

C. They could have an airstrike designator infantry.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Smile
Where will you upload the videos?
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G-E
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Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if you want to keep it simple, have 3 buildable tech structures that provide a bonus in a given area, but limit it so you can only have 1 of them at a time? If you can do that...

One would be for production speed, another would be like the Ore purifier for economy bonus, and the this for a firepower bonus. Similar to Civilization where your tech tree actually defines the character of your side more than the basic distinction between sides themselves.

Beyond that, if Manticore is a terrorist agency, then it should be focused on infantry with rockets/RPGS, suicide infantry/vehicles that explode... you can have fun with this one. Recently the CIA-backed terrorists in Syria loaded up a cement truck with explosives which also sent concrete shrapnel everywhere. More common is the basic pickup truck or Humvee with additional armour cladding welded on. Any tanks they would have would be obsolete junk and primarily as backup for the infantry.

The Aegis side could be risk-averse as a nice contrast, using MLRS and long gun tanks to avoid close engagement, which would be their inherent weakness. Airstrikes would be their thing, but their bombs would have a small blast radius so that many sorties would be needed to make them effective.
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be uploading videos up on my youtube channel. There are already a couple videos up, but I'm working on assets right now so there will be a bit of a content gap most likely until I can get a few models done.

@Pillbox20

I would love to allow Manticore to deliver infantry squads and would love that feature in general but I'll need to investigate if that's even possible right now without extensive rewrites the production trait. I could probably write a hacky production trait that produces units in triplicate but I am hesitant about that.

I want a higher tier infantry to be like the assault infantry you describe, like the Sardukaur in the D2k mod right now. Although I'm not sure what I'll be doing for the rest of the infantry.

An airstrike designator sounds fun. Maybe like attached to an airstrike support power though. Just calling in unlimited airstrikes sounds like you might as well just have a plane unit.

Engineers are up in the air at the moment. If I use separate build queues like the C&C mod and Tiberium Wars, I could probably get away with building capture. Otherwise, I need to make sure the UI doesn't have extra half-useless tabs all the time.

@G-E

I haven't considered much in the realm of suicide units yet. It's definitely fitting though. Although, like the GLA, I need to give them an actual army to boot. I don't think I want to give them advanced technology like Nod, but I don't want to go crazy with armor like the Soviets. So I don't know where they stand right now. I'll need some time to consider options.

The Aegis side I know will have strong base defenses, but wanting a range advantage is good idea.

EDIT:

Here's a small preview of some untextured building models for a power plant and barracks. Small stuff, but I figured I'd show it off. My next video will likely show the anatomy of a unit in OpenRA, where we dissect what goes into a couple of the RA mod's units. Then the video after will likely show how to use DonutArnold's template; it won't show you how to use blender in any real depth though, just the basics.


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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made a small video regarding recruitment since I could use some help with this project.

Primarily I need a terrain editor and/or a map editor. I want to make a new terrain set for my mod but I need someone that's better at texturing than I am. I also need someone that would be interested in making a handful of maps for the mod using that tileset.

Secondary, I would like someone to help out with asset creation. Basically they'd just need some working knowledge of blender and have the time to help out making the models and animations for units/buildings. I can do this by myself but it will take a lot of time.

Lastly, I could use testers and additional programmers sometime in the future. Like I mention in the video, the testers need to have the time to play and have a critical eye. Programmers would be nice, especially if more experienced than I am, but I don't imagine getting any.
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also decided to go ahead and make a Moddb page. It already has pictures of my untextured models. I will be reporting most of my progress there for now.
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Last edited by Darkstorm on Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:07 am; edited 1 time in total

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DonutArnold
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Started to follow on ModDB #Tongue If you have any suggestions for the template, please let me know! Smile

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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the follow. I'll give any feedback on the template I can give but honestly I'm not sure I'll be much help. You've thankfully allowed me to create things with blender given only my surface level understanding of it which is awesome.

I've rewritten the story as I've sort of decided to place this in a post-post-apocalyptic setting. This takes place roughly after one of my old private mods which will likely become an OpenRA project itself in the future if this one is successful.

Effectively there was war between my version of the Illuminati/NWO and a resistance force. The good guys win, the Illumanti/NWO's leadership dies and everything's good right? Not exactly given the state of things after the war. The Aegis Initiative has become a peacekeeping organization created by the resistance after the war. They try to do some rebuilding but ultimately corruption becomes a problem and enters Manticore. They see the initiative as a wolf in sheep's clothing come to finish the job that their past enemies' started. So naturally they take up arms against the organization and are led by a charismatic leader known only as Kane.

Anyhow, I've written quite a bit of backstory which I've made into a feature article but it's still awaiting approval so it isn't available at this time.
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, given the new setting and story I've decided to rename the mod to The Aftermath. The moddb page should have an article explaining the new story in some detail. I'll go ahead and update the original post with more information about the mod.
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G-E
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might be a silly old head, but do you really want your mod named after an official expansion of RA1 ?
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mind it. If you have an alternate suggestion I would love to hear it. It was just the most fitting name I could think of at the time. I don't think it'll cause much confusion.
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G-E
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well sticking with your meme, "From the Ashes" or "Burnt Remnants" might substitute, but I would recommend something more abstract like "A Desolate Dream" or something.
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PillBox20
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently there are alot of good names that have been taken.

Aftermath stands right, if you ask me.

I run into a struggle for the name of my mod at the start for that same reason.
I ended up with something simple at first, but it was discribing my mod the most.
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I talked with Nolt and with his input I came up with Phoenix Chronicles as the name which I'm fairly happy with.
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Keeper
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you need models or anything, I could help assist.

All I got right now are untextured vehicles made with blender, so I don't know if they will be of use to you atm.

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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Texturing them should not be a big problem. I do plan to make a video on that soon. I'm out of town temporarily though so I can't make any videos so I'm just working on the mod right now, mainly the logic though. Models and graphics will come in time. Originally I was doing the reverse but I decided I'd just use RA1 graphics as placeholder.

Speaking of my mod, I've written a logic based on the ClassicProductionLogic logic for my mod's separate production queues. Each faction will have it's own queues but it won't be like ORA's TD where each structure gets it's own queue. So in a normal game, if you don't capture anything, you will effectively see no difference between this system and ORA's RA system. However, you can benefit greatly from capturing the opposing faction's base structures/units because it will give you another set of production queues.


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G-E
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, that's a good name Smile
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm out of town so that's why there hasn't been much progress on the graphical end of things, but I do have a the time and access to a computer to work on getting a playable version of the mod working with RA1 placeholder graphics. I just don't like working with Blender and GIMP on my laptop. However, I did suck it up enough to get one model going of the Mobile Headquarters which is going to be Manticore's construction yard analogue.


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PillBox20
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cooool.  Approved
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very much appreciated. The front bumper's details didn't render so well but I'm planning, as long as the rendering comes out well enough, to make Manticore's vehicles in reminiscence of Mercenaries 2's PLAV vehicles - basically vehicle mounted spikes and barbed wire. Honestly, if I got a good terrain editor, I would go full on nuts with this and make a tileset twice the size so I could render these vehicles bigger and better, have better infantry, and have bigger buildings. However, that's me dreaming right now, since I don't have that skillset and I don't forsee anyone stepping up to assist.
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Agent Z
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vehicle looks good, but in my opinion it could use something on the top, that area in front of the radar seems quite empty.
I kind of wish I could be of help for this project, but I guess the only thing I am (reliably) good at, voxels, are not going to be used here Sad

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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT3: While it starts off good, this next post is filled with a lot, and I mean A LOT, of dreaming. Consider it all possible future plans but not set in stone by a long shot.

Honestly, if you're even half-decent with voxels, I would strongly consider making this a TS-style isometric mod. Although that would still leave terrain being a concern, but voxels render beautifully in the OpenRA engine.

If you want to send me a PM with what you can offer, and I'll look at how I can restructure my project. I might need to pretty much scrap my prototype and start from scratch, but if we're talking voxels and new tileset, I would gladly start fresh for a shot at realizing that.

In fact, I figured to begin with that down the road I'd produce a prequel project - Sovereign Chronicles. I wanted it to have voxels and the like, but I figured this would be a good starting point. Basically going back and perfecting what I'd started in my private mod.

EDIT: Ok, did my two seconds worth of research to show that you're the one behind RA: Recalculated. Your voxels are solid in my book, better than average. So I'm actually quite ecstatic that you'd want to pitch into this project. I need to just see if Nolt can give me pointers on how to do new terrain and we're rolling.

EDIT2: Food for thought here but right now Aegis plays a little like TS GDI combined with RA1 Allies and Soviets. It's not very original and doesn't spark much interest from me to be honest. Manticore plays highly unbalanaced but fun. With an isometric perspective, I'd feel more comfortable making Aegis more like how TS GDI is, with a sci-fi arsenal consisting of hover craft, energy weapons, and space-based reinforcements all pilfered from the Sovereign Order and the like. Manticore would become slightly more technologically advanced but most likely keep it's very TD Nod and GLA feel.

I'd also feel more inclined to add in the Remnant faction using likely rudimentary walkers, terror weapons, and anything else crazy that I can cook up with the engine. I'd need to develop a unique building system for them which would likely fall between the two current ones, but it could be done.
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Keeper
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait, I'm kind of confused. Will you turn this into the prequel and then work on the sequel with voxels next?

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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope. I'll be working on the same story and setting, just making it with voxels in a isometric perspective if possible. I just felt like it was worth mentioning that I had planned to possibly make a prequel in that vein when I was planning the project. Just at the time, 2D with SHPs only was the only thing really feasible for me by myself.

Now I'm planning to probably shelf the prequel idea for now. While I know how it'll generally play out, the setting isn't as original as Phoenix Chronicles' is. I'll probably look at making one or two key missions if I can set in that timeline as sort of flashback missions if possible, but I'll probably resign most of that mod's story to narrative pieces to go along with Phoenix Chronicles.
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OmegaBolt
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Location: York, England

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooo, the sidebar faction selection is really nice... the way it currently works is a bit dodgy but this seems pretty elegant. I suppose you could also hide the buttons until both factions are actually available.
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I actually take a crack at the sidebar graphics I'll probably move the buttons to the bottom and make them like half the size. I will say though that this isn't just faction-selection for the sake of icon organization. If I had both a Manticore factory and an Aegis one, I could produce two units at once. I might write a logic though just to organize the icons and not separate the queues and submit that to the main ORA repository for D2k as they have a large amount of copies of buildings that could use organization. I will say though that the way the logic determines which queue to use is super super dodgy and really needs it's own production queue trait with additional parameters to access.
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I added a link to a google sheet outlining my plans with the mod. I'm going to be adding a myriad of comments here shortly to it explaining units so look for those if you don't know what something is. Feel free to contribute adding notes or adding stuff to the suggestions sheet.
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've posted some update images to the Moddb page, but the most interesting thing outside of maybe the terrain if you missed it is the Dragoon Tank by AgentZ.


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PillBox20
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work, Agent! : )
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Keeper
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice tank.

Looks like AA too?

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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it is indeed going to also be AA-capable. This will give it quite a bit of versatility but it'll have some drawbacks which I haven't quite worked out yet. Here's a progress update on the Aegis Construction Yard. I finished the design, just need to animate it but it has all the parts for it.


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PillBox20
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dragoon could have madium speed with slower ROT.
The weapon could fire several birsts before entering reload state,
in which  the vehicle will be helples.


Nice conyard.  What is with the green and blue mix?
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a balance issue to hash out a little later. As for the color scheme, I saw Aegis like a modern military with scifi weapons hence the military green schemeing. I didn't want a monochrome scheme or anything though and went for a blue remap which is where the blue comes from.

Here's the Dragoon Tank and the Mobile HQ in a new HSV-ized gradient palette that Graion created as well as a render of a power plant I did. The power plant may be replaced with a more original design, but this was the first thing I thought of at the time.


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temp
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The textures are Blur and Too smooth in the CY and Power Plant, Maybe you Can add more detail to them.
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Darkstorm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I think they're only like 100x100 textures. So I went ahead and made 2000x2000 one with the same technique and applied it with less lighting.

EDIT: Forgot to remove the dark blue area below the conyard which is a mesh put there to hide the elevator shaft, will be recolored obviously to the background blue.


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Darkstorm
Commander


Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Location: Unknown

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As promised, here's a more original power plant design. Still heavily inspired but isn't a quite as direct of a copy. It keeps the turbine idea but makes it non-upgradable instead opting for a secondary "power regulator" plugin on the side. It also has an actual substructure that functions as a control station so it doesn't just look like a smoke stack with turbines, which personally didn't bother me since I'm not one for realism with my futurism generally but fair enough it does look more functional like this I suppose.


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PillBox20
Commander


Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Location: Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the new design. Fresh.

Edit: That grey pipe in the center is in the way.
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Last edited by PillBox20 on Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Darkstorm
Commander


Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Location: Unknown

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may take out the random bar that connects the smoke stack and turbine, but other than that I'm quite happy with the design. I wasn't too sure I could do something original and detailed initially, and well it came out rather well.
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DonutArnold
General


Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vehicles look really nice! I'd suggest to use more detail on the buildings, similar to HG_SCIPCION's work:
http://www.ppmforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=544240

Btw, are you using the latest version of the template? If no, then get it because it has a major lighting fix.

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HG_SCIPCION
Cyborg Artillery


Joined: 07 Jun 2013
Location: Perú

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, the vehicles looks good, add textures and more details for the buildings Wink

https://www.google.com.pe/search?espv=2&biw=1366&bih=643&tbm=isch&q=concrete+wall+texture&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWlo_VtvbNAhXJLSYKHTRxAdAQhyYIHg


DonutArnold wrote:
I'd suggest to use more detail on the buildings, similar to HG_SCIPCION's work:
http://www.ppmforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=544240


hey hehe....  Smile
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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyörgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, the vehicles are ace work, kudos to Agent Z (though I expected such awesome quality of him since I do follow Recalculated).

I am also proud to see my advices working, but really, it's majorly his credit and not mine. Especially with the generator.

I also like the building designs, although you could use more textures (the Conyard base concrete and the hangar door blends together too much would be my main concern), but the meshes are nice and you are quite good at finding the right style - like the Power Plant.
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Darkstorm
Commander


Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Location: Unknown

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a constant work in progress I guess. I've mainly been trying to do original texturing in GIMP but I guess that's next to impossible realistically. And I'm using the 2.09 template. Although I just ran the script once before modelling everything then modeled everything in a copy of the template so I don't know if I need to change what I'm doing there at all. Maybe I should make the door more like a steel door instead of the concrete it looks like. Not sure how to do that but I'll look into it. I would say the construction yard in general needs more detail but I'm not quite sure how to add it without it looking unrealistic but I'll play around and see if I can't come up with something.
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Darkstorm
Commander


Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Location: Unknown

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my first shot at a barracks. I'll probably continue as is with textures then go back through and retexture things later.


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