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Coming out of the tunnel

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:44 am
by Rob Lang
It's been a horrid summer of a million tiny annoyances but we're finally out and in the run down to Chrimbo. I have been chipping away at Icar over the time. Here's what I've been doing...

Writing up v5
I've got a lot of text on the Trello Board and now that Space Combat is largely done, I've started work on new weapon, spacecraft and bionics sheets.

The playtest of Space Combat in April (my goodness, was it back then?) went well and the core idea is sound. It needs another go with some tweaks (the engineer player options don't make sense) but I can start writing it up with that pending. I started on a tool for working through changes and options and I'm going to pick that up again.

Open Sourcing
A Brazilian translation firm got in touch to do a translation of Icar and I'm very keen for anyone to translate it under CC-BY-NC-SA. Keeping multiple languages in step is hard (especially as I'm rebuilding the system). I've been swamped under projects, so have not had the time.

What's the best way to go about that? I need somewhere public to hold it and I need it to be easy for people to see changes so that I can accept direct changes and issues. That sounds a lot like code; so I've decided I'm going to get it onto github. There are some odds and ends - mostly the website but I want to get that to be the central repository for everything Icar: website, books, models, pictures, the lot. The CC license should protect me from thieves and at the same time give people a central place to get at the source.

Next Steps
The software I use is somewhat not open source and that's a problem. So I'm going to rebuild v5 in the following (and in this order):

  • Website: static html and markdown built with Wyam
  • Blog: move it off blogger and build it into the website
  • Book: Scribus - text first then adding layout
  • Images: GIMP and Inkscape. To be fair, most of the images are rendered, only a couple of vector ones will need converting.
  • 3D models and rendering: Blender. This will be a mix of rebuilding and converting. Not everything will need redoing from scratch.

Book changes
Some consistent feedback I've add in the past is that the full-page images are no good for print-at home and not great for reading either. So I'm going to change the style of the books. Some bits will remain but it'll end up looking more like a standard game manual.

All feedback is welcome! Learning Blender is non-trivial but I've played recently and am now happy enough to build the new sheets in it.

Re: Coming out of the tunnel

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:53 pm
by DOC_Agren
Rob I would be glad to offer help if I can

I have finally started to go thur randolph, game stuff that was left to me when he passed. Sadly because I am looking for his GURPS Bureau 13 pregins with no luck, as it is one of his games I have taken on running for our old group. But means I have my info/if I can find it his notes too

Re: Coming out of the tunnel

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:12 am
by Rob Lang
Doc, you're a star, thank you. And thank you for your patience!

There will be a point where I throw out a PDF but I have a bunch of infrastructure stuff to do - like merging old and new blogs (going well).

I hope this more open format will allow creative types to do more if the mood takes them while retaining the pick-up-and-play nature of Icar. And it's going to be a lot more slick!

I'm trying to Tweet a lot more, you'll see lots of micro updates on there.
https://twitter.com/icarrpg

Re: Coming out of the tunnel

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:10 pm
by Onix
Glad to see you're still at it Rob! I'm on a very limited internet budget at the moment but hopefully in a bit I can start digging through the notes.

Re: Coming out of the tunnel

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:57 am
by Rob Lang
In the spirit of keeping communicating... here's a blog post. It even has a picture.

http://icarrpg.blogspot.com/2018/10/rei ... gress.html

Re: Coming out of the tunnel

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:13 pm
by Onix
I like the idea of Operations adding a die to the pool. I would actually like to see more of that in other places. I think a player would be prouder to add a die to the pool than a modifier. It also could get out of hand if players banked way too many dice.

Say I had 6 or even 8 players manning a ship. Would five of them have to be engineering? Maybe it's explained and I missed it, but that was the only option that I saw which had a provision for multiple people in that role. Is there a reason you couldn't have multiple gunners?

Re: Coming out of the tunnel

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:30 am
by Rob Lang
Thanks for the question, Onix. I completely agree about adding dice to the pool. There are new rules for that elsewhere. The number of dice resets every session and I found that when playing other campaigns that there wasn't much call for putting new dice into the pool that often but there was often a call for "the dice are against us, we need help!".

I'm hoping those extra dice will give players a sense that they can risk some extra stuff.

On space combat - a gunner commands a cluster of guns a spread around the ship. If you ship has a single cluster of guns then you have one gunner. You can have multiple clusters, so multiple gunners. "Engineers mate" is really the dump role in space combat. I've giving the GM lots of options to speed up/narrate the combat so that it isn't always to the death. Hopefully, for GMs with big groups, they can use that as a balance not to use the space combat to grind down the enemy to death.

Re: Coming out of the tunnel

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:43 pm
by DOC_Agren
Rob Lang wrote:On space combat - a gunner commands a cluster of guns a spread around the ship. If you ship has a single cluster of guns then you have one gunner. You can have multiple clusters, so multiple gunners. "Engineers mate" is really the dump role in space combat. I've giving the GM lots of options to speed up/narrate the combat so that it isn't always to the death. Hopefully, for GMs with big groups, they can use that as a balance not to use the space combat to grind down the enemy to death.


I have a hard time seeing most Scav ships mounting more then 1 cluster of guns, but if they do I can honestly see how 1 gunner can control more then one cluster. It involves an old video game Elite, which could mount 4 different Laser Weapons (front back, Left and Right) as well as 4 missiles. You could switch between screens to engage on different faces, yep when it was our ship vrs multiple enemies it could be a pain, but when I was younger and took 2 weeks off from school to become Elite (I failed after 2 plus weeks my old commodore 64 being on, it burned out the power supply and t was before you could save the game easy) I did manage to get side kills (never had my best guns here), never mind easy front and back ones.

that being said going back to Juan' Gunnery setup, you could set it up to swap views.

Re: Coming out of the tunnel

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:55 am
by Rob Lang
but if they do I can honestly see how 1 gunner can control more then one cluster.


This is understandable if everything was manual, however the shooter doesn't need to know which cluster is being fired; they just need to know what they are firing at and the spacecraft shares out the clusters between the shooters. If you're tracking a fast moving object, you want to track it as it circles you. I'm making a right pig's ear of this description, so I'll blog it properly with images; I've made a card for it so it'll get done:

https://trello.com/c/8hTCGMYc

I loved Elite too. I think I played too much Frontier: Elite 2 when it was first released; bugs and all.