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Star Trek Armada2 single player mission editor

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 1:33 pm
by napseeker
First of all, I want to emphasize that I do not want to get anyone's hopes up too much. This message is just to give fans of Armada a sliver of optimism that we may yet see some new support tools from Mad Doc and that they are still aware of the fan support for this game.

Here are the events as they happened:
  • - there was a rumor over at STGU that there might be a new Star Trek RTS announced soon, something along the lines of a Homeworld-style Trek game.
    - I decided that this might be a good time to again ask Mad Doc, in light of the possibility that a new RTS will pull the modding community away from Armada and to this new game, if they would be willing to change their minds about finally releasing some kind of mission editor / source code / the file format of the DSL/DRL files. This would at least re-energize the A2 modding community and keep fan support from drifting away.
    - Sandy O'Toole, who is the public relations rep at Mad Doc graciously replied to my polite request and mentioned that Activision has the final say about the release of any tools and such, not Mad Doc. She pointed me to Activision's customer support page to forward my request.
    - I sent my request and received a response from them stating that I should contact Mad Doc regarding the release of any such tools! Needless to say, it was disappointing to have each camp point the finger to the other camp in what seemed to be just buck passing.
    - I forwarded the Activision reply to Sandy and surprisingly enough, she offered this encouraging response:
Our CEO is going to discuss this with Activision - we want the community to have proper support -- and this one falls in their court. It may be the case that the contact you had there did not know this one is theirs to handle.
Now I don't know about anyone else, but in the last few years of periodically sending e-mails to Mad Doc and Activision, this is the first time I've at least gotten a glimmer of hope that maybe something could happen, especially if the CEO is willing to take time out to ask Activision to do SOMETHING. With their legal problems with Paramount now supposedly resolved, they don't have any excuses not to throw the fans a bone. Hopefully it'll have some meat on it.

I'll keep everyone informed if I learn anything more.

sticky for now-Cecil

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 2:14 pm
by jolt
Impressive to say the least, but don't get your hops up right away. Still, the proof is when I'm playing a mission of the Dominion Wars...

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 5:13 pm
by icewolf132
have hope...but don't hold your breath. I beleive that eventualy they will throw us a bone, but it will be some time before that.

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:21 pm
by CaptSyf
Well, I hope they release something soon. All I want is acccess to all the classlabel codes, and perhaps a way to "add" more codes via a hearder file / custom DLL builder. But at this point, anything would help.

Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:04 am
by Logius
I'm just confused as to why they haven't released the source to A1. While the proprietary software argument is understandable, the technology's so old that there can't be anything in there that they're still using today. The possibilities of what the community could do with an open source RTS game is mind boggling.

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:46 pm
by napseeker
Just a quick update for everyone. I received an e-mail from Sandy O'Toole over at Mad Doc to let me know that the responsibility for all things related to Armada now rests entirely with Viacom and no longer with Activision. She's passed along my request for more modding tools and/or source code releases to them and will hopefully be able to inform me if anything transpires out of that.

Again, I realize that we are still in the "let's not hold our collective breaths" territory, but at least now we correctly know where to point the gun at (so to speak) and that the target is neither Mad Doc nor Activision per se, but instead the owner of the franchise. I also wrote a fairly impassioned (read: long-winded) note to Sandy which I hope she'll pass along to Viacom about not letting such a large (and free) support base for Star Trek and Star Trek games evaporate due to neglect.

Interestingly, Sandy mentioned that "By the way – we’ve not heard from the Armada II fans – we’re here for them!" and I wasn't entirely sure if this implied Mad Doc wanted a very overt show of support from gamers in order to pursuade Viacom to renew its support. I did offer to help organize an e-mail (or snail mail) campaign if that's what it would take.

I'll continue to update everybody as I learn anything new.

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:56 pm
by napseeker
Hey everyone, long time no talk. I promised you all an update about my personal mission to get Mad Doc to release new tools for editing Armada and to keep this popular franchise alive even once Legacy makes its debut.

Back in February I got a short note from Sandy indicating that they were in the "final stages of approval" for the tools I asked about. Sifting through all the legal issues involved in this can (and did) apparently take months to sort out. But the good news is that I got another update from her today and the APPROVALS HAVE BEEN GIVEN: "...now we're just trying to get the materials in order for release."

So there you go, hopefully in a few more months we'll get an idea of what those tools will be. I'm still hopeful that the lengthy time it took to get the approvals meant that source code will be part of this package, but even if it's just a mission editor, that would still be damn good. No more hex editing dsl/drl files!

I'll chime in again as I learn more about the upcoming release...

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:13 am
by Methos
It's been what 5years already?
I wonder what all they would release if anything.
Thanks for the update Napseeker.

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:45 am
by hotiemeda
very good news to hear

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:03 pm
by jolt
I've just had various people talk to me from A2Files about it happening from Mad Doc revolving around editing files. It seems whatever is happening, it's happening now.

Wonder if they're gonna release anything else?

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:31 pm
by napseeker
I just posted my version of the events leading up to this news on the A2Files news section (with a link back to this thread). I still think it may be 2 or 3 months before they release anything but it would depend on what is being released and how much of it they want to document to make it easy for modders to use.

Even if they only release the mission editor this year, there's always the chance that in a year or two's time they'll also come around and opt to release the source code. However even if they did, it may be the case that many of the code libraries that their source code linked to during compilation (for doing graphics, sound or network play) are not available or simply not allowed to be released along with it.

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:58 pm
by ryan1
jolt wrote:Wonder if they're gonna release anything else?
Haven't you ever being told not to fish in prohibited water while people are watching?

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:50 pm
by cecilzero1
ill leave my comment after i see whaty they released

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:59 pm
by Elrond
cecilzero1 wrote:ill leave my comment after i see whaty they released
Same here, Cecil.

PS: I wish I could find a way to get that quote bbc code working again. Ugh.

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:18 pm
by CptBenSisko
I agree with E and Cecil. When they've released something worth something...then Ill be happy. When i can make the Borg shield draining torpedos and a true version of the Breen Energy weapon, then Ill be happy..until then..I'm content with the way I mod Armada now