Nova NextGen: Trimming the Fat 09 Feb 2015

Now for the tough part. In the process of looking at Nova, it was clear that there are things in the core that shouldn't be there. That isn't to say those things don't get used, but they're ancillary to what I believe the core function of Nova should be. I've always believe that my role is as a curator of features in Nova. Like I've mentioned previously, it's just important what goes into Nova as what doesn't. In this case, it's about removing stuff that I don't necessarily see as being part of my vision of what the Nova core should be.

So let's rip the band-aid off. Here are some of the things that aren't going to make it into the core of Nova NextGen:

  • Chain of Command
  • Docking
  • Awards
  • Specifications
  • Deck listing
  • Tour
  • Ability to change genres after install
  • Internationalization
  • News items
  • Personal logs
  • User bios
  • Character promotion history
  • Department listings
  • Sim rules
  • Upgrading from SMS
  • Upgrading from Nova 1
  • Missions
  • Mission groups
  • Mission posts
  • Sim types
  • Milestone report
  • LOA records
  • Award nomination report
  • Online now listing

I'll give everyone a few minutes to pick their jaws up off the ground or stop fuming over their favorite feature making this list.

I realize that as you look at this list, the knee jerk reaction is "holy shit what's gonna be left?" The fact is, while these are all fine features, they don't really serve the central function of what I think Nova should be: a vehicle for telling stories. I want to eliminate as many of the distractions as possible and the best way to do that is to take a scalpel to Nova and remove the unnecessary. Not everything is gone forever though...

Awards

The awards system has never been very robust. I think it can be better. Instead of just slapping it in there and calling it a day though, my goal is to tear it out, re-think it, and rebuild it as an extension that people will be able to download and install in their game if they want it.

Tour

I've heard from some people say that the tour is a big part of their games. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit into my vision of what Nova should be at its heart. Still, people find it useful and that's a valid point. I'm not a complete tyrant, contrary to popular belief. :P

The specs, deck listing, and tour components will be built as a single extension that people will be able to download at some point in the future. (There's a possibility that certain genres will come with it already included; I'm still working through the details of the build system, but that's still a long ways off.)

Everything Else

Right now, awards and tour are the only major things that'll be made available as first party extensions. If there's something people feel Nova needs, that's where the community comes in.

I think the community as a whole has become far too reliant on Anodyne to build things into Nova, things that often shouldn't be there. Over the years, that's led to adding things to the Nova core that shouldn't be. With extensions in the next generation of Nova, developers will have the tools at their fingertips to realize many of these things that can, of course, be distributed through the new AnodyneXtras (shameless plug over).

Lots more information on this stuff will be made available in the coming months, but that should whet people's appetite for some more concrete information about what's coming and going in Nova NextGen.