I want more diversity and distinction between the races.
I want new modules and weapons to play with, especially when I switch races.
I want new weapon types such as railguns and fusion bombs.
I want to make the game easier for others (and myself) to mod, or to switch between mods.
I want to use color to better distinguish between friendly and enemy ships, and give players some color options.
I want to add a little bit more story/background into the game’s loading screens.
I’ve started working on a total conversion mod under the project name “Independence War”. The name will probably be changed later. It’s a somewhat ambitious project that seems daunting at the moment, but I’ll try to work on it a little at a time until its done.
First, a few notes:
At this point I do not plan to make new ship hulls or other graphics. I may decide to import some from other mods, however, if I see some I like. But I don’t have enough confidence in my graphic abilities to make my own and would rather focus on the number crunching aspects of game balance and module design.
Using this mod would require removing all the standard modules and races from the game.
This first release of this mod would not use the expansions, although I eventually do want to get around to them. I have ideas on incorporating the Tribe and Order, although I have none yet for the Swarm.
The features of this mod:
The original races (Federation, Rebels, Alliance, Empire – hereafter referred to as ‘factions’) will be broken up into three identical races each. The only real difference between them are the colors of their ships. Each race will be designed so that they never fight against their own color in the standard missions.
There are no generic modules. Each race only uses modules restricted to their own race. In many cases this means several duplicate modules have been made, each restricted to one race. I think this will be invaluable for others who want to mod the game. For example, if you feel like adding a race that doesn’t have beam tractor beams – that would be easy to do.
Every race will have all its files in one mod folder, so that you can easily remove any race you don’t want from the game. Again, this is mostly for the convenience of people who want to further mod their game. Don’t need three colors? Get rid of the two you don’t like. Don’t want to play with Rebels? Just remove their folders.
I want to experiment with new modules and weapons, giving every faction a different style of technology to specialize in to better distinguish between them and make them unique. “Faction” in this case means a collection of three similar races. For example, The Consortium, Omni Interstellar, and RivalCorp would all use the new Federation modules, which would be dramatically different from any Alliance (Colony , Brood, or Hive) ships.
Finally, I am pleased with my improved armor experiments so I’ll probably build those into the mod too, multiplying all final armor values and armor penetration values, so that armor lasts longer in combat.
I was planning on posting this only after I had finished at least one of the 12 races, but on further reflection i felt I should post up some kind of “mission statement” somewhere… to mentally commit myself, to prevent unnecessary duplication of labor, and to invite any suggestions anyone may have.
Starting out by setting up some directories and basic text files for the first race, the Consortium. Copying over all the Federation hulls and turrets and using a basic hue filter to make them gold. I now have a modular federation faction of gold ships. That in itself is kind of cool and was fairly easy to do. (Although I did make some minor mistakes along the way – it took me forever to get rid of those little white boxes.)