HowTo:Edit News

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Structure Overview

You can find some sample news under the following link

This has the following structure:

  • Faction - It is the faction of the base you have landed at to read the news (or planet, or cruiser etc).
  • Siege/Battle/Destroyed etc...- event that we're reporting about
  • Start/Middle/End - Start of the event/the beginning, Middle progress reports on the event, End of the event/resolution
  • Success/Loss/Draw - what was the result for the aggressor in the event reported about
  • Good/Bad/Neutral - How does the base/ship etc where the reader is located view the event - influencing the report style (Good - approve of the result, Bad - disapprove of the result, Neutral - couldn't care less, but something to talk about during mealtime).

Inside the report

  • coefficient 1.0 to 0.0 size/importance/drama of the event. 1.0 being of low importance ranging to 0.0 being of very high importance (source: dandandaman post 2/7/03 7:41pm)
  • all/player - player events will only occur for destroyed and battle news items. As for system wide sieges and fleetbattles, the players influence would be minimal at best, so only the all keyword applies :-)

Reference Variables

Reference variables are used in the news stories to replace faction specific names. If you have a look at the news stories currently in the file, you will see that they do not contain any specific details on who or where, they instead have the reference variables (ie VAR_aggressor_full or VAR_system_system). The format for these is for the word to start with VAR_ to allow the code to recognise that it is a dynamic word. Please note that all variables are separated by an underscore '_'.

This is followed by a variable descriptor. This tells the code what type of variable to use. You can have: "aggressor" the aggressor in the event. "defender" the defender in the event. "dockedat" the faction whose base/planet you receive the news at. "system" the system the event occurred in.

The last tag in the word is more specific, it allows you to reference specific data from each of these types:


  • full full name of the faction.
  • nicks singular nickname of the faction.
  • nickp plural nickname of the faction.
  • dnicks derogatory singular nickname.
  • dnickp derogatory plural nickname.
  • government name of government of the faction.
  • posessive ownership description e.g. an adjective.
  • homeworld homeworld of the faction.
  • mstandname standard male name in the faction.
  • fstandname standard female name in the faction.
Examples (VAR_aggressor_possessive VAR_aggressor_homeworld)

System "system" system location "sector" sector location

Examples (VAR_defender_homeworld VAR_system_sector)


  • FG name of a flightgroup small or capital ship size
  • FGtype class of ship, capital ship for fleetbattle news
  • FGtype class of ship, small ship for other news

just in case you were wondering, it is fine to include any form of punctuation either as prefix or suffix (ie <VAR_defender_homeworld>'s will return for example <Earth>'s. Having a suffix however that consists of something like 's" is *not* okay. A suffix (if exists) must have all its punctuation characters followed by its alphanumerical characters... Separate new lines by using \\ Lastly, please ensure that you have a headline as the first line.


The Neutral (files) faction is the default used when faction specific news stories aren't present. For a full list of factions, reference the link at the top. Please note the faction you are docked at could still hate one of the factions in the news story, so a derogatory comment, use of derogatory nicknames can still be appropriate :-)

The overall plan is to have several stories for each result, one for each point on the coefficient scale. That's a lot of stories.

In order of achievement though:

For the Neutral faction name only:

1. minimum one story for each item (any coefficient), with two ("player" and "all") for destroyed and battle.

2. once that is achieved, a mixture of three coefficients (the 0.2/0.5/08 dandandaman listed in the initial post).

For all faction names:

3. together with 2. above, develop a minimum one story for each item of all other faction names (Confed, Rlaan, Aera etc).

4. choice of three stories for each item for each faction.

Somewhere down the track: Stories for each coefficient for each item for each faction.

Questions 1. For similar factions (militia, confed etc) do we develop separate stories?

For the time being, if you are interested in writing stories for different races, please try to choose races as different as possible, and leave "similar factions" till the far future :-)

Sample News

You can find some sample news under the following link

See also

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