Rough Guide to the Ooniverse

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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Rough Guide to the Ooniverse

Post by Disembodied »

Following on from discussions about "gameplay-in-the-head" and other issues relating to immersing players in the glories of Oolite, I'd like to suggest we produce some supporting material which could perhaps be packaged in with the game download as a PDF and/or put online. This would not be a manual -- more a set of background material about the Ooniverse which could help put new players in the right frame of mind.

Now, as I think about this, it becomes trickier. I don't want to try to create some sort of "definitive" version of Oolite, or try to impose my own or anyone else's imaginings onto the game (in any case, my own personal imaginings are nowhere near canonical, insofar as any such consensus exists: apart from anything else, inside my head Frontier and its successors don't exist). So: stuff will need to be general. It will need to avoid specific references to other material elsewhere, in different games or on different websites. It will have to be about, and should be made to enhance, how it feels to play Oolite. I see no harm in making references to existing (or even planned or half-dreamed) OXPs, though: consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds! It's mood and ambience we'd really be looking for. The Dark Wheel contained casual reference to all sorts of non-existent stuff, and was all the better for it.

The Rough Guide would consist of stuff like (but not limited to):

1) magazine-style articles, "how-to"s etc. and tips from veterans (not all of which need be practical within the game: advice on where to find the best Arazaezian Wolf-burgers, for example, or even Managing a Multispecies Crew would be just as good, if not better, as another How To Dock manual);

2) interviews with pilots, reminiscences, rambling stories overheard in bars, and big fat lies;

3) detailed descriptions of trade items, of new pieces of kit, and critiques of ships;

4) discussions about (in-game) politics, governments, planets, personalities, different types of pilots, and so on;

5) other, better stuff!


Queries, thoughts, suggestions, contributions, abuse etc. all welcome.

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Great idea!

Post by Lestradae »

I particularly like ...
I don't want to try to create some sort of "definitive" version of Oolite, or try to impose my own or anyone else's imaginings onto the game
Perhaps the manual could also have a tag for each and every article if it referred to the "core game" or to some oxp or even combination of oxps?

I would contribute my short story of how Benulobiweed Inc. finally managed to realise its biggest ship project so far, if its wanted.

Really good idea, this! :D

Keep up the good work :idea:

L

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Re: Great idea!

Post by Disembodied »

Lestradae wrote:Perhaps the manual could also have a tag for each and every article if it referred to the "core game" or to some oxp or even combination of oxps?
Yup, good idea -- we could put links either within the text itself or maybe in a little box at the end listing all the OXPs mentioned.
Lestradae wrote:I would contribute my short story of how Benulobiweed Inc. finally managed to realise its biggest ship project so far, if its wanted.
By all means, please do!

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Printable version would also be good imho

Post by Lestradae »

Methinks, that a printable version would also be a cool idea. For me, having my 50-paged Oolite flight manual in hand, would be very atmospheric in addition to practical!

The Benulobiweed story goes as follows:
The following communication, gained through the illegal surveillance of a Hacker Outpost, could be heard in the halls of Benulobiweed, Inc.:

Great Chairman Charlie: "So you are the first who has successfully testflown a Condor Flagship in ages - historic, man!"

Commander Lestradae: "Argh. Woa. Aaaah. Argl. Wa."

Head of Research Department Kaks: "We were all really, like, nervous, because our research staff said that there was the distinct possibility of the Ooniverse being collapsed by the ultrapowered engines of the Condor!"

Commander Lestradae: "Did it collapse? Am I dead yet?"

Great Chairman Charlie: "Wow, man, you`ve really had it. Here, take some Benulobiweed to calm your nerves."

Head of Research Department Kaks: "This unexpected successful testrun of the Condor Flagship has solved our problems, oh Great Chairman Charlie! The Galactic Navy has finally agreed to let us sell the ship on public shipyards around the Galaxies!"

Great Chairman Charlie: "Yeah, well, man, but how big could the market be? They only allow it to be sold to pilots with a clean register and of Elite standing, we need a Tech Level 15 shipyard to build it and who the &%$§% has 17 million credits to spend on a ship anyways?"

Head of Research Department Kaks: "Come on, at least we`re no longer fugitives selling a capital ship to pirates. What is Lestradae doing now?"

Commander Lestradae *sobs uncontrollably*: "What if the Ooniverse did collapse? What if I just can`t remember? There is something ... the curved, curved space ... the horror ... Wargl." * collapses *

Great Chairman Charlie: "Great show, great show. Kaks-man, you think we could sell this as a psychedelic spiritual experience, this Ooniverse-crashing stuff?"

Head of Research Department Kaks: "Ehm, no, oh Great Chairman Charlie, come to think of it, I think we should never, ever mention this in public."

Great Chairman Charlie: "Cool, man. Lestradae, another chunk of Benulobiweed?"
Cheers :!:

L

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Re: Rough Guide to the Ooniverse

Post by Captain Hesperus »

Disembodied wrote:even Managing a Multispecies Crew would be just as good
Are you trying to say something about my Being Management Skills?
Disembodied wrote: , if not better, as another How To Dock manual);
NOw I know you're taking a dig.....
Disembodied wrote:and big fat lies;
This is really getting personal!!
Disembodied wrote:Queries, thoughts, suggestions, contributions, abuse etc. all welcome.
I'll contribute, where I can if only to belay all the scurilous rumours that has been bandied around this BB about me. ;)

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The truth, revealed!!
Image

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Post by Disembodied »

Captain H: I don't know what you mean... :wink:

We could do this as an issue of Space magazine: "Spectacular news items, not rarely half made up. Sensationalist articles and anti-authority opinions. Objective or reliable are not keywords to use when searching for their GalNET-location."

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Post by Cmdr. Maegil »

If it's going to be in magazine format, of course some selected YAH must make an appearence. There's already some spacer bar tales on a thread that can also be used.

In the meanwhile, here's some more ideas - way too many for me to handle, and some beyond my abilities, so I'll appreciate all volunteers...

GalCoop traffic safety campaign:
"GalCoop recommends:
Upgrade your drivers safely
Only download OXPs from the Wiki"
(image: the Oolite Wiki logo, with the URL in watermark)

"GalCoop recommends:
For a smooth approach
Always align from the buoy"
(image: a Cobra III starting her docking sequence, near a buoy)

"GalCoop recommends:
Always give assistence
Tomorrow you may need it"
(image: a trader attacking a pirate attacking another trader)

"GalCoop reminds:
We protect the space lanes
Be safe. Keep to them"
(image: A formation of Vipers patrolling a busy space lane)

"GalCoop reminds:
Piracy is punishable with fines
And summary execution"
(image: a pirate Fer-de-Lance being attacked by several Vipers)


Trumble ideas:
Trumble recipes (two already on the boards, should be enough);
trumble removal ads (someone?);
and I'll write up an opinion interview with "the commander who's just arriving", where he explains how he "ex-terminated the #&!% pests" he got from an infested container...


Centerfold pin-up:
the pink Miss Ooniverse lobstoid, or one of the pimped Cobras?
If we could get Jannah Berihn's Cobra III schematics watermarked on the background, the model to the fore and the technical data (no price tag, of course, since they became object of an OXP) on a box in the corner should do the trick. I'll ask her permission on the EBBS, let's see...
Anyways, that would serve well with a full page ship review (including pics)... someone?



Personal ads:
selling/buying ships & equipment
parcels, passengers and freight deliveries
crew & job offers/requests
romantic/personal messages (including one or two so artificial that are obviously coded messages)
security, escort, bounty hunter & mercenary groups recruitment ads


The ten Most Wanted, their ships and their bounties

I'll keep them coming, please do so too. I don't believe many noobs will read the mag before playing, but it'll certainly entertain them (those who can read, at least :x ) when they're properly directed...
Last edited by Cmdr. Maegil on Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
You know those who, having been mugged and stabbed, fired, dog run over, house burned down, wife eloped with best friend, daughters becoming prostitutes and their countries invaded - still say that "all is well"?
I'm obviously not one of them.

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Post by Disembodied »

I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed that I never thought of a centrefold (it has to be the lobster, but there's plenty of room in the publication for the Cobra III schematics and pimped ships too). Some outright lies would be worthwhile, too... I spent ages in the original Elite hoping to see a Genration Ship. What's the best way of doing this? PDFs?

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Post by Cmdr. Maegil »

What's the best way of doing this? PDFs?
I think so, why not?
You know those who, having been mugged and stabbed, fired, dog run over, house burned down, wife eloped with best friend, daughters becoming prostitutes and their countries invaded - still say that "all is well"?
I'm obviously not one of them.

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Re: Great idea!

Post by Commander McLane »

Disembodied wrote:
Lestradae wrote:Perhaps the manual could also have a tag for each and every article if it referred to the "core game" or to some oxp or even combination of oxps?
Yup, good idea -- we could put links either within the text itself or maybe in a little box at the end listing all the OXPs mentioned.
Not a good idea. I think this was about giving a feeling for Oolite in general?
Disembodied wrote:Some outright lies would be worthwhile, too... I spent ages in the original Elite hoping to see a Generation Ship.
There is only the tiny little danger to it that somebody may take the lie and transform it into a reality (like Draco_Caeles did with the Generation Ship). :wink:

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Re: Great idea!

Post by Disembodied »

Commander McLane wrote:Not a good idea. I think this was about giving a feeling for Oolite in general?
Well, true... but I see nothing wrong with having a pilot complain about, say, almost smacking a Your Ad Here billboard every other time he comes out of Witchspace (or indeed giving a generalised gripe about bloody adverts infesting everything these days, they'll be fitting giant hot-dogs to the tops of Cobra IIIs next, etc. ;)), or mentioning (or even reviewing) ships that are part of this or that OXP. Whether or not the reader has installed, or chooses to install, those OXPs is nether here nor there. That's another reason for putting lies in: it'll add to the general confusion about what's core, what's OXP and what's not real at all! A footnote or some such would let readers know what they could think about downloading if they liked the sound of e.g. a Dictatorship AstroFactory, or a Cobra Rapier, etc.

The only places we'll have to be a bit selective, I think, is with some of the "crossover" OXPs (e.g. the Star Wars ships). This is not to say that somebody might not manage to integrate these in some way, but as products of another established universe rather than an expansion of Oolite's own we'd have to be careful (I have similar feelings about the Imperial Courier, frankly, but am prepared to swallow them for the sake of a quiet life!).

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Post by Commander McLane »

Okay, your're right here. Things like first-person experiences about crashing into a terascreen would be nice.

For the ships from other universes: The main argument why they may be there has always been, that they are part of popular culture (at least in our time), so why shouldn't 1000 years ahead, when the technology is available, somebody actually build them? I have to confess that I am (like you) playing without them, but the argument is valid. Anyway: I would treat them along this line. Not as an encounter with another reality, but as a toy for commanders wou like to fly the ship from their favourite retro-TV-show.

And now my couple of credits: I vote for including Selezen's timelines (yes, I know you don't necessarily go completely along with them, but still I find them an enormously useful tool) and an abstract of the Powers & Organisations-page to the rough guide. EDIT: And the GalCop-page, of course.

And thanks for swallowing my ship. :D :wink:

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Post by Selezen »

Commander McLane wrote:EDIT: And the GalCop-page, of course.
I meant to expand that article afte the first draft - never got round to it.

Another article that could be useful for firing the imagination is this one: http://www.hughesd.co.uk/elite/lave_planet.asp

Again, something that I intend to expand once I clear my to-do list.

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Something for the Guide? A Conspiracy Theory

Post by Lestradae »

HACKER`S OUTPOST 44/09, RIBILEBI OORT CLOUD

*Hacked ultracoded Galactic Navy video - incoming message*

Note: People, you gotta see this. If this is not part of GalCop`s desinformation campaigns, we might be on to a sensational story. They will try to keep this out of the public. We will not let them. The truth is out there!

*Message ends. One AddOn. Warning: Could contain malicious half-sentient AI Code. You want to activate the AddOn Y/N?*

***

Great Chairman Charlie: "Commander Kaks calling me at this time of night? What`s going on?"

Head of Research Department Kaks: "Ahm, uh, Sir, I think you should come down to the research department immediately. The Galactic Navy are here, Sir. And they have, ahm, brought something."

Great Chairman Charlie: "And why can`t this wait until my morning coOffee?"

Head of Research Department Kaks: "Well, Sir, there has been a space battle with the bugs, in the system of Ceesxe."

Great Chairman Charlie: "So?"

Head of Research Department Kaks: "There was a crash. On the continent of New Roswell. Three of the pilots were still alive, far too injured to kill themselves or their ship ..."

Great Chairman Charlie *sprouts untimely morning coOffee over intercom, gets frantic*: "Wait a moment. Are you actually implying ..."

Head of Research Department Kaks: "Oh great chairman Charlie, yes. I am. There are a few Admirals from the Naval Research and Development Complex on Ribilebi here. It`s all Above Top Secret. In our docking bay is a ..."

Great Chairman Charlie: "Coming."

*Five minutes later*

Commander Lestradae: "No. Oh no. Oh no. Just no. Uargh."

Head of Research Department Kaks: "Come on, Lestradae. This must be the wet dream of every veteran pilot, isn`t it your`s?"

Commander Lestradae: "No, please tell me I`m dreaming. That this is not what is seems to be. Somehow, this doesn`t feel right. This can`t be true. Its not right. Make it go away!"

Head of Research Department Kaks (to himself): "Since that Condor Flagship incident he hasn`t been his old self any more." (louder) "Commander Lestradae, the Galactic Navy needs a test pilot to test-fly this thing. The Galactic Navy needs you."

Great Chairman Charlie (unshaven, in interestingly mangled bathing suit, a bit starry-eyed): "There we go again. Calm down, man. No need to worry so much!" *nearly chokes on a gigantic piece of edible Benulobiweed* "The Galactic Navy needs to understand this ship. It could be crucial to the war effort. No war success, no business. No business, no Benulobiweed Inc. No Benulobiweed Inc., no big paycheck for Commander Lestradae."

Commander Lestradae: "OK." *visibly drags himself together* "You tell me, that they need pilots of deadly prowess to testfly this thing and the clones they are going to make of it. The only thing I have to do is having my cerebric fear glands surgically removed, and to get implants installed in my head, for I have to steer this baby with my brain. Is that right?"

Head of Research Department Kaks: "Yes, that`s right."

Commander Lestradae: "OK."

Head of Research Department Kaks: "What?"

Great Chairman Charlie: "What?"

Commander Lestradae: "I must be crazy."

Head of Research Department Kaks (to himself): "Probably not news to me ..." *louder* "Congratulations, Commander Lestradae. You will be the first one to ..."

Admiral McLane: "Can we cut the smalltalk now and get to business. I came here from Lave Academy this morning. Are those Narcotics I see in your mouth, Mr. Charlie? You are not beyond GalCop regulations here, you know?"

Commander Lestradae (to himself): "If I fly this ship, I will get away from those people and their squabbling faster ..."

All four turn around, and here it comes, into view of the regional Hacker`s Outpost`s spycams. It`s a Thargoid Warship. It sits on the floor of the Benulobiweed, Inc. docking bay.

And it is completely intact.

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Post by Roberto »

At the risk of causing offence...

<mr nasty>
I don't think this sort of thing is going to enhance the Oolite experience for new players. While more short stories or "vignettes" along the lines of these (for Frontier) would be great, a few hastily written, cliquey, fanboyish lines of dialogue won't, IMO, enhance anything for anyone. (And this "Oo" thing is getting seriously tiresome. Sorry, but it's just... not funny.)

Sounds harsh I know, but my aim isn't to discourage; rather, it's to encourage potential contributors to this thing to put some real effort in and make it a worthwhile exercise.
</mr nasty>

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