Ship Design: Stars! vs Moo vs SEIV

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

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iamrobk
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#106 Post by iamrobk » Sun Nov 14, 2004 7:19 pm

While space combat is a vital part of a 4x space game, if you force players to put too much work into it, it will take away from the main point of the game, which is the 4 Xs.
Interesting point, really. My personal feelings are that space combat definately is, and should be, a part of FO (and 4X's in general), simply because the player needs space combat to achieve any of those 4X's. The only other way is diplomacy, and we haven't discussed that yet....

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#107 Post by Ranos » Sun Nov 14, 2004 10:01 pm

I wasn't saying that it shouldn't be a part of FO and I would be quite annoyed if tactical and strategic space combat was removed from the game. What I meant and what I said was that too much emphasis on space combat (which from my POV includes ship design) takes away from the strategy part of the game.

If I have to spend an hour or two designing a single ship, I am wasting time on a part of the game that should come second hand to the main part of the game. We could make a game where ships are preset and you just goup a bunch together and send them to your enemies system and when there, the computer plays out the battle and you get nothng more than results of whether you won or lost and how many ships, if any, survived the battle. The game would still be a 4x space based strategy game, but with practically no emphasis on spcae combat.

That is not, I repeat, not what I want to see in FO, but I also don't want to see a ship design process that requires and hour or two to design a single ship.
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#108 Post by iamrobk » Sun Nov 14, 2004 10:03 pm

Ranos wrote:I wasn't saying that it shouldn't be a part of FO and I would be quite annoyed if tactical and strategic space combat was removed from the game. What I meant and what I said was that too much emphasis on space combat (which from my POV includes ship design) takes away from the strategy part of the game.

If I have to spend an hour or two designing a single ship, I am wasting time on a part of the game that should come second hand to the main part of the game. We could make a game where ships are preset and you just goup a bunch together and send them to your enemies system and when there, the computer plays out the battle and you get nothng more than results of whether you won or lost and how many ships, if any, survived the battle. The game would still be a 4x space based strategy game, but with practically no emphasis on spcae combat.

That is not, I repeat, not what I want to see in FO, but I also don't want to see a ship design process that requires and hour or two to design a single ship.
And I agree with your point. All I was saying is that space combat should be a big part of the game.

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utilae
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#109 Post by utilae » Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:03 am

iamrobk wrote: And I agree with your point. All I was saying is that space combat should be a big part of the game.
Of course. The only reason I got into Moo2 was cause I read in an Ad for Moo2 about designing your own ships, and it had cool graphics, etc. Everyone likes spaceships in SciFi, and that's why spacecombat is important. Would you watch StarTrek, Babylon 5 or Star Wars if there were no space ships?

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#110 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus » Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:00 am

utilae wrote: Would you watch StarTrek, Babylon 5 or Star Wars if there were no space ships?
Likely (cause I like sf) but I wouldn't call them space operas then.

We are making a 4X here, and not just 'any' 4X. We don't care about sales and n00bies, we are making it for us - die-hard, core 4X gamers. I think majority here want detailed ship construction (there was a poll bout that and it shows just that). And just in case few of us don't care much about it, it can be solved by some AI-like governor.
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#111 Post by Ranos » Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:30 pm

The problem with that poll was that MisterMerf had three low levels with very little detail at all and then he jumped to extreme detail without any choices in between. Most people chose the last not because they want that level of detail but because the other three choices didn't allow for enough detail which they really didn't want.

Not everyone here is die-hard, core 4x gamers. Many are people who were very dissatisfied with MOO3 and wanted to make a replacement for it. I want detailed ship construction but not at the expense of the game. I want to be able to mount my weapons, shields and specials. I want to decide how much armor my ship has and how fast it goes, both sub-light and warp. But I want to be able to play the 4x part of the game and actually get to use my ships in battle instead of spending huge ammounts of time designing them.

If you look back through my posts in this thread, you will see how much detail I want. I want more detail than MOO3 had but not as much as some people are talking about.
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#112 Post by Bastian-Bux » Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:41 pm

Bad news for you Ranos. This aint "Ranos Orion" (nor is it BBOrion ;).

So compromises are worked out between the people working on FO. And at the end the design team decides what they like most / think will work.

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#113 Post by solartrix » Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:07 pm

@ Ranos, I agree, I don't want to spend hours designing ships, either. I think you should be able to do it under 5 minutes easy, maybe even under 2 minutes if you're in a rush.

@All

I think maybe I went a little overboard in my previous post. Having to figure out crew, mass, energy, etc for each component would be tedious. Perhaps we could drop the crew part of this, but I'm thinking the other two might not be too bad. Could work something like this:

1 - You pick a ship platform, which can hold X many tons of mass together

2 - You add a power plant, which has a certain power per mass ratio and a set of +/- buttons to adjust the size of the power plant

3 - Then you drag and drop components to your ship. Each component (laser cannon, shield generator, etc) also has a +/- button to add subtract the number of components (like guns or fighters) or make them stronger or weaker (say shields or ECM or impulse drives). Each component has a base mass and power consumption, and they get scaled accordingly.

4 - Then you mix, match, modify until you get a design that "flies" per the energy and mass requirements of your platform and engines.

I don't think this would be all too complicated or time consuming, but would allow a ton of customization. For examples:

A powerful ECM ship with increadibly strong shields and weak engines.

A fast energy-weapon strike ship with light armor and light shields but a lot of long range beam weapons and powerful impulse engine.

A carrier ship with weak engines and small powerplant but lots of mass leftover for fighters.

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solartrix
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#114 Post by solartrix » Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:09 pm

@ Ranos, I agree, I don't want to spend hours designing ships, either. I think you should be able to do it under 5 minutes easy, maybe even under 2 minutes if you're in a rush.

@All

I think maybe I went a little overboard in my previous post. Having to figure out crew, mass, energy, etc for each component would be tedious. Perhaps we could drop the crew part of this, but I'm thinking the other two might not be too bad. Could work something like this:

1 - You pick a ship platform, which can hold X many tons of mass together

2 - You add a power plant, which has a certain power per mass ratio and a set of +/- buttons to adjust the size of the power plant

3 - Then you drag and drop components to your ship. Each component (laser cannon, shield generator, etc) also has a +/- button to add subtract the number of components (like guns or fighters) or make them stronger or weaker (say shields or ECM or impulse drives). Each component has a base mass and power consumption, and they get scaled accordingly.

4 - Then you mix, match, modify until you get a design that "flies" per the energy and mass requirements of your platform and engines.

I don't think this would be all too complicated or time consuming, but would allow a ton of customization. For examples:

A powerful ECM ship with increadibly strong shields and weak engines.

A fast energy-weapon strike ship with light armor and light shields but a lot of long range beam weapons and powerful impulse engine.

A carrier ship with weak engines and small powerplant but lots of mass leftover for fighters.

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utilae
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#115 Post by utilae » Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:48 pm

solartrix wrote: 1 - You pick a ship platform, which can hold X many tons of mass together
I think the ship platform should only determine ship size and space it can store. Also I would rather "X space" then "X many tons of mass". I think where certain items are physically placed inside the ship doesn't really matter. I mean we could have it so that an item placed in the center of the ship is less likely to be damaged, but is it necesary, no. It probably won't be a significant factor in space combat. We could just as easily have a bar for internals that get damaged. Maybe the bar represents the power output, what systems are working etc. If there is little power than only systems that use little power still work.
solartrix wrote: 2 - You add a power plant, which has a certain power per mass ratio and a set of +/- buttons to adjust the size of the power plant
'Power per mass ratio'? What? Why not just Power capacity for storing power and power charge rate for fillling up the capacity. Or we could have instead just a power output. Anything that uses less or equal power than the power output works. Oh and of cause how much space is taken up.
solartrix wrote: 3 - Then you drag and drop components to your ship. Each component (laser cannon, shield generator, etc) also has a +/- button to add subtract the number of components (like guns or fighters) or make them stronger or weaker (say shields or ECM or impulse drives). Each component has a base mass and power consumption, and they get scaled accordingly.
This could be far simpler if we did not put items in physical locations. Selecting what items go in your ship 'list style' and without worrying where they go physically would be better. Also each component/item takes up space and requires X power.
solartrix wrote: 4 - Then you mix, match, modify until you get a design that "flies" per the energy and mass requirements of your platform and engines.
Yes, but this better not take a long time :).
solartrix wrote: I don't think this would be all too complicated or time consuming, but would allow a ton of customization. For examples:
Unless it was list style.
solartrix wrote: A powerful ECM ship with increadibly strong shields and weak engines.
Could have that with list style. Don't have to put a component in a physical location to make this ship.
solartrix wrote: A fast energy-weapon strike ship with light armor and light shields but a lot of long range beam weapons and powerful impulse engine.

A carrier ship with weak engines and small powerplant but lots of mass leftover for fighters.
These like the first example seem to not take into account where the components were put. So it would be better to do this list style. THe only thing this method of design has added is power generation and consumption, which is good as long as it is kept simple, like how space is simple in Moo2.

I think if we put components in a physical location on the ship, there needs to be a good gameplay reason why. The other reason for it is that it looks nice as you design the ship, which is good. But unless this can be done quickly without wasting time, it would not be very good.

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#116 Post by Ranos » Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:55 am

Bastian-Bux wrote:Bad news for you Ranos. This aint "Ranos Orion" (nor is it BBOrion ;).

So compromises are worked out between the people working on FO. And at the end the design team decides what they like most / think will work.
I never said it was "Ranos Orion." All I said was what I wanted, not what was going to be done or else.

@ solartrix

Having to balance both space/mass (either term could be used, space is the common one, but mass would be better for determining speed and manueverability) and the ammount of power you ship has could be fun but it should be a simple power plant which is needed to power the engines and weapons. It would take a little more time to build ships since you would have to keep your eye on two numbers instead of only one. The easier way to do it is to either assume the power plant and leave it out completely or make the power plant automatic. In other words, you need 10,000 gigawatts of power so that is the plant the computer puts on the ship. It takes up 50 space/mass. You add another weapon and now 10,500 gigawatts of power are needed os it is increased and takes up 52.5 space/mass.

I agree with utilae that a list style would be easier than drag and drop. I think it will be faster to select from a list too. Location could be important if we want that to determine which direction a weapon fires.
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solartrix
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#117 Post by solartrix » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:06 am

Ranos wrote:
In other words, you need 10,000 gigawatts of power so that is the plant the computer puts on the ship. It takes up 50 space/mass. You add another weapon and now 10,500 gigawatts of power are needed os it is increased and takes up 52.5 space/mass.
Ranos, that's pretty much how I envisioned it. I think it would be simple and easy and add another degree of freedom to ship design. For example, scouts without a whole lot of weapon needs would have a smaller power plant and be cheaper and/or faster. I like using mass, too, vs. space. It makes more sense to me, plus we can use it for determining ship speeds in combat.

Also, each power new power tech would allow you to get a higher power rating per unit mass, thus allowing more powerful ships. For examples, Fission reactors might be 100 MW/MT (Metric Ton) and then Fusion reactors come along and give you 150 MW/MT. Which means you can build lighter, faster ships or you have more mass available for weapons and engines, or you can run more powerful weapons on the same sized ship.

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#118 Post by Bastian-Bux » Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:52 pm

For good starting values I suggest Fire, Fusion and Steel for the RPG Traveller: The New Era. It is the most in depth Star Ship development manual I have ever seen :).

PS: Funny thing, I bought the TNE sourcebook in solartrix hometown (San Francisco), though I doubt they still sell it, as that was in '96 ;). Was a nice lill store, and they even did know that Hitler wasn't the president of Germany anymore ;).

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#119 Post by Ranos » Wed Nov 17, 2004 4:04 pm

Hitler isn't the president of Germany anymore!?! :shock: When did that happen?

@ solartrix

I misunderstood. I thought you meant that the player would have to manually change the power plant to suit the power needs. I was talking about it being a completely automatic thing to eliminate the ehadache of having to increase or decrease the size of the PP.

The tech decreasing the mw/mt is a good idea. That would help keep things flowing smoothly.
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utilae
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#120 Post by utilae » Wed Nov 17, 2004 8:29 pm

solartrix wrote:
Ranos wrote: In other words, you need 10,000 gigawatts of power so that is the plant the computer puts on the ship. It takes up 50 space/mass. You add another weapon and now 10,500 gigawatts of power are needed os it is increased and takes up 52.5 space/mass.
Ranos, that's pretty much how I envisioned it.
I would think of it as this way:
Ships has 500 space (current max GW is displayed here as well)
-Put in 1 power plants +100GW -50 space -$50
-Put in 1 weapon -50GW -25 space -$25
-Put in external section +50 space -$100

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