Friday, December 25, 2009

Some Holiday Treats: A tank and a freebie

Our first ICS compliant tank is now available. I have dubbed it the Goblin, a name I find appropriate due to it's small size and green color. It is a light tank, fast and maneuverable. It also makes a great starting point for more advanced tanks that I have planned out. You can find it for sale at our Caledon Cape Wrath office here. Below are some pictures...

(So cute!)

(The Goblin has extra armor in the front as well as the sides thanks to the new hard/soft point system introduced in ICS 3.0.)

(I plan on adding weak points to the exposed engines and boilers on all our vehicles from here on out. It adds a nice strategic element I think. Shown here is the Goblins weak spot, doing double damage to the tank if it gets hit in the boiler. Make sure you protect that weak spot!)

We also have available our first freebie ironclad ship the MSS Ugly Duckling. We have gotten a lot of requests for something like this and what better time then the holidays to release it? This will help when we have new recruits just jumping in who want to participate in the big ironclad battles. Even though the Ugly Duckling can't go toe-to-toe with any of the other ships, it can still play a very good support role and give the new recruit something to test drive in. The Ugly Duckling vendor crates will be sent out to most places that have our vendors set up. We also have it available at our shop if you can't find it anywhere else. Below are some pictures...

(Ugly but still kinda cute.)

(Ok so she has some damage...hey it's free quit whining!)

(This is an inside view. I didn't have time to patch some of those bullet holes up. Hey no biggie it's above the water line.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Trouble With Mono

We are recompiling all of the ships back to LSL and will soon release a V14 update. The reason for this is because mono has severe issues in regards to initiation overhead and anything mono that is rezzed or enters a sim severely cripples it. More details can be found here...

You have no idea how frustrating it is to have put all that work in these ships only to find out they don't run very well in a group battle. At least I know what the biggest problem is now so I can properly fix it. We also have been working on reducing the HUD to ship talk so the combination of these two methods will make battles much smoother.

We tested 3 LSL compiled ships using these methods in Obsidian Sea and found that border crossings to be much less painful, as well as the ships generally being more responsive as a whole. This will also do wonders for the machine gun equipped ships, as every single bullet they fire is mono, meaning massive overhead issues for the sim. This is often why in large melees the gatlings will get stuck firing in a loop and cripple the sim.

I would advise anyone who makes ICS compliant vehicles or weapons to try recompiling them back to LSL and see how much they improve. If you type crtl+shift+1 inworld you can measure the statistics and see it for yourselves. Note that this issue only concerns rezzing or sim border crossing. If you have something that is static and stays in one place, it should be just fine in mono.

Also note that if anything you wear has mono scripts in them, such as hair-resizers or AOs then they will cause considerable damage when you cross a sim border. Most hair-resizers have the option of killing all the scripts inside once you have it set the way you like it, however for AO issues I might recommend the Emerald viewer here...

The reason why I recommend Emerald viewer is because it has a built in AO system, meaning you do not need to wear any scripts because it is all handled in the client. Not sure how much that actually helps but it is certainly worth a shot, if not for that then for the many other useful features that come with Emerald.

One last thing. It seems there are several alternatives for XStreet available. -collection of freebie items -offers many more features such as banking, vendor systems, etc -offers over 80,000 individual textures -another nice alternative with over 18,000 items

Hmmm looks very promising, we will keep an eye on that one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Farewell to XStreet

As should be no surprise to anyone, we at Murakami Steamworks will be removing all of our items from XStreet. For those interested about what brought us to do something like this, take a look at Hotspur O'Toole's recent blog post and also take a look at this Linden Labs Official FAQ on the matter to get the details.

Not sure what exactly brought about this push to drive small niche markets out of XStreet but I think greed would be the best guess. In most monetary systems power is regulated to a very small elite group while the majority are left to suffer. The little people are not really given a choice, the elite choose for them and say “we know what's best for you, just let us handle everything”. Sadly this happens both in SL and in real life, and the result is that creativity suffers.

I also find the excuses they use to be rather odd. One of the main problems they have is the fact that these freebies and cheepies clutter up the product listings. So when someone does a product listing by lowest price, the freebies show up first... This is something that could easily be solved by simply moving all 0L items into their own category and not have them listed at all in the normal product listings. There are many solutions that could have been implemented to the site in order to make searching easier. One has to wonder if they were really truly considered...

Another excuse they have is the fact that these freebies force merchants to lower prices on certain items. I guess they never heard of competition? I don't particularly see why any of us should care if someone has to lower their prices or not. Why should a shopper buy a stupid 2000L item when they can find a nice product that's cheaper and works better? I have actually seen this on many occasions. [NB from MrB: hell, sometimes the 2000l$ item just plain sucks from the get go]

Then there is the whole idea of charging a fee just for listing items on XStreet. Considering the amount of items we have up, it would be around 300-400L every month just to have them listed. Granted this is not a huge deal for us, but one has to wonder if this is just a way to make extra money for nothing. How long was SLX up for? 3-4 years? They never had to charge that much. I think they only took like 5% commission on everything you sold, that's it. [NB from MrB: it should have been removed when LL bought them] They managed just fine, but apparently it costs a lot to list all that stuff on XStreet! Sorry but I can't help but roll my eyes on this one. I wish they would tell us the exact costs of listing those items... I think we would find them to be rather negligible.

So in the end we can probably still list our items on XStreet and profit from it, but out of principle we have chosen to withdraw everything. I have a feeling if enough merchants pull out it may scare LL back to their senses and force them to reconsider. I also found the timing kind of funny as I am currently working on a nice freebie ironclad that I would have liked to place on XStreet, however it will still be available at our shop when it is done. In the meantime, I suggest all of you go on XStreet and gobble up as much freebies as you can as they most likely won't be up for much longer.

Oh and if you know of any alternatives to XStreet let us know!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Anti-Aircraft Gun

Finished modeling a nice AA gun for dealing with pesky airships. The design is modular meaning I can remove the long barreled cannon and replace it with a gatling gun which I will most likely do as another variant. The whole thing is only 42 prims which is pretty nice considering our other artillery pieces are around 35 prims.

The control mechanism for this gun will be a bit different in that there will be no HUD or buttons to press. You use the keyboard controls to move and fire the gun. This will make it a bit easier to get a bead on aircraft and it will also force the user to remain stationary, unlike the other guns where the user can run around and operate the gun from 20 meters away. Hopefully if this works out we can use the same method for the other artillery pieces.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fleet Week at New Babbage

Murakami Steamworks will be participating in the events during Fleet Week in New Babbage (Nov 15th-21). For the ship exhibition we have two of our ships displayed, the CSS Virginia and USS Monitor. Both can be seen docked here.

We decided on these two ships because they were some of our first and we are very proud at how they both turned out.

Also during the Fleet Week event there will be a large melee featuring many of the steamlands as well as a Fleet Review of the official navies. Both me and MrBunwah will be attending but will not be flying the Wrath Exiles colors at the request of the Commodore.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Murakami Steamworks Anniversary Party

We are having our 2 year anniversary party up at Eva's Isle of Skye skyplatorm. Come join us on Saturday, November 14th at 7-9PM SLT. Also if you remember our little experiment at Burning Life 2008 ( mini RC ironclad minigame) it is making a return at our party, but this time it is much more polished.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Update complete

The last update is finally done. We made quite a number of tweaks to all of the ships, especially the turreted types. We reverted back to the sundial control method, making those ships much easier to operate. Also all the guns now have a marker on the HUD that points in the direction they are aiming, including the turreted ships.

We also cleared up some bugs, such as the USS Roanoke going phantom and none of the ships being able to rearm after depleting their ammo. There was also an issue with some turreted ships not rotating correctly but with the new control method this was cleared up.

This will be the last update we make to these ships as they are pretty much as good as they are going to get now. We COULD have added some extra effects, but we did not feel it necessary to add anything else to these ships as they are very complex as is...the homesteads can barely handle them. The only other update that may come is the addition of grape-shot rounds added to the ships, but this will have to wait until UCS (Urban Combat System) is released to see if it is really viable.

We have three more ships left to complete before we move on to other ventures. The Wrath Exiles will be getting a custom ironclad that will be armed with unconventional weaponry, A more advanced exploration sub will be made in MSS and SCSE variants, and a supply ship is in the works that will provide ammo and fuel services to other ships at sea. After these ships are complete we will move on to other projects such as tanks, airships and field artillery.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The sundial controls make a return

Due to the recent changes to the HUD in the form of the turret direction markers, we will be experimenting with the old sundial method of turret control. This method used preset rotations instead of the math based format they use now. By doing this, we can reduce the amount of overhead as well as make it more user friendly for people who had complaints with the monitor type ironclads.

The whole reason why the old method caused so much lag was the fact that each blue direction button had to talk to each other in order to light up the current direction button as green. That was the only to identify what direction the turret was facing, other than moving your camera around the ship. However we now have a small marker that rotates to point what direction the turret is facing so now all those blue sundial buttons don't have to communicate with each other.

We will do some field tests to be sure that this method is more responsive and then integrate it into the current update.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Update on the Update

Well RL is becoming quite the obstacle but we are making good progress. Most of the sound and particle effects are already in place, although some aspects were cut out because they were not very relevant or too over the top. Some other nice changes are being made such as making the damage indicators on the HUD easier to see. All the HUDs now show exactly where the guns are pointing, both for casemated ships and monitor type ships so that will be nice for some of the folks who had complaints about that. We are also thinking about making the HUD full perms so they can tweak it however they like.

We changed all the double guns turrets to use one sculpt prim instead of two regular prims so that will free up some prims, especially for ships like the USS Roanoke. There was also a bug in some of the ships which prevented them from reloading if they expended all their ammo which is now fixed.

Won't be long now, maybe another week or two. Then we can work on those Wrath Exile ships.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Sight and Sound update

While working on the sight and sound update, we received a little surprise in the form of a custom explosives kit sent by Kandace. This kit will allow us to alter the explosives damage, range and taper. This will be very useful for balancing out all the explosives we use, such as the new rocket launcher systems we are working on now, and it will make mortars less of a dominator on the battlefield. I still want to experiment with shrapnel based explosives later but for now this will work very nicely.

As for our update...I am almost done with the sound part and it looks like there will be a total of 47 different sound effects. Below is a picture of them all organized for easy playback.

  • Red = firing sounds
  • Yellow = exploding sounds
  • Blue = engine/ambient sounds
  • Green = random ship noises
  • Orange = weapon operation
For now we plan to finish this update and include the changes to the explosives in it. Sometime during or after we will release the Wrath Exile ships.

Friday, August 28, 2009

INS Right to Rule: Capital ship of the Imperial Navy of Steeltopia

We have finished construction of the INS Right to Rule, and it is without a doubt our most impressive ship to date...

NAME: INS Right to Rule
BUILDER: Murakami Steamworks
TONNAGE: 8993 tons
DIMENSIONS: Length 50m. Beam 12m. Draft 14m
ARMOR: 2000HP combat core
ARMAMENT: 4x E.Heavy gun. 4x V.Heavy gun

She is also equipped with a fireworks launch system shown below...

And in the national colors too!

To understand just how big this ship is, here are some shots of her in formation with her sister ships Miranda, Defiant and Redemption...all vessels unique to the Steeltopian Navy

With this juggernaut complete the stalwart nation of Steeltopia can truly call itself a naval power!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Last batch of ships planned out

Summer is almost over and we plan to get the last batch of ships out so we can work on all the other neat stuff we have planned. The Steeltopian commission that we are currently working on is almost complete (more details on that when it's released). After that we have the troop transport which after some thought I have decided to change a bit. It will be fairly small, about twice the size of a torpedo boat and will carry between 5-6 people. I was originally planning to make a giant sidewheeler that could deploy rowboats, but I like this idea better. It will be agile and have good speed, and because it has an open top you can simply beach the ship and jump out. Great for quickly getting marines deployed.

Next is the Wrath Exile's line of ships, which will be quite different from the other types of ships available. Below are some pictures that Commodore O'Toole sent me in regards to the styling he would like for these ships... (note the number of cannons)

So basically, these ships will have an ungodly amount of firepower at their disposal. The central theme of these ships would be "glass cannon", meaning they would have a very high damage output but would also be rather vulnerable themselves. The ships would be rusty and have exposed machinery near the stern, so a direct hit on those parts would mean double or triple damage to the ship (don't let ships sneak up behind you!). We may also include the ability to temporarily boost engine and have it go 20 knots for a short amount of time. The trade off would be that this damages the engines and eats much more fuel.

The last ship will be an exploration sub, one that uses the Fiskdale hull we had to scrap due to the weapons system not working right. It will be made much bigger, and the internals of the ship will be much more detailed like the Auriga. In fact this ship is really a successor to the Auriga, with the ability to seat several passengers. I plan on adding some more features to this ship however, such as....

  • working searchlights that can be toggled on/off as well as move up/down and left/right
  • working hatch on top so people can jump in and out of the ship
  • have the ability to apply your own logo on the sides of the hull
  • ability to deploy and pick up divers by way of a second hatch on the bottom of the hull

Not entirely sure if I will be able to get to the Fiskdale in time, but I will definitely try.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Union ships go live

All the Union ships are now updated and released, and the new USS Queen of the West is up for sale. If you have an older version of these or the Confederate ships please please please make sure you can update them to our new ICS3 versions. If you are having any problems getting the updates working IM MrBunwah Murakami as he handles all that.

We have noticed that during battles we still see some people using older versions of our ships even with the updates out. We have tested all the updates and we are able to get them to work, so make sure you are able to get yours to work. You just need to drop the ship on the ground and wait several seconds. If you are not sure if you have the latest version of a ship, check to see what version of ICS it uses. If you see ICS2.0 or below, you are not up to date. It needs to be ICS3.0 or above. MrBunwah can check the records to see if you purchased a ship so he can send you an update if you request one. Again, talk to MrBunwah Murakami if you are having problems with these updates!

Now that that's out of the way, We have one commission from the Imperial Navy of Steeltopia and a troop transport ship we want to finish. After that is the big sfx/pfx update, in which we update all the sound effects and particle effects as well as some other nice little upgrades. Here is a list of what we have planned for this update...

  • Upgrade engine sound effects with different sound effects based on ship sizes and ship speeds
  • Get water wakes to trail behind every ship, and have them differ based on speed and size of the ship
  • Change the CTF effects so that the color of your smoke would actually change to the color of your team instead of the default sparkle effect
  • Upgrade cannon sound effects and add more variety between guns
  • Include sound effects for when you are out of ammo and try to fire a cannon
  • Include progressive damage sound effects, such as straining machinery, burning, flooding, the sounds of your crew as they scream bloody murder
  • Upgrade death effects so that chunks of the ship and shrapnel go flying, either by prim or particles or both. Also change the smoke and fire to water bubbles when the ship is fully underwater
  • Have the ships sink more realistically, instead of going straight down
  • Add additional sound effects like wave sounds, bells, random machinery
  • Add an additional camera point that focuses on the direction a turret is facing on a monitor type ship
  • May make some visual changes to the HUD again, to make it simpler to use
  • Add the ability for individual components of a ship to be damaged, such as if a cannon is directly hit it may disable it. Also may have the ship take damage if you go at maximum speed for too long, or have it so some boilers explode reducing your overall speed. Of course these changes would come with their own particle and sound effects
  • Iron out any last bugs we encounter

Now that may look like a huge undertaking, but it's really not that bad. It will no way take as long as our last update, due to the fact that much of the groundwork is already done. Most of it is just a matter of dropping in some new sounds and particles effects.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First Iron Melee at Steeltopia

Our last Iron Melee was conducted in Steeltopia, which inspired quite a number of ideas as to what ICS may be capable of in the future. It was the pirate team attacking, trying to land infantry on the beach while the navy went on the defense with coastal guns and ironclads. Once the pirates landed, the navy forces abandoned the gun emplacements and repelled the invaders with small arms fire in the streets.

For those of you who don't know, Iron Melees are battles consisting of ICS vehicles and sometimes MMCS infantry. The first Iron Melees started on Port Merrimac in Roatan, off the coast of the Isle of Lilliput in the United Sailing Sims. So far they have mainly been naval affairs, however with infantry added into the mix we are starting to see more land based scenarios.

I would like to go through a scenario I envisioned while exploring Steeltopia, one which would encompass all or many of the aspects of ICS that I would like to see in the future
  • Land (tank, cavalry, buggy and other forms of land transportation)
  • Air (reconnaissance, fighters, bombers, airship carriers)
  • Sea (ironclads, wooden vessels, transports, and aircraft carriers)
  • Undersea (submarines, underwater mines)
  • Artillery (flak guns, coastal batteries, field guns, gatling gun placements)
  • Infantry (riflemen, sappers, medics, commanders)
  • Buildings (used for capturing or destroying in order to meet an objective)

This scenario could have two teams vying for control of the region, with capture points they would need to secure in order to move to the next area. The fighting could start in the streets, with one team trying to dig in deeper into the city (we will call this team the imperials) while another team tries to push them back and also look for an escape (they may be trying to transport a secret document, or an important hostage like the mayor. This team will be called the terrorists)

If the imperials keeps pushing them back far enough, the terrorists may need to retreat further into the city. If however the terrorists manage to slip past or breakthrough they can load a transport with their hostage or important document and try to make their way across the bay

From here the scenario would switch to a naval role as coastal guns, ironclads and submarines could be deployed in order to sink the transport or to defend it. If the terrorists manage to reach the dam, the fighting would again switch to the infantry. The terrorists would need to fight their way to the elevator to reach the upper level.

If the terrorists manage to make it to the top of the dam, the imperials could deploy tanks and other armored units, as they no longer have to deal with the confined areas in the city.

The final objective would then be in sight. The terrorists would need to make it to the train station and secure it. Once secured, they would use it to make off with the hostage or important document, thus ending the match!

So in a nutshell, the terrorists need to transport their cargo from point A to B to C etc etc until they make it to the final point in which they win the match. The imperials job would be to prevent them from making it all the way to the last point. If they can kill all the terrorists or retrieve/destroy the cargo they then win the match.

(Note: All these shots were taken while I was at Steeltopia , so naturally this would be an excellent place to stage such an operation)

Other elements of warfare I did not mention but could be added into this scenario...

  • Capturing certain points in the city could spawn ammo and health crates for the occupying units
  • Imperial airship could drop paratroopers into the city. Terrorists may deploy fighters to destroy it, thus adding aerial combat into the mix
  • Imperials could mine the bay with explosives, thus impeding the transport making it's way to the damn
  • The dam entrance could be blocked, requiring terrorist sappers to remove the obstructions
  • Imperials could airlift tanks on the upper area above the dam to help defend the train station
  • Gatling guns could be placed around the perimeter of the train station, requiring terrorist sharpshooters to take them out

This is what I would eventually like to see. A combat system that incorporates everything and can be used to create epic battles like this one. If we can get more developers and coordinators involved in this, we can have all the Steampunk and Victorian sims participate and have full scale nation vs nation battles. This of course will require more people, as we at Murakami Steamworks can only do so much on our own...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Confederate ships go live

All the Confederate ships (minus the Hunley...needs a bit more tweaking) are now updated to ICS3.0 and available on Xstreet and any of our vendors in world. I also want to point out again, that the CSS Richmond and CSS Columbia are discontinued and have been replaced with the CSS Arkansas and CSS Atlanta. We have also changed the way the pricing works so a smaller 750Hp ship will be cheaper than a 1500Hp ship. Let it be known however that a skilled captain can pummel a larger ship with a ship half the size as I have done so on many occasions with the MSS Cuthbert, a personal favorite of mine.

So with that, we are near the end. Only six ( or is it seven? hard to keep track...) ships left until we have updated all the major ships in our catalogue. After that we don't have many new ships coming. We definitely want to work on some kind of troop transport, holding like 5 or 6 infantry and be able to deploy row boats for landing operations. Then there is a refueling ship, equipped with rearm and refuel scripts for long distance operations away from ports. We also may make several cheaper ships for beginners, running around 100-200L. These may be in the form of tinclads or Ellet rams.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Problems with the Fiskdale

The demolition submarine MSS Fiskdale is proving to be quite a challenge. Motion controls and torpedo launchers work fine, however there are still many issues with its explosives deploying properly. MrBunwah was able to get all the explosives working perfectly in sims like Roatan, however once we took it to deeper waters like the Vernian Sea it failed every time. He did manage to get them working in deeper waters eventually, however when trying them out in normal sims they broke again... So we have not yet been able to get it working in both conditions, something we think is necessary.

After much hair-pulling and cussing it was decided that we would scrap the project...well not entirely. If we remove all the weapon systems from it, we effectively cut its prim count in half. So what we can do is turn it into a very detailed exploration vessel instead. The inside would get a total makeover and would be functional like the way the Auriga is setup. This will need to wait until the USS/CSS makeover.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Submarines are coming

Due to heightened interest in the submarines we have decided to update them next. Extensive testing has been done on the Holland, which will be the base model for the rest of the subs updates. So far everything pretty much works. Torpedos and machine guns work, motion works, arming/disarming works. Sometime this week we should be able to package it and get it ready for sale.

The Holland will be one of three subs that will eventually be released. All three of these subs are equipped with torpedo launchers that can be used against surface or underwater vessels. However these subs will differ from one another in their secondary weapons and other specifications. Each type of sub will be made for a particular role.

Holland- Attack sub, meant to prey upon other ships. Secondary weapon is dual machine guns. Will be faster and more maneuverable than the other subs.

Fiskdale- Demolition sub, meant to take out heavier targets. Secondary weapon is a set of six explosives that can be utilized as either floating mines to damage surface ships or depth charges to be used against other subs. Will be a bit slower than the Holland due to the added weight of the munitions.

Sturbridge- Support sub, meant to harass from long distance. Secondary weapon is a very heavy dorsal cannon with adjustable power level. Will be very sluggish due to it's size making it an easy target, but will sport a 250HP core unlike the other two subs 100Hp cores. Will also carry more torpedos and a good number of cannon shells.

And of course we could not release these without some kind of counter-submarine weapon. Which brings us to the MSS Fishkill.

This ship will be the answer to the submarines. Equipped with a strong engine and good armor, this ship can tangle with just about anything under the sea. Weaponry includes a rotating turret with two gatling guns, allowing you to quickly strike when one of those infernal machines lifts it's head above the water.

Behind the smokestack is the depth charge launcher. You can adjust the power level, angle and explosion depth using the HUD. This will be what you use to destroy vessels hiding underwater.

The Fishkill is 99% done. All that remains is adjusting the depth charges explosion. While conducting battle tests in Port Merrimac, it was incredibly easy to hit the Holland with the depth charge. In some cases I was able to destroy the sub on my first try. The problem seems to be that the blast radius is far too large. Not sure how we will fix this but I'm certain we will find a solution.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A New Look

With the advent of ICS3, we have made a considerable amount of changes to both the ships and to their all important huds. The ships now keep track of fuel and ammunition, however the huds have changed as well.

Both the pilot and copilot are now able to control their own camera, as well as start and stop the ship. Also, using the blue button, the hovertext for a ship can be enabled and disabled.
finally, weapon arming has been reduced to a single button, and guns have to cycle through positions rather than going straight to a specific point like our older monitor type ironclads.

Changes have also been made to speed and turning. Speed is now measured in knots (as close as we could get to them in SL) and every ship has a maximum speed they can reach. This means that ships can now stay in formation a bit better because the speeds are now standardized. Turning is now a bit more responsive, and a third degree of turning was added as well. This means your ships can make tighter turns now.

Overall the hud and ships should be more responsive, due to optimization in the scripting that is used. The huds new standardized and modular design means it will be much easier for us to make them and much easier for pilots to operate them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

SNS and INS updated

The SNS and INS ships have now been fully updated to ICS3.0. Now that we have everything worked out the rest of the ships will come quickly. We are going to update the MSS ships next, followed by the historical USS/CSS models. We will not however be releasing any submarines during these updates. Those still need to be rescripted but these will come shortly after the rest as most of the scripting is done for these already. Below is our current roadmap...

1. Update MSS series ships

2. Update USS/CSS series ships.

3. Update and implement submarines

4. I want to balance out the mortars. Currently they are a bit overpowered and tend to dominate any match. I plan to reduce their range and accuracy. This will require some testing.

5. If the MMCS combat system proves to be worthy of our infantry battles, we may implement the scripts into ICS rounds so that way ships can fire on infantry.

6. After all that, we will most likely stop making ships for awhile and work on other ICS projects, such as flak guns for anti-aircraft roles, destructible buildings, floating repair/refuel stations, underwater mines etc etc. We also may start on land and air vehicles.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ICS3 Artillery now for sale

Well the artillery is now up for sale. You can grab the packages at Port Merrimac, Xstreet, or our office at Cape Wrath. I only included the light mortar due to the fact that the medium and heavy versions were so overkill it was ridiculous...I may release stronger versions later if the need arises for more firepower. If you would like a demonstration of any of these feel free to IM Justinian Huszar or MrBunwah Murakami.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Working land artillery

Well we finally have the cannons and mortars working properly. They are controlled by touching the little buttons on the platform shown here.

They also have 50HP ICS3 cores in them, and when destroyed the gun comes flying off the base, rendering it useless...

After 60 seconds the smoking hulk will die, and you can touch the base to rez another gun.
Just watch your head when that thing reaches 100% damage, as it can fly pretty far...

Monday, May 4, 2009

USS Queen of the West and some Artillery

Well I finally finished tweaking every single ship model (USS, CSS, MSS, INS, SNS) and am now working on extra stuff while I wait for MrBunwah to work his script magic and get everything updated for ICS3. I got a request for an Ellet ram a while back and decided to take a shot at it. It turned out to be quite an easy job, and I picked the USS Queen of the West as the Ellet ram of choice. It was a logical choice considering the relationship it has with some of our other ships. Below is a picture of it completed.

It will be a lighter ship, roughly 500HP and have a max speed of 10 knots. This will even out the USS/CSS ships a bit as the confederate side always had more ships.

And with that done, I needed something else to do. So I made 6 different artillery pieces, 3 cannons and 3 mortars. The cannons come in Medium, Heavy and Very Heavy variety. The Mortars come in Light, Medium and Heavy flavors. Below is a picture of some of them.

The mortars will be able to rotate 360 degrees and angle their shots. The cannons can change angle too, but they do not have as wide a range for rotation. Not sure how these will be controlled, though I'm aiming for a hudless method if at all possible.

Monday, April 13, 2009

CSS Atlanta & CSS Arkansas

While assessing what ships to keep and what to remove for the confederate side, I have decided to keep all of them except the Richmond and Columbia. These ships were not big sellers, and they also were too much alike which bothered me a bit. However I will be adding two brand new ships to take there place so that way those that bought the Richmond and/or Columbia will not feel left out when the updates role in. The CSS Arkansas will replace the CSS Richmond, and the CSS Atlanta will replace the CSS Columbia. Above is a model of the CSS Atlanta, complete with spar torpedo.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Skunkworks Extreme

In between blasting others out of the water, and flying through the streets on a floating ironclad, we at Murakami Steamworks have been hard at work bringing you the latest in MSS brand ironclad technology. Among the new excellencies, all of the ships are being updated to ICS V3, making our ships more realistic, with ammo and fuel usage. Not to worry, as were supplying with goodly stocks of both. Adding to the list of awesome, all of the USS and CSS series are getting their long overdue rebuilds. Both the texturing and primwork are being made nicer and better.   Among the less obvious, many of the back-end scripts are being redone to provide a better, faster experience, hopefully allowing shots to occur even in those crazy all-out eight-ship fragfests.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Iron Melees at Port Merrimac

Starting this Thursday we'll begin a new weekly series called Thursday's Iron Melees. Every Thursday (Except the last week of the month) we'll have a free for all ironclad battle, ctf, defense or whatever is arraged for the night off Port Merrimac. It's free to attend and RP is not required, this is just carnage, fun and the glory of battle.

Thursday’s Iron Melee @ 7:30pm PDT at Port Merrimac

Combat system: Ironclad Combat System (ICS)
Rules: leave the drama at home, it's time for hammering iron and the reek of cordite in your nostrils.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The MSS Lavanco as a Parade Float!

The multi-faceted Lavanco hull shows its worth once again as a parade float in Caledon's annual Mardi Gras Parade.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Three new ships and some nice HUD changes

Well we finally released our three newest warships today. They had been completed a while ago but many changes were being made to ICS2 in the process which complicated things quite a bit. You can find the new MSS Menkar, MSS Cuthbert and MSS Cerberus for sale at our shop in Caledon Cape Wrath as well as Xstreet. We also patched up the other MSS ships and some of them look a bit nicer as a result.

We changed the HUD and added three very nice features. The best being the new camera system. This time actually allowing you to rotate the camera in 4 different directions! No more fiddling with the camera to see that ship behind you, just press the back camera button. Need to set your ship up to fire a broadside? Just press the left or right camera buttons. We also added a second function to the red off button. If instead of just clicking it you hold it down for 3 seconds, it will properly eject you from your seat! No more clipping inside your ship when you stand up. The third feature is the ability to scuttle the ship. Well not really, it's more like a suicide button right now. Just hold down that orange button for 3 seconds and your ship is destroyed. Good for when someone wants to exit the battle dramatically, or if you want to reset your ships core. In the future I will see about having it eject you first and then setting a timer so you have a chance to get away from the blast. Oh and we also have everything on Mono now so the controls should be a bit more responsive.

The subs however still need to wait. The way ICS2 calculates explosives is off and because of that the torpedoes are very unreliable, especially against oddly shaped ships. This is due to the fact that ICS2 uses a very complicated formula that uses a bounding box around the ship in order to pinpoint explosive damage, and this still needs tweaking so it can work 100% of the time instead of the 10% we are getting now. However while we wait for those issues to be resolved I will be working on the MSS Cazadora, a sub hunter type warship that will be equipped with a twin machine gun tower and depth charges. This should compliment the subs quite well when they are to be released and prevent those sneaky little bastards from taking over the seas.

Oh and speaking of submarines, It seems fitting for O to post something about the Hunley.
While me and MrBunwah were looking at the records we discovered the Hunley is our best seller so far!

72 hunleys
36 essexes
29 monitors
28 nashville
23 roanokes
21 virginias
18 manassas
16 davids
13 kotetsus
11 onandagas
10 columbias
7 passaic
6 lavancos
5 richmonds
3 tyranns

298 total sold as of 1/19/2009


I had been debating about whether I should phase out the older ships but with these figures I have decided to do a makeover on all the older models as well. I had been thinking about this for quite some time but it seems clear to me that people really love the historical models. Some of the ships will be harder than others to remake due to the odd shapes I need to deal with. The CSS Virginia will be a tough one, as it has a very odd looking stern and pilot house. The USS Essex will also be a bit of a challenge, what with all those cannons it has mounted on it. The ships that will likely benefit the most are the monitor type ships as we have much better turret technology at our disposal, as you can see on our newer models.

Whew ok so a quick summary as to what lays ahead:

1.MSS Cazadora sub hunter followed by the submarines MSS Sturbridge, MSS Fiskdale, and MSS Holland.

2. Remake as many historical models as possible, including the Hunley and Davids.

3.Work on some land based artillery, such as mortars and rifled cannons. These will most likely not need a HUD and can be operated by pressing buttons on a control panel attached to the cannon's base.

4.Work on some specialized Wrath Fleet warships. These ships would only be available to members of the Wrathful Exiles. They would follow a distinct theme, like the ships I designed for the Steeltopia Imperial Navy. Still brainstorming on this.

5.Get started on some prototype airships...