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Shield me from the pain

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Ravuya

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So today I added shield recharging and the energy system. Both of them deserve a bit of discussion in order for you to figure out the hidden depth of the RPG-esque functionality inside them.
  • Shields deflect all damage (except potentially for shield-bypassing weapons) until they are depleted. They have a (very aggressive) recharge rate, which draws (at the moment) 5 Energy/pulse from your pool of energy and pulse four times per second (thus taking 20 Energy/second and recharging RechargeRate * 4 shield points per second). Different ships have different maximum shielding, so the only thing you'll get from swapping out your shield is a faster recharge rate and possibly more protection against energy or projectile arms. Once shields are depleted, damage goes directly to your hull. The hull cannot be recharged or repaired in flight; you must dock and have it fixed at market prices. Docking instantly recharges your shield, free of charge.
  • Power Supplies recharge the energy in your ship. Different activities consume different amounts of energy; right now the only activity consuming energy is recharging your shield (energy weapons fire off their own batteries). However, in the future energy will be used by the ECM Attack software as well as the warp engine. They recharge at a variable rate, so upgrading your power supply will increase the speed at which your energy supply recharges. All ships have 100 Energy, so upgrading a ship won't give you more energy to waste. Since the energy system is so important, the player is not allowed to leave a docked station without one installed. It is refilled free of charge when docking.
Okay, with that little description of the game mechanics over, I'm offering up a little image of the shield recharging.
Note that, unfortunately, the Progress bar is now gone. Let's all have a moment of silence for that little meter, which carried me out of a complete engine overhaul and into what is now shaping up to be a stellar, tough-as-nails action/RPG.

One of the nice things about these relatively simple types of items is that they are passive; you do not have to be actively involved in their upkeep. This way, a player who is bad at multitasking can simply buy better passive equipment so he is not destroyed while flying around and calculating his phat trade haul.
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Hey. Cool batch of progress you've been having lately. Must be exciting.

Anyway, I'm sure you've got everything already decided, but I just thought I'd inject my thoughts on the energy system thing. I've always been a fan of the Tyrian/X-wing/Tie-Fighter system where you've got a power generator and all of your weapons/engines/shields draw from it. Some of them draw more power than others, some draw constantly, others draw instantly when they fire, some of them hardly use any energy but chew up finite ammo, etc. You can buy better shields/weapons/etc, but if you don't have a beefy enough generator, you'll quickly run dry and be a sitting duck.

I especially liked the Starwars games where you could switch where your power is going. For example, usually (with the power distributed evenly) your lasers will recharge at a decent rate, your shields will also rehcarge at a decent (but slower) rate and you'll get average speed out of your engines. Say your buddy off yonder is in trouble and there's no bad guys around you, you've gotta switch most power to your engines to get top speed. This will slowly leech changes from your shields and lasers, but the upside is you'll get into the fight before your friend croaks! Also a fine art in that game was shunting charge from your lasers into your shields (once your lasers are full) so as to increase your shield recharge rate in a fight. Shields definitely took a lot more chargin' than lasers.

I can't remember what the control-scheme was for all this. It might have been annoying keyboard shortcuts, but from memory it was fine once you'd been playing for a while.

That's my $0.02AUD. [wink]

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And it's greatly appreciated. [smile]

At the moment, I haven't quite figured out what else uses energy, but I suspect the only other object that will "drain" energy are some items in the "special" slot (such as the stealth field generator). One-time firings will probably just pop off some energy (like the ECM Attack software) and lasers and such, as I said, use their own ammo supplies.

If it does get to the point where a management interface is necessary, then I'd love to add one. Probably wouldn't be too hard. I did love trying to balance heat and energy use playing Mechwarrior 2.

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If you're going to go the route of energy based economy on your ship, you may want to consider some fun new weapons:

1. A shield draining weapon which basically just leeches shield energy in a shot or two, but no or very little hull damage. And combined with the energy conservation system lachlan described, you can offset this by forcing more energy from another sub system.
2. An EMP style weapon that will either leech all the power from your system (well, maybe not all, you can't just sit dead in space, but enough to limp away or have the energy recharge or something), or disrupt the energy flow to your sub systems (this is a better approach if your energy system cannot be recharged).
3. Maybe an energy overload weapon which will burn out sub systems. Ala Star Trek: There's a feedback loop on the antimatter tractor beam converter captain!
4. OMG TEH ULTIMAT WEPON!!!: A board room meeting with PR/marketing idiots. Will not only drain your energy, but the energy of all ships within the solar system and not just energy, but the life force of all lifeforms within said area... [grin]

Actually, it'd be awesome if you had a rediculously expensive weapon on the market called "OMG TEH ULTIMAT WEPON!!!".

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Or you can be a total dork and add some Star Trek tech lingo and have automatically remodulated laser beams that hit at random frequencies every other hit and every once in a while you go right through their shields! BAM! I mean... ZAP!

Hey Ravuya do you have any info on the lore, technology or anything of the sort for Novarunner yet? I failed at finding a website for it...

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I did make a text file full of random lore that I was going to use on the loading screens.

However, after benchmarking the loading process, I've determined any loading screen would be gone too quickly to read. I'll have to post the set of strings here sometime.

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You could still use that in a "Tip of the Day" kind of window when the game loads. Just untick the checkbox if you don't give a crap :P

Can't wait until you show us a preview.

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