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Zennoya

Starship blueprint/idea needed

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Zennoya    178

Hello there,

Few days ago I've started writing my own game. Its space simulation/strategy game, but a bit different than most of those on market -> instead of standard shooting/trading game with minor ship ugprades options its fully about starship management. Player will become captain of the ship, he will be moving around it, like Sheppard on Normandy in Mass Effect, or Player on Ebony Hawk in Knight of the Old Republic, and only decide where to fly, and what to do (not piloting it himself) with a lot of crew management, storage management, rich research tree, and upgrade possibilities, but only with limited space (Player cannot enlarge the ship). Trading, Ground missions etc will be only an events which player can trigger, and manage, but not take part in them himself.

I've started making this game using Ogre3D engine and C#, already did the moving character (without textures yet), and a research console where i started writing of research engine (it will be quite uniqe).

 

I would llke you guys and girls if you ofcourse could help me, to draw a basic blueprint of a ship (it doesnt need any technical skills, just a bit of imagination - it also doesnt need to have exact sizes - just overall idea where is which room, and how to travel between them. Below i wrote all rooms that will be required. Game will be freeware and opensource, so for the author of blueprint that i will use in a game i cant offer more than beeing listed in game credits, but I hope someone will help anyway smile.png

 

Rooms required:

Control Room (bridge),

Generator,

Engine Room (or more if f.e. engines will be on both sides of ship),

O2 Recycling Room,

H2O Recycling Room,

O2 Tanks,

H2 Tanks,

Fuel Tanks,

Ship enterance,

Infirmary,

Cantine,

Captains Quaters,

Crew Quaters,

Toilets,

Storerooms (at least 8, and at least one must be large enough to fit a shuttle later in a game).

 

If it will be more than one level ship, than also stairs or/and elevator. Please dont do more than 3 levels of a ship - I don't want it to be too large.

 

If someone don't want to draw a ship, but want to make some addition what kind of room is not listed here and can be required at a starship or any other suggestions, i also would be grateful for sharing..

 

Regards and sorry for my English, 

Zennoya

Edited by Zennoya

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Zennoya    178

Hello Zennoya,

 

I advise you check this out:

http://www.starshipcorporation.com/

 

This project is pretty much in line with what you're describing above.

It may be a good source of info, but I'd also recommend to do differently smile.png

 

I've seen this before, but my game is very different -> here youre designing and selling ships. At my game You will have only one ship all the time, and You will be captain. You wont be able to change rooms location, but You will be able to change what they are used for, store/research/develop equipment that will help You to find a way home (something like story in Star Trek: Voyager).

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Acharis    5979

I think your idea lacks "wow factor". I also recommend checking StarshipCorporation, note that Orymus3 knows that game and I know that game too, ask yourself, why we know about that game? What made us remember it? You need to make people, quote your game, just as (some) people quote S.Corp. I mean, when I have read your first post it did not made me "wow, I want to play it".

 

It's your game of course and I'm saying this only because you said you are at the very start of the project so you still can change your design decisions. I recommend reconsidering.

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Zennoya    178

Tell me - did You knew this game, and know if it has "wow factor" when all you knew about it was only a few sentences of an idea how it would look like? Imagine that someone tells you "I would like to make a game about some animals maybe, where you will use them as an ammo and shoot to building" - You would probably think "it sux, there was some short game like cat-a-pulp and it was stupid", and after some times "Angry birds" appears which nearly everyone knows.

I'm sure my game won't be as popular as "Angry birds", but i dont care - I mostly do it for myself, because i want to learn using Ogre3D, and improve my C# skills (Im ABAP developer, but I always wanted to learn some more C# than just a simple Windows application), but at this moment full concept is only in my head, so until there will be something to show its just "another space sim" and nothing special.

 

Im very gratefull for Your advise and waiting for more, and Im sure that if I do some more work, present it do others and it still wont have that "wow factor" than I will change it, but now im not trying to advertise it or sell the idea to someone, rather to gather ideas and make them live smile.png

 

But ofcourse if You want, i can write a full concept which I have in my head. 

Edited by Zennoya

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Orymus3    18821

Tell me - did You knew this game, and know if it has "wow factor" when all you knew about it was only a few sentences of an idea how it would look like? Imagine that someone tells you "I would like to make a game about some animals maybe, where you will use them as an ammo and shoot to building" - You would probably think "it sux, there was some short game like cat-a-pulp and it was stupid", and after some times "Angry birds" appears which nearly everyone knows.

 

Actually the developer painted a very vivid portrait of the gameplay he wanted to create. He's been creating this game largely to depict a very specific scene in the movie "Alien" (original). Because he was precise, focused and highly determine to bring a very niche experience to the player, the mood he was trying to capture made a lot of players react to this idea.

 

I don't  think your idea lacks Wow factor per se, but I would say it lacks focus and scope. As an indie, you need to be extremely precise about the experience you seek to represent, so that players know you're clearly distanciating yourself from what's been done. If there's already a game like yours, then, chances are you'll be the underdog and won't easily catch the attention. On the other hands, if you game is, say, about building blocks and killing zombie (minecraft's original description circa 2009) you'll end up with a lot of followers wondering exactly what treatment you'll do to this idea to turn it into a fun game. Your focus on gameplay will distanciate you from bigger developers, and they'll forgive you for lack of polish, so long as you stay true to your original vision.

 

Starship Corporation is exactly that. There's decent artwork now (better than originall) and the UI has come a long way, but its not a AAA by any stretch. What makes it interesting and keeps me curious as to its alpha is the vision the lead developer has regarding the actual gameplay. It plays out like an hybrid of several genres, but it really feels different. Players seeking that specific experience will be amazed by this game. You need to find the people that want to feel the thing your game will offer, and reach out to them by explaining how/why it will be a memorable experience to them.

 

For example, I'm working on a 4X game right now, and looking at the staples of the genre, I found that I was revulsed by the current implementation of technology trees in these games. I've quickly established that my game would deal more with logistics than scientific advancement. To some, managing fuel, availability of techs and ferrying resources can be more appealing than researching new technologies and outfitting your fleet with the best weapons there are. I cater to my crowd by trying to convey that I intend to keep these niche-gameplay-elements the focus of my game.

 

Regarding your specific idea, you need to be able to convey your description more vividly, and tell the player exactly how this "manage from bridge" will feel for the player. How will they interact with the other rooms if they're not allowed to move to them? through menus? on-screen representation? by talking with the engineers in charge of retrofitting the rooms' purpose? etc.

Edited by Orymus3

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TechnoGoth    2937

I'd suggest dropping most of those rooms for now.  Instead why not think about the two or three core game play elements that are central to your game and have only rooms directly related to that for now.  Once you've got that working then you expand on it adding more rooms and features. Taking on too much too early will only lead to failure.

 

You seem keen on the research element so why not focus on that first.  You could have a simple display that has days to home, days of food remaining and power remaining. The player has to research different technology and improvements to let you get home before they all die.

 

Once you have that working which will be a lot more work then you are probably expecting you can add new features and challenges. 

 

Also you might want to think about learning a more mainstream engine like unity3d or UDK.

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Orymus3    18821


You could have a simple display that has days to home, days of food remaining and power remaining. The player has to research different technology and improvements to let you get home before they all die.

 

Indeed, just from the above, I can see how, for example, improving engines might help, or how running out of fuel could become lethal, etc.

Starting with your basic "resources" is always a great place to start.

Most of my projects start with a hand-drawn graphic that represents the core gameplay elements and how they interact together (ex: I need food to have crew, I need crew to operate systems, I need fuel to power engines (a system that requires crew) etc.)

 

TechnoGoth's approach is definitely more straightforward.

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Meatsack    1032

As  fans of Starfleet Battles tabletop tactical game, my friends and I developed a shipbuilding system for it.  What I learned from the process is that ship design is very fun if you have creative control over it.  Taking that control from the player by only having one ship would be a mistake.

 

I propose that you have base classes of ships with "pods" that can be attached or replaced as the player gains money.  Starting off, the captain gets a "freebie" vessel which he can use solo or with 1 additional crew member.  Crew demands pay based on their skills, so this other member will also be of a starting level.  As the captain and crew gain experience and money, pods can be sold/upgraded/swapped out, the base ship hull can be traded in like a used car for a down payment on a larger hull that can accommodate a larger crew size, more pods, better engines, etc...  Yes, the game just got more complicated.

 

If you want to start with a single-ship design for demo or proof-of-concept purposes, that would make sense.  I'd start with a smaller vessel like the Normandy from Mass Effect and work my up to what you have in mind.  Feature creep will eventually happen.

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Zennoya    178
Ok, I'll will write You what i want to achieve, and what this game will be about as briefly as I can.
 
STORY:
Very shortcut of game story is about first human spaceship sent to reach other habitable world. It starts the journey, but because of sabotage, newly developed ion engine explodes in a way that pushes ship far far away from home. Some crew members are killed, a lot of ship equipment is damaged, and the only thing that crew knows based on stars they see around that they are far far away from home, and theres a habitable world nearby (but not the one they were heading). After a while they realise that its habitated by alien race in early space travel times and they offer some basic maps of space around their world, also trade some resources and equipment. Player takes role of captain which needs  to find way home, by gathering resources needed to repair ship, gather informations from alien races about home location (main plot), and research technologies that will make this journey possible.
 
IDEA:
Player becomes a captain by all means. So he won't be seeing starship from outside of ship, he won't be sitting all the times with consoles. He will be able to walk around, give orders to crew members directly instead of consoles (but use of consoles will be also avalible). The main idea is that its more important to "live with what you got". Crew members cannot be replaced if they die. They also want to go home so morale is important. Ship won't enlarge and wont be exchange to bigger, so room is also very important (you will need to decide f.e. do you want your crew to have more comfort quaters, or to have more store room. If you want to store more food, or rather science equipment to make quicker researches etc. a very very lot of possibilities. Its worth to mention that equipment is not just a numbers here - only thing represented by numbers is fuel. The rest like food, weapons, science/infirmary/workshop equipment, crew beds etc are items/chests that needs to be placed somewhere on the room grid. So by shortcut - youre not deciding about room type -> its defined by equipment that is placed there, so if theres not enough space, than your own quaters can hold not only your desk and bed, but also some food or weapons box'es on their grid. Its important to decide what goes there, because guns dont look well in a place where you want to greet alien guests, and stinky junk will lower morale if stored in cantine. Crew quaters with workshop is also not quite good connection because people want to sleep in SILENCE! Storing explosives at generator room can be a bit deadly, etc etc. a lot of possibilities of management without need of changing ships. Like in real life - do Your best with stuff you have, cause life is hard and wont give you even a pinch more.
 
MY FOCUSES:
I've designed a bit unique way of crew members skill factors. It works in a way, where each crew member is unique and has unique skill predispositions f.e. he is better in science, while some other is better technican/ It cannot be changed (maybe improved a bit in later game stages by researching some technologies). It defines how fast he learns and what level of skill he can achieve. Second factor is knowledge which is gained by experience points in this area (like science/military/technical). Third factor is skill morale. It means that f.e. Your technican has high technical predispositions, has some knowledge too, but wont learn any more because he just dont like tech, and he likes guns and he would like to be soldier instead. This "morale" can be affected in many ways: by sending to boring missions (in all games everyone dislikes boring missions.. i found a use for them too tongue.png) with other technicans (a lot of talking on boring missions), by finding blueprints of cool stuff that anyone want to build, or by some other events. Same applies with soldiers, and scientists but quite different (blueprints wont work on scientist, but chance to research some cure or other stuff will, and soldier? Guarding duty with some nice newly produced weapon.. "aaah i need to hold it for a while" etc). Because of those factors captain will need to make people like their jobs, or change their jobs based on their predispositions, but still have in mind that they will need to learn it, and that they always can change their minds what they like and what they dislike (soldier that was critically wounded can have trauma that lowers his soldiering morale, good medical treatment can raise his science/medical morale, or possibility to produce some nice armor can raise his likenes of technical skills).
 
Second thing i focused is a research, and its also quite unique. Want to hear if after what you already heard? Does it have this "wow factor" high enough?
 
P.S. After playing a bit with starshipcorporation, ive decided to rewrite main engine, so instead of third person following camera ill do orthogonal view, so it will look a bit better and will give possibility to add x-com/fallout tactics style tactical missions instead of mission events. But thats my far far away dream, when the whole other stuff will be ready and playable. 
BUT because of rewriting engine TechnoGoth - you have mentioned Unity3D, and UDK -> can I use C# to code them like Ogre? I really like Unity games like KSP, or Battlestar Galactica, so I think Unity3D would be good choice.
Also want to mention, that because of my full time job (i develop bussiness tools and reports) stuff like all the formulas, statistics and research/crew/morale engines are quite nice to do, but graphical representation of all that stuff gives me a headache :P 
Edited by Zennoya

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Orymus3    18821


Player becomes a captain by all means. So he won't be seeing starship from outside of ship, he won't be sitting all the times with consoles. He will be able to walk around, give orders to crew members directly instead of consoles (but use of consoles will be also avalible). The main idea is that its more important to "live with what you got". Crew members cannot be replaced if they die. They also want to go home so morale is important. Ship won't enlarge and wont be exchange to bigger, so room is also very important (you will need to decide f.e. do you want your crew to have more comfort quaters, or to have more store room. If you want to store more food, or rather science equipment to make quicker researches etc. a very very lot of possibilities. Its worth to mention that equipment is not just a numbers here - only thing represented by numbers is fuel. The rest like food, weapons, science/infirmary/workshop equipment, crew beds etc are items/chests that needs to be placed somewhere on the room grid. So by shortcut - youre not deciding about room type -> its defined by equipment that is placed there, so if theres not enough space, than your own quaters can hold not only your desk and bed, but also some food or weapons box'es on their grid. Its important to decide what goes there, because guns dont look well in a place where you want to greet alien guests, and stinky junk will lower morale if stored in cantine. Crew quaters with workshop is also not quite good connection because people want to sleep in SILENCE! Storing explosives at generator room can be a bit deadly, etc etc. a lot of possibilities of management without need of changing ships. Like in real life - do Your best with stuff you have, cause life is hard and wont give you even a pinch more.

 

It sounds a bit like Dwarf Fortress, but in a spaceship?

I'm actually using a similar concept.

I know one of the initial 'Reasonable Game Project' team members was also working on a similar idea (this team was formed on Gamedev, but never delivered).

 


I've designed a bit unique way of crew members skill factors. It works in a way, where each crew member is unique and has unique skill predispositions f.e. he is better in science, while some other is better technican/ It cannot be changed (maybe improved a bit in later game stages by researching some technologies). It defines how fast he learns and what level of skill he can achieve.

I came to a roughly similar idea, by using nhl 2012 (ps3/xbox360 game) as a reference (how players have individual stats, and potential for growth in each of these stats).

 


Same applies with soldiers, and scientists but quite different

Sounds a bit like crew management in Starship Corporation.

 


Second thing i focused is a research, and its also quite unique. Want to hear if after what you already heard? Does it have this "wow factor" high enough?

 

Well, assuming it sounds like a lot of things I already know, (including one I'm working on) I'm not terribly 'wow-ed' by the idea, as in, I'm not very surprised about what you've described. What really matters is how the player will interact with your game. Starship Corporation uses a fairly unique perspective, and reveals only the inside of the ship, much like the space roguelike: FTL.

The UI is also extremely important. Basically, how do you envision the User eXperience to feel like? How will you make the input intuitive to suit your gameplay needs? Or will you stick to, say, 1st or 3rd person avatar movement to capture a bit more immersion?

 

Also, you really need to deliver this in 3 or less sentences. Your ability to explain your game's core concept in few words will put people in confidence that you're working from a basic core idea, which you will refine through mechanics. Its actually important to do this, instead of thinking of very cool features first, and try to put them together.

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Zennoya    178
The main concept of a game are the events. Im not speaking about few events durning whole game, Im rather talking about that every piece of this game is based on events.
They defines everything - crew morale, researches, missions, relations with aliens, and relations between crew members. What is most important all disadvantages of events works from the moment it occures, but you dont know about it. To know about it, and also take advantages of that event you need to speak with crew members that it happened to, and make them tell you, So talk, talk, talk and react, because thats what captains should do - talk to his crew instead of hiding in his quaters.
 
Ill give you example, and by the way ill show a bit of research engine:
For example You want to invent a laser gun. Youre not inventing whole gun, but rather inventing pieces "coil", "energy source", "casing" and "gun electronics". To do not go too deeply -> first is randomized what part will be researched first, than, based on science skill of scientist the time required for research will also be randomized and not known to player, but it still will be a lot of time to make reseach cause sitting and thinking is hard. And here comes event. There is a lot of events connected to those research -> for "energy source" it can be accident in engineroom, that generated a lot of energy, some findings durning a mission, some chemicals researched before or even some other scientist who had no other tasks to do, so he was sitting in a cantine and thinking about coffie express upgrade has an idea of energy source. Those events are shortening research time a lot (dividing left research time by randomized factor) and Player as a captain need to find out that event occured (by talking to his crew) choose if he agree to take this event on consideration durning research, cause some of those events are failure branches. So in case of the laser gun, that engine explosion can be failure branch - it means that if player decide to use this "event" durning research it will speed up the research, and it will look like the gun is ok. You researched it, you manufacture it, and send team with such gun into mission. It seems ok, but after the mission you receive info that this energy source is to strong, and after shooting one of the team member has some injuries, and 20% injury chance is added to this weapon. And again You need to decide if you want still use this weapon with injury chance, or to do more research to make it work better. Events do a lot of stuff same time, f.e. event i wrote about "engine accident" is the same event that lowered technican morale, it also affected the ship etc. 
 
So in few sentences You wanted me to deliver it:
In this game, You wont be only managing a ship, but You will be part of this ship, because its your ship. You will need to speak with te crew, because as good captain you will need to know what happens on the ship, what bothers the crew, and what is needed to make this journey success. You will move from captains desk, and walk on the ship, meet face to face with crew, decide stuff that affects their lives, and whole ship. You will make decisions and manage the ship, but you wont know how your decissions affects the crew, until You will speak with them. Be like Sisco on DS9 or Pickard on Enterprise-D. Know each member of your crew and be their friend. Let them trust you, so they will tell you more, and make your life easier. Or just sit at the captains desk with console, and make it hard and boring way.
Edited by Zennoya

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LorenzoGatti    4442
Some obvious questions: -How often do you want the player to buy (or capture) new ships or to upgrade the current ship? If both occurrences are rare, how can the player "grow"? -Can the player design and have built custom new designs of whole ships, of cargo pods and other kinds of module, of weapons, of smaller components and accessories? What systems and aspects of the ship are unimportant enough to be less customizable than the rest? -What ship parts are rare and/or expensive? Fancy engines, large hulls, complex avionics and computers, weapons, specialized equipment (e.g. a Star Trek holodeck), food and water, fuel, crew, something else? Cheap parts are more likely to be interchangeable, motivating designs like expensive complete ships loaded with cheap cargo containers or simple "tractors" attached to expensive self-contained habitats.

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Zennoya    178

Some obvious questions: -How often do you want the player to buy (or capture) new ships or to upgrade the current ship? If both occurrences are rare, how can the player "grow"? -Can the player design and have built custom new designs of whole ships, of cargo pods and other kinds of module, of weapons, of smaller components and accessories? What systems and aspects of the ship are unimportant enough to be less customizable than the rest? -What ship parts are rare and/or expensive? Fancy engines, large hulls, complex avionics and computers, weapons, specialized equipment (e.g. a Star Trek holodeck), food and water, fuel, crew, something else? Cheap parts are more likely to be interchangeable, motivating designs like expensive complete ships loaded with cheap cargo containers or simple "tractors" attached to expensive self-contained habitats.

 

It seems youre writing about some other game than the one im doing tongue.png In my game concept that you can see above there is only one ship, from beginning to the end. You manage crew, and equipment inside it. Instead of changing ship to larger and larger, Youre rather research miniaturisation and make equipment smaller and smaller and more efficient, less resource consuming. Than produce it and use it. Recycle the old ones etc

Edited by Zennoya

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TechnoGoth    2937

I can't help but feel you have a lot of counter intuitive concepts in this game idea.

 

You are the captain of a vessel lost in space trying to find your way home but you suppose to spend all your time walking around chatting with the crew.  Shouldn't I be focused on getting home not hanging out in the mess hall drinking coffee or bothering people while they work? Being a good leader isn't about making friends with your crew its about working hard, earning their respect, and making tough choices for the good of the ship.

 

How do I make meaningful choices in the game events?  The way you describe them makes the outcome seem arbitrary. Take the engine explosion example you gave when the event occurs what do I as the player do? What are the choices I can make? How do they effect the outcome? Saving the ship and using the info to improve my laser weapons only to impart a 20% injury rate on their use seems arbitrary especially since you make it sound like I have no idea this will happen or what caused it.

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Orymus3    18821


The main concept of a game are the events. Im not speaking about few events durning whole game, Im rather talking about that every piece of this game is based on events.

They defines everything - crew morale, researches, missions, relations with aliens, and relations between crew members.

 

I'd rework and check the grammar on this and add some punch, but yes, that'd be one way to advertise your core idea.

 

 


the time required for research will also be randomized and not known to player

 

It's ok not to reveal the actual duration, but an ETA would make sense. In "real life", despite uncertainty, skilled engineers/scientists/etc all have at least a ballpark plan in mind. Its ok if they achieve results faster/slower, but at least, they're able to answer upper management with ballpark numbers. Aka, 1 month, +/- 1 week.

The most experience an engineer/scientist becomes, the more accurate he tends to be, mostly because he's done stuff that's similar in one way or another over the course of his carreer.

 


You need to decide if you want still use this weapon with injury chance, or to do more research to make it work better. Events do a lot of stuff same time, f.e. event i wrote about "engine accident" is the same event that lowered technican morale, it also affected the ship etc.

 

It feels like something you might want to streamline. The way it stands right now, you'd need to keep track of a lot of latent information in various ways. Perhaps its just the way you explain it though.

 


You will make decisions and manage the ship

 

From your examples, I see how you'll make decisions. But how will you manage the ship per se?

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Orymus3    18821

I can't help but feel you have a lot of counter intuitive concepts in this game idea.

 

You are the captain of a vessel lost in space trying to find your way home but you suppose to spend all your time walking around chatting with the crew.  Shouldn't I be focused on getting home not hanging out in the mess hall drinking coffee or bothering people while they work? Being a good leader isn't about making friends with your crew its about working hard, earning their respect, and making tough choices for the good of the ship.

 

How do I make meaningful choices in the game events?  The way you describe them makes the outcome seem arbitrary. Take the engine explosion example you gave when the event occurs what do I as the player do? What are the choices I can make? How do they effect the outcome? Saving the ship and using the info to improve my laser weapons only to impart a 20% injury rate on their use seems arbitrary especially since you make it sound like I have no idea this will happen or what caused it.

 

It does feel like a situation where Jean-Luc Picard and Cisco would be in the shoes of Janeway from Voyager. Unfortunately, there is a good reason why Jean-Luc Picard fit best on a Starship on an exploration mission (and not warfare or survival) and that Cisco has been created to fit an environment that deals with warfare.

Janeway, as much as I despise her, fits more the narrative of a suvival space opera than would Picard or Cisco.

Trying to build you game around a persona that fits Picard and Cisco in an environment that clearly calls for a Janeway might be erroneous.

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Zennoya    178

Take the engine explosion example you gave when the event occurs what do I as the player do? What are the choices I can make? How do they effect the outcome? Saving the ship and using the info to improve my laser weapons only to impart a 20% injury rate on their use seems arbitrary especially since you make it sound like I have no idea this will happen or what caused it.

This "engine explosion" was writing word mismatch - i was rather thinking about minor engine accident (i used "engine accident" later) which has no effect on overall situation.

 

 


How do I make meaningful choices in the game events?

Those examples was the idea of how engine works, but I was thinking about giving high importance events, and also plot events. They will be dealed same way that minor ones (need to talk to the crew connected to event), but because of the importance the Captain would be called by loudspeakers etc and when event affects ship he would be called to speak with the crew and deal with problem immediatly, and if he dont it can loose some crew members, equipment, damage ship, add new events to the game (alien attacks), or even destroy the ship and loose the game. 

I know its arbitrary, that player dont know what will happens, or what effect it will have. Im hoping that i will be able to add a lot of clues in the event dialogs and texts. I think It wont be bad by adding 5grade scale of risk, or ETA to research.

 


From your examples, I see how you'll make decisions. But how will you manage the ship per se?

Storeroom/equipment management, researches or basic production would be dealed by speaking to adequate persons (leading scientist, or quatermaster) where research/production/store management panels will appear, but still all related stuff (effects, possible researches etc) would be shown in those panels only after speaking with crew that can "have idea of research" or finished mission (loudspeakers calls captain to take mission report from team leader) that put in report all they found, and sometimes will speak more than they wrote. All reports, logs of what captain spoke with with peoples would be avalible from console at his desk, where from he would be also able to call each crew member to come to his desk).

 

 


I can't help but feel you have a lot of counter intuitive concepts in this game idea.

Trying to build you game around a persona that fits Picard and Cisco in an environment that clearly calls for a Janeway might be erroneous.

So what do You suggest? Is game concept bad, and it wont work this way, or game concept is ok, but i need to change/ work more on background story?

 

 

Just additionaly: The thing is that me, some of my friends and I think a lot of players are bored of all the games with each time bigger worlds, each time better graphics, and each time less of plot, dialoges etc. I remember Planescape Torment or Baldur's Gate and choosing from one of 10-15 dialog choices, while most of new games has max 2-3 of those. I want to make game, where you can really feel like part of the ship, with all of its good and bad sides. Thats the reason why i closed whole world in one ship, and trying to make a lot of choices, both important and minor ones, which only some crew members care of.

Edited by Zennoya

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LorenzoGatti    4442
 


Some obvious questions: -How often do you want the player to buy (or capture) new ships or to upgrade the current ship? If both occurrences are rare, how can the player "grow"? -Can the player design and have built custom new designs of whole ships, of cargo pods and other kinds of module, of weapons, of smaller components and accessories? What systems and aspects of the ship are unimportant enough to be less customizable than the rest? -What ship parts are rare and/or expensive? Fancy engines, large hulls, complex avionics and computers, weapons, specialized equipment (e.g. a Star Trek holodeck), food and water, fuel, crew, something else? Cheap parts are more likely to be interchangeable, motivating designs like expensive complete ships loaded with cheap cargo containers or simple "tractors" attached to expensive self-contained habitats.

 
It seems youre writing about some other game than the one im doing tongue.png In my game concept that you can see above there is only one ship, from beginning to the end.
 
I'm simply discussing the design space of different ways to have a constantly improving spaceship in a ship captain simulation game, which is an almost universal genre expectation. In this genre, "one ship" means "one ship at a time"; deciding that there are no ways to switch is an important design choice, implying a lot of things about the game world (for instance, no used starship dealers exist: why?) and constraining the game design (first and foremost, you need interesting and important ship upgrades to provide ship improvement).

You manage crew, and equipment inside it. Instead of changing ship to larger and larger, Youre rather research miniaturisation and make equipment smaller and smaller and more efficient, less resource consuming. Than produce it and use it. Recycle the old ones etc

Miniaturizing ship systems is strictly equivalent to increase the available space to install more systems, without significantly increasing cargo space; making them energy-efficient is strictly equivalent to increasing available power.

What you describe is a perfectly reasonable system of restricted updates, but what about systems that improve by being replaced by something else, like weapons?
And how useful are the efficiency upgrades? Quantitatively, they can range from negligible to more important than the difference between ship tiers in other games.

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TechnoGoth    2937

Might I suggest a slightly different paradigm from walking around the ship? What about plan -> resolve -> interact

 

In a number of sim games I've played the each turn starts out with you making some decisions on how to allocate resources that turn and only when you end the turn you see the results. Emergencies can occur that are events that require your immediate attention but the rest could be given at the end of the turn and you have choose which ones to get involved you can only get involved in a limited number each turn.

 

Plan Stage:

  • See blueprint of ship
  • Assign crew to tasks
    • Crew working together are affected by their relationship
  • Choose Destination for ship.

 

Resolve Stage:

  • See the results of the that turn.

Interact

  • Dialog based interaction with crew

 

So for example I set tasks for today to be:

I assign bob and claire to repair the long range scanner

I assign sue to research engine improvement

I assign luke to build a laser pistol.

 

During the day the reactor starts leaking radiation the event pop up and I choose to send Luke in to shut down and the reactor he gets a heavy dose of radiation and power reserves drop by 50%. 

 

Sue worked well at managed to finished 12 hours of research. But Bod and Claire fought only manged to repair 1% of the scanner.

 

I spent my interaction talking with bob and claire to try and resolve their problems. It turns out Claire is still angry about Bob cheating on her with Sue.  Nothing I say improves their relationship.

 

At the start of the next turn I'm now losing power rapidly.  Luke is dying of radiation poisoning and I know claire isn't going to work well with bob or sue. 

 

I can reverse course to the starbase I passed 4 days ago so that Luke can get the treatment he needs.  But power will run out in 3 days.  Also if someone isn't working in the medical bay then Luke is going to get worse quickly.

 

 

 

Now that's a pretty complex example but you can see how it all builds from the decisions of the player.  If you want try a demo of game that uses this sort of paradigm you might try Magical Diary  Its not a great game but had a lot of potential. In it you plan out what classes you take for a week and then interact with different character which effects your relationship and status in school.

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Zennoya    178

What you describe is a perfectly reasonable system of restricted updates, but what about systems that improve by being replaced by something else, like weapons?

Theres a lot of possibilities -> you can throw them away, but its a waste, you can trade them with aliens for some usefull staff, or if workshop avalible (not from very beginning, but nearly) you can recycle them to produce new ones and i think this will be way of doing with most stuff.

 

 

 


And how useful are the efficiency upgrades? Quantitatively, they can range from negligible to more important than the difference between ship tiers in other games.

Take for example H2O recycling plant. At beginning it will be large, and have separate room for it. At beginning its nearly capable to hold your people alive, You can upgrade it like 3-4 times each time adding 20% efficiency, which will enable You to get new equipment that uses water, or produce smaller water tank size to fit your requirements. Also you will be possible to do some miniaturisation that will enable you to change recyclle plant from "whole room size" to "large size", than "medium size" and "small size". At the very end it can be integrated with water tank. Still you need to remember that most of research possibilities will depend on events which can be bit randomized, so you dont really know which of that you will be able to research first, but working of one of those, will greatly increase a chance of triggering of event that will enable the other one.

 


Now that's a pretty complex example but you can see how it all builds from the decisions of the player.  If you want try a demo of game that uses this sort of paradigm you might try Magical Diary  Its not a great game but had a lot of potential. In it you plan out what classes you take for a week and then interact with different character which effects your relationship and status in school.

Yeah, Im familiar with this way of playing from games like Gangsters:Organized Crime. Hmm i need to think about that, and how it will change gamplay -> I mean that "standing up from the desk, and going to people" was the main course of this game, and planning and staging will take this effect away. On other side it makes the game easier to make (and it means that more time can be spent to polish all the events and adding new ones, etc), and gives new possibilities. Heh It will be best to make some kind of voting what would people rather play :) 

Edited by Zennoya

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Waterlimon    4398

I think it would be fun to make quick decisions in situations of emergency, which might not work with a turn based approach.

 

What about a day-night system?

 

During 'day' (whatever that means in space), you run around in real time making short to mid term decisions, talking with your crew and reacting to random events that happen throughout the day. During the night, you assign crew tasks for the next day and perhaps plan ship route and make long term decisions etc.

Although slightly unrealistic, i would not interrupt the night with any events. The tasks you give your crew during night can of course be overriden or changed during the day as the situation changes. Its just that then you dont have to do everything manually every day, but can issue a command for 50 items to be moved to a different storage room during the next day using a more GUI-like interface.

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Orymus3    18821


Storeroom/equipment management, researches or basic production would be dealed by speaking to adequate persons (leading scientist, or quatermaster) where research/production/store management panels will appear, but still all related stuff (effects, possible researches etc) would be shown in those panels only after speaking with crew that can "have idea of research" or finished mission (loudspeakers calls captain to take mission report from team leader) that put in report all they found, and sometimes will speak more than they wrote. All reports, logs of what captain spoke with with peoples would be avalible from console at his desk, where from he would be also able to call each crew member to come to his desk).

 

Well, if you are referencing Star Trek, you'll notice the use of 'computer' (a voice-controlled interface) that allows to communicate directly with distant people and make specific commands.  Walking up to Lead Engineer Laforge in the middle of a Warp malfunction just to talk might not be the best way to go about this. Assuming bad events happen in your game, where time is sensitive, it would be wise to have some form of interface (Star Trek made a good use of a sound-based interface in that regard, something we rarely see in games) with which the player can quickly interact rather than discussion with potentially remote individual...

 


So what do You suggest? Is game concept bad, and it wont work this way, or game concept is ok, but i need to change/ work more on background story?

 

The concept can work, but your current adequation seems to imply there will be time-sensitive (action-oriented) events, whereas discussion is a good way to go more in-depth, when time allows (research and investigations for example). One of the key differences in TNG is that Picard is more of an investigator/politician than an actual captain. He represents Starfleet more than he commands his ship (not to say he doesn't do the latter at all). Unless you game is more in-line with that, I'd recommend, as per above, to supplement your concept with an easy-to-use interface to handle the basic actions one can take.

 


Just additionaly: The thing is that me, some of my friends and I think a lot of players are bored of all the games with each time bigger worlds, each time better graphics, and each time less of plot, dialoges etc. I remember Planescape Torment or Baldur's Gate and choosing from one of 10-15 dialog choices, while most of new games has max 2-3 of those. I want to make game, where you can really feel like part of the ship, with all of its good and bad sides. Thats the reason why i closed whole world in one ship, and trying to make a lot of choices, both important and minor ones, which only some crew members care of.

I'm not saying this is not a viable idea. I'm just trying to help you make coherent design decisions. If anything, I like the basic idea behind what you're trying to achieve, and I recognize that its filled with tough decisions on how to render that in a way that's interactive and easy to use yet fun to play and experience.

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Orymus3    18821


Miniaturizing ship systems is strictly equivalent to increase the available space to install more systems, without significantly increasing cargo space; making them energy-efficient is strictly equivalent to increasing available power.

 

On that, I disagree. If ship mass or volume matters in say, fuel consumption, then miniaturization is strictly better than increasing ship volume (available space).

Likewise, if energy is created from using a raw resource (nuclear, fuel, whatever), then having a bigger output is less interesting than energy-efficient components.

 

I can see many other ways to differentiate these in ways that make room for interesting and strategic decisions.

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