Forged Alliance Forever

The community-driven lobby for Supreme Commander : Forged Alliance.

Nomads Dev Diaries #25

Hello everyone,

Last post we showed you some building models, and this week we are going to talk about the T2 Destroyer, and some decisions behind its design process. Additionally, you can see more on our development streams.

Diaries: #25 #24 #23 #22

If you can make drawings, or make models, we need your help. Click the link below. Also click it for any other reason:

Nomads discord server:

Artists still wanted

This may be the last chance for you to see this! (reason below) So if you are interested in helping out with the mods development, join the discord and ask questions.

The Last Dev diary before the news hub?

So, it just so happens that in a few days time there should be a wonderful new way of viewing the news, which makes this post one of the last posts to show up before the transition. It also means that the future of Nomads dev diaries is a little uncertain. The nature of the new news hub will mean that we might be moving away from posts and towards little bits of info, such as tips and tricks. There is still some scope for dev diaries, but it may be reduced, or even made obsolete. In any case, interesting times await.

Update to the T2 destroyer

So Marlo has been busy working on all sorts of models, and among them is the destroyer, whose design has just been finalised and is now moving to the cleanup stage, where it will get some slight tweaks and optimisations before being UV unwrapped, and textured. There is still plenty of work to do, with the unit being somewhere past the halfway point in its development.

As the model was being worked on, there were ongoing discussions with Apofenas – who is in charge of balancing the faction – as to what role it should have, with weapons being added and removed up until last week. For example, there were going to be some torpedo defenses on the sides of the ship, however they were removed entirely in the end to make the unit more specialised, and rely on support units such as the planned EMP boat to provide that functionality. You can see what the defenses would have looked like below:

This was quite an interesting process as we are having to design many units at once in order to make sure they will work with each other later, as opposed to working on them one at a time. Additionally there are other considerations as well, such as the transition between old and new units – if we replace a unit that has different weapons on it, it will affect the balance of the faction and will need to have that taken into account until the other units are replaced. For reasons like this we may have to wait until multiple units are done and release them together, which is what we are considering for the Artillery boat and the T1 Frigate replacement, which are designed to work in tandem.

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!

And below you will find previous dev diaries for your enjoyment:

Dev Diary #24

Click for animated version!

Artists still wanted

If you can draw or make models, the mod needs your help. We run on contributors wanting to work, and there is only a handful of people working on it right now. If you are interested in helping out, you can make a huge difference, so ask around on the discord server if that sounds like you.

Power generators, Mass-fabs, and other structures

So, last week we posted a picture with no rhyme or reason, and this week we get to explain it! Clockwork has been hard at work making all sorts of neat models and animations for Nomads buildings, and what you saw there was an early try at the T3 Pgen, here it is again:

That said, its most likely no longer going to be used, instead being taken apart and added to the building kit, since it looks pretty cool but doesnt quite show that its a power generator at a glance. Here are some of the earlier models and things explored. Can you guess which is which?

Click for animated version!
Click for animated version!

Here is a closeup of one of the buildings, this one is a try at the T2 mass fabricator, which is meeting a similar fate to the T3 pgen above – repurposing into building parts. This may seem like the model isnt successful if its not going into the mod, but since the style is pretty inkeeping it gets to be reused later, and serves as a style guide for future models, meaning that it is still very useful on its own.

Here is a more updated version of the T2 power generator, or at least a candidate for it. Currently there is a little debate on whether it is more suited to being a mass fabricator or not. Which role do you think it suits most?

Click for animated version!

And finally here is another mass fabricator concept which resulted in this fantastic animation – instead of having fabricators, the nomads could have landing pads that recieve materials from space. Its a great idea, but can also provide some of its own issues in terms of visual effects – this model is currently very small so the pods would be hard to make out. Additionally there is the issue of where the pods should appear, since you cant have them actually coming from space, as that would cover the screen with tiny pods falling. We are currently exploring other options for how mass fabricators could look like, with this being one of them. Perhaps this particular model might find use somewhere else, as part of a larger scale building or maybe even a campaign objective.

Dev Diary #23

Even more artists wanted

Following our previous advert, we got a couple of great guys contributing to the mod, but we need many more than just one or two. The last post got covered up almost instantly so most people missed the follow up, so here it is again: If you can draw or make 3D models, and are interested in making something for a project, then talk to us in the discord server. We will be glad to have you, as well as provide you with tools and top secrets.

Also, we thought it might be interesting to put up a top secret picture up there with no explanation of what it might be. Can you guess what it is? The answer will be covered in next weeks post!

Disruptions to diary postings

So in the past week there has been quite a bunch of stuff going on with news posts, a whole new promo councillor appearing, and nomads getting shoved aside to make way, which led to one post getting delayed and then the next one cancelled entirely, finally with this one getting delayed as well. Hopefully things will calm down a bit and we can resume our scheduled sunday posts again. We will have to see.

Surprise game ender

Well, its not quite a surprise to us, since the Nomads have been missing one for a while now so we had shared some ideas for one a while back and decided on something that has a pretty unique flavour to it – a game ender factory. Unfortunately after that the idea sat around for quite a while with no development on that end, which ended quite suddenly when Utter asked me for a drawing of it:

I quickly threw together the first idea that was floating around and put it on, not really expecting much.

By the next day there was already a sketch model up. This still has quite some work to do but it was very surprising that it was there at all. I thought that there would be more time to get some more concrete ideas together, so i really quickly rushed out some more, after thinking that there might be a lost opportunity with the more traditional dry dock approach to the model.

None of those really turned out that well since they were done so fast, but we will see where that might lead us in the future.

Mass Extractor Models

Armaster has been working away at the mass extractor models. Since those can upgrade into each other we start with the T3 version and work our way down. So far this is still very early stages for the model, with just the basic idea nailed down. Check out the pretty pictures:

Dev Diary #22

Artists (still) wanted

Last week we mentioned that we are looking for artists and modellers, and this week we are letting you know again. We already got a couple of prospective contributors from the previous post, but as always more are needed. If you can draw or know things about 3d modelling, then this may be for you. We have quite a number of concepts that need drawing, developing, with fan art also welcome. If that sounds like something you are interested in, give us a ping on the discord.

Today is Monday

There has been a bit of a queue this weekend in posting news, and so we decided to wait until Monday to post, to avoid upsetting people too much. There is rather little organisation going on on that front so we can either post in each others faces or check before we post. Next week hopefully things will clear up and the post can be on time again.

Artillery boat

This is the mostly finished model of the artillery boat, which is planned to be added to deal with anti air and ground targets for the Nomads. The T1 frigate will also get a few changes to make them work together, such as having its anti air removed. The model itself is now almost ready for being finalized, it just needs a couple of tweaks, and then it will be optimised for the game, unwrapped, and textured. Check it out:

Currently the model doesnt have any team colours, which are going to be added at the texture stage, so everything looks rather grey. At this point we dont add any of those designs, aside from really basic indications of what is going to be what, such as the glowing faces, and which faces will be dark and which will be light.

The overall idea for T1 nomads units is that they are pretty bare bones. As such we looked at having a sort of sled-like quality to the boat, where its bridge is minimised to the point of being non existent. You can check how low its profile is above the rest of the boat. We made it progressively lower every iteration, and it now has an interesting quality to it as a result.

The boat also features space-craft style engines on the rear and sides, to help give it that spacefaring look. One of the ideas behond nomads navy is that the ship designs were very hastily converted to work in the water from existing spacefaring blueprints, so things like engines and such are modified to work in the water instead of designing a new navy from scratch.