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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MisterMerf
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#16 Post by MisterMerf » Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:40 am

I slapped up a poll that may or may not suggest directions for this discussion:

viewtopic.php?t=933

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#17 Post by Daveybaby » Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:03 pm

MisterMerf wrote:I think we're straying a bit from the pure ship design standpoint. Whether the weapons have facings or not is a detail at this point.
The weapons facings was just an example of something that might be in or out depending on the scale of the combat model.
Manilla Moxy: Daveybaby appeared to be coming at this question more from the CPU processing perspective. To be honest, even if engagements DO have 2000 ships, it can still be designed to give ships a reasonable average lifespan (by making focused fire not all that focused or giving shields interesting properties or whatever).
NO. I'm not worried about cpu processing at all. I'm worried about UI clutter, confusing and frustrating the player, not to mention the poor SoB's who have to design the UI and code it.

If moo3 taught us nothing else, its that the last thing you want in a game like this is to engender a feeling in the player that nothing they do makes any difference, players need to be able to see the results of their choices. If you present the player with a massively complex ship design algorithm, that allows them to decide where to place every component, and how power is routed to them, and how well protected each component is etc, and none of that makes any difference to the outcome of a battle then all youre doing is making the game confusing and frustrating.
utilae wrote:I see no reason why we cant do this. It is very likely that we will show a laser beam be drawn from one ship to another, so why not calculate damage on the target ship at the same time.
My whole point is, at what *scale* do you calculate damage? Do you keep track of just 1 'health' value, or do you separate shields, armour and hull, or do you model every ship system, using local damage models and disruption to power supplies, or do you go right down to how ruffled the hair of the commander has become?

If some poor programmer spends a year designing, coding and testing an advanced hair ruffling algorithm, and the player never sees any effect from it because theyre too busy controlling 100 ship task forces, then youve just wasted a man-years worth of work that could have been used to do something *useful*. Plus the player gets annoyed because, even if he spends 5 years researching a new kind of extra-hold hair gel for the captain, it doesnt seem to make much difference to whether he wins battles or not.

Again, a lesson to be learned from Moo3's development is that you have to FOCUS on the key issues, instead of spending *years* developing ideas that never see the light of day.
Really, the whole controlling of ships at the taskforce level is cosmetic, it is only an appearance, hiding what is really going on. Just because control is simplified by way of taskforces doesn't mean that the mechanics are simplified.
No its *not* just cosmetic. Its fundamental to the way the game plays.
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#18 Post by haravikk » Sat Oct 16, 2004 12:59 pm

Aren't task-forces essentially big ships? Wouldn't it make sense therefore when ships are combined into task-forces to total what they have? So if a ship has 20 armour points all round, with 50 shield points to the front, and you have ten of them in a task-force, then your task-force has 200 armour all-around, and 500 shields to the front. As this goes down it can be distributed to the ships nearest where weapons are hitting and some may be destroyed as a result, but the task-force still is seen as a single ship.
As ships are destroyed then the weapons that the task-force has are reduced.
Task-forces in MOO3 already do this as far as speed and weapons being fired is concerned, all we'd be doing is adding arcs back in.

In this way the ship level detail is carried onto task-forces, which also include detail in how many of different ships are added to it.
So if your task-force has lots of ships with long ranged forward facing weapons then it can stand off and cause damage effectively at range, while ships with forward extended weapons will have lesser range, but are better at deal with being surrounded.

I don't see that any of the detail is lost when you move from a ship to a task-force level. Task forces containing lots of broad-side ships will be better at delivering strong broadsides.

The only difference is that it is easy to put heavily side-shielded ships into a TF with weakly side-sheilded but heavily armed broadside ships, thereby balancing out the weakness. But compared to a TF of all broad-side ships it will still be weaker at broadside attacks.

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#19 Post by utilae » Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:05 pm

haravikk wrote: Aren't task-forces essentially big ships? Wouldn't it make sense therefore when ships are combined into task-forces to total what they have?
Yes and Yes.
haravikk wrote: Task-forces in MOO3 already do this as far as speed and weapons being fired is concerned, all we'd be doing is adding arcs back in.
Exactly.
haravikk wrote: I don't see that any of the detail is lost when you move from a ship to a task-force level. Task forces containing lots of broad-side ships will be better at delivering strong broadsides.
The point to remember is that all task forces are is predefined groups and a method of filtering control for the player. You can get the same effect as TaskForces by selecting one army and CRTL1, then another army and CRTL2 (like in StarCraft). So it only has to appear that things are done one the group/taskforce level, when they are actually done on the ship by ship level.

Also you would still see the effect, for example if you put ships with front only weapons and ships with rear only weapons in the same taskforce, they are gonna be less effective against one taskforce, but more effective against a taskforce in front and one behind. Also if all ships in a TF have shields at the front, then if the entire TF is attacked from the side, they have no shields on their sides, so danger.

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#20 Post by Ranos » Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:12 am

Daveybaby wrote:My whole point is, at what *scale* do you calculate damage? Do you keep track of just 1 'health' value, or do you separate shields, armour and hull, or do you model every ship system, using local damage models and disruption to power supplies, or do you go right down to how ruffled the hair of the commander has become?
While damage to individual weapons would be a nice statistic to have, I agree with Daveybaby here. Unless there are only a handful of ships, it would be too much for the computer to handle and fairly pointless when it comes to 2000 ships fighting it out. Damage should be limited to three areas: Shields, Armor, Internals. Internal damage could be broken into two: Physical and Electrical. This would be the difference between Plasma Cannon burning through armor and doing physical damage to the interna equipment and Ion Cannon ignoring armor completely and doing electrical damage to the internals.

Weapons stacks seem a little too complicated for my tastes. also they seem very limiting.
MisterMerf wrote:<snip>
I was an avid player of the Mechwarrior games for awhile. By far my favorite part of the game was designing mechs.
<snip>
This got me to thinking. Why not use the Mechwarrior model in a similar fasion to MOO3. There would be different ares of the ship that you would put the weapons on. Front, Port, Starboard, Top, Bottom, Rear and Internal. That would be a basic list that could be broken down more, but I don't think that is necessary.

You would have to position shield generators (if there will be specific damage to certain areas of shields instead of a general shield damage) to cover the entire ship. Placement of weapon would influence which directions they could fire (again, if firing arcs are implemented).

For external points, things to mount are direct fire weapons, indirect fire weapons tubes, fighter bay openings, shield generators, etc. Armor does not take up any external points, it is a given.

For the internal points, here you would lose space to engines, power plants, crew quarters, command center, etc. You would have to save space for the fighter bays and missile bays but you could also mount additional internal structure to allow for more armor on the outside. You could also install more power plants which would recharge you shields and weapons faster.
Daveybaby wrote:If moo3 taught us nothing else, its that the last thing you want in a game like this is to engender a feeling in the player that nothing they do makes any difference, players need to be able to see the results of their choices. If you present the player with a massively complex ship design algorithm, that allows them to decide where to place every component, and how power is routed to them, and how well protected each component is etc, and none of that makes any difference to the outcome of a battle then all youre doing is making the game confusing and frustrating.
As I stated in my last post, if we don't come up with ideas for both Space Combat and Ship Design before they need to be done, one will be lacking in comparison to the other. Both need to be done at the same time to realize their full potential.

@Daveybaby

This is brainstorming. It is sort of a wish list of what everyone would like to see. Then it is taking parts that people don't like and getting rid of or changing them. Then come the guys who are actually going to do the programming to say what will work and what won't work and making the final decision. There is nothing wrong with discussing things like this in this thread. It is not pointless, it is not too early. It is brainstorming.

@haravikk

What is the point in adding all the armor points together and then splitting them apart again to figure out damage? Each ship should have it's own armor points, internal points and shield points. Damage is done to each ship, not the TF in general.

I would like to see the individual ships be able to split out of the TFs and manuever indepentantly. In this way, if you had a TF with both long and short ranged weapons, the ships that were long range could stand back and fire while the short ranged ships moved in on the enemy.

I would like to see smaller ships have more speed and manuerverability than larger ships. In this way, TF speed would not be the same throughout. The small ships would move in and out of the bigger ships quickly while doing their damage.

The only purpose of TFs should be for controlling large groups instead of a load of ships. Ships should still move, fire and blow up independantly. This is of course my wish for how ships and TFs would work. I would settle for MOO3 style with firing arcs, but it wouldn't be as tactical. It would also pretty much render the point of disabling and capturing ships useless. If you disabled a single ship in a TF, either the whole TF would have to stop or the disabled ship would continue to move.
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#21 Post by Daveybaby » Sun Oct 17, 2004 10:18 am

Ranos wrote:This is brainstorming. It is sort of a wish list of what everyone would like to see. Then it is taking parts that people don't like and getting rid of or changing them. Then come the guys who are actually going to do the programming to say what will work and what won't work and making the final decision. There is nothing wrong with discussing things like this in this thread. It is not pointless, it is not too early. It is brainstorming.
Fair enough... i just wanted to make sure my point was understood... that essentially anyone's preferences in ship design should take a back seat to what is actually required by the combat model, and that under no circumstances should anything from this discussion drive how the space combat model will work.
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#22 Post by Ranos » Sun Oct 17, 2004 10:09 pm

Unless it relates directly to Space Combat. If someone wants to have to put in shield generators in the design screen just because it would be fun, then that shouldn't drive the combat engine. If they say they would like to have shields take damage to only one side of a ship instead of all the shields, then that is something to be considered in space combat.
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#23 Post by PowerCrazy » Sun Oct 17, 2004 10:19 pm

What is the scale of spacecombat? It seems that in the Space Combat thread there isn't a good concensus. Once we determine what scale of combat we are aiming for, then we can decide how detailed the Ship Design needs to be. Then when we have that determined we can start coming up with the costs/blanace of the individual ship componetns etc. FUN!

So I say that at end game when we have HUGE fleets goign against each other it will be sometihng like 50 Capital Ships per side, with carriers etc for the little ships. So your big engagement in Mid-game will consist of abotu 10-20 ships per side. If we do it that way we can have a lot of indiviuality for each capital ship, but enough generality for the little fighters etc that the carriers spew out. What is everyone elses opinion.
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#24 Post by Impaler » Mon Oct 18, 2004 1:23 pm

I made a Mockup of the Stars! inspired system I detailed on the last page. I used whats called Cairo Grid because of its novelty, symetry and ability to hold blocks of many differnt sizes and shapes without them looking stupid.

This is the Template Design Screen, in Stars you forced to use the pre-defined templates that are suplied too you but my goal here is to let the player design their own Templates. The player can only have a limited number of Templates in their library at one time but that limit can be raised by successively Refining the "Ship Construction" Tec lets you have one more template each time you Refine it. This gives you a cost assosiated with having many templates. Normaly the player wount have more then 1 or 2 Templates for each Hull size they have discovered which would be around 3 at the Start of the game and 10 in the late game.

Ships fall into a range of Hull sizes with each one being opened up by an Applied Tecnology. Each Hull size has several values, a Stack Limit, a Space Limit and values for Build Time and Cost (how ever thats going to be done). Stack Limit is the maximum number of Stacks aka Slots the Hull can have. Each Stack may be from 1 to 8 (or possibly higher) in size and someware between 1 and 64 "Hight" which is the upper limit on how many copyies of a Device can go in the Stack (this is indicated by the small number in each Stack). Size is equizelent to having larger more powerfull weapons/Shields/Sensors ect ect, the smaller ones are your little Point Defence Guns. The Space of a Stack is its Size multipled by its Hight. The total Space of the Hull is the cumulative Space of all its Stacks. As the player discovers progressibly larger Hulls the Space limit incresses Expidentialy but the Stack Limit incresse incrimentaly, this forces Stack hight to incresse inorder to effectivly use all the space and keep the design from becoming bloated. This is essentialy how all of the Stars! Templates work as well but the effect is a by-product of the rules rather then something pre-made. The stack system is quite effecient, the above grid has 234 tiles at a max stack Hight of 64 that 14,976 total Space, I doupt even are largest Space Station needs to be that Huge and if we want we can always raise the Stack Hight Limits.

Here is the Picture

Image

Along the Top are blocks indicating 1 - 8 sized Stacks, these are just a few of the potentials ofcorse and they could be refined or selectable from a list of options. All of them can be rotated 90 degrees to fit in how ever they are desired. Along the Bottom are 2 hypothetical Ships. Notice that according to the Data read outs the ship on the right is almost twice the Space of the ship on the left. The largest Space Station fills most of the Design Space but is Thousands of times the Space Value of a Fighter.

Options

Starting with this basic Stack premise their are ways to do just about all the minute details the some people are looking for like directional weapon and Shield Arcs and having damage applied to individual Component Stacks. Let me make it quite clear that these are OPTIONS that could be performed under this plan, nothing I have described so far realy goes much Beyond Moo and Stars! inwhich the ship is just a Bag of Stuff with a Hit Point total slaped on it. If this minimalist stance is whats desired then the relative locations of all these stacks will mean nothing in the final design of the ship and this is just to alow you to easily see the ship and use drag and drop to design it with. If people want more complex features then stack locations/orientiations could be used to determine them.

As you can see I have some Red Engine Exaust behind the ships and a little Forward Cone on the weapon Stack of the Fighter to give you an Idea how this might be done. The Armor Space would be the outline of the Ship minust the Engine Exaust Space (you obvously cant put armor over that) it acts to determine the cost of armoring your ship, each "layer" of incressed protections Cost the Armor Area multiplied by the Per unit cost of the armor. It could possibly be broken down into Forward/Port/Starboard/Aft as well if you wanted to be that specific.

Expect the follow up mock up on the Final Design Phase in which you put your Devices into the Hull Template you have created and add Mods to them as well (If your familiar with Stars! then the First part is likly already familiar too you).
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#25 Post by MisterMerf » Mon Oct 18, 2004 9:08 pm

Impaler wrote:nothing I have described so far realy goes much Beyond Moo and Stars! inwhich the ship is just a Bag of Stuff with a Hit Point total slaped on it. If this minimalist stance is whats desired then the relative locations of all these stacks will mean nothing in the final design of the ship and this is just to alow you to easily see the ship and use drag and drop to design it with. If people want more complex features then stack locations/orientiations could be used to determine them.
If the reaction to my poll is any indication, a lot of people will be willing to go deeper into design than the "bag of stuff" approach.

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#26 Post by Ranos » Mon Oct 18, 2004 9:34 pm

We have a few options of complezity as to how ships get designed. First option, which I think is how MOO2 did it (it's been so long since I played it, I'm not sure), is engines, crew quarters, bridge, generators, etc. are not relevent to the space you have. All you decide on is what weapons and how many of each weapon go on the ship, specials and sensors all of which effect space and the type of shields and the type of armor, which don't effect space. This is the simplest method.

Next is MOO3 style. Each ship has a certain ammount of space. Crew quarters, the bridge and something else (can't remember what and I'm not at home) were automatically loaded and took up x% of space on each ship. You select the armor and how much armor goes on the ship. This has no effect on the space. You select the shield class, which doesn't effect space, and the shield generator size, which does. All weapons and specials take away from space. You also select which engine class to use for both warp and sublight. These you can effect the space by which engine you select and the cost by how fast it goes. This is more complex than the first but allows you to control more and gives your ships more diversity.

The third option combines elements from the Mechwarrior mech design and MOO3 design. The ship is divided into seven parts: Forward, Aft, Port, Starboard, Top, Bottom and Internal. Crew quarters, command center and all other irrelevant (to the game) internal items are not a part of the internal space. You must start the design process by selecting what type of engines to use. Once selected, these will automatically take up a certain percentage of the Aft section as well as a percentage of the Internal section based on which engine type you use. Then you select the sensors that you want to use which fill space in the Bow and the Internals depending on which sensor type you use.

After those two steps are complete, you get to the main system installation. Here you install weapons, specials, armor and shields. Weapons consist of Energy, Projectile, Missile and Fighter. Energy takes up only external space for the weapon itself. Projectile takes up external space for the weapon and internal space for the ammo. You may install more ammunition for these weapons in ammunition storage rooms. Missile takes up external space for the missile tubes and internal space for the actual missile storage. Fighter takes up external space for the bay opening and internal space for the bay itself.

Specials are things like Marine Quarters, Colony Pods or Troop Drop Pods. These take upexternal and/or internal space depending on the system. Colony pods take both because of bays needed for loading supplies and things of that nature. Marine quarters only tak up internal sections because they are for ship to ship combat. They would have to be used in conjunction with Marine Transports or Transport Pads which would take up additional space. Armor takes up no space for the basic armor allowed. You can use space on the external space to mount supports for heavier armor, but this means you can fit less weapons. Shields take up external space with the shield generators. You can put as many generators on the ship as you want but that costs space that could be used by weapons.

This system is somewhat complicated by forcing you to put things in a specific area, but this would allow for much greater diversity in ships as well as allow the player to customize each ship according to its purpose.

The last option (these only include options that I have seen or come up with) is Impaler's proposal. I am not able to veiw the picture that is included in his last post so I can't fully understand what he is proposing, but it seems to me to be even more complicated than my proposed system.

If I understand, you have space on the ship which you have to fill with "Stacks" which are where you actuall put the systems you will be using. Each stack can only hold a certain item. There would be a stack for beam weapons, sensors, fighters, etc. Once you design a ship, you then have to research the design before you can use it.

This is obviously a somewhat brief and biased review, breif since I don't fully understand it and biased because what I do understand, I don't like. Having stacks which you put the weapons into seems limitig in the diversity of what you can mount on a single ship. I'm also not in favor of having to research the ship design itself. You have already researched all of the techs required to build the ship, why should you have to waste RP in researching it?

I am in favor of a prototype system. With this system, you would design the ship and before you could build it in mass production, you would have to build a single prototype.This prototype would cost more and take longer. If the ship will cost 50 PP over 10 turns to build, the prototype should cost 55 PP over 11 turns or something along those lines.

If you haven't guessed, I am in favor of the third option. It seems like a fun and challenging aspect to ship design.
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#27 Post by utilae » Tue Oct 19, 2004 12:48 am

Ranos wrote: The last option (these only include options that I have seen or come up with) is Impaler's proposal. I am not able to veiw the picture that is included in his last post so I can't fully understand what he is proposing, but it seems to me to be even more complicated than my proposed system.
Copy the link into the address bar to the see the pic. I don't really like Impalers method, though probably because it looks wierd, complex and I don't understand it.
Ranos wrote: If you haven't guessed, I am in favor of the third option. It seems like a fun and challenging aspect to ship design.
I like the third option too. But as DaveyBaby has said, is putting certain systems at certain points on the ship gonna be taken into account in space combat?

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#28 Post by Impaler » Tue Oct 19, 2004 3:52 pm

Is anyone here familiar with Stars! the system is very much like that but here were leting the player actualy design their own Hull which then goes into their list of avalible Hulls.

I can see your Familiar with Mech Warrior though and this is similar. In Mech Warrior 4 you can choose from a whole list of Mech Chassies and put components such as Beam Weapons and Missle Weapons into slots that come in 3 sizes. What I have here is like designing your own Chassie from Scratch, it can be as specialized and odd as you wish and its space for components can be any number you can name.

The goal is to have the player design a very limited number of these Chassie/Templates/Hulls and for them to be used for the remainder of the game for sucsesive generations of ships. The Oportunity cost of adding a new Template to your library is rather high and much higher then adding a new Ship Design which has all the finished "stuff".

If the limiting mechanizm is a new tecnology you need to reserach or a Prototyping cost or maintance fee is less important then their simply being some kind of soft cap. The player can theoreticaly have an unlimited number of Templates and/or Designs if they can pay the cost. In practicaly terms though theirs always a break-even point beyond which its wastefull.

I'm not realy familiar with Moo3 Ship design (I purchessed Moo3 out of the Bargan Bin just to try it out and never could stomach it long enough to figure out the design process). The portion about Surface/Internal sounds odd though, it seems to imply that all ships have some set Surface : Volume Ratio that the player is forced to obey. I think we should just let players Deside for themselves if something is on the inside or outside. Inside restricts various types of things like weapons but offers better defence. A few simple rules would suffice.

1 - You cant put anything Aft of an Engine
2 - Anything on the perimiter of the ship is automaticaly on that facing
3 - Anything that is surounded by other stuff is default Internal, but can also be assigned to other directions if the player wishes.
4 - Devices can have multiple facings and hence wider firing arcs but they will be subject to attack from all thouse directions as well.

My though was that their could be a panel for selecting the facings and the shapes of the Stack change to represent that. For Example that large 8 size stack is obviously a Spinal Mount with a narrow Arc. A more rounded shape would represent a Turret (Turrets ofcorse cost more then Spinal Mounts).


Lastly, please give this Cairo Grid a try, its quite interesting once you get familiar with it, I dont think Hexs look very good for building stuff in (they feel War-Gamey and terrain like). And Squares are just borring. The angles formed on this grid realy give a sense of Enginering and Construction.
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#29 Post by Ranos » Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:35 pm

Impaler wrote:The goal is to have the player design a very limited number of these Chassie/Templates/Hulls and for them to be used for the remainder of the game for sucsesive generations of ships. The Oportunity cost of adding a new Template to your library is rather high and much higher then adding a new Ship Design which has all the finished "stuff".


Why should you only be able to design a certain number of ships in the game? Being able to design each new generation of ship individaully means you aren't using the same old ships all game long. After I read utilae's post and was able to look at the picture, it looks like a nightmare.

Using the Mechwarrior model, you choose the hull size you want, which is similar to choosing the chassis. As I think about it, if combat is going to be done on a 2D plane, then there isn't a point in having top and bottom sections. What you would see when you go into the ship design screen would be this:

Section--------------------Forward---------Aft--------Port-------Starboard-------Internal
Total Space-----------------###---------###-------###---------###--------------###
Used Space-----------------###---------###-------###---------###--------------###
Available Space------------###---------###-------###---------###--------------###
Equipment Installed-------ABC----------ABC--------ABC----------ABC----------------ABC

When you click on an item in the list, it gives details about how many are installed, damage, range, size, space used, etc. It also lists links to items that are internal. For example If you had a fighter bay in the port section, it would say there is fighter bay space used in the internal section.
Impaler wrote:If the limiting mechanizm is a new tecnology you need to reserach or a Prototyping cost or maintance fee is less important then their simply being some kind of soft cap. The player can theoreticaly have an unlimited number of Templates and/or Designs if they can pay the cost. In practicaly terms though theirs always a break-even point beyond which its wastefull.
The difference is with a prototyping fee, it is a small percentage increase on pp/turn. A ship that takes 50/10 would take 55/11 for the prototype. I think this would be far better than having to spend RP in some large sum. Now maybe it wouldn't be a huge ammount, but prototyping makes more sense to me than researching a new design. You already researched all of the necessary parts for the design, why do you now have to research the design itself. When you build the prototype, you are going to be figuring out how everything fits together and making minor adjustments and refinements to the design so that everything fits together properly.
Impaler wrote:I'm not realy familiar with Moo3 Ship design (I purchessed Moo3 out of the Bargan Bin just to try it out and never could stomach it long enough to figure out the design process). The portion about Surface/Internal sounds odd though, it seems to imply that all ships have some set Surface : Volume Ratio that the player is forced to obey. I think we should just let players Deside for themselves if something is on the inside or outside. Inside restricts various types of things like weapons but offers better defence.
MOO3 ship design is the second way in my last post, the third way is my idea based on Mehcwarrior and MOO3. There is no ratio. Each size ship has preset numbers to each of the five areas needing to be filled. Each weapon has a set space that it fills. With energy weapons, this is all that it required. With projectile weapons, missiles and fighters, there is mounts, tubes and bay openings that would take up external space, but then there are also internal spaces that need to be used. I know I have said this before but I'm just trying to explain it so that it makes sense to everyone else.

When you install a missile rack, you select how many tubes there will be. Lets say each tube takes 2 space that has to be mounted on one of the external areas. The missile loading systems take up 2 internal space and each missile takes up 2 internal space. So if you install 1 missile tube with 1 round, it takes up 2 external and 4 internal space. You can install more rounds for that singe tube which only costs and additional 2 internal space each or you can install additional tubes which take 2 external and 4 internals a piece. You have to weigh the benefits and make sure everythin fits together.

Basically, the internal space is for additional expendables. This allows for more missiles, more fighters, etc. You can install more fighter bays allowing for multiple waves of fighters. For energy weapons, instead of saying no internals are needed, maybe you would need power plants. These are completely different from the engines which give a ship its propulsion. This is just something to allow people to customize their ships more and add a challenge into the design part of ship building.
Impaler wrote:A few simple rules would suffice.

1 - You cant put anything Aft of an Engine
2 - Anything on the perimiter of the ship is automaticaly on that facing
3 - Anything that is surounded by other stuff is default Internal, but can also be assigned to other directions if the player wishes.
4 - Devices can have multiple facings and hence wider firing arcs but they will be subject to attack from all thouse directions as well.

My though was that their could be a panel for selecting the facings and the shapes of the Stack change to represent that. For Example that large 8 size stack is obviously a Spinal Mount with a narrow Arc. A more rounded shape would represent a Turret (Turrets ofcorse cost more then Spinal Mounts).

Lastly, please give this Cairo Grid a try, its quite interesting once you get familiar with it, I dont think Hexs look very good for building stuff in (they feel War-Gamey and terrain like). And Squares are just borring. The angles formed on this grid realy give a sense of Enginering and Construction.
I would rather say this weapon goes in this section, know what is in that section by the name listed under that section instead of having to drage and drop stuff into little individual slots which would need to be linked to this and this would determine whats internal and try to figure out what weapon I have installed by the picture in the grid. It just seems far too complex.
200 and still a Wyrm!?! I don't want to be a Wyrm anymore. I've been a Wyrm for 100 posts now.

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utilae
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#30 Post by utilae » Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:36 am

Ranos wrote: Why should you only be able to design a certain number of ships in the game? Being able to design each new generation of ship individaully means you aren't using the same old ships all game long. After I read utilae's post and was able to look at the picture, it looks like a nightmare.
Yes, a limit on ship designs sucks. Also, Impaler, your system does appear very complex. I think anything more than a list based system is bad.
Ranos wrote: Using the Mechwarrior model, you choose the hull size you want, which is similar to choosing the chassis. As I think about it, if combat is going to be done on a 2D plane, then there isn't a point in having top and bottom sections.
I like how you have sections, and how it is similar to Moo2/Moo3. I would rather call the different sections "Rear Quater", "Front Quater", "Left Quarter", "Right Quater" (assuming the ship is divided into 4, ie cut a circle into quarters). Also I would get rid of the internal section. Everything pretty much is internal anyway. If we did want to we could have a chekbox for each system and flag a system as inner/outer (indicating how prone it is to damage). I don't see the point of having internal as a section.
Ranos wrote: The difference is with a prototyping fee, it is a small percentage increase on pp/turn. A ship that takes 50/10 would take 55/11 for the prototype. I think this would be far better than having to spend RP in some large sum. Now maybe it wouldn't be a huge ammount, but prototyping makes more sense to me than researching a new design. You already researched all of the necessary parts for the design, why do you now have to research the design itself. When you build the prototype, you are going to be figuring out how everything fits together and making minor adjustments and refinements to the design so that everything fits together properly.
Prototypes sounds like an unnecesary hassle. Why bother.
Ranos wrote: When you install a missile rack, you select how many tubes there will be. Lets say each tube takes 2 space that has to be mounted on one of the external areas. The missile loading systems take up 2 internal space and each missile takes up 2 internal space. So if you install 1 missile tube with 1 round, it takes up 2 external and 4 internal space. You can install more rounds for that singe tube which only costs and additional 2 internal space each or you can install additional tubes which take 2 external and 4 internals a piece. You have to weigh the benefits and make sure everythin fits together.
I think we shouldn't go into this kind of detail with missiles and missile tubes (choosing what weapons go on a fighter is ok, maybe).
Ranos wrote: Basically, the internal space is for additional expendables. This allows for more missiles, more fighters, etc. You can install more fighter bays allowing for multiple waves of fighters. For energy weapons, instead of saying no internals are needed, maybe you would need power plants. These are completely different from the engines which give a ship its propulsion. This is just something to allow people to customize their ships more and add a challenge into the design part of ship building.
Unnecesary and a hassle.
Impaler wrote: A few simple rules would suffice.
1 - You cant put anything Aft of an Engine
Not necesary if you are using Ranos' third option (mech warrior/moo3). Also you hsould be able to put anything into any section as long as you can fit it, of course some thing may have requirements (ie engine can only be in aft, unless you could put most of the engine somewhere else, while only the necesary parts are in the aft).
Impaler wrote: 2 - Anything on the perimiter of the ship is automaticaly on that facing
Not necesary, the weapon may stick out of the top of the ship and could face any direction.
Impaler wrote: 3 - Anything that is surounded by other stuff is default Internal, but can also be assigned to other directions if the player wishes.
Id rather flag a system as internal (this assumes a list style system).
Impaler wrote: 4 - Devices can have multiple facings and hence wider firing arcs but they will be subject to attack from all thouse directions as well.
Logical, but may not be true. I think any damage taken to a certain quarter of the ship should affect all systems/weapons in that quarter more than the other quarters (eg more damage taken by those systems).

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