Mike.nl's tools source code are now available on GitHub
Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on January 24, 2017
Hello everyone! Our friend Mike.nl, from Petrolution Mod Tools, has posted the source code from pratically all his tools on GitHub. It uses the MIT License, so anyone can fork it follow this license... and yea, you'll need the latest Visual Studio to compile the code and some C++ skills to understand it.
His GlyphX Tools includes:
So, it's a jewel! Everything you need to know about the file formats used in the Alamo Engine, from Petroglyph Games, is there. Have fun!
Happy Holidays: OS BIG Editor support for 8-Bit and Site Updated
Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on December 25, 2016
Hello everyone! We wish you a happy holidays, regardless of your religion or if you even have holidays in the next days. And, in order to celebrate the occasion, we've decided to bring some life back to this place. Starting by the fact that many of you might be aware that Petroglyph Games has released 8-Bit Armies, 8-Bit Hordes and 8-Bit Invaders, in this year. In fact, 8-Bit Invaders was released only 9 days ago. You see? We are not that late into bring this news for you. Only miserable nine days. And of course, there is a trailer to explain to you what is it about and give a glimpse on the graphics and some of its features:
In fact, we've repaired all our content and updated the game icons for some of them, for the site revival.
But... some of you may be wondering... after all, isn't Petrolution a site about game modifications? Are these 8-Bit stuff moddable? To be honest, we don't know how much it could be modded. The Steam Discussions Forum for 8-Bit Invaders doesn't have a single topic about modding the game. If you browse its directory, you'll notice that it reminds a lot Empire at War in some sense. Afterall, both use the Alamo engine, except that it has received some upgrades in these years. And EAW is very modding friendly, which means that the current Alamo engine is still friendly with many things. However, so far I only could figure out that they allow you to customize the in game music quite easily there. However, we certainly want much more than tweaking the music of the game, right?
So, there is another occasional bonus of this place: we are offering you in first hand the latest version of OS: BIG Editor. This tool was supporting .MEG files for a while, but now it opens the encrypted config.meg files from Grey Goo and 8-Bit Armies, Hordes and Invaders. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out the Key and Initial Vectors from End of Nations beta, otherwise, I would have added support for that too .
So, that should allow you to modify the XML files that are used to specify the features, powers and weapons from each unit. Does the Alamo engine used in 8-Bit Armies reads external files? Is there any volunteer to figure it out and share this knowledge with us? Post your thoughts here and, if these games are really moddable as they seem to be, we'll create dedicated modding forums here.
So, share the word and enjoy the place: Petrolution lives!
Posted by Ghostrider at Phoenix Rising News on June 7, 2016
After weeks and months of testing, and trying to figure out how to get the AI to react as a human does in a galactic environment, the PR team have finally achieved a significant AI breakthrough:
The AI now aggressively attacks independent planets, takes worlds, builds fleets, and stomps all over unwary humans if given half a chance.
The AI equasions to do this have been in place do this for years, but for months the AI has lain dormant, effectively asleep. We have tried hundreds of different ideas to get the AI to activate - all to no effect.
And how did we achieve this?
The frustrating answer, familiar to most modders out there is simple. We changed 1 value in the XMLs, instead of increasing the value from 1.0 to 1.25 we should have decreased the value to 0.75. It just took 6 months of testing to realise that is what we needed to do!
WOW. Did the AI react or what?
It annihilated one of the testers in Core Worlds in under a quarter of the time taken for a human player to "WIN" Core Worlds if unopposed.
Now that we know the AI is working, I have to go back and undo many of the campaign changes put in place that were an attempt to make the AI respond, but the mod is finally alive and kicking. We need to test and polish a bit more, but this makes us a lot closer to where we want to be.
Posted by Digz at Petrolution News on March 11, 2016
Petroglyph have just released a video announcing a new game they are working on and looks close to release from the games Steam page. It's features currently indicate a simple, back to basics retro-style RTS game that will get us playing what we love: a simple, fast paced RTS! Check out the video below they released:
Here's what Petroglyph are describing this game as on their Steam page:
A Blast from the Past
8-Bit Armies is a classic, C&C-style Real-Time Strategy PC game. It's our most fast-paced, friendly, and accessible RTS game to date. Featuring offline single-player missions, co-op mode, skirmish, and PvP multiplayer modes running on dedicated servers.
Initial release includes:
- 25 offline campaign missions
- 10 co-op missions to play with your friends
- 10 multiplayer/skirmish maps that support up to 8 players online
- AI with multiple difficulty options to play with cooperatively or fight against
- Classic Base-Building mechanics let you construct the ultimate HQ from which to launch attacks against your foes
- Destructible environments on maps ranging from small to very large
- Easy to understand modern military units and structures lets RTS beginners jump right in
- From the same team that brought you RTS classics such as Star Wars: Empire at War, Universe at War, and Grey Goo
8-Bit Armies is for anyone that enjoys RTS games, or felt overwhelmed by more serious games. With hours of solo and co-op gameplay included, there's something here for everyone!
Campaign #1 - CORE WORLDS
Posted by Ghostrider at Phoenix Rising News on December 9, 2015
At the centre of the galaxy, you find the oldest, richest, most heavily populated... and the best defended planets in the galaxy. Single planets in the Core have more financial and military influence than whole sectors in the Outer Rim.
CORE WORLDS is the first of the campaigns in the Rise of the Empire Era, which is set at the end of the Clone Wars. The formation of the Galactic Empire has been announced, but many worlds are either actively opposed to the New Order or are highly independent planets that will resist the Imperialisation of trade, commerce and law. You get to rewrite history with either the early Galactic Empire, or the scattered elements of the Phoenix Rising Movement.
All of these campaigns start with a handful of planets and outdated Republic-era and Clone Wars technologies. Many of the neutral worlds will be far stronger at the start than your small fleets, and these campaigns are lengthy. It is vital to plan for long term growth, and in many cases your production capacity will far exceed your initial income, and it is important to grow both militarily and financially.
The political influence of leaders also cannot be underestimated, and many politicians give time reduction bonuses on construction (motivation), and best of all, price discounts for the most influential.
You should also be aware that the larger starbases need considerable fleet strength, with destroyer and capital-class warship support for the level 4 and 5 starbases, before an invasion can be considered. It is no longer feasible to effectively destroy a starbase with corvettes alone, but your Level 2 starbases are vital to continued financial growth, so don’t ignore them.
It is worth noting that the income created by light transports is a percentage of the planetary income, so make sure your light transports are in orbit over your wealthiest planets. You receive light transport revenues once units have made 1 trip into hyperspace. XQ5 platforms add 25% to your base planetary income, and are well worth the 3 week production time on your richer worlds. However, there is a limit of 2 per planet, and many of your Core holdings already contain at least one customs station, with a welcome boost to revenues.
Before considering invasion, make sure you scout target worlds by espionage, stealth heroes, and attacks by a lone scout unit to ensure any invasion is feasible, and that you can escape if it gets too difficult. Many worlds have interdictors in their fleets, trapping invaders to certain doom. And don’t forget about small infantry raids with up to 3 infantry units. This can be a quick way to capture lightly defended units, with the advantage that you destroy the orbiting starbase if you manage to capture the planet.
In Core Worlds, you start with 6 influential planets : -
PRM Abregado Rae
The smuggler port of Abregado Rae is fiercely independent and highly resistant to being ruled, and is looking to Corellia for guidance in the growing opposition to the Galactic Empire. If the smugglers on Abregado-rae can join forces with the Corellians, they could form a powerful syndicate.
Strategic Considerations: Threat from Byss.
Heroes: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Alderaan has been a staunch supporter of the republic in the fight against the Separatists, with the Royal Alderaanian Shipyards providing the engines for the Acclamator-class Assault ships. Both influential and with excellent facilities, Alderaan is politically opposed to the New Order and Bail Organa is one of the key figures in promoting the idea of active resistance to the ever-growing power of the Office of Chancellor.
Strategic Considerations: No Immediate threats.
Heroes: Bail Organa
Chandrila is a world of free speech led by Senator Mon Mothma, who led the Delegation of 2000 to limit the powers of the Chancellor. Chandrila has a strong defence-fleet and is working with both Bail Organa and Garm Bel Iblis to take increasing military action to oppose the New Order.
Strategic Considerations: Major threat from Corulag.
Heroes: Mon Mothma
The free world of Corellia is the leading manufacturer of light freighters and corvettes with unrivalled construction facilities. Invoking an ancient law, legendary Senator Garm Bel Iblis has kept Corellia out of the Clone Wars and is strongly opposed to the changes imposed by the New Order.
Strategic Considerations: Major threat from Byss.
Heroes: Garm Bel Iblis
This smuggler world has a vibrant underworld and finds the Galactic Empire and its new taxes a considerable threat – especially as this is increasingly backed up by the Imperial Fleet and a growing Imperial Customs Service.
Strategic Considerations: Major threat from Coruscant.
This tiny island population is the home to Incom – producers of one of the most popular basic fighters towards the last days of the Old Republic – the Z95 Headhunter. Incom’s fortunes have dramatically changed for the worse with the creation of the Galactic Empire and the move towards disposable TIEs – and disposable pilots, something that the Fresians object to morally.
Strategic Considerations: Isolated, but Coruscant could be a threat in the future.
Coruscant has everything – vast research capabilities, diverse production, immense wealth and a huge pool of talented individuals to nurture and develop.
In addition, both Sith lords – Darth Sidious and Darth Vader - are present on Coruscant, giving the Imperial faction a huge advantage. The political and financial influence of Darth Sidious is worth several star-systems, and Darth Vader frightens whole armies, both in space and in ground combat.
Strategic Considerations: Minor Threat from Farrfin.
Heroes: Darth Sidious, Darth Vader
While the temptation is to focus on military research, some effort should be spend to upgrade the trade fleet and add to Coruscant’s fleet in case the threat from Farrfin increases. Military expansion, both north to Dolomar and south to the Deep Core should be considered.
Byss is the center of secret holdings in the Deep Core. With a massive 20bn population of immigrants tricked into travelling to a utopian world, Byss could become a major planet of influence.
Strategic Considerations: Major Threat from Abregado-rae and Corellia
Much effort should be made to consolidate holdings in the deep core and expand as if the smuggler fleet on Abregadoe Rae is able to merge with the Corellians, then the Deep Core is in danger.
This model Imperial world is isolated from Coruscant by the republic influences at the Naval Academy on Anaxes, and threatened by political activists on Chandrila. It must rapidly expand its fleet and defeat pro-republican sentiments.
Strategic Considerations: Major Threat from Chandrila
Heroes: Gilad Pellaeon
The Kuat Drive yards have unrivalled military production capacity – as long as you have the credits to spend.
Kuat has strong neighbours, but no immediate threats, and while it may be tempting to immediately start construction of a destroyer fleet, current limited incomes may prove this be an unnecessary strain on finances. It may be wiser in the short term to divert funds to more vulnerable holdings until their security has been established.
Strategic Considerations: No immediate threats. Powerful neighbours.
Heroes: Onara Kuat
Gandeal is a mineral-rich resource world with small freighter yards that supplies the shipyards of Fondor with raw materials. This should be considered as facility for financial rather than military growth.
Strategic Considerations: Weak Military. Powerful neighbours.
Heroes: Barrow Oicunn
Prakith is the secret headquarters of the Inquisitorius in the Deep Core. With no immediate threats, this facility should be expanded to a support facility, building fleet and trade units.
Strategic Considerations: Light Military. Powerful neighbours. Medium term strategy Corsucant should make efforts to connect to Prakith.
Heroes: Antinnis Tremayne
Overall, this is a campaign for long term strategy. You certainly have far higher incomes than any other campaign in this era, but early opportunities for expansion are limited – and most be considered carefully. However, you have access to unsurpassed shipyards and with a solid financial base, your regions of influence should expand steadily.
State of The Mod
Posted by Ghostrider at Phoenix Rising News on October 26, 2015
First of all, I would like to apologiese to all of the fans for the total neglect and lack of news in the last year.
You may be mistaken in thinking nothing is happening with the mod. - You would be wrong; progress has actually been quite positive recently, but real life cuts back on modding time for most of the team.
Before detailing some of the more exciting developments in the mod, it's probably worth a recap of what has happened to date, as this has profound implications on my particular area of focus - the campaigns.
The entire basis os space comabt has been rebuilt to match the land mechanic, with a detailed and comprehensive armor and shielding system. Shileds now absorb laser fire, ranging frmo 20% to 45%, depending on unit class. Armor grades range from 8 points in fighters to 32 points for capital class warships, and all the weapons in the mod now have different damage ratings. HP are considerably increased.
The biggest change in tactical battles, is that laser cannons, and especially light laser cannons, are unable to penetrate heavy armor. This does not mean that your fighters are redundant, far from it. A cloud of snubfighters and transports can strip off the shields of destroyers and capital-grade warships, making them much more vulnerable to turbolaser fire, but you can't kill a star destroyer with snubfighters alone - you have to have turbolaser support. Bombers get proton rockets and proton bombs, and can be pretty nasty.
We have also added space population. The idea is that in order to crew and maintain a space-based unit, you need a support base. Your planets provide population and without spare population you can't build anything. This explains why the Acclamator and other crew-heavy designs, such as the Dreadnaught rapidly became obsolote. The Imperial class is much more effiecient in terms of deliverably combat power vs population support required.
On a strategic level this adds a new dimension to the campaign scenario. You need credits AND population to build warships. As a result, we have rebuilt the entire economy from scratch, with new pricing and a detailed planetary model that calculates planetary economies based on population, tech level, agricultural base, mineral resources, underworld and manufacturing capability. Agricultural wolrds are particularly important to feed and grow your fleets.
Proximity Jumps and Trade Routes
We have removed proximity jumps from the mod, so all space-based travel is based on the trade route. This makes strategic planning much more interesting, and you will find that key planets that lie at the junction of major trade routes are extremely important strategically, as these act as choke points to access different regions of the galaxy.
For example. Brentaal IV, which lies at the junction of the Hydian Way and the Perlemian Trade Route, is now probably the most imporatant piece of real-estate in the galaxy and is defended accordingly!
All coloneis, from levels 1 to 5 are now armed with turbolaser cannons, and are heavily shielded and quite difficult to kill.
You will need cruiser support to take on a level 1 or level 2 colony, and multiple cruisers for a Level 3 Colony.
Level 4 colonies are extremely challenging, and need a large fleet, with at least destroyers, if not capital-class warships to have a chance of destroying the base.
Level 5 colonies are exceptionally challenging.
And if you think these are bad news, the asteroid bases are worse, so it is vital to send out expendable scouting parties to see what you are facing before you attempt an invasion.
Heroes no longer come with elite warships. They now have command abilities but are just that - indivudal beings that need to be attached to a fleet to make a difference. So Darth Vader IV on his own is just a pilot in an TIE, but with a fleet he commands on the bridge of the largest warship.
Back to Basics
If we now wind the clock back to early 2014, we are in the process of updating all of the old campaigns with these points in mind. We have always had a goal of adding new campaigns to each release, but had no idea of the change that was about to take place.
Our concept at the time was to create a new campaign to show the difference in strategic planning due to the lack of proximity jumps and have a campaign based on the 5 Super-Hyperrroutes of Perlemian Trade Route, Hydian Way, Rimma Trade Route, Correlian Run, and the Corellian Trade Spine.
60% of the campaign was completed when the campaign crashed on install and it soon became apparent that nothing was going to fix it. The problem was simple - too many planets and too big a campaign. The EAW engine simply couldn't handle it.
So we made the critical decision to break up all the existing campaigns into smaller chunks, each with fewer planets.
So - Core Worlds lost the Expansion region and shrunk back to the Core Worlds and the Colonies. This was highly successful and led to a better campaign with faster frame rates and quicker load times and much less lag.
The roll-out pulled appart the entire campaign set and rebuilt everything from scratch.
Prelminary testing of all 12 campaigns is now complete and the results are rather exciting.
I'll let you have more news, in detail, about each campaign in due course....
Mega File Editor reads Config.meg from GreyGoo
Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on July 30, 2015
Mike.nl has released a new version of his Mega File Editor that is able to read the encrypted config.meg file from GreyGoo. That file stores the core rules of the game, such as unit stats, behavior, AI and much more. Humans are able to understand the .XML files and the .CLP files. It is unclear at the moment if the game is really moddable or not and what would be its limitations. Mike.nl has also updated his .MEG File Format document to cover the changes in GreyGoo.
(Click the picture for a high resolution screenshot)
Head to Petrolution Mod Tools Website to download the Mega File Editor and much more. If you have any successful modding experience with GreyGoo, please, report it here and show it to us. It can seriously affect the future of this site.
GreyGoo's second patch is online.
Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on February 17, 2015
The second patch for GreyGoo has recently seen the light of the day. Here's the official changelog:
February 17, 2015 Update Notes
Default AI is now Lambert instead of Random
Fixed an issue where the RTS Primer VO audio was incorrect in German
Aircraft will now prioritize empty landing pads first when ordered to land by right clicking on Hangars/Airpads
Further improved the extents shrinking from 50% to 25% to minimize artillery/AoE impact of grouped units
Adjusted Easy and Normal difficulty settings. Hard difficulty is unaffected.
Fixed an issue where script-spawned units were not being given the correct health modifiers
Fixed a bug in The Barricade that caused some enemy Guardian units to idle in brush instead of properly mounting wall pillars
Added matchmaking improvements to allow players easier access to searching for matches worldwide
Improved logic for detecting players disconnecting to force a win or avoid a loss
Servers will now temporarily pause when connection loss is first detected
Added improvements to performance that prevents certain cases from lagging the client severely
Structures from an eliminated player will now properly clear up passability upon deletion
Fixed a crash local to 32 bit machines
Fixed a crash that would occur while loading a multiplayer match
Fixed a lock that would occur for clients when the host would close the lobby
Fixed an issue where 2v2 Ranked matches were not properly reporting
Fixed crash that would occur when starting skirmish match
Fixed crash that would occur when launching a custom map with the spigot marker inside the HQ boundaries
Fixed crash that would occur when loading an untouched custom map
Moved Quick Match window up in the Multiplayer screen while search is ongoing
Added translations for new text
Fixed an issue with compressed Korean text
Added a new Extras section to the menu with a quick launch button for the Terrain Editor
Made various fixes to improve performance in the UI
Fixed an issue where the game would unpause immediately after pausing in single player
I've seen many people complaining at the lack of stability of this game. I hope this patch improves this situation.
Grey Goo has been released.
Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on January 27, 2015
Ladies and gentlemen, as the title of this news says, Grey Goo is the latest game released by Petroglyph Games. Of course, Petrolution will be supporting it. You can now post your mapping tutorials, tools and anything related to Grey Goo in our site. And in order to start our support for this new RTS game, we have an exclusive updated Open Source .BIG Editor in our download section. This new version of OS BIG Editor opens .meg files with format 2 and 3 (Grey Goo uses format 3) from newer games from Petroglyph. It still does not open the nasty config.meg file from Grey Goo, neither the one from End of Nations beta. They seem to be protected with some very odd sorcery that has yet to be studied by the community. So, that's it. Get posting and help us to make this game become more modding friendly.
News. Now that's a name I haven't heard in a long time...
Posted by evilbobthebob at Phoenix Rising News on June 17, 2014
Hello Phoenix Rising fans.
First off, I'd like to apologise for the extremely long time between news posts. If this was the only way you kept up with the mod, I can forgive you for thinking we'd ceased development. Those of you who read more of the forums see the team members making comments from time to time, and we made a call for alpha and beta testers for the latest version over the past year. Still, this doesn't make up for the silence we've sustained up to now.
I'd like to change that myself, primarily because I finally have some free time and partly because our team leader and the prime driver of the mod, Phoenix Rising, is without a computer capable of doing modding right now. This isn't particular cause for alarm, because the current build of the mod is very feature-complete. However, there still remain areas that need polish and improvement.
So what have we been doing for the past two years? Our initial plan for the next version of the mod was primarily based on integrating the information provided by the release of The Essential Atlas. As software project tend to do, we experienced some rather strong feature creep, and as one thing led to another, we realised we had a version of the mod that is no longer a mere incremental update. In fact, we have:
- Made numerous changes to improve performance
- Remade and rebalanced the hero system
- Rebalanced tech trees
- Galactic Mode
- Brought our galactic maps in line with The Essential Atlas
- Added new planets
- Entirely rebalanced and remade our core sandbox campaigns (still a work-in-progress)
- Created a new planetary bonus system
- Created a new hyperspace system
- Rebalanced freighters, including the addition of light transports
- Improved the display of research
- Improved land combat
- Begun the process of adding infantry weapon models
- New units
- Improved weather system
- Added many new maps in land and space
- Entirely revamped space combat to be in line with land combat:
- New armour, health and shield system
- New weapon balancing and types
- Better display of unit statistics
- New units
- Increase in map size to accommodate the changes
- Improved land combat
Many of these changes, especially those based around planets and maps, have already been mentioned in prior news posts. Check those for more information on those specific topics. As for the rest, I hope I can bring you more news posts in the near future providing examples and details. In the mean time, I'm happy to answer questions you may have here on the forums.
Grey Goo, the next game from Petroglyph
Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on March 13, 2014
Petroglyph has recently announced their next real time strategy game: Grey Goo, which should be published by a mysterious company called Greybox. It should feature 3 new factions and all the good and solid mechanisms that makes real time strategy games fun, such as base building, resource collection and a focus on macro-management rather than micro-management. The game will be Windows only originally and it should be sold on Steam. It can be played online and offline (skirmish) and it should feature a story driven campaign. According to Petroglyph, the game should be available on late 2014 and it will feature soundtracks from Frank Klepacki. For more information, head to Grey Goo's Official Website.
Petrolution is fully functional again.
Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on November 5, 2013
Welcome back, everyone. Petrolution is working correctly again. We've managed to figure out the server mechanics that were affecting the redirection and they were disabled here. So, feel free to browse the site, submit tutorials, files, mods, etc.
We have a lot of sections about games that no longer belongs to Petroglyph or are not longer supported, but we'll keep them for now. Also, End Of Nations is no longer a MMO RTS, but it is rather a multiplayer online battle arena and it is in the sole hands of Trion. I don't know if we'll add content for this game on our own. Probably not, unless we see some interest in the responses for this news post.
Anyway, enjoy this place and contribute for it to make it even better.
The site is now browsable.
Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on November 4, 2013
Hello everyone. You may now browse all sections of Petrolution as you used to do some months ago. I've done a little workaround that redirects you into something that works. Unfortunately, the redirection problem persists and it may prevent you from submitting some data, except to edit items, which is a big thing. I'll still try to figure out how to fix it, but the problem seems to be beyond the scope of Petrolution at the moment. Have fun.
Battlestar Galactica at War is back!
Posted by Darthbyron56 at Petrolution News on December 28, 2012
Hey Guys, Byron here. Avid BSG fans will be well aware that between 2010/2011 NBC issued a take down notice of a single BSG mod from Moddb.Since Moddb didn't want to get into trouble they decided to remove all BSG related content from their website.
However, we have started up our Battlestar Mod project again, and hopefully we can continue to develop it without NBC feeling threated by its presence.
So what have we been up to?
Well most of the content used in BSG Colonial Wars needed upgrades. Textures weren't great and most models need re-rigging.
Our Priority at the moment is to re-rig enough units to get you guys a mini-mod by 2013. We are aiming for something small, but quite diverse. We aim to change the graphics of the game so you feel like as if your playing a Total Conversion mod.
As mentioned all models are being Re-rigged, and re coded to be more accurate to the ships shown in the show. We have already re-rigged the Battlestar Galactica, and have put its Flak Shield ability to test against some cylon raiders, and the results are fantastic. The video below from our November update shows you this ability being used.
Due to some set backs re-rigging was placed on hold and minor modding of Factions, Galactic Conquests and Planet placement has taken over at this moment. But I am pleased to announce that we have finally overcome the rigging issues we were experiencing with the rigging process, but I'd like to show you what I've been up to in the meantime.
This video shows the new and updated effects that we are looking to create with our mods Galactic Conquest. As you can see we've taken to offering an accurate representation of a Galaxy by adding in Nebula and Star effects, we've even gone as far as adding Suns to each Galaxy.
The area of space you see in this video is known as Helios Alpha, and is one of the primary Helios for the Tweleve Colonies. It features the following planets:
Let us know what you think, after many attempts at getting the effects to work correctly I cracked it. We are aiming to develop another 3 of these areas for the other Helios' within the Twelve Colonies. You'll also notice some sound updates for the GC.
The mod is well and truly back in production, however as always we must say that Real Life events to come before any modding, so If you haven't heard from us in a while don't assume we are dead, we might just be very busy.
If you want to keep up to date with is visit www.bsgmods.com/forum and register there with us. The forums is quite New and we still don't have many members.
The Road To Coruscant
Posted by Phoenix Rising at Phoenix Rising News on December 10, 2012
Two-and-a-half years after the Empire was sundered and beaten at Endor, the war against its successors has stagnated. The New Republic has failed to gain more than a foothold in the Core and member worlds are beginning to doubt its legitimacy as a galactic government. The risk of this fragile coalition unraveling is too great, thus Supreme Commander Ackbar has drafted a campaign to thrust into the fortified Core and seize the galactic capital. This is the Road to Coruscant.
Director Isard acquired the throne a little more than a year ago; however, it took the sacrifice of Brentaal to the New Republic in a complicated coup to put her there. From Brentaal, there are two paths to Coruscant: through Anaxes, or through Borleias. With Admiral Ragab locked in a standoff with Commandant Wermis on the Brentaal-Anaxes front, any movement on Borleias would require reinforcements. The answer came in the form of resurrecting the all-hero Rogue Squadron.
A secret training base was established on Folor, with General Salm in command. There, six new starfighter squadrons will be forged, including Commander Antilles' Rogue Squadron. The reformed Rogues are made up of seasoned pilots with a variety of leadership skills that, in most cases, also happen to hail from key worlds. They are equal parts elite unit and poster subject.
The plan is to temper the Rogues with a series of active duty exercises against Imperial forces in the relatively quiet Rachuk sector before commencing the main offensive. Rear Admiral Devlia coordinates the sector's Force Escort from the capital of Vladet.
When the time comes, the Rogues will rendezvous with the New Republic Special Forces units staging on Noquivzor, along with whatever Fleet elements Ragab can spare. This group will move on Borleias under General Kre'fey. A word of warning: Borleias may look mundane, but the name has been linked to General Derricote, the eccentric bioweapons engineer.
In addition, Isard has a noted obsession with Rogue Squadron, who had previously helped foil several of her schemes. If the Rogues were ever annihilated to the last pilot, not only would it be a personal victory for her, but also an insurmountable propaganda nightmare for the New Republic.
A more conventional victory for the Empire would occur if loyalist forces were able to reconnect the Perlemian, pushing the New Republic from Brentaal, Ralltiir, and, finally, into the Colonies. Such a position would all but spell an end to the New Republic presence in the Core - and any hope of claiming the capital - for the foreseeable future.
Coruscant, of course, is the only prize for the New Republic. Controlling the Palace would secure the Provisional Council's authority, while the Rotunda would allow a senate to convene for the first time in years. The expected battle will be anything but easy: some of the best units in the Empire are garrisoned here. That's why Rogue Squadron will lead the way.
Recopia: Base of the New Republic Defense Fleet
Posted by evilbobthebob at Phoenix Rising News on December 7, 2012
Situated between the Corellian Run and the Hydian Way, the planet of Recopia is ideally located to strike the other planets of the Core Worlds. This strategic position, and the relative anonymity it provides, made it the base of operations for the New Republic Defense Fleet in the period immediately after the Battle of Endor.
The reason this planet is ignored by the rest of the Core is its geography: sulphurous seas, poisonous fog and a lack of natural resources meant that a mere 200 million sentients call it home. They live scattered across the kilometre-high plateau islands that are dotted across the oceans, connected by bridges or airspeeder.
Due to the sizes of the islands, vehicles cannot be deployed to the surface. Instead, airspeeders and infantry are required of any garrison or attacking force that wishes to take the planet. Any structure on the planet must be carefully chosen to make best use of the limited space available.
The bridges provide choke points and defensible locations, while the small islands end up filled with skirmishing and air-to-air combat amid the lashing rain.
Traveling Through Hyperspace Ain't Like Dusting Crops
Posted by Phoenix Rising at Phoenix Rising News on November 29, 2012
Research has always been an integral part of our development process. No demand has been more of a challenge in that regard than our need to place each planet at a definite galactic location for strategy mode.
When I began the process in the alpha phase of v1.0, there were maybe four official maps available that held any degree of accuracy; all were clearly related by the reference angle. Beyond that were hundreds of raw sources netting thousands of remarks about regional or relative location. Had that been the end of it, my task would have been nearly impossible.
Fortunately, an adolescent Wookieepedia was available to help cut through much of the clutter. And then I found this fellow called Modi, who had translated the askew maps onto a Cartesian plane, allowing me to derive coordinates that could be fed to the engine. It was the Internet equivalent of striking gold - a starting point. Later, JustinGann expanded on Modi's work to include speculative placements, which afforded me a second opinion. The end result was an independent interpretation of the galaxy unique to Phoenix Rising.
It took the single most important update to the canon to void all that effort - for the better. Midway through v1.2, The Essential Atlas hit bookshelves. Every star system that had ever been mentioned was now bound to a region of space 1/576th the area of the galaxy. A great many were placed with certainty. The unprecedented accuracy of the atlas created a dilemma though, as several campaigns had already been finalized for the release. Rather than scrapping them and starting over, we chose to forge on knowing that v1.2's astrography would be flawed. I am pleased to report that the next version will be anything but.
TEA contains dozens of maps, each with its own scale and set of planets. My first step in replotting the galaxy was to composite them at a scale of 1 pixel = 10 lightyears to create a supermap. The digital Mid Rim sector map served as the foundation, since it had no loss of precision from scanning and little artifacting.
With that done, the actual measuring was trivial. The results were better than I ever could have expected: the first planetary coordinates for Abregado-rae came in identical to those already in use. They were not alone. Although I had corrected our most glaring differences - generally those with no frame of reference or cases where TEA chose to reject Rebellion placements while I did not - when prudent in v1.2, our interpretation really held up to intense scrutiny. Only Spuma, which Children of the Jedi had confused with Protazk, and Orinackra were completely off.
The present and final representation of the galaxy is 20% larger than v1.2 and approximately 92 times the area of vanilla. That should be enough space to prevent planetary overlap in all future cases. Several worlds always have to be manually relocated regardless of scale, but not so much as to be a distraction.
As profound as it is to finally have set astrography, a different facet of TEA had an even greater impact on strategic gameplay. The once-sporadic and eclectic collection of hyperlanes was replaced with a vibrant trade network.
In v1.2, we had two kinds of routes: "the Big Five" and "other". There are now four classifications, the most I could objectively derive from official maps. These can be thought of colloquially as "super", "major", "minor", and "trace" routes. Their benefits are scaled linearly, so while traces provide only meager income, they are much quicker than using a navicomputer to punch though an unstable course, as is the case with non-route connections. Obviously not every system can be linked via hyperlane, so we have tried to balance between using intersections and minimizing campaign planet counts.
These connections are now critical to military operations in the Galaxy Far, Far Away. In the next release, fleets will not be able to travel from a planet unless there is an explicit line - we have eliminated proximity jumps. No longer can an invasion bypass Anaxes on the way to Coruscant, players need not guess where to attack and defend, and the AI has fewer perceptions to crunch when executing plans. This is arguably the single best change that has ever happened to strategy mode.
When FoC was released, I never imagined we would be able to deduce coordinates for every star system. If our trials and errors played even a miniscule part in affecting that change, then it was all worth it.
The Revolution Is Here: Phoenix Rising v1.2!
Posted by Phoenix Rising at Phoenix Rising News on March 25, 2012
The culmination of 39 months of work. Hope you enjoy it! We look forward to your feedback.
If you've previously installed other mods, make sure they haven't put any files in XML or Scripts folders in EaW\GameData\Data and FoC\Data. PR v1.2 is fully compatible with other mods; it just looks like certain mods are incompatible with us!
If you've previously installed the LucasArts 64-bit OS, 2+ GB RAM patch found here, you must apply this compatibility fix after running the PR v1.2 installer. The LA patch alters the original files for FoC v1.1, creating an instability in mods with custom AI. PR v1.2 allows 2+ GB RAM natively.
Version 1.2 In Numbers
Posted by Phoenix Rising at Phoenix Rising News on March 24, 2012
I had a noble goal when we started work on this version: to keep a record of everything we would change. Somewhere between the advantage revamp and the AI trials, that goal became impractical - nothing was being spared from improvement. So, in lieu of a conventional changelog, here's some analysis on just how different the game is from v1.1.
- 532/577 game object XMLs modified or created for this release.
- 3/7 enumeration XMLs changed.
- 82/82 custom AI XMLs implemented.
- 320/320 LUA scripts edited and compiled for v1.2.
Salvaged variants, along with most legacy units, projectiles, damage/armor types, corruption data, cinematic data, and story props were cut for the sake of optimization. It's hard to track every minor change done for performance, so here are some current benchmark comparisons courtesy of Ghostrider:
2.2 GHz dual-core laptop with 2 GB RAM running Windows 7
Logo - 55 s, Menu - 125 s
Core Worlds - 160 s, 2 FPS
Logo - 55 s (-0%), Menu - 110 s (-12%)
Core Worlds - 120 s (-25%), 8-9 FPS (+425%)
3.0 GHz dual-core desktop with 2 GB RAM and a GeForce 7200 running Windows XP
Logo - 30 s, Menu - 80 s
Core Worlds - 100 s, 7 FPS
Logo - 25 s (-17%), Menu - 75 s (-6%)
Core Worlds - 75 s (-25%), 26-30 FPS (+400%)
This will be the first release where we've completely moved away from my time as campaign designer - and so much for the better. Ghostrider brought his vision of the Thrawn Offensive and Operation Shadow Hand to life, redoing every single unit in the process. We added a brand new historical campaign in Operation Skyhook, and the heroes to match. I can't even venture a guess at how many passes were made to update the sandbox set, but assuredly everything has been optimized. Historical campaigns now get free upgrades to start; we fixed the tech slider for Rebels and the credit slider also finally works properly. We assembled a team of testers, led by Reedek, who spent an unfathomable number of hours poring over these campaigns for bugs. Finally, Ghost drafted a 115-page technical manual to explain the intricacies of the mod.
Aside from name strings, all planetary text, all hero text, and all land text was rewritten. The campaigns all have new intro text. Land stats were put on individual lines and all buildable land units were given descriptions. The master text file added 429 kB. 7 GUI dialogs were modified.
8 Conquest land maps were added and the terrain of every GC space map was spread out to better accommodate pathing. A couple map-related exceptions were caught. 2 Skirmish space maps also made it in. Not to worry; evilbobthebob was only promoted from the testing team at the tail end of our beta phase.
- 326/868 new ALO model exports. +211 model net gain.
- 291/331 new ALA animation exports. +298 animation net gain.
- 958/1402 DDS textures edited. +598 texture net gain.
- 305 TGA icon changes or additions, most hero icons thanks to Invadious.
8 unique Nertea land unit models added: Armored Freerunner, Arrow-23, Heavy Tracker, Overracer, PAS, PX-10, QH-7 Chariot, Talon I. 6 third-party land unit models added: B1 BD, B2 SBD, Greedo, LAAT, Luxury, T-16. Custom single energy bolts sized for damage added. 10 land unit model spin-offs or significant changes: A6 Juggernaut, AT-AP, Digger, Garm Bel Iblis, Guild House, Navy Trooper, Spy Network, Storm IV, T-47, X-34. 21 map props added.
With that said, the release candidate for v1.2 is undergoing a final evaluation by testers at this moment. If nothing goes catastrophically wrong, the release date will be Sunday, March 25th at 00:00 GMT-5.
But I've learned so much!
Posted by Ghostrider at Phoenix Rising News on January 7, 2012
With the stunning potential of the Freerunner model in full view, combined with the skeletal structure of the land mod in place, Phoenix Rising approached me the end of 2010 with a challenge: resurrect the Training Manual for the mod.
I had initially tried to write a training manual during 2010, but the idea never had any real structure and the project was put back on the shelf to gather dust.
The need for a manual had been building unseen for months. When we started development of V1.2 all those months ago, the mod was still small enough to be able to play by instinct and a few basic tool tips. As mod development continued, we were able to keep track of the expansion in units through simple documentation. However, as time went on this became more involved, with some fairly complex spreadsheets to keep track of space forces, the expanding number of planets and their advantages.
Then we added heroes. Lots of heroes. The complement system changed and more independent space units were added. Somewhere in the future the sheer scale of the mod would be too great to simply play by instinct alone, and too complex to try and remember everything as a developer.
The decision to redo the land mechanic from scratch became the focus for some form of supporting literature. However, the new land combat system is so totally different in design and depth that it would be hard for even the most experienced players to learn how to fight well on land. Support literature was needed, for players and designers alike.
But what form should this documentation take?
The old concept of the Training Manual came back to life and this time it had real purpose – help explain the nuances of ground and space combat and help players to make the most of all the development work that has created Phoenix Rising. The Technical Manual was born.
As a graphic designer by trade with access to some high-end design software, I wanted the manual to be both informative and visually exciting. The design software can output to PDF, making it an ideal package to create an easy to read and near universal distribution format, and in shape I wanted the manual to fill the screen nicely and frame the new 3D renders created by Nertea. In addition, the copious library of screenshots could serve to illustrate units in action and key points of gameplay if required.
Once the basic structure of the manual was underway, a framing device was needed for the top and bottom of the page, and what better than an iconic screenshot of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer underbelly taken during initial testing of Operation Skyhook, deliberately taken to mimic the opening frames of “A New Hope”.
Tinted starscapes of Bespin space battles would initially serve as a background colour for the main text, but were since dropped in favour of another Skyhook screenshot featuring all the classic rebellion era units, including the DEATH STAR.
For the land pages, Phoenix Rising’s epic initial battle of Freerunners vs AT-AT’s on dusty Brentaal were unbeatable as background images and we simply had to include Nertea’s efforts in full detail.
But what of the text itself?
For me, nothing short of a full technical manual would do, as part of the fun of being involved in development is discovering what actually happens if you push the Power to Weapons button mid battle, or wondering exactly how much more firepower you get if you upgrade those Dual Laser cannons to Quads. There have also been a tremendous number of esoteric discussions about almost every aspect of the mod, for example wondering why Dark Empire-era AT-AT’s are so terrifyingly effective. With the manual we can add this information in and fill in all sorts of interesting details and share some of the development buzz.
It also gives us the opportunity to thank in detail the vast number of contributors to the mod, and highlight some of the hidden work that often goes unnoticed by testers and other members of the team.
Although it would be nice to have a full technical readout of every weapon, starship, upgrade, planet, hero and tank in the mod, clearly this would have to wait and to be built up chapter by chapter. For V1.2 an introductory General Overview and a Military Overview would suffice, hopefully giving players enough information to understand the basics of space and land combat, with the shorter space section covering useful updates while the Land section required a a complete breakdown of the new combat mechanic in its entirety, as trying to make the most of the new combat system would be a serious challenge without literature, and most players would miss out on critical tactical information this would make play harder and much less enjoyable.
Little did we know at the time that these two chapters would develop over the last year to over 100 pages, positively crammed with hints, tips, screenshots and enough technical data to keep an R2 unit happy for weeks. The manual also gives us an opportunity to thanks all the huge number of contributors to the mod over this lengthy development cycle, including the efforts of the various campaign testers and the output of our newest addition to the Phoenix Rising Team, evilbobthebob – our lead mapper.
The Space section of Chapter II includes data on all the space-based weapon systems, a detailed review of unit abilities and a look at the underpinning mechanics of space unit classes, covering armor types accuracy, damage control parties and other useful information. A full section describing all the different defensive and offensive abilities and a review of the compliment system rounds off the technical aspects of
A Recent Addition
In the last month a new major section has been added to the manual. A rather innocuous comment on the forums – on a completely unrelated topic naturally – made me realise that there was a gap in the manual. Many players are not aware of the full potential and fleet roles of the huge variety of units in the Rebel and Imperial fleets.
This has now been resolved with a full 20 page review of all player fleet units, together with indications of their upgrade potential in the General Overview section. This and should provide commanders with greater insights into how to improve their combat skills, especially when paired with the technical briefings contained in Chapter II.
Discussion with the testers has since added a couple of pages of tactical notes and some great gameplay tips, together to make the General Overview complete.
The Land Section of the Military Overview provides complete details of the Land combat mechanic, describing the key difference between 5 units classes of Droids, Infantry, Walker, Crawler and Speeder, describing in detail the strengths and weaknesses of each class, how units are produced and full technical readouts of upgrades. Tips and strategy are included, indicating all the facets of gameplay, from bombing runs to infantry garrisons in vehicles.
You get to see the full weapon load-outs of all independent enemy units, and some stunning images of all the new units that have been introduced or converted for the intensity of planetary invasion as seen from a mud-hugging trooper or armoured assault carrier.
And if this was not enough, we have full listings of all land weapon systems with damage tables for the multitude of pistols, rifles, carbines, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, mines, and heavy vehicle-based weaponry that are now in regular use!
These two chapters are just the beginning. As indicated earlier, the aim is to eventually put together a comprehensive technical manual for the mod, and the plan is to slowly release additional chapters as and when they are written!
The next chapter to be written will be Galactic Mode, used as a guide to help players make the most of all the information available to them, and this will also include details on hyperspace travel, trade routes, spying, information gathering and so on – but that won’t be started until after the release.
Following that will be chapters on Economy and Production at the very least – but this will all take months to complete, and as we progress into the development of V1.3, more time will be required to update existing chapters as well as writing new ones.
The V1.2 Manual will be included as a PDF with the release, and as always, we look forward to the ideas and comments this generates on the forums and I am sure V1.3 development will benefit as a result.