Life In The Frontier - Revival OXP

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Introduction

Life In The Frontier (LITF) is an OXP that attempts to add more variety and content inside Oolite, porting and reworking a few features seen in the old Frontier: Elite.

The main goal of the OXP is creating an "extra layer" that should work like a sort of RPG with a medium-complex mission scripting system.

Roadmap

This is the intended roadmap for the OXP: I splitted the development in three thematic phases, Missions, Events and RPG. In this way I hope to maintain all the work to manageable levels (even considering work and commitment in real life).

PHASE 1: Missions

  • This phase revolve around providing the player a number of procedural missions to complete, varied in scope and description, to simulate a system BBS similar to the one in Frontier:Elite. The BBS will contain various items, missions, ads and flavour text, that will change depending on the system government type.
  • The player will navigate the list and eventually open a details screen for some items. IE the detail screen for a mission allow the player to get more info or accept the missions - think again to Frontier:Elite.
  • There will be different mission templates.
  • Completing missions will increase the player BBS feedback, and in turn this will allow for more rewards in missions, with destinations far away from the starting system.
  • Missions will have a deadline - failing a deadline the player will suffer a feedback penalty.
  • A status screen will allow the player to see his feedback and the current active missions.

PHASE 2: Events

  • In this phase a new mission template will appear: LOCAL. People will ask the player to complete tasks on the station.
  • The player will have the chance to explore the station to complete tasks.
  • Every station will have a specific list of components, depending on government, TL and industrial level.
  • When the player complete or fail a mission, this could have consequences: major events will be reported in the BBS via news items, and in turn this events could generate new missions for the player.
  • The final goal of this phase is the generation of scripted or semi-scripted missions built on a sequence of tasks, based on the phase 1 missions and the LOCAL missions.

PHASE 3: RPG

  • Introduction of player properties - like RPG attributes, to represent his physical and mental condition.
  • Missions or major events could influence attributes, or affix statuses to the player.
  • Special places on stations can cure affixes, or attach new ones to the player.
  • Introduction of a simple player inventory.
  • Markets on stations to buy or sell items from inventory.
  • Player reputation with various groups (defined in Phase 1).
  • Interface reorganization to display all the necessary infos.
  • Final integration with the previous phases features.

Phase 1

This phase is almost complete.

The OXP display two more options on the stations Interfaces screen (F4): the first let the player access the system BBS, and the second displays data about the player, such as his/her BBS reputation (called feedback) and the current list of active missions.

Groups

The system BBS shows a list of item that changes every time the player enter a new system. The OXP has eleven different groups that can be enabled or disabled by certain types of government. Every groups provide its missions to the player. The groups are the following:

Name Description
GalCop Police and security
GalBook Intergalactic libraries
GalChurch Religious activities
GalShady Unlawful proposals
GalMedical Medical emergencies
GalCivic Missions provided by station citizens
GalTourism Touristic activities
GalShopping Local markets
GalNature Animal and plants protection
GalCulture Cultural activities
GalGovernment Missions from authoritarian regimes

Groups and Governments

These are the relations between the "activations" of a group and the system governments. If a group is "activated", its mission could appear in that system BBS. So, as an example, it's not possible to get GalCop missions in an Anarchy system.

Group CORP DEMO CONF COMM DICT MULT FEUD ANAR
GalCop X X X
GalBook X X X
GalChurch X X X X X
GalShady X X X
GalMedical X X X X
GalCivic X X X X X X X
GalTourism X X X X
GalShopping X X X X
GalNature X X X
GalCulture X X X
GalGovernment X X

Mission Templates

There are different mission templates in the OXP. The common point is that in every mission the player has to go to a system and talk to someone in the local BBS to advance the mission to the next task, or to complete the mission and get the payment.

There are the templates currently implemented:

Name Description
LOCAL Local mission/event. (To be implemented in Phase 2)
CONTACT Go to System A. Talk to B.
TRANSFER Go to System A. Talk to B. go to System C. Talk to D.
RETRIEVE Go to System A. Talk to B. Return to starting system. Talk to contractor.
TRANSPORT CONTACT, TRANSFER and RETRIEVE, but with passengers (free cabins required)
CARGO CONTACT, TRANSFER and RETRIEVE, but with special cargo (sub-commodities)
SEARCH TBD
INFO TBD
TOUR TBD
KILL TBD

The CONTACT/TRANSFER/RETRIEVE templates involve bringing a package, small object or a data container, something not big enough to occupy space in the ship cargo. The mission use the methods addParcel/removeParcel, mostly to point the destination on the galactic map, to include the risk factor, and to give a second hint about the mission (the item is prefixed by the string "(BBS)") - the description (with reward and deadline) is already available on the status screen.

The TRANSPORT template wants the player to carry 1-7 people to destination, and it requires enough cabins for the travel. The mission uses the methods addPassenger/removePassenger to take and free the cabins. It's important to note that the requirements is checked when the player has to load the people on his ship. This means that if the player is on Lave, and he has to transport 3 people from Isinor to Tionisla, the mission will be accepted (on Lave) but the free cabins will be checked on Isinor.

The CARGO mission requires the player to transport a shipment of Sub-Commodities (see below). In this case the mission requires the ship cargo to be empty from commodities weighted in tons. As above, the check is executed in the system where the player has to load the shipment. The mission use the methods useSpecialCargo/removeAllCargo, and the cargo check is necessary to be sure that nothing will be incidentally deleted from the player ship.

The SEARCH/INFO/TOUR/KILL templates are still to be defined. I'll write more info when the details will be set.

Sub-Commodities

I've created a list of sub-commodities, linked to the standard commodities (to have a price reference) and associated with the various groups. All of this to have a flavour list of goods to insert into the CARGO missions, for the sake of variety. These sub-commodities are only used by the OXP as text, the player can't buy or sell them on the system market.

This table illustrates the relation between standard categories and the sub-commodities:

Oolite Commodities Sub-Commodities
Food Grain, Generic Foods, Food Dispensers, Medicines, Farm Animals, Colture Plants, Junk Foods
Textiles Textiles
Machinery Factory Equipment, Mining Equipment, Robo-Servants, Robo-Workers, Robo-Fighters, Robo-Pleasures, Robo-Medics
Gem Stones Industrial Gems
Luxuries Luxury Foods, Electric Pets, Artwork, Games, Movies, Holographics, Home Entertainment, Books, Furniture, Paleo-Arts, Archeo-Sims, Relics, Religious Texts, Wood, Dream Cards, Hacked Dream Cards
Firearms Weaponry, Combat Drones, Recon Drones
Platinum
Slaves Slaves, Black Market Organs
Furs Furs
Radioactives Plutonium, Uranium, Advanced Fuels, Radium, Thorium
Alien Items Holy Symbols, Prayer Books, Fossils
Alloys Construction Materials, Pre-Fabs, Space Salvage, Plastics, Synthetics
Liquor & Wines Liquors
Narcotics Brilliance, Tobacco, Cheap Spice
Minerals Iron, Tungsten, Nickel, Quartz
Computers Communication Equipment, Computers, Home Appliances, Medical Equipment, Music Equipment, Industrial Capacitors, Artificial Limbs, Artificial Organs, Neural Interfaces
Gold Gold

...to be continued...

Download

Life In The Frontier - Revival OXZ (v0.10.0)

Installation

The OXP can be downloaded via the Oolite internal Expansion Manager.

Manual installation: download and copy the OXZ file into the Oolite/AddOns folder.