Nomads Development Diaries

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Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Exotic_Retard » 15 Nov 2019, 23:03

Hello everyone!

We thought it would be a fantastic idea to summarise the work we did in these dev diaries, so that everyone can keep up to date with the progress, as well as get an idea of the thoughts that go through our heads while we work on the mod. We will be making these posts every one or two weeks, so stay tuned!

We are posting content that you can see and get sneaks of in the Nomads Development Discord, so join that to get the news in advance!

Experimental transports
Today we are going to talk about the T4 transport for nomads, and some of the adventures we had with it! Below is the finished unit, which you will be able to play with in the next patch! The patch is going to be released soon, along with a bunch of other goodies so you can enjoy it as well!

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So we have been working on the new model of the t4 transport for quite a while now. However we ran into an issue pretty early on. When we added all the transport slots we wanted, the game just crashed instead of loading the model. So for a bit the transport was going to have fewer of them, and not load as many T1 units. So this is what the transport looked like at that moment:
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However Balthazar showed off his fantastic land transport, which has a lot more slots than we had, proving that what we wanted was possible.
So now the challenge was on! Balthazar uses the 3dmax exporter, while we use the blender one. After spending an afternoon looking through the plugins and working out the differences, it turned out that the plguins save the bones in different orders, which was causing the issues. After rewriting that part of the blender plugin, the imports worked, resulting in a most terrifying ghetto gunship:
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And thats all for now! If you want to see top secret stuff, join the discord server where you can chat to the devs, ask questions, spy on the process and get all the exclusive goodies and more! Also feel free to leave feedback either on the forum thread or in the discord. Remember, feedback is very important!

Lastly, we are always looking for more contributors, so if you are interested in creating things, whether thats code, 2d art, models, music or anything else, do get in touch! We also provide all the resources and guidance needed, so don't worry if you think you are missing any skills, we will be glad to see you!
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Re: Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Shai--Hulud » 16 Nov 2019, 22:40

Terrific! Thanks for all your hard work!
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Re: Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Exotic_Retard » 29 Nov 2019, 19:15

Hello everyone!

So, last week was the release of a nomads patch, so we skipped the dev diary. Likely this is what will happen in the future as well. If there is a nomads release that week, then no diary. Otherwise, we might be doing one of these every friday, so you have something to look forward to!

As usual we are posting content that you can get sneaks of in the Nomads Development Discord, so join that to get the news in advance!

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Sketches
So, this dev diary just after a release, and we thought it would be good to start off with a few sketches, so you can better see what might be going on in our heads as we work on the unit models. The picture above is just something that looks nice. Its not of any particular unit, but just of something Nomads-looking. A lot of these are made to explore ideas, and some of these might make it into various units.

The above sketch was actually one of six, seen below. These were exploring various carrier-like units, and the nicest one was drawn larger. Nomads arent going to have a space aircraft carrier, but the idea for their navy is spacecraft converted into ships, so the above image might be adapted into a completed unit one day.

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Lastly, its always nice to capture the feeling of the faction, so making art pieces like the one below help out with this. Maybe you can see some potential units in the picture?

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Unit Renames
This is special because its all thanks to samuel.hxs, who has just made his first contributions to the nomads repo, so well done on that!
Pretty straightfward, we have been taking a look at the various names of the nomads units and thought that they might use a bit of a facelift. To start off with, we are renaming the T1 tank destroyer from Assassin to Marksman, and the T1 tank from Orbis to Eclipse. We thought these show a bit more character to the units, while also being less obscure. Also, you (yes you!) can help out as well. The list of unit names is still incomplete so if you have some suggestions, opinions or otherwise it would be very helpful if you let them be known to the dev team.
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And thats all for now! If you want to see top secret stuff, join the discord server where you can chat to the devs, ask questions, spy on the process and get all the exclusive goodies and more! Also feel free to leave feedback either on the forum thread or in the discord. Remember, feedback is very important!

Lastly, we are always looking for more contributors, so if you are interested in creating things, whether thats code, 2d art, models, music or anything else, do get in touch! We also provide all the resources and guidance needed, so don't worry if you think you are missing any skills, we will be glad to see you!
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Re: Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Exotic_Retard » 07 Dec 2019, 16:06

Hello everyone!

This week we will be talking about the development of our campaign, some units and other things too, but before we get started, we open with a fantastic piece of artwork by spectrez! We welcome and encourage all things like that, so if you make something and its great, it might be posted in a future dev diary, so dont be afraid to show us your work!

As usual we are posting content that you can get sneaks of in the Nomads Development Discord, so if you want all the secrets, or would like to chat with the devs, or even contribute, dont be afraid to join!

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Nomads Campaign Mission 2
As you may know, part of the Nomads project also includes its very own custom campaign, which you can play here. We have been working on a few missions at once, and while missions 1 and 3 are coming along nicely, mission 2 we often had issues with getting it to be engaging and challenging.
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So earlier this week Shadowlord (one of our resident mission makers, check out his other custom missions in the FAF client!), proposed a rewrite of the mission to help things flow better. One of the issues that kep coming up was a part where you are supposed to defend some civiilians and the difficulties with getting the AI to not run over it immediately, while also making it actually able to kill them later.

As a result of this and other things, we got into a call and discussed some plans for the mission layout, and after some back and forth between Shadowlord and speed2, we came up with a plan that was amended to this:
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We wont be spoiling the whole mission here, so you will have to guess at what happens in the story at this point. What plot twists might you predict?

We might be seeing a playable version of the mission up soon, so in the meantime you can check out the other missions in the campaign.

T1 Air Scout
So, in the past few weeks the T1 air scout model has made a fair amount of progress, and its time to finally talk about it a bit more. The T1 air scout for nomads was going to be a fairly typical unit, but we did consider a deployment mode for it, so it could become a mobile radar station or similar. We still arent entirely sure if we want to implement it like this, but it resulted in a neat concept and so it doesnt hurt to add the option for it if its required in the future:

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Starting from this sketch, the model got some improvements from Armaster, our resident modelling pro. He took what would have been an ok model and turned it into something with character:

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Also, while modelling we talked over a lot of variations, and had some interesting spinoffs which werent used:

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This one in particular was pretty cool but we chose not to use it in the end, going for a simpler design since its a T1 scout. After working on the model some more, it got cleaned up to use more standard nomads parts, and is now ready for geometry cleanup, and then texturing. If everything goes to plan it might be in the next major Nomads patch, so you can see if anything has changed to it since then.

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And thats it for today! If you want to see top secret stuff, join the discord server where you can chat to the devs, ask questions, spy on the process and get all the exclusive goodies and more! Also feel free to leave feedback either on the forum thread or in the discord. Remember, feedback is very important!

Lastly, we are always looking for more contributors, so if you are interested in creating things, whether thats code, 2d art, models, music or anything else, do get in touch! We also provide all the resources and guidance needed, so don't worry if you think you are missing any skills, we will be glad to see you!
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Re: Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Exotic_Retard » 14 Dec 2019, 01:10

Hello!

This week we will be showing some work on the next few unit concepts we are working on, and the thoughts behind them.

As always, this content you can spy ahead in the Nomads Development Discord, so if you want to get the exclusive info before everyone else, chat to the devs, ask questions or even contribute, you can do that here.

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T3 Air scout
Last week we talked a little about the T1 air scout, and this week the image above shows the T3 air scout. Since the units are fairly similar in concept, we wanted them to have some shared visual features as well. This sketch explores the various possible shapes, where we aimed to make a unit that "feels" fast. This is very much a work in progress, and the major shapes are being explored here, with details to come later. Which version do you like the most? Which one the least?

T2 Hover Tank
Continuing with unit designs, this is the future t2 hover tank. This one has visuals similar to the T1 lab, and in the Nomads lore it is also an early unit that was developed before the events of the Nomads campaign. Its a little more sleek looking than other nomads stuff, and looking like it could move a little faster. It incorporates some design hints from cars and similar vehicles to try and give it that look.

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T1 Land Scout
This one is interesting, because there is already a model that has been lieing around for quite a while, in fact, its the very first model for the new nomads units. The ACU head was inspired by the scout. You can check it out here:

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And here are some sketches showing a variation on the unit:

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Its been a while since the first model and so it has been updated a little. However, its still not done yet, and now we are thinking of ways to combine the two ideas together, to make an even better unit. What do you like more, the new scout or the old scout model?




And thats it for now! If you want to see top secret stuff, join the discord server where you can chat to the devs, ask questions, spy on the process and get all the exclusive goodies and more! Also feel free to leave feedback either on the forum thread or in the discord. Remember, feedback is very important!

Lastly, we are always looking for more contributors, so if you are interested in creating things, whether thats code, 2d art, models, music or anything else, do get in touch! We also provide all the resources and guidance needed, so don't worry if you think you are missing any skills, we will be glad to see you!
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Re: Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Katharsas » 14 Dec 2019, 01:31

Cool stuff.
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Re: Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Exotic_Retard » 28 Dec 2019, 23:49

Hope you have all had a nice Christmas, and the Nomads dev team would like to wish you a happy new year as well!

Last week we had a patch release, and so we skipped on the dev diary. This week we have a summary of 2019 for the Nomads mod, and what we have achieved this year. Next week (and next year!) we will be talking about the future of the mod, so stay tuned. Its going to be important.

As always, this content you can spy ahead in the Nomads Development Discord, so if you want to get the exclusive info before everyone else, chat to the devs, ask questions or even contribute, you can do that here.

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Nomads contributor activity
It has been just over a year since we reorganised Nomads development in October 2018, and since then the project has grown very well indeed. We are the most active official FAF project!

And now for the graphs:

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Here we can see the second most active repository, the FA repo, with 220 commits since January. In that time we have more than double the output, at 508 commits. The first half of the year was pretty inactive for us while we got things started, but in the second half you can see that we really ramped up the progress.

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And here we see the number of commits made each month. Nomads activity has more and less active months in the second half of the year, this was quite interesting to see, and might be because we take a bit of a break and then come back with more before the next major patch. The peak in June is also there because we had quite a bit stacked up from earlier in the year but didnt release it until then, with a huge PR from Apofenas merged that month.

Highlights this year
Nomads is more than just code though, so we have a few highlights of how things changed over the past year, and how far we got since then.

To start, the first image in this post is all the units we have released over the course of this year. Some of them were made a little before that though, and were just waiting for the patch to be done. In particular that was the MML, the ACU and the T1 tank.

Our discord server grew from just 20 people to having 400 members at the time of writing this post. In case you missed it, this is where everything happens so you need to join, too!

As mentioned in the previous week, we have released 14 patches this year, which is probably the most patches FAF has seen on anything!

And thats it for now! If you want to see top secret stuff, join the discord server where you can chat to the devs, ask questions, spy on the process and get all the exclusive goodies and more! Also feel free to leave feedback either on the forum thread or in the discord. Remember, feedback is very important!

Lastly, we are always looking for more contributors, so if you are interested in creating things, whether thats code, 2d art, models, music or anything else, do get in touch! We also provide all the resources and guidance needed, so don't worry if you think you are missing any skills, we will be glad to see you!
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Re: Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Exotic_Retard » 05 Jan 2020, 00:48

Hello, time for the first Nomads dev diary in 2020!

This ones important. We will be going through the future of the mod. This will be covering what we are going to do, and also a bit about you. Read on.

Let us know your thoughts on the Nomads Development Discord

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Nomads in 2020
So, last dev diary we posted this graph:
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Nomads was the most active faf project in 2019, so we got that covered. However, we shouldnt take this for granted, since by default projects become less active over time. Taking the FA repo as an example, its been decreasing in activity for 4 consecutive years now. This is a very real issue, and Nomads is in danger as much as any other project.

To make things a little more salient though, heres some other news: I'm ([e]Exotic_Retard) going to have less time this year to work on Nomads due to real life. All else constant, Nomads will see less development as a result, because im the primary developer right now. I wont be leaving entirely and I will definitely be around to make sure things run smoothly, but I also wont be able to singlehandedly boost Nomads to the number one spot anymore.

In order to prevent the same thing from happening to Nomads as is happening to FA, we need you.

Yes, you specificially, not just some generic person. Mods dont make themselves, and its YOU who can change the future of Nomads. If you want to see Nomads as active, or even more active this year, then YOU have to help out with the mod too. Check the next section for how you can do that.

What Nomads needs
Here is a list of things that this mod needs doing. Its arranged in order of priority, but you will notice two things - every skill is required, and everyone can contribute.

1.Making new models in any software
2.Cleaning, UV unwrapping, finishing models in Blender
3.Texturing models in substance painter
4.Drawing concept art
5.Working on ingame effects
6.Making 2D UI and graphics
7.Writing stories and dialogues
8.Writing Lua code for the mod
9.Inviting people who can help to the Nomads discord
10.Making new ingame sounds
11.Testing the dev version of the mod and the missions
12.Playing Nomads and sharing your feedback with the devs

You will notice that knowing how to code is only important for points 4 and 8, and that all the most important bits are for generally creative people, not programmers. If this is you, get in touch.

Likewise, you will notice that 12 is just playing the mod, and telling us about it. Anyone can do that

To be clear, there is enough work for everyone to go around. In 2019, we have replaced 10 unit models, which leaves us with about 90 Unit models to go. We also need to work on 5/6 missions in the Nomads campaign, two of which havent been started at all yet. If you are thinking that nomads has just a little bit left, it doesnt. If this mod is left for too long, it might never be done. Making it slowly isnt an option for this reason. Me having less time in 2020 can happen to anyone on the team, and will eventually happen to everyone. The mod needs to be finished when it does.

And now we have a stream of images that various team members have made. If you think you can make something like that, get in touch. Also enjoy the eye candy.
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And thats it for now! If you want to see top secret stuff, join the discord server where you can chat to the devs, ask questions, spy on the process and get all the exclusive goodies and more! Also feel free to leave feedback either on the forum thread or in the discord. Remember, feedback is very important!

We always say we are looking for more contributors, so now you know that when we ask, we are being serious. So join today! Whether thats code, 2d art, models, music or anything else, do get in touch! We also provide all the resources and guidance needed, so don't worry if you think you are missing any skills, we will be glad to see you!
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Re: Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Exotic_Retard » 12 Jan 2020, 16:40

Hello everyone,

Last week we we talked about the future of the mod, which is important enough to link to here. If you havent read it, read it now. This week we are going to be talking about some updates in the nomads campaign.

As always, this content you can spy ahead in the Nomads Development Discord, so if you want to get the exclusive info before everyone else, chat to the devs, ask questions or even contribute, you can do that here.

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Nomads Campaign updates
Thanks to speeds efforts, mission 3 has recieved a new intro sequence and a few tweaks, the screenshot above showing some of the action. You can check out the video here, or even better you can get the updated mission here.

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The other mission that has recieved a lot of work is mission 2. As mentioned in a previous diary, we had to face the tough decision of whether to remake it. Shadowlord has put in a lot of effort into it recently, and finally we get to play the newer version. Its fairly clear that it was a good decision, as the new mission is far more dynamic, challenging and interesting. Here we see the ACU taking out some UEF forces with the help of some spam.

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Here we see an island base that needs to be destroyed. After clearing your starting location you must transition to naval forces to complete this objective.

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Later in the mission we also see some fighting between the UEF and Cybrans. This mission is pretty action packed with a lot going on, with some twists and turns along the way. We wont spoil the story for you, so you can enjoy the surprises yourself. This mission is very much a work in progress, so testing, feedback, and help is very much appreciated.


And thats it for now! If you want to see top secret stuff, join the discord server where you can chat to the devs, ask questions, spy on the process and get all the exclusive goodies and more! Also feel free to leave feedback either on the forum thread or in the discord. Remember, feedback is very important!

Lastly, we are always looking for more contributors, so if you are interested in creating things, whether thats code, 2d art, models, music or anything else, do get in touch! We also provide all the resources and guidance needed, so don't worry if you think you are missing any skills, we will be glad to see you!
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Re: Nomads Development Diaries

Postby Exotic_Retard » 18 Jan 2020, 13:29

Hello everyone,

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned what Nomads in 2020 would look like, and we think its important reading. If you havent done it yet, read it now. This week we are going to be talking about some concept designs, and show you a little example of things not going to plan.

As always, this content you can spy ahead in the Nomads Development Discord, so if you want to get the exclusive info before everyone else, chat to the devs, ask questions or even contribute, you can do that here.

Image

Nomads Naval units

So far the nomads have got some new models on the land and air, but no navy just yet. So here are some drawings on that topic. The first thing we notice is that the image above is clearly in space. However in supcom ships are in the water, so how whats going on here? The answer is that the Nomads navy is going to be modelled like spaceships are made.

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This drawing is for a medium ship with some sort of primary weapon. This is a pretty vague start that lets the design be tuned to functionality later, while letting us get the feeling of the units right. Here we tried experimenting with having the engines on the top and bottom, and having the bridge and cabins on the sides of the craft. Nomads do things in space so they dont care about having things sideways, making details like this add flavour to the faction.

Right now this unit might end up as the T2 emp boat, or as the T1 aa boat. Don't know what those are? Stay tuned for future diaries then, there are suprises coming!

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And here we can see a bit of the process, where we start with a bunch of thumbnails to explore which general shapes and feelings we want them to have, and then pick the ones that turn out best and draw them larger and more detailed. These more detailed concepts are then used to inform the actual unit designs later.

One thing you will notice is that these concepts arent quite what the end unit should look like. There is some leeway in the design, and the design starts as just a generic nomads craft, with no specific role. This lets us see which roles it fit them best and adjust the design to make it fit.

T2 Not-Hover Tank
Sometime in december we posted a devi diary which featured a concept for the new T2 hover tank model. However that design was a mistake! It turns out that Apofenas had a different idea for the role of that tank, where instead it should be an amphibious tank armed with rockets. I forgot about this while making the design and so did something completely wrong as a result. Thats no problem however, things like that can happen. Since then there appeared a special design document so that this will happen less often in the future, and the tank got a completely new design:

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The idea here is that it being an amphibious unit, it will have pop-up weapons and components that will seal away when its underwater. Also the unit is going to be fairly long range, so it looks fairly unarmoured. What do you think about this new design? is it better or worse than the old one? what would you like to see?


And thats it for now! If you want to see top secret stuff, join the discord server where you can chat to the devs, ask questions, spy on the process and get all the exclusive goodies and more! Also feel free to leave feedback either on the forum thread or in the discord. Remember, feedback is very important!

Lastly, we are always looking for more contributors, so if you are interested in creating things, whether thats code, 2d art, models, music or anything else, do get in touch! We also provide all the resources and guidance needed, so don't worry if you think you are missing any skills, we will be glad to see you!
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