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Space combat: No more turning battles?

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One thing endemic about space combat games is that fights often end up as two ships endlessly circling each other until one dies. Even the slow, stately capital ship combat in Orion Pirates mostly ends up being this way. This often happens because ships can''t shoot in 360 degree arcs. But if you get rid of turning battles in space, there''d be less positioning, and fights would be a lot less tactical. One solution I''ve been thinking about has 360'' firing arcs for some weapons with these rules: 1) Ships have 8 sides: 6 arcs from front to back (left, front, left-front, etc) and top and bottom 2) There''s a (sometimes different) hull rating for every arc, + maybe armor per arc 3) Weapons and systems cover every arc. Some cover multiple arcs. 4) Hits in any arc do damage to whatever''s in the arc, spreading across hull, weapons and systems. Damage is progressive, so the more hits to a single arc, the more damage is done. (This promotes turning, but not just to the rear) 5) Ships move pseudo Newtonian, and can face one way while moving another, even backwards. But slower ships turn more slowly, even while they do more damage. So course corrections are harder 6) Damage dissapates over range for beams, so closer passes hit harder. A good strategy, then, would be to close against a damaged arc and make a raking pass. 7) But ships collide if they share the same space, with damage based on relative speeds and size. 8) Damage to systems in a certain arc affect the function in that arc. Thrusters are less effective, sensors can flicker for that arc, and weapons can become locked in whatever direction they''re facing (say 90'' right forward instead of 360'') 9) Specific systems can be targetted and damaged the closer you are. So a good strategy is having longer ranged weapons, or ECM and counter-sensors if you''re trying to get inside the firing arc of an enemy. To really mix things up, alien ships would have different tech that made ships handle differently and have different strategies. One race might be able to perform a shield bash. Another might have a ramming probiscus which could fire plasma into a ship or board it with marines. Still another might have the engines in the nose, and be unable to fire forward. I think this would get rid of endless turning battles in space and make different races very interesting to play. Any thoughts or improvements? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by alchemar
kinda sounds like Star Fleet Battles. I liked thier system


Yeah, I''m *ahem* "borrowing" concepts from them and Full Thrust.

cool, I got one vote!



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

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Are you thinking about doing a game along that vain?

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.

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quote:

5) Ships move pseudo Newtonian, and can face one way while moving another, even backwards. But slower ships turn more slowly, even while they do more damage. So course corrections are harder



a la Subspace? Sorry, I just got addicted to that game. Actually, though, it''s somewhat exaggerated physics model makes you actually try harder as you''re flying around, instead of stopping on a dime--when in space are you going to be able to get enough thrust to go from thousands of km/h one way to any other way instantaneously, without much friction to help the change?

Side note: wav, how do you always come up with stimulating topics?
--


WNDCLASSEX Reality;
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Reality.lpfnWndProc=ComputerGames;
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RegisterClassEx(&Reality);


Unable to register Reality...what''s wrong?
---------
Dan Upton
Lead Designer
WolfHeart Software

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What about fighters that can spin on their axis instead of just turning? This leads to a more exciting action oriented dogfighting environment (even though there''s nothing wrong with more strategic games) and gets rid of the turning syndrome. If someone is on your tail just flip around with the mouse. Your thrusters could be controlled with a keyboard (you can can thurst in one direction and face another.) I think Indenpence War used a system like this, but I haven''t played it, so I couldn''t tell you for sure.

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Thats something i loved about the fighters in ''Babylon 5'' - they had thrusters facing forward and backward, but offset to the sides and so could spin on the spot (both pitch and yaw, but not roll) - even if they were moving (Well, obviously, the could keep moving due to momentum )

- Wyzfen

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Cool system, count my vote too.

I''d like more ways to influence the enemies maneuvers :

- torpedoes : slow and avoidable, with heavy damage (and minimum range). They can be fired to force the enemy to make a certain maneuver (expose damaged side, force him to ram one of his friends, etc.)

- mass accelerators (high tech cannons) : when they hit a ship, the ship moves from the impact. These can be aimed to cause a certain rotation effect. Obviously, the firing ships speed also changes when firing a particle, so the cannons can be used for extra maneuvrability.

- tractor beams : can be used to apply pulling / pushin force on certain points on an enemy ship.

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quote:
Original post by alchemar
Are you thinking about doing a game along that vain?



Yup. Or the space combat portion of it, anyway. I want to build a game that has RPG and empire game elements, with a solid space combat engine at its core. In fact, now that''ve seen the Dynaverse in Orion Pirates, I can say that I want something similar but more in depth to that as the campaign mode of the game.



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

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quote:
Original post by draqza
a la Subspace? Sorry, I just got addicted to that game. Actually, though, it''s somewhat exaggerated physics model makes you actually try harder as you''re flying around, instead of stopping on a dime--when in space are you going to be able to get enough thrust to go from thousands of km/h one way to any other way instantaneously, without much friction to help the change?



Yeah, this is what seems right, though I want to go nuts with different ship handling characteristics in the same way that Grand Theft Auto had lots of variety for their cars. It''s just a data file I''d be tweaking, after all, and it adds a lot for only a little effort. If you''ve ever played any of the Star Control games, you''ll know what I''m going for.

quote:

Side note: wav, how do you always come up with stimulating topics?



LOL!!! Thanks! At least I know I''m not boring some people!

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

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