Advertising OXP

Discussion and information relevant to creating special missions, new ships, skins etc.

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Hoopy
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Post by Hoopy »

first a first step I'm going to look into doing simple 'missions' where you are paid 10-100Cr (depending on governemnt type) to fly to a nearby system, find the target and target him.

I'd then like the target to acknowledge that they've received the advert you've beamed to them.

Then you fly dock and receive your cash.

next additions would be:
- the 'target' might get angry at you interupting their privacy and try and shoot you.
- angry target chance / mission prices would go up as you're combat rating increases
- several ships to target in the system
- longer range missions offering more money

Pretty much all of that seems acheivabel based on what I've seen in other OXPs. but i still have afew questions:
- Is it possible to work out how far away planets are? I'd only want to offer missions to planets that are within 7 light years.
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Post by LittleBear »

Not directly. But you can store the system the player is currently in by using a mission_my_mission_planetnumber undefined, do set: mission_my_mission_planetnumber [planetnumber], set mission_my_mission_planetname [H%] (say when the player lauches). Then offer the mission the next time the player docks after making a H-jump. That way the mission system will be within 7 light years of the current system. Eric uses this wheeze in UPS.
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Hoopy
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Post by Hoopy »

that's quite a nice work around. and ensures that the pilot only gets missions offered in systems they're happy in.

More ideas for later missions:
- destroy a rival corporation's advertising ships
- destroy rival 'adsteroids'
- dock with an adsteroid to change its advert
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Post by JensAyton »

And this is why we have the Scripting requests thread. Which I definitely intend to read. One day.
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Post by Commander McLane »

Hoopy wrote:
that's quite a nice work around. and ensures that the pilot only gets missions offered in systems they're happy in.
...while at t he same time defeating your whole original idea of giving the player an incentive to visit systems he might be not happy in!

Okay, I guess this OXP has the chance to produce a lot of nice eye-candy (if the graphical side of it can be implemented!). But I am still not happy with the basic idea of "give the newbie player a lot of money for basically doing nothing"! Besides, there are easier ways of achieving that: Changing (presumably) one line of code would give the new Jameson 100000 cash instead of 100. And there is a reason (I guess) why neither Aegidian nor any of his successors have made that change.
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Hoopy
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Post by Hoopy »

The first missions need to be very easy so should be to places you've visited.

Maybe after you've done 3 of them I can start offering missions to new systems. I'd still like them to be nearby though as nobody is going to trek 50 Light years for 25 Credits!

I've changed the reward system to only give a few credits at a time. Remember, when you first start you're very scared of anything attackng you, even at democracies. So you try to keep out of the way of everything, out of the spacelane even. So 25Cr isn't that much when you risk getting killed.

By comparison UPS gives you 100Cr just for travelling from one communist system to the next and you can avoid the space lane the whole way.
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Post by ChiliTheKid »

Hoopy wrote:
Remember, when you first start you're very scared of anything attacking you, even at democracies.
Speak for yourself! :twisted:

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Post by TGHC »

I don't think Giles would be very keen on this idea. His whole concept of Oolite was to recreate Elite with better graphics together with more "space activity" and the ability to make it expandable with OXP's, but still retaining the feel, balance and ethos of the original game.

There should be no shortcuts to becoming Elite, no get rich quick schemes, you have to earn your status through skillful trading and piloting.

Have a read of chapter 6 of The Dark Wheel

However there is some merit in the idea providing that there is a quid pro quo involved, how I would see it working is if there is a fee to modify/bolt on an advertising hoarding to the ship for say 500Cr and then a reward of say 10 or 15Cr when arriving at a station so that it would take a reasonable number of jumps before showing a profit.
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Post by Disembodied »

Commander McLane wrote:
I am still not happy with the basic idea of "give the newbie player a lot of money for basically doing nothing"!
I think, in terms of balancing the game, there's nothing hugely wrong with giving new pilots a chance to take a sandwich board job as an alternative to hopping into a system, skirting round the spacelane, delivering cargo, just to build up enough money to start enjoying the game properly. With only a pulse laser and no injectors, neither fighting nor fleeing are really viable options. If you want to keep somehting like this as a starting job, then maybe ad-ships should be restricted in some other way: limited cargo space, say, or an inability to fit certain types of upgrades (injectors, for example: no point in letting your sandwich board race through a system!). That way, this would remain as a starting job, which you do to earn enough money to start trading and fighting.

Edit: or, as TGHC says, some other form of quid pro quo. The upside of an alternative income source would need some sort of downside, too.
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Post by Hoopy »

so do you think the ups missions need some sort of downside as well?

i think the downside is that it forces you to trundle through the spacelane which takes longer and increases the risk of a pirate attacking you.

It'd make sense if the missions (and payments) were only given to clean pilots as well
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Hoopy
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Post by Hoopy »

thinking further about this 'free money' thing - oolite is a game that's meant to be fun. There have been recent posts that moan about the lack of fun:
- Newtonian physics in Frontier made it less fun so shouldn't have been added
- it takes too long to get into the meat of the game where you have a well equipped ship tailored to your style of gameplay
- someone wnating to write a guide for FPS players so they better understand what to expect

I'm not suggesting anything that breaks the game (it's not like I'm offering 100,000Cr or a free ship)

I'm not trying to break the narrative of the game world (the black monks, dictatorships and another OXP i forget the name of) all broadcast messages at the player to advertise something.

I'm making the player work for their money. Not much work, but it's not much pay either!

I'm adding a downside of risk for attempting the mission. Later missions would add combat so then it becomes just like random hits - kill this ship and we'll give you cash.
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Post by Disembodied »

Personally, I think that's fine. I don't see any problem with offering players an alternative means of earning money. I don't see any merit in forcing players to take the original Elite grind. At the moment, new players have three options (one in-game and the other two from OXPs): 1) plug away at the Rich Industrial-Poor Agricultural runs for as long as it takes, using the spacelane-dodging "cheat" (I know it's not technically cheating, but it certainly feels like it...) to avoid trouble they can't deal with, i.e. practically any trouble at all; 2) take out a loan from the Black Monks; or 3) downgrade their new Cobra III to something from the Rusties OXP. This is just adding 4) take a demeaning job. It's not get rich quick, it's get rich not quite as slowly as before... in fact, as Hoopy points out, the OXP forces players into the shipping lane. It will in all probability take more actual time than lane-dodging trade jumps: Dr Nil, in another thread, recently clocked himself at 3 minutes from station to station, using the lane-dodge. On consideration this is itself quite a large downside.

I'm not sure whether the OXP needs "hits", though... seems a bit overtly violent, as well as possibly pushing a new player into a (presumably criminal) activity. I like the idea of changing an adsteroid, though -- it would be the equivalent of flypostering (especially if the adverts chosen were for obvious rivals: Lave Fried Trumbles to Booger King, say). It could be perhaps very mildly illegal, if spotted, but I'm not sure there's really any need to add any combat to this OXP. Insults, threat, and abuse, yes, but I think you could leave the combat to come on its own.
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Post by Hoopy »

You're probably right - combat doesn't really 'fit' in it. I'll try to think of something else that could earn a bit more money and be a bit more interesting...
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Post by Disembodied »

The adsteroid angle might work here. If there were two or three different "brands" of adsteroid, one set administered by Ads-R-Us, the player's employer, and the other two by YooHoo! Marketing and Spamalot Promotions. The player could be sent on missions -- perhaps to slightly hairy, e.g. Dictatorship-level, systems, to update the advert set in Ads-R-Us's adsteroids there. I'm assuming that the adsteroids might have docking bays and even maybe fuel for sale, but only company employees would be able to dock there (i.e. there would be two models, one with a docking bay and one without: the game only calls the model with the docking bay if the player is an employee).

Later, perhaps the player could be approached by, say, a representative from YooHoo! Marketing, and asked to do jobs for them, too, and for Spamalot as well. There might be possibilities for inter-corporate rivalries here. Actually, saying that, I'm thinking that maybe this could all be a Corporate State-only thing. It would restrict the number and appearance of adsteroids; it would add to the flavour, by making Corporate States ad-infested snakepits of squabbling yuppies; and it would be appropriate to new players as it would encourage them to stay in the "shallow end" while giving them something to do.

There would have to be a mechanism to allow employment to lapse. If, say, a player took too many jumps without doing any advertising jobs, then they get their P45/pink slip. Just so there's an incentive to keep on plugging away, until you've built up enough money to tell your bosses where they can stick their job and striking out on your own.
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Post by Hoopy »

you have all the good ideas :)

Making it a corporate state flavour OXP does make some good sense. Although I thought corporate states were owned by a SINGLE corporation?
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