Monday, November 22, 2021

Reflection on Arcane and Notes on Storytelling

After getting out the Arcane Haze, how do I make a scene as emotionally involved without violence or a fight? 

scene: 

Kessler Syndrom - a cascading debris field in Low earth Orbit. This can happen when too much material is destroyed and enters LEO. 



the Crew is scrambling to survive this and the cast of heroes are making sacrifices and rolling the dice. 

foreshadowed flaws and complications are payed off in this scene where our PCs are going to decide what they are going to do. 

its where the Saints falter, and the sinners have a change of heart. The thing is when we look at a story board analysis - we decide if this is a story with mary sues or with mortal flawed characters. Here it would be awesome if the GM was a great speaker or narrator, BUT since its just a bunch of friends playing it doesn't require a mat mercer - it just need a bunch of friends telling a great story.  

the sub-scenes play out, PC to PC as they play out each major decision. Each scene setting up the next character and complicates the payout/payoff. GM wise this is really hard in a technical game - because the stakes are tied to an understanding of the world. 

For example the debris field of a gigaton structure can shred and destroy everything in LEO. the audience needs to know the options of escape and what else is at stake - habitats, travellers being caught up, etc... Same goes for a Solar Storm, or Radiation Storm. 

The GM and Players this would be hard - it would be easier in a writing team to iterate given a time budget and storyboard. Although the GM and Players can PRESS PAUSE and ask them how would this look as a Cool scene? Its having to give an answer immediately that makes things not work as well.

Arcane Season 1 (Spoilers)

I really like the detail and animation, I can notice that Jinx nose is painted on the 3d model as compared to Ekko. I wish my set up could play it higher resolutions - some youtube videos are playing it higher than my firefox browser. 

the powder vs ekko scene is strangely my favorite. I know there was more exchanges in the other fights. but watching the Enemy music video where ekko and powder always playing together being very close seems to make it the most emotionally heavy fight. 


I like the formula in the Analysis - setup-pay-off but the pay-off is also another setup by complicating it. You can plot that tension curve as part of an outline and iterate over and over to get the emotional elements right and consistent. 

I like in the last third they were doing more "slow" to emphasize the speeding up (check out the Studio Mihoyo Henkai cinematics  videos youtube: Honkai Impact 3rd Animation - Final Lesson '; you can find a lot of the videos in their channel) 

I found the earlier fights too fast. 

The closest to making something like this at one individual level is storyboarding. The analysis and the planning that goes in the scene typically is broken down backwards with the key emotional notes identified then the GM working back - it can be asking the player what is this character about and whats at stake and the dice outcomes. 




I just remember when I used to story board back when I was an artist. Its here were you make the "every frame a painting" kind of decision. Some scenes don't translate well, some do. The team doesn't have time to go back - because it may need to go back and edit everything. Note this is a Mixed Media 2d + 3d - they cannot redo a shot at a different angle. Continuity means having to reshoot a LOT if an idea doesn't work out. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Being patient - slow progress

 With the Expanse ending I really should hurry up. The Cepheus ship generation system that makes harder scifi ship got side tracked -  I realized I cannot emphasize the differences between Orbital (surface to orbit) if I didn't make Worlds that emphasized these. So ships designed to carry a payload to orbit vs ships that travel intrastellar space.   Given my age, another barrier for entry is that this complexity needed to be simpler through a simple Google appscript that generated the world on click (main world vs other worlds)  People pay not just for the inspiration but the tools to make it accessible. A regular traveller gamer with the same tools need to take only FUN hour or less to learn the difference and the transition (a youtube video that walks through the entire toolset will come later on).   The actions that make the person aware of the assumptions of the different system need to defined. Reminds me of migrating our accounting system to periodic to perpetual - and a new software - a different world where things work differently but is much easier After the learning curve.

 

My main barriers these days 

1) are my week nights being reduced as we prepare for easing of lockdown - getting new Gov't ID, fixing stuff in the house, things for the kids. My son's filipino studies have been interrupting my work, as it takes me an hour to build him an Anki deck.

2) work has picked up as we are now transitioning TO erpnext. This is a project that I'm documenting so that small business can adopt it. I'm now juggling students, ojts, and laying the ground work that we migrate some systems by end of year And by next year at Feb we have OJTS I can train. 

I need to study google cloud, cloud sigma, and Alicloud on Feb -  and this is making me anxious.

 

nicco is pretty much building all the 3d assets for all the art. Enough to get the idea across but I will hand over the other tasks to him when I get too busy.

I have on the drawing board the outline of the world building appscript. I didn't realize that I have to plan out every script and where I'm going to get the other scripts (from learn Google spreadsheets channel and which videos). 

I need the plan because when I get into the weeds I end up going in circles. Also it is to process my anxiety and uncertainty. I always am optimistic only to realize I forgot some key things.

This past week's I've been busy with family matters. When I work on this I'm conflicted when I don't spend more time with the kids. I want the book out but I don't want it at the expense of hanging out with my kids.

Bankrolling all this with my own money -  instead of buying any other thing for recreation I just invest more on this. It helps that it's self funded. I'm lucky I can afford to set aside funds for this. 



 

 

 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Javascript Appscript for my Stellar System generator


 Sword and Cepheus Character Sheet that Links to DISCORD REDDIT.

PorterPirate sheet is the biggest progress I've had with Javascript Studies. 

Basically right now I'm trying to make Stellar System Generator because I need to populate the Sytems where ROCKETS are going to take cargo and passengers to ORBIT. 

One of my Problems is my Exploding Dice requirement which is 1D6!/2 

I need to be able to RUN it. I need to Automate the Stellar System Creation even if it could be a TAD more realistic like GURPS Space. 

My policy would be: Don't make a system as Complicated as GURPS Spaces system generator if your not going to Automate it. Automate it and ideally Comment the shit out of it to help people Modify it. Comment it like I'm trying to explain it to me when I was 11. 

Below is using the Browser's Console to execute the Dice roller I learned from Programming with Mosh

This is the Grasshopper.app I use to test it out. My problem with the Android version is that I cannot type stuff in. It prevents me from tying up Math in Android.  I tried studying this with my Son but he got board and I need Exercises that really made me apply it to GAMES immediately. 



my google Doc of Notes on Javascript Studies

My Milestone here is to make my Stellar System Generator - a modified version of CE's World generation. Enough that I can higher a freelancer to make a more elaborate version and people can learn to code with it. 


Now that I've learned how these Editors Work I can hopefully have an easier time learning Python as well in the future. 

  1. Stellar System Generator Sheet (First it has to be Sound enough that it can be implemented as a Software, this is my experience as the IT head and Quality management System head of the company - It sounds reasonable until implemented and this is how I check if it is reasonable)
    1. Worse case scenario i can hire a freelancer to help me with the Sheet but I think I can do it all. 
  2. Write it out in GDOC
  3. Make a Ship Generator Sheet.
  4. Write it out in GDOC 
  5. Then Generate the Common Ships. 
    1. Included are basic ship assets. 
  6. Then Blender Model the 3D Assets.
  7. Nicco can polish the art and the text. 
    1. While I finally scratch that ITCH of a CE (MNEME variant) character generator I always wanted to make.  
I imagine a Simple Browser Tab open for the GM to Randomly Roll of the Many Procedural Tables in CE. 
"Oh crap I need an NPC" 
"Oh crap I need a Patron"
"Oh crap I need a Complication in Orbit" 
"Oh crap they just killed the BBG, I need another one" 
"Oh crap the side job was too easy." 
"Oh crap I have nothing prepared."

One of the things I realized is that make it EASY but have a Procedural Generator for a Complication to generate. 



Friday, October 29, 2021

Update: Suit and ship mostly finished.

 

  1. The ship is 50% Finished
    1. Needs to be Rigged and Shader optimized 
  2. The suit as well, 50% the remaining is the rigging for animation and posing. 
    1. Still needs to be shader optimized. 
  3. I finished a Planet Generator that allows for Cthonian and Gas Giants or Dwarfs etc... using the Planetary Types and Size in Wikipedia. My material is going to be designed to compliment Near Space. 
    1. Planet generator is one component of the WORLD GENERATOR. which needs me to randomly determine also the Habitability (Atmosphere and Hydrographics), Population, Resources, Tech Level: and other derived stats like Final Population, Law etc... Dont worry you will get a Spreadsheet that outputs to a table you can easily cut and paste to a Document for your players. I don't consider it PLAYABLE if I cant play GOD! (by building worlds in less than 2 minutes with the spreadsheets. 
    2. Near Space would be a Perfect Procedural game where Solese discover another civilization they cannot detect as they discover FTL and arrive. The gm can run scenarios like Interstellar Wars of early Traveller, Horror, Mystery, Intrigue, etc... Players can ask the GM to roll up a plot. 
  4. Remaining is the rest of the World Builder 
  5. I have to Invest in various Shaders to TRY THEM OUT. Shaders are the paid add ons that indies make. Genishin Impact shader is https://www.artstation.com/marketplace/p/9nrrR/genshin-impact-character-shader-for-eevee Until i make my own shader from scratch I cannot share the genshin impact shader. Its possible though that I can commission a shader to be made in Fiverr if I sell enough and that shader will be open-sourced. I have to try Lightning Boy Shader https://lightningboystudio.gumroad.com/#aYbiH but that's 30usd which is 3 days minimum wage here in the Philippines. the Genshin Impact one is a Fastfood meal to Try. And I got intimidated with the Lightning boy Shader - what more non 3d background people who will get these as part of the book. 
  6. After the World Builder (spreadsheet and written rules) which may take 2-3 more weeks I can proceed to the fucking ship builder because I've pretty much figured it mostly out but no play to Play the Ship. 
    1. Wow the end users have a TL6-TL8 Ship generator where can they take it? they can slap it on to their game and pirates or primitives. They need a place to use the ships. A way to adventure in INTRAstellar space. Thus world builder. 



left is newer version, right is first draft



playing with Evee and Freestyle

Funny thing - what did i expect?
bought a CE skill list. on the file it had 24 MB and I was like, wow  a different skill list for pay what you want. Ok I might as well give this person 1usd (a meal here in the Philippines) and it really is a Skill list... as in just like the one in the CESRD...

looking at the positive I charged almost 1/50th at copper level (50 sales) how much it took me to make my stuff. I'm just learning so I hope I'm 20% of even if I can make a product I believe will get Gold 500 sales and Profit at Adamantine. I think what we produce will save GM/Referees 20% of their prep time relative to their play time for the details they want to take on. 

its funny that I'm an IT head with an Arts background with a passion for Hard Scifi - who wants to run Case Studies - PCs trying to make money - and applying my 3rd World biz Experience in all the special insight practices someone whose family biz deals with the Gov't. I hope the tools make it that people will go "Hey why not - some guys all the way in the Philippines made it cheap". 

I believe the more Open Source tools - anyone can commission any artist or technical to make material for their games - maybe a Solar System Builder in GODOT or character generator or ship builder.  Taking the tools others made and building it up to greater and greater heights. The BASE of more assets will create a virtuous cycle. 

I can imagine people using Freelance Services to Animate and produce their Games into Shows! or just preserving an awesome Game Scene - and that one of these scenes will become its own show - but 99% of everyone else will have something they can share when they played their game. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Problem and Opportunity: Why less Efficient and Cheaper Boosters First?

Question:  Should Referees require players to calculate how many and how big the Boosters do they need to Escape a 1G world? 
Answer: No. The Referee only needs to know the Price of the Services to get them out to orbit, if their Ship is not Full-Escape Velocity Capable. its basically the Mass Tons of the Ship and the factor of the Gravity. 

Questions: Ships Cannot just land and Escape 1G Worlds? 
Answer: Yes. Some TL9 and everything below cannot simply escape 1G. In fact the Types of Starports and Economics will change a bit. Mathematically its just adding a couple of Zeros in the Population and the Size of the Economy of Worlds with Down Ports that Expect Interstellar/Intrastellar Trade. 

TL9 is special, the way metal is special in DarkSun, or Gunpowder is special, or Magic is Special. 

Questions: What are the Implications. 

  1. I have to use the UWP of the world to determine the Administration Cost to Orbit. Notes in the World Codes to help the GM price the Admin fees. 
  2. Orbit Capable Downports in 0.6G+ worlds will have a huge Economy around it. Worldbuilding wise this is as important as a Space Elevator. (Space Elevators are TL8). Just adding 000 or 00,000 zeroes to the Populations and the economics of the worlds. 
  3. Remaking all the "Common Ships" using the Spreadsheet in the new Shipbuilding Rules for TL6 to TL8 ships. The spreadsheet has gone through 4 Versions already, niccos MGT2, my MGT2, my CE, and my Current mass-based Shipbuilding which will be called Mneme Ship Design Variant for Cepheus Engine.  
  4. Adding the Space Infra of Heka KTon and Mega Ton Habitats, Networks of Tethers, etc... 
    1. How to use the Ship Building Rules for this. 
  5. Changing Combat Doctrine with Auto-Cannons, Gyroc EM Cannons, TL7 and TL8 Lasers, ECM, Mass Launchers and Receivers, Point defense Missiles and Cannons, Grapeshot Missiles and Missile clusters (100mm missiles bundled in a 400mm case). I did something like this before basically I took Ultra Tech and Examine all the Optimal Strategies and their costs and Mapped out every increase of potency and effectiveness one can squeeze out of a TL. Probably 4 pages of equipment and 6 pages of Doctrine Notes - a table of all the options so the GM and the players are not Blind Sided by Best Industry Practices (this takes out of immersion if the Doctrine or the Best practices and where they breakdown is not known by the designer; its hard to prepare a Military campaign when the unknowns and knowns are not clearly laid out).   
  6. The hardest parts the Change in Operations 
    1. Launching into Orbit are the Nailbiter rolls.
    2. Pushing the Limits of the Ship are the Nailbiter rolls. 
      1. Gravity Slingshots and Skidding on the atmosphere
      2. This would be maxing out the KM/s of the ship and using AIR BRAKES to slow down! 
      3. Entering Rad belts to Cut corners. 
    3.  Making the Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Ship a spreadsheet that takes less than a Minute to Fill up or a Written process that takes 5 minutes to do the quick math (back of the envelope math)
    4. I'm making sure Trade and Operations Notes are in one place and all the Tables are there. 
  7. All the 3d Assets are available for GM and instructions how to render it into scenes for your game. 
    1. Includes a Crew Suit I made (TL8) free and Creative Commons for people to use for their games - it comes fully rigged for posing. 
    2. The ship is Rigged for Posing also, from opening bay doors, and landing gear. (Nicco will do commissions for custom ships and animations for games). 

Kickstarter Milestone. Number of sales is for bonus material. I'll see if I can do this model where I use the number of sales to fund future improvements. All old and future versions will be sold to people who already bought it - i will just keep adding more files to download - (the price might increase though so those who got in early get the best deal  - like mount and blade when it came out in Beta and i was able to participate). I can do this because I have a day job as an IT head and Plant head so (Not much i earn less than working class in the US, but comfy enough to afford services to make this better, my project management skills are what makes this RPG project different). 

Current Challenges
  1. Why is the Less Efficient Thruster used to Boost? I don't understand the logic? I don't know how to model it in a Cost Efficiency method - controlling for the factors of Fuel Costs why is it better to use a less Efficient Booster and save the more efficient boosters for 50-100km up? I know the players don't need to be bothered by that but its distracting not to know. 
  2. recovering from a flu, I tested negative in an RNA-TPCR test. Still feeling unuaully sleepy earlier in the night. 
  3. the Anxiety on my Art investment - It seems Im doing the art first because I need to see a "200dton" or a 1400m3 ship really does fit 10 cabins and enough fuel, engine, and cargo to reach orbit and transit. 
    1.  a 1400m3 Ship Docks to its 200mT spinhab powerplant, radiator, and ion drives, and Nuclear Thermal Rockets it all has to make sense on paper and on the 3d. One of the mistakes made was not fully visualizing the process and the assets would be awesome to animate using Lightning Boy's Cell Shader if I can get it to work. I need the Books Ready to play not just Ready to build worlds
    2. Fortunately, Nicco can help me write once he's done with the art. But I'm tempted to start counting my chickens before it hatches by funding his Lightnin Boy Cell Shader studies so we can do it for all the assets. 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Learned the rocket equation. Been sick.

Yesterday I learned the Rocket Equation, instead of simply calculating burn Time and adjusting the mass for every second in s spreadsheet because the Rocket gets lighter as it burns through fuel.  Scott Manely had an old Video about it. 

  1. I hit a problem as I cannot reach 15,000m/s with just Raptors without making the Entire ship 90% Fuel. 
  2. I tried simply adding boosters and I hit the Tyranny of the Rockets Equation: "there is a limit to the amount of payload that the rocket can carry, as higher amounts of propellant increment the overall weight, and thus also increase the fuel consumption.[7] "
  3. I started googling which lead me back to Delta-V budget, which references the Rocket Equation... which I didn't understand until I tried to design a rocket on paper that would reach 15,000m/s. This lead to discovering the Awesome Delta-V Map https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Solar_system_delta_v_map.svg  which lead me to review how much I really needed. I didn't need 15,000m/s - that's if I'm straight from the surface to leaving the planet - which we take for granted in Traveller - I just needed 9.6 or 10.6 km/s 
    1. Just Enough to get a Ride from a Space Tether... one of my favorite Scifi Concepts. 
  4. Travellers with a 1000 Mass Ton ship with Antiquated TL7 Boosters will need to pay the cost of  Booster Rental (which is about 500,000usd x 4 for 2M) to get about 5km/s and then blast the rest of the way with their high Impulse (Specific) aka Efficient Rockets to Low Orbit (Not saying earth because this is not only about earth). 
    1. The boosters will fall away and begin their Automated descent 
      as the Travellers climb they see other such services being conducted, scattered in the horizon 2-3 other ships being launched to Low orbit the way Planes in the sky are common occurrence. 
  5. As the Traveller reaches Low orbit exhausting much of the 1000 MT ship's fuel, they pay for the Services of a Tether to travel either to Geosyncronous Orbit or Lunar Transit for Refueling. the Ship will be paying for fuel twice because of the gravity well. They feel the skyhook catch the ships anchor and begin to hurl them forward accelerating. the Sound they hear is conducted through their suit into their vacc suits. the Ship master having booked some passengers and cargo on the moon a week earlier is hurled that direction. 

  6.  The Tether hurls the ship another 2Km/s (used to change orbit) and the ship begins another 1Kms burn to reach Lunar orbit and be caught by another Inertia Tether to slow down when they arrive. The Travellers take 4 days to arrive on the moon along the way shedding KMs as they encounter tethers that will slow them down where they will refuel and link up with their Habitat Ring, Radiators, and Fission Power. 




So my tests came back and its not Covid. still the wife and I are quarantined to protect the kids. Hope to be able to focus more by next week, the 25th. 


Friday, October 15, 2021

Missiles and Scale. Checking the numbers.

 Imagine a 400mm diameter missile made up of a ring 8 60mm solid x 3000mm rockets. Inside its core is a barrel for a 60mm x 500mm APDS round, HE, or smaller shotgun/grapeshot rounds of tungsten and depleted uranium.

It is launched with a burn time of 10 minutes. Being able to reach 36Kms at 6Gs and firing the 60mm round at 3kms

Fired and with its tiny computer, it will fire based on the predictive algorithm the gunner encoded. It will fire where it will predict the target would be within 1 second (as everything is traveling kms per second) factoring all the factors and vectors affecting it.

A magnetically assisted launcher hurling 8, one of these every second as the ship burns and flips, the missiles sending a spiraling tail at a pursuing Raider. a hundred Kilos ejecting pushes the ship the opposite direction. 

The raiders turrets activating near the speed of light seeing the signatures - firing 35 of a similar ringed missile - a missile ringed with smaller missiles that explode with directional fragments as point defense. And the smaller missiles ringing it ignites as it exists the turret - separating in the spreading out to explode close to the missile it seeks to intercept.


Crew feel themselves against their seat belts as the ship spins to point more turrets at the incoming missiles. Their trajectory altering from the Reaction mass.

9000m3 (ton) ship being chased flips to burn several time to confuse the predict models of its future position.

The pursuing raider unleashes Emp head 7 600mm x 7000mm missiles as the preprogrammed engagement range kicks in. Missiles with 80Kms burns are launched throwing the ship back.


This all happens in 2-3 seconds as both systems are preprogrammed based on each of their crews estimates.

In 6-8 minutes everything will happen, and they will know if they're dead or alive only after making the system checks if they are able to be conscious. 

A second before they black out from the centrifugal force of a spin - they can feel the heavy vibrations of point defense cannons hurling 3 hundred kgs of 20mm rounds. Human brains blacking out, and distorting the sense of time.