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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#121 Post by iamrobk » Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:19 am

Will there be an auto-ship build, because I really don't want to have to spend a lot of time custom making my ships.......I liked how MOO3 would let you say what hull you wanted, and what kind of ship you wanted, then would auto-design it.

Ranos
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#122 Post by Ranos » Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:20 am

@ utilae

Actually, I was thinking that instead of having to add power plants that take up X ammount of space and cost Y gold, the power plant would be an automatic part of the ship. Example:

Ship has 1000 space, costs $500 and has 0 GW (because at the time you begin the ship, 0 GW is required).
Select Engine 5, space required 20% (200), cost $1/space ($200), GW req 5000.
Power plant automatically installed using most advanced power type (Power Plant 5), 500 GW/1 space, $15/space (10 space, $150)
Ship now has 790 space, costs $850 and has 5000 GW.
Select Shield 5, space req 4% (40), cost $.5/space ($20), GW req 1000.
Powerplant automatically upgraded to 6000 GW requiring 12 space and $180.
Ship now has 748 space, costs $900 and has 6000 GW.

You get the point and the numbers I used are for examples only and are not intended to be used as the real numbers in the game.

Using this method allows the player to add everything on the ship and the plant is automatically upgraded, freeing the player from the hassle of either constantly upgrading the plant themselves or having to figrue out what to remove at the end to fit the power plant in.

The other possibility is to just have a tally in the screen as to how much power is required in the ship, how much space it would take and how much it would cost based on the most advanced power plant. This would do basically the same thig except the player would need to install the power plant at some point.

@ iamrobk

I would assume there would be but I don't know. It would be kind of stupid not to have one.
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utilae
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#123 Post by utilae » Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:33 am

Ranos wrote: @ utilae

Actually, I was thinking that instead of having to add power plants that take up X ammount of space and cost Y gold, the power plant would be an automatic part of the ship. Example:

Ship has 1000 space, costs $500 and has 0 GW (because at the time you begin the ship, 0 GW is required).
Select Engine 5, space required 20% (200), cost $1/space ($200), GW req 5000.
Power plant automatically installed using most advanced power type (Power Plant 5), 500 GW/1 space, $15/space (10 space, $150)
Ship now has 790 space, costs $850 and has 5000 GW.
Select Shield 5, space req 4% (40), cost $.5/space ($20), GW req 1000.
Powerplant automatically upgraded to 6000 GW requiring 12 space and $180.
Ship now has 748 space, costs $900 and has 6000 GW.

Using this method allows the player to add everything on the ship and the plant is automatically upgraded, freeing the player from the hassle of either constantly upgrading the plant themselves or having to figrue out what to remove at the end to fit the power plant in.
Good stuff. That's better because it *does* take away the hassle and effectively does what I was saying.

Blade Runner
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#124 Post by Blade Runner » Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:06 am

I see 2 camp here. The first camp would like to get a very complex ship design system, the another one something easier to understand and less complex. Maybe we can do a system, which will be acceptebl for everybody. I envision a system wih two level.
The first (easy) level could be something like a hull with spaces (let say between 5-30 depending on the ship type) for weapons, shields, engines, etc. There will be no weight constrain, you can put something into every space.
The more sophisticated design system will get no hard boundaries. So you can put as much as something into the design as you want, but some soft boundaries will works instead. On this screen the player can see his/her design plus a few information, like price, speed, fire power and shild /armor rating. It will be very important to the player to follow the common sense and try to design something balanced, because an imbalanced design will tend to cost much more, or slow down to crawl etc. Another idea is to follow the SMAC design system and ask much more "money" for designs wich get strong armor/shield AND weapon system.
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Bastian-Bux
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#125 Post by Bastian-Bux » Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:47 am

I think also a 2 tier system is a very good idea.

EDIT: Idea reworked :)

Both tiers have a library of ship designs as base.

The easy tier would ask the player for some important information, what kind of ship, which one of the weapon types to use and so on, and then search for a ship thats close to this, change the details a bit to fit, and voila.

The advanced tier would allow an in-depth design, complete with everything. So a player can design extremely specialized (or even unbalanced) ships, but doesn't have too. And best of all, he can add those designs to his library, so the next time he plays (for example in timed multiplayer) he can use the easy tier to get the same result.

Players that don't want to take the hassle of the advanced tier just look for player designs to be found on the web, and oad them into their library.

Blade Runner
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#126 Post by Blade Runner » Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:35 am

For multi player mode it will be a good idea to put into the option screen radio buttons with this two possibilities:
1. Ship designs from library
2. Advanced ship design
So the advanced players dont get automatic design adventages agains n00bs. :)
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Ranos
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#127 Post by Ranos » Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:38 pm

But how in depth would the advanced design be? I want something where I can put in weapons, armor, shields, specials, etc, but not where I have to keep track of a dozen different variables to make sure the ship will properly work.

I don't think it is split between people who want something simple and people who want something complex. It's split between people who want a complex system and people who want a more complex system.
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Blade Runner
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#128 Post by Blade Runner » Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:57 pm

Ranos wrote:But how in depth would the advanced design be? I want something where I can put in weapons, armor, shields, specials, etc, but not where I have to keep track of a dozen different variables to make sure the ship will properly work.
As I stated a few post before, it will get a few a soft boundares, like speed, defence, attack, price limits. When I am talking about soft limits, I think about exponencial limits. I.e.: a ship with 5 armor plate cost 1000 10 cost 2000 but 15 cost 10000. If somebody can afford it fine, but most of the players try to design something more price efficient.
Ranos wrote:I don't think it is split between people who want something simple and people who want something complex. It's split between people who want a complex system and people who want a more complex system.
Yup. :) That is the reason we will provide ready made blue-prints for players, who hates fiddling with designs for hours. :D That will be practically the first option.
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Prokonsul Piotrus
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#129 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus » Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:32 pm

I always said that 'eat the cake and have the cake' is the best solution everywhere. Go 2 tiers idea!
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utilae
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#130 Post by utilae » Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:09 pm

Bastian-Bux wrote:I think also a 2 tier system is a very good idea.

EDIT: Idea reworked :)

Both tiers have a library of ship designs as base.

The easy tier would ask the player for some important information, what kind of ship, which one of the weapon types to use and so on, and then search for a ship thats close to this, change the details a bit to fit, and voila.

The advanced tier would allow an in-depth design, complete with everything. So a player can design extremely specialized (or even unbalanced) ships, but doesn't have too. And best of all, he can add those designs to his library, so the next time he plays (for example in timed multiplayer) he can use the easy tier to get the same result.

Players that don't want to take the hassle of the advanced tier just look for player designs to be found on the web, and oad them into their library.
I like this idea of a library, espically being able to 'search' for a design that has been previously made, either by you or the games ai.

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#131 Post by Ranos » Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:47 am

@ Blade Runner

I'm not asking about how costs would work. I'm asking about how complex you are talking about the first option being. A two tiered system is fine with me, but if you are going to lump all players into only two categories of extremes, then it would be a terrible system. From what you are saying, you would either choose from a library of ships or you would spend an hour designing a single ship because of the massive ammounts of details.

That is making an assumption that all people either don't want to have to design ships or they want to spend an hour working out miniscule, unimportant or unnecessary details. I enjoy designing my ships in the game but don't want to have to spend an hour on every ship. I like selecting my hull size, weapons, armor, shields, specials, etc, but I don't want to have to juggle a dozen variables.
Yup. That is the reason we will provide ready made blue-prints for players, who hates fiddling with designs for hours. That will be practically the first option.
I say that people want complex and more complex and you respond with this. Maybe yo misunderstood what I said. There are people who enjoy installing all of the systems on there ships, like weapons, shields and armor. There are other people who want to have to design a complex hull that is their general blueprint for building ships and then have to actually load that blueprint with all of the components and balance space, mass and power at the same time.

Does that make sense? Just in case, let me say it another way. Most people don't want to have to use predesigned ships. I would say 99% of people who play these games want to be able to design their own ships. But not all of those people want to spend an hour on a single ship. So what you are telling me is that I either have to spend an hour or more designing my ships or I can use a ship that someone else designed? Am I correct?

My answer to that is simple. NO! I want to design my own ships. It is fun. But I don't want the ship design process to take away from the actual game, which is a space strategy game. The majority of game time should be spent in in the 4 Xs, not in ship designing.
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Blade Runner
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#132 Post by Blade Runner » Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:58 am

Ranos,

The main issue is the 2 level of the ship design.

If you like to design your ships from scratch you can go to the second option and because there will be no hard limit (like slot number, weight or similar) you have to check if you design is useful, like price, speed, resistances, weapons, etc. If you like to finish your design in 2 min. nobody force you to fiddling 2 hours to get let say a few percent more efficiency for your ship, but I read a few comment from players, who really wants something similarly complex.

A few player like to go battle ASAP and happy to use ready-made blueprints for his/her ships. For those players we can provide the first option. It will be important for multi player games, to get this option system works, so this way every player can go to battle on equal chance (either everybody can design or nobody can).
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utilae
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#133 Post by utilae » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:54 am

Designing a ship certainly won't take hours and we will not have the design of a ship take hours. Even if the design of a ship is detailed it should still take a short amount of time, eg 30-60secs. The library feature should be quicker. Simply a search of existing designs, either designed by the player or picked from hundreds of possible combinations.

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Bastian-Bux
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#134 Post by Bastian-Bux » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:06 am

Actually IMHO the complete design of a ship can and should take severall minutes, up to 15. But the easy tier should be very fast, less then 1 min.

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Kharagh
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#135 Post by Kharagh » Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:20 am

How about a 2 tier system, which allows a little more flexibility.
Like Ranos said, there is a step between no ship design and designing a ship for hours.

Lets make one complicated design option, where you can design everything, for ppl who want to design every detail of their ships.

In Addition to this we can use the automatic ship building feature, where you only select what weapons (or range) and armor or shield you want to have and you will get a complete design proposal made by the computer.
However it will only be a proposal. It will be generated within seconds and you can change everything you want before it goes into production. This way you can design ships real fast, but they will have the key features you want.

The idea with the lilbrary is also great, as it helps to design ships even faster.

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