Author Topic: The New Inferno  (Read 13158 times)

Mobius

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The New Inferno
« on: July 28, 2009, 08:07:24 PM »
Hello, people! :)

Due to my personal policies on progress, I've never loved posting upgrades and/or news on public forums... but since Game Warden is becoming every day nicer than it was before, I think it's time to go with an exception. The vast majority of the stuff you'll see here is not available on HLP, but can be found on ModDB. Some of my personal thoughts about the new Inferno continuity, however, can only be found here. ;)

Inferno got started many years ago under the lead of the great modder Woomeister. The old team managed to release what used to be one of the most popular mods for FreeSpace 2, Inferno: Release 1 (shortened to INFR1). The modpack featured dozens and dozens of totally exclusive assets and a relatively short campaign (approx. 15 missions). The massive amount of stuff, however, had certain drawbacks on the quality of the campaign, which was pretty poor in terms of plot and storytelling. In simple words, INFR1 was a modpack with a campaign released with it.

Virtually everything has changed since then. Following the original release of Inferno: Alliance, which occurred on late 2006, the Inferno Team has been renewed and the whole project has started its main goals. The upcoming Inferno releases will give a lot of importance to their main campaigns and their plot - the new team's intent is to force the people who think INF a mod which doesn't provide good plots to reconsider their opinion. I joined the project as tester in late 2006, but soon afterwards I became a full Inferno member and started working on INFASA as FREDder (but in the past few months I became a factotum).

The name "Inferno" is generic and may refer to any of the 5 Inferno mods, which are:

1) Inferno: Release 1, the first INF release. The mod featured a large variety of new assets, and is so far the main mod released by the team.

It's worth mentioning the SCP Patch, released several years after INFR1, which ensures compatibility with FreeSpace Open.

2) Inferno: Alliance, second main release. This mod was intended to be very close to FreeSpace 1 by telling the story of the Post-Great War Sol system.

3) Inferno: Alliance Standalone is a total upgrade, under all points of view, of the old INFA. It will feature new models, a totally revised campaign and a lot of consistent additions. This is yet to be released, but it's in very good shape.

4) Inferno: Alliance 2 fills the gap between INFASA and INF SCP to tell the story of the newly born Earth Alliance as it emerges in Sol. This mod is yet to be started, but it's expected to become a very nice one.

5) Inferno SCP is the main WIP Inferno mod, intended to replace the old INFR1. Unlike its predecessor, it will focus on the main campaigns and their plots.


For now, this thread will be focused on the most active WIP project, Inferno: Alliance Standalone. The main campaign has been FREDded, but it's currently undergoing a serious upgrade under several points of view.

INFASA is on ModDB, so you can expect to find the latest news there:

The Ricochet Effect.

The RE article is the description of an extremely important factor in INFASA and INFA2: the gradual inefficiency of subspace jumps in systems with no active nodes, just like Sol after the Great War. The Ricochet Effect will deeply affect INFASA and INFA2's plots, so getting acquainted with it is strongly suggested.

A new article, telling the story of Sol between the end of the Great War and the beginning of INFASA's main campaign, has been completed and is currently being grammar-checked by MP-Ryan. It will hopefully become public very soon. Other articles describing Sol's factions and their fleets are currently WIP and are also expected to be made public very soon. As you can see, INFASA has a lot of stuff to provide in terms of storytelling.

Introduction to INFASA.

Just like the name suggests, is an introduction to the project.

Onboard Computer Programs.

This is an article which describes one of INFASA's main features, the presence of multi-purpose programs. I'm very proud of this feature, which was born well inside my brain a while ago.

Martian Command Voice by Rian.

The fellow community member Rian has volunteered a while ago to voice act built-in Command messages for INFASA.

Implementation of Subspace Missiles.

Recent modifications to the code allow us modders to implement SSMs (Subspace Missiles) in a more effective way, and INFASA is taking full advantage of them.

Music additions and modifications to INFASA.

INFASA will be released with a set on exclusive and re-used music tracks, part of which are described on the article. If you want to listen one of our tracks, click here.

Implementation of OCPs on the HUD.

It took me one full week to get INFASA's custom hud_gauges.tbl working properly, but I'm very proud of my achievements. Thanks to my efforts, in fact, INFASA will feature an expanded HUD interface which will allow a better interaction between the player and the OCPs.

Here you can see INFASA's latest screenshots. At the time of writing, the most recent ones were used to provide a good example of the new OCP system mentioned above. In order to understand them, you have to read the news.

The other screenshots don't require particular explanations, as the descriptions written near them provide the much needed information you need to know about them.

In the past few days I've upgraded part of the modpack by adding effects from the most recent Media VPs and the FreeSpace Port, but I intend to work on the main campaign ASAP. I need to modify the missions to use the OCPs and use other concepts I currently have in mind.

More info will come soon, so stay tuned! :D
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 09:39:50 PM by Mobius »

shiv

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The New Inferno
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 09:10:41 PM »
Thread approved! :yes: It should be now visible, Mobius.

About INFA now: You've got very ambitious plans, maybe even too ambitious. But as INFA member, I won't be blaming this mod ;)
"Moonred - Hates shivan ships, but is fucking awesome at making them...."
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It fires dildo missiles"






Rodo

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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 09:23:32 PM »
nice this is too much to take in one bite... I'll have to digest it slowly ^^

Mobius

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The New Inferno
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2009, 08:50:44 PM »
Campaign Revealed: The Spirit of Ptah

Yeah, you will have much more than the main campaign when INFASA comes out. What has just been revealed is just the first of a hopefully long series of INFASA minicampaigns.

The Spirit of Ptah (TSoP) is a minicampaign based on the Hammer of Light. It's a solo effort by me which will feature fully cutscened missions (in a minicampaign they're far more tolerable) and interesting backgrounds. Join the cew of the GTD Ixion as the Orion-class destroyer enters the Vasuda system to help PVN forces eliminating the remnants of the HoL, which managed to develop a warship armed with reverse engineered Shivan beam weapons - the Het-Ka. It's worth noting that TSoP is designed to be used with INFASA's FSPort mode (you may notice the typical FS1 style background in the screenshots).

Speaking of additional updates, I am currently working on graphical updates and the full implementation of OCPs. Everything is going nicely, and it won't be long before you have additional updates. :)

General Battuta

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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2009, 09:03:46 PM »
There's a lot of really great stuff up here, Mobius. The OCP stuff in particular looks brilliant.

Mobius

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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2009, 09:27:39 PM »
Thanks. :)

Adding the OCPs to all missions of the main campaign (and other *cough* classified *cough* stuff) is going to take a while, but I think it'll be worth the effort. It's not complicated (the only real trouble was getting the table to work properly), it's just that it drains time. I've just added the OCPs to the first mission of the main campaign, and the others will follow.

I noticed a few glitches in the current hud_gauges.tbl as well as in its Wiki article, but since I can't post on the SCP forum and edit the Wiki page I decided to create this thread (hoping that it will get the attention of a coder ;)).

Rodo

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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2009, 11:16:58 PM »
I've taken a peek on the pictures in moddb, the amount of things included is incredible, nice work.

Mobius

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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2009, 05:44:45 PM »
It's been said on HLP's IRC that INFASA will have BoE missions because of the Ricochet Effect. This is false: the RE means that it's impossible to execute direct jumps from one planet to another (thus ending a war in a matter of hours), and also gives the outer colonies a considerable advance (the Martians will easily penetrate Earther space while the contrary is harder to accomplish due to energy constraints).

It's also been said that subspace missiles are overpowered - this is not true. They're used for planetary defense purposes, and they can be easily disrupted by disabling the missile batteries' control facilities (which happens about thrice during the main INFASA campaign). There are versions of the missiles which can be carried by GTB Zelos superbombers, but they're very limited in number (just like the bombers) and also require incredibly advanced OCPs to be used. Additionally, groups of Zelos superbombers (like the Martian Republic's Talisman Brigade) are not deployed unless it's absolutely necessary.

I'm working a lot on the Ricochet Effect's importance, and sometimes I consider it one of the most prominent INF characters. The main episodes of the main campaign will be focused on its consequences, and it will have an even more prominent role in INFA2. The RE doesn't imply any BoEs - it makes carriers incredibly important units, and this fact will be fully exploited in INFA2.

EDIT: If you have any questions about INF's current plans, post here and you'll get a proper answer. :)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 05:48:08 PM by Mobius »

Rodo

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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2009, 06:34:17 PM »
I still haven't read all of the files, I'm now intrigued about that ricochet effect, I'll peak at it tonight.

Rodo

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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2009, 11:03:17 PM »
Nice thing about that ricochet effect, I like it.. a bump it was not implemented as normal behaviour of subspace in FS universe.
I wonder, what effects the Ricochet effect have on sensors? sensor range? I mean it afected comm so sensor capabilities would surely feel the punch well.

General Battuta

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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2009, 01:09:08 AM »
Quote from: Mobius;119121
It's been said on HLP's IRC that INFASA will have BoE missions because of the Ricochet Effect. This is false: the RE means that it's impossible to execute direct jumps from one planet to another (thus ending a war in a matter of hours), and also gives the outer colonies a considerable advance (the Martians will easily penetrate Earther space while the contrary is harder to accomplish due to energy constraints).

It's also been said that subspace missiles are overpowered - this is not true. They're used for planetary defense purposes, and they can be easily disrupted by disabling the missile batteries' control facilities (which happens about thrice during the main INFASA campaign). There are versions of the missiles which can be carried by GTB Zelos superbombers, but they're very limited in number (just like the bombers) and also require incredibly advanced OCPs to be used. Additionally, groups of Zelos superbombers (like the Martian Republic's Talisman Brigade) are not deployed unless it's absolutely necessary.

I'm working a lot on the Ricochet Effect's importance, and sometimes I consider it one of the most prominent INF characters. The main episodes of the main campaign will be focused on its consequences, and it will have an even more prominent role in INFA2. The RE doesn't imply any BoEs - it makes carriers incredibly important units, and this fact will be fully exploited in INFA2.

EDIT: If you have any questions about INF's current plans, post here and you'll get a proper answer. :)

None of these things were said on IRC. At the time we were having a thoughtful discussion because we were interested in and pleased by the depth of INFASA.

The points that came up were a) that powerful SSMs would shift the balance between fighters and warships, and b) that BoEs might become more likely due to the Richochet Effect because force concentration would be more important. In a sense the Richochet Effect moves some of the rules of land warfare into space (which was clearly your intent.)

One idea was that it makes wars in FreeSpace much shorter; you no longer have to worry about the deterrent effect of enemy ships, because they can't reach your rear areas. Bigger fleets can group up and hit the enemy's homeworld right away, instead of taking time for a long war.

I don't understand why you're taking second-hand reports of IRC conversation that make it sound like we're just flaming INFASA and reacting to those. People were interested in and intrigued by the ideas; we were discussing them civilly and trying to figure out the consequences. It was a compliment to your work, not an attack on it.

Please don't say things like 'this and this was said on HLP IRC' when you weren't present and it, in fact, wasn't said.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2009, 01:12:42 AM by General Battuta »

starlord

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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2009, 10:48:38 AM »
Mobius, I would suggest adding perhaps the first trials of the sobek in the spirit of ptah campaign (after all, it is stated that the sobek was introduced during this era). and perhaps introduce the flak gun on it as a revolutionnary AF weapon...

Just ideas though...

Mobius

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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2009, 04:55:02 PM »
Rodo: Well, without considering the originary shockwave (which disrupted systems and blocked communications) the RE has no effect over communications and sensors due to their nature (they're not related to subspace).

Subspace communications, however, will strongly be influenced... and in a negative way. I recall at least one mission in which the OCP Red-Eye will need twice the average time to send a crypted subspace transmission.

General Battuta: I apologize for my mistake, but one person who partecipated to that discussion asked me several questions and also informed me about IRC's chat. Ergo, I thought it was the case of posting a clarification here for everyone to read. Evidently, however, looks like I misenterpreted the info I got and also reacted in a way that makes my previous post look like a reply to someone's offenses. Yet again, I apologize for that.

Back on topic: you have a good point there, but don't forget that jump drives can be overloaded by powerful ships.

Also, the Ricochet program has a very important role in warfare:


Quote from: First OCP-related article on ModDB
The player has no control over the Ricochet, but this program will have a lot of importance during the main campaign. The Ricochet marks a faction's capability to adapt to the characteristics of enemy territories - an advanced and upgraded version of the Ricochet that is capable of elaborating data regarding enemy territory at impressive rates is a strategic tool of vital importance during a conflict.


This means that factions first need to adapt their Ricochet OCPs to enemy territories before thinking to penetrate deeper in other colonies' space. Although rough gravity/subspace estimations can be done using known astronomical data (like the mass of Mars, Phobos and Deimos), the results will not be accurate and forces sent en masse may risk to execute riskful jumps which may end with deadly collisions or disastrous strategical mistakes. Even an error of <5kms out in several million clicks may cause an entire battlegroup or squadron to be destroyed.

A consistent part of the main campaign, in fact, will be focused on a colony's indirect attempt at acquiring precious data about another colony's territory to upgrade the Ricochet and have more chances of winning the upcoming war.

About wars being somewhat easier than expected - this is not necessarily true. Although in Sol it's very difficult to be bogus when it comes to finding enemy outposts or colonies, an advancing fleet needs to move slowly and conquer space at moderate rates - jumps require energy, and sometimes it's very hard to pull back following an hazardous jump.

Also, destroyers (and carriers, but they're going to appear for the first time in INFA2) are going to be very important. Losing a destroyer during an advance means leaving warships unprotected, and also prevents a faction from carrying out effective strikes against the enemy. The EACa Auriga, in fact, will be developed at high rates for the specific purpose of preventing EA battle groups from remaining without adequate fighter cover. I hope to add two or three more carriers to the EA's roster, but I can't promise anything yet (INFA2 is not a priority yet). ;)

Speaking of SSMs, they're powerful only when their control facilities are active. An invading fleet's primary task would be disabling the batteries with stirkes carried out by combat spacecraft so that warships can approach the other colony without risking to be destroyed by volleys and volleys of SSMs. In INFASA, in fact, planetary defenses will be relatively vulnerable to strikes and acts of sabotage - in INFA2, despite the growing consequences of the RE, technologies will be advanced enough to create planetary defensive of remarkable power and effectiveness.

starlord: Don't worry, I have personally requested to add the GVCv Sobek to INFASA modpack a couple of years ago, and it will almost certainly be used on TSoP. :)

Rodo

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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2009, 07:05:34 PM »
So in order to get a good working version of the Ricochet OCP's the factions need to make a run on the enemy territory and acertain the different gravitatory masses that may or may not influence in the subspace transit?

Ohh I love this shi*... I have to implement this on a personal campaign ^^

Mobius

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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2009, 08:28:38 PM »
It's a bit more complex, actually. ;)

I worked on INFASA's timeline and put an emphasis on the fact that fleet movements which may require 1-2 days are not performed so easily. Things are done in a progressive way. :)