Ship Design

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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GlasShadow
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Re: Ship Design

#16 Post by GlasShadow » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:15 am

lol .. first off i don't mean to be brash since i'm the new guy but ill discuss this a bit more, of course there's no convincing the un-convincible, but if one would have an open mind ill elaborate.

if anything here is contradicting, its lets keep this simple by making a bunch of different hulls with all kinds of different values, also well we're at it will make all the weapons look the same but plop a lot of abstract bonuses on them.
Ship part types can be specified as mountable on only internal, only external, or both types of slot. Number of each type of slot should be an important property of hull types.
as many have mentioned -

engines are parts - plane and simple, that's not realism its logic. one would replace the engine in one's car to boost its speed not replace the body.

why bother using a visual oriented system such as the slots at all then if its not made full use of its ability to convey visual ques- we could just have a list
We have no plans to add slot sizes. The simple one-slot one-part system keeps things simple. Unless there's a strong case for making it more complicated, we'll keep it simple.
also to note - there is in effect is already a size distinction in the slots as the light hull has three slots none of which can hold a colony pod, of course this is in no way noted or differentiated leading one to believe that they could place parts anywhere they so choose.
which is not the case, what other hidden restrictions will need to be placed on this to make the system work as it is once other things like troop transportation, or fighters, are added, not to mention the large ship with 6 shield generators on it and one super weapon or even a moderately equipped ship against a smaller vessel, dang id have a chance if only i had a slot for a weapon.
I don't see where you're going with this. Parts can and should have advantages and disadvantages. So they have to be used carefully. You are kind of contradicting yourself with your initial "too simple/boring"-argument IMO.
diversity - small ships can hold 3 things at the moment - note - no colony pods :?: , that in essence means armor - shields- 1 weapon, throughout the entire game. allowing no flexibility, no sensor upgrades no cloak, etc. this list could go on exponentially on how obsolete these ships would become latter in the game
Miniaturization and other refinements, can be implement in different ways(by giving a bonus to strength, instead of actually changing size for example)
size and bonus - this works in theory for weapons, what about sensors/shield's/cloaks - bonuses to these are pointless as it takes the same space as future upgrades would with presumably equivalent values, my system which i point out is a natural evolution of this system allows miniature - battle comp, shields, sensors, cloaks, etc. there by freeing room for more weapons and increasing the viability of smaller class ships latter in the game.

that's just a few reasons off the top of my head - space combat in the form of ship to ship warfare should play a role in game dynamics as any basic economic theory will show that the natural lack of resources drives expansion, often these resources are acquired from someone else, through several means one of the most prevalent ones being force of arms.
Not enough technologies in general, or not having any in-game concept of any of those examples, are not a problem. We can have plenty of other things for players to think about.
why even have any graphical representation of space combat at all when there is no diversity to the game (ie. largest ship wins, at least in moo i could equip some cheap slow tugs with a ton of missals and jump in and out of a system against a Superior opponent and wear them down with sheer numbers, i used this tactic frequently ), just let the comp crunch it and spit the loser out, because the player has all these other tasks to worry about

in essence this simplification fixes a ships possible options to the number of its slots throughout the entire game - i don't see how anyone rational could figure that would work in the long run.

also this would add a ton of depth to the game imagine you could have a spinal mounted weapon taking like 10 slots - capable of one shot massive damage, ie take a large ship out in one hit (single target), or equip the same hull with 10 individual weapons capable of targeting multiple smaller targets, two entirely different strategies, a med ship with a BFG could take out a large ship, or the flip a group of small ships attaching one such BFG ship would suffer minimal loss due to the slow rate of fire from the BFG while destroying it, i feel that lack of strategy that simple is a major detractor from the game-play as it is beyond the possibilities of the current system. size is an attribute and i contend a major one if not the most important consideration in ship design and strategy. also note this could apply to any weapon not just some super weapon and would diminish the amount of defensive armament or shielding a ship could have by trading space for power instead of just tech for power, the disadvantage of using the 10 spots would increase the value of space not diminish it. also what about missile interception, point defenses take as much as a much longer range weapon, give them a semi-random number of intercepts per turn, i don't know just seems the way its done now invites too many problems.

furthermore say i encounter a race with more advanced tech/larger ships, im simply dead i see no way to resolve this dilemma, he has bigger ships, (more guns) better tech (more powerful guns) no strategy, this brings several points up presume i have some weapon upgrade that makes my inferior weapon do similar damage as his superior one, does my weapon now cost exponential more to produce then his, if it doesn't why would he upgraded, then he still has advantage in ship size, #of guns and probably quantity in also dead now, if mine cost more now, then i'm even more hard pressed to produce my inferior ships and am still dead.

adding size to this equation, he may opt for the newer guns, they do more damage and take up some average amount of space(4). however now i can opt for 1 spinal mount (16 slots) overall would be cheaper then 4 smaller guns (4 slots) of same type, now i can not only produce more ships but the single shot hit on his larger ships may inflict some considerable damage before my ship is destroyed, while he may get several of mine i at least i have a chance to win now and if he went for the same spinal mounts say his larger ships could take 2 as apposed to the 7-8 average size newer guns with a higher base damage he could loose out on fire power overall, and rate of fire enters here too. a prudent question is do shields regenerate during combat, if they do im even worse off, not being able to scale up my guns, why just miniaturize them i'd say maximize them too.. lol, then i might have some slim chance to win, also i could sacrifice starlane speed and go for the cheaper and fastest combat speed available. also i may have miniaturized cloaking that i could sneak in right behind the BFG, etc. that my 1 last slot may allow, dump armor and shields completely and go for cheap disposable damage.


i could go on ..so explain please a reasonable way to win against said enemy without scaling up my tech and making use of that extra space which is a cost and damage benefit sacrificing fire rate and longevity are not a problem his ships will annihilate mine anyway, im just making the most of the sacrifice while reducing the cost as low as possible, perhaps holding him back long enough to get bigger hulls etc..

anyway the amount of work to upgrade to this now would be much less then when all the "content" is developed, this is a basic fundamental attribute, how many posts have been made on the lack of ship flexibility, muddying everything up with a ton of different hull type and weird bonuses is not the route id pick.

ok ... ill conceded the current system is simpler, but simpler is not superior

further more take this from the design pad
Ship health and shield maximum values are determined from a ship's design. Specifically, the hull and the ship's part can modify the ship's health and shield max meter values.

Shields generally are only increased by specific shield parts. Ships without shield parts or some other source of shields at the start of a battle have a max shield meter of 0.

Health generally is increased somewhat by a ship's hull, so all ships have a max health meter above 0 from the effects of their hull. Other parts can also increase a ship's health, and armour parts significantly increase a ship's health max meter.
talk about contradiction - ship heath and shields are determined from a ship's design specifically the hull ... "except that" .. Ships without shield parts or some other source of shields at the start of a battle have a max shield meter of 0 ... what lol. anyway just thought id make some fun of that.

also i would contend that armor is far different then internal systems, what rational would detract from the offensive capability of a ship based solely on the fact that a unit of armor replaces a weapon. that doesn't make any kind of since realistic or otherwise, might as well put propellers on space ships while were at it since realism doesn't mean anything. all ships would potential have the two systems i differentiated, in red and green, this solves staking multiple armor units on a ship, multiple engines,

oops engines aren't even an option currently ... negating the benefit of not having interstellar ships for home defense unless another hull type is added (which you'd have to do and arbitrarily increase the slots, mine is automatic :shock: to get any benefit anyway) - for each size of ship mind u, this is exponentially more complex then just having swappable engine parts.... imagine just 10 different interstellar engines on 5 different size hulls with the addition of 10 non-interstellar ships for those sizes that's around 100 different hull types. 10 interstellar engines X 5 ship sizes and(+) 10 non-stellar X 5 ship sizes (doesn't include mix and matching of these). instead of just 10 interstellar engines + 10 sub stellar engines + 5 hulls which if my math is right gives out a much larger spread of combination (because it can be mixed and matched and omitted). apx. 550 combos (10 interstellar X 10 sub-stellar X 5 sizes + 10 sub-stellar X 5) that in itself wins my case , dare i say 25 elements are much simpler than 550 to manage. :D you see fixing these options to the hull increases the complexity instead off breaking it down into smaller pieces and recombining it in the design ...*might as well just design a million ships and get rid of the design process altogether*..... imagine sorting through over 500 different hull types that's were your present system leads (simple arithmetic guys, reduce the numbers/and types all u want individual parts will still win in diversity every time)...period...
We can easily just have different hulls, some fast in combat, but slow on the map, some fast on the map, slow in combat, etc.
... even take just 3 stellar engines X 3 ship sizes + 3 non-stellar X 3 ship sizes, (18 hulls compared to 9 elements composing 36 different ships if parts are used ) ...

one could pretend that this would be harder to manage than just having all these different hulls (any rough idea on how many hulls and what combinations or engine performance ratios to select etc.) why bother making and testing all those out for the best fit designing the hulls and implementing some picked out ones..etc.. that's the ships designers concern not the programmers and id say that seeing an actual icon for the drive with relevant info would be much easier to manage also how can u upgrade a hull and keep all the other parts that are bolted to it intuitively that make no since to me.

again simplest solution eliminate non-stellar ships altogether (I do think orbitals should be a different hull type btw.) hell.. like i said why stop there just eliminate combat altogether that would make the programing real easy and allow the player to focus on all these more interesting tasks then defending there worlds from the sloth invaders.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Ship Design

#17 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:33 am

GlasShadow wrote:engines are parts - plane and simple, that's not realism its logic.
No, it's an arbitrary declaration that doesn't match with established design.
one would replace the engine in one's car to boost its speed not replace the body.
You could do either. But regardless, in FO the engine is integrated into the hull and can't be changed separate from it. Think of the hull as the engine with some part-supporting sockets attached.
also to note - there is in effect is already a size distinction in the slots as the light hull has three slots none of which can hold a colony pod, of course this is in no way noted or differentiated leading one to believe that they could place parts anywhere they so choose.
Parts and slots have distinctive backgrounds and slot shapes that indicate what parts can go in which slots.
which is not the case, what other hidden restrictions will need to be placed on this to make the system work as it is once other things like troop transportation, or fighters, are added, not to mention the large ship with 6 shield generators on it and one super weapon or even a moderately equipped ship against a smaller vessel, dang id have a chance if only i had a slot for a weapon.
I have no idea what you're saying or asking.
diversity - small ships can hold 3 things at the moment - note - no colony pods :?:
Make a medium hull for colony ships.
that in essence means armor - shields- 1 weapon, throughout the entire game. allowing no flexibility, no sensor upgrades no cloak, etc.
Remove the weapon, armour or shield (which isn't or won't be available at the start) and add something else. You have to choose and specialize, not make do-it-all omniships.
Miniaturization and other refinements, can be implement in different ways(by giving a bonus to strength, instead of actually changing size for example)
size and bonus - this works in theory for weapons, what about sensors/shield's/cloaks - bonuses to these are pointless as it takes the same space as future upgrades would with presumably equivalent values
???
why even have any graphical representation of space combat at all when there is no diversity to the game
You have concluded or assumed without justification that there will be "no diversity to the game".
in essence this simplification fixes a ships possible options to the number of its slots throughout the entire game - i don't see how anyone rational could figure that would work in the long run.
Ever played Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri? If not, check it out.
what about missile interception, point defenses take as much as a much longer range weapon
If you can't fit both on one ship, make two ships. And make sure they're positioned properly in the battle, relative to the direction the missiles are coming from.
furthermore say i encounter a race with more advanced tech/larger ships, im simply dead i see no way to resolve this dilemma, he has bigger ships, (more guns) better tech (more powerful guns)
Cut off the enemy's fleet supply lines, have stealthy rather than raw power ships, have faster rather than slower ships with more weapons and use appropriate tactics for the range of your and the enemy's weapons, use cheaper simpler ships to facilitate some of the previous, have other non-combat purposes for your ships and attempt to avoid battle entirely, etc.
some weapon upgrade that makes my inferior weapon do similar damage as his superior one, does my weapon now cost exponential more to produce then his, if it doesn't why would he upgraded...
Perhaps the upgrades have diminishing returns, but the totally new weapon costs more or takes more time to get going, but will have its own independent upgrades that make it better long-term. Finish your fight soon, because the enemy may have a long-term advantage.
i could sacrifice starlane speed and go for the cheaper and fastest combat speed available.
As you can with the established system, if appropriate hull options are available.
ok ... ill conceded the current system is simpler, but simpler is not superior
Neither is complex, necessarily. But erring on the side of simplicity is.
further more take this from the design pad
Ship health and shield maximum values are determined from a ship's design. Specifically, the hull and the ship's part can modify the ship's health and shield max meter values.

Shields generally are only increased by specific shield parts. Ships without shield parts or some other source of shields at the start of a battle have a max shield meter of 0.

Health generally is increased somewhat by a ship's hull, so all ships have a max health meter above 0 from the effects of their hull. Other parts can also increase a ship's health, and armour parts significantly increase a ship's health max meter.
talk about contradiction - ship heath and shields are determined from a ship's design specifically the hull ... "except that" .. Ships without shield parts or some other source of shields at the start of a battle have a max shield meter of 0 ... what lol. anyway just thought id make some fun of that.
I don't see a problem. Ships need something to give them shields. That can be parts or hulls. If they don't have parts or hulls to give them shields, they have 0 max shields.
also i would contend that armor is far different then internal systems, what rational would detract from the offensive capability of a ship based solely on the fact that a unit of armor replaces a weapon.
Perhaps the ship isn't intended to be used in combat, or doesn't need a weapon in that slot due to its tactical role, but might get ambushed or caught undefended and so would be better with a bit of armour to make it less fragile.
imagine sorting through over 500 different hull types that's were your present system leads
There won't be 500 different hull types. Perhaps 20 is a reasonable number? Maybe 12?
... even take just 3 stellar engines X 3 ship sizes + 3 non-stellar X 3 ship sizes, (18 hulls compared to 9 elements composing 36 different ships if parts are used ) ...
I don't know what you're calculating, but I don't think it's meaningful regardless.
again simplest solution eliminate non-stellar ships altogether
Not sure what you mean by "non-stellar ships" but if it means ships that can't move between systems, it's alread planned not to have any such ships exist, although the engine would support them.

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Re: Ship Design

#18 Post by GlasShadow » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:00 pm

imagine sorting through over 500 different hull types that's were your present system leads

There won't be 500 different hull types. Perhaps 20 is a reasonable number? Maybe 12?

Quote:
... even take just 3 stellar engines X 3 ship sizes + 3 non-stellar X 3 ship sizes, (18 hulls compared to 9 elements composing 36 different ships if parts are used ) ...

I don't know what you're calculating, but I don't think it's meaningful regardless.

Quote:
again simplest solution eliminate non-stellar ships altogether

Not sure what you mean by "non-stellar ships" but if it means ships that can't move between systems, it's alread planned not to have any such ships exist, although the engine would support them.
why so limited 12 ships, thats something like either 3 hull sizes and 4 engine combos total in game, what am i calculating, if u cant figure that out ... i honestly don't know what to say, even your 12 ship example if broken up would allow more ship types, no sub-steller ships is even worse, that gives the defenders a chance i cant reply full as i have to go to school but ill respond to the rest latter.

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Re: Ship Design

#19 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:30 pm

If he can't understand you, it may be that your grammar is insufficient to the task of communicating your ideas. At any rate, it seems to me that you are making a lot of unwarranted assumptions, the most fatal of which is that these design decisions haven't been thought through and discussed thoroughly already.

It might be wise to peruse the design archive and perhaps some relevant brainstorming threads (use the "Search" function), as well as the Version 0.4 Design Pad to familiarize yourself with previously made design decisions and the justification behind them. If, after that, you still think there are decisions that need to be revisited (I personally think there should be different slot sizes, but that's nothing urgent), feel free to post a Brainstorming thread only if you have new evidence or arguments in favour of your position which have not been brought up before, and you are sure to organize them in a cohesive, understandable manner (i.e. inserting "lol" in at seemingly arbitrary intervals does not improve the readability of your post, as opposed to Capital Letters, which do).

Also, bear in mind that we don't want to spend much time going over previously made decisions, as this detracts from the actual time we can use for the design and development of the new aspects of the game. There's a reason that long discussions take place for most major design decisions: it's so we can get it right the first time.
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Re: Ship Design

#20 Post by GlasShadow » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:24 pm

sorry that my Grammar isn't up to the task you should see my spelling ... lol ... it's my only academic flaw, as my college transcripts will prove :) (3.7gpa)

anyway i put the lol in there because to most people i come off as cocky or offensive - neither of which are in fact true in the -real-. ill be sure to type a thorough report next time, id note that forums are generally informal, hence the smilie emoticons on the left :shock:

the fact that you think at some point the size idea is good is great ::by the way no one said this had to be done tomorrow::
as to reading relevant threads, figure a way of organizing your forums better and i wouldn't have to view several different topics with even more threads (unless you can point me to the ones you wish that i read so I'm totaly up to date i don't have the time to spend 3 days plowing through the forums), and poorly developed wiki IMO. if the design was so cemented then where is the wiki page on it? i see less than two paragraphs in the design pad for 0.4 on ships, however it might be worth my time to see if this Suggestion was made before so i get proper credit when that time comes ::see bottom::.

also just to rant

We have no plans to add slot sizes. The simple one-slot one-part system keeps things simple. Unless there's a strong case for making it more complicated, we'll keep it simple.
Parts and slots have distinctive backgrounds and slot shapes that indicate what parts can go in which slots.
maybe these were added in a latter version as i see no shapes only black squares. but in any case the setup has then already changed and is in fact not so simple really, the distinction of shapes verses size is laughable, why pick something that compartmentalizes the design further instead of expanding variety.
Also, bear in mind that we don't want to spend much time going over previously made decisions, as this detracts from the actual time we can use for the design and development of the new aspects of the game. There's a reason that long discussions take place for most major design decisions: it's so we can get it right the first time.
this wasn't gotten right the first time as the inclusion of "Shapes" if that is the case, was added after the release I've seen. I think its on the right track, but not nearly where it should be before advancing the project to the "adding content" such as more working tech items, at least in the ship area or a lot of stuff will need reworking latter.

anyway i wont argue about something that will become self evident in time.

although i will add that something of this scope is better added sooner then latter, imagine designing the 12 hulls that was stated as being all the ships in the game, which btw could be accomplished with only 7 elements the way i propose, refining there movement rates health all these other bonuses such as detection etc. and then decide you want to do this, all that work is moot. more to the point even changing those so integrated systems then becomes problematic. breaking stuff up into is constituent parts make the whole system easier to test and implement, piece by piece, ie. most modern programming languages are modular in design thereby reducing overall complexity and increasing diversity and re-usability.

also imagine CIV with only 12 units FTW, if that is all that's planed i might as well quit now as that's a poultry sum for a galactic empire strategy based game IMO, speaking of CIV just design the whole ships as a solid unit and don't take a half-step.

i could go on about this for at least a page on how this would make for easier phasing in of tech and advancement but i doubt it would matter. so i won't.
Last edited by GlasShadow on Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ship Design

#21 Post by pd » Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:58 pm

GlasShadow wrote:as to reading relevant threads, figure a way of organizing your forums better and i wouldn't have to view several different topics with even more threads
The wiki and especially the design documents collect the final design decisions. The discussions about those decisions can be found in the game design board(surprise!). Brainstorming is just that - brainstorming. The How to Help page should be helpful for any new potential contributors.
GlasShadow wrote:(unless you can point me to the ones you wish that i read so I'm totaly up to date i don't have the time to spend 3 days plowing through the forums), and poorly developed wiki IMO.
Suggestions to improve documentation are welcome. Implementing those would even better, but honestly, it's all pretty obvious.
also just to rant
[...]
maybe these were added in a latter version as i see no shapes only black squares.
Then you are likely not using the recent release, which is 0.3.13.

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Re: Ship Design

#22 Post by GlasShadow » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:06 pm

i am in fact using the 0.3.13 release taken directly from the link in the wiki to this page

http://sourceforge.net/projects/freeorion/files/

and sadly i have yet to encounter any different shapes in that screen

::edit::
opps after looking at the actual file i do have the 0.3.10 my bad on that one, ill be sure to dl the newer one but i doubt it will change my mind much.

as far as i understand brainstorming is a way of generating new ideas, no repressing them, a better way this could have went is, ok nice idea but check out these threads as someone has submitted a similar idea in the past or if not, ok we'll discuss your idea and see what we can come up with but no promises or even check the wiki as changing this game element is currently not being discussed instead of well that's irreverent and realism has no point, your grammar's not up to the level of sophistication we require etc.

it just leaves a bad taste in ones mouth to suggest something, take the time to work out a theoretical screen shot, and then just be crapped on in the first reply. I'm seriously rethinking contributing to this endeavor, obviously you don't need my help but maybe just maybe something i contribute could make the project even better, just my thoughts on the matter. im not saying if this isn't done then i quit, just that from a public relations stand point things could be warmer. dumping on someones idea so simply puts everyone in a defensive/offensive mode and doesn't get much actual discussion or brainstorming done.

also the link is all curricular referencing and generalized content, the only thing i got from it is that version 0.4 will include the ship design upgrades so why not make those decisions sometime around say now. taken from the road map.
from the wiki
Slots

* Hulls have a set number, layout (and possibly sizes) of slots into which parts may be placed to make a ship design.
* Slots are either internal or external.
o Some parts may be restricted to only internal, or only external slots.

Justification
i see this has been mentioned but not decided upon, well I've had my pitch towards size that is all. unless i misread the holy wiki

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Re: Ship Design

#23 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:25 pm

GlasShadow wrote:as far as i understand brainstorming is a way of generating new ideas, no repressing them
Yes, and you can post whatever ideas you want in brainstorming. And I or someone else will often take the time to respond in detail to your suggestions. But that doesn't mean we're going to fully rediscuss or seriously reconsider an already-decided aspect of the design every time anyone has any new or old suggestions, especially if those new suggestions are based on assumptions inconsistent with the design or otherwise unjustified.
a better way this could have went is, ok nice idea but check out these threads as someone has submitted a similar idea in the past or if not
As pd noted, there are existing game design threads with many suggestions and discussions in them. More important is probably the Design Archive with many older discussions in it. You should be able to find the relevant threads yourself in those boards, but I'll point out Ships: Engines and Ships: Ship Design System.
ok we'll discuss your idea and see what we can come up with but no promises or even check the wiki as changing this game element is currently not being discussed
Rather than promising to discuss your ideas, we are discussing them in this thread.

Some of that discussion just ends up being pointing out that your idea isn't consistent with the existing design, or that it's based on incorrect or unjustified assumptions. If you've spend a lot of time thinking about things based on these assumptions, this may seem like we're just dismissing your ideas, but that's not necessarily the case.

You also posted in brainstorming on a topic that's already been discussed at length in official design threads, and referred to the existing design a few times. From this, it's reasonable to assume you know there's an existing design and that this isn't an official design thread.
instead of well that's irreverent and realism has no point
The realism irrelevance point is a basic design principle for the project. If your argument is based on a realism argument, it carries very little or no weight and anyone arguing against you can easily dismiss that argument by noting it is a realism argument. Even in current official design discussions, such arguments wouldn't likely be given any consideration.
your grammar's not up to the level of sophistication we require etc.
Nobody is objecting to your grammar because they don't like you or want you to stop posting. It's just that your posts are very hard to read and understand, and you need to write more carefully. This isn't a personal attack or a cheap excuse to dismiss your ideas... it's a legitimate inability to understand what you're writing.
it just leaves a bad taste in ones mouth to suggest something, take the time to work out a theoretical screen shot, and then just be crapped on in the first reply.
What else were you expecting, besides a point by point discussion of your suggestions and comments? It probably doesn't help that you made a lot of assumptions and declarations without justification that aren't consistent with the existing design...

The fact that you made a screen shot is nice, but it's really wasted effort. We generally decide on the principles or underlying design before worrying about details of presentation in the UI. In the event we decide to add sizes to slots, we'll probably consider your proposal. Feel free to suggest it when that discussion happens.
I'm seriously rethinking contributing to this endeavor, obviously you don't need my help but maybe just maybe something i contribute could make the project even better, just my thoughts on the matter. im not saying if this isn't done then i quit, just that from a public relations stand point things could be warmer. dumping on someones idea so simply puts everyone in a defensive/offensive mode and doesn't get much actual discussion or brainstorming done.
Perhaps if you got a bit more familiar with the existing design, and focused on unanswered design questions rather than already-decided things, you'd find contributing more satisfying?
from the wiki
Slots

* Hulls have a set number, layout (and possibly sizes) of slots into which parts may be placed to make a ship design.
* Slots are either internal or external.
o Some parts may be restricted to only internal, or only external slots.

Justification
i see this has been mentioned but not decided upon, well I've had my pitch towards size that is all. unless i misread the holy wiki
As I've said, there's current no plans to add slots. This doesn't mean it will never happen though: it's mentioned as a possibility for the future in the design on the wiki, and will be considered later. The idea is that we'll see how things work out with the current system, and if it's decided that we need to add more complexity to slots, such as by adding sizes, then we'll try that. There's no set time for when this will happen, but it won't be until we've got a working combat system to test with. Until then, we'll err on the side of simplicity and not have slot sizes.
GlasShadow wrote:imagine CIV with only 12 units
Again: check out Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. 12 hulls / chases does not mean only 12 possible units.

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Re: Ship Design

#24 Post by mZhura » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:25 pm

Ability to construct ships of same size with different speed would be greatly appreciated.

IMHO, ideal ship-construction model i see in GalCiv2.

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Re: Ship Design

#25 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:32 pm

mZhura wrote:Ability to construct ships of same size with different speed would be greatly appreciated.
Rather than "of the same size", we'll just have different hulls with different speeds. There won't be a significant "size" label attached to hulls or ships. The different speed hulls might be available at similar or different tech levels, depending how the tree is structured, and their relative costs will depend on details of content that's created.

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Re: Ship Design

#26 Post by TerranStarCommand » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:24 am

Rather than "of the same size", we'll just have different hulls with different speeds. There won't be a significant "size" label attached to hulls or ships. The different speed hulls might be available at similar or different tech levels, depending how the tree is structured, and their relative costs will depend on details of content that's created.
I am worried that tying any of a ship's vitals to its hull will decrease tactical options, which is one thing MOOII's shipbuilding interface does far better than any other space combat game. I'd be thrilled if Hull Sizes have a 'Mass' that increases with total space/size, and drives have a 'Thrust' rating. Ships with a higher thrust/mass ratio will move faster. This is something we could easily tune in data without code support. Building hulls of the same size with different 'speed' ratings simply doesn't make sense logically (it's not like they're more aerodynamic...) and it only complicates the tech tree. In short - Speed should entirely depend on Engine class, which should not be tied to Hull Size, except as a Thrust/Mass ratio.

What this does is open up Engine research possibilities
- Average size engines that reside on the main research tree.
- Engines that take up 'extra space' in a ship, but provide a much higher thrust value. (Great for fast attack ships or in-system 'fighters')
- Engines that take up very little space, and have a low thrust value. (Good for huge, slow ships to maximize cargo, or all-purpose ships)
- "Magical" engines that have a near-infinite thrust value, but takes up a huge amount of hull space

I haven't finished reading all the design docs yet (and I know some of this has definitely been discussed), but for the record, I am adamantly against the 'one-slot-one-part' design and was incredibly disappointed when I saw it in the most recent build. Building 'catchall' ships in MOOII was limited by space available, not an arbitrary restriction on the part of the design team. If I want to build a big, slow Missile Frigate, I have to exclude things like point defense weapons, engine augmentation, ECM, shields, etc. If I want to build a fast troopship, I have to include many of those things, as well as troop pods - however there exists a lot of wiggle room for players to fine-tune their ship specifications. There's nothing to prevent me from including neutron beams WITH my troop pods and missile racks and ECM and ... you get the idea.

Ideally, I would love to see "Slotted" systems relegated to the original MOOII specs with a few additional options.
"Hull" - determines ship size and base HP.
"Interstellar Drive" - How fast the ship moves between star systems. A ship with no/disabled ISD can't warp.
"System Drive" - How fast the ship moves in-system and in-combat. A ship with no/disabled SD cannot move in combat, and should be classed as an "Orbital".
"Armor" - the Hull's armor plating. Determines damage reduction coefficient when doing system calculations. This could be more in-depth (i.e. certain types of Armor are better than others at defending against different types of damage)
"Shields" - Just like armor, only damage is dealt to Shields first, then Armor.

It seems silly to decide 'what type of ships' a player should build (fighters, orbitals, troopships, etc) by virtue of hull type. Why not just give them the tools, and let them build whatever they want? Part of the fun of MOOII was figuring out how to build those new ship types - or better yet, capturing and refitting enemy vessels to figure out what THEY were doing.

As a concession to the 'fixed ship design' principles, remember MOOII had "default" ship plans of each type which usually consisted of a fair loadout of the best available technology. I also love the idea of using Espionage to steal an enemy's ship plans (so you can tell exactly what their loadout would be) which could perhaps give advantage to targeting subsystems on ships of that design/hull type). If we built out an XML structure/reader (wayyy late project addition) players could even save out ship designs and swap them around.

Finally - refitting. A slot-based system for the aforementioned systems makes refitting a snap, since a player could easily throw a bunch of ships in drydock to refit armor, shields, or engines separately without modifying weapon loadout. If we set mostly-fixed turn lengths for refitting ships, we could even PRESERVE ship components as 'planetary inventory' - imagine pulling the shields from your old ships and refitting them on your in-system defenses.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Ship Design

#27 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:13 am

TerranStarCommand wrote:I'd be thrilled if Hull Sizes have a 'Mass' that increases with total space/size, and drives have a 'Thrust' rating. Ships with a higher thrust/mass ratio will move faster.
How is this different from just assigning a hull a speed and not having separate engines?
Building hulls of the same size with different 'speed' ratings simply doesn't make sense logically (it's not like they're more aerodynamic...) and it only complicates the tech tree.
The current design ties the engine into the hull, so variations in speeds of otherwise similar hulls would be, at least partly, due to different engines or engine configuration within the hull.
What this does is open up Engine research possibilities
- Average size engines that reside on the main research tree.
- Engines that take up 'extra space' in a ship, but provide a much higher thrust value. (Great for fast attack ships or in-system 'fighters')
- Engines that take up very little space, and have a low thrust value. (Good for huge, slow ships to maximize cargo, or all-purpose ships)
- "Magical" engines that have a near-infinite thrust value, but takes up a huge amount of hull space
All of these are possible with engines as an integral part of hulls, as in the current design.
Building 'catchall' ships in MOOII was limited by space available, not an arbitrary restriction on the part of the design team. If I want to build a big, slow Missile Frigate, I have to exclude things like point defense weapons, engine augmentation, ECM, shields, etc. If I want to build a fast troopship, I have to include many of those things, as well as troop pods
Other than the "engine augmentation", this should all be possible with one part per slot.
however there exists a lot of wiggle room for players to fine-tune their ship specifications. There's nothing to prevent me from including neutron beams WITH my troop pods and missile racks and ECM and ... you get the idea.
Also possible with slots.
It seems silly to decide 'what type of ships' a player should build (fighters, orbitals, troopships, etc) by virtue of hull type.
There are no plans for "orbitals", and no hull specifically restricted to fighters or troop ships...
Why not just give them the tools, and let them build whatever they want?
The current FreeOrion design gives you tools and lets you build what you want. The tools are just different and operate by different rules than you're used to thinking in.
Part of the fun of MOOII was figuring out how to build those new ship types - or better yet, capturing and refitting enemy vessels to figure out what THEY were doing.
There will hopefully be enough variety in parts and hulls to make similar discoveries interesting in FreeOrion.
give advantage to targeting subsystems on ships of that design/hull type).
That's a level of control detail beyond what we're planning for. We want battles to be playable without pausing between battle rounds (3-5 seconds long each), and don't want a hugely complicated UI. This is a strategy game, not a hugely detailed combat simulator with an empire game wasting time between battles.
If we built out an XML structure/reader (wayyy late project addition) players could even save out ship designs and swap them around.
Ship designs can already be saved as human-readable text files. See here for example.
Finally - refitting. A slot-based system for the aforementioned systems makes refitting a snap, since a player could easily throw a bunch of ships in drydock to refit armor, shields, or engines separately without modifying weapon loadout.
This is partly why we went with slots... so I'm not sure what you're arguing for here.
we could even PRESERVE ship components as 'planetary inventory' - imagine pulling the shields from your old ships and refitting them on your in-system defenses.
That's a level of micromanagement we don't want to deal with. We've avoided even having separate resource stockpiles for food or minerals on each planet. We're not going to also have intermediate partly-constructed ship parts and hulls lying around to be managed as well.

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GlasShadow
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Re: Ship Design

#28 Post by GlasShadow » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:49 am

agree with nearly everything you said TerranStarCommand

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Re: Ship Design

#29 Post by mZhura » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:11 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
mZhura wrote:Ability to construct ships of same size with different speed would be greatly appreciated.
Rather than "of the same size", we'll just have different hulls with different speeds. There won't be a significant "size" label attached to hulls or ships. The different speed hulls might be available at similar or different tech levels, depending how the tree is structured, and their relative costs will depend on details of content that's created.
Two moments:
1. by merging engine with ship hull you restrict player with dependency between speed and number/variety of expansion slots
2. using predefined list of ship's speeds is also a tough restriction. to me difference in speed from 40 to 80 is not a difference at all. real difference that i needed for my tactics is more like 40-800.

in current FO speed is opposite to size. but what if i need fast and huge ship? this can't be? who said that? :) i prefer having only two restriction on ship design: how much can it carry and how much will it cost.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Ship Design

#30 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:58 pm

mZhura wrote:1. by merging engine with ship hull you restrict player with dependency between speed and number/variety of expansion slots
And stealth, health, fuel capacity, cost, build time, and various prerequisites. Having the ability to make restrictions like these makes balancing a lot easier, but doesn't prevent us from having options for ships that have any combination of properties, should they be strategically interesting.
2. using predefined list of ship's speeds is also a tough restriction. to me difference in speed from 40 to 80 is not a difference at all. real difference that i needed for my tactics is more like 40-800.
If there's a reason to do so, we can have ships that have very large speeds and very low speeds.
in current FO speed is opposite to size. but what if i need fast and huge ship? this can't be?
The current ship hulls are just filler and for test purposes. We'll expand the options significantly later... or currently.
who said that? :) i prefer having only two restriction on ship design: how much can it carry and how much will it cost.
It's more important to make interesting strategic decisions between options that have pros and cons than to have no restrictions. We'll probably have some hulls with lots of slots and that are fast, but these will likely cost a lot and have other disadvantages.

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