Downtimes: June 24 - July 2nd

We've got another batch of shutdowns coming in late June and early July, so that the machines can be repaired for the newest bug, the ZombieLoad CPU bug.

In general, the Genesis games (Grendel, TEC, TEC-Test) all have reboots scheduled for the absolute middle of the night, so I'll be taking each down the previous evening at midnight and bringing them back up the next morning at 9am.

The SkotOS games have always been more robust about reboots, so we'll let them reboot on their own, though there's some chance for an ~2 hour data loss. In any case, I'll be checking them after the 2-hour window when I can, though Marrach has a middle-of-the-night reboot, so that'll be the next morning.

The UserDB and Web reboots will cause some downtime for the entire site, but again they will hopefully come up cleanly.


- Shutdown Grendel (late Sunday 6/23)

- Startup Grendel (early Monday 6/24)

- Shutdown TEC (late Monday 6/24)

- Startup TEC (early Tuesday 6/25)

- Check TEC Client (9pm Tuesday 6/25)

- Shutdown TEC-Test (late Thursday 6/27)

- Startup TEC-Test (Friday 6/28)


- Marrach (Monday early morning 6/24)

- Ironclaw (Monday 10pm-midnight 6/24)

- Lovecraft, Lazarus (Monday 8pm-10pm 7/2)


- UserDB (Monday 10pm-midnight 6/24)

- Web (Sunday 9pm-11pm 6/30)
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Suggestion for a possible future Skotos Game...

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  • Suggestion for a possible future Skotos Game...

    I don't know whether I should put these here or not, but I figure this is about the right place for this skeleton of a game suggestion. If anybody wants to take this and improve on it/fill it out, please do. The Grendel's Revenge systems have had a lot of influence on this, so a fair amount of this is probably the property of Worlds Apart. Don't sue me!

    Legalese: Everything below not already copyrighted or in the public domain is the creative property of the developers.

    Galactic Emperor: Rebellion

    [name in progress, figure out a better one I think...]

    This would be best implemented in a format similar to that of the present Grendel's Revenge, including a similar map interface to that of GR.

    Setting: Some centuries after the formation of the Galactic Empire. Pinpoint technology has been developed significantly by this time, allowing for almost instant transportation to the star systems of the Galaxy. The Four Races of Thrile, Iyali, Sorvu and Grune each hold approximately 20% of the Galaxy each at the start of the Gamem with the remaining 20% either unexplored or under the control of independant races. The Empire has begun to detect an increase in the amount of Rebel activity. Curiously, attempts to put down the Rebels have proved unsuccessful....

    Interface: The players traverse the maps similarly to the way they do in GR, walking from place to place on a map composed of many different tiles. The Galaxy in total is composed of several hundred maps. Maps are of planets in a star system [approx. 100x100 - 1000x1000 maps depending on size of planet] and maps of star systems themselves [same number of tiles]. Certain tiles can be walked on by the players themselves [land in a breathable planet, space stations in the star system maps that orbit planets], whilst others cannot, requiring spaceships to travel through [empty space tiles, or land tiles on unbreathable atmosphere planets]. To travel between the stars or on unbreathable planets, spaceships must be purchased at Shipyards on space stations or on ground bases. Players can 'enter [name of ship]', effectively changing them into the ship in question. This will allow them to 'ascend' to the star system map [if on a planet], travel through unbreathable atmospheres or [if the ship is fitted with a Pinpoint Drive] travel to another system. Ships can also be used to transport items/resources in large bulk from Warehouses [which conveniently have ship access]. Ships cannot travel into complexes such as ground bases or space stations past the Docks or Warehouses.
    Ships must be fitted out by buying parts from a Dock [the price and efficiency of such parts is dependant on the race that built the Dock]. These include lasers and missiles [see below], Pinpoint Drives and shields etc.
    Pinpoint Drives allow a ship to travel to another star system within range [dependant upon the efficiency of the Drive] almost instantly [the number of minutes the journey takes is dependant on the distance, ranging from half a minute to ten]. Typing 'pinpoint' allows the player to choose from a list of stars within range, and will send them there. When their journey is finished, they will arrive at a Pinpoint Beacon at that system.
    In a System Map, most of the map consists of 'Empty Space' tiles through which space ships can travel. There will be the odd 'planet' tile which players can 'descend' into the Planet map. Space Stations can be built on 'Empty Space' tiles the same way that lairs are built underground in GR. Bases can be built on planet maps in similar ways, on the surface of the planet [if breathable] or underground [if not]. Bases can only be accessed via the Dock [or Warehouse, if you're in a ship].
    If a ship is inhabited by a player, another player CAN also enter the ship as a 'passenger' [assuming the captain of the ship allows them to]. This puts them in the ship, except that they can perform no actions except talking and to 'leave ship'.
    This is useful for travelling between systems without having a ship of your own.

    Combat: With the ability to enter ships, that means that there are two forms of combat, ship and personal combat.
    Personal Combat: Personal combat takes place when you are not in a ship. Attributes should be similar to that of GR, with Str giving health points, agility improving armour, energy improving regenerating. Combat is engaged either using missile weapons [guns, for example] or in melee [swords charged with several tens of thousands of volts, for example]. Combat should be similar to that of GR in these respects, with armour increasing the chances of not getting hit etc. There are no natural attacks for most races, so weapons are important, even if they're just clubs. Possibly have Grunes possess a 'claw' attack.
    Ship Combat: You can be as weak as anything in person, but your ship is a different matter entirely. When you buy a ship, you'll need to spend credits upgrading it in the Dock. Hull Improvements give it health, Shields increase hit chance, and Hull Repair Drones increase regen [HRDs are VERY expensive, and only regenerate 1hp per ten seconds per ship, so repairs from Repairmen willb e much faster]. Most ship combat is missile-based. Most ship weapons will be plasma cannons/lasers etc. Missiles can also be bought, giving far more of a bang, but limited to the amount you bought and that your ship can take. A few rare weapons allow you to engage an enemy ship in Melee combat, usually to great effect.
    On planets, 'beasts' such as the natives of a planet should exist, and periodically attack people in similar ways to uglies in GR. In space, pirates should do similarly in their ships. When a ship is destroyed, any cargo it was carrying will be released onto the landscape [or into empty space, as the case may be]. This will decay after ten minutes, plenty of time for a ship with a 'cargo scoop' to scoop up the cargo [ships without a cargo scoop cannot]. Cargo scoops are also the only way to get resources that have been Mines [see below].

    Skills/Advancement: As you destroy other ships, build Stations, repair ships and so on, you gain experience. This can be spent on skills or improving attributes. Clan systems should work similarly to those of GR, with attribute influencing the number of people in clans and so on, except there are no roles. All skills should be available to everyone, with penalties/bonuses given dependant on race. Skills should include fighting skills [marksmanship for guns, stabbing/slashing/krushing for melee weapons], building skills [basic/advanced structures, demolitions, shipbuilding [ships aren't ten a dime, y'know]], professional skills [engineering [lets you build the upgrades for ships], weapon specialist [lets you build personal weaponry], doctor [lets you heal people], repairman [lets you heal ships], miner [lets you mine barren worlds for resources], farmer [lets you farm breathable worlds for food by building farmgrounds on it]] etc.
    Space Stations/Bases must be owned by a specific Guild. Guilds can have multiple Stations/Bases. Stations/Guilds require upkeep from the coffers of the Guild Leader. However, as Station/Base facilities are used, credits are put into the Leader's coffers as well. e.g. A ship purchases a new laser from a Dock. The money from the purchase is instantly wired to the Guild leader. Previously, that laser was built by an Engineer and sold to the Dock for a sum [which was deducted from the Guild Leader's coffers. This was sold to the ship in question for a higher price, though. The engineer who sold the laser need not have come from the Guild. He built the laser from raw materials which he bought from a Miner who mined them from a barren world with a mining ship, for an even lower price]. Guild members can purchase upgrades to their ship from a Dock for lower prices than the non-Guilded.

    Money: Everyone has a personal credit account, which they can transfer credits to and from in business matters.

    Legal System: If you kill a ship that did not attack you first, or in personal combat killed someone that did not attack you first, you are given a Murder Count. If this count rises above Ten, you are declared Wanted. If on a map with a Police Station in it [i.e. in a Base or Station], you will be attacked by Police ships if in a ship, or by policemen if not. Killing a policeman is an automatic murder count, whether you attack them first or not. The higher your Murder Count, the more powerful the policemen that attack you, and the more frequently they do so. Everytime you die by the hand of the Police, the Count decreases by one. Incidentally, killing a Wanted Man gives you no Murder Count.

    Respawning: If you meet the unfortunate Hand of Fate, you will respawn at one of the Medical Stations on the map [in a Base or Station]. If you were in a ship, your ship is lost, but you will receive half its worth in Insurance to your credit account to help you get back to your feet. If you were not in a ship, all your personal belongings will have been stripped and replaced with some clothing and a knife [bog-standard weapon]. If the map you are in does not have a Medical Station, you will be transported back to the Medical Station on the starting world [see below], minus the Insurance that you would get if you died in a ship [paid as part of getting you back there to the Insurance Company]. If you were merely travelling on a ship with someone else, the same occurs, except you get no Insurance.

    [see next post]

  • #2

    Resources: There are eight resources in the game: Heavy Plastics, Oil, Luxuries, Precious Metals, Industrial Metals, Food, Biological Material, Artifacts.

    A note on Mining and Farming: The two Primary professions, Mining and Farming require some explaination.
    Mining: A Miner requires a ship to mine. He must outfit his ship with Mining Tools and a Cargo Scoop to mine. To mine, he must go onto either a Sea square or part of a Barren World and 'mine'. This will take about half a minute. If he is successful [dependant upon his Mining skill], a number of resources [dependant on his skill and the area he mines] will appear. These can be scooped into the ship with a Cargo Scoop.
    Farming: Farmers have the unique ability to build Farms on planets with a breathable atmosphere. Once built, these require upkeep, which is deducted automatically from the Farmer's account. If not upkept, Farms will deteriorate and vanish. Farms spawn the Food resource on every Farm Tile, the precise amount dependant on the Farmer's Farming skill. This Food can either be gathered by hand or by a ship with a cargo scoop [for big loads]. Farmers can also build Bio Pods to produce Biological Material in the same way.

    Oil: Oil is obtained from Miners mining on Sea tiles. It floats on Sea squares and must be cargo-scooped into a ship to be collected. Oil can be put into a Refinery [at a Base/Station] and used to make Heavy Plastics for a fee [which is put into the owner of the Refinery's account]. It can also be used to make Luxuries with Precious Metals by someone with the Luxury Crafting skill.

    Heavy Plastics: Heavy Plastics are used to produce Ship Weaponry, Hand Weapons and Ships themselves, as well as certain Ship Upgrades such as Shields. Some Structures also require Heavy Plastics.

    Industrial Metals: Mined by Miners on Barren Planets. Used in the production of Ship Weaponry, Hand Weapons and Ships themselves, as well as certain Ship Upgrades such as Engines. This is the primary building material of most structures.

    Precious Metals: Mined by Miners on Barren Planets. Expensive and rare. Can be made into Luxuries with Oil by a Luxury Crafter. Small amounts of Precious metals are required in certain structures and ships which use particularly advanced computer systems as wiring.

    Luxuries: Luxurious items and facilities of all sorts, ranging from works of art to faux bearskin rugs to personal gold drinking fountains to the seat linings on ships. Every Ship requires a small amount of Luxuries for the fittings in the Ship itself. Luxuries are also used in the production of certain Structures. They tend to be rather expensive indeed.

    Food: Everyone not in a ship needs to eat 1 unit of food every realtime hour or take ability penalties and a small amount of damage. This is cumulative, so eating is useful.

    Biological Materials: A few structures and weapons [particularly those of Thrile/Sorvu design] require Biological Materials in their making.

    Artifacts: The best miners will rarely dig up some of this special resource, part of the great Legacy of the Shining Ones. Certain powerful ships, structures and devices require small amounts of artifacts to function, particularly those belonging to the Thrile.

    Races: The Four Races are the Thrile, Sorvu, Grune and Iyali.

    Grune: These symmetrical bipeds are about 6 feet in height, of lizard-like appearance. They have an affinity for combat, having spent most of their history in combat. They gain bonuses on structures related to the Military, on personal combat in all forms [particularly melee] and in ship combat. They are, however, terribly weak with relation to psychics, being easily manipulated and suffering great penalties in such areas. They are not the most elegant or structurally-minded either, suffering in the resiliance of their structures. They have penalties when it comes to Farming, also. They are allied with the Thrile, in their attempts to develop their own psychic abilities [which prior to the meeting of the Thrile were non-existant]. They are neutral with regard to the Sorvu, not being very close to them anyhow. They are racial enemies of the Iyali, who they distrust greatly. More than once have the Grunes attempted to cheat them out of their significantly more advanced technology.

    Iyali: These Aquatic-dwelling creatures are not unlike huge jellyfish. They can survive outside water if kept properly hydrated, and only travel around outside the water on special hover-devices. They have a natural ability to pick up precious metals such as gold and silver from the water, then spew these out as thin wires made them naturals when it came to the production of computers and technology. Iyali have the most advanced technology in all areas except those of psionics. They suffer slight penalties in melee combat, though they have advantages in ship combat to make up for that. They have an affinity for making structures related to computers, and ships of any kind. Iyali engineers are well-sought after. However, their abilities with Mining are somewhat minimal. They are Allies of the Sorvu, whose abilities to exist in both Land and Water make them useful partners, as well as their arts and many food types. They are Neutral with regard to the Thrile, as while they possess few psychic abilities, they are sufficiently advanced to overcome this. They are enemies of the Grune, who have attempted more than once to cheat them out of their technology, and who initially attacked them with great ferocity and numbers, if not with particularly great ability.

    Sorvu: The Sorvu are a race of amphibian creatures. Originally slaves of two warring humanoid races, they were fortunately freed from millenia of slavery when the two races unwittingly eliminated each other, leaving most of their technology intact. The Sorvu picked up their technology, and thus inherited space travel as a result. Having spent most of their history as the serving crew of their ex-masters, they have a great affinity for the production of Luxuries and for Farming. They have exceedingly good skill at the production of all forms of structures also, though their skill at producing ships is only average. They suffer significant penalties in personal combat, and still some penalties in ship combat. They do, however, have resistance to psionics as a result of certain substances they have developed to offer them such resistance. Their principle Allies are the Iyali, finding their military protection very useful indeed. They are neutral with the Grune due to their great distance from the Grune empire. This turns out to be very fortunate for the Sorvu, because otherwise the Grune would have conquered them long ago. They are the enemies of the Thrile, greatly distrusting their Psionic prowess. This is largely due to the fact that one of their ex-masters controlled them via psionics.

    Thrile: These tree-like beings are the most 'alien' of the races, effectively being a floating trunk. They move and manipulate the environment around them through telekinesis. They 'see' their environment by tapping into the minds of nearby creatures and using the information to create a 'picture' of the world around them. They also use their psionic abilities to control other species, making them perform menial tasks and heavy lifting for them. They have the greatest ability with Psionics of the Four Races. Their ship-building and structure-building abilities are quite impaired, and their hand-to-hand skills are slightly impaired. Their ship-fighting skills are significantly improved, however. Their allies are the Grune, who they find quite manipulatable to their desires. They are neutral to the Iyali, as they pose no great threat or usefulness to them. They are enemies to the Sorvu, though they do not wish this. They simply wish that they would let them into their minds like simple worker-drones should.

    All players begin on a neutral world near the centre of the Galaxy, with Bases and Stations not owned by the players. All the Homeworlds of each of the Races are similarly equipped.