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Wavinator

How many of you would bother with ship building?

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For the randomly generated empires I''m designing ships, space stations and buildings have configurations based on mixed and matched 3D model pieces (noses, hulls, engines, etc). This should help with eye fatigue somewhat (textures will still repeat unless I figure out procedural texturing, but this will help). My question is whether or not to invest the effort in creating a UI and scheme for players to piece together structures themselves. I''m reconsidering whether or not to open this up to players for a few reasons, but the most important reason not to is gameplay, then next UI: Would you bother with a snap-on UI to build ships and bases if it had no real impact on your in-game capabilities? Maybe you make a T shape with engines on the ends of the T, versus a H shape with engines on the bottom. In game stats still control your turn rate, armor etc. (I REFUSE to tackle rigid body physics!!!! ) I was thinking about adding in psuedo-physics "principles" for putting things together (like "warp fields" that interfere with sensors) but I''m not sure its even worth the trouble. Since players will likely throw in their own stuff once I open up the architecture (likely Star Wars and Star Trek plug-ins) it may not be worth the effort, and if there were "fields" and whatnot they''d get in the way of players adding in their own Enterprise or Millenium Falcon. -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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That would be REALLY neat, I do not know if I would bother, but I would purchase the game just for that!

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I would go would just go with premade hull designs, and let the player focous on the interior. Unless there is a noticable gameplay effect for diffrent hull configuration then its just a wasted effort.

-----------------------------------------------------
"Fate and Destiny only give you the opportunity the rest you have to do on your own."
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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With the end of the world and all occurring today, I have already built a ship to take me and a small group of followers to the nearest comet. Anyone want to come? The ship has no life suport utilities but trust me, you want need them.

But seriously, unless the designing will have some effect, like weapon types and firing arcs, then people probably only use the feature once or twice then ignore it since it has no benefit to cost.

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One of my determining factors for purchasing a game that involves spaceships is whether they are customizable or not. That's why I still forgo fancy new games for an occassional run thru of Masters of Orion 2. =)

Seriously, EarthSiege 2, to a degree Mechwarrior, the Crimson Skies boardgame...the more of a hand I have in designing a spaceship or fleet of spaceships, the more I enjoy it. So, I encourage you to add that option as much as it won't spoil the point of your game. (If you get too carried away, you turn into Masters of Orion 3. WAY too complicated.)

EDIT: Of course, EarthSiege and Mechwarrior aren't spaceships, but they did involve a good degree of customizablility: specifically massive weapons load-outs.

[edited by - serratemplar on June 1, 2004 12:25:01 AM]

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Yeah, Masters of Orion3: When good games turn bad.
Micromanagement will destroy a game, no matter how good it is. A Good method would be to allow micromanagement but that the benefits of that micromanagement would be as proportionately small. So that the player can happily ignore them and the game is largely uneffected. If the player wants to tweak something a bit, the micromanagement is there for them. But that it doesn''t become necessary that the player MUST micromanage for essential effects. The almost compulsory requirement to micromanage destroyed MoO3.

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I think this will surely be used, I mean if I hate anything in a space sim or sortlike is when my ship is flying by myself like 20 times. Being able to customize this I would even like it even it it doesnt impact how well the ship is it still is nifty..

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Depends on your needs. If you want a really detailed game, ship-building would be a good addition. Likewise, you might also want the game to focus on "building an effective ship for your needs." If it''s just going to be a light and highly abstracted gameplay in the end, though, there is obviously no point to it.

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Thanks for the replies so far. I wanted to be a bit more specific:

You''ll be able to customize the layout of walls and facilities inside your ship. Where you put stations, pipes and interior modules matters.

Ship to ship (or base) combat would be influenced by module placement. So placing turrets or fixed weapons in a particular direction would impact attack angles. This might reflect a particular strategy (maybe you mount your missile launchers backwards because you''re always firing and running, for example.)

If it sounds like enough people are interested in this, I''ll add deeper gameplay.


Also, another question: My first instinct is to make this something that the player can earn, to help cut down on initial complexity and give you another reason to level up. Or do you think people should be able to customize right off the bat?

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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Best ship design I have ever seen was in the game "remember tomorrow" (MOO clone). Instead of just stringing design elements like drive, cannon, sensor etc. with weight or volume as limiting factor like in the most of games, in this game each device had specific shape (footpint on the 2D grid), and you had 2D ship hull with grid, into which you had to sqeeze all the elements you want, also each element requied some power, which was provided by generators, which themself of cause also had to be put into the hull. Was a very fun game, pity they didn't produce sequel...

[edited by - serg3d on June 2, 2004 7:20:55 AM]

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