Wing Commander RPG

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Just a head's up that I'll be skipping this week's scheduled update - I wound up spending the entire week converting the Starflight III design document from ScrewTurn to MediaWiki format, so nothing Wing Commander-related to report this week. If anybody's curious about the SF3 design doc at all, it's up at http://starflight3.wikia.com - this is what I was working on in the interim between Starflight RPG and WCRPG back in 2011. And if y'all have ever worked on/seen a design doc before, you can probably tell I've never worked on anything quite like it before...

Next update between 11-14Z on February 29th.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Been making some progress on the ninth-level battle map and I figured I'd share it with y'all:

ninth_level.png


Most of the bottom half of the map is finished up at this point. I've got a fair chunk there that I have no idea what to do with (other than "ship's utilities"), so I've come up with an excuse for sealing it off from the rest of the deck (namely that Paulsen pulled an escape pod off that side and the pressure door didn't close like it was supposed to, so that area's vented to space - which could make the encounter in which this is used fun for certain playing groups). I came up with a nice little visual effect for which doors were locked and which ones weren't. The center command "island" turned out real nice, I think - I'm debating if I want to try to populate those rooms with objects or not. I need to work a little bit on the lift hatchways; maybe just add a little bit of wall piece so that the doors don't overlap. Upper half is still under construction - you can see the first attempt at one of the bridge crew cabins (which, incidentally, is in the wrong spot).

Comments? Questions? Suggestions for what to put down on the lower half of the map?
 

Wolfman

Rear Admiral
Love your work Capi!

I've still to properly sit down and really read the RPG, I do plan to! Promise!
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I don't know if it's just me, but ever since you switched over to posting your weekly updates on wikia, I've had more trouble catching up with your project status. There's obviously the convenience factor of just being able to skim the posts here, but the main problem is that the ad crud that wikia throws at you causes my browser to lock up or pop up script errors. Unfortunately, this has spaced out how frequently I check on status for the news. It looks like for the most part you've just got text with a couple paragraph breaks in your updates. Would it be a big deal to go back to pasting them here in the forums?
 
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capi3101

Rear Admiral
I suppose I could see if it wouldn't take too terribly long to re-format the updates for here. It probably would've been a bigger deal when I was still building ship stats regularly and every other word had to be italicized. I can give it a try for a couple of weeks at least.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Yeah, I wouldn't bother italicizing, underlining or doing any of that stuff. Just the text formatted into paragraphs, maybe an occasional hyperlink, would be fine.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the Weekly WCRPG Update.

Not that it may matter much to y'all, but this morning's update is being "simulcasted" (probably not the right word but it's close enough). After last Monday's update, I received a request from Chris Reid, one of the main administrators of the Wing Commander CIC website, to go ahead and begin placing a second copy of the updates on the CIC forums. Apparently, some folks have been having issues of late with all the advertising, videos and extra crud that Wikia insists on putting on their hosted sites, and it's gotten to the point where it slows down their web browsers to a crawl. I myself have noticed this when I'm not logged in; they don't blast me with ads when I'm logged in (except on the main page) and I have an ad blocker turned on in Chrome which pretty effectively blasts whatever's left, leaving just the side crud, which is usually pretty manageable. I plan on accommodating the CIC's request for the time being; if it turns out to be more trouble than it's worth for me, I'll revert back to the single update at the WCRPG site like I've been doing for these past few years, and perhaps investigate the possibility of paying to have the ads removed from the site (which may also turn out to be more trouble than it's worth...).

If those of you following the updates at RSI, Twitter or Facebook are having similar issues, now would probably be a good time to let me know about it...

This past week began in Chapter 2.2 of the Elegy Campaign. A lot of the time there was spent finishing up the remaining route calculations between the T'kon and K'nag Rha systems. I also was able to work in an additional penalty for taking the "red herring" route during the process of making those calculations. Work was also done on the encounter Introduction statements and the Results sub-sections of each encounter, with the introductions completed for all encounters except Valgard and Kabla Meth and all of the Results sections completed except for the T'kon Meth encounter. I've found that I still need to set a few more details and slice the plot a bit more on a few of the planned encounters for Chapter 2.2, particularly for the T'kon Meth encounter, which has yet to really properly gel up. The rest of the week was spent working on syntactic reviews of the mission prologue in Chapter 2.1. I had found a sentence parser site late last week when I was working on the same thing, but hadn't properly learned what was involved with its use then. Since it's looking more and more like the sentence diagrammer I'm currently using isn't going to be an option in the future, I decided I should figure out how to use the parser. For someone who isn't a linguist, I found the new site somewhat confusing at first but ultimately very much usable - especially once I managed to find the user guide - and handy in that it shows the definite limits of different phrasing types (noun phrases, adverbials, etc). The syntax of the Kilrathi language as I have it is fairly dependent on knowing where and in what order such varying phrases are supposed to occur. My log shows that I completed a grand total of 54 syntactic reviews before the week was out with work in progress on another one. Another three were completed somewhere along the line that I didn't account for in my log; chalk that up to trying to do simple addition at 4:30 in the morning when you're already running on a pretty significant sleep deficit. The total number completed of completed syntactic reviews as of this morning is 68, with one in progress and no work done so far on the remaining 34 text blocks - almost exactly two-thirds complete overall. I did have an annoyed-grunt moment on Thursday when I thought that I might not've had a translation for the possessive pronoun "yours" in the grammatical rules, something that came up during the syntactic reviews. After a review of the rules on Friday, though, I realized I had the specific situation at hand well covered. I did make a small change on Friday that would allow a pronoun in the formal voice to be the object of a sentence. Such a thing may be socially awkward but it may have some use later on in the story.

The Plan for the coming week is to continue the syntactic reviews in Chapter 2.1 and move onto the formal translation work when that effort is complete. Since I've made such good progress this past week, I see no reason to halt the momentum I've built up there. I doubt I'll actually finish it up this week, but if I do, Chapter 2.1 will be completed and I can start devoting my full attention to Chapter 2.2. In 2.2, I need to do some serious plot slicing of three encounters and make notes there, then try to finish up the few bits that weren't done this week. I can begin work on setup and encounter specifics after that effort is completed. I've also got the story portion of 2.2 to work on - both the prologue and the epilogue - and I still need to finish the preliminary design of the Demon's Eye base. I've also begun thinking about how Elegy is structured; with as much work as has been put into it, I'm wondering if the end result is going to have to be split up into volumes (as what happened with the Core Rules). If that's the case, each individual adventure could become an "episodic module", with the campaign setting (which is already largely finished) becoming its own volume. I'm really only just now thinking about this and there's still the fact that I'd need to find another print-on-demand service if I want to make hardcopies in the future, but I'll be sure to let y'all know what I decide to do.

Well, that's all I've got for this update. The next update will post to the WCRPG site sometime between 11-14Z next Monday, May 23rd. Y'all have a pleasant week.
 
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capi3101

Rear Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the Weekly WCRPG Update.

This past week was spent on translation work in Elegy Chapter 2.1. I started the week continuing the work on the syntactic reviews of the mission prologue text (which, if y'all will recall, is the only piece of work remaining to be done in that Chapter). I completed twelve reviews on Monday. I dealt with some pretty large blocks of text on Tuesday, but still managed to get eleven blocks completed according to my log (chock that up to some very short blocks compensating for the very large ones). The remaining reviews were completed on Wednesday, with work on actual translation of the text into the Kilrathi language commencing that same day; I had two blocks of text full translated before the end of the day with work started on another. I had an event at work that pretty much killed Thursday entirely, but I was able to complete the block I started on Wednesday as well as five more blocks when I returned to work on Elegy on Friday. As of this morning, eight text blocks out of 103 total are translated, with syntactic reviews completed on the remaining 95. In those eight blocks of text, I had to generate ten new terms for the lexicon and re-purpose another seven, corresponding to 23 reverse terms in English. After this week, you can now say "the wind blows sweetly through the trees" in Kilrathi (niskarh'danisdak aknavs du irgai), though why you might want to do so is a matter of conjecture. I've also got a note saying that I need to clarify the meaning of vrag, which currently exists as "pair" and which caused a brief translation issue on Friday.

The Plan for this week is to continue the translation work in Chapter 2.1. I'm on the home stretch in that Chapter at long last; it's taken eight months for me to get from the initial set of notes all the way to a nearly finished product, which is comparable to the amount of time that work took place on Vespus. I'm sincerely hoping that the remaining chapters won't all take that long to complete - if they do, I'm looking at a completion date for the entire Elegy campaign sometime in 2045. I guess it's nice to know what I'll be doing for the next thirty years, but I would like to explore different ways to celebrate my retirement (and I'm sure my wife would as well). If it is going to take that long, divvying up the campaign (like I mentioned last week) would not only be a viable alternative, but a necessary step if I want to maintain some semblance of sanity for that entire period. The other stuff currently in the pipe hasn't changed - I have plot slicing to do in Chapter 2.2 and I still need to finish the preliminary design of the Demon's Eye base for Chapter 2.3 and beyond. I'm hoping to be able to tend to this soon - work on Chapter 2.1 probably will take at least another two weeks to complete at a minimum, unless I find myself with more time on my hands in the near future (not something I anticipate happening any time soon).

Well, that's all I've got for this update. Since this coming Monday is Memorial Day, I'll go ahead and skip next Monday for an update. The next update will post to the WCRPG site and CIC forums sometime between 11-14Z on Monday, June 6th. Y'all have a pleasant couple of weeks, and for all y'all in the States, have a good holiday.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the Weekly WCRPG Update.

Good news to report to y'all this morning. Thanks to a very concerted effort on my part over the course of the last two weeks, I can report that - after eight solid months of work - Tarakh'ga, Chapter 2.1 of the Elegy campaign is finally 100% complete and ready for proofreading. I spent much of the week of the 23rd doing the translation work, completing a total of 48 text blocks. As the translation work progressed, I took some time each day to add any new generated and re-purposed terms to the translation table, which in several cases made certain words available for use later on in the Chapter. May 25th in particular was a busy day, with twelve blocks translated just that day alone. I did have a freak-out moment that same day, though, when I thought I had two terms missing from the K-E Lexicon, but it turns out I'd merely misspelled them when I went to search for them in the table (an understandable mistake, given how many freakin' times the letter "k" and the letter "h" appears in most Kilrathi words). I also briefly thought that I'd been using certain pronouns incorrectly (again on the 25th), specifically the Singular Objective / Non-Possessive forms as subjects of a sentence, and that it was going to require an effort to go back through the translation work and correct the offending terms with the formal voice pronouns. I realized by the end of that day that things were as they should be, so I probably dodged an annoying bullet there. On Friday the 27th, I crossed the halfway point of the remaining translation work.

After taking Monday off for Memorial Day, I spent much of this past week doing the same thing in the same way. This past Wednesday was the most productive single day of the entire past two weeks, with twenty-two text blocks completed and another fourteen blocks partially translated, representing the remaining text in the Chapter. I went ahead and added a couple of idiom dictionaries to my set of translation tools that same day. It's a tricky thing to find idioms and colloquialisms before I translate them; I'm sure more than a few up to this point have been given literal translations, though I'm hopeful the new tools will help curtail their usage in the future. And I might keep a few: such phrases add flavor to any language and Kilrathi shouldn't be an exception. After finishing the generation of terms on Thursday and adding the remaining such terms to the lexicon, I plugged them into the remaining bits of text as needed, completing the work. Over these past two weeks and the 95 total text blocks translated, a total of 80 new terms were added to the lexicon with 180 terms re-purposed, corresponding to 595 reverse terms. I can't really guarantee that the re-purposed count doesn't include some duplications; I'd be surprised if it didn't. I also didn't really need to generate that many terms; I may have mentioned to y'all recently that I'd added a thesaurus to my list of linguistic tools (at least, I recall mentioning that to y'all but I can't find anywhere where I actually did it). Many of the reverse terms grew out of having the availability of synonyms to the words I was translating, so while I may not have needed those terms now, I will have them available to me in the future. I did decide to go ahead and count the number of entries on the lexicon tables to see how the Kilrathi language compares in terms of total vocabulary to other constructed language at this point; it has been a while since I've done such a count. As of Thursday morning, there are a total of 1,603 Kilrathi words corresponding to 3,646 English words. For comparison, there are roughly 900 root terms in Esperanto (though those can be combined with enough affixes and qualifiers to generate a vocabulary of tens of thousands of words) and roughly 3,000 in Klingon (I don't know if there's a 1:1 correlation between English and Klingon terms or not, so I don't know exactly how it compares). It certainly seems like my ultimate goal of constructing a viable conversational/literary Kilrathi language, if not fulfilled at this point, is pretty near close.

Some work did take place on the next Chapter of Elegy, Dekh aq T'kon H'hra, over these past two weeks, mainly in terms of dialogue for both the prologue and epilogue of that mission. I have a rather humorous conversation planned between Nagkilin and the leader of the pirate base that Bloodeye and his crew go to in order to get a crew, and there is the scene in the prologue where we get to meet Ku'a K'le's lair-mate (Mo) for the first time. Let's just say that she's not thrilled with the notion of her spouse being in with a bunch of a) commoners and b) nascent pirates. I did make some progress on the T'kon Meth encounter this past Friday, changing things up where instead of the encounter happening on both branches of the mission it only happens on the "correct" path, and which may make getting through the Valgard system much easier for the players if they happen to get it right. I still need to re-structure the encounter; instead of having the choice of which path to take at the end of that encounter, it now happens at the beginning. With work on 2.1 finished, I'll be able to turn my full attention to 2.2 this coming week, and I'm hopeful that I might be able to knock this particular encounter out.

That's largely my Plan for this week - to begin turning my attention to 2.2 in earnest. I have largely worked out the details of the T'kon Meth encounter and I need to get that encounter re-structured, and that effort has indirectly helped me with the events of the Valgard encounter. I still need to work on the details of the Kabla Meth encounter at this point; I hope to be able to get to that in the near future. Much of the draft dialogue of the prologue and epilogue has been written at this point, and I might be able to get to the point where useful work on constructing the narrative of both sections can begin. Finally, there's still the outstanding work that needs to be done on the Demon's Eye base; I've only been sitting on that for a few months now, and it'd probably be really easy for me to finish up if I'd just take the time to sit down and do it. I suppose that it could wait until work on Chapter 2.3 begins in earnest, but that could be months from now and if I take care of it now, that's one less thing I'd have to deal with in the future.

Well, that's all I've got for this update. The next update will post to the WCRPG site and CIC forums sometime between 11-14Z next Monday, June 13th. Y'all have a pleasant week.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Greetings, Wingnuts and Citizens! Time for the Weekly WCRPG Update.

This past week saw full-bore work in earnest commence on Chapter 2.2 of the Elegy campaign, entitled Dekh aq T'kon H'hra (or "Flight from T'kon H'hra" in English). Monday saw work on the T'kon encounter, the first of six planned encounters for the mission (each of which are named for the star system in which they occur - T'kon, T'kon Meth, Orestes, Valgard, Kabla Meth and K'nag Rha). Monday's work saw the completion of the Setup and Results sub-sections with good progress made on the Problems sub-section, work that was wrapped up on Tuesday. I also wrapped up the dialogue of the mission's epilogue on Monday, and made a minor change to the name of the prologue and epilogue section (which was also corrected in the template I'll be using for later missions/chapters). Work on the prologue dialogue continued on Tuesday, with all almost all of the dialogue written for the first scene of the prologue that day - I had a single line that I needed to replace, part of an argument between lair-mates Ku'a K'le and Mo, which was needed in order for Ku'a K'le to reach a state of exasperation with his next line. The final line was added on Wednesday, finishing out the dialogue for the first of two scenes planned for the prologue. Wednesday also saw the completion of the Setup and Results sub-sections of the T'kon Meth and Orestes encounters, and editing "chocks" (the red and green blocks of text that indicate where I've edited the chapter) were added to the other incomplete encounters. Some important work took place on the calculated transit distances for the T'kon Meth encounter on Thursday; I had previously calculated the transit time and distance for the Valgard encounter thinking that the T'kon Meth encounter would occur at the system's jump point to T'kon (i.e. when the characters enter the T'kon Meth system), but the change of venue (to when the characters leave that same system) necessitated the recalculation. I also added a transfer DC and the effects of the system's neutron star (one is located in T'kon Meth as per Elegy Chapter 6.2) to the transit indicated in the encounter's Setup sub-section. I finished out the day working on the Problems sub-section of the T'kon Meth encounter by listing out several possible outcomes of the group's encounter with a lone Sha'kar-class transport (what happens if they attack it, what happens if they ignore it, etc.). The idea there is to try and befriend the ship's captain, and get him to drop off a "crybaby" to distract patrols in an attempt to let the group slip through Valgard system - where a Confederation base is located - without being detected. More work on the prologue dialogue also took place on Thursday. Friday, a day where I only had one break available in which to work, was spent working on the specifics of the Problems sub-section of the Orestes encounter, where the group could inadvertently run into a Landreich convoy and Bad Things happen. I'm reasonably happy with the way I've got that encounter setup, though I will need to build an encounter table for the convoy's fighter escort (a la all three of the previous campaign modules, something I'm not ashamed to borrow from them) before I'm finished there. I'm also thinking about setting up some artwork to better illustrate where the ships begin encounters in relation to one another. If I can set up something like that easily enough, I may create artwork for the other encounters along the same vein. My initial thought is to build another VASSAL utility, similar to what was done for the campaign's Nav Maps in Chapter Six, combined with the silhouettes I built a couple of years back for the WC Counters.

So my Plan for this week is to continue work on Chapter 2.2. The idea to build a utility is one that I literally came up with as I was typing the sentence just a little bit ago, and I think it has merit, so I may spend some time on it this week. It does occur to me that in order for it to have full utility, I'd have to take the time to design a few of the new ships I have in the game (namely the Martina Nostra Claymore), so I might finally have a good incentive to actually sit down and design the stupid things. Getting a hold of a decent 3D modeler would become a priority - and by decent, I mean "one I can use where the things wouldn't look like total crap that's free and has a relatively low learning curve". Work still needs to happen on the Kabla Meth encounter, I still need to work on the details of the Demon's Eye base and I'm thinking seriously about getting back to work on the Drayman-II deckplans for Chapter 2.4, where the group performs its first full-on pirate raid. I have a bunch of other little things that need to be taken care of as well, but I sincerely doubt any of it will happen this coming week. Maybe if I can make significant progress on the dialogue of the prologue this week, I'll knock a few of those out.

Well, that's all I've got for this update. The next update will post to the WCRPG site and CIC forums sometime between 11-14Z next Monday, June 20th. Y'all have a pleasant week.
 
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