Update 29 - Preliminary Discussions

Alex Anderson 🚀Alex Anderson 🚀, October 14, 2021

There's much discussion happening on Github about all kinds of topics. We would love to get your input on any of these topics, or have you propose your own topics for discussion. Here's a summary of what we've talked about this week:

What roles should players be able to take during a simulation?

Based on the discussion, instead of near-limitless customization of stations and cards, Thorium Nova will have the station and card definitions built in, based on the number of crew participating and the ship the crew is using.

So a small ship with no NPC crewmembers and extra decks would support 1 to 8 players, with the 8 stations being:

  • Captain
  • First Officer
  • Flight Control/Helm
  • Communications
  • Tactical/Weapons
  • Sensors/Science
  • Operations
  • Engineer

A large ship with many decks and NPC crew members adds a lot more possibilities for action inside the ship, and can support between 6 and 12 players. The 12 player ship adds four more stations:

  • Security
  • Medical
  • Quartermaster
  • Counterintelligence

Of course, there's still a lot of flexibility here. If you run a ship with fewer than the max crew, the extra cards will be distributed among the other stations. And, you can still put more than one player on a station, like two security officers, which allows you to have even more players on a ship. And for especially large parties, you can run multi-bridge flights with two crews on separate ships.

Star Map/Universe Creator

It looks like we'll keep the star map creator very similar to how it was in Thorium Nova Prime (the version I worked on last year). Stars and planets will exist inside of solar systems, and planet position will be defined by orbital properties, like radius, angle, and azimuth. Everything will be based on real-world sizes and distances (which does have an impact on how engines and travel work)

Ship Map Creator

This was not something that was considered much for Thorium Nova Prime, but the idea is that NPC crew can move around the ship, which means we need to define the corridors and rooms the crew exist in. We decided we either need to have to have a really nice, easy to use editor for decks, rooms, and corridors, or we need really good auto-generation based on a deck and room list.

Flight Management

This is in regards to how flights are created, stored, and deleted. A few interesting things came from this discussion, including how a Flight Director might change missions in the middle of a flight (suppose you wanted to have one mission lead into another one), saving the current state of a ship (damage and upgrades included) to be used in a future flight, a distinction between "missions" (the overarching story and objectives) vs "timelines" (different threads that weave throughout a mission), and how serial campaign style missions vs parallel multiple-objectives-at-once missions might work.


This one has lots of pictures! There discussion of the overlays that appear on the viewscreen, how the crew can control the viewscreen, and what kinds of alternative viewscreens there might be, like an area map or player-controlled tactical whiteboard display.

Alert Levels

Because I'm sick and tired of 5 different alert levels. 3 is more than enough for most ships, and as Auric points out some ships shouldn't have alert levels at all! Also, should different parts of the ship be disabled based on the current alert level, such as not being able to load weapons in Green Alert, and only being able to fire weapons in Red Alert?

I've also begun working on the documentation platform built into the Thorium App. This will be used by both developers, crew members, mission writers, and flight directors. I'm really excited about the potential this opens up - it literally makes it possible to embed docs and tutorials right next to the controls you are using so you don't have to dig around somewhere else to find what you are looking for. This will make it much easier for users to understand how to use the powerful tools built into Thorium Nova.

That's all for this week!