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Acharis

Speed of fleets

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This is a "fork" of http://www.gamedev.net/topic/658143-how-to-greatly-reduce-fleet-micromanagement/ discussion. Quite a lot of people raised the concern of controling the speed of fleets (like being annoyed by one outdated ship that slows down the whole fleet, or an option to control the speed of a whole fleet). So I think it deserves a separate topic.

 

Personal request, if possible make it usabe to turn based since that's the one I make :)

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Well I am not much into space games except I still play 1996 made Fragile Allegiance time to time (It would be wise to check if you didn't yet imo). Their solution was using Command Cruiser ships carrying certain number of smaller ships and greatly increasing range.

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The simplest solution is that the speed of the fleet is determined by the speed of the slowest ship. The same goes for the range.

 

If you don't do this, then it's not really a fleet, more a collection of ships that happened to be at the same point at some time.

 

I'd say it's up to the player to determine what ships he wants in the fleet. He can always give a command to break it up into two or more fleets if necessary.

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I don't really know the official conventions of space games, so this may not be useful to you... but... why is speed a factor in space?  Can't you just keep speeding up as long as you have fuel?  The real problem then becomes having enough fuel to slow down at the right spot.  Couldn't you have one big engine ship that the entire fleet connects to that could propel all of them at one single speed to their destination?

 

Space is a weird environment and all I know about it comes from physics classes, some Stephen Hawking books,  and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  Not sure if those things make for great game design.

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Make entire fleets move at their combined averaged speed.

 

Alternatively, have the entire fleet move at 0.6 of the difference between the fastest and slowest ship. If the slowest ship moves at 7 speed-units, and the fastest moves at 20 speed units, then the entire fleet together moves at (7 + ((20 - 7) * 0.6)) = 15 speed units.

 

This solution makes the most sense to me.  Simple, easy to implement, and very logical -- the slow guys are somewhat rushed and the fast guys are somewhat held back. 

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Make entire fleets move at their combined averaged speed.

 

Alternatively, have the entire fleet move at 0.6 of the difference between the fastest and slowest ship. If the slowest ship moves at 7 speed-units, and the fastest moves at 20 speed units, then the entire fleet together moves at (7 + ((20 - 7) * 0.6)) = 15 speed units.

 

While I do think it's an elegant way to prevent fleets from moving very slowly, I don't think this would be very realistic (as far as space travel of this sort is currently realistic). The slowest ship can't move faster than its maximum speed, can it? Unless it has an overdrive of some sort, but then I'd apply some damage while this is active to show extra wear and tear.

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Or just highlight why the fleet is going slow, and allow for fleets to be broken up easily / updated easily.

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As for unit speed, I've always thought it would be interesting to have variable control of unit speed using the mouse wheel (or something of the sort). It would be interesting to be able to push ships beyond their engines capability at the risk of a meltdown. The variable control of the mouse wheel could be case sensitive as well. Cursor over friendly ship to adjust shields, cursor over enemies to adjust power to weapons, group select and micro a squad of starfighters to "set shields double front" or "go in full throttle this time, that should help keep those fighters off our back", etc.
Maybe like this:

You can select the speed of the fleet (on the fleet panel), all too slow ships will be automaticly excluded and no too slow ones will be allowed to join.

And/or make tankers & "overspeed". Like a ship can go faster but it require a presence of a tanker in the fleet (1 tanker per +1 speed for one ship), these takers automaticaly boost the speed of the slowest ships in the fleet.

And/or make fuel usage or some sort. Like a ship can go faster but it uses up more fuel, which is a resource (have a too slow fleet, build more refineries so they can catch up).

 

Also, there could be two speed designated on the fleet panel, "cruise speed" and "full speed", you set the cruise speed only, the full speed is automatic (uses max fuel to gain the best speed - of course only the too slow (relative to others) ones use up fuel).

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