Fractal Softworks Forum

Starsector => Announcements => Topic started by: Alex on July 17, 2011, 12:05:00 PM

Title: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 17, 2011, 12:05:00 PM
Starting this thread so you can see when new blog posts are up from within the forum, and for discussion thereof if such is desirable :)

On that note, new post is up - Weapon Lore & Roles (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/07/17/weapon-lore-roles/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Blips on July 17, 2011, 02:37:22 PM
It would be nice to have the weapon type listed along side the role / mount size lines for easy browsing. By type I mean, kinetic, energy, etc. Overall looking good.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 17, 2011, 03:09:31 PM
It would be nice to have the weapon type listed along side the role / mount size lines for easy browsing. By type I mean, kinetic, energy, etc. Overall looking good.

You mean in the game, right (as opposed to in the post)? That's definitely going to be there, along with all the other weapon stats.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Blips on July 17, 2011, 05:48:58 PM
Yeah I was talking in game. I wasn't sure how directly the blog content was ripped from the game.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 17, 2011, 06:03:27 PM
Yeah I was talking in game. I wasn't sure how directly the blog content was ripped from the game.

Ahh, I see - not at all. It's ripped from a document, which is going to have its contents put into a csv file which is then going to be loaded by the game and displayed among a bunch of other data.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on July 18, 2011, 04:55:22 AM
Looking cool. Nice work Ivaylo.

Love the Mjolnir micro-singularity cannon, bits like this will really add to the immersivity (?) of the game and help bring it all together.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on July 18, 2011, 05:45:21 PM
yay lore post!  ;D


-- neat insight to some of the things that will be seen in the coming future!

I also enjoyed the AI post & video! I can see it using its shield quite nicely
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 27, 2011, 10:02:30 AM
New blog post up - Fleet Control (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/07/27/fleet-control/), talking about the new system for giving orders to your fleet.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on July 27, 2011, 10:49:05 AM
Exciting stuff. Look forward to playing with it.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: RooksBailey on July 28, 2011, 01:24:10 PM
I am eager to give this new order system a try!  It sounds like it perfectly balances the need for direct control with the need for what could be termed 'operational realism'.  

Starfarer becomes more exciting with each build!  This could well become my favorite sci-fi game of all time!  

So...the game should be finished by next week, right?   ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on August 03, 2011, 07:35:10 PM
New blog post: Captain Personalities, Fleet Control Update (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/08/03/captain-personalities-fleet-control-update/).

Talks about captain personalities, some changes to the fleet command system, modding as it pertains to those, and a bit about what's next in the near term.

So...the game should be finished by next week, right?   ;)

:D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: RooksBailey on August 03, 2011, 11:09:59 PM
Personalities sound like they are going to be a lot of fun! 

As for the secret feature...hmm.  I know!  Starfarer is going to be free 2 play MMO!   ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Blips on August 03, 2011, 11:25:54 PM
Personalities sound like they are going to be a lot of fun! 

As for the secret feature...hmm.  I know!  Starfarer is going to be free 2 play MMO!   ;D

Nope, I've heard they've upgraded the engine - it's now voxel based!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Ivaylo on August 04, 2011, 05:54:17 AM
Hey no one has said "Starfarer will be in 3D, the kind you need glasses for" yet.

Does that mean anything?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on August 04, 2011, 07:59:48 AM
Nah, we already knew about that ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on August 05, 2011, 10:57:43 AM
As for the secret feature...hmm.  I know!  Starfarer is going to be free 2 play MMO!   ;D

Low blow, sir, low blow.


New blog post - QubeTubers IndieWeekend, Giveaway (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/08/05/qubetubers-indieweekend-giveaway/). Brief, but one you should check out if you're itching to have a look at the new fleet control interface, among other things... actually, I'll just paste the text:

Quote from: QubeTubers IndieWeekend, Giveaway
I’m happy to say that we’re going to be the first interview in QubeTubers IndieWeekend (http://qubetubers.com/indieweekend.php)!

We’ll be streaming the latest, in-development build of Starfarer, so this is your first chance to see some of the new features in action – in particular, the fleet command mechanics & interface.

The event starts at 8pm, and our interview is from 9-10pm EST. We’ll also be giving away a couple of Starfarer activation codes to viewers that ask particularly thought-provoking questions about the game, so if you’d like  shot at a free copy of the game, do tune in!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: captaindiggs on August 05, 2011, 08:15:13 PM
interview was amazing! is this the place to post questions?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Jerry on August 05, 2011, 08:35:04 PM
Might there be a way for those of us who missed the interview to watch a replay? :) I checked around on their website but couldn't find anything.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on August 05, 2011, 08:46:33 PM
interview was amazing! is this the place to post questions?

Thank you! Absolutely :)

Might there be a way for those of us who missed the interview to watch a replay? :) I checked around on their website but couldn't find anything.

I'll find out. The livestream thing is new to me so I don't know offhand.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on August 05, 2011, 09:12:26 PM
Looks like you can watch a replay of the interview here (http://www.livestream.com/minecraftgirledition/folder). It's broken up into a bunch of segments because we had to restart the stream a couple of times during the event.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on August 05, 2011, 09:16:37 PM
Ah nice - I missed it all due to not having internet >.< (off visiting people this week)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Jerry on August 05, 2011, 09:39:40 PM
Thank you very much! :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Qloos on August 06, 2011, 06:12:34 PM
interview was amazing! is this the place to post questions?

Absolutely :)

Using the Bay12 system of limegreening all questions

Although the game would be great as a standalone sandbox strategy space shooter: Are there any plans to branch out into character personalities and drama?

How do you feel being able to disable ship systems could be balanced to avoid a tipping scale style of gameplay?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on August 06, 2011, 07:01:27 PM
Oh god, the green, it burns my eyes.

Although the game would be great as a standalone sandbox strategy space shooter: Are there any plans to branch out into character personalities and drama?

I'll say maybe :) Personalities are a gray area for now, though we're thinking about it. As far as drama, I very much want to have the game create emotionally-charged situations, without being explicit about it. An example I like to go back to is MoO2, where you could exterminate the populations of captured planets. There was no judgment about the decision either way built into the game, it was just a mechanic with some advantages and disadvantages - but it managed to elicit an emotional response, nonetheless. Part of it was how understated and matter-of-fact the whole thing was.

How do you feel being able to disable ship systems could be balanced to avoid a tipping scale style of gameplay?

That's a great question. Clearly, disabling systems disadvantages a ship (unless we do something silly like giving such a ship a  bonus). To avoid slippery slope, the disadvantage has to be temporary and non-cumulative.

So, if damaged systems were automatically repaired by the crew, and could not be damaged while they were being repaired, a lot of the slippery slope could be avoided - you'd gain a temporary advantage by disabling some enemy guns and could do some damage in safety, but unless you disabled the ship, the guns would be back within some fixed period of time.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on August 12, 2011, 12:38:48 PM
New blog post - Ship Lore, Variants (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/08/12/ship-lore-variants/). Lots of lore, and a bit of yours truly pontificating about ship loadouts.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Psycho Society on August 12, 2011, 11:24:19 PM
Great post, Alex. I love the effort you've put in to making piloting any individual ship a much more diverse and fun experience with these ship variants. I can't wait to customize my own. That'll be so wicked, making all the ships in my fleet support each other in an entirely unique way to achieve any given objective. Brilliant. This game of yours has so much potential.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on August 13, 2011, 07:54:32 AM
Thanks for the kind words. Just the kind of extra motivation I needed to get going on what otherwise seems like a lazy Saturday morning :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on August 22, 2011, 12:37:34 PM
Great post, Alex. I love the effort you've put in to making piloting any individual ship a much more diverse and fun experience with these ship variants. I can't wait to customize my own. That'll be so wicked, making all the ships in my fleet support each other in an entirely unique way to achieve any given objective. Brilliant. This game of yours has so much potential.  :)
At the moment you can actually mod your own custom variants in; its pretty easy, just look at how the current variant files are written.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 04, 2011, 11:24:16 AM
New blog post up - Ship Loadouts (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/09/04/ship-loadouts/). Overview of the ship refitting mechanics and a few screenshots.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on September 04, 2011, 01:27:23 PM
 ;D
Yay! Now we can complain that you change the ui that we see in the screens by the time the release comes out (jk of course ;) - I really appreciate that you keep us well filled-in on the details)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 05, 2011, 09:05:44 AM
"Pffft, I liked the UI version that was never actually out so much better!" :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 17, 2011, 06:10:30 PM
New blog post - New Feature: Damageable Ship Modules (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/09/17/new-feature-damageable-modules/). With a video :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: CommComms on September 17, 2011, 09:10:41 PM
Alas, poor Piett!

That reminds me, any idea on if we'll be able to name our own ship captains?  And also I love this patch and want to marry it and then raise a family of adorable patch babies with it.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on September 17, 2011, 10:17:59 PM
Looks pretty good. I also like how you obviously put thought into gameplay as well as the coolness factor. Because you're definitely right that destructible ship components do produce the danger of a slippery slope. I guess this is one of the things that alpha and beta testing can help finetune, too!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 18, 2011, 09:03:09 AM
That reminds me, any idea on if we'll be able to name our own ship captains?

Probably yes. It's a question of "realism" (note the quotes), which is at odds with letting you rename people, vs it being a sandbox and a roleplay-your-own-adventure type of thing. I'm leaning strongly towards the latter.


I guess this is one of the things that alpha and beta testing can help finetune, too!

Yep, absolutely :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Qloos on September 18, 2011, 11:23:56 AM
Quote
I want to stay away from adding any extra UI elements – for example, ones showing you the exact status of every weapon and engine. It’s just too much information to keep track of in the heat of combat. Instead, there are distinct animations and floating text to let you know what’s happening, right there on the combat screen. We’ll also have some specific sound cues for the various events (“weapon disabled”, “flameout”, “repairs in progress”, etc) to make it as clear as possible what’s happening.

Request option toggle to disable said text.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 18, 2011, 11:50:24 AM
Request option toggle to disable said text.

Pretty likely a bit down the line, though I can't promise when (or 100% if). I think I know where you're coming from - I played M&B with all the overlays turned off myself, and it provided a nice extra level of challenge and immersion. Part of that had to do with the medieval setting where overlays were immersion-breakers, but still, I think I get it.

It's also a question of presenting enough information to new players vs not cluttering up the screen. For now, I'm trying to strike a balance between the two, but, like I said, some options to control that are likely down the line :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Blips on September 18, 2011, 11:53:42 AM
Quote
I want to stay away from adding any extra UI elements – for example, ones showing you the exact status of every weapon and engine. It’s just too much information to keep track of in the heat of combat. Instead, there are distinct animations and floating text to let you know what’s happening, right there on the combat screen. We’ll also have some specific sound cues for the various events (“weapon disabled”, “flameout”, “repairs in progress”, etc) to make it as clear as possible what’s happening.

Request option toggle to disable said text.

I actually found the floating text to be horribly distracting. I'd like for a toggle as well - perhaps simply flashing / tinting modules would be a more elegant method of displaying which are disabled and which ones are active.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 18, 2011, 12:03:00 PM
I actually found the floating text to be horribly distracting. I'd like for a toggle as well - perhaps simply flashing / tinting modules would be a more elegant method of displaying which are disabled and which ones are active.

You can definitely see it without the floaties - there are distinctly-styled explosions to indicate it, and a disabled module is tinted darker (and has "welding" repair sparkles).

The floaties do make it a lot more clear what's going on, though, especially if you aren't aware of the mechanic in the first place...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: CommComms on September 18, 2011, 01:01:00 PM
Probably yes. It's a question of "realism" (note the quotes), which is at odds with letting you rename people, vs it being a sandbox and a roleplay-your-own-adventure type of thing. I'm leaning strongly towards the latter.

Maybe every captain has a "name" and a "call sign".  Have the name be randomly generated or pulled from a database or however you want to do it, and the call sign is set by default to be the captain's name, but editable by you to be whatever you want.  That way you can have your name and change it too.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Erebos on September 18, 2011, 06:54:54 PM
I also think a toggle would be good to have, although the text should be on by default.

I suggest that when a weapon on the player's ship is disabled, the name of the weapon at the bottom of the HUD should be greyed out – no extra elements required, just make it look different. It might be a good idea to do this for the target information too.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on September 19, 2011, 10:07:24 PM
I noticed that the missile launcher's inaccuracies were identical for each salvo of missiles launched by the dominator, resulting in a very orderly looking innaccurary to the weapons fire.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 20, 2011, 10:35:01 AM
Because it's not inaccuracy, they're fired in a fixed spread pattern :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 29, 2011, 05:45:56 PM
New blog post up - What's Next? (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/09/29/whats-next/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on September 29, 2011, 06:27:16 PM
SQUEE!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on September 29, 2011, 06:55:35 PM
 ;D Well this is exciting.

But I must say that it would still be nice to have a modder's custom battle option for the sake of testing.
Maybe it only shows up if you add in a line in some .ini file or something?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: RooksBailey on September 29, 2011, 11:00:22 PM
New blog post up - What's Next? (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/09/29/whats-next/).

Woohoo!  Complete agreement on getting right to the campaign development.  :D  While isolated battles are nice appetizers, I suspect most of us would agree that once we have a full sandbox campaign, they aren't gonna get that much attention from us anyway.   ;D  Focus on what is gonna make Starfarer a true classic: the immersive sci-fi campaign. 

God's speed, captain!   :)

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on September 29, 2011, 11:53:08 PM
While I do wish the custom battles get implemented eventually, you do make a fine case for starting to implement the campaign first. In fact, your blogposts are one of the biggest reasons I have that I'm entirely confident in this game - they have consistently shown to be thoughtful, to the point and able to make good arguments for whatever course the design takes. I'm sorry the next release will take longer, of course, but on the other hand I'm even more eager to start playing around with the campaign than I am to start playing with custom battles.  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on September 30, 2011, 01:03:07 PM
Actually you know what I thought of when I read that blog post: Starshatter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzWDST1OnjA)

Not the most well known game, but it had a really good mechanic whereby the campaign progressed dynamically, and getting promotion got you the chance to transfer into more and more important commands.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: UristIzegamal on September 30, 2011, 04:06:45 PM
Finally! Waiting this update for soo long)))
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Wyvern on September 30, 2011, 04:45:57 PM
On the one hand... Ooh, campaign!  Shiny!

On the other hand... custom battles, even with option overload, would be something that I would find shiny & useful.  And this means I have to wait longer before the next alpha release!  The horror!

On the gripping hand... This means I'll have to wait longer before the next alpha release.  Which means more time to try and construct a space dragon graphic that actually looks good before I get distracted by the next alpha release.  Because clearly that's what's actually important here.  ;-)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dark.Revenant on September 30, 2011, 05:00:08 PM
Will there be a stopgap release to give us the ship configurator-tronic screen?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zapier on September 30, 2011, 07:23:29 PM
Yeah, while it would be nice to get kind of a mid release for the refit stuff, I know the sound of possible campaign development is very exciting... and it certainly won't make me stop checking the forums multiple times a day to see what's new. :P
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 30, 2011, 08:20:39 PM
Thanks for your support, guys!

Not the most well known game, but it had a really good mechanic whereby the campaign progressed dynamically, and getting promotion got you the chance to transfer into more and more important commands.

Sounds like an interesting take on mission-string style campaigns, if that's what it was.

Finally! Waiting this update for soo long)))

Whoa, got a first post out of you :) Welcome, sir.

On the gripping hand... This means I'll have to wait longer before the next alpha release.  Which means more time to try and construct a space dragon graphic that actually looks good before I get distracted by the next alpha release.  Because clearly that's what's actually important here.  ;-)

Bah, just call it a space wyvern and be done with it. You know you want to :)

Will there be a stopgap release to give us the ship configurator-tronic screen?

Unfortunately, no. That's really the point I'm trying to make in the post - that doing it now wouldn't work out very well.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on October 01, 2011, 02:03:18 AM
Quote from: Alex
Not the most well known game, but it had a really good mechanic whereby the campaign progressed dynamically, and getting promotion got you the chance to transfer into more and more important commands.

Sounds like an interesting take on mission-string style campaigns, if that's what it was.

There's a demo here: http://games.softpedia.com/get/Games-Demo/Starshatter-Ultimate-Space-Combat-Demo.shtml

It's of the old version, but the rerelease didn't do anything more than a graphics update.  I'd recommend giving it a quick shot to see if it provokes some ideas.  There's a practice mission in particlar demonstrating fleet control that is effectively 'starfarer on a 3d plane'.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Davian Thule on October 01, 2011, 09:44:26 PM
Starshatter had some cool mechanics when it came to capital ships, too. Especially when you got to control the carrier and set up the patrol paths. Took a while to get there, though, but finally having a non-strikecraft felt like a MAJOR achievement there.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stonehand on October 20, 2011, 08:45:18 AM
october's blog comming out soon want to hear about how the start of the campain is comming along?
2 weeks of no news finally made me sign up :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 20, 2011, 12:48:49 PM
october's blog comming out soon want to hear about how the start of the campain is comming along?
2 weeks of no news finally made me sign up :)

Welcome to the forum :) Allll part of the plan.

Yeah, we'll put up an update soonish - been much too long. On the bright side, the reason for that is I've been working feverishly on the campaign.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on October 20, 2011, 06:14:46 PM
Is this one of the times when you feel you just have to add "one more feature!" before you're ready to talk about it?  :D I know how that feels X3
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 20, 2011, 07:12:45 PM
Is this one of the times when you feel you just have to add "one more feature!" before you're ready to talk about it?  :D I know how that feels X3

If by one more feature you mean ten more, then yes :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on October 20, 2011, 08:34:25 PM
Hehe, well 10 more after you iterate with a loop like this 10 times:
for (int i = 0; i < (i+1); i++) {//add new feature}
//then release progress update or next version
  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Ivaylo on October 21, 2011, 06:43:55 AM
If only we had known about loops beforehand! ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 21, 2011, 10:11:59 AM
Hehe, well 10 more after you iterate with a loop like this 10 times:
for (int i = 0; i < (i+1); i++) {//add new feature}
//then release progress update or next version
  ;D

Heheh, right. The loop I'm using has a bunch of stuff inside it, and it's usually recursive. ... ok, I'll stop taking this analogy way too far :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: CommComms on October 22, 2011, 02:04:05 PM
Bulgarian blog post is best blog post!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on October 22, 2011, 03:03:15 PM
I like seeing the thought process behind the world-building. I like world-building. I also like how it's done in a way more sophisticated as throwing up a collection of different colour-wealth-tech level combinations.

There is a downside to all this, of course... Means waiting for the next release will seem to take even longer than it used to.  :-\
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 23, 2011, 09:02:37 AM
Oh, right, a rather belated "here's a new blog post": Lore Spotlight: Factions and Worlds (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/10/22/lore-spotlight-factions-and-worlds/).

Bulgarian blog post is best blog post!

Ah, but in Soviet Russia, the blog post reads you.

... or is entered into evidence at your trial on the charge of "betraying the motherland". Depends on how far back you go.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: SeaBee on October 23, 2011, 02:59:19 PM
Very cool. Reading it now!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on October 23, 2011, 06:23:39 PM
YES! Blog posts! What a way to start a week of mixed awesomeness (packages due to arrive, homestuck End of Act animation, and SotS2) & not awesomeness (stupid midterms - but at least they are easy, and some of the other classes this week got canceled as a result)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: SeaBee on October 24, 2011, 05:04:46 PM
SotS2 ... how did I nearly forget that it was so soon!?

Oh, and fantastic blog entry. Very interesting to see the details of the worlds, factions, and peoples of Starfarer. Can't wait to see and experience it all in the game some day. I really and truly do appreciate the level of attention here ... other devs would see "background story" as "background noise" to be ignored, but you guys obviously care about the setting.

Thanks for the read! Looking forward to more information in the coming weeks.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: frostphoenyx on October 25, 2011, 08:38:51 AM
Oh, right, a rather belated "here's a new blog post": Lore Spotlight: Factions and Worlds (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/10/22/lore-spotlight-factions-and-worlds/).

Lol I love the reference in the blog post to Monty Python's Holy grail :p
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Ivaylo on October 25, 2011, 01:53:17 PM
Thanks for recognizing it. I often leave stuff like that throughout my writing, hoping that someday, someone will acknowledge laughing about it.

 ;D

Oh, right, a rather belated "here's a new blog post": Lore Spotlight: Factions and Worlds (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/10/22/lore-spotlight-factions-and-worlds/).

Lol I love the reference in the blog post to Monty Python's Holy grail :p
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stonehand on November 06, 2011, 05:23:46 PM
looking forward to the november update :) (for 5 days then skyrim comes out and i will be mia from life and the internet for awhile)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on November 06, 2011, 08:50:07 PM
There is an upcoming novermber update?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: CommComms on November 06, 2011, 08:57:00 PM
Update in early November confirmed!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 07, 2011, 12:44:00 AM
Update in early November confirmed!

Oh, niiiiicccce!  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 07, 2011, 06:50:05 AM
Aww, come on guys, quit messing with me :)

On a somewhat-related note, though, I can confirm a blog update in the very near future.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 09, 2011, 02:53:12 PM
New blog post is up: Automatically Resolving Battles (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/11/09/automatically-resolving-combat/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stonehand on November 09, 2011, 06:29:46 PM
first sry if my post sounded like i was saying that a post was comming i didnt mean it to.

 2nd great november post i like the idea of the 2nd offcer giving his thoughts on a battle but i don't think the staff exp should be any different then if you did the battle but its a very small thing.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on November 09, 2011, 07:24:42 PM
I too think that the players past histories could matter, I think a way to get past the obstacle of letting the player auto-resolve everything without letting them win every battle when auto resolving. Their past histories just need to be balanced with the size and threat posed by the two fleets. If player performance was just one facet of auto-resolve with the cardinal power of both fleets taken into account player history could be made not to matter if the battle poses enough points to overthrow it. It'll handle the way you say the game will resolve as you've planned it now, but it will still avoid the problem of small skirmishes taking out a top of the line battleship or carrier.

On the flip side to the player using auto-resolve for every battle, if there's a chance that the player will lose a ship to auto-resolve in a fight that they can clearly win without loss or harm, they won't use auto-resolve especially if the fleet itself is full of ships that are hard to replace or expensive, or if there's a ship in the fleet that mustn't come under fire or harm. I can only speak for myself though, I have not touched auto-resolve since a spearman took out a tank in a civ 3 campaign.

There could be a level where auto-resolve just says, the sides are so disproportionate that there's basically no chance the small fleet is going to win or inflict any sort of grievous harm to the big one. There could be a cut off point where this happens, this could be done either with player histories, or simply with the quantifiable factors of the fleets themselves.



Or, maybe there could be something in between auto-resolve and actually fighting manually. It would not of course handle as quickly as pressing a single button and finishing the fight as auto-resolves does, but it would still be much faster than fighting an insignificant battle. If there is an all important ship in the fleet, expensive, or ships that are utterly integral to the mission the fleet is on it might be easier to let the player have a hand in it, albeit not as in-depth as a manual battle, than trying to balance auto-resolve (which I think you'll still end up doing after the game comes out if the track record on  auto-resolve calculations done in the past are anything to go by). If you let the player handle some aspect of auto-resolve in which they can look towards the more valuable assets of their fleet, I can see auto-resolve being much less of a programming nightmare.

Perhaps letting the player handle who goes first or the overall general movements of the fleet and let the commanders/AI hammer out the details of how the fight plays out tactically in high speed. Above all, your system still poses the threat that a carrier or a battleship goes down to forces that shouldn't be able to accomplish such an act, but if the player had some hand in the battle we would be better able to handle these sorts of problems while at the same time not be bogged down by many insignificant battles by perhaps sending in the disposable parts of our fleets into the line of fire first or moving the fleets in such a way that minimizes danger to one side of the fleet and maximizes it somewhere else. For example in my SotS late-end games, once I position my fleet in a certain way, the battle is more or less over given a moderately defended planet. I would usually be happy with the AI speeding things up and taking over at this point since the important ships are out of the way, and the ships shooting and getting shot at are ultimately disposable on the grand campaign they're on.

I personally think this would allow a more flexible system that can adapt, given the marginal input of the player. This would make it easier for modders if the auto-resolves scripts are hard-coded.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 09, 2011, 07:56:53 PM
I just don't think taking past player performance into account is going to work out well. It's hard to measure (what if you're good at specific things, such as fights vs fighter-heavy fleets? what if you're bad at piloting, but your strategic decisions make you do well in large battles?).

You're also creating an environment which punishes experimentation. Say you want to try out a new loadout - but you know that if it doesn't work well, you'll be punished for it in auto-resolve from here on out, until you erase that somehow (presumably, by "grinding" some wins to level it back up). That's powerful disincentive. Never mind that you'd need to have some visibility into the inner workings of that - i.e., what the system thinks of you.

It seems very complicated, and rife with potential problems. To be honest, I don't see much of an upside - if it's done well, congratulations, we've got a game that can play itself very well!

Besides, lore-wise, you're delegating - so it wouldn't make sense for it to - and it does make sense for your subordinates to get bonus experience from it. That should help offset any potential minor losses you might avoid if you were being really careful and played it through yourself.

Quote
On the flip side to the player using auto-resolve for every battle, if there's a chance that the player will lose a ship to auto-resolve in a fight that they can clearly win without loss or harm
...

Above all, your system still poses the threat that a carrier or a battleship goes down to forces that shouldn't be able to accomplish such an act

A major goal of this system is that, in fact, this does not happen. As an example, a Wasp wing vs a Talon wing results in a 100% win rate for the Wasps. Against two Talon wings, it's a 99.99% win rate (i.e., 1 in 10,000 wins for the Talons).

A battleship is significantly more difficult to take down where large amounts of strike weapons, other large ships, or simply massive amounts of ships aren't involved.

Quote
If you let the player handle some aspect of auto-resolve in which they can look towards the more valuable assets of their fleet, I can see auto-resolve being much less of a programming nightmare.

That's an interesting idea. I'm thinking about something similar - potentially letting you designate "priority" cargo that doesn't get destroyed when you lose ships. Still, I'd rather handle it by doing auto-resolve right, instead of slapping on a band-aid. I think what we've got now is a respectable start, and I'm fully prepared to keep tweaking it :)


Hmm. Auto-resolve could actually figure out when you have such overwhelming superiority that you don't *need* to use more vulnerable ships, and are still assured of victory. For example, if you've got an Onslaught and 3 Talon wings, there's not much point to deploying the fighters if you're up against a lone destroyer - it just exposes them to needless harm.

Actually, let me run that scenario right now, and see what happens! <runs scenario - Onslaught +3x Talon wings vs Hammerhead>

Needless to say, 100% win rate for the Onslaught side - but a few wings of Talons tend to get taken out. That's quite reasonable assuming they got deployed, but it's not so reasonable to deploy them. Then again, that's not a very realistic setup to begin with - that battle should never happen, unless it's the player's Hammerhead that's set up to deliver a rude surprise to the Onslaught. Under other circumstances, the Hammerhead should hightail it at the earliest opportunity.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 09, 2011, 10:48:58 PM
Interesting to get a glimpse behind the scenes on this kind of feature. I wonder, how will your auto-resolver work with custom ships? I mean, not just the in-game hulls with custom loadouts, but modded-in completely new ships?

In any case, as always, an interesting and impressive blogpost. Maybe this is one of those rare games when I can use the auto-resolve option without suffering completely disproportionate losses and/or going @[email protected] at the results. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Fishbreath on November 10, 2011, 06:01:01 AM
Interesting post. I look forward to this next release, whenever it may come. By Christmas, maybe? *hopeful look*
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 10, 2011, 08:35:17 AM
Interesting to get a glimpse behind the scenes on this kind of feature. I wonder, how will your auto-resolver work with custom ships? I mean, not just the in-game hulls with custom loadouts, but modded-in completely new ships?

Hmm, good question. If the ships are in the same vein as the standard ones, and if the weapons are balanced relative to their costs, it should work fine. On the other hand, if a mod does something very different, it'll likely fail in hilarious ways. Sounds like the parameters the auto-resolver uses to convert real ship stats into the turn-based ones should be exposed for modding at some point - though that kind of thing would only work for a total-conversion style mod.

Maybe this is one of those rare games when I can use the auto-resolve option without suffering completely disproportionate losses and/or going @[email protected] at the results. :)

I'm cautiously optimistic :)

Interesting post. I look forward to this next release, whenever it may come. By Christmas, maybe? *hopeful look*

*hopeful look*
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on November 10, 2011, 09:37:37 AM
All sounds great. I never once used auto-resolve when my mercs were involved in Jagged Alliance 2, it was just too wacky.

My only problem is that you seem to have already thought of most things already.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 10, 2011, 10:44:15 AM
All sounds great. I never once used auto-resolve when my mercs were involved in Jagged Alliance 2, it was just too wacky.

My only problem is that you seem to have already thought of most things already.

I know. The Suggestions sub-forum is full of "hey, how about doing X?" questions that get replies in the form of "oh, we've been planning to implement that eventually for some time now, only we'll also do Y to make it even better!" In some ways, it makes throwing ideas around slightly frustrating, on the other hand... Well, let me put it like this:

/,,/
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on November 10, 2011, 11:12:31 AM
Looks like I will be using it only for curbstomps: I get a 100%, 100%, nearly 100%, 90% (or was it 80?) win:loss ration in those missions, at least of the latest version we have to play with ;) - granted, I Didn't play them 10,000 times over for that level of statistical accuracy :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 11, 2011, 09:12:46 AM
... at least of the latest version we have to play with ;) ...

Yeah, the ships have been rebalanced a fair bit since then. As an example, all 4 of the Hammerhead's turrets are now small energy - instead of 2x medium ballistic + 2x medium energy.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 11, 2011, 12:54:41 PM
Yeah, the ships have been rebalanced a fair bit since then. As an example, all 4 of the Hammerhead's turrets are now small energy - instead of 2x medium ballistic + 2x medium energy.

That sounds like a pretty big change!

Of course, I had noticed that the Hammerhead seemed like a pretty powerful destroyer before.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 11, 2011, 01:59:29 PM
The motivation for doing that is to make larger weapons a bit more special - and to keep small weapons relevant. The abundance of medium and large slots was marginalizing them, which became clear when I started putting together OP-balanced stock variants of  ships. "What goes in this small slot?" "Bah, who cares!".

Another example, the Falcon and the Eagle (the two midline cruisers) now have medium turrets instead of large. Large-sized weapons are almost entirely the domain of capital ships - though a few cruisers still sport a very limited amount of them, and the Sunder destroyer gets to keep its large energy hardpoint, too.

So the fact that the Onslaught has a number of large turrets and hardpoints actually means something now - it's not nearly matched by an Eagle in firepower, as it is in the currently-released build.


Overall, it's just more spread out and balanced. Looks better, too - medium turrets on the Hammerhead, and large ones on those cruisers got a bit too crowded for my taste.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 11, 2011, 09:36:22 PM
Sounds good to me.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on November 11, 2011, 10:41:56 PM
Disparity in materiel is always good. Games with lots of high end entities with high end equipment running around tends to get old fast.

I just don't think taking past player performance into account is going to work out well. It's hard to measure (what if you're good at specific things, such as fights vs fighter-heavy fleets? what if you're bad at piloting, but your strategic decisions make you do well in large battles?).

Indeed it is hard to measure, but there is an implicit problem when you claim that auto-resolve is going to behave like how battles are fought. It's often the case that it will not resolve in the way that battles are fought, or in the way that the player will resolve the battle if he or she fought it manually. Unless the program can use the ships in a similar meaningful way that the player uses them, it's not going to behave just as battles are fought. For example, take mount and blade for instance, I often use auto-resolve and while it does give me favorable results in most battles, there are some where there should be no loses at all for example a 500 man patry fighting a 3 person party.

Quote
You're also creating an environment which punishes experimentation. Say you want to try out a new loadout - but you know that if it doesn't work well, you'll be punished for it in auto-resolve from here on out, until you erase that somehow (presumably, by "grinding" some wins to level it back up). That's powerful disincentive. Never mind that you'd need to have some visibility into the inner workings of that - i.e., what the system thinks of you.

I think this will only be true if battles are far and in-between large amounts of time. One measly battle, no matter how big, is still one battle in a huge collection of them. Unless the player deliberately keeps doing it, there's really going to be no significant mark on the overall player percentage. Besides, whether or not it encourages the player to fight his or her battles or experiment really depends on the skill of the player, for someone who is incredibly poor at the game or for someone who isn't very consistent, auto-resolve might prove to be so much more successful that they might never fight a manual battle themselves. If the player advantage quantifier for the calculator disintegrates over time, the player will have to fight manually to keep it, better yet, maybe it's a pool that the player can use to weigh in on insignificant battles to ensure a more one sided battle as if the player played it.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: tinsoldier on November 14, 2011, 02:28:13 PM

Needless to say, 100% win rate for the Onslaught side - but a few wings of Talons tend to get taken out. That's quite reasonable assuming they got deployed, but it's not so reasonable to deploy them. Then again, that's not a very realistic setup to begin with - that battle should never happen, unless it's the player's Hammerhead that's set up to deliver a rude surprise to the Onslaught. Under other circumstances, the Hammerhead should hightail it at the earliest opportunity.


Just curious as to why the Hammerhead doesn't hightail it at the earliest opportunity in the auto-resolve?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 14, 2011, 03:30:55 PM
It's often the case that it will not resolve in the way that battles are fought, or in the way that the player will resolve the battle if he or she fought it manually.

It's pretty much never going to resolve the same way as if the player played it manually. The idea is to avoid surprises, which isn't the same as playing it out "exactly as if the player was playing it". Plausible results are what I'm after. The UI will also make it abundantly clear that you're not participating in the battle, but delegating it to your second-in-command.


Just curious as to why the Hammerhead doesn't hightail it at the earliest opportunity in the auto-resolve?

It would, but that's not the job of the autoresolve, which takes over when the battle is already joined. That battle would never happen in the first place if the Hammerhead was able to get away successfully. If it couldn't do that, then it would be an "escape" type battle, with the Hammerhead trying to get past the enemy lines and retreat - at which it would likely be successful. Even in a head-on fight, the 100% win rate for the Onslaught side includes numerous cases where the Hammerhead took too much damage and retreated.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: tinsoldier on November 14, 2011, 06:35:39 PM
It would, but that's not the job of the autoresolve, which takes over when the battle is already joined. That battle would never happen in the first place if the Hammerhead was able to get away successfully. If it couldn't do that, then it would be an "escape" type battle, with the Hammerhead trying to get past the enemy lines and retreat - at which it would likely be successful. Even in a head-on fight, the 100% win rate for the Onslaught side includes numerous cases where the Hammerhead took too much damage and retreated.

Sounds perfect then  :-*
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on November 15, 2011, 02:08:46 PM
It would, but that's not the job of the autoresolve, which takes over when the battle is already joined. That battle would never happen in the first place if the Hammerhead was able to get away successfully. If it couldn't do that, then it would be an "escape" type battle, with the Hammerhead trying to get past the enemy lines and retreat - at which it would likely be successful. Even in a head-on fight, the 100% win rate for the Onslaught side includes numerous cases where the Hammerhead took too much damage and retreated.

Sounds perfect then  :-*

I'm getting pretty excited about this auto-resolve thing, which I think says something about the high quality of the game overall, ha ha.  I'm pretty sure I've never been excited about auto-resolve functionality before this, and kudos on making the concept very logical and avoiding most surprises in the results, great stuff indeed.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 15, 2011, 02:26:38 PM
Heheh, thanks for your support!

To be fair, the jury is still out on how good it actually is - no amount of my testing is going to equal it getting some real usage. Hopefully it'll live up to expectations, if not, I'll tweak the hell out of it :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Wyvern on November 15, 2011, 03:39:54 PM
Hm.  You know, I wonder - would it work out if the auto-resolver told you beforehand exactly what the results would be?  In some ways, that feels like cheating; in other ways, it feels like an ideal way to make sure the auto-resolver doesn't cheat the player...

Definitely looking forward to seeing how it works out, though; also looking forward to see how the full game influences tactics.  For example, if I'm not fighting a one-off battle, I may be much more inclined to make ships - especially small ships like fighters and frigates - retreat early on, before they have too much of a chance to get blown up by trying to kamikaze an Onslaught.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on November 15, 2011, 04:07:07 PM
Heheh, thanks for your support!

To be fair, the jury is still out on how good it actually is - no amount of my testing is going to equal it getting some real usage. Hopefully it'll live up to expectations, if not, I'll tweak the hell out of it :)

Well there's only one way to find out!

Hint hint.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 15, 2011, 05:17:16 PM
Well there's only one way to find out!

Hint hint.

Working feverishly, sir :)

There's a *lot* to do but I'm really excited about how it's shaping up.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on November 16, 2011, 10:16:04 AM
I presume there are a fair number of new weapons in now?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on November 16, 2011, 11:39:29 AM
I presume there are a fair number of new weapons in now?

The concept of fair, is a very interesting and complex conundrum.  ;)  lol
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 16, 2011, 01:17:35 PM
Is 5 fair? I think 5 is pretty fair. Up to 60 or so total.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on November 16, 2011, 01:22:05 PM
Is 5 fair? I think 5 is pretty fair. Up to 60 or so total.

There have been studies that suggest that 5 is the most fair number of all.  ;)

The only way to make it even more fair is to have even more 5's...say 2 or 3...or....  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on November 17, 2011, 11:12:19 PM
How many of them are small/medium slot?  ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 18, 2011, 07:38:53 AM
All :)

The original reason for ships getting large slots when they really shouldn't have was that there weren't quite enough medium weapons to make medium slots interesting.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 22, 2011, 08:17:55 PM
New blog post is up: Crew Management and You (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/11/22/crew-management-and-you/). Talks about how crew mechanics work and why.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 22, 2011, 11:06:25 PM
Okay, nice! You've managed to, from the sound of it (since obviously none of us have been able to test it out i practice yet), find a solution to a game design problem that strikes the perfect balance between immersion, game mechanical significance and practicality.

Again.

You know, you've really got to stop doing this - don't you realise how bad you're make all the other developers out there look by comparison?!  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on November 23, 2011, 08:24:15 AM
Okay, nice! You've managed to, from the sound of it (since obviously none of us have been able to test it out i practice yet), find a solution to a game design problem that strikes the perfect balance between immersion, game mechanical significance and practicality.

Again.

You know, you've really got to stop doing this - don't you realise how bad you're make all the other developers out there look by comparison?!  ;D

Indeed, lol!  :)  Great stuff, once again.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on November 23, 2011, 08:30:03 AM
I'm just itching to start messing around with this.  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: theShadow on November 23, 2011, 09:40:26 AM
can you add the ability to name your ships so I can name mine the I.S.S unlikely-to-survive :p
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 23, 2011, 10:31:45 AM
I'm just itching to start messing around with this.  ;D

One interesting implication of the system in question I can see is that as you decide the order in which ships are crewed with experienced personnel, there might be some interesting choices on whether you wish to crew, say, one cruiser or three frigates (or however the numbers work out in practice) with your elite personnel, or whether you want really hotshot fighter pilots, etc. All the choices, none of the tedious micro-management.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 23, 2011, 10:51:04 AM
Thank you guys!

can you add the ability to name your ships so I can name mine the I.S.S unlikely-to-survive :p

That's already in the dev build. And I just checked, you can just barely fit that name in there :)

I'm just itching to start messing around with this.  ;D

One interesting implication of the system in question I can see is that as you decide the order in which ships are crewed with experienced personnel, there might be some interesting choices on whether you wish to crew, say, one cruiser or three frigates (or however the numbers work out in practice) with your elite personnel, or whether you want really hotshot fighter pilots, etc. All the choices, none of the tedious micro-management.

The other aspect is you're more likely to lose crew that's, say, assigned to fighters - so while having elite fighter wings is (or should be - still working on the part where crew affects in-combat ship performance) great, you're taking a risk with the personnel.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on November 23, 2011, 01:23:04 PM
With the naming of captains and ships, can we also name fighter pilots who do especially well?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 23, 2011, 01:26:37 PM
You'll be able to assign an officer to a fighter wing in the role of "wing leader" - so, yes and no :) Individual fighter pilots aren't modeled any more than individual crewmen.

Edit: that is to say, fighter pilots and "regular" crew members are the same thing.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on November 23, 2011, 01:31:58 PM
You'll be able to assign an officer to a fighter wing in the role of "wing leader" - so, yes and no :) Individual fighter pilots aren't modeled any more than individual crewmen.

Ok so my excitement level is really getting high here.  :)  Any chance we receive an updated preview client as a Christmas present?  Or should I calm down and relax because I'm in for a longer wait?  :)  lol, this is gonna be so great when it is ready!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 23, 2011, 01:40:32 PM
The other aspect is you're more likely to lose crew that's, say, assigned to fighters - so while having elite fighter wings is (or should be - still working on the part where crew affects in-combat ship performance) great, you're taking a risk with the personnel.

I was actually wondering about that - given the way fighters are replaced in-battle in the tactical battles, I was wondering if destroyed fighters would result in lost crew. On the other hand, it seemed logical, on the other... Well, the supply of fighters seems inexhaustible at present, so I was wondering if fighter pilots worked the same way.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 23, 2011, 01:49:38 PM
Ok so my excitement level is really getting high here.  :)  Any chance we receive an updated preview client as a Christmas present?  Or should I calm down and relax because I'm in for a longer wait?  :)  lol, this is gonna be so great when it is ready!

I hate to say it, but that's looking unlikely. A lot of things need to come together before it's really playable - and fun. I appreciate the enthusiasm, though :D

Hopefully it won't be too much after that. It's a little hard to predict, because I'm finding myself building out a bit more than originally planned - all stuff that needs to be done, but may not directly show up in the next release. Putting down a more solid foundation, if you will. At some point I'll need to stop that and go into "ok, let's get this ready for release" mode, but it's not there yet.

Also, as a side note, I wasn't planning on officers being in this next release - probably the one after that.


I was actually wondering about that - given the way fighters are replaced in-battle in the tactical battles, I was wondering if destroyed fighters would result in lost crew. On the other hand, it seemed logical, on the other... Well, the supply of fighters seems inexhaustible at present, so I was wondering if fighter pilots worked the same way.

Ah, yes, that's definitely a potential inconsistency. Still considering how to resolve it, or if it needs resolving at all. It's just fun to have lots of fighters flying around, and I don't want to get in the way of that. Fighters will definitely use crew, though - except for drones, that is.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on November 23, 2011, 02:19:41 PM

I was actually wondering about that - given the way fighters are replaced in-battle in the tactical battles, I was wondering if destroyed fighters would result in lost crew. On the other hand, it seemed logical, on the other... Well, the supply of fighters seems inexhaustible at present, so I was wondering if fighter pilots worked the same way.

Ah, yes, that's definitely a potential inconsistency. Still considering how to resolve it, or if it needs resolving at all. It's just fun to have lots of fighters flying around, and I don't want to get in the way of that. Fighters will definitely use crew, though - except for drones, that is.

Hmm, I wonder if maybe Carriers/Freighters could have mods that allow extra crew to be carried, sort of like spare pilots for the new fighters that are created to replace destroyed ones?  I would actually like it if carriers were limited in how many fighters they could replace and re-deploy by the crew that exists on the carrier itself to some degree, that way you would have to weigh the relative advantages to adding more crew space versus other mods like for armor and ammo etc, just a thought.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 23, 2011, 02:59:27 PM
Hmm, I wonder if maybe Carriers/Freighters could have mods that allow extra crew to be carried, sort of like spare pilots for the new fighters that are created to replace destroyed ones?  I would actually like it if carriers were limited in how many fighters they could replace and re-deploy by the crew that exists on the carrier itself to some degree, that way you would have to weigh the relative advantages to adding more crew space versus other mods like for armor and ammo etc, just a thought.  :)

Hmm. That makes sense - it'd be easy enough to have a mod that raises the skeleton crew requirement of a ship and improves, say, the fighter refit speed. I like that idea a lot.

I do want to stay away from actually making carriers unable to refit fighters in combat when they run out of <something>, though - that poses a slew of UI problems. I suspect the initial player reaction upon seeing the carrier stop refitting fighters would be "ugh, my carrier is bugged", and it's an uphill battle to make what's happening clear.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 23, 2011, 10:18:04 PM
Hmm. That makes sense - it'd be easy enough to have a mod that raises the skeleton crew requirement of a ship and improves, say, the fighter refit speed. I like that idea a lot.

I do want to stay away from actually making carriers unable to refit fighters in combat when they run out of <something>, though - that poses a slew of UI problems. I suspect the initial player reaction upon seeing the carrier stop refitting fighters would be "ugh, my carrier is bugged", and it's an uphill battle to make what's happening clear.

So a limited pool of fighter replacement, unlimited pool of fighter rearmament? Yeah, that sounds good to me. Granted, it does fail the strictest of internal logic tests in the sense of "so why don't they simply launch the spare fighters as well?" but I can live with that.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on November 24, 2011, 07:58:08 AM
Just chiming in to say that I am getting excited to see the next build. A few questions:

Do crew members get experience outside battle? That is, could you have part of your fleet sitting in part of space protecting an outpost (for no other reason, let's call this place Chitzena). In the meantime, you are out kicking seven shades of the proverbial out of the evil queen's army over at somewhere-else-ville.

So, inevitably you lose a few ships so return to pick some up at Chitzena (because you like to operate with a lean force) and thankfully one of your officers (let's call her Ira) has been training your crew up from say green to regular, at a resource cost, while you have been gone.

Obviously I'm thinking about what Jagged Alliance 2 did with Militia (which was a different mechanic, but handled in a similar way, which made me think of this) but I could see that it might mitigate frustration associated with having lots of resources, yet potentially having to start from 'green' with each new ship.

Did you have any thoughts on this? Is there even going to this sort of 'sub-fleet' type of option (where you don't have direct control over them? Would you expect them to be involved in enough scrapes to get them up in experience anyway? What do you and Ivaylo want Santa to bring you for Christmas?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 24, 2011, 09:03:19 AM
Hah, had to look up all the JA stuff :) Sounds like a game I'd like. Not the first time hearing about it, of course, but never did play it.

Ok, with the usual caveat that we're talking about unimplemented features, and things could thus change...

Do crew members get experience outside battle? That is, could you have part of your fleet sitting in part of space protecting an outpost (for no other reason, let's call this place Chitzena). In the meantime, you are out kicking seven shades of the proverbial out of the evil queen's army over at somewhere-else-ville.

So, inevitably you lose a few ships so return to pick some up at Chitzena (because you like to operate with a lean force) and thankfully one of your officers (let's call her Ira) has been training your crew up from say green to regular, at a resource cost, while you have been gone.

Yeah, probably some function of the Command skill would let you and your officers train up crew. I doubt you could get them to veteran that way though, and certainly not to elite. If you're preparing for a major campaign, you could also train up some elite crew yourself in smaller battles, dropping them off at an outpost for safekeeping (and to let your green crew fly the ships).

Obviously I'm thinking about what Jagged Alliance 2 did with Militia (which was a different mechanic, but handled in a similar way, which made me think of this) but I could see that it might mitigate frustration associated with having lots of resources, yet potentially having to start from 'green' with each new ship.

Hmm. That's an interesting idea, I haven't really looked at it from that angle. It seems like you wouldn't have to start from 'green' unless you actually lost all your experienced crew, though. So when you buy/build a new ship, you could just put it at the head of the line and have your elite crew operate it. You have to keep extra crew on hand to replace losses, so you'll probably have more experienced crew built up than you strictly need if you're having good success in fighting. Then you could pick up new ships and run them effectively without having to compromise the rest of your fleet.

I really like the idea of falling back to an outpost to recrew and resupply after a tough fight. If the outposts can potentially build up their crew a bit, that helps flesh it out. Also seems to make the world feel a bit more alive - "hey, those guys gained experience while I was gone - they must have been doing stuff."

Is there even going to this sort of 'sub-fleet' type of option (where you don't have direct control over them?

Yeah, I'd like to have this. With outposts, you will be able to exchange crew & cargo explicitly, to let you do these kinds of things. As far as sub-fleets, that's a bit more nebulous for now. The same old problem of coming up with a way to do it that lets you do most of the things you want w/o it being a chore.

Would you expect them to be involved in enough scrapes to get them up in experience anyway?

Most likely, but again somewhat TBD.

What do you and Ivaylo want Santa to bring you for Christmas?

More time to work on Starfarer, definitely! I'll speak for Ivaylo here too, even if he would want something else :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on November 24, 2011, 01:27:21 PM
You'll be able to assign an officer to a fighter wing in the role of "wing leader" - so, yes and no :) Individual fighter pilots aren't modeled any more than individual crewmen.

Edit: that is to say, fighter pilots and "regular" crew members are the same thing.

In that case, would there be roles or traits in which an officer would excel in the task of piloting one type of ship or another? I'm not asking about an all too specific bonus of several percentages when placed into a fighter or corvette for some abstract reason, but will there be traits that an officer can acquire that will give a predisposition in one sort of craft due to that craft's role in a tactical or strategic sense?
I generally don't prefer seeing a strange bonus we sometimes get like 25% more firepower inside of a fighter or 25% more firepower end of story, it seems a little shallow in some circumstances to provide these sorts of bonuses. Rather, are there a certain tangible behaviors that officers can acquire, like the preference for hitting and running for example in what ever ship he's in, or perhaps in applicable ships with a certain speed limit on the decisino if he or she is going to use this tactic. Reading your entry about getting acquainted with your officers and crew, perhaps this could also serve that function.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on November 24, 2011, 01:28:34 PM
Thanks for the answers Alex.

JA2 v1.13 introduced the ability (via .ini tweaks) to train 'militia' up to the higher levels (I think vanilla was just 'level 2'). It always felt a bit 'cheaty' to me above standard, so I agree with you there.

Also yeah, never thought about it in the context of having quite a large pool of crew. I might be making an issue where there is none. After all, you want to be punished for making poor decisions, not necessarily be able to recover without feeling any real loss (experienced crew would be a valuable resource and if you are in a position where you have all the other material wealth, it might make sense to really limit this).

I can't recommend JA2 to you, it's an awful game. Although perhaps you should check it out after you have finished Starfarer ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Ivaylo on November 24, 2011, 04:23:52 PM
What do I want for Christmas?


I'm glad you asked me that question. I want a fresh Chipotle burrito.

See, Chipotle does not operate in Europe.  >:( THIS IS A TRAVESTY. I have sent letters to the (appropriate?) authorities, with no reply. My only consolation so far is some sort of pretend Mexican restaurant here in Sofia. They use local spices, not Mexican.


That's just plain evil, I say. So, the struggle continues...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Ivaylo on November 24, 2011, 04:25:31 PM
Oh yeah and for Starfarer to become, and be considered, the best damned game, ever.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on November 24, 2011, 11:53:18 PM
Alright guys look first things first, I'm sorry for getting your hopes up, but the post office just aren't playing ball.

They didn't have a problem me sending some time to you, Alex, but the size and weight of the necessary containment field to make sure it didn't leak out all over the Atlantic Ocean was a bit cost prohibitive, postage-wise, I'm afraid.

And they stopped talking to me when I asked them to parcel up a burrito. Even when I explained where it was going.

So sorry chaps  :( Maybe I'll get you something next year   ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on November 24, 2011, 11:55:12 PM
Oh yeah and for Starfarer to become, and be considered, the best damned game, ever.

Keep working on it and it may just become that, as far as I'm concerned.  ;D Certainly it's at the top of my games anticipation list and the groundwork - both in the preview version we have now and what we've heard about the work going on at your end - is promising. Once the next preview version comes out and if it lives up to the promise of what we have so far, I intend to advertise it far and wide on the forums I go to and to any friends I have who might be interested in it.

(Why the next version? Because the beginning of the strategic mode implementation should make it a far more appealing taster than the current collection of single missions as well as additional depth.)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 25, 2011, 09:16:39 AM
After all, you want to be punished for making poor decisions, not necessarily be able to recover without feeling any real loss (experienced crew would be a valuable resource and if you are in a position where you have all the other material wealth, it might make sense to really limit this).

Hmm, yeah. Talking about this, I seriously can't wait to get to implementing outposts. Sadly, that's not on the list for the next release. On the other hand, I'm doing stuff now that's been planned since a year ago, and that's a neat feeling. "Hey, I'm finally actually *doing* this?"

I can't recommend JA2 to you, it's an awful game. Although perhaps you should check it out after you have finished Starfarer ;)

Funny story: it took me a minute or so to see what you did there.

I'm... going to believe you. For the sake of everyone involved.


They didn't have a problem me sending some time to you, Alex, but the size and weight of the necessary containment field to make sure it didn't leak out all over the Atlantic Ocean was a bit cost prohibitive, postage-wise, I'm afraid.

I guess I'll just have to make some, then. </bad pun>


Keep working on it and it may just become that, as far as I'm concerned.  ;D Certainly it's at the top of my games anticipation list and the groundwork - both in the preview version we have now and what we've heard about the work going on at your end - is promising. Once the next preview version comes out and if it lives up to the promise of what we have so far, I intend to advertise it far and wide on the forums I go to and to any friends I have who might be interested in it.

Thank you!

(Why the next version? Because the beginning of the strategic mode implementation should make it a far more appealing taster than the current collection of single missions as well as additional depth.)

Indeed - I certainly don't feel like it's ready for the spotlight in its current state. I don't know that I ever will, though - all too easy to see the flaws of something you're working on, harder to see the good parts...

Hoping to polish up some stuff here and there in the combat for the next version, too :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 25, 2011, 02:19:18 PM
In that case, would there be roles or traits in which an officer would excel in the task of piloting one type of ship or another? I'm not asking about an all too specific bonus of several percentages when placed into a fighter or corvette for some abstract reason, but will there be traits that an officer can acquire that will give a predisposition in one sort of craft due to that craft's role in a tactical or strategic sense?

I think "personality" fits the bill there, if you recall the blog post about it that from a little while back.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on November 25, 2011, 06:57:29 PM
Right, right. Forgot about that.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stonehand on December 02, 2011, 07:10:13 PM
finally december looking forward to the Archives update :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 02, 2011, 07:20:50 PM
Not sure what you mean by "archives update" :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stonehand on December 03, 2011, 08:31:43 PM
Archive its on the sites main page top right corner new one every month that thing :)
reminds me every month how much i want this game

although you may just be trolling me
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Psycho Society on December 04, 2011, 04:04:15 AM
I don't think blog updates are specifically scheduled to be at the start of each month. Clicking on an archive just shows you all the articles posted in that month.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stonehand on December 04, 2011, 07:40:38 AM
you are right i went back and check and i had missed Crew Management and You becuase it came out later ty good sir
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 04, 2011, 05:09:48 PM
Yeah, that's why I got a little confused :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 08, 2011, 05:32:08 PM
New blog post is up: Introducing the Paragon and the Odyssey (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/12/08/introducing-the-paragon-and-the-odyssey/).

Two new high tech capital ships.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: theShadow on December 08, 2011, 06:12:47 PM
oh man, I cannot wait to get my hands on those bad boys.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Blips on December 08, 2011, 06:20:54 PM
Cadet: "Captain, there's a hole in our ship!"
Captain: "Aye!!"
Cadet: "..."
Captain: :-*
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on December 08, 2011, 11:16:03 PM
Good design philosophy.

Are there enough different ships at the low end of the size scale? I'm pretty sure there'll need to be some more transport type ships eventually, at least.

Still, more ships can always be added in later. How's the campaign mode progressing?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: SeaBee on December 09, 2011, 11:47:23 AM
Cadet: "Captain, there's a hole in our ship!"
Captain: "Aye!!"
Cadet: "..."
Captain: :-*
Haha!

Can't wait to see these in a campaign ... I hope that's progressing smoothly  :D

Thanks for putting so much thought into each ship to make them so different from each other. Everyone will find something to suit how they like to play, and everyone will get to have a challenging variety of ships to fight against.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dorfs R Fun on December 09, 2011, 03:21:39 PM
I am starting to fall in love with this game. Love. LOVE!!! In a weird stalker sort of way.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 09, 2011, 05:51:51 PM
Still, more ships can always be added in later. How's the campaign mode progressing?

Can't wait to see these in a campaign ... I hope that's progressing smoothly  :D

Yep. It's moving along at a good clip - going to add save/load functionality soon. There's the larger "make it into a game" task, though - right now it's just a bunch of features, but that a game does not make.


I am starting to fall in love with this game. Love. LOVE!!! In a weird stalker sort of way.

Glad you like it! <backs away slowly> <starts running>
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Fishbreath on December 09, 2011, 07:22:46 PM
Yep. It's moving along at a good clip - going to add save/load functionality soon. There's the larger "make it into a game" task, though - right now it's just a bunch of features, but that a game does not make.

If you have basic fly around and blow stuff up functionality, then who cares about save and load? I'll just leave the game minimized if I want to come back to it. :P
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: SeaBee on December 11, 2011, 02:46:39 AM
Yeah, it's like an unintentional Ironman Mode. I can dig that.  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 12, 2011, 11:06:40 AM
New post up: The Armada (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/12/12/the-armada/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on December 12, 2011, 11:27:09 AM
Ooh! New toys!

...so, when do we get to play with them?  :P (Yes, I know - probably not this year. I just had to say it.)

New civilian ships, which is to be expected, a few new fighters, a new design type (possibly new faction?) in the upper left, munition ships as mentioned before, what looks like a warp beacon of some kind (that's just speculation, but it does appear very beacon-y), what look like some kind of bases/outposts, a very black cruiser design and the reddish ships at the top that I'm guessing might be construction/repair ships but that's just speculation. They don't look very militaristic, however. Oh, and fighter-sized ships - probably drones - that I'm guessing to be some sort of civilian small craft, maybe things like shuttles, probes and/or non-military drones. Oh, and a cargo container, it looks like.

How'm I doing with my guesses?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 12, 2011, 02:08:02 PM
Hmm.... not too well, I'm afraid :) You are right about the black ship being a cruiser, and about the civilian drones, though. The red ships aren't quite military - but not construction/repair, either.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 12, 2011, 02:38:36 PM
Hmm.... not too well, I'm afraid :) You are right about the black ship being a cruiser, and about the civilian drones, though. The red ships aren't quite military - but not construction/repair, either.

Clearly they are fuel tankers.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 12, 2011, 02:52:14 PM
Clearly they are fuel tankers.  :)

*Ding ding ding ding ding* We have a winner!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 12, 2011, 03:17:47 PM
Clearly they are fuel tankers.  :)

*Ding ding ding ding ding* We have a winner!

Nice, I sure hope the tankers and munitions ships make the final cut and we see them in the game, I love details like that, and a legit supply chain of real ships would be an added wrinkle to manage and protect from pirates!  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 12, 2011, 06:45:21 PM
Nice, I sure hope the tankers and munitions ships make the final cut and we see them in the game, I love details like that, and a legit supply chain of real ships would be an added wrinkle to manage and protect from pirates!  :)

Tankers are in... well, the small-sized one is, and the others will follow eventually - fuel is a resource. Munitions got rolled up together with other stuff under "Supplies", though - the number of separate resources was getting to be a bit unmanageable.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on December 12, 2011, 11:43:12 PM
Tankers are in... well, the small-sized one is, and the others will follow eventually - fuel is a resource. Munitions got rolled up together with other stuff under "Supplies", though - the number of separate resources was getting to be a bit unmanageable.

Probably for the best - keeping supply lines open is an interesting gameplay element, micromanagement of two dozen different resource types significantly less so.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: theShadow on December 13, 2011, 07:15:27 AM
you could just rename them "supply ships" could you not?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 13, 2011, 07:52:03 AM
you could just rename them "supply ships" could you not?

Very Valid point.  :) ha
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 13, 2011, 08:07:09 AM
That's "freighters", though.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 13, 2011, 08:44:13 AM
That's "freighters", though.

Nice, btw, what are the chances of being able to do some pirating ourselves at some point in the game, i.e. sending some ships after freighter convoys to plunder their lootz?  I think I remember some talk about it earlier on, but I am not certain of it.

Also, this is something I began to wonder about after the last patch notes update.  Is there navigable space "Inside" of a system between the moons and planets, or is it just you jump your fleets from site to site, and automatically engage anything that was in that spot before you?  One of the reasons I ask, is if it is site to site jumping from moon to planet, etc with no navigable system space in-between, then how would one introduce something like a space station into the mix?  Can't wait to see what you have cooked up in this regard!  :)

Whichever way it ends up being done, I'm sure it will be fun, but I just became a bit curious.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 13, 2011, 09:24:17 AM
What kind of a question is that??? Of course you'll be able to engage in piracy. To be fair, the lines between piracy, warfare, and "law enforcement" activity in the Sector are blurry at best.

Also, this is something I began to wonder about after the last patch notes update.  Is there navigable space "Inside" of a system between the moons and planets, or is it just you jump your fleets from site to site, and automatically engage anything that was in that spot before you?  One of the reasons I ask, is if it is site to site jumping from moon to planet, etc with no navigable system space in-between, then how would one introduce something like a space station into the mix?  Can't wait to see what you have cooked up in this regard!  :)

You'll be able to navigate freely inside a system.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 13, 2011, 09:42:49 AM
What kind of a question is that??? Of course you'll be able to engage in piracy. To be fair, the lines between piracy, warfare, and "law enforcement" activity in the Sector are blurry at best.

Also, this is something I began to wonder about after the last patch notes update.  Is there navigable space "Inside" of a system between the moons and planets, or is it just you jump your fleets from site to site, and automatically engage anything that was in that spot before you?  One of the reasons I ask, is if it is site to site jumping from moon to planet, etc with no navigable system space in-between, then how would one introduce something like a space station into the mix?  Can't wait to see what you have cooked up in this regard!  :)

You'll be able to navigate freely inside a system.

Ha ha! Well said. :)  Happy days, happy days indeed.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Darrow on December 13, 2011, 12:26:42 PM
How open ended is the world going to be?

Meaning can i choose to be either an actual Pirate? A Mercenary? Ruler of a Empire or lone Carrier ship?

Just curious because you mention supply lines being raidable... but it's not really piracy when you're the ruler of an entire empire/fleet.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on December 14, 2011, 01:08:49 AM
How open ended is the world going to be?

I believe the intention has been described as "Mount and Blade with starships".

Quote
Meaning can i choose to be either an actual Pirate? A Mercenary? Ruler of a Empire or lone Carrier ship?

All of those sound like possibilities based on what we've been told, with the possible exception of mercenary work which I'm not sure has been discussed. The commander of a lone carrier may or may not be difficult to play as, depending on how the campaign works out in practice, but as I understand the campaign is supposed to begin with the playe having very few, probably small, ships at their disposal, so maybe it'll be feasible. (Again - "Mount and Blade with starships".)

Quote
Just curious because you mention supply lines being raidable... but it's not really piracy when you're the ruler of an entire empire/fleet.

No, then it's called "privateering".  ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 14, 2011, 08:02:33 AM
No, then it's called "privateering".  ;)

Nice.  :)  ha ha
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on December 14, 2011, 01:58:04 PM
I believe the intention has been described as "Mount and Blade with starships".

I think I'm the one who started throwing that phrase around, so I'll point out that while Alex thought the allusion was a good one, those weren't his words.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on December 14, 2011, 02:32:10 PM
I think I'm the one who started throwing that phrase around, so I'll point out that while Alex thought the allusion was a good one, those weren't his words.

Entirely possible. I don't expect it to be a fully accurate description either, but it's a convenient shorthand explanation to establish a baseline for expectations.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dorfs R Fun on December 14, 2011, 07:14:07 PM
Clearly they are fuel tankers.  :)

*Ding ding ding ding ding* We have a winner!

Am I the only one who wants to ram one of these things into an Onslaught and pray that Alex programmed them to be very EXPLODEY.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on December 15, 2011, 01:52:06 AM
I think I'm the one who started throwing that phrase around, so I'll point out that while Alex thought the allusion was a good one, those weren't his words.

Entirely possible. I don't expect it to be a fully accurate description either, but it's a convenient shorthand explanation to establish a baseline for expectations.

Besides you need to add a 'mechwarrior' in there somewhere.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 16, 2011, 05:12:46 PM
I like the 'armada' post
I see you have something that look like feul/infernium freighters perhaps?

That black ship looks the most mysterious... I wonder if that has to do with the, umm, source, of infernium.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on December 17, 2011, 04:01:35 AM
Yep, those big red ships are indeed tankers. Spheres generally hold more, or so I hear... I probably shouldn't be in control of a starship.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 18, 2011, 05:29:39 PM
Am I the only one who wants to ram one of these things into an Onslaught and pray that Alex programmed them to be very EXPLODEY.

Hmm. That doesn't sound half bad :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 18, 2011, 06:26:22 PM
I'm not sure how cost effective that would be though  :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 19, 2011, 11:07:13 AM
I'm not sure how cost effective that would be though  :D

Sometimes efficiency has to be sacrificed in the name of splodyness.  :)

Exploding tankers for the win...




...Directed by Michael Bay.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 22, 2011, 03:02:22 PM
New post is up: Battle Plan (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/12/22/battle-plan/).

What's done, what's not, what's next. Things like that.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 22, 2011, 03:07:20 PM
New post is up: Battle Plan (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/12/22/battle-plan/).

What's done, what's not, what's next. Things like that.

Woooo hoooo!  :)  New stuff!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 22, 2011, 06:53:52 PM
New stuff! :D
*goes to check it out*
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 22, 2011, 06:57:47 PM
:D

Yay, so we get a preview release and help you test it. :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on December 22, 2011, 07:29:03 PM
Quote from: Blogpost
...and what I’ll be doing over the coming weeks...

Only weeks now! Wooo!  ;D

More seriously - obviously, I'd be interested in helping out with the preview version.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 22, 2011, 08:34:35 PM
Quote from: Blogpost
...and what I’ll be doing over the coming weeks...

Only weeks now! Wooo!  ;D

More seriously - obviously, I'd be interested in helping out with the preview version.

The scary part is that there are 52 weeks in a year.... :(  ha ha.

But seriously, yeah pretty exciting, I'm gonna be hoping that it is only a very few weeks till the preview, lol.    ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 22, 2011, 10:23:40 PM
preview should be out in january alex said, so that's only a few weeks
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Surveyor on December 23, 2011, 01:35:40 AM
Great read (and another reason i can't wait till January :)).

And esp how you plan to release some sort of demo build, something that many great developers simply don't do anymore  >:(.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on December 23, 2011, 02:06:48 AM
Gotta be careful with that numbering system.  There's only so much space between 0.5 and 1.0  ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on December 23, 2011, 02:20:45 AM
Oh joy! The excitement builds ...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on December 23, 2011, 04:17:25 AM
Gotta be careful with that numbering system.  There's only so much space between 0.5 and 1.0  ;)

On the other hand, the next version will have a whole bunch of new stuff. From the sound of it, 0.5 doesn't sound like a bad description.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 23, 2011, 08:17:37 AM
Transcendence ran into the issue with version numbering, so it went like this:
.7 (first public beta) .8 .9/a/b/c/d/e .95/a/b/? .96/a/? .97/a/b/? .98/a/b/c/d .99/a/b/c 1.0RC1-RC8 1.0 1.01 (hotfix) 1.02 (beta for 1.1) 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06/a 1.07/a

Part 1 of 3 which was initially scheduled for completion at version 1.0 looks like it won't be done till 1.1 (Part 2 and Part 3 are still on track for 2.0 and 3.0 respectively)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 23, 2011, 11:15:26 AM
Thanks guys!

Note that I did not say when in January. Because I don't actually know.

As far as the version numbers, can always hit up the irrational numbers if it gets desperate. Version sqrt(2)a, anyone?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 23, 2011, 11:48:42 AM
Thanks guys!

Note that I did not say when in January. Because I don't actually know.

As far as the version numbers, can always hit up the irrational numbers if it gets desperate. Version sqrt(2)a, anyone?

Version: 1.41421356a

 ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 23, 2011, 12:04:26 PM
Oops, I meant (sqrt(2)/2)a, to fit into the 0.5-1 range :) Taking a poor joke too far - that's what I do.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on December 23, 2011, 12:14:41 PM
Oops, I meant (sqrt(2)/2)a, to fit into the 0.5-1 range :) Taking a poor joke too far - that's what I do.

Version: 0.707106781a

Excellent!

That is a good character trait in my opinion!  :) lol

Also, I wish a Happy Christmas, and Merry Holidays to you!  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 23, 2011, 12:44:30 PM
Even still, waiting to january 31st would still be about 6 weeks, which isn't that bad, especially considering that's a fraction of the time we've already waited.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 23, 2011, 01:16:55 PM
Also, I wish a Happy Christmas, and Merry Holidays to you!  ;D

You too! And a Merry New Year somewhere along the way :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 23, 2011, 05:45:14 PM
Can we at least get some screens of the new weapons? :D

...

and maybe the csv's displaying the fleetpoint values of ships and weapons? (mostly to get a better idea of how we should pre-emptively balance stuff)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on December 23, 2011, 10:30:46 PM
Even still, waiting to january 31st would still be about 6 weeks, which isn't that bad, especially considering that's a fraction of the time we've already waited.

That. Besides, good things are worth waiting for.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 24, 2011, 08:44:34 AM
Can we at least get some screens of the new weapons? :D

...

and maybe the csv's displaying the fleetpoint values of ships and weapons? (mostly to get a better idea of how we should pre-emptively balance stuff)

If you look on the Paragon screenshot, you'll spot a Heavy Blaster. As far as balance... that's somewhat in flux, if you pardon the pun. The OP costs of weapons are ~5/10/20 based on size, though, a bit less or more depending on quality.


Even still, waiting to january 31st would still be about 6 weeks, which isn't that bad, especially considering that's a fraction of the time we've already waited.

That. Besides, good things are worth waiting for.

Well, I'm glad there's no pressure or high expectations :P
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 24, 2011, 09:15:46 AM
Ah ok, so balance probably won't be set in stone until the actual .5a? (not .5a-pre)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 24, 2011, 09:23:06 AM
Ah ok, so balance probably won't be set in stone until the actual .5a? (not .5a-pre)

I don't know if I'd say "set in stone", but it'll take a large step towards that with the preview release, and a larger one with the actual 0.5a, yeah.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 24, 2011, 09:40:52 AM
ok, yeah, bad choice of wording.  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on December 31, 2011, 03:16:29 PM
New blog post is up: Post-Combat Mechanics (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/12/31/post-combat-mechanics/).

Looting, boarding, repairs, etc.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dohon on December 31, 2011, 03:22:21 PM
Cheers, Alex! Thanks for the New Year present. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on December 31, 2011, 11:05:45 PM
Thanks ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on December 31, 2011, 11:52:56 PM
About what I expected, based on what's been said before. Will be interesting to test it out in practice once the next release comes out but it sounds good on the face of it.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dohon on January 01, 2012, 02:11:45 AM
About what I expected, based on what's been said before. Will be interesting to test it out in practice once the next release comes out but it sounds good on the face of it.

Indeed. It is looking great. I do have one small question: How is ammo handled in this game? Is it a part of 'supplies'?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 01, 2012, 08:31:31 AM
How is ammo handled in this game? Is it a part of 'supplies'?

Yeah. Both repair parts and munitions conceptually fall under "Supplies", which are a very broadly-defined item. At one point I was thinking of having both of those be separate but then, thankfully, regained a measure of sanity.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: ollobrains on January 01, 2012, 10:51:33 AM
is it generic supplies or more a base of technological levels ie supply tech 1 ( basic) supply tech 2 ( moderate ) and perhaps supply tech 3 ( advanced weapon ammo and rare supplies) back to the looting and capture blog its a good one and a good way to incorporate it into the game at least until u make a lot of money and do a follow up expansion where things get expanded out
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 01, 2012, 11:09:38 AM
Allow me to quote the tooltip for "Supplies":

Quote
Assorted supplies required by ships and crew, ranging from food and clothing to munitions, spare parts, and prefab building components.

The thinking is that your subordinates (in this case, the logistics officer/quartermaster) take care of the details for you.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dohon on January 01, 2012, 01:47:19 PM

Yeah. Both repair parts and munitions conceptually fall under "Supplies", which are a very broadly-defined item. At one point I was thinking of having both of those be separate but then, thankfully, regained a measure of sanity.

Funny thing is, I would have loved to see Ammo as a seperate resource. But then again, I'm certified to visit Loonyville.  ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 01, 2012, 02:46:22 PM
Funny thing is, I would have loved to see Ammo as a seperate resource. But then again, I'm certified to visit Loonyville.  ;)

I know what you mean, I was sad to see "Munitions" go. At one point, I was thinking to have "Parts & Machinery", "Supplies", and "Munitions" all be separate resources but... well, they all fit under the heading of "things you need to recover after combat", and making the player keep track of stocking up on all those just seemed cruel.

Edit: It might make sense to do if there was a reason to stock up on more of one vs the other, if that was a meaningful choice - but at this point, it'd just be adding complexity without getting a return on it.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: tinsoldier on January 01, 2012, 03:32:59 PM
So how many supplies does it cost to go into a battle? Is it a fixed thing... is it based on how much you shoot?  Would a fleet that leverages ammunition based weapons over energy based weapons require a larger stockpile of supplies to survive long expeditions?

Thinking in terms of the Lost Fleet series, the protagonists were constantly running out of the more expensive ammunition types and had to rely on the more primitive short range stuff rather than the expensive missiles and what not (after seeing how much you guys enjoyed the series, I checked it out myself lol).  The concept seems to fit the game play we've seen so far... Torpedos such as the Typhoons and the various missiles are all extremely effective and only available in limited capacity.  It seems like deciding on how many of those you stock up on and how you use them are important tactical decisions.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on January 01, 2012, 05:08:56 PM
I can see one downside to making the use of munitions in combat affect how many units of supplies the fleet uses per battle - it's that the AI doesn't tend to think intelligently in terms of "okay, this enemy poses no threat to me and is half-dead already - I better not waste any ammo on it but just blow it up using my limitless energy armament instead". It might be annoying as a player to see one's own ships waste one's resources like that, which is one argument in favour of abstracting that difference away.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 01, 2012, 05:16:27 PM
I'm not sure exactly how the amount of supplies used up will be calculated (need to figure it out, and soon!), but there definitely won't be a situation where you make a choice regarding which types of ammo to stock up on.

It seems like a choice you get no real reward from making - you either screw it up and suffer for it, or you get it right, and your ships continue to function normally (yay?). I think it would be tedious in the long run, at least without some more mechanics built up around it to make it interesting.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: tinsoldier on January 01, 2012, 06:27:35 PM
What happens when you run out of supplies?  Does your crew run around naked or do the guns stop firing?   :-*
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 01, 2012, 06:52:03 PM
That, among with some related things, is likely to be the subject of a future blog post. The solution I've got in mind is a little unorthodox, so I'd like to make sure it actually works before blabbing about it :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: tinsoldier on January 02, 2012, 10:57:22 AM
That, among with some related things, is likely to be the subject of a future blog post. The solution I've got in mind is a little unorthodox, so I'd like to make sure it actually works before blabbing about it :)

Ok, another question then.  How do you restock fighters?  Even in the best battle (say a 97% one I just now won) you tend to lose a handful of fighters.  Are they the type of thing that you can readily manufacture whilst out and about?  Would a series of 97% victories be a boon in terms of rewards and resources of a war of attrition as I lose irreplaceable assets a little at a time?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: ollobrains on January 02, 2012, 02:00:48 PM
eventually loot them off the enemy, maybe find abandoned high tech ones, repair what u have and manufacture or buy the rest
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 02, 2012, 03:41:10 PM
Ok, another question then.  How do you restock fighters?  Even in the best battle (say a 97% one I just now won) you tend to lose a handful of fighters.  Are they the type of thing that you can readily manufacture whilst out and about?  Would a series of 97% victories be a boon in terms of rewards and resources of a war of attrition as I lose irreplaceable assets a little at a time?

If you actually lose an entire wing, they're gone. If any make it, then the wing is restored to full strength. That's how it works right now, anyway. I'm not entirely happy with a lack of a good in-fiction explanation here, but may just have to bite the bullet.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: tinsoldier on January 02, 2012, 03:50:52 PM
Ok, another question then.  How do you restock fighters?  Even in the best battle (say a 97% one I just now won) you tend to lose a handful of fighters.  Are they the type of thing that you can readily manufacture whilst out and about?  Would a series of 97% victories be a boon in terms of rewards and resources of a war of attrition as I lose irreplaceable assets a little at a time?

If you actually lose an entire wing, they're gone. If any make it, then the wing is restored to full strength. That's how it works right now, anyway. I'm not entirely happy with a lack of a good in-fiction explanation here, but may just have to bite the bullet.

Right, that's part of it.  But how do you replace the wing if it is lost completely?  Perhaps this ties into certain game play aspects that haven't been planned out but for the life of me I always tend to lose that one wing and there's seemingly nothing I can do about it.  I'd hate to think that despite a 97% victory there was actually a measurable lose overall, e.g. I cannot replace the wing without visiting some far off shipyard.  Considering that apparently you can lose 5 out of 6 fighters in a wing and re-build them mid-fight, you'd think the fighters should be easily to obtain but I'm worried it won't be  :'(
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 02, 2012, 04:10:47 PM
I'm going to go ahead and play the "fighter AI needs love" card. That seems to be the main reason they're relatively easily lost.

Considering that apparently you can lose 5 out of 6 fighters in a wing and re-build them mid-fight, you'd think the fighters should be easily to obtain

Yeah, that's the part I'm not happy with. After all, if you can do that, what's to stop you from cranking out many, many wings? The only explanation I can come up with is it has something to do with the fighter blueprint - there's a "field blueprint" embedded in each fighter, which allows a carrier's mini-fac to crank out replacements, but the blueprint automatically deactivates when a wing is brought to full strength. The "master blueprint" for fighters allows the manufacture of new fighter wings, but requires a full-blown auto-factory. I can kind of see this being done by the Domain as an arms-control measure.

As far as replacing losses, fighters shouldn't be any harder to replace then ships, and they ought to be a lot cheaper - at least the light ones.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dohon on January 02, 2012, 04:59:47 PM
If you actually lose an entire wing, they're gone. If any make it, then the wing is restored to full strength. That's how it works right now, anyway. I'm not entirely happy with a lack of a good in-fiction explanation here, but may just have to bite the bullet.


Yeah, that's the part I'm not happy with. After all, if you can do that, what's to stop you from cranking out many, many wings? The only explanation I can come up with is it has something to do with the fighter blueprint - there's a "field blueprint" embedded in each fighter, which allows a carrier's mini-fac to crank out replacements, but the blueprint automatically deactivates when a wing is brought to full strength. The "master blueprint" for fighters allows the manufacture of new fighter wings, but requires a full-blown auto-factory. I can kind of see this being done by the Domain as an arms-control measure.

As far as replacing losses, fighters shouldn't be any harder to replace then ships, and they ought to be a lot cheaper - at least the light ones.

You could also look at it from a 'repair' point of view. While a carrier might have quite a lot of fighters in its hangarbays, it doesn't launch them all. Quite a lot of ships are non-active because of repairs or maintenance. When a fight breaks out, you can be sure that several fighters are grounded from active duty while engineers are working on them. As the battle progresses, those engineers race to refit and repair the grounded birds, making them battle-worthy. A damaged wing comes in for repairs and re-armaments, a few more ships might have been sufficiently repaired in order to launch. So, they rejoin a wing and launch alongside the next sortie. You now have a 'magically' refilled wing of fighters. :) Fighters from the main wave that managed to touch down, but are damaged are simply rotated out and the pilots jump into a new plane.

Kinda hard to explain why those 'reserve' fighters don't simply form a new wing of the old one is destroyed though. Perhaps that could be explained by stating that every active squad is led by a squadron leader and that forming a new squad on-the-fly from many different elements just wouldn't work under battlefield conditions. Or at least, not effective enough. But there are quite some holes in this theory of mine. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: ollobrains on January 02, 2012, 09:53:18 PM
for more fighters u need more supplies, repair crews and storage that could be a drawback or a strategic decision
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 03, 2012, 10:20:02 AM
...

Kinda hard to explain why those 'reserve' fighters don't simply form a new wing of the old one is destroyed though. Perhaps that could be explained by stating that every active squad is led by a squadron leader and that forming a new squad on-the-fly from many different elements just wouldn't work under battlefield conditions. Or at least, not effective enough. But there are quite some holes in this theory of mine. :)

Yeah, the whole thing is a little hard to explain in a way that makes sense on all counts :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on January 03, 2012, 03:31:12 PM
Maybe the technology is in such poor shape that carriers need some part of the collective AI of the fighter wing to survive in order to build more of them? That being said, it still doesn't quite explain out of the way why the sides just can't produce crappy fighters en masse.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: tinsoldier on January 03, 2012, 03:33:10 PM
Maybe the technology is in such poor shape that carriers need some part of the collective AI of the fighter wing to survive in order to build more of them? That being said, it still doesn't quite explain out of the way why the sides just can't produce crappy fighters en masse.

The tactical and maneuvering computers get overwhelmed with too many more.  This could actually be a reasonable justification for tying the number of fighters to the number of carriers/flight-decks on the field.  Commander perks could improve this number.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: ollobrains on January 04, 2012, 12:38:21 AM
Tactical and maneurvering computers with to many things to target reasonably and justifyibly get overloaded and loose tracking or a less efficency based on more fighters out compared to the amount of control units ie carriers with fighter link computers or some such thing.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on January 04, 2012, 02:36:27 AM
The current mechanics needs explanation for several things that it currently does:

1. Is how in the carriers can replace fighter and bomber wings without any sort of material cost.

2. If they can replace wings with no material cost, what prominence does a surviving fighter wing have in that a carrier can't replace a wing if they don't have one surviving member of a wing return.

Though of course, we could always just go with the flow and say fighter are basically like missiles. What limits them is the processing power needed to control them effectively in battle just as what limits missiles are the amount of tubes you can shove them through off a ship. As such, all wings cost supplies to keep up. How this translates into flying back to the carrier to rearm and regroup I have no idea as it might seem a bit silly for the carrier to hold off five other fighters because one of them hasn't been downed yet.

This would make carriers far more dangerous to the point of breaking the game balance though. Then again, if you balance the supplies needed to produce a fighter well, frigates, capital ships, and patrol boats might come off as much more resource efficient than simply sending in a mass of fighters that could be more easily shot down. This sort of makes sense given that the larger the ship it is, it tends to sport bigger and more guns at a far cheaper price than the equivalent of many small ships with the same number of guns. Especially when it comes to repair costs (though importantly not repair time).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on January 04, 2012, 02:58:41 AM
Given the lore and the limitations the current inhabitants have with respect to manufacturing, I feel relatively satisfied if you play the 'Arms Control' card with respect to fighters. It makes sense to have all losses and repairs cost 'supplies' though, perhaps balancing slightly against that pesky single wasp that always seems to get away ...

My take on the 'Arms Control' explanation:

A fighter wing is manufactured using a blueprint at an Auto-Factory somewhere, and the technology that goes in to all this assigns each wing with a unique reference number.

The technology that is present on a carrier flight deck can recreate a wing in accordance with the specification of that reference number, maintained in a database conceived many years ago intended to control and regulate the production and proliferation of arms. This database could be shared between all fighter producing technologies, either transparent to the factory operator or perhaps long forgotten about after the machinery specification was first set up.

The more limited 'repair-bays' aboard carrier flight decks can only reproduce fighters and bombers if they have this 'regulation' data (from the original manufacture process) to work with (i.e. the signature from at least one ship). If this wasn't the case, these carrier bays could, in theory, endlessly pump out fighters and bombers, which would be a serious threat in the wrong hands, and a concern for a weapons regulator.

Maintaining a set number of full wings (for defence purposes only), on the other hand, would be fine, and would be the kind of thing that an arms regulator might have originally be happy with when the equipment was designed.

And of course nowadays, no-one really knows how these things work anymore, so they are at a loss to change them from the original specification. They work how they work, despite it being a bit strange in a warfare situation.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on January 04, 2012, 03:19:09 AM
A slightly more elaborate explanation (that, like any of the others offered, doesn't fully make sense but is a bit better than "please don't look behind the curtains) is that fighters are equipped with light-powered tractor beams that enable any fighters in a wing to pull their disabled companions back with them to be repaired above the carriers. Thus, so long as a single fighter remains, it can drag every damaged fighter in the wing with it and thus, when it returns to the carrier, the whole wing can be brought back to full strength. (Possibly requiring new crew members as pilots, though.) The limitations of this technology sharply limit the practical strength of these fighter-equipped tractor beams however, which is why smaller fightercraft can fly in larger formations than heavy fighters. And if he final fighter is destroyed, there's no one left to bring them back and they're lost amidst the battle.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: theShadow on January 04, 2012, 10:28:05 AM
in that case, it seems that the pilot skill could become a factor in determining how many ships make it back. if the only ship left has a novice pilot, he wouldn't be able to wrestle as many ships back as an experienced one.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: tinsoldier on January 04, 2012, 04:19:18 PM
in that case, it seems that the pilot skill could become a factor in determining how many ships make it back. if the only ship left has a novice pilot, he wouldn't be able to wrestle as many ships back as an experienced one.

Perhaps, but that is one detail I'd happily overlook (cuz it sound awful, no offense  :P)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 04, 2012, 04:43:14 PM
I have to say, the arms control + field/master blueprint explanation is growing on me, since it's actually believable in terms of people  building things that way.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Apophis on January 05, 2012, 03:14:57 AM
I know what you mean, I was sad to see "Munitions" go. At one point, I was thinking to have "Parts & Machinery", "Supplies", and "Munitions" all be separate resources but... well, they all fit under the heading of "things you need to recover after combat", and making the player keep track of stocking up on all those just seemed cruel.

Edit: It might make sense to do if there was a reason to stock up on more of one vs the other, if that was a meaningful choice - but at this point, it'd just be adding complexity without getting a return on it.

Supllies and munitions should be separate resource, not all ship have military equipment. For example attacking civilian ships should give only few munitions as loot, while low tech warship many. It would be too much to have different munitions for each type of weapon. Manage post-combat results is part of the fun, is not a burden.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dark.Revenant on January 05, 2012, 11:18:01 AM
I agree; if you have both, the game makes a lot more sense.  You cited the final reason you decided against having both munitions and supplies as it would be two different things that the player needs to have enough of to keep at the status-quo.  Well, you can offset that by giving incentives/rewards for having surplus munitions and supplies.  If you have lots of supplies, the reward is what's already being used: building new stuff.  Lots of munitions on the other hand: perhaps combat bonuses to ballistic weapons (reload rate, etc.) or missiles/torpedoes (damage) for a munitions cost, amongst other things.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 05, 2012, 11:29:40 AM
Supllies and munitions should be separate resource, not all ship have military equipment. For example attacking civilian ships should give only few munitions as loot, while low tech warship many. It would be too much to have different munitions for each type of weapon. Manage post-combat results is part of the fun, is not a burden.

That's an definitely a point in favor of having them be separate. I just don't think that's enough. For one, hardly anyone travels through the sector unarmed, so the "I looted a civilian ship to restock ammo" scenario is extremely unlikely. There's still plenty to manage post-battle (crew, fuel, supplies, marines) - all of which are substantially different from each other. "Munitions" don't seem to stand apart from "Supplies" nearly as much as crew and fuel do.


I agree; if you have both, the game makes a lot more sense.  You cited the final reason you decided against having both munitions and supplies as it would be two different things that the player needs to have enough of to keep at the status-quo.  Well, you can offset that by giving incentives/rewards for having surplus munitions and supplies.  If you have lots of supplies, the reward is what's already being used: building new stuff.  Lots of munitions on the other hand: perhaps combat bonuses to ballistic weapons (reload rate, etc.) or missiles/torpedoes (damage) for a munitions cost, amongst other things.

In other words - extra features just to justify the presence of having these two be a separate resource. Extra complexity for the sake of justifying other extra complexity :D

I'm only half-serious, of course - but one has to be careful about adding features that require somewhat unintuitive changes to existing mechanics to work. It seems like an indicator that the new feature isn't a good fit.

And you do have both, conceptually. It's just that as fleet commander, you let the quartermaster take care of it.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: theShadow on January 05, 2012, 03:59:10 PM
well by that argument, fuel could be considered as part of "supplies" as well.  ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on January 05, 2012, 05:18:20 PM
Perhaps he has something in mind in which fuel has a special role  on the strategic level where supplies isn't?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on January 06, 2012, 08:33:50 AM
Indeed, and I would also desire to have special fuel for my ammo actually, how else are those missiles going to go shooting off toward my enemies!?!?!?   ;D

And the more supplies and fuel that an induhvidual ship carries the heavier it now is, and thusly the more fuel it will burn to travel in the spaces of darkness.

So in order to conserve fuel and keep costs down, you must min-max your fuel levels on an ongoing basis to optimize both ideal ship performance and the economics of your particular venture.






Man on second thought....thank goodness for the quartermaster.    ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 06, 2012, 11:27:40 AM
well by that argument, fuel could be considered as part of "supplies" as well.  ;)
Perhaps he has something in mind in which fuel has a special role  on the strategic level where supplies isn't?

Heheh, you certainly could :) But there are significant differences between fuel and munitions which in my mind warrant one but not the other being separate.

For one, fuel is concerned with hyperspace movement only, and its consumption isn't related to combat or in-system movement. So, fuel determines how far you can go, while supplies determine how long you can stay on the field. Munitions (without additional mechanics), would introduce an additional layer of "how much you can fight" depending on weapons you have. Except that supplies, being used for repairs, also play that role. You could break it down further into "how much damage taken you can repair" (supplies) vs "how much you can fight" (munitions). That, to me, is getting too fine-grained.

Also, fuel adds a higher level strategic concern - movement among star systems - and, since that part isn't implemented yet, there's plenty of room to give it an even more meaningful role without retrofitting existing mechanics.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on January 06, 2012, 11:39:57 AM
So, fuel determines how far you can go, while supplies determine how long you can stay on the field.

Ohh, that is pretty cool, I had not even considered that sitting out there in space literally eats up supplies, hmm. 

Awesome, most games that I've played, like for instance Space Empires IV or V only kept track of supplies in regard to overall movement, if you wanted to sit still then you never had an issue with supplies running out.  However, I really like the idea of having supplies be used over time even if you sit still, makes a ton of sense cause your crew has got to eat.   ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on January 06, 2012, 03:40:20 PM
well by that argument, fuel could be considered as part of "supplies" as well.  ;)
Perhaps he has something in mind in which fuel has a special role  on the strategic level where supplies isn't?

Heheh, you certainly could :) But there are significant differences between fuel and munitions which in my mind warrant one but not the other being separate.

For one, fuel is concerned with hyperspace movement only, and its consumption isn't related to combat or in-system movement. So, fuel determines how far you can go, while supplies determine how long you can stay on the field. Munitions (without additional mechanics), would introduce an additional layer of "how much you can fight" depending on weapons you have. Except that supplies, being used for repairs, also play that role. You could break it down further into "how much damage taken you can repair" (supplies) vs "how much you can fight" (munitions). That, to me, is getting too fine-grained.

Also, fuel adds a higher level strategic concern - movement among star systems - and, since that part isn't implemented yet, there's plenty of room to give it an even more meaningful role without retrofitting existing mechanics.

You could just go with the Battletech solution (or a common varient):  you can jump wherever you want up to 50ly but then you need to sit at your destination for a couple of days while you recharge your drive with solar energy.  The fuel is completely free and collection can be abstracted to something that can happen without player input, but there's a rational in-universe explanation for why ship ranges are limited.

Say that one of the ships in fleet has a hydrogen scoop and skims a gas giant or star when you get in system or something.  If the system is contested and you didn't bring enough fuel then perhaps the player has no choice but to fight his way in and fight his way back out again.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on January 06, 2012, 04:44:21 PM
You could just go with the Battletech solution (or a common varient):  you can jump wherever you want up to 50ly but then you need to sit at your destination for a couple of days while you recharge your drive with solar energy.  The fuel is completely free and collection can be abstracted to something that can happen without player input, but there's a rational in-universe explanation for why ship ranges are limited.

Why didn't these battletech guys just carry their own fuel to make rapid jumps instead?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: theShadow on January 06, 2012, 08:32:12 PM
there wouldn't be enough space on the ship to carry enough fule for a long trip. it's would make a lot more sense to pick up fuel as you go.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on January 06, 2012, 10:16:03 PM
Why don't they just make the ships bigger, or bring tankers that would carry fuel to their next jump point, dump it to the fleet, and then have the tankers recharge? It seems horribly convoluted. If they can put all that armor, guns, and fighters into a workable ship, I believe it's quite possible for them to scrap most of that and just build a tanker or reactor ship for fuel. It's several days of waiting around we're talking about here.

That is of course, unless the jump drive gets prohibitively more expensive as the sizes go up or its area of displacement can only be made so big. But even then, tankers are quite possible.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on January 07, 2012, 01:59:55 PM
Why don't they just make the ships bigger, or bring tankers that would carry fuel to their next jump point, dump it to the fleet, and then have the tankers recharge? It seems horribly convoluted. If they can put all that armor, guns, and fighters into a workable ship, I believe it's quite possible for them to scrap most of that and just build a tanker or reactor ship for fuel. It's several days of waiting around we're talking about here.

That is of course, unless the jump drive gets prohibitively more expensive as the sizes go up or its area of displacement can only be made so big. But even then, tankers are quite possible.

Here you go:  http://www.sarna.net/wiki/JumpShip

The critical points for the Battletech universe are (incidentally, I'm not using Battletech just by chance - it's probably the main example of a developed fictional sci-fi universe where technology is in stagnation/decline):

a) Yes, you can take enough energy in a fuel cell but those things are ridiculously rare/expensive.

b) You can have docking stations at the jump points to charge up ships, but most of these have been destroyed and can't be rebuilt.  (this is a good idea to steal - it's also a handy way of distinguishing between hi-tech worlds and backwaters... and long-lost planets with forgotten caches).

c) The nature of the drive itself means that you have to charge it up slowly or it breaks.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Pikarov on January 08, 2012, 02:43:38 AM
Hi guys !

Here's my take on a technobabble explanation of the peculiar behavior of fighter support in Starfarer. Feel free to use, dissect or reject.

To summarize the behavior as I understand and saw them:
- Fighter wings have a notable purchase cost and some supply cost for maintenance
- Carriers can quickly rebuild fighters in the field to recomplete wings.
- Carriers can't repair or replace a wiped out wing or churn continuously new fighter wings even with huge supplies.

My proposal to explain this follows:

Point 1:
To explain why carriers can't build fighters continuously, the setting must not allow human crewed fighters and robotic fighters to be competitive:

Human crewed fighters could be explained easily as unsatisfying due to the impossibility to shield the crew from harm in such a little craft: Accelerations could be too intense for human, but my preferred explanation would be the impossibility to protect the crew from harm in battle: Indeed, one interesting known property of a real particle beam is that it has a nasty tendency to irradiate badly whatever is in its path (in addition to its direct energy damage). One could surmise that the crew of a fighter would  be disabled by shock, shrapnells and radiations long before the machine is heavily damaged.

Robotic crewed fighters could be too easily neutered by even basic electronic warfare.

Then almost all fighter would be "crewed" by cyborg brains in small and heavily armored casing, part machine and part living tissues, those would need to be trained like human pilot and could not be copied. Buying those would be by far the biggest contributor to the price of acquiring a new fighter wing. The fighters themselves could be easily built by carriers.

Point2:
To explain why carriers can rebuild partially destroyed wings but not complete ones. I've seen that teleporting ships could are on the development list of ship features. So if some kind of limited teleporting technology exist in-universe, this explanation could work: Each of our cyborg-brain-in-a-jar piloted fighter could include a short range one shot transporter which would be able when the fighter is destroyed to displace the armored casing to another fighter in the wing. This process would be short range, limited in capacity and possibly fatal if applied to a human.

An example of limited teletransportation capability is used in the Homeworld universe to explain how the mobile raffinery automatically and invisibly bring the ore back to the mothership.

Anyway, when one of our cyborg fighter makes it back home. Ir brings all its wingmen back in a conveniently little storage space and the carrier can easily rebuild the fighters and reform the wing. But if all cyborg brains are lost in space, then even if the carrier can build  more fighters, there is no way to crew them.


So this could be an in-universe explanation for the carrier behavior but it carries some implication on the universe technology. Do with this as you see fit.

ps: Just imagine the pilot lounge in such a carrier: rows of bains in jar on shelves exchanging completely uncomprehensible jokes while waiting for the next fight^^
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Wyvern on January 08, 2012, 09:59:40 AM
(This post is totally tangential; feel free to ignore it if you aren't interested in battletech setting stuff.)
c) The nature of the drive itself means that you have to charge it up slowly or it breaks.

This was the part I found silly.  The game had rules for how to do an emergency jump recharge from the ship's reactor - which was potentially far faster than charging from solar power, but could also break your drive.  Except that, if you performed an "emergency recharge" at the same rate as solar power would have charged your jump drive... the chance of failure dropped to zero.  Which meant that the entire solar charging mechanism was superfluous.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on January 08, 2012, 04:18:50 PM
(This post is totally tangential; feel free to ignore it if you aren't interested in battletech setting stuff.)
c) The nature of the drive itself means that you have to charge it up slowly or it breaks.

This was the part I found silly.  The game had rules for how to do an emergency jump recharge from the ship's reactor - which was potentially far faster than charging from solar power, but could also break your drive.  Except that, if you performed an "emergency recharge" at the same rate as solar power would have charged your jump drive... the chance of failure dropped to zero.  Which meant that the entire solar charging mechanism was superfluous.

It means you don't have to worry about your fuel supply. 

In the grim darkness of the far future there are only renewable energy targets ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Flare on January 08, 2012, 08:48:48 PM
a) Yes, you can take enough energy in a fuel cell but those things are ridiculously rare/expensive.

This may be true, but it still seems that a few ships that do have batteries would provide an enourmous advantage as they can move twice as fast as any other ship. It's sheer mobility to simply by pass 50 light years of defences and monitors would translate to huge costs to an enemy that's trying to defend against these types of ships. No longer would they have to worry about securing simply 50 light years of area, but double that.

Also, batteries seem pretty simply to make. The principles involved aren't all that hard to master. The efficiency might not be up to date, but disposable batteries that are once used that can be detached like fuel tanks of fighters seem to be a very practical easy thing to do idea. Coupled with the idea below and we have a winner.

Quote
c) The nature of the drive itself means that you have to charge it up slowly or it breaks.

Have the engineers put in more than one jump drive ;D? It may be more expensive, perhaps, it might make the ship twice as expensive, but the mobility that this offers is absolutely huge. If every other ship in the galaxy can only go 50 light years before a charge, and you have a few ships that can do 100 or more, you've effectively gained a huge advantage that trumps the cost.

This problem doesn't seem to be technologically related, it seems to be a logistical one. One of which can be solved simply by using what people already have in a manner that's actually effective.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alchenar on January 09, 2012, 12:55:26 PM

This problem doesn't seem to be technologically related, it seems to be a logistical one. One of which can be solved simply by using what people already have in a manner that's actually effective.

I don't think you 'get' diaspora settings.

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on January 09, 2012, 02:03:19 PM

This problem doesn't seem to be technologically related, it seems to be a logistical one. One of which can be solved simply by using what people already have in a manner that's actually effective.

I don't think you 'get' diaspora settings.



Oh oh, I sense a glove/gauntlet just got tossed via that one liner.  :P  If only I actually enjoyed drama, hmm.   Oh well. 

Also, Starfarer, should be a great game when it gets released right guys?   ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 09, 2012, 02:52:37 PM
...

ps: Just imagine the pilot lounge in such a carrier: rows of bains in jar on shelves exchanging completely uncomprehensible jokes while waiting for the next fight^^

I have to admit, that's a solution not lacking for creativity :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: ollobrains on January 09, 2012, 08:42:57 PM
Floating heads with implants interfacing with the main ships computer via a neuronet interface.  Perhaps a hive like race could take advantage of such a technology
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 10, 2012, 02:27:09 PM
There's technically a new blog post up. But only technically.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on January 10, 2012, 02:29:09 PM
There's technically a new blog post up. But only technically.

I love technical blogs, so full of detailed information!   :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on January 10, 2012, 07:13:41 PM
Ah hehe, hosting upgrade. Hope that goes well.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: SeaBee on January 12, 2012, 11:12:49 AM
Looks like we survived the hosting upgrade.  ;D

Brains in jars reminds me of Lexx.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: ollobrains on January 13, 2012, 04:04:57 AM
Survival of the hosting upgrade complete brains can be reattached to body.  Remind me to take my smart pills in the morning good work on getting through it though alex
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on January 13, 2012, 08:36:10 AM
Hmm, for some strange reason I have a strong feeling there will be a new blog post today, odd.   :o
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on January 13, 2012, 09:18:52 AM
Hmm, for some strange reason I have a strong feeling there will be a new blog post today, odd.   :o

You realise, of course, that now that you've aired this thought that if you should prove to be wrong, I will feel burning resentment towards you?  :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on January 13, 2012, 09:25:37 AM
Hmm, for some strange reason I have a strong feeling there will be a new blog post today, odd.   :o

You realise, of course, that now that you've aired this thought that if you should prove to be wrong, I will feel burning resentment towards you?  :D

Ha ha!  :P  Oops, I didn't think that through very well did I?

Hmm, quick Alex bail me out with some juicy information about stuff!   ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 13, 2012, 12:19:37 PM
I'm afraid there's burning resentment in your future(s) :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on January 13, 2012, 12:22:52 PM
I'm afraid there's burning resentment in your future(s) :)

Nope, I'm fine with being wrong, I'll just have to worry about avoiding Thana's wrath.  :) ha ha
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on January 14, 2012, 12:28:14 AM
Nope, I'm fine with being wrong, I'll just have to worry about avoiding Thana's wrath.  :) ha ha

In the orbit or the Moon, noon tomorrow, Mjolnir cannons. Be there.  ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on January 14, 2012, 08:42:35 AM
Nope, I'm fine with being wrong, I'll just have to worry about avoiding Thana's wrath.  :) ha ha

In the orbit or the Moon, noon tomorrow, Mjolnir cannons. Be there.  ;)

Hmm, well you see, you have just handed me the only thing I require to "avoid" your wrath, a time and a place, thusly, I will be elsewhere at an elsetime.   ;D

But just in case, I'll be in my flagship.

At rest:

(http://i398.photobucket.com/albums/pp65/Rythan_wow/Still.png)

And at play:

(http://i398.photobucket.com/albums/pp65/Rythan_wow/Broadside.png)

 ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on January 14, 2012, 11:24:55 AM
Hmm, well you see, you have just handed me the only thing I require to "avoid" your wrath, a time and a place, thusly, I will be elsewhere at an elsetime.   ;D

Curses, foiled again!  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: theShadow on January 14, 2012, 12:02:14 PM
looking at that screenshot, i was reminded of something that has been bugging me.

the UI there is very unbalance, everything is piled in the left corner, and there is almost nothing in the right corner. moving the weapon display to the right corner would possibly fix this.

anyway, just something to think about. perhaps I will make a more in depth topic about this later.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Fient on January 18, 2012, 08:11:02 AM
looking at that screenshot, i was reminded of something that has been bugging me.

the UI there is very unbalance, everything is piled in the left corner, and there is almost nothing in the right corner. moving the weapon display to the right corner would possibly fix this.

anyway, just something to think about. perhaps I will make a more in depth topic about this later.

I actually kind of like that you can see everything you need by just looking into one corner of the screen.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Fishbreath on January 19, 2012, 07:35:15 AM
I actually kind of like that you can see everything you need by just looking into one corner of the screen.

This. Having to look at different parts of the screen to get related information while doing precision maneuvering would really bug me.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BeanusMaximus on January 19, 2012, 10:33:24 AM
I envy the pew pews....
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on January 19, 2012, 07:50:34 PM
looking at that screenshot, i was reminded of something that has been bugging me.

the UI there is very unbalance, everything is piled in the left corner, and there is almost nothing in the right corner. moving the weapon display to the right corner would possibly fix this.

anyway, just something to think about. perhaps I will make a more in depth topic about this later.

I actually kind of like that you can see everything you need by just looking into one corner of the screen.
I also agree; its efficient design to get all the information in a single glance, rather than having to have your eyes dart all over the screen.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: hairrorist on January 19, 2012, 09:30:52 PM
A toggleable minimap might be nice over in the right.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Magokitsune on January 21, 2012, 01:18:53 AM
I would really like an overlay on my ship that could be toggled on an off, like the current targeting overlay for other ships. It kind of annoys me when I overload my flux when I'm in the middle of a battle because I can't see the small flux bar on my screen. Just a thought
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BeanusMaximus on January 21, 2012, 02:37:31 AM
A toggleable minimap might be nice over in the right.
I agree :DI mentioned this before but I think they said something like that current mapping system thing (where everything is indicated on the screen border) suits the game more. I agree with this but it'd still be nice if you could toggle between them.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: ollobrains on January 21, 2012, 06:15:09 AM
customisable screen positioning for a future development
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BeanusMaximus on January 21, 2012, 09:32:30 AM
I agree, as for future developments... I wonder when the next update is coming out >:D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stonehand on January 21, 2012, 07:29:51 PM
think this might be a mistake in the january Archives on the main site the post about the WTF starfarar by TB the youtube link goes to Starfarer Dev - Collision Avoidance AI Demo not the WTF video.

although i did enjoy rewatching it again.

edit:

np
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on January 21, 2012, 08:06:59 PM
think this might be a mistake in the january Archives on the main site the post about the WTF starfarar by TB the youtube link goes to Starfarer Dev - Collision Avoidance AI Demo not the WTF video.

although i did enjoy rewatching it again.

Ah, thanks for pointing that out. Didn't catch it because it didn't show up in Chrome. As is probably obvious, I copy-and-pasted the embed code from the other post, and only changed the link in 1 of 2 places :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: ollobrains on January 24, 2012, 11:46:41 AM
got a link to the new one ?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BeanusMaximus on January 25, 2012, 10:17:54 AM
got a link to the new one ?
Wait... there's a new one? O.o
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on February 14, 2012, 09:47:00 AM
Blog post (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/02/14/starfarer-0-5a-preview-release/) for the 0.5a preview release.

I should probably stop calling them "preview releases". I always think that it'll be forum-only etc but it just ends up not being that.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on February 20, 2012, 04:16:29 PM
Is there going to be another blog post soon? I'm a real sucker for concept art and lore....
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on February 20, 2012, 04:21:18 PM
Is there going to be another blog post soon? I'm a real sucker for concept art and lore....

Been too busy with bugfixing and getting the next "maintenance" release ready. Have a couple of things I want to write about, but... :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on February 20, 2012, 04:27:43 PM
Awh. I eagerly await when you're less busy then.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: leonvision on February 21, 2012, 05:54:42 PM
Been too busy with bugfixing and getting the next "maintenance" release ready. Have a couple of things I want to write about, but... :)

would u kindly tease us about what's on this "maintenance release"?  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: weed33 on February 22, 2012, 09:07:17 AM

would u kindly tease us about what's on this "maintenance release"?  ;D

maintenance stuff... so... bug fixes and stuff lol
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: leonvision on February 22, 2012, 11:00:50 AM

would u kindly tease us about what's on this "maintenance release"?  ;D

maintenance stuff... so... bug fixes and stuff lol

yea i know it's going to be bugfixes, but im hoping there's going to be some balancing as well. besides, if it's only bugfixes, there's bugs that i want to be fixed before others.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zarcon on February 22, 2012, 11:25:07 AM

would u kindly tease us about what's on this "maintenance release"?  ;D

maintenance stuff... so... bug fixes and stuff lol

yea i know it's going to be bugfixes, but im hoping there's going to be some balancing as well. besides, if it's only bugfixes, there's bugs that i want to be fixed before others.

Hmm, Kindly tease eh? 

How is this?   ;D

Now, I have been one in the past to beg for a hotfix release, but this time, I would like to ask a serious "why?"

It depends on what you mean by "hotfix". To me it means a release within a day or two to address game-breaking issues. Something like a random and frequent crash, for example, would qualify.

What I'm aiming to do now is make a release within a week (or two, on the outside) - with a bunch of bug fixes and some feature improvements. Since I'm in the middle of some of those right now, yeah, it'd be something of a pain to cut a build (before someone chimes in about code branching - I'm familiar) - but more importantly, I don't think there's anything that can't wait a week or so.

Plus, I do so love "torturing the anxious people" :)

Looks like a pretty good "kind" tease to me.   ha ha

Oh and if you feel his post doesn't tell you everything about the upcoming release that you wish it did, that is the tease part.  lol   ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on March 21, 2012, 12:48:35 PM
New blog post is up. Been a while since the last one, but finally got a chance to do a game-mechanics related one: Accidents (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/03/21/accidents/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on March 21, 2012, 12:58:51 PM
Iiiiiinteresting. Regarding this philosophy of avoiding 'hard limits', will there be a similar application of thoughts in regards to undercrewed ships? Make it slower, aim worse, maybe some batteries won't fire...?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Wyvern on March 21, 2012, 01:01:19 PM
Awesome!  I think this'll work out very nicely; I really appreciate the "soft" limits presented here.  Definitely nice to be able to go over by a bit without having to worry too much about it.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Patchumz on March 21, 2012, 01:04:06 PM
I love the way that was handled Accidents are perfect. Can't imagine the epic solutions Alex will come up with for other mechanics.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gaizokubanou on March 21, 2012, 01:04:24 PM
Iiiiiinteresting. Regarding this philosophy of avoiding 'hard limits', will there be a similar application of thoughts in regards to undercrewed ships? Make it slower, aim worse, maybe some batteries won't fire...?

Hmm good ideas.  To follow up on this, what about having autofire disabled and battle repair (weapons and engine) taking longer?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Psiyon on March 21, 2012, 01:09:10 PM
I like the idea. I'm curious as to how varied the different types of accidents will be. I understand they'll be different in the amount of losses, but I'm more interested in the scenarios that those losses occur in. Even though they're supposedly rare, it would be kind of annoying to see "a jury-rigged cargo container's magnetic coupling asploded" every other accident.

Maybe something like "Some idiot threw his cigarette into a trash bin that was converted to hold fuel, and the ship exploded."
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: YAZF on March 21, 2012, 01:23:31 PM
I'm most curious about how fighter capacity limits would work. I was under the impression fighters wouldn't be capable of light speed travel and therefor needed to be carried in larger ships. If we can go over our fighter count with a risk of an accident would we still be able to use light speed? I assume accidents for this case would be most likely when you were preparing for light speed. Ex: "While trying to cram 30 fighters into a tiny hanger in order to jump to light speed there was a huge accident." or "Make-shift fighter lightspeed drive utterly failed and exploded."

Or will you still be unable to go light speed with too many fighters AND there be random accidents occurring?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BlueSkyBlackBird on March 21, 2012, 01:31:10 PM
My primary question is: Will there be a way to store weapons/cargo in general somewhere else? My personal problem is, that my fleet carries a lot of weapons with it and thats the main reason why it exceeds the cargo limit. But simply selling it, does not seem to be a good idea, since some of the weapons are quiet rare to find. And if I wanted them back, I had to buy them again, which would be quiet a nuisance. I would prefer to have a orbital space station, that lets you buy space to store weapons and cargo.
Is there something like that planed for future updates?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on March 21, 2012, 01:56:38 PM
Iiiiiinteresting. Regarding this philosophy of avoiding 'hard limits', will there be a similar application of thoughts in regards to undercrewed ships? Make it slower, aim worse, maybe some batteries won't fire...?

Hmm good ideas.  To follow up on this, what about having autofire disabled and battle repair (weapons and engine) taking longer?

Interesting indeed. My concern would be adequately explaining why things in battle don't work, without them looking like bugs (hey, why is autofire/this gun/the port engines not working?).


I like the idea. I'm curious as to how varied the different types of accidents will be. I understand they'll be different in the amount of losses, but I'm more interested in the scenarios that those losses occur in. Even though they're supposedly rare, it would be kind of annoying to see "a jury-rigged cargo container's magnetic coupling asploded" every other accident.

Maybe something like "Some idiot threw his cigarette into a trash bin that was converted to hold fuel, and the ship exploded."

There's randomized text for every type of accident, so there should be a good variety. Unless you're always over cargo capacity, in which case an assorted variety of container-related problems await. (Still much more than just the one, though).

I'm most curious about how fighter capacity limits would work. I was under the impression fighters wouldn't be capable of light speed travel and therefor needed to be carried in larger ships. If we can go over our fighter count with a risk of an accident would we still be able to use light speed? I assume accidents for this case would be most likely when you were preparing for light speed. Ex: "While trying to cram 30 fighters into a tiny hanger in order to jump to light speed there was a huge accident." or "Make-shift fighter lightspeed drive utterly failed and exploded."

Or will you still be unable to go light speed with too many fighters AND there be random accidents occurring?

Hangar space is actually special. It has an associated supply cost for going over, but doesn't carry any risk of an accident by itself. However, going without supplies for a while (more than a few days) carries its own risk of accident.

Excellent idea about it carrying a risk while going into hyperspace - I'll keep that in mind :)

My primary question is: Will there be a way to store weapons/cargo in general somewhere else? My personal problem is, that my fleet carries a lot of weapons with it and thats the main reason why it exceeds the cargo limit. But simply selling it, does not seem to be a good idea, since some of the weapons are quiet rare to find. And if I wanted them back, I had to buy them again, which would be quiet a nuisance. I would prefer to have a orbital space station, that lets you buy space to store weapons and cargo.
Is there something like that planed for future updates?

Later on, when you can build outposts, sure. For now, no - but you can get some freighters, which actually become quite useful because of this.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on March 21, 2012, 02:12:37 PM
Huh. Interesting take on the issue, and definitely not one I saw coming. But yes, soft limits are better and more interesting than hard ones.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dr.Noid on March 21, 2012, 02:14:48 PM
Iiiiiinteresting. Regarding this philosophy of avoiding 'hard limits', will there be a similar application of thoughts in regards to undercrewed ships? Make it slower, aim worse, maybe some batteries won't fire...?

Hmm good ideas.  To follow up on this, what about having autofire disabled and battle repair (weapons and engine) taking longer?

Interesting indeed. My concern would be adequately explaining why things in battle don't work, without them looking like bugs (hey, why is autofire/this gun/the port engines not working?).
In the deploy screen you could add a nice, big icon to the ship indicating that it's understaffed, with a tooltip explaining the consequence.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on March 21, 2012, 02:19:37 PM
In the deploy screen you could add a nice, big icon to the ship indicating that it's understaffed, with a tooltip explaining the consequence.

Right, but smaller battles don't have that screen.

I'm not saying that it's an intractable problem - just one that will take some careful thinking to solve, both in how being under strength manifests itself, and in how/where it's explained.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dr.Noid on March 21, 2012, 02:29:59 PM
Hmm, indeed.
The screen shots show that the star map already has a warning for possible accidents. I suppose a separate warning for under staffing wouldn't be bad.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: intothewildblueyonder on March 21, 2012, 02:38:57 PM
Will these sort of limits be applied to anything else? (e.g. you can go over a ship's OP but you run the risk of losing weapons or blowing up the ship...)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on March 21, 2012, 02:42:11 PM
I HOPE not. That sounds way, way, way, unbalancing.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on March 21, 2012, 02:44:50 PM
Yeah I would also like to just see hard limits where it makes sense. Like OP and staffing.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on March 21, 2012, 02:49:58 PM
What do you mean by staffing? You can fight understaffed...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on March 21, 2012, 02:51:26 PM
Will these sort of limits be applied to anything else? (e.g. you can go over a ship's OP but you run the risk of losing weapons or blowing up the ship...)

Interesting question. Ordnance points are different, because they don't change dynamically the way fleet capacities do. You can't all of a sudden find yourself way over the OP limit - so, that's not a situation the game has to deal with.

Accidents and maintenance supply costs are meant as a way to address being over limits when it happens, because ensuring it can't happen in the first place is difficult. For ordnance points, it's comparatively simple.

I think allowing this for OP would lead to gamey strategies, where the player is constantly refitting the ship to maximize battle capabilities while minimizing the risk during travel. That's not something I'd want to see - I'd prefer it if a loadout was stable, and you only had to change it when you've acquired new weapons or need to change the ship's role.

On the other hand, there's a certain appeal to having the same mechanic apply across the board. I just think that in this case, the similarity is a surface one, because the underlying factors are different.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: YAZF on March 21, 2012, 03:01:23 PM
Yea I don't think we should be able to go over a ship's allotted OP. At least not in that way. Maybe you can buy an upgrade/refit  at a station to have a FEW more OP on a ship. Or you can have an engineer that increases MAX OP by 5 or something. (Or an engineer that lowers the OP cost of all equipped weapons by 1 so that it scales better for larger ships. )
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: intothewildblueyonder on March 21, 2012, 03:06:53 PM
Going over ship OP
well I was thinking that accidents that come from going over a ship's OP would affect you during combat (with risk being related to how high you go over). So if you want to do gamble on this alot you would be running a huge risk in the short and long term Short term you run the risk of having your ship becoming useless in the middle of battle (because of using too big a weapon that destroys the ship, crew deaths, becomes overloaded too quickly or the ship runs out of power). Long term you can lose ships and weapons. It may also require repairs to make the ship usable again.

(As far the issue of having under-crewed ships enter combat , the warning could come to the player when he is deciding how to engage
e.g.
-either-You have UNDER-CREWED ships--
Attack
Defend
-or-Do you want to use under crewed ships?--
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on March 21, 2012, 03:08:19 PM
What do you mean by staffing? You can fight understaffed...
No. If you are below skeleton crew you do not fight in battle. I wouldn't fly an under-crewed ship into battle. Sounds like suicide. Better to jump the escape pods and get outta there.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on March 21, 2012, 04:00:27 PM
It may not be a matter of choice. Given a choice between fiery struggle and slow death in a space pod in the middle of nowhere, I know what I'd choose.

Also, it's not like losing the gunnery crew for a single Hephaestus Assault gun is going to cause any potential engagement to be suicide.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on March 21, 2012, 04:06:47 PM
Going over ship OP
well I was thinking that accidents that come from going over a ship's OP would affect you during combat (with risk being related to how high you go over). So if you want to do gamble on this alot you would be running a huge risk in the short and long term Short term you run the risk of having your ship becoming useless in the middle of battle (because of using too big a weapon that destroys the ship, crew deaths, becomes overloaded too quickly or the ship runs out of power). Long term you can lose ships and weapons. It may also require repairs to make the ship usable again.

Ah, I see. So you could say, then, there's a "Malfunction" chance for every weapon (and the engines) if the ship is over OP - would be the same as being disabled, but random. Which sounds reasonable, but I suspect it'd be more annoying/frustrating than not - I can see reloads over a loss caused by an untimely engine malfunction. Might work, of course, just saying what my reservations are.

Besides, there's no driving force to do this, other than copying the accidents mechanic (which exists for different reasons!). Still, I have to admit it's an intriguing idea.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: vmxa on March 21, 2012, 04:46:47 PM
That would just introduce a luck factor and as you say probably lead to some yelling and reloading.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stardidi on March 22, 2012, 05:26:23 AM
hmmm, i was just scrolling though the blog post when i saw a change in the armada image.....
I don't know if it is intentional or not, but there are a few new ships that caught my attention.
Looking forward to seeing these ships implemented :P

this post:
http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/12/12/the-armada/
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: cp252 on March 23, 2012, 10:21:57 AM
I don't see anything new, Stardidi. :P
At the risk of being annoying...  Alex, any idea when the next release is?  ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on March 23, 2012, 10:25:19 AM
Don't start that already, haha. Wait until he posts something official.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Wyvern on March 23, 2012, 10:37:44 AM
At the risk of being annoying...  Alex, any idea when the next release is?  ;)
I'm going to make another release soon(ish).

So there's your answer.  Soonish.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: superdreddie on March 23, 2012, 12:53:35 PM
My first reaction when I went over the cargo limit, was that it would slow down my ship(s) due to the excess weight. Even though you are in space, it still takes energy to maneuver, and more weight means more energy needed.

More fuel can means more risk of (fuel) explosions.

Also, why is it possible to have fighters without having hangar space?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Chittebengo on March 23, 2012, 01:02:26 PM
Regarding accidents and personnel.  Is there a preference for it to hit the various levels of personnel at differing rates, i.e. green crew most likely to be injured, normal less, veteran even less, etc or is it a random selection of total crew members?  I'd imagine elite and vets to have better (less rigged life support) rooms than the green shirts.

Perhaps having more inexperienced crew could also contribute to the accident factor - such as the rate they happen such as:

Also, with current cargo capacity, I'd suggest 60 - 75%  being the accident trigger rather than 50% and 100% being the hard cap.

For fighters beyond hanger capacity, would likely result in a random chance of losing the entire fighter.  Fuel in excess likely result in more explosions (random hull damage, possible ship loss).
Cargo im excess as blog mentioned, random generic accident.
Personnel in excess resulting in lost/defecting crew - hey, can people mutinize in space?

Very nifty way to handle caps.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: friday on March 23, 2012, 01:25:04 PM
Actually, there is no need to have fuel over the cap. Just blow surplus fuel into space if you lose some crafts.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on March 23, 2012, 01:39:49 PM
Actually, there is no need to have fuel over the cap. Just blow surplus fuel into space if you lose some crafts.
You could say this about any excess. That's no fun though. Accidents is much more fun.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Chittebengo on March 23, 2012, 01:41:14 PM
Actually, there is no need to have fuel over the cap. Just blow surplus fuel into space if you lose some crafts.
You could say this about any excess. That's no fun though. Accidents is much more fun.  :)

"We're over cap on living quarters, time to jettison the green crew into space."
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dr.Noid on March 23, 2012, 01:48:26 PM
"We're over cap on living quarters, time to jettison the green crew into space."
That's what the redshirts are for :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on March 23, 2012, 10:09:37 PM
FP limit is now getting enforced? Can that get held off until after we can split our fleet/store our ships?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: arwan on March 23, 2012, 10:48:51 PM
dont you know Alex is really Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in disguise. :P (insert insidious laugh here)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: factotum on March 24, 2012, 12:22:34 AM
FP limit is now getting enforced? Can that get held off until after we can split our fleet/store our ships?

Pretty sure Alex said this one won't be save-game compatible with the old one anyway, so it's new fleet time in any case!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on March 24, 2012, 01:19:17 AM
Pretty sure Alex said this one won't be save-game compatible with the old one anyway, so it's new fleet time in any case!

Maybe I've missed that, but he's certainly explicitly said that keeping up savegame compatibility with old versions is not a serious concern for him at this point. (Which I think actually also has a side benefit, because starting from scratch may also be a better way for players to re-assess any balance changes in the game since it's not obscured by the huge fleets of endgame - hence the details are easier to make out.)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Godwinson on March 24, 2012, 08:08:22 AM
Going over ship OP
well I was thinking that accidents that come from going over a ship's OP would affect you during combat (with risk being related to how high you go over). So if you want to do gamble on this alot you would be running a huge risk in the short and long term Short term you run the risk of having your ship becoming useless in the middle of battle (because of using too big a weapon that destroys the ship, crew deaths, becomes overloaded too quickly or the ship runs out of power). Long term you can lose ships and weapons. It may also require repairs to make the ship usable again.

Ah, I see. So you could say, then, there's a "Malfunction" chance for every weapon (and the engines) if the ship is over OP - would be the same as being disabled, but random. Which sounds reasonable, but I suspect it'd be more annoying/frustrating than not - I can see reloads over a loss caused by an untimely engine malfunction. Might work, of course, just saying what my reservations are.

Besides, there's no driving force to do this, other than copying the accidents mechanic (which exists for different reasons!). Still, I have to admit it's an intriguing idea.

A different tack to take for going over your OP budget would be to make repairs take a lot longer, make it take longer for disabled systems to be restored in combat, and make systems more likely to be disabled. You're basically cramming in more things than the ship was designed for.

Sure, you've stuck all these big, power intensive weapons on your ship, and you've got these big, beefy engines, but you've also got power mains running along the deck in the crew quarters (or even outside the armor!), the power plant is being stressed keeping up with all the demands, and god help you if you take a shot that hits one of the jury-rigged capacitors that you had to put right up against the life support systems.

As an off-the-cuff thought, have it so you can install up to half-again the OP of a ship, but if you do that, you'll be hideously vulnerable to system disruption, and the overall maintenance cost of your ship goes up by, say, an order of magnitude, and your ship is much much more accident-prone.

It'd give it a real trade-off, while making it a flexible cap. Do you install that bigger gun, when it'll make everything cost more and make you more vulnerable? Are the extra flux capacitors worth the added chance of losing your weapons or engines and for longer? Do you beef up your engines knowing that it'll make for more frequent disasters that'll kill off your carefully husbanded crew of elites? That's the sort of trade-offs in decision making that makes games like this one so awesome.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stardidi on March 24, 2012, 08:19:52 AM
this would indeed make the game a lot more awesome, flexible limits combined with careful decisions.

One thing that is important is that is should be extremely obvious that you're over OP in the refit screen, make the OP glowing red and make the ship have all kinds of sparks, that why someone won't be like: "why did my ship explode" (unless they refit with their eyes closed :P)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on March 24, 2012, 09:03:05 AM
dont you know Alex is really Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in disguise. :P (insert insidious laugh here)

That's emperor Alex to you ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on March 24, 2012, 01:55:19 PM
no, no, it doesn't matter if its savegame compatible or not, the issue I have is that I won't be able to collect all the ships. Unless there is some option to change the max fleet point limit... (Or we are getting ship storage/fleet splitting.)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BlueSkyBlackBird on March 24, 2012, 03:38:39 PM
I assume extra storage will be implemented when the personal outposts are implemented.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Lancefighter on March 24, 2012, 09:43:24 PM
storage solution - Enter combat with something, beat ships that you want to store down to ~1 hp. sell them for basically nothing to any dock.. Buy back for basically nothing at any point.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: cp252 on March 25, 2012, 12:59:01 PM
I want to store ships which haven't been smashed up though. How unsightly.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on March 26, 2012, 10:48:07 AM
I want to store ships which haven't been smashed up though. How unsightly.
Indeed.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BombasticBattleship on April 03, 2012, 05:40:13 AM
"We're over cap on living quarters, time to jettison the green crew into space."

That'd kind of make me wonder if a ship mod for turning cargo hold into living quarters would be a good idea. Especially since it's hard to get those troop transports xD
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: RawCode on April 03, 2012, 07:26:20 AM
this game dont need anything random driven, skill shoud not be replaced by random rolls, if weapon deals 100 damage it shoud always deal 100 damage if user managed to score hit.

if you go over ship OP by any means ship shoud suffer constant penalty to its stats, not random based.

ballistic weapons definely shoud suffer by ammo size and attack speed decrease, with more flux consumption.
energy weapons shoud deal less damage.
engines shoud provide less speed.

also more generic debuffs like more damage taken, less armor and hull intergity, every debuff shoud be obvious to user without anything random, if 1 OP overload have -10% engine speed, it shoud have this penalty at any scenario.

also viable penalty to reqire more creew, up to 100% of ship crew (medusa with X OP overload shoud consume full 50 crew as skeleton crew)

Debuffs shoud have exponent based effect, more OP you burrow more penalty you will take, at some point penalty shoud surely obsolete effects of anything user install on ship, no matter what.

Additional weapon over some OP shoud provide such penalty, that overal DPS decrease if this weapon is installed.


Also something like mountpoints overload will be great, ability to install large weapons at medium slot will allow hurge number of additional tactical solutions (with penalty like 2x OP cost, hurge debuff in turn speed and flux consumption to prevent "press x to win" options)

(medusa with single plasma cannot and nothing else due OP limit will be nice support ship, but due hurge penalty it will be able to shot only single time without venting, in this case overal DPS will be decreased compared to pair of blasters, but aniway user shoud be allowed to do something stupid as this)

(also vice versa, small weapons installed in medium mounts shoud have bonuses)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dreyven on April 03, 2012, 07:57:03 AM
*Snip*

You did not understand the system at all, period.

You will not be able to go over OP.

But with the next update, you will need to stay in the limits of Fleet points, Cargo space, Crew and fuel or something bad will happen.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: cp252 on April 05, 2012, 04:02:20 AM
The first line of your post makes me cry.
This isn't chess. In real warfare unlucky things happen. Bullets so happen to hit critical components, etc.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Cryten on April 05, 2012, 06:16:43 AM
I think the enforcement of potential consequences for going over your limits is a good way to enforce the laws of the fleet as opposed to reduce it. When you go over your gonna want to quickly head for a base or face every increasing supplies costs untill something explodes.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: SkidWonderKid on April 05, 2012, 08:04:42 AM
this game dont need anything random driven, skill shoud not be replaced by random rolls, if weapon deals 100 damage it shoud always deal 100 damage if user managed to score hit.

if you go over ship OP by any means ship shoud suffer constant penalty to its stats, not random based.

ballistic weapons definely shoud suffer by ammo size and attack speed decrease, with more flux consumption.
energy weapons shoud deal less damage.
engines shoud provide less speed.

also more generic debuffs like more damage taken, less armor and hull intergity, every debuff shoud be obvious to user without anything random, if 1 OP overload have -10% engine speed, it shoud have this penalty at any scenario.

also viable penalty to reqire more creew, up to 100% of ship crew (medusa with X OP overload shoud consume full 50 crew as skeleton crew)

Debuffs shoud have exponent based effect, more OP you burrow more penalty you will take, at some point penalty shoud surely obsolete effects of anything user install on ship, no matter what.

Additional weapon over some OP shoud provide such penalty, that overal DPS decrease if this weapon is installed.


Also something like mountpoints overload will be great, ability to install large weapons at medium slot will allow hurge number of additional tactical solutions (with penalty like 2x OP cost, hurge debuff in turn speed and flux consumption to prevent "press x to win" options)

(medusa with single plasma cannot and nothing else due OP limit will be nice support ship, but due hurge penalty it will be able to shot only single time without venting, in this case overal DPS will be decreased compared to pair of blasters, but aniway user shoud be allowed to do something stupid as this)

(also vice versa, small weapons installed in medium mounts shoud have bonuses)

You have some mediocre cookie cutter ideas. They lack finesse and a sense of uniqueness though. Also your blatant dictation of what should and shouldn't be is a bit overbearing and does not leave your ideas open to easy discussion.

I think the accident system going in has personality and finesse. It provides a sense of realism and character. It is a feature that steps away from the mediocre design theories that are so easily tossed into the stirring pot of modern day game creation and provides a sense of immersion in a game world with cause and effect.

It hints at a designer that is immersed in his creation, there is a universe being built here... not just a spaceship naval strategy simulator.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: cp252 on April 05, 2012, 08:22:45 AM
I wonder, skid, if you'd be this negative if Alex had made Rawcode's changes, and Rawcode had suggested the accident system. It's not an idea I like, but it's not terrible enough to be put down like -that-.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on April 05, 2012, 08:50:45 AM
I think RawCode was not talking about the Accidents system at all, but rather the idea that was brought up of going over the OP limit, for the penalty of random weapon/engine malfunctions.

I also think he brings up some good points :)

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: spcgreenman on April 05, 2012, 10:17:55 AM
it would be nice if the capturing system became less random currently there is no way of making sure you capture a ship i would like for there to be a way to make sure like something you do in battle a special type of ship that disable other ships i dunno maybe you can make sure in battle and i just havent figured it out ^^ anyway would be nice to see something like this added it wouldnt be easy ofcourse to capture a ship should be fairly difficult but there should be a better way then just playing endless battles and hoping you get lucky
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Trylobot on April 05, 2012, 11:53:02 AM
I reserve judgement on the accidents feature entirely until I get to play with it, because a lot depends on the probabilities of things happening and how damaging etc. Those are statistic numbers that I imagine are easily tweakable, and I further speculate that Alex will be tweaking them on and off for a while to come.

But I'm optimistic about what is a unique feature and glad that the limit will be "flexible." The alternative (standard) implementation of fleet size limits always feels frustratingly arbitrary, so this is refreshing.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Nanostrike on April 05, 2012, 12:27:14 PM
I think RawCode was not talking about the Accidents system at all, but rather the idea that was brought up of going over the OP limit, for the penalty of random weapon/engine malfunctions.

I also think he brings up some good points :)



I'm waiting until I can level up my character as an Engineering junkie and slap all the Mods I want on my ships!

Just curious, but how far off do you think character levelling is?  I'm really looking forward to how it affects things.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Occams_Razor on April 05, 2012, 01:29:43 PM
I think I have two comments. First, on predictability, and second, on fun.

1. A fleet admiral should be able to sit down and know what to expect if he loads his ships too heavy. The consequences of running without enough supplies are predicable (no repairs, right?) and the consequences of running with too many supplies should be reasonably predicable, too. Lower speed, maneuverability, extra fuel use are predictable. Having extra cargo cause your ballistic weapons to be less effective, for example, is not at all predictable.

2. Due to a variety of psychological factors, human beings do a bad job planning for random low-probability, high-impact events. As such, rare but huge accidents, like losing a whole ship, are just not going to be fun. It can be totally justified, it can be realistic, and it can be the player's own fault, but it's never going to make your average player happy. Unless by "ship" you mean "a fighter or two out of a squadron", I'd drop it. There's a really high risk it'll be unfun, even though it's a "consequence" of a player's decision. I'm certainly willing to be proven wrong in playtesting, though...

Just my 2 cents.

One question: Why wouldn't everyone run their ships at 149% all the time? There probably should be some minor, predictable, consequences.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: weed33 on April 05, 2012, 03:35:31 PM
One question: Why wouldn't everyone run their ships at 149% all the time? There probably should be some minor, predictable, consequences.

Due to the additional supply costs
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: bills6693 on April 05, 2012, 03:39:03 PM
re: Occams_Razor I tend to agree, especially point 2. I mean, I am not saying players should be able to go as high over the limit as they want and the worst that happens is some cargo/fuel/crew fall off the ship, but losing a ship is something that players will hate and make the game unfun and seem unfair IMO (even tho it is fair). I'd say maybe there should be this accidents mechanic, but also a hard cap too, just before its getting to the 'losing ships' stage.

However, having read the blog, I do understand this is meant to deal with the problem of what if you lose a ship and now you're over the hard limit? I don't know but I guess maybe the player has to choose something to leave behind... its a hard one to work out what to do, but I think that losing a ship will make it unfun... :p
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on April 05, 2012, 03:42:50 PM
but I think that losing a ship will make it unfun... :p
But it ONLY happens if you are outside the limits of what your fleet is supposed to handle. The ship loss scenario will ONLY ONLY happen if you are over fleet points by a significant margin.

That makes it your fault not the game's fault. This is just a different way of handling limits than a hard limit. It's more freeing, but more risky. It's easy to play with a hard limit as you can just self-police.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Occams_Razor on April 05, 2012, 04:11:07 PM

That makes it your fault not the game's fault. This is just a different way of handling limits than a hard limit. It's more freeing, but more risky. It's easy to play with a hard limit as you can just self-police.

I think my point is basically that whose fault it is doesn't matter. Players will feel like they've been kicked in the gut by the random number generator any time they suffer a low-probability, high-impact event, as opposed to, say, a series of exponentially worse low-impact events.

But I'm certainly willing to try it and see if I'm wrong. It's an alpha, after all.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zapier on April 05, 2012, 04:50:59 PM

That makes it your fault not the game's fault. This is just a different way of handling limits than a hard limit. It's more freeing, but more risky. It's easy to play with a hard limit as you can just self-police.

I think my point is basically that whose fault it is doesn't matter. Players will feel like they've been kicked in the gut by the random number generator any time they suffer a low-probability, high-impact event, as opposed to, say, a series of exponentially worse low-impact events.

But I'm certainly willing to try it and see if I'm wrong. It's an alpha, after all.

Well they should feel like they got kicked in the gut... take this scenario for example...

You're at your fleet point 'safe' limit, get into some battle and maybe you finally have a chance to board and capture a Paragon or something you haven't been able to acquire yet. Now, your fleet points go over that safe limit. You now have the choice to risk trying to keep your entire fleet intact, either for the long term or short term because maybe you're looking to sell ships that will bring you back under your safe cap, or scuttle some of your current fleet to make room for your newly acquired Paragon in a safe manner. If you choose to take the risk for profit or whatever, then you choose to have that 'random number generator' possibly kick you in the gut. Who's fault that is does matter because it is all the player's fault. The player that chooses to take risks has a chance to benefit more greatly than those that choose not to, so it shouldn't be any surprise to those players if an accident happens and they end up losing even more than if they played it safe. Chances are, those players will just reload or something anyways...

Eliminating the accident system means having a simple hard cap method. Take the same scenario as above with a simple hard cap. Full fleet point usage, and now you have a chance to capture that nice Paragon... but, oh... you're at your cap. Too bad. Now players will have to constantly play with 'room' to spare in their fleets, meaning they aren't going to fully utilize their potential. This seems like a waste to me. The soft cap/hard cap method will let players use their full potential (which is their soft cap) and still give them the chance to acquire, take chances, perhaps add an extra ship or two for taking on a tougher fleet for a short time and many other useful scenarios. It's all up to the player.

Anyways, as you said, it's an alpha and its meant to be tested so it can be tweaked and adjusted to work just right or scrapped altogether if it doesn't.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Cryten on April 05, 2012, 05:12:07 PM
Keep in mind the picture of the blog post http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/03/21/accidents/ He is consuming 19 cargo a day. Considering that a day is very very quick in starfarer you will drain alot of supplies very quickly if you purposly go over the limit. Generally going over the limit even on 1 or 2 categories look like its going to be a bad thing to do. You will drain supplies rapidly and then enter the extreme danger zone where thing going wrong becomes common.

I hope that this system will mean we might be able to run the limit in a category, say grabbing a fighter wing before you have a carrier, early game but will stop you going over your limits quite quickly once the game gets going.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on April 05, 2012, 07:42:52 PM
I think my point is basically that whose fault it is doesn't matter. Players will feel like they've been kicked in the gut by the random number generator any time they suffer a low-probability, high-impact event, as opposed to, say, a series of exponentially worse low-impact events.
But it's so easy to avoid them. Just stay under the limits. And the limit is half over what the limits say they are. It's incredibly forgiving (forgiving sounding at the least, wish I could test it). Much more so than hard limits that would not just kick you in the gut, but kick you in the gut repeatedly after you've already hit the ground.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on April 05, 2012, 10:35:25 PM
2. Due to a variety of psychological factors, human beings do a bad job planning for random low-probability, high-impact events. As such, rare but huge accidents, like losing a whole ship, are just not going to be fun. It can be totally justified, it can be realistic, and it can be the player's own fault, but it's never going to make your average player happy. Unless by "ship" you mean "a fighter or two out of a squadron", I'd drop it. There's a really high risk it'll be unfun, even though it's a "consequence" of a player's decision. I'm certainly willing to be proven wrong in playtesting, though...

The events aren't low-probability - they're high-probability. It's not the kind of thing where you forget that you're over capacity, and then 15 minutes later, boom, accident. If it's the critical kind, it's going to happen within a few game days - i.e., less than a minute real-time. So, once you're at around 200%, it's very close to being a hard cap, without the UI nuisance of being one. Between 150 and 200, the accidents are severe enough to let you know that you ought to do something about it, but not on the "lost a ship" level.

There's going to be an occasional case where running the risk of an accident may be worth the payoff, but it won't be something you're doing often, or for long.

In general, I agree with your point - but I don't think the actual implementation is going to have this problem, because it's not actually asking the player to manage the risk of a long-term, low-probability, and high impact event. We'll see how it plays out, though.


Just curious, but how far off do you think character levelling is?  I'm really looking forward to how it affects things.

Sorry - soon(tm) :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gaizokubanou on April 05, 2012, 10:43:06 PM
Just curious, but how far off do you think character levelling is?  I'm really looking forward to how it affects things.

Sorry - soon(tm) :)

Nuuoooooooooooo
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on April 06, 2012, 04:24:09 AM
However, having read the blog, I do understand this is meant to deal with the problem of what if you lose a ship and now you're over the hard limit? I don't know but I guess maybe the player has to choose something to leave behind... its a hard one to work out what to do, but I think that losing a ship will make it unfun... :p

But this is exactly what the mechanic is, with the exception that if you really want to take a chance, the game lets you rather than forcing you to dump cargo. Dumping cargo may be the better choice, especially if you're stepping over the twice the maximum cargo load limit, but the game doesn't force you to do it.

You can dump cargo even in the current version. You simply haven't had any need to until now. From now on, there are going to be times when you may want to. We all knew the cargo limits were going to be implemented at some point, we just didn't know until now that we'd have the option to exceed them if we wish. And so long as we only exceed them by up to 50% (that's not a small thing!), you'll only accrue an upkeep penalty.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: cp252 on April 06, 2012, 08:21:25 AM
This will be unfortunate for people who like modding battle size...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Archduke Astro on April 06, 2012, 12:56:49 PM
This will be unfortunate for people who like modding battle size...

As a strong a devotee of big battles, it's highly unfortunate. :-\ I'm still pondering ways to safely accomplish same once 0.52 goes public, but haven't yet thought of anything solid. [-wistful sigh-]
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Valhalla on April 06, 2012, 01:30:12 PM
This will be unfortunate for people who like modding battle size...

As a strong a devotee of big battles, it's highly unfortunate. :-\ I'm still pondering ways to safely accomplish same once 0.52 goes public, but haven't yet thought of anything solid. [-wistful sigh-]

Ask the King wizard duck of space for some space magic, Thats what im thinking.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Wyvern on April 06, 2012, 01:36:16 PM
Well, you could always scale down the fleet point costs of everything...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Nanostrike on April 06, 2012, 02:15:41 PM
The events aren't low-probability - they're high-probability. It's not the kind of thing where you forget that you're over capacity, and then 15 minutes later, boom, accident. If it's the critical kind, it's going to happen within a few game days - i.e., less than a minute real-time. So, once you're at around 200%, it's very close to being a hard cap, without the UI nuisance of being one. Between 150 and 200, the accidents are severe enough to let you know that you ought to do something about it, but not on the "lost a ship" level.

There's going to be an occasional case where running the risk of an accident may be worth the payoff, but it won't be something you're doing often, or for long.

In general, I agree with your point - but I don't think the actual implementation is going to have this problem, because it's not actually asking the player to manage the risk of a long-term, low-probability, and high impact event. We'll see how it plays out, though.

Is there any way that, instead of hardcoding it in, you could make aspects of it mod-able?  Perhaps make the scripting link to a text file that would have all the probabilities, so people can alter that if they so choose?  I've got nothing against the Accident system, really.

But people are going to want the option to roll around for fun in 200 FP fleets.  If the accidents are hard-coded in, you won't even be able to use your 200 FP fleet in a modded out "Sandbox" mode.  It'd be a pretty big damper.



Also, will accidents affect NPC fleets?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: SkidWonderKid on April 06, 2012, 02:30:14 PM
I wonder, skid, if you'd be this negative if Alex had made Rawcode's changes, and Rawcode had suggested the accident system. It's not an idea I like, but it's not terrible enough to be put down like -that-.

I don't believe I would be as interested in the final product and the vision of this project if Alex had implemented Rawcodes considerations of how to handle storage and inventory limits, instead of the accident system. Rawcode if your reading this please don't take offense to that, thats just my 2 cents. Like I mentioned in my post I believe this product is very original and creative, in regards to the usual game mechanics that are put out these days. Actual that is my greatest interest in this project, the creativity and originality.  

It was not my intention to come across like -that-. Your right I did come across harshly, Rawcode I apologize I got a little carried away.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Uomoz on April 07, 2012, 11:26:50 PM
But people are going to want the option to -

I don't get the reason why the Developers of a game should give a flying f**k of what the players *want*. They make the game, the game has rules, it's really easy. If Alex and the others don't plan to make that variable moddable (as many other variables that aren't) they won't.

Sorry, don't want to sound like a ***, but I'm pretty *** off about what's happening on the Bioware Social Network. Fans Entitlement is getting a lot of hate from my point of view.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Qloos on April 08, 2012, 12:57:37 AM
A game should be created as fun in the developers image.  If others enjoy it: so much the better.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on April 08, 2012, 01:16:13 AM
I don't get the reason why the Developers of a game should give a flying f**k of what the players *want*. They make the game, the game has rules, it's really easy. If Alex and the others don't plan to make that variable moddable (as many other variables that aren't) they won't.

Sorry, don't want to sound like a ***, but I'm pretty *** off about what's happening on the Bioware Social Network. Fans Entitlement is getting a lot of hate from my point of view.

Unless your name is Tarn Adams and you plan on releasing your game as freeware and don't mind living on Paypal donations, developers DEFINITELY ought to give a *** about what their players want.

I'm not saying I agree with Nanostrike, but I definitely disagree with that mindset. Alex stated in an interview that he wants to makes the kinds of games that he wanted to play, and that's great-- that's what indie development grants that working in a big company absolutely does not. But there's absolutely nothing 'entitled' about suggesting something that you feel a large number of players will want and criticizing a developer when they do something that you feel might be counter to the creation of a good game. Absolutely *** nothing. Everything on this goddamned forum carries that implicit understanding-- that something in the game might not work optimally and therefore something ought to be changed or added. No one benefits from complacency, the spineless conceit that we're here to pass around backslaps and high fives.

Gamer entitlement is a goddamned myth. We live in a free society and absolutely anyone can say whatever they damn well please, given that developers get the final say-- and they do, Starfarer is not a game legally obligated to be developed via committee. Telling someone to essentially shut up because you feel they're acting entitled is out of line and exudes a brainless deference that benefits absolutely no one. If you disagree with something someone says, then attack the point and explain why it is wrong.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Cryten on April 08, 2012, 01:55:47 AM
While I agree with both points of view in certain aspect I would just like to say: Players are entitled to state thier opinion on a matter but by no means should they insist that the developers view of the project is wrong. Reasoned argument is good stuff and I personally liked reading some peoples thoughts on the punishment of random chance however it was explained that it is ment to be a consist system and that satisfied me. I feel people who then go and say that the devs reasoning is completely wrong without additional points just arguing that their vision should be the one adopted is wrong and should be discouraged.

I dont like to see tradgedies like Terraria's aborted development, to some extents minecrafts late development and the whole thing with mass effect 3. It overshadows the achievements and fun such games bring.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on April 08, 2012, 02:05:46 AM
A good developer will separate wheat from chaff. What anyone says here can be either, and given that a developer is not obligated to follow anything we say at all, I see no harm at all in insisting that the developer is incorrect so long as it does not edge on harassment. Opinions are opinions-- nothing more, and it is up to the developer whether he is convinced or not. An unsupported dissenting opinion ought to be attacked for being unsupported, not because it has crossed some arbitrary line of courtesy. Again, absolutely no one benefits from complacency, on any grounds. Not the developer, not the dissenter, and not the people opposing the dissenter.

I don't want to talk about Mass Effect 3 too much, but I will say this: I don't know what the hubbub is about, but if the devs are changing something, then they are doing it because it is in their best interest to do so. That ending was five kinds of putrid ***, left to ferment in a covered jar with the corpse of Bioware's creative dignity, and if they decided to do anything to it-- anything at all, then that is THEIR decision. The buck stops with them-- just as we cannot force Alex to make changes that we may want, so too is it impossible to blame 'gamer entitlement' for what may have happened in regards to Mass Effect 3. The final line of responsibility works both ways, and if one claims to respect their creative integrity for whatever they originally put out then one must also respect their creative integrity in anything they may do afterward. You cannot have it both ways.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Uomoz on April 08, 2012, 06:42:49 AM
If you read my comment carefully you'll notice that I don't want opinions to stop. I just want to express my concerns about the bad influence that many communities gave to games just because there are forums where everyone can say anything. Think about Baldur's Gate (this example is abused but fitting) or other fantastic games before the "fans direct expression age". It's not like not having to work with fans opinion ruined those games.

In short, feel free to express yourself, but before writing something on the line "DEVELOPER do this or the game is gonna suck", think twice, most of the time nobody will hear you (and if they do, that's f*****g wrong).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on April 08, 2012, 07:50:14 AM
And I vehemently disagree with the basis of your concerns, as well as the idea that Nanostrike was being anywhere that spazzy. His request to make accidents moddable for the sake of playtesting while the game is still in alpha was very reasonable. In fact, it's your gross obeisance to developer intent that is the most fanatical-- the closest to typing in all caps on the internet.

There is no 'influence'. If a developer makes a *** decision, that's on them. It's *** hilarious to me that you're flipping out about the fans ruining a game, but you're apparently content when publishing companies regularly and with great frequency *** the goodness out of video games.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: cp252 on April 08, 2012, 08:00:56 AM
First of all, calm down both of you. There's no need to drop the F bomb.
Personally I think we the players have a right to be heard and have our concerns addressed, if only because Alex has made clear his intent to accept player input. As for Mass Effect 3, it's the developer's choice, and if they chose to listen to their fans that too is their choice.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: K-64 on April 08, 2012, 08:09:37 AM
I wouldn't say that the players have the "right" to be heard, yes it's rather expected these days, but the developers don't have to do anything about it. While I do like how the players are listened to, I really despise it when players think they should be treated like special little snowflakes because they chose to pay money for something. They weren't forced to, and they aren't forced to play it.

But regardless of that minirant, I must give Alex kudos for having such a close relation with the players of Starfarer :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Uomoz on April 08, 2012, 08:12:26 AM
First of all, calm down both of you. There's no need to drop the F bomb.
Personally I think we the players have a right to be heard and have our concerns addressed, if only because Alex has made clear his intent to accept player input. As for Mass Effect 3, it's the developer's choice, and if they chose to listen to their fans that too is their choice.

Yeah, my posts were pretty much OT. I'm sorry. I rest my case, no offence or anything intended.

In the end i like this game because it have it's very personality and it's going his own (a little hardcore) way, so I'm pretty much satisfied.

A game should be created as fun in the developers image.  If others enjoy it: so much the better.

Iscariot, I'm sorry if I managed to be offensive, don't hate me please ;).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on April 08, 2012, 08:38:35 AM
I wouldn't say that the players have the "right" to be heard, yes it's rather expected these days, but the developers don't have to do anything about it. While I do like how the players are listened to, I really despise it when players think they should be treated like special little snowflakes because they chose to pay money for something. They weren't forced to, and they aren't forced to play it.


They absolutely have the 'right' in the sense that anyone could post commentary about any game to express their opinion (in a few years... we'll see), but you are absolutely right that players ought not demand special treatment.


Yeah, my posts were pretty much OT. I'm sorry. I rest my case, no offence or anything intended.

In the end i like this game because it have it's very personality and it's going his own (a little hardcore) way, so I'm pretty much satisfied.

I like that it's going hardcore as well. I like hardcore games a lot. I may have showed my hand, but I like Dwarf Fortress a lot, and that's pretty much as hardcore as you can get. I just don't like this idea of gamer entitlement that's somehow made its way into the minds of other gamers. In every industry there's critique of what goes on, and there has to be because that's how consumerism works. People buy things, or they don't, people say good things or they don't. People spread their opinions and a general consensus is made about how to progress.

In this day and age, all sorts of people and organizations hide behind the facade of 'artistic integrity'. In my home country of the United States, copyright law is one such way that companies hide behind artistic integrity to maintain intellectual properties so they don't have to deal with competition. As far as I'm concerned, 'gamer entitlement' is a myth that accomplishes much the same thing-- by discrediting critique, companies don't have to innovate, don't have to be held to account for their mistakes.

I don't mean to say that Alex is afraid of critique, because he clearly is not given his willingness to engage with so many concerns, but he and every other developer can benefit from suggestions, whether he follows them or not. I'm sorry if I came on a little strong, but that's just because I do feel strongly about the notion of consumer rights, and I don't like fanatical loyalty. Loyalty-- the best loyalty-- is measured with reason.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on April 08, 2012, 09:06:23 AM
But people are going to want the option to roll around for fun in 200 FP fleets.  If the accidents are hard-coded in, you won't even be able to use your 200 FP fleet in a modded out "Sandbox" mode.  It'd be a pretty big damper.

In the next version, that won't be possible. After skills are in, the way to do that would be to alter the bonuses the command skill gives you, rather than changing how accidents work. It's not something that lends itself readily to being moddable.

Also, will accidents affect NPC fleets?

Yes.



About the whole entitlement/artistic integrity/player comments thing (glad that simmered down a bit, btw :)):

I really value the feedback and comments - it helps make Starfarer a better game! That was a large part of the reason for releasing it early - imo, waiting to release until a game is "done" is taking a huge risk. That being said, I have a very definite vision of where I want the game to go, and that's not going to change - but player feedback is invaluable in making sure it actually gets there.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: weed33 on April 08, 2012, 09:15:02 AM
This is the problem with having a large portion of you're fanbase come from Totalbiscuit. He has mentioned this in his recent videos and his viewers tend to be rather vocal at times.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: K-64 on April 08, 2012, 09:18:14 AM
I wouldn't say that the players have the "right" to be heard, yes it's rather expected these days, but the developers don't have to do anything about it. While I do like how the players are listened to, I really despise it when players think they should be treated like special little snowflakes because they chose to pay money for something. They weren't forced to, and they aren't forced to play it.


They absolutely have the 'right' in the sense that anyone could post commentary about any game to express their opinion (in a few years... we'll see), but you are absolutely right that players ought not demand special treatment.

That's what I meant, I just worded it really crappily, I tend to do that
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Nanostrike on April 08, 2012, 04:56:59 PM
Wow.  Didn't mean to start a gigantic drama storm.

I like the accident system, actually.  I wasn't suggesting it be taken out of the core game or anything.  There absolutely needs to be something like that to balance out how much damage a high FP fleet can do with how many resources it takes to keep that fleet running and the risks involved.

I just like to occasionally mod up a bunch of 200 FP fleets and let them wander around to see and participate in huge battles.  Once the accidents are in, that won't be very easy to do, which is kinda disappointing.



That said...will we ever see some sort of a "Skirmish" or "Free battle" system, where instead of playing a Mission or the Campaign, you can choose forces for both sides and go to town?  That would make my earlier point completely moot, as I'd be able to rig up big battles at will.  Or test out a new ship variant.  Or just generally have fun.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on April 09, 2012, 07:37:32 PM
A "skirmish" mode would be fun.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on April 09, 2012, 07:58:08 PM
I would bet big money that a custom battle is on the radar. It's just on the radar for after campaign features.

That said I would also really like custom battles, haha. It would be a lot of fun to test our crazy variants and stuff.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on April 10, 2012, 06:57:34 AM
I would bet big money that a custom battle is on the radar. It's just on the radar for after campaign features.

That said I would also really like custom battles, haha. It would be a lot of fun to test our crazy variants and stuff.

YES!! YES!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!
+100 For the idea ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: K-64 on April 10, 2012, 07:04:07 AM
Would be magnificent from a mod developer point of view
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Haresus on April 10, 2012, 07:07:38 AM
Custom battles/skirmish mode where you can pick any ship/s with any weapons and hull mods you want, against any ship/s with any weapons and hull mods you want is almost a must-have for Starfarer.

If you want something more in the campaign, an "arena" thing would be nice in the orbital stations. Ship vs Ship (Duel mode), Fleet vs Fleet (10 or so ships on each side, chaotic fighting, either the survivors or the team wins), All vs All (20 ships, all fighting eachother) and a Grand Tournament (A mix of all of them, with the risk of your ship being destroyed?).
Your ship might get damaged in the normal ones, but never really destroyed, you can do it for money or just for testing your own ship (no money involved).

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: cp252 on April 10, 2012, 07:32:29 AM
...You know, the true scale of battles in Starfarer is a lot bigger than it appears. So big that things like pulse lasers travel slowly enough to be visible.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on April 22, 2012, 01:43:59 PM
Yessss...

and arena function in campaign would be pretty damn awesome!

It would be a great way to make money, but Imo should be limited to destroyers and frigates.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on April 22, 2012, 06:11:44 PM
New blog post is up: Dev Update, Achievements (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/04/22/dev-update-achievements/).

Features me trying to overcome personal preferences to take an objective look at achievements, and a link to the dev path notes (mostly for the folks that visit the website, but not the forum).

And a bit of info about when to expect the 0.52a release.

Spoiler
(It's: soontm)
[close]
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Archduke Astro on April 22, 2012, 06:12:16 PM
Yessss...

and arena function in campaign would be pretty damn awesome!

It would be a great way to make money, but Imo should be limited to destroyers and frigates.

Thank you for crystallizing my own thoughts on this subject. I've long thought that a small-ship-only "Demolition Derby" arena / minigame would add plenty of value to Starfarer. ;D But this feature would be even sweeter alongside parallel but separate fleet-sized arena environments, such as those which Haresus suggested.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Archduke Astro on April 22, 2012, 06:31:46 PM
And a bit of info about when to expect the 0.52a release.

[-spoiler redacted-]

You charming rogue. ::)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gaizokubanou on April 22, 2012, 08:47:08 PM
New blog post is up: Dev Update, Achievements (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/04/22/dev-update-achievements/).

Features me trying to overcome personal preferences to take an objective look at achievements, and a link to the dev path notes (mostly for the folks that visit the website, but not the forum).

And a bit of info about when to expect the 0.52a release.

Spoiler
(It's: soontm)
[close]

My take on this is that it's unnecessary in progression heavy games like Starfarer because the game keeps track of your progress already.  Especially once character leveling comes in and ships become harder to procure.

A comprehensive stats keeping would be a much better fit.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on April 22, 2012, 08:50:29 PM
You charming rogue. ::)

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week!

My take on this is that it's unnecessary in progression heavy games like Starfarer because the game keeps track of your progress already.  Especially once character leveling comes in and ships become harder to procure.

Really interesting point.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on April 22, 2012, 10:03:56 PM
My take on this is that it's unnecessary in progression heavy games like Starfarer because the game keeps track of your progress already.  Especially once character leveling comes in and ships become harder to procure.

Really interesting point.
[/quote]

Yeah I find most of these are just badly designed. They don't really provide any sense of accomplishment, but they DO nag at your ocd completionist gamer mind.

Stats on the other hand let you make your own random goals to pursue.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on April 22, 2012, 11:48:34 PM
Is love a kind of galactic news system, like when you do something big, its all in the news. I.e "the corvus system is under blockade by *player name*"and so on.
Now that's something I would like.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: WK on April 23, 2012, 02:14:15 AM
Achievements should not be added "just because everyone else has them". The game will eventually (hopefully) have relatively slow progression towards new ships and later towards a larger fleet and even, a larger empire. Having stats will have more or less the same effect as achievements, as suggested.

If, however, achievements is something that the community or the developer wants to include, they should be done well. After reading the blog I get a feeling that we are in good hands as Alex has clearly given this some thought and understands many of the pitfalls and behavior that achievements can endorse.
A relatively good example for use of achievements was the first mass effect. The achievements unlocked bonuses for future playthroughs and unlocking the achievements actually felt like an achievement. Unfortunately that did not catch on and the standard achievements are usually just virtual bragging rights.

What I would rather see in a game like Starfarer is something similar to ME. You could "receive medals" or unlock traits by performing certain tasks in addition to the level progression. This could add something to the game if the goals are selected properly. To give some concrete examples of what I have in mind it could be something like:
-getting one million (or any other amount) profit through trading would give you a permanent bonus for prices. This could be a multistepped "achievement" with increasing bonus. Or maybe you would get a bonus to available cargo space.
-fighting 100 battles with a fleet with at least 10 ships could give you a permanent bonus to fleet size
-training 100 crew from green to elite would give you the title "mentor" (or something) and improve the rate of learning for your crew. Again, possibility for multiple levels.

and so on...

Of course these depend on what the developers have in mind for the leveling system so that the achievement/trait-system would not be completely redundant.

EDIT: Removed a question as I found the answer elsewhere :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on April 23, 2012, 02:47:09 AM
I think WK may be on to something here.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Arghy on April 23, 2012, 03:07:38 AM
Achievements should be actual achievements ingame like they were in Stalker: CoP/M&B mod prophesy of pendor. If you get a certain amount of money then you get an achievement and now you either get a discount or something similar.

The only games i have ever tried to get all the achievements for is HL2 and portal and this is only because i got to listen to the devs talk about why the achievements were made. I get every achievement i can in Stalker:CoP because when you get them they add to the game--you want to amass 100k because you can now spend that money on new things that are available, you want to finish the beginning faction line because it provides you with a large discount in the main place your staying at.

When we got things like officers boosting stats that directly reflect fleet/ship performance then i can totally see going an extra mile ingame to get that achievement that while isent necessary helps boost the game experience.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thaago on April 23, 2012, 08:42:04 AM
...
Thoughtful post.
...

I would like something like this, but may I suggest that the bonus is not a 'bam you are better!' type thing?

Instead of becoming a better crew trainer all of a sudden when your 100th green becomes elite, why not just have it be that every time your crew levels up you get a very small bonus to that? A 'get better by doing' approach. By fielding large fleets (and winning) you get slightly better at logistics (FP bonus) or by buying and selling you get slightly better at trading.

I am thinking a more Elder Scrolls system (although I have issues with their implementation as well) as I find it to be better for immersion as opposed to large static bonuses.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on April 23, 2012, 08:59:15 AM
*positive grunting noises*

Yes, i think that would be a nice way of doing it...

Though i think some "bam you are better!" perks would also be nice, like if you hired a marine/crew trainer and such, maybe even computer cores that improve various stats of the fleet.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: K-64 on April 23, 2012, 09:00:26 AM
Then once that ship turns to dust you're back at square one :P
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on April 23, 2012, 09:27:38 AM
Then once that ship turns to dust you're back at square one :P

Ehh... what?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: K-64 on April 23, 2012, 09:29:32 AM
If it's a computer core thing, that means it is installed on the ship. Ship goes boom, you won't have time to grab it while you make a mad dash to your escape pod/shuttle/thing. Therefore, you lose that nifty bonus.

I was joking and being slightly nitpicky
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: WK on April 23, 2012, 10:27:02 AM
Like people have noted, there are so many ways of accomplishing the effects in a game like this that the whole concept needs to be carefully considered.

The elder scrolls type learning thing is something I'm very fond of as well, but it behaves in slightly different way and is closer to normal leveling. Therefore it does not give that "notification screen" type of sense of accomplishment that some people seem to be very addicted to.  As a compromise multilevel achievements might work where you got a small bonus every so often.

Another way to accomplish the effect is through the crew or ship components. This is again all very fine, but is part of the normal game and probably not satisfactory for people who like achievements. Separate achievements reward you for playing in certain way while you are struggling towards domination of the entire galaxy and can in that sense add another layer, a meta game if you wish. In that sense achievements can be a good thing, again, if done right.

I really have to say that I like how Alex is involving the community.

He has plenty of options to accomplish progression in the game:
-"wealth" (better ship(s), money, weapons, stations?)
-player character
-crew
-reputation/rank among factions
-story missions (if there is a story)
-achievements

The more I think of it, the more I like some form of accomplishment-system for this game. This game has the potential of being one hell of a time sink with the "just a wee bit more"-feeling. On the other hand I really hope that the pace of progression will be slow enough that we will have the joy of getting a new gun for the first ship and eventually being able to upgrade the ship and much later to be able to buy (or loot) another ship etc. Having achievements would allow the pacing to be slow and still give players sense of progression and accomplishment to give the game even more of that "I'll play just to level up/to get that new gun/that new ship/that 'win a fight against 3 enemies with just one ship'-achievement"-kind if feeling.

Sorry for another lengthy post :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on April 23, 2012, 10:31:51 AM
WK, you don't need achievements for that "just a wee bit more-feeling". You just need a good game.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: K-64 on April 23, 2012, 10:35:35 AM
You don't need developer created goals and popups to give you a gold star. Whatever happened to good-old self-imposed challenges and targets? If want to brag about it to others, print screen it! Show off screenshots of your epic fleets or have a video showing your surmounting of impossible odds for the fun of it. Having an achievement system depersonalises the whole process of challenging oneself, since they're not the one laying down the challenge, and the game isn't truly completed until they have grabbed those achievements, whether they feel it's necessary or not. Might seem petty that last point, but for people with OCD levels of completionism, myself included, it gets rather daunting, annoying and even frustrating.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on April 23, 2012, 10:37:14 AM
I figure I'll add in my two cents.

I'm not a fan of achievements. Granted, the achievements on the Xbox 360 might have had a large influence on my opinion.

My biggest complaint is being "railroaded" in to a very specific playstyle. For example, the suggestion WK had: "win a fight against 3 enemies with just one ship". It would force me to either use a larger or much more advanced ship than what the enemy is using, when I like to use the small, low-tech ships. Or, it would force me to take a large risk, when in the early game when I have only one ship, I'm trying my best to play it safe. I just don't see the appeal or game play addition that achievements bring. If I destroyed an enemy fleet that was twice the size of mine, I don't need the game to tell me that I kickass. I already know. I was there.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on April 23, 2012, 10:43:48 AM
Plus having achievements takes away for the actual achievement. You don't know if it's possible to get throe a game with some sort of handicap, thats the challenge, until it's a standard achievement then you know its possible and becomes work. It takes a way the fun and mystery, the feeling your on new ground, trying something nobody else ever has.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on April 23, 2012, 11:29:04 AM
Something else, have any of you guys player gracious space battles? (I suppose some of you must have done...)

But one thing i really liked about that game were those "reports", that you got as a battle progressed and ships got damaged and defeated/damaged other ships... needless to say i think that a system like this would be "most excellent".

It would also help give you a rough idea of whats going on in a fight without having to check the map all the time.

But i not sure that such a thing would really fit the way command points work...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on April 23, 2012, 11:41:50 AM
Something else, have any of you guys player gracious space battles? (I suppose some of you must have done...)

But one thing i really liked about that game were those "reports", that you got as a battle progressed and ships got damaged and defeated/damaged other ships... needless to say i think that a system like this would be "most excellent".

It would also help give you a rough idea of whats going on in a fight without having to check the map all the time.

But i not sure that such a thing would really fit the way command points work...
I've played it, those reports got repetitive and meaningless.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on April 23, 2012, 11:47:57 AM
Something else, have any of you guys player gracious space battles? (I suppose some of you must have done...)

But one thing i really liked about that game were those "reports", that you got as a battle progressed and ships got damaged and defeated/damaged other ships... needless to say i think that a system like this would be "most excellent".

It would also help give you a rough idea of whats going on in a fight without having to check the map all the time.

But i not sure that such a thing would really fit the way command points work...
I've played it, those reports got repetitive and meaningless.

Yeah, i have to agree with vandala here.
Though you did get to see which ship was most effective/which layout/design etc.
But they did get repetetive overtime.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: WK on April 23, 2012, 12:07:27 PM
You don't need developer created goals and popups to give you a gold star.

I agree completely. As I said in my previous post, I don't see the current standard system (i.e. the golden stars) working in this game (or in any game). But if the achievements are well thought of and have actual rewards that make sense for the game play, they might add to the game. Like BillyRueben pointed out, the last suggestion was not a good one (1v3). But I'm just throwing them from the top of my head and not really giving them the consideration that they require if those are done well.

It is not something that is necessary as there are other ways to accomplish similar effects, but if used properly they might be something really worth considering.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on April 23, 2012, 12:16:44 PM
Something else, have any of you guys player gracious space battles? (I suppose some of you must have done...)

But one thing i really liked about that game were those "reports", that you got as a battle progressed and ships got damaged and defeated/damaged other ships... needless to say i think that a system like this would be "most excellent".

It would also help give you a rough idea of whats going on in a fight without having to check the map all the time.

But i not sure that such a thing would really fit the way command points work...
I've played it, those reports got repetitive and meaningless.

I agree on that.

that is why i think that if such a system was ever to be included in starfarer, i think it should be purely informative E.g.:

The Onslaught - >ship name< - is under fire by the Aurora - >ship name< - .

Obviously it could be reworded, but its just a simple example of the sort of thing i would like to see.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on April 23, 2012, 12:45:05 PM
I agree on that.

that is why i think that if such a system was ever to be included in starfarer, i think it should be purely informative E.g.:

The Onslaught - >ship name< - is under fire by the Aurora - >ship name< - .

Obviously it could be reworded, but its just a simple example of the sort of thing i would like to see.
Starfarer doesn't need it. Ships have health bars and armor damage is visible on ships graphics. Health is also shown on the map screen in combat, fighters in wings that are destroyed also show up as blacked out.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on April 23, 2012, 01:06:58 PM
Yes, but you might not necessarily know that a ship has come under fire until it has gone Ka-boom, or you see it being attacked.

The reason I suggested these combat reports was so that you can get a general idea of whats going on around the entire map, without needing to pause the game/whatever to check the map and "stuff"


On another note, I have just discovered the joys of a fleet of tempests.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on April 23, 2012, 01:18:24 PM
The problem with that is when you do see that ship "X" has come under fire from ship "Y", you'll just end up checking the map anyway to see if you need to change ship "X's" orders.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on April 23, 2012, 01:27:01 PM
But at least you would know that you might need to change orders, or come to the rescue :P

As apposed to facepalming when ship X explodes
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Sunfire on April 23, 2012, 01:38:25 PM
But at least you would know that you might need to :P

As apposed to facepalming when ship X explodes

That happens to me a lot
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on April 23, 2012, 01:55:40 PM
But at least you would know that you might need to change orders, or come to the rescue :P

As apposed to facepalming when ship X explodes

Maybe, although it seems to me that when a ship mismatch occurs, once the first shots have been fired you are already screwed.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thaago on April 23, 2012, 02:03:33 PM

Maybe, although it seems to me that when a ship mismatch occurs, once the first shots have been fired you are already screwed.

This is often true but not always. Something I've noticed is that the AI hates to take damage disengaging from the enemy, so faster, weaker ships will often stick around slower, bigger ships and get blown up instead of running. A well placed order can help get them to actually disengage (although sometimes even direct orders can't get them away).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on April 23, 2012, 02:32:30 PM
I guess I'd just prefer to keep UI clutter away. I don't want to be staring at "I'M UNDER ATTACK!" from my ships when I'd rather be watching my Paragon shoot rainbow lasers of love at baddies.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on April 23, 2012, 03:49:39 PM
But at least you would know that you might need to change orders, or come to the rescue :P

As apposed to facepalming when ship X explodes

Maybe, although it seems to me that when a ship mismatch occurs, once the first shots have been fired you are already screwed.

I deal with mostly faster ships (frigates, fighters, faster cruisers and destroyers), so if they survive the initial volley (which most usually do) it'd be great to know if that wing of Wasps was dumb enough to wander into the flak range of that Venture.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: JP161 on April 23, 2012, 03:53:07 PM
I guess I'd just prefer to keep UI clutter away. I don't want to be staring at "I'M UNDER ATTACK!" from my ships when I'd rather be watching my Paragon shoot rainbow lasers of love at baddies.
Nurse!

I want same pills he's having!

Err, yeah, anyway...
Those particular messages would quickly become as jarring as the ones in Gratuitous Space Battles... At first I loved them, they made the battle feel more 'alive'. Until you got the same thing over and over and over and over and over again.

Has there been any word on how much (if at all) the combat UI is going to change before release? Especially later on with bigger fleets I find myself giving command over to the second-in-command of my flagship and concentrate on ordering, or at least observing, my fleet. The current UI doesn't really lend itself to that too well, one ship at a time and overall it's quite hard to keep track on two cruiser fights on different cap points, couple more fighter/frigate capping..

Having a few picture-in-picture view screens or a bit more robust system could make that a more fluent experience.

These pills ain't having any effect!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on April 23, 2012, 04:45:39 PM
Has there been any word on how much (if at all) the combat UI is going to change before release? Especially later on with bigger fleets I find myself giving command over to the second-in-command of my flagship and concentrate on ordering, or at least observing, my fleet. The current UI doesn't really lend itself to that too well, one ship at a time and overall it's quite hard to keep track on two cruiser fights on different cap points, couple more fighter/frigate capping..

Having a few picture-in-picture view screens or a bit more robust system could make that a more fluent experience.

These pills ain't having any effect!

The right modifications on your ships can work wonders, try more and different combinations. Eventually you'll see that the AI for the most part doesn't need babysitting.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: JP161 on April 24, 2012, 02:21:55 AM
I meant I like to watch the little things go by their business firing and dodging etc., only occasionally giving orders to modify that behavior. ;)

As it is currently, it's quite easy to miss the best parts of the battle unless you keep constantly pausing the game and checking what happens where. If you'd have these screens in either the main tactical screen or at command map overlay, you could keep an eye out on few key ships. A nice side effect for seeing the combat happen, would be the ability to intervene if necessary.

Maybe I'm just not explaining it well enough... ???
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on April 24, 2012, 08:07:49 AM
Maybe instead of the list style that GSB used, it would be better to have to single bar somewhere in the combat UI, that shows the most recent activities of your ships.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Occams_Razor on April 24, 2012, 02:43:35 PM
I think I have a question about balance changes:

With all the balance changes and discussion of relative power in each patch, I'm curious if everything is going to need to be rebalanced when the sandbox-campaign opens up? Concerns a fleet-commander might have will likely change the relative importance of everything from the obvious (cargo space, fuel use) to the maybe-not-so-obvious (shield strength minimizes repair resource use, survivability maybe more important than damage output, etc), to things we won't see until play-testing, no?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on April 24, 2012, 03:11:44 PM
With all the balance changes and discussion of relative power in each patch, I'm curious if everything is going to need to be rebalanced when the sandbox-campaign opens up? Concerns a fleet-commander might have will likely change the relative importance of everything from the obvious (cargo space, fuel use) to the maybe-not-so-obvious (shield strength minimizes repair resource use, survivability maybe more important than damage output, etc), to things we won't see until play-testing, no?

To some degree. I do think that most of the changes being made now will be good ones in the long run, though, because they're not as much made for some kind of high-level idea of "balance", but rather to improve how combat plays out overall.

Some stuff, no doubt, will have to be rebalanced multiple times - but that's just part of having playable alpha releases.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on May 01, 2012, 08:54:15 AM
The 0.52a release is out, blog post here (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/05/01/starfarer-0-52a-release/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: theShadow on May 01, 2012, 10:59:39 AM
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ZzK5xbQDAaA/Sc2xcJe_NdI/AAAAAAAAAj0/L-0y5a5gA24/s320/HipHipHooray.gif)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Movementcat on May 09, 2012, 10:46:44 PM
It is allowed 2 ask what you working next on?

I want suggest something but after i read MainPage Upcoming Features, in this Game is everything inside i want. Okay maybe some REALLY Big Ships. And some more Electronic Warfare like Tracktor Beams ECM Jammer etc.

Do you think about Multiplayer? or Steam release?

Greeting Move


Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Mattk50 on May 10, 2012, 12:15:58 AM
Multiplayer has been brought up a few times, There won't be any multiplayer and the reason is that multiplayer and singleplayer experiences are fundamentally different, so it would tons of work to do it right and the MP/SP would end up being different games anyway. That and singleplayer isn't even near completion right now, personally i'd rather us get a nice complete campaign mode before multiplayer is ever even considered. Though coop might be fun :P.

Steam only publishes released games, this is at .50 alpha so its not really up to that point yet and even then steam likes to say "we already have many similar games to yours, you need to prove this can sell/is different" so its unknown whether they will let starfarer in or not.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Virtuoso on May 15, 2012, 10:44:08 AM
Multiplayer has been brought up a few times, There won't be any multiplayer and the reason is that multiplayer and singleplayer experiences are fundamentally different, so it would tons of work to do it right and the MP/SP would end up being different games anyway. That and singleplayer isn't even near completion right now, personally i'd rather us get a nice complete campaign mode before multiplayer is ever even considered. Though coop might be fun :P.

Steam only publishes released games, this is at .50 alpha so its not really up to that point yet and even then steam likes to say "we already have many similar games to yours, you need to prove this can sell/is different" so its unknown whether they will let starfarer in or not.

Just as a heads up, I do not think this is entirely true.  Endless Space is still in Alpha but you can pre-order it on Steam and play it.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on May 23, 2012, 01:25:58 PM
New blog post is up: Ship Systems (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/05/23/ship-systems/).

Fear the Onslaught.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: arcibalde on May 23, 2012, 01:34:02 PM
 :o
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: FlashFrozen on May 23, 2012, 01:34:49 PM
butbut! you didn't use the infernium injector in the video  :(

But I digress, this is very neat :D oh oh will the buffalo get flares to help them last 5 more seconds? :P
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on May 23, 2012, 01:45:59 PM
But I digress, this is very neat :D oh oh will the buffalo get flares to help them last 5 more seconds? :P

That could be the 5 seconds they need to manouvre just close enough to the enemy before they explode!  :D

This looks really, really cool.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on May 23, 2012, 01:50:48 PM
It took me three run-throughs of that third segment to understand what was happening, haha.

Then I was look: HOLY CRAP LOOK AT THE FLAMES ON THAT ONSLAUGHT.

:O

Do want. This is what I was hoping was next.  :D  Anyone excited for the omen? Man this is cool. I wish we had a list of devices and how many of them were done. I assume this patch will take some time since it's a huge deep dark change to so many engine components.

Also flares look amazing.

This is awesome. :D  I am geeking out, haha.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on May 23, 2012, 02:19:04 PM
butbut! you didn't use the infernium injector in the video  :(

But I digress, this is very neat :D oh oh will the buffalo get flares to help them last 5 more seconds? :P

Ohhh yes he did. Did you see that Onslaught move?!? This might make me actually use an Onslaught now!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: FlashFrozen on May 23, 2012, 02:24:27 PM
oh my lmao, I finally saw it, here I was waiting for alex to use it on his current ship only to ignore the onslaught plop into view xD

dem flames be huge, but but how did the onslaught slow down so fast  :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on May 23, 2012, 02:25:45 PM
butbut! you didn't use the infernium injector in the video  :(

But I digress, this is very neat :D oh oh will the buffalo get flares to help them last 5 more seconds? :P

Ohhh yes he did. Did you see that Onslaught move?!? This might make me actually use an Onslaught now!
That wasn't the infernium thingy, that was the "Burn Drive" system.  :D

Alex is being s tease it would seem.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on May 23, 2012, 02:29:10 PM
Also, WTB: maneuvering jets for my Conquest.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on May 23, 2012, 02:44:14 PM
QUESTION!

Will these systems be able to be disabled?
Can they be enhanced with hull mods?
PLEASE can the Hound get the burn drive? (I'm laughing just thinking about it.)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on May 23, 2012, 02:54:48 PM
Will these systems be able to be disabled?
Can they be enhanced with hull mods?
PLEASE can the Hound get the burn drive? (I'm laughing just thinking about it.)
Good question.

Oh please no. They look ridiculous as is. Though they probably aren't balanced yet.

Haha, and we may as well also put some troll face decals on there while we're at it.  :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on May 23, 2012, 03:07:06 PM
I want my Odyssey combat teleporter!!

Unless it gets something even better, but I can't think of anything better right now.

EDIT: I'm thinking, in combat, you pull up the map-screen, you click on your Odyssey, you activate its ability, you click somewhere on the map and BAMN you are there instantly!

Man that would be awesome, probably have to put a limit of once or twice per battle only on its uses though, kind of a powerful ability as first sight. Even if it doesn't directly do anything for direct combat prowess.

EDIT: Oh man I was so wrong, this will definably mean direct improvement of combat prowess. Imagine two Odyssey's teleporting within Tachyon Lance range of the enemy fleet almost at start-up. Man that must be terrifying.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: cp252 on May 23, 2012, 03:17:35 PM
Vandala, that sounds like Tachyon Lance level of imbalance  ;) It'd be cool I guess... But I'd prefer submarines to teleporting ships in terms of getting somewhere without being stopped.
As for getting somewhere instantly, that's what fast ships are for.
Burn Drives will make Onslaughts useful  ;D And, you know, make facing them be describable as facing an 'onslaught'.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on May 23, 2012, 03:19:34 PM
Vandala, that sounds like Tachyon Lance level of imbalance  ;) It'd be cool I guess... But I'd prefer submarines to teleporting ships in terms of getting somewhere without being stopped.
As for getting somewhere instantly, that's what fast ships are for.
Burn Drives will make Onslaughts useful  ;D And, you know, make facing them be describable as facing an 'onslaught'.
Yeah, I just combined the two... man I so want this. Think of the POWER!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on May 23, 2012, 05:27:07 PM
Damn, I thought I'd be a good idea to check out the blog just now (I'm kinda slow on that ;D)
So that's where Flares came from!  And jets, more fun! Oh-ra, the next patch is gonna be fun...;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Catra on May 23, 2012, 05:51:09 PM
I want my Odyssey combat teleporter!!

Unless it gets something even better, but I can't think of anything better right now.

EDIT: I'm thinking, in combat, you pull up the map-screen, you click on your Odyssey, you activate its ability, you click somewhere on the map and BAMN you are there instantly!

Man that would be awesome, probably have to put a limit of once or twice per battle only on its uses though, kind of a powerful ability as first sight. Even if it doesn't directly do anything for direct combat prowess.

EDIT: Oh man I was so wrong, this will definably mean direct improvement of combat prowess. Imagine two Odyssey's teleporting within Tachyon Lance range of the enemy fleet almost at start-up. Man that must be terrifying.

so they tele all of 5 feet.....on the technical side that is fairly impressive (cause FTLing 5 feet is a much more daunting task than FTLing 50000000000000000000000000000000000000000 feet when you already know how to do the latter) on the scaryness side, not so much.

whats scary is 2 odysseys fully armed with plasma cannons and anti-matter blasters coming out of a teleport, now that's a broadside.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on May 23, 2012, 06:01:58 PM
MOAR QUESTIONS!

Will the flares confuse missiles not targeting the craft being tracked by missiles?
Will the speed boost from the burn drive stack with other speed bonuses (nav beacons and "no flux" bonuses)?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on May 23, 2012, 07:59:12 PM
Glad to see you guys are excited about this! :)

Also, WTB: maneuvering jets for my Conquest.

Sold! At least in the dev build, that's what it has. But that could change - although, it really makes it so much easier to bring the Cyclones to bear, and makes them much more viable in those larger missile slots, so it seems to suit the ship well.

Will these systems be able to be disabled?
Can they be enhanced with hull mods?
PLEASE can the Hound get the burn drive? (I'm laughing just thinking about it.)

No (but can't be used when overloaded/venting), no, and maybe. Still thinking what it needs. I agree that Burn Drive on it would be quite amusing, but it's probably not the right choice :)

Will the flares confuse missiles not targeting the craft being tracked by missiles?
Will the speed boost from the burn drive stack with other speed bonuses (nav beacons and "no flux" bonuses)?

Yes and yes with Nav Buoys, no with 0-flux.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: armoredcookie on May 23, 2012, 08:13:25 PM
Is it possible to have my onslaught racing across the map at 170? :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: FlashFrozen on May 23, 2012, 08:14:49 PM
i'm pretty sure that onslaught broke atleast 250 xD

but i have made onslaughts go at 600 m/s before, seems like 600 is speed limit :P
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Mattk50 on May 23, 2012, 08:55:44 PM
I'm hoping they aren't too over the top, if anyone's played battleships forever you know how the ship specific grav throwers and shield projectors and whatnot can make things feel crappy (though it likely has more to do with the poor implementation, having the click on the system on the ship in a battle to use it was annoying). The lasher flares are cool as hell i have to admit, im not sure if they would just be better as a hull mod or something rather than ship specific things.

Will we be getting any new campaign features with the next update in addition to this?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Kommodore Krieg on May 23, 2012, 09:49:37 PM
This is very exciting news, I'm looking forward to these. 
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on May 23, 2012, 11:17:27 PM
so they tele all of 5 feet.....on the technical side that is fairly impressive (cause FTLing 5 feet is a much more daunting task than FTLing 50000000000000000000000000000000000000000 feet when you already know how to do the latter) on the scaryness side, not so much.

whats scary is 2 odysseys fully armed with plasma cannons and anti-matter blasters coming out of a teleport, now that's a broadside.

What I should have said is, teleport them on opposite sides of the enemy fleet within Tachyon Lance range, right on their edge of the map. That is scary, you'll be under constant lance pressure with anything that enters the battle, reinforcing with fighters and frigates will likely become impossible, ships that don't have omni shields will be forces to move to either Odyssey unless they want their vulnerable engine side blown by both. And even then stuff will just start dieing left and right in the crossfire.

Or you can just teleport them right on top of enemy points you want to grab and park them there. That's one fast takeover, man that will unbalance the game.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Uomoz on May 24, 2012, 02:05:39 AM
Awesome new features, Alex :D!!!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on May 24, 2012, 08:19:04 AM
WE WANT 0.53! NOW!!
 ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: KDR_11k on May 24, 2012, 09:26:55 AM
I could also see things like cutter devices that deal massive damage on contact or radius or ners that massively boost the detection radius or a ship that can detach parts as stationary gun platforms or jettison armor to increase maneuverability. Or a ship that camouflages itself as another ship (That's no Buffalo Mk2!) or a big-ass weapon that is simply part of a special weapon ship or a shield projector that can cover other ships...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on May 24, 2012, 10:04:41 AM
I vote for radar jammers and stasis webifiers next as ship systems! :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dri on May 24, 2012, 02:06:13 PM
Wasn't the Omen PD frigate gonna get something spiffy? Like an EMP burst that'd shut down all engines around it - even missile engines?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Lancefighter on May 24, 2012, 02:14:39 PM
I vote for radar jammers and stasis webifiers next as ship systems! :)

Only if I can get my energy neutralizers and tracking disruptors... and cloaking device for my pilgrim
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hopelessnoob on May 24, 2012, 04:35:59 PM
So this is why theres been no juicy patch notes for me to read and then re-read forever.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thaago on May 24, 2012, 04:42:31 PM
I could also see things like cutter devices that deal massive damage on contact or radius or ners that massively boost the detection radius or a ship that can detach parts as stationary gun platforms or jettison armor to increase maneuverability. Or a ship that camouflages itself as another ship (That's no Buffalo Mk2!) or a big-ass weapon that is simply part of a special weapon ship or a shield projector that can cover other ships...

Oh yes! I would love camo/hologram systems so much! I can imagine it being a phase ship counter design - lure out the phase ships with a nice juicy Buffalo Mk2 ... surprise! It would probably have to be something of the same size class or smaller though. Or you could use them to confuse the enemy: they know you have one Aurora, so why are there two? Which one is real? Anywho. :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: WarStalkeR on June 04, 2012, 04:09:11 AM
Alex, you've said these system can't be disabled, but can they be suppressed by other subsystems?

I vote for radar jammers and stasis webifiers next as ship systems! :)
Only if I can get my energy neutralizers and tracking disruptors... and cloaking device for my pilgrim
Hey! Both of you! It's my ideas sent to Alex 100 years ago!

Tractor Beams - to catch ships and bring them closer to you.
Lockdown Modules & Stasis Webifiers - modules to slowdown/stop enemy ships.
Weapon Disruptors - decreases weapon range and accuracy.
Stealth Devices - hides ships from radar, but not from eye.
Cloaking Devices - hides your ships from enemy. Uncloaks (or not, depends from device) when starts shooting.
Scanners - to scan the ships for additional information or for cloaked ships.
Scramblers - to resist scanning (scanner strength vs scrambler strength)
Missile Jammers - jams the missiles from course or even redirects it back at enemy.
Damage Over Time - something like acid on the ships hull, or sprayed in space waiting for victim.
Remote Repair Systems - that can temporary fix ships hull.
Energy Focus Systems - ship A transfers its energy/flux regen to ship B to increase its weapon output.

For example:
Burn Drive and Combat Thruster could be countered by Stasis Webifier & Lockdown Module (disable main engines, but allows rotation).
Weapon Disruptor that can affect weapons accuracy and Targeting Module that can suppress or decrease effect of Weapon Disruptor.
Stealth Device that will hide ship from tactical display and Combat Radar that will reveal hidden ship and increase detection range.
Cloaking Device that will make ship invisible, but can be disrupted by Combat Sensor and damage from weapons of enemy ship.
Scramblers that can hide info about your ship like damage and what weapons installed and Scanners that can suppress Scramblers.
Missile Jammer unlike flares can redirect incoming missile to another location or back at enemy ship.
Teleporter and Jump Drive can be countered by Warp Disruptor, that within limited range can block them & etc.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Movementcat on June 04, 2012, 08:23:34 AM
Alex, you've said these system can't be disabled, but can they be suppressed by other subsystems?

I vote for radar jammers and stasis webifiers next as ship systems! :)
Only if I can get my energy neutralizers and tracking disruptors... and cloaking device for my pilgrim
Hey! Both of you! It's my ideas sent to Alex 100 years ago!



Its arent your Idea the Ideas like 1000 Years in Eve-Online or StarTrek...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Uomoz on June 04, 2012, 08:27:51 AM
Can't say I didn't think about my Mimnatarr lady when I read Stasis Webifiers  ::)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on June 04, 2012, 09:09:55 AM
Can't say I didn't think about my Mimnatarr lady when I read Stasis Webifiers  ::)

Oh man, loved me some stasis webifiers when I played caldari. Those, combined with their long-shooting railguns played an large role when I took down a minmatar battleship :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Uomoz on June 04, 2012, 09:22:15 AM
I took down *many* battleships.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on June 04, 2012, 09:37:44 AM
How many is *many*? :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: WarStalkeR on June 04, 2012, 10:39:40 AM
I took down *many* battleships.
But you never took down Rifter with Chimera :P
http://xpri.killmail.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=7673147 (http://xpri.killmail.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=7673147)

So, it looks like lots of players here are from EVE Online :) Nice to know, nice to know :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on June 04, 2012, 10:46:04 AM
Heh, Yeah. Was part of a major corporation, actully, I was in the lead up there :), but once it died off due to funding problems with the corp, I left and went freelance. Always fun, but my subscription expired :(
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: KDR_11k on June 04, 2012, 11:36:05 AM
I looked into EVE but subscription fees just don't sit well with me since I play games very on and off, I don't want to worry about not using my subscription if I don't feel like playing that game right now. Funnily enough I'm playing an Eve-derived game (has all that webber and energy vamp stuff) called Dangerous on my Android phone, no worrying about subscriptions there and a quick trade run works well on the bus.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on June 04, 2012, 01:10:18 PM
Back on topic, I'm a little leery of ship systems doing things to other ships, especially negative things. Most ship systems we've seen have provided some kind of benefit to the ship using them. I mean, I'm not adverse to the occasional "fixed" hull-only weapon, but crazy stuff like shutting down an opponent's engines just rubs me the wrong way.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on June 04, 2012, 01:15:49 PM
Back on topic, I'm a little leery of ship systems doing things to other ships, especially negative things. Most ship systems we've seen have provided some kind of benefit to the ship using them. I mean, I'm not adverse to the occasional "fixed" hull-only weapon, but crazy stuff like shutting down an opponent's engines just rubs me the wrong way.
So far we have yet to see anything like that. There is probably no need to worry.

Then again I would like to see a EMP pulse doing massive damage to nearby ships (including friendly ships).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Lancefighter on June 04, 2012, 01:17:46 PM
I cant actually find any rifter kills in my Archon, how unfortunate.

Its been so long, ive basically forgotten where to look though.

I was a part of.. what was it, LV? back before they finished the first titan. Stood at the gategamp against goonswarms first foray into 0.0. I think those events coincide. Maybe.

Never really was a big fan of pvp in battleships though. Felt more at home with interceptors or logistics.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on June 04, 2012, 01:30:15 PM
I'll always remember that day when my corp had it's biggest battle ever. Not sure on how many battleships that played a role in it, but it was damn near or over 100 battleships on just our side counted. We won it, but our CEO was going near insane in our preparations for the battle. Who knows what could have happened  if i didn't advise him (i was pretty high up in the management) to prepare even more of our resources to the battle. First, i did try to advise him out of the battle completely, but when that didn't i advised him to prepare even more battleships. We won that battle, though, but we lost alot of battleships back then, over half our force was lost. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on June 04, 2012, 01:33:13 PM
...but our CEO was going near insane in our preparations for the battle...
Damn, I thought you were the CEO! ;D
Anyway, ship systems will probably keep to themselves, only affecting the ship it's attached to, unless you use it it some offensive way (like ramming an overloaded paragon with your Onslaught in Burn Drive).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on June 04, 2012, 01:38:16 PM
Not in the EVE online corp! :) 
Though i was second-in-command ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Mattk50 on June 04, 2012, 04:07:46 PM
.. was his name tim?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: WarStalkeR on June 04, 2012, 07:31:34 PM
.. was his name tim?
Mittani :P
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on June 05, 2012, 08:46:16 AM
bluh, mmos

Surprised that no version notes thread has gone up for .53a yet... :(
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on June 05, 2012, 11:18:48 AM
bluh, mmos

Surprised that no version notes thread has gone up for .53a yet... :(
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on June 05, 2012, 12:10:14 PM
bluh, mmos

Surprised that no version notes thread has gone up for .53a yet... :(
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on June 05, 2012, 12:39:19 PM
Why are you guys re-quoting a quote?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on June 05, 2012, 12:39:54 PM
Means you want to say the same thing.  Kinda stupid to say it over again. ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on June 05, 2012, 12:55:21 PM
Means you want to say the same thing.  Kinda stupid to say it over again. ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on June 05, 2012, 12:58:16 PM
Kinda stupid to say it over again. ;D
And just quoting it is better because...?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on June 05, 2012, 12:59:45 PM
And just quoting it is better because...?
I really have no idea.  I'll admit I just saw it one day here and decided to do it. 
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Uomoz on June 05, 2012, 02:18:17 PM
And just quoting it is better because...?







sorry, had to do it. for the lulz.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on June 05, 2012, 10:06:52 PM
:)

Not trying to hate, btw. Just thought it was ironic. We are avoiding repeating things by repeating them verbatim instead, haha.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on June 06, 2012, 02:39:21 AM
:)

Not trying to hate, btw. Just thought it was ironic. We are avoiding repeating things by repeating them verbatim instead, haha.

Just had to.   ;D


Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: neonesis on June 06, 2012, 04:39:37 AM
:)

Not trying to hate, btw. Just thought it was ironic. We are avoiding repeating things by repeating them verbatim instead, haha.

Just had to.   ;D



You know, you can always add your own personal point of view, your examples that support the point and so on and so forth. At least you can show you're able to develop your own opinions, not only depend on the others.

Just sayin' guys, just sayin' ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Xareh on June 06, 2012, 12:45:50 PM
Have wondered about the lack of a 0.53a patch note thread.

My guess is there's a lot of stuff in it, and it's all going to be shown when Alex has finished.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on June 06, 2012, 01:42:42 PM
Looking like the ship systems are going to be AWESOME! Cant wait. And since the patch is taking so long im guessing ther's a whole bunch of other tweeks and fun stuff.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on June 06, 2012, 02:34:41 PM
Haha, it's not taking that long. It'll take a while to code in all those systems and adjust the ai to be aware of them.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on June 07, 2012, 06:37:30 AM
Haha, it's not taking that long. It'll take a while to code in all those systems and adjust the ai to be aware of them.

Ops, meant to say the patchnotes was taking long. Since theyre probably working hard.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Psycho Society on June 14, 2012, 05:42:02 AM
Update is gonna be the boss, burn drive is the definition of beast mode.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on June 14, 2012, 07:33:26 PM
New blog post: Ship Systems, Part 2 (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/06/14/ship-systems-part-2/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: jet36 on June 14, 2012, 07:47:48 PM
Woah. That Emp blast is epic.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hopelessnoob on June 14, 2012, 07:54:46 PM
Those Point Defense drones look to be smaller than the gun they're mounting.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on June 14, 2012, 08:40:50 PM
A good read, and the screenshots were nice.

Quick question: Do the PD drones hover within shield range if they aren't engaging anything?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on June 14, 2012, 08:43:55 PM
A good read, and the screenshots were nice.

Quick question: Do the PD drones hover within shield range if they aren't engaging anything?

Thanks!

They stay a bit outside shield range - 50 pixels or so. Need to, to be effective at taking out incoming missiles.

You can press 'F' once to let them roam more, and press 'F' again to make them land on the mothership (and stay until you order them to launch by pressing 'F' again). So if you're concerned about them getting taken out, that's what you'd do.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on June 14, 2012, 09:59:42 PM
Yay blog posts!  :D

Everything sounds good. Really need to try things out to give good feedback, but your line of thinking sounds solid.

Trade-offs is a great way to balance. Planetside2 is seemingly all about that as well.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Psycho Society on June 14, 2012, 11:22:24 PM
Is the Omen's EMP blast an area of effect or does it hit one target at a time?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on June 14, 2012, 11:28:45 PM
Is the Omen feeling... actually capable of being helpful now?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stardidi on June 15, 2012, 03:01:56 AM
Ship Systems are looking very good!

An idea for a drawback to Fast Missile Racks could be that the next reload takes ±1,5 the normal time. So:
Fire > Activate Ship System > ±instant reload > fire > 1.5 times normal reload

That makes it a slightly more tactical decision while not making it be a major downside.
(You come up with how to justify that i'm not *that* creative :P )
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on June 15, 2012, 09:10:03 AM
Is the Omen's EMP blast an area of effect or does it hit one target at a time?
Looks to be one at a time, but rate of fire is probably pretty high.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on June 15, 2012, 11:31:21 AM
Is the Omen's EMP blast an area of effect or does it hit one target at a time?
Looks to be one at a time, but rate of fire is probably pretty high.

Yep. A couple of times per second - will knock out a fighter wing in no time.

Is the Omen feeling... actually capable of being helpful now?

It's helping!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on June 15, 2012, 11:39:20 AM



It's helping!

Aha, you refer to the images Qloos created. Good stuff. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on June 15, 2012, 11:47:21 AM
"Yay im helping!"
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on June 16, 2012, 12:00:11 AM
Hmm, we may need to revise that comic now, with a field of disabled ships floating in its wake, itself still spitting lightning across the battle field. "yay, I'm helping!"
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 09, 2012, 02:27:13 PM
New blog post is up: The Evolution of Phase Cloaking (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/07/09/the-evolution-of-phase-cloaking/).

Talks about the changes the idea went through from concept to implementation.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Psiyon on July 09, 2012, 02:38:43 PM
I really, really like the direction you went with phase ships. I was always assuming they'd just be your average cloaking device, not a defensive system akin to shields. I can't wait to try out some combat with these.

Edit: "Doom" class? That sounds a little... silly to me, to be honest.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 09, 2012, 02:57:11 PM
Thanks!

Silly, eh? Too over-the-top, too much association with Doom the game, or what? I was going for an "ominous death dealer" feel. The other two phase ships (both frigates) are named "Shade" and "Afflictor".
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on July 09, 2012, 02:59:20 PM
Yes!  I knew this would come eventually. ;D

And I'm pretty sure that name is subject to change, but considering it's armament, I'd accept that name. ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vandala on July 09, 2012, 03:03:02 PM
Hmm, and now to make an all Phase ship fleet.  ::)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Wyvern on July 09, 2012, 03:25:43 PM
In that line of names, I'd go for something like "Apparition" or "Banshee" or "Barghest" or "Oblivion"...  Doom feels a little silly to me, too, and I'm not sure why; it's just off somehow.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on July 09, 2012, 03:51:59 PM
Even with the change in the Phasing concept, they'll probably still fill the role of strike craft just fine.

As for your current Phase weaponry, what it could do instead of doing damage is build up the flux levels of a phased ship, causing them to either exit phase space or overload.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Psiyon on July 09, 2012, 03:56:00 PM
Silly, eh? Too over-the-top, too much association with Doom the game, or what? I was going for an "ominous death dealer" feel. The other two phase ships (both frigates) are named "Shade" and "Afflictor".
It just seems kind of generic and cliche in my eyes. For the "ominous death dealer" feel you said you wanted, I think that the name "Damnation" would be an excellent substitution, and probably even gets that feeling across better. But it's your choice, I'm simply offering suggestions. As for the other two names, I'm fairly indifferent on the "Afflictor," but the "Shade" seems... kind of boring. Nothing really wrong with it, it just doesn't really stand out. I've always liked the name "Wraith", but maybe that's just me thinking back to the old Starcraft 1 days. Either way, names are names. As long as the ships are fun to use, I'll be happy :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on July 09, 2012, 04:31:45 PM
Im so going to get the "Shade" as fast as possible! Awesome name! Alex, please add some new phase missions aswell? Or add them into the random mission rotation.

Also, is the price for the ships set? For in game then. Can you buy them, do you have to capture them? Answers please.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on July 09, 2012, 04:31:53 PM
Interesting. I like the change to an alternate defense system.

Also, I would not like to see that Doom ship suddenly materializing next to me. That's a lot of shield- and armor-cracking burst firepower!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thaago on July 09, 2012, 04:38:31 PM
Ooooh shiny! No wonder the AI writing for this has been so much work - these ships are going to have to fight in a completely different manner.

It seems that finding the correct time to vent flux in real space will be absolutely critical to their survival - will some of this new decision making also be improving normal ship's venting? You did mention that ships with low flux will vent if not threatened... :D

That thing is going to be a nightmare for the Dominator/Onslaught with their frontal 180 shields - it can just sail right through and pop them in the engines! This is going to be fun!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on July 09, 2012, 04:39:06 PM
Interesting. I like the change to an alternate defense system.

Also, I would not like to see that Doom ship suddenly materializing next to me. That's a lot of shield- and armor-cracking burst firepower!

They are not invisible, just look at the blog screenshot :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on July 09, 2012, 04:41:40 PM
Invisible to people on the receiving end, I believe.  It'd be a bit hard to navigate if it were invisible to you, no? ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on July 09, 2012, 04:44:04 PM
Man, I just realized something rather terrifying.

Hounds are bad enough as is; imagine a similarly maneuverable phase frigate, except it can fly straight through you to get to your engines!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on July 09, 2012, 04:45:28 PM
Invisible to people on the receiving end, I believe.  It'd be a bit hard to navigate if it were invisible to you, no? ;D

"Full invisibility is the most disruptive aspect – managing the uncertainty of where a phase ship could be, and making guesses to counter it, is where most of the problems would come from – that has to go."

Yeah...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: robokill on July 09, 2012, 04:51:41 PM
i think phase weaponry can hit ships in phase but do not track it so the ai guesses from last position and veolocity and just sprays and the charges go off in proximity and dont hurt friendlys.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Strifen on July 09, 2012, 04:52:12 PM
I am looking forward to seeing what sort of faction/s will be making heavy use of phase technology(Or what kind of auto-factories are set to produce them), and how the AI handles using it...

Here's hoping they don't become too Hound-like.

I wonder how phasing will affect/be affected by Nebulae, 0 flux coasting...

and this got me thinking:
Invisible to people on the receiving end, I believe.  It'd be a bit hard to navigate if it were invisible to you, no? ;D
Quote from: Blog post
Full invisibility is the most disruptive aspect – managing the uncertainty of where a phase ship could be, and making guesses to counter it, is where most of the problems would come from – that has to go. So, conceptually, let’s say the ship is still in an alternate dimension, but it’s got energy anchors in this one, so it can be detected – call them “phase coils” to build on the art...

How distressing it will be to run into a phase fleet (or to have enemies run away).

Hope they're fairly rare, when I think about it.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 09, 2012, 04:58:32 PM
Silly, eh? Too over-the-top, too much association with Doom the game, or what? I was going for an "ominous death dealer" feel. The other two phase ships (both frigates) are named "Shade" and "Afflictor".
It just seems kind of generic and cliche in my eyes. For the "ominous death dealer" feel you said you wanted, I think that the name "Damnation" would be an excellent substitution, and probably even gets that feeling across better. But it's your choice, I'm simply offering suggestions. As for the other two names, I'm fairly indifferent on the "Afflictor," but the "Shade" seems... kind of boring. Nothing really wrong with it, it just doesn't really stand out. I've always liked the name "Wraith", but maybe that's just me thinking back to the old Starcraft 1 days. Either way, names are names. As long as the ships are fun to use, I'll be happy :)

I remember not being too thrilled with "Doom" at first - used it as a placeholder but it grew on me quickly. Considering perhaps "Harbinger" as a replacement, but... hmm.

It seems that finding the correct time to vent flux in real space will be absolutely critical to their survival - will some of this new decision making also be improving normal ship's venting? You did mention that ships with low flux will vent if not threatened... :D

Yeah, on both counts. Although, venting from full flux is still one of the harder choices for the AI to make, and the one where it gets caught most often - but, it's already proficient enough at it where phase ships do about as well as you'd expect given their loadout.

That thing is going to be a nightmare for the Dominator/Onslaught with their frontal 180 shields - it can just sail right through and pop them in the engines! This is going to be fun!

That's not going to be too easy to pull off, not without ending up at full flux by the time you're done :)

They are not invisible, just look at the blog screenshot :)

Right, not invisible to anyone.

Quote from: Blog post
Full invisibility is the most disruptive aspect – managing the uncertainty of where a phase ship could be, and making guesses to counter it, is where most of the problems would come from – that has to go. So, conceptually, let’s say the ship is still in an alternate dimension, but it’s got energy anchors in this one, so it can be detected – call them “phase coils” to build on the art...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on July 09, 2012, 05:06:40 PM
Will the AI be able to at least get a hint of where the phase ship is because of the afterglow from the Phase Coils?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 09, 2012, 05:13:41 PM
Will the AI be able to at least get a hint of where the phase ship is because of the afterglow from the Phase Coils?

Alright, how can I make it more clear? :) They are perfectly visible to both sides.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 09, 2012, 05:15:38 PM
Im so going to get the "Shade" as fast as possible! Awesome name! Alex, please add some new phase missions aswell? Or add them into the random mission rotation.

Yeah, I've got to take a look at that.

Also, is the price for the ships set? For in game then. Can you buy them, do you have to capture them? Answers please.

TBD, but yeah, something that we'll have to take care of soon.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on July 09, 2012, 05:27:09 PM
Will the AI be able to at least get a hint of where the phase ship is because of the afterglow from the Phase Coils?

Alright, how can I make it more clear? :) They are perfectly visible to both sides.
But how...what's the...bah, I'll find out when the patch comes. ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: neonesis on July 09, 2012, 05:59:46 PM
That thing is going to be a nightmare for the Dominator/Onslaught with their frontal 180 shields - it can just sail right through and pop them in the engines! This is going to be fun!

That's not going to be too easy to pull off, not without ending up at full flux by the time you're done :)

So... what are approximate times for such frigate to spend in phase space? For how long can it become invulnerable?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on July 09, 2012, 06:05:24 PM
Depends on flux capacity and how much flux the phase coils produce.  Probably max is 10 seconds from the sound of "it'll be hard to get in back of an onslaught"
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 09, 2012, 06:06:08 PM
So... what are approximate times for such frigate to spend in phase space? For how long can it become invulnerable?

Without extra flux capacitors, about 20 seconds, though that's subject to balancing. (This is across the board for all phase ships - it currently costs 5% of the base flux capacity per second). An activation is another 5%.

... this could change literally in the next 5 minutes - don't put too much stock in the specific numbers, just stating them here to give you a general idea.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: YAZF on July 09, 2012, 09:18:13 PM
Since you are now making ship phasing more like shields, there should be similar risks involved. If a ship tried to dephase (totally a word) on top of an object or ship it should get overloaded in a similar fashion to a shield overload. It should remain in cloak but totally overloaded, including weapons AND engines (having the engines dead means they can't stay on top of another object on purpose).  Also the overload repair countdown shouldn't start until the ship comes out of phase. The ship will drift overloaded and phased until the first available time for it to safely dephase, which will be automatic. Then the ship is now targetable by enemies and still vulnerable (as the overload is only now getting fixed) for a few seconds as a penalty. This way prevents you from having awkward collisions and while a person could still purposely abuse it, they are left helpless by doing so.

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Psycho Society on July 09, 2012, 10:57:20 PM
That sounds really cool actually.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: RawCode on July 09, 2012, 11:04:00 PM
Add modrelated ability for phase weapons and leave devstage weapons in data files, also ability for phased ship to fire other phased ship ignoring its phase stage will allow multiple tactical option to fight phasing ships by other phasing ships.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Mattk50 on July 10, 2012, 05:44:33 AM
if the phase weapons aren't set on countering phase ships anymore, what if they got phase like properties? phase beams could shoot through other ships, friendly or otherwise, to hit their target, and phase charges could do similar.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vind on July 10, 2012, 06:21:01 AM
It would be interesting if Phase charge launcher "mines" worked differently on "phased" ship. Imposing some type of debuff on phased ship near them or just preventing ship from "phasing" near charges.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Mattk50 on July 11, 2012, 05:59:25 AM
maybe phase ships could attack from phase using phase weapons and vice versa, it would make it a bit more balanced i guess.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: cp252 on July 11, 2012, 07:00:04 AM
Maybe if phase weapons could cause the flux on a phased ship to go up, like anti-shield weapons. It's not like anti-shield weapons cheapen shields.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on July 11, 2012, 09:53:25 AM
It's fairly balanced already to just remove them from combat completely for however long they are out. Plus you still know where they are.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thaago on July 11, 2012, 10:12:01 AM
This might mean we can keep the long range of the current Phase Beam - or it might even get knocked down to 10 OP and be a 'standard' weapon like the pulse laser, graviton beam, and mining blaster. I like that purple beam of fighter death.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: sdmike1 on July 11, 2012, 10:31:34 AM
I would kill for a phase ship mission.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: intothewildblueyonder on July 12, 2012, 10:27:23 AM
Always nice to see a blog post up when you check up on the game :)

I really like the way it sounds although I would like it if the phase ships were harder to detect, perhaps they should start off more or less invisible (or there actual size be hidden) and then become more visible as they stay phased or there phase-in/ phase-out could be adjusted.

Would having anti-phase weaponry that dephases a phased ship work (this could be just a weapon that acts as a sonar pulse that reveals all phased ships, could be put on a phased ship who has to decide to look for other and reveal my position or stay hidden)?

Would having different levels of phase each with its own advantages and disadvantages (e.g. fully-phased: invisible - but cannot see as far, goes slower or builds flux faster;)



If I remember my submarine history correctly I think Alex may have actually created what WWII subs were like, other than the being visible while submerged. The submarines of that period, at least to a certain degree, not truly at home under the water, moved faster on the surface, and had to surface relatively often when compared to modern subs (due to limited air replenishment, engine tech, and torp tech).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 12, 2012, 01:39:15 PM
Always nice to see a blog post up when you check up on the game :)

I really like the way it sounds although I would like it if the phase ships were harder to detect, perhaps they should start off more or less invisible (or there actual size be hidden) and then become more visible as they stay phased or there phase-in/ phase-out could be adjusted.

Would having anti-phase weaponry that dephases a phased ship work (this could be just a weapon that acts as a sonar pulse that reveals all phased ships, could be put on a phased ship who has to decide to look for other and reveal my position or stay hidden)?

Would having different levels of phase each with its own advantages and disadvantages (e.g. fully-phased: invisible - but cannot see as far, goes slower or builds flux faster;)



If I remember my submarine history correctly I think Alex may have actually created what WWII subs were like, other than the being visible while submerged. The submarines of that period, at least to a certain degree, not truly at home under the water, moved faster on the surface, and had to surface relatively often when compared to modern subs (due to limited air replenishment, engine tech, and torp tech).

Thanks!

Hmm. What you're describing, with different phase levels, makes "sense" in terms of how a phase cloak might operate - but the question is, does it add enough to the game to warrant the extra complexity? The key reasons for moving away from "full invisibility" are the difficulty in getting the AI to do deal with that intelligently, and how much it would change the current gameplay. This sounds even more involved :)

Interesting point about WWII subs - to extend that analogy further, we could say that phase ships in SF are equivalent to subs that are always at "up periscope". Hovering right on the edge of p-space, as it were.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on July 12, 2012, 02:16:04 PM
I'd actually say it does add enough to the  game to warrant the needed complexity for gameplay purposes, just to have more immersive and interesting phase-gameplay. :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: intothewildblueyonder on July 12, 2012, 02:26:22 PM
quick question what is seen by the opposing side, and the AI, of the phased ship? Just the "anchor", the entire ship, vague outline, weapons, orientation, etc ?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on July 12, 2012, 02:37:54 PM
quick question what is seen by the opposing side, and the AI, of the phased ship? Just the "anchor", the entire ship, vague outline, weapons, orientation, etc ?

Just the same as you see. EX: The pic in the blog post.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on July 12, 2012, 04:17:32 PM
I'd actually say it does add enough to the  game to warrant the needed complexity for gameplay purposes, just to have more immersive and interesting phase-gameplay. :D

I don't really see how it benefits us at all. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) as a principle works pretty well in Starfarer. Let's hash the system out in its current form before adding needless complexity. I'm not even completely sure how what you're advocating would really help gameplay.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on July 12, 2012, 04:25:17 PM
Well, I'd actually like to see entirely phase out ships, because that's what my subconscious keeps telling me that they are and should be doing, but in the other hand, here's this feature which really doesn't give you as much of a cloak and only gives you the ability of not being hit. That's not really what I had in mind when I thought "phase ships"
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Strifen on July 12, 2012, 06:41:08 PM
Well, I'd actually like to see entirely phase out ships, because that's what my subconscious keeps telling me that they are and should be doing, but in the other hand, here's this feature which really doesn't give you as much of a cloak and only gives you the ability of not being hit. That's not really what I had in mind when I thought "phase ships"

The Phase ships will be probably be invisible on the battle map; I'm not 100% sure what sort of sensor-tech they have in Starfarer, but that's what seems likely - having to make 'visual' contact (barring map 'bonuses' from buoys and sensor arrays) with a Phased ship; might screw around with long-range missile volleys aswell.

Need to re-read the blog/forum post(s), I may have missed something...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on July 12, 2012, 07:04:38 PM
Well, I'd actually like to see entirely phase out ships, because that's what my subconscious keeps telling me that they are and should be doing, but in the other hand, here's this feature which really doesn't give you as much of a cloak and only gives you the ability of not being hit. That's not really what I had in mind when I thought "phase ships"

Really? At-will invulnerability is not good enough for you? You want invisibility too?

I really like this mechanic. It adds a new wrinkle to the combat we know and love, without massive disruption, and it doesn't fall into the sci-fi trope of "cloaking."
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 12, 2012, 07:37:40 PM
quick question what is seen by the opposing side, and the AI, of the phased ship? Just the "anchor", the entire ship, vague outline, weapons, orientation, etc ?

Just the same as you see. EX: The pic in the blog post.

Just to confirm here - yep, that's exactly right. Both sides see the same thing.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: arwan on July 12, 2012, 07:56:55 PM
interesting implementation.  i saw as well that you stated that currently in the testing phase that all ships with phase can stay phased out for the same amount of time.. (without trying to sound too overbearing) i hope that does not stay like that. i would imagine just like shields, phase would have varying levels of effectiveness for uniqueness. also the picture looked rather cool. i envisioned some type of sprite animation on the phase coils.

also i would drool for some phase fighters. perhaps some of those fighter sprites i have seen that was told were eventually coming to the game.

in particular i am thinking of these

(http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c205/arwan2/ship-size-comparison1.jpg)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Squigzilla on July 12, 2012, 10:13:08 PM
Alex, I've got a quick question: how does missile targeting interact with phase ships? More specifically, are missiles able to track a phased ship, or will their engines shut off when their target enters p-space? My question mostly relates to pilums, since most other missiles don't have enough range to loop around and make a second pass at their target if they miss the first time.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on July 13, 2012, 01:07:33 AM
I don't really see how it benefits us at all. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) as a principle works pretty well in Starfarer. Let's hash the system out in its current form before adding needless complexity. I'm not even completely sure how what you're advocating would really help gameplay.

My own opinion is that Starfarer works so well because of this, albeit there are so many interesting, interwoven 'KISS'-based dynamics that work particularly well together the nett result is something so apparently complicated while remaining surprisingly intuitive.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: sdmike1 on July 13, 2012, 07:43:43 AM
Alex, I've got a quick question: how does missile targeting interact with phase ships? More specifically, are missiles able to track a phased ship, or will their engines shut off when their target enters p-space? My question mostly relates to pilums, since most other missiles don't have enough range to loop around and make a second pass at their target if they miss the first time.
they loop around and make a second pass
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: intothewildblueyonder on July 13, 2012, 11:58:59 AM
Well now that there is phasing I don't have to feel as bad about filling up a ship with tach-lances. I can always tell myself that I could be snuck-up on approached-by by a ship with phasing.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Squigzilla on July 14, 2012, 01:46:59 PM
Alex, I've got a quick question: how does missile targeting interact with phase ships? More specifically, are missiles able to track a phased ship, or will their engines shut off when their target enters p-space? My question mostly relates to pilums, since most other missiles don't have enough range to loop around and make a second pass at their target if they miss the first time.
they loop around and make a second pass

Thanks for the clarification :D

Well now that there is phasing I don't have to feel as bad about filling up a ship with tach-lances. I can always tell myself that I could be snuck-up on approached-by by a ship with phasing.

That brings up an interesting question: how common will phase ships be in the campaign, and which factions will use them?  Depending on how recently phasing technology was developed and how widely it was employed, they could be rare examples of cutting-edge technology or specialist ships supporting most decently-sized fleets.  Personally, I'd prefer the latter -- it would be a real shame to spend so much time fine-tuning the phasing mechanic only to have phase ships barely appear in the campaign.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 15, 2012, 11:31:11 AM
interesting implementation.  i saw as well that you stated that currently in the testing phase that all ships with phase can stay phased out for the same amount of time.. (without trying to sound too overbearing) i hope that does not stay like that. i would imagine just like shields, phase would have varying levels of effectiveness for uniqueness.

That's a good point (though it wouldn't be exactly the same, due to capacitors). Still, it makes sense to have the phase cloak flux cost be configured per ship - added a couple of columns to ship_data.csv that do that.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on July 15, 2012, 11:34:57 AM
I'd love to see Davids way of phasing (as he mentioned in the concept art), you'd either need to scout the map real good with your own eyes, or use a special radar/sonar ship, capable of detecting phased ships and have a big FoW reveal radius.

Then, once a phase ship has been detected (if you do it with your own eyes, then you'd have to click the ship and press "R" once you see it (How the AI would do it i don't know)) it'd only show the phase coils, like David demonstrated in the concept art.

That sounds like a better plan to me than the current, ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 15, 2012, 11:59:20 AM
It's like you didn't read the blog post, or something  ::)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on July 15, 2012, 12:01:27 PM
It's like you didn't read the blog post, or something  ::)

I did, but just because i read it doesn't mean i'm entitled to have a completely different opinion about it, you know. ::) ::) ::)

And besides, i'll still be thinking that the system i imagined would work better. Atleast for me. xD
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on July 15, 2012, 12:10:03 PM
Oh, you're absolutely entitled to an opinion. It'd just be more helpful if you actually laid out the reasons for it, if you've thought it through. If it's just a gut reaction, fair enough. In either case, the *reasons* for why someone has an opinion are much more informative than the opinion itself, in terms of providing new angles to consider - or having a productive discussion.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on July 15, 2012, 12:29:51 PM
Reasons - fine.

Why I wanted to see such a system as i saw in the concept art would be purely because that's exactly how I imagined phase ships to work in my mind once they where announced in-offically. I always thought of phase ships to be working and acting a lot like todays submarines, or even the old submarines. That they'd be semi-transparent for the friendly side, but be nearly invisible for the enemy, short of an alpha transparency of, say 10? Because old WWII submarines could either be detected by the use of sonar, or of they where close enough to the surface and you had some men with great eyes onboard, you could track them through the air bubbles the engines let out. In fact, this was the main way of tracking torpedoes once a submarine has launched them. But the main reasoning for this is that this system was what I purely had imagined when i heard the word "phase", logic being that they'd be so far onto the other dimension that they'd be nigh impossible to see, short of looking real good, and noticing any minor movement. The Ai would have to be dumbed down in this matter, to prevent it from detecting the phase ships. How this would be done I have no clue to, someone else can come up with it.
But the system you are going to put in place right now felt a little... Awkward and not exactly as i expected it, even though It's for balance.

TL;DR: gut reaction based on logical information on todays subs.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: DJ Die on July 15, 2012, 12:35:48 PM
yeah old torpedoes made bubbles but even the WWII Jap Long Lance started with engines that use pure oxygen instead of air which increases endurance and makes the torpedo harder to spot....
many submarines were actually spotted because planes saw their "shade" in the water

if we would be getting bigger battles in the final game i think some kind of AWACS ship would actually be good
something like Freespace had http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/index.php/GTA_Charybdis (http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/index.php/GTA_Charybdis)
they were able to call targets much sooner than without them and i think it could add something to tactics when using carrier groups maybe even provide AI with some kind of advantage against enemy without one
such ship could also find phased out ships at smaller radius than its "radar" range
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on July 15, 2012, 01:33:53 PM
Reasons - fine.

Why I wanted to see such a system as i saw in the concept art would be purely because that's exactly how I imagined phase ships to work in my mind once they where announced in-offically. I always thought of phase ships to be working and acting a lot like todays submarines, or even the old submarines. That they'd be semi-transparent for the friendly side, but be nearly invisible for the enemy, short of an alpha transparency of, say 10? Because old WWII submarines could either be detected by the use of sonar, or of they where close enough to the surface and you had some men with great eyes onboard, you could track them through the air bubbles the engines let out. In fact, this was the main way of tracking torpedoes once a submarine has launched them. But the main reasoning for this is that this system was what I purely had imagined when i heard the word "phase", logic being that they'd be so far onto the other dimension that they'd be nigh impossible to see, short of looking real good, and noticing any minor movement. The Ai would have to be dumbed down in this matter, to prevent it from detecting the phase ships. How this would be done I have no clue to, someone else can come up with it.
But the system you are going to put in place right now felt a little... Awkward and not exactly as i expected it, even though It's for balance.

TL;DR: gut reaction based on logical information on todays subs.

Gameplay >>>>> Realism. Having to run from invisible, uncounterable ships because you didn't bring a Kryptonite Frigate that, if present, would make the phase ship completely worthless = bad gameplay.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Upgradecap on July 15, 2012, 01:36:00 PM
But you'd be able to spot it by eye, (because you'd eventually see that the background is moving) and have weapons that can counter it. Besides, those ships wouldn't render them useless, because it'd only be able to spot phase ships in, say, 1/5 out of it's normal sensor range.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on July 15, 2012, 04:44:14 PM
That does sound incredibly annoying. You could destroy cloaked ships in SPAZ with a little guess work and attention to detail, but it still wasn't much fun, nor was cloaking very useful in that game anyway.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Pelhamds on July 15, 2012, 07:39:16 PM
I've seen all these suggestions and though what about when you spot it HOWEVER YOU DO IT and use some kind of multiphasic depth charges/torpedoes but they do not auto aim so you must aim for the disturbance not using the AI though i have no idea how the AI ships will do it... maybe predetermined patterns.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Squigzilla on July 16, 2012, 05:58:33 AM
When I first heard mention of phase ships, I actually imagined that they would be untargetable but still visible.  If the existence of phase technology was widely known, wouldn't it make sense to equip all military ships with a basic sensor for detecting ships in p-space?  I'm also fine with the lack of weapons that can target phased ships -- packing the equipment required for phase cloaking onto a ship is difficult enough, but putting the same technology onto every single phase charge would be incredibly expensive.  Besides, "silver bullet" weapons or ships that just flat-out beat a fleet without the appropriate counter are very un-fun.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Temjin on July 16, 2012, 11:57:34 AM
That does sound incredibly annoying. You could destroy cloaked ships in SPAZ with a little guess work and attention to detail, but it still wasn't much fun, nor was cloaking very useful in that game anyway.

SPAZ also lets you refit mid-battle if cloaked ships are a real problem. In Starfarer, you don't have that luxury.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: robokill on July 16, 2012, 04:12:02 PM
can we get an arnarda and codex update please the armarda art pic is out of date and the codex show 10% of th information i need
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on July 21, 2012, 01:05:21 PM
Armada art picture?  What does that mean?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: MidnightSun on July 21, 2012, 02:53:21 PM
Armada art picture?  What does that mean?

He's referring to this one: http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/12/12/the-armada/

Gameplay >>>>> Realism. Having to run from invisible, uncounterable ships because you didn't bring a Kryptonite Frigate that, if present, would make the phase ship completely worthless = bad gameplay.

Agreed 100%. Perfectly happy with the current implementation of phase cloaking. In fact, to prevent confusion, I think it'd be easier to just call it "phasing" instead of "phase cloaking," which may imply a visibility impact.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on July 21, 2012, 03:53:05 PM
Ah.  I enjoy that picture, brings back good memories and future enemies. ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on August 27, 2012, 03:25:46 PM
There are other things in the works, but nothing I can talk about just yet.
Well, in a few weeks I'll remind you that I'm entitled to a blog post. You HAVE to talk about something.
Well, I've restrained myself for three weeks. Is there anything you can write about yet?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: firstattak1 on August 27, 2012, 07:02:40 PM
Ya, maybe talk about your work with the finer tuned campain your thinking about? even if its ideas on paper i think we would all like to see.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: K-64 on August 27, 2012, 07:09:02 PM
Just had a bit of a look through the old blog entries and found this one (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/05/10/assembling-the-fleet/#more-649) from way back. One of the concept pictures there has me rather curious whether or not it was an early draft of the Doom class, especially since I'd have to say I prefer the look of it to the current Doom. Though I do tend to prefer the more regular shapes for my starships. Image in question is in the spoiler below, first ship

Spoiler
(http://fractalsoftworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/ships1.jpg)
[close]

I know, I know. I'm not talking about a new blog post here, but still, it's the best place to post it, and a new thread isn't really a good option for this
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: firstattak1 on August 27, 2012, 07:54:15 PM
Nice, looks like an early idea, or maybe a future idea? Or even a scraped one, nice find though.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: naufrago on August 27, 2012, 08:56:15 PM
Well, if you compare it to the size of the frigates in that picture, I'd say it's a preview of the destroyer-sized phase ship that's on the way.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Brainbread on August 28, 2012, 01:47:44 AM
Just had a bit of a look through the old blog entries and found this one (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/05/10/assembling-the-fleet/#more-649) from way back. One of the concept pictures there has me rather curious whether or not it was an early draft of the Doom class, especially since I'd have to say I prefer the look of it to the current Doom. Though I do tend to prefer the more regular shapes for my starships. Image in question is in the spoiler below, first ship

Spoiler
(http://fractalsoftworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/ships1.jpg)
[close]

I know, I know. I'm not talking about a new blog post here, but still, it's the best place to post it, and a new thread isn't really a good option for this

More phase ships wouldn't hurt!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on August 28, 2012, 10:18:57 AM
Any progress, even the little things, since the last release?  I've been itching to know.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on August 28, 2012, 10:19:50 AM
Any progress, even the little things, since the last release?  I've been itching to know.

Lots. Happy now? :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: neonesis on August 28, 2012, 10:25:53 AM
Any progress, even the little things, since the last release?  I've been itching to know.

Lots. Happy now? :)
50% happiness reached :P

Now, give us patch notes or a blog post, so we can praise them, sing to them, and discuss things before they are even released!

And we will be happy then.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: FalseDead on August 29, 2012, 05:10:14 AM
Any progress, even the little things, since the last release?  I've been itching to know.

Lots. Happy now? :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enSYlCEz5VI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enSYlCEz5VI)

Narrator: " And there  was much rejoicing "
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: sdmike1 on August 29, 2012, 09:20:21 AM
Any progress, even the little things, since the last release?  I've been itching to know.

Lots. Happy now? :)
50% happiness reached :P

Now, give us patch notes or a blog post, so we can praise them, sing to them, and discuss things before they are even released!

And we will be happy then.
Pestering and posting have an inverse relationship...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on August 29, 2012, 11:04:01 AM
Lots. Happy now? :)

Hah!  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on August 29, 2012, 12:17:46 PM
Ah, wish I could be happy. :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: neonesis on August 30, 2012, 11:44:56 AM
Any progress, even the little things, since the last release?  I've been itching to know.

Lots. Happy now? :)
50% happiness reached :P

Now, give us patch notes or a blog post, so we can praise them, sing to them, and discuss things before they are even released!

And we will be happy then.
Pestering and posting have an inverse relationship...

It's not like I was, you know, serious ;>
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on August 30, 2012, 08:07:39 PM
Oh well. We all eagerly await the next blog or patch notes. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: sdmike1 on August 31, 2012, 07:38:17 AM
Any progress, even the little things, since the last release?  I've been itching to know.

Lots. Happy now? :)
50% happiness reached :P

Now, give us patch notes or a blog post, so we can praise them, sing to them, and discuss things before they are even released!

And we will be happy then.
Pestering and posting have an inverse relationship...

It's not like I was, you know, serious ;>
Ya i know ;) but some people are... :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on August 31, 2012, 08:44:33 PM
On second thought, don't release a blog post. ;D It'll just get me all happy, and then when I learn the release is a while off, I'll get sad. :'(
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: arcibalde on September 01, 2012, 01:01:17 AM
Alex you could make micro blog post where you can say that this game just got forum multilayer  :P
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 08, 2012, 02:36:47 PM
New blog post is up - Character Skills (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/09/08/character-design/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on September 08, 2012, 02:39:47 PM
BLOG POST!!!

And I was right after all. ;D About the Character development.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Curithwin on September 08, 2012, 02:42:48 PM
New blog post is up - Character Skills (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/09/08/character-design/).

Like it a lot. ;)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on September 08, 2012, 02:51:57 PM
Ah, Industry.  Even though there's not much on it, that's still my choice of aptitude. 8)

And an interesting choice of Combat-related skills.  All of them seem to have thier pros and cons, though you never specificlaly mentioned any cons to them.

Maybe "Ordance Exprt" makes weapons have a slightly slower rate of fire, ~5% maybe, to offset the more damage.  Not all skills might have this effect (I used "Ordnance Expert as an example, it seems fine now), just to nerf some of the really good ones.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on September 08, 2012, 02:54:15 PM
Just make sure not to break the combat balance with this stuff. Seems really good though, and I trust you know what you are doing.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on September 08, 2012, 03:04:44 PM
How would this break combat exactly?

Hey Alex, do enemy admirals also have skills?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on September 08, 2012, 03:08:10 PM
How would this break combat exactly?

Hey Alex, do enemy admirals also have skills?

Not sure, but im sure Alex could find a way to do it. Making some skills OP and such.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Xareh on September 08, 2012, 03:17:15 PM
My biggest hope is balancing out too many skills with enough skill points per level. M and B gives way too much choice, too long between levels and too little benefit - that whole game is riddled with flaws, but this isn't M and B we're talking about.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on September 08, 2012, 03:21:41 PM
One big thing that was left out (perhaps intentionally) was HOW one progresses. Do we gain experience along side our crew, or is there a special way to gain character experience. A mixture?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: K-64 on September 08, 2012, 03:26:48 PM
I hope that experience/equivalent isn't just gained from combat, that would reduce the range of viable playstyles quite a bit. Things like profitable trade runs providing some non-material goodies would be nice
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on September 08, 2012, 03:31:49 PM
Starfarer could even do "the Fable thing" and have a skill increase the more you use it. Trade often? Industry skill goes up. Fight constantly? Combat skill goes up, and so on.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: stonehand on September 08, 2012, 03:36:31 PM
sounds really really good like the soft lvl cap idea  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: DelicateTask on September 08, 2012, 03:37:19 PM
I hope that experience/equivalent isn't just gained from combat, that would reduce the range of viable playstyles quite a bit. Things like profitable trade runs providing some non-material goodies would be nice
I agree. If I want to own a shipping company, I don't want to engage in battles so I can level up and stay alive, I want to trade and manage. Offering support for a wide variety of playstyles adds replayability. I've already created dozens of characters because I enjoy the early game and deciding what kind of fleet I want to have. Giving people more ways to achieve their objectives makes them want to start over again so that they can try something new.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: K-64 on September 08, 2012, 03:38:51 PM
I hope that experience/equivalent isn't just gained from combat, that would reduce the range of viable playstyles quite a bit. Things like profitable trade runs providing some non-material goodies would be nice
I agree. If I want to own a shipping company, I don't want to engage in battles so I can level up and stay alive

Though that would be rather amusing to see

"Hmm, my corporate value's still a little low, and money isn't coming in as quick as I'd like.
...
BLOOD AND THUNDER, YOU MANGY GITS!"
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Avan on September 08, 2012, 04:02:08 PM
Interesting stuff. Personally I'm hoping for a soft-cap. I don't like hard-caps.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: naufrago on September 08, 2012, 06:45:49 PM
I just have two questions for now-

• Could a character without any points invested in anything be able to do everything (just less efficiently), or will skills and attributes unlock the ability to do certain things?
• How might officers affect things?

EDIT: Bonus questions-

• Will different npcs react differently based on where you allocate your attributes and skill points? (your reputation precedes you sorta thing)
• Will investment in attributes/skills provide some crossover effects in the other fields? (ie. combat skills providing an intimidation factor that improves your ability to sell or buy at a more favorable price)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Archduke Astro on September 08, 2012, 07:09:38 PM
Interesting stuff. Personally I'm hoping for a soft-cap. I don't like hard-caps.

I'm of the same opinion re: caps.

Also quite interested in the extent of how player-moddable the entire skills framework will be.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 08, 2012, 07:39:37 PM
Hey Alex, do enemy admirals also have skills?

In theory, yes. Not sure whether they will or not by next release, but I'm implementing this in a way that makes it apply to both player- and computer-controlled fleets.


One big thing that was left out (perhaps intentionally) was HOW one progresses. Do we gain experience along side our crew, or is there a special way to gain character experience. A mixture?

We'll see. In the next release, most likely alongside the crew.

• Could a character without any points invested in anything be able to do everything (just less efficiently), or will skills and attributes unlock the ability to do certain things?
• How might officers affect things?

EDIT: Bonus questions-

• Will different npcs react differently based on where you allocate your attributes and skill points? (your reputation precedes you sorta thing)
• Will investment in attributes/skills provide some crossover effects in the other fields? (ie. combat skills providing an intimidation factor that improves your ability to sell or buy at a more favorable price)

1) Well, most of the hull mods will be unlocks. I'd say the player will be able to do most/all things at a base level, though.
2, 3, & 4) Too early to really dive into, though I have some more specific ideas for 2).

Interesting stuff. Personally I'm hoping for a soft-cap. I don't like hard-caps.

I'm of the same opinion re: caps.

That makes 3 of us :) Although, for me, "soft cap" just means "for all intents and purposes, a hard cap at +X levels" - where X isn't all that high.

Also quite interested in the extent of how player-moddable the entire skills framework will be.

Right around the same level as hullmods are now. So, you wouldn't be able, to, say, create skill trees with it - but you could add new skills (likely aptitudes, too), adjust XP/what's gained per level, etc. The player character will have a set of mutable stats in the same way ships have mutable stats now. So I'd say the framework itself won't be very moddable - but that'd require new UI elements and such to work right, anyway. On the other hand, all the skills are being implemented in the same way a mod would do it - nothing hardcoded.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: naufrago on September 08, 2012, 08:05:05 PM
• Could a character without any points invested in anything be able to do everything (just less efficiently), or will skills and attributes unlock the ability to do certain things?
• How might officers affect things?

EDIT: Bonus questions-

• Will different npcs react differently based on where you allocate your attributes and skill points? (your reputation precedes you sorta thing)
• Will investment in attributes/skills provide some crossover effects in the other fields? (ie. combat skills providing an intimidation factor that improves your ability to sell or buy at a more favorable price)

1) Well, most of the hull mods will be unlocks. I'd say the player will be able to do most/all things at a base level, though.
2, 3, & 4) Too early to really dive into, though I have some more specific ideas for 2).


Well, I'm content with that answer. Question 1 was the one I was most interested in, anyway. Wasn't really expecting much, if anything, from the other questions. =p

Interesting choice will the hull mods. Makes sense, but I'll have to see how that works out in practice. As long as I can get hardened shields, stabilized shields, integrated targeting unit, and resistant flux conduits (maybe expanded magazines, too) and still have points leftover for more fun things, I'll probably be happy. =)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thaago on September 08, 2012, 08:51:43 PM
...

Interesting choice will the hull mods. Makes sense, but I'll have to see how that works out in practice. As long as I can get hardened shields, stabilized shields, integrated targeting unit, and resistant flux conduits (maybe expanded magazines, too) and still have points leftover for more fun things, I'll probably be happy. =)

I suppose the goal would be to have those more fun things be just as important (in some way) as the hull mods - its not much choice if every player feels that they 'must' take x ranks in a skill just to have the powerful hull mods.

@Alex: Have you settled on whether hullmods will be one time unlocks or will improve with greater ranks?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Mattk50 on September 09, 2012, 12:29:55 AM
That makes 3 of us :) Although, for me, "soft cap" just means "for all intents and purposes, a hard cap at +X levels" - where X isn't all that high.

im somewhat concerned that, in making 2 affinities and 10 skills the hard-soft cap you'll make whatever's just before that a little too hard to reach... 

I'm hoping this has mod support tbh, it has the potential to just make everyone happy with whatever number you choose then.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: arcibalde on September 09, 2012, 12:45:22 AM
I like it. Akhm, Alex i think you should give us your dev version to test it for you. We would, thoroughly  ::)  Right guys/girls?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: XpanD on September 09, 2012, 01:50:02 AM
dev version pls

The coming update looks to be a pretty spectacular one. I wonder how mod support will tie into this... :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: harrumph on September 09, 2012, 01:56:27 AM
How about a mixed cap? Major progression elements stop at level X (so the player can never max out every skill), but minor progression elements continue indefinitely, with diminishing returns, so that the player always feels like he/she is grower stronger even in a marathon of a game.

In an old turn-based RPG, that might mean getting no new skills or perks past, say, level 30, but still getting a little HP each level and perhaps the occasional extra action point. Not sure what the Starfarer equivalent would be!

Assuming the player can never get all the skills and aptitudes (which I, for one, am in favor of) will it be possible to re-spec them?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on September 09, 2012, 05:47:45 AM
dev version pls
Alex i think you should give us your dev version to test it for you. We would, thoroughly  ::)  Right guys/girls?

I'm assuming those are jokes. Two reasons this won't happen:

A) It isn't easy to send off new versions of the game to people. It's best to wait until there is enough meaningful content before you start to send it off to the masses.

B) The system is still being tweaked. I imagine it would be like playing a game of football where some kid makes rule changes constantly as the game is in progress. Not fun. Besides, I'm sure Alex can test it fine by himself. He hasn't managed to completely *** up the game yet, and the balancing has been relatively solid so far.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: kasbark on September 09, 2012, 07:56:44 AM
I just came back after a couple months playing other games and read the blog post! excellent news, the skill system sounds like it will add a lot to the game!

Really looking forward to the next living changelog.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 09, 2012, 08:57:20 AM
@Alex: Have you settled on whether hullmods will be one time unlocks or will improve with greater ranks?

Pretty much set on one-time unlocks. Too much of a can of worms to have it be incremental.

im somewhat concerned that, in making 2 affinities and 10 skills the hard-soft cap you'll make whatever's just before that a little too hard to reach...  

I'm hoping this has mod support tbh, it has the potential to just make everyone happy with whatever number you choose then.

The way I'm thinking of it is there's a rather sharp discontinuity in the level curve where the soft cap hits. And yes, this is moddable - there's actually a script that tells the game things like the XP required for level X, the number of skill/aptitude points gained at level Y, etc.


How about a mixed cap? Major progression elements stop at level X (so the player can never max out every skill), but minor progression elements continue indefinitely, with diminishing returns, so that the player always feels like he/she is grower stronger even in a marathon of a game.

In an old turn-based RPG, that might mean getting no new skills or perks past, say, level 30, but still getting a little HP each level and perhaps the occasional extra action point. Not sure what the Starfarer equivalent would be!

Interesting idea, will definitely give it some thought. Like you, not 100% sure what those would be - have to think beyond just combat, too.

Assuming the player can never get all the skills and aptitudes (which I, for one, am in favor of) will it be possible to re-spec them?

This is a thorny question for me. I'm leaning towards "no, but yes if you edit the save file/turn on dev mode/use a cheat/some such". If you had a game with a fixed world (say, like Diablo, Torchlight, WoW, etc), then allowing respecs is a no-brainer. But if your character build is actually rooted in the game world - for example, say the number of outposts you can control is determined by a skill - then that's a problem.

Never mind that you could spec one way to do something you couldn't do with one build, then respec and do something else - what you've got then is a modified - and more awkward - version of "I've maxed out everything". Again, thorny, and works much better with a static world.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Vulpes on September 09, 2012, 09:23:59 AM


Assuming the player can never get all the skills and aptitudes (which I, for one, am in favor of) will it be possible to re-spec them?

This is a thorny question for me. I'm leaning towards "no, but yes if you edit the save file/turn on dev mode/use a cheat/some such". If you had a game with a fixed world (say, like Diablo, Torchlight, WoW, etc), then allowing respecs is a no-brainer. But if your character build is actually rooted in the game world - for example, say the number of outposts you can control is determined by a skill - then that's a problem.

Never mind that you could spec one way to do something you couldn't do with one build, then respec and do something else - what you've got then is a modified - and more awkward - version of "I've maxed out everything". Again, thorny, and works much better with a static world.

So long as you introduce some kind of penalty re-specs shouldn't be too game breaking.  You could make the player start off again at level 1 (or some % of their original level) and then boost their growth rate until they hit their previous level again.  Make the player work for it- if someone decides they actually wanted to focus on combat they should be able to start over again.

If someone already has assets governed by skills those assets are thusly rendered in-operational/must be discarded.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Uomoz on September 09, 2012, 09:26:23 AM
Respec lowers the game longevity by a long shot. Do not want personally.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 09, 2012, 09:28:34 AM
So long as you introduce some kind of penalty re-specs shouldn't be too game breaking.  You could make the player start off again at level 1 (or some % of their original level) and then boost their growth rate until they hit their previous level again.  Make the player work for it- if someone decides they actually wanted to focus on combat they should be able to start over again.

If someone already has assets governed by skills those assets are thusly rendered in-operational/must be discarded.

This all sounds suspiciously like starting a new game :) Not exactly, ofc, but very close to it. Given that the game world is (will be, really...) dynamic, I'd expect starting a new game to be a relatively frequent occurrence, anyway.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on September 09, 2012, 09:32:57 AM
If you succeed in making every play-trough new and interesting, and I believe you will, there's really no need for that kind of mechanic.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: naufrago on September 09, 2012, 09:46:03 AM
One more question from me- What sort of effects will the Technology attributes and skills have? The other ones I can sort of guess, but Technology is a bit of a mystery.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on September 09, 2012, 09:57:37 AM
A new and interesting playthough wouldn't harm any gaming experience.  I'd love to see more stuff like that.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dri on September 09, 2012, 10:24:39 AM
Is there just one type of EXP or do you only get industry EXP when building and only combat EXP when fighting?

Do you even get EXP for doing things other than combat?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thaago on September 09, 2012, 10:45:50 AM
So long as you introduce some kind of penalty re-specs shouldn't be too game breaking.  You could make the player start off again at level 1 (or some % of their original level) and then boost their growth rate until they hit their previous level again.  Make the player work for it- if someone decides they actually wanted to focus on combat they should be able to start over again.

If someone already has assets governed by skills those assets are thusly rendered in-operational/must be discarded.

This all sounds suspiciously like starting a new game :) Not exactly, ofc, but very close to it. Given that the game world is (will be, really...) dynamic, I'd expect starting a new game to be a relatively frequent occurrence, anyway.

Things brings up a slightly off topic question about the campaign: how many hours would you envision a game running (by which I mean the character progresses and the sector evolves to some sort of endish state)? I'm guessing that somewhere around 12-16 hours would be satisfying as a player: long enough to really get into it, but short enough that a whole bunch of playthroughs with different builds are possible.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 09, 2012, 11:16:16 AM
One more question from me- What sort of effects will the Technology attributes and skills have? The other ones I can sort of guess, but Technology is a bit of a mystery.

Most of hullmod unlocks come from Technology skills, for example.

Is there just one type of EXP or do you only get industry EXP when building and only combat EXP when fighting?

Do you even get EXP for doing things other than combat?

I'd imagine you will, but that's TBD.

Things brings up a slightly off topic question about the campaign: how many hours would you envision a game running (by which I mean the character progresses and the sector evolves to some sort of endish state)? I'm guessing that somewhere around 12-16 hours would be satisfying as a player: long enough to really get into it, but short enough that a whole bunch of playthroughs with different builds are possible.

TBD, but I don't think it'll be a fixed number. I can see things spiraling out of control quickly in one playthrough, and a much more gradual decline in another - depending both on your actions, and on what happens in the sector. We'll see, though.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on September 09, 2012, 11:23:10 AM
Just a random OT thing, but you think TotalBiscuit will do another WTF is... of Starfarer after Characters come in?

And a possibility of getting WAY too powerful in a system in one playthought but being this tiny thing in another?  Sounds promising. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Talkie Toaster on September 09, 2012, 11:23:30 AM
Assuming the player can never get all the skills and aptitudes (which I, for one, am in favor of) will it be possible to re-spec them?

This is a thorny question for me. I'm leaning towards "no, but yes if you edit the save file/turn on dev mode/use a cheat/some such". If you had a game with a fixed world (say, like Diablo, Torchlight, WoW, etc), then allowing respecs is a no-brainer. But if your character build is actually rooted in the game world - for example, say the number of outposts you can control is determined by a skill - then that's a problem.

Never mind that you could spec one way to do something you couldn't do with one build, then respec and do something else - what you've got then is a modified - and more awkward - version of "I've maxed out everything". Again, thorny, and works much better with a static world.
I think the Aptitude/Skills division makes Starfarer remarkably well-suited for respeccing though. The main reason to allow respecs is to let players change decisions they made before they fully understood the mechanical implications of their choice, and one of the main reasons to disallow them is to prevent players from essentially being able to redefine their character on the fly. If you let people respec their skills for a (large or small) fee but kept their aptitudes static then people can't use respecs to fundamentally change who their character *is*, but they can change the mechanical specifics of how that's expressed.

Of course yeah, that runs into problems with things like the # of outposts. In the case of outposts and other capped things it might make more sense to adopt the soft-cap approach; if you have more than X outposts, their upkeep costs increase (or production costs increase dramatically, or what have you). So whilst you can respec out of being an trading outpost magnate or high-tech industrialist after building up a giant network of markets or a huge manufacturing base, the reward you're gaining from them dramatically decreases and they may even become a liability.

In the case of things like speccing to gain OP, or have crews vet faster or what have you as long as there's a cost to respec then it just becomes an alternative way of paying for higher vet crew, or getting efficient schematics.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 09, 2012, 11:37:59 AM
Spoiler
I think the Aptitude/Skills division makes Starfarer remarkably well-suited for respeccing though. The main reason to allow respecs is to let players change decisions they made before they fully understood the mechanical implications of their choice, and one of the main reasons to disallow them is to prevent players from essentially being able to redefine their character on the fly. If you let people respec their skills for a (large or small) fee but kept their aptitudes static then people can't use respecs to fundamentally change who their character *is*, but they can change the mechanical specifics of how that's expressed.

Of course yeah, that runs into problems with things like the # of outposts. In the case of outposts and other capped things it might make more sense to adopt the soft-cap approach; if you have more than X outposts, their upkeep costs increase (or production costs increase dramatically, or what have you). So whilst you can respec out of being an trading outpost magnate or high-tech industrialist after building up a giant network of markets or a huge manufacturing base, the reward you're gaining from them dramatically decreases and they may even become a liability.

In the case of things like speccing to gain OP, or have crews vet faster or what have you as long as there's a cost to respec then it just becomes an alternative way of paying for higher vet crew, or getting efficient schematics.
[close]

That makes a lot of sense. Whether the details work out is another question, but it seems promising. Aptitudes are broad strokes that even a new player is unlikely to get *that* wrong...  Still... could be the kind of thing where if you allow it at all, it'd be weird/frustrating not to allow it all the way. Well, I'll definitely keep that in  mind :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Horza on September 09, 2012, 12:30:40 PM
Respeccing could be allowed but with a prohibitive enough cost that most of the time you'd just want to start a new game instead. That way if someone's attached to one particular character it's still possible but would only really be done for role playing reasons.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Uomoz on September 09, 2012, 12:41:35 PM
Or limit the respec to the latest 3 SKILLS changes. Aptitudes should be fixed and unchangeable imho.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on September 09, 2012, 12:42:15 PM
I vote no for respeccing. Having a person suddenly change? Dossnt really make any sense, and that people can change by paying? Makes no sense.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Reshy on September 09, 2012, 12:44:11 PM
I hope the bonuses are small enough to not be game breaking, sort of like how the 'Reward Perks' in new vegas worked.  Killing 200 enemies increased damage by 1%, killing 500 gave +2%, killing 1000 gave you +4%.  I believe the bonuses shoudl be small and not absurd enough to break the game, only really slightly tilting the favor.  


Also sinc ethere are admiral upgrades, will there be ship upgrades?  Things that you can buy tha greatly increase the performance but only on a single ship and if that ship is lost then you lose the upgrade on it along with the ship itself.  It could be something like 2500 credits gets you a MK2 Lasher Engine that boosts speed by ten units with no drawback or cost other than credits.  Small, and you can't buy 5 of them to get 50 speed, but it's a small bonus to make things more interseting.  This also can allow you to compensate for lacking technology and combat trees, you can compensate with your industrial ability to create credits to make up for the lack of technology in that area.


Also you said there are ten skills, are they applied to all ships in the fleet, only yours, or do you have to pay to apply them to a ship?  Part of me wants the flagship to always get all the bonuses but for other ships in the fleet you have to upgrade them at cost, but much MUCH lower and conveniant than going out for a ship modder factory that overcharges you for meager upgrades to system performance.  Some should also simply not be available or possibly free to those who heavily invest in such an area.



Also can we get a summary of what each tree involves in terms of it's bonuses so we can have some sort of idea what we're getting ourselves into?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Talkie Toaster on September 09, 2012, 04:05:03 PM
That makes a lot of sense. Whether the details work out is another question, but it seems promising. Aptitudes are broad strokes that even a new player is unlikely to get *that* wrong...  Still... could be the kind of thing where if you allow it at all, it'd be weird/frustrating not to allow it all the way. Well, I'll definitely keep that in  mind :)
Thanks :). The selling point for Starfarer for me is how well-thought out and considered everything is, so I look forwards to seeing what your eventual solution to the quandry is. I know J.E. Sawyer from Obsidian had some interesting posts on the topic of respecs/mechanical transparency on his Formspring (http://www.formspring.me/JESawyer), but Formspring is a bugger to search through.

I vote no for respeccing. Having a person suddenly change? Dossnt really make any sense, and that people can change by paying? Makes no sense.
It's a perfectly normal thing for people to shift their skillset over the course of their career and for their old skills to go rusty (for example front line to management, or switching research disciplines). In order to represent this you need some degree of abstraction; given IRL people don't distribute skill points at discrete points in their lives there's already a lot of abstraction in the system anyway, and since the whole point of respeccing is to allow you to avoid a permanent penalty to your character a non-permanent cost fits well (and money is the main replaceable resource in most games).

[sidetrack]You could allow 'realistic' continual respeccing at a limited rate as you level, but it'd be awkward and also mean some of the finite amount of respec opportunities would be wasted by people who're still learning the system and don't yet realise they need to respec as their skill choices don't suit their playstyle or fit the character they're trying to RP; and after all, these are the main people who *need* to respec. [sidesidetrack]I guess you could get around that *and* the instant respec cost issues by having players accrue a stock of 'respec points' as they level, but that means adding another resource to worry about that ideally shouldn't see any use.[/sidesidetrack][/sidetrack]
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on September 09, 2012, 04:15:43 PM
And believe it or not, this game is still in alpha state. ;D Very good progress you've made here, and Alex, you are one damn good listener to the community. :) Just don't let us change every aspect of the game, ok?

My take on respeccing is that players should be allowed to do so, or at the very least be able to recieve a stat reset every milestone or so.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: PCCL on September 09, 2012, 04:19:24 PM
maybe something like how dwarf fortress does it... respeccing is possible but only via learning new things and gradually forgetting old ones.

If a dominator commander suddenly got a 10 year assignment to the captaincy of an Atlas he's not gonna come out half the warrior he once was... That said, he shouldn't be able to respec to fit both roles perfectly within days, or even weeks...

that means skills will slowly degrade (probably to be made negligible if you do anything to practice them every so often) and you probably won't get the point back even if the skill completely degraded
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: naufrago on September 09, 2012, 07:42:49 PM
Things brings up a slightly off topic question about the campaign: how many hours would you envision a game running (by which I mean the character progresses and the sector evolves to some sort of endish state)? I'm guessing that somewhere around 12-16 hours would be satisfying as a player: long enough to really get into it, but short enough that a whole bunch of playthroughs with different builds are possible.

TBD, but I don't think it'll be a fixed number. I can see things spiraling out of control quickly in one playthrough, and a much more gradual decline in another - depending both on your actions, and on what happens in the sector. We'll see, though.

Slightly off topic, but the way you're phrasing that, you make it sound like the ultimate downfall of humanity in the sector is inevitable. I knew you were going for dark, but... am I just reading into your words too much?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: PCCL on September 09, 2012, 08:06:08 PM
I think it is inevitable... barring a miraculous reactivation of the gate system (may or may not happen), the sector is basically screwed...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: naufrago on September 09, 2012, 08:15:06 PM
I think it is inevitable... barring a miraculous reactivation of the gate system (may or may not happen), the sector is basically screwed...


Well, I'd certainly like a way to avert disaster so I can continue playing my characters. =p

If I invest so much in a character, I'd be disappointed if I felt I had to stop playing due to everything else dying out. If all those suppressed alien civilizations experience a resurgence and are the ultimate reason for humanity's destruction, I'd hope that I can at least befriend/pillage them (or exterminate them instead, to avert disaster... maybe even reactivate the gate system by investing heavily in Technology).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: PCCL on September 09, 2012, 08:56:08 PM
ya...

I think the main plot (if there is a main plot) will probably have something to do with the gate system...

or maybe a way to crack UAC's and save the sector that way...

if the whole gate network is back then there's the map would have to go a heck of a lot bigger... not sure if it's practical since the one alex is planning is already like 1000+ systems....
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Rowanas on September 09, 2012, 11:50:13 PM
As much as I'd like to re-establish the gate system (at least out of the one sector), I'm going to feel:

Gipped if I can do it but the game ends.
Gipped if the game doesn't end, but I can't use them.

Opening the Gates should be work for another game, one specifically designed for the gates to be opened, rather than this one, which looks to be a full and complete game without the Gates.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Squigzilla on September 09, 2012, 11:59:29 PM
Maybe the gates are just permanently destroyed. The technology to repair them might not even exist anymore, so humankind will never reclaim the full splendor of the Dominion. Instead, the sector is doomed to a slow descent into anarchy, each victory only serving to delay the oncoming darkness. There is no hope for progress or enlightenment, and all of humanity will eventually perish.

Warhammer 40K fans, eat your heart out ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: PCCL on September 10, 2012, 12:00:04 AM
maybe it's just a limited reactivation? (A few gates within the sector are back on, altering the political and economical situation greatly)

This way you can use it without the game ending, also ends the game on a hopeful note (if these can be reactivated, maybe the others can too)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: harrumph on September 10, 2012, 06:09:18 AM
You could allow 'realistic' continual respeccing at a limited rate as you level, but it'd be awkward and also mean some of the finite amount of respec opportunities would be wasted by people who're still learning the system and don't yet realise they need to respec as their skill choices don't suit their playstyle or fit the character they're trying to RP; and after all, these are the main people who *need* to respec. I guess you could get around that *and* the instant respec cost issues by having players accrue a stock of 'respec points' as they level, but that means adding another resource to worry about that ideally shouldn't see any use.

I like that, actually, and I think I can improve on it—you could make it so that this mechanic only kicks in after the level cap. Once the player reaches level X, each further level allows, rather than the selection of a new skill, the reassignment of an old skill to a new slot. All of the fussy extra mechanics are hidden from a new player, and as the kind of player who would want to respec a beloved character is also the kind of player who'd want to keep progressing past the level cap, the two elements dovetail nicely.

For what it's worth, even though I'm the one who brought up the idea of respeccing, I'm not particularly in favor of it; I think the the rest of the game mechanics will determine whether it makes sense and whether we'll even want it. It's hard to imagine WoW without respecs, but like Alex said, WoW is an entirely static world. By the same token, I don't think any Civ 5 players are clamoring to be allowed to reassign culture unlocks, because the development of a civ's culture is an integral part of the dynamic progress of each playthrough. In this respect, I'd much rather see Starfarer turn out like Civ 5 than like WoW.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: IIE16 Yoshi on September 10, 2012, 06:51:06 AM
Although the name of the game eludes me at the moment, there's that one MMO game being developed with a couple hundred skills in one huge circular tree. I imagine that the skill tree is gonna be like that, reading the blog so far.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: mendonca on September 10, 2012, 07:56:25 AM
For what it's worth, here's my two (or three) cents on respeccing.

(personal opinions only coming from my own view on how I like to play games,  fully appreciate other people have differing opinions, feel free to discuss / shoot me down where necessary :))

In games like Diablo, I can see the benefit. The storyline is very linear (at least Diablo 2 was) and once you get through act 1, into act 2 and on to act 3, you might be at a point where you are thinking you should have taken an extra point in Orthodontics or whatever, instead of that neat-sounding Synesthesia skill.

Fighting those buffed pit fiends and tasting the colour of their skin every time they hit you is no longer a benefit (it was great in Act 1 at low level), and now you have finally reached Barney the Phase Dinosaur, you really need to be able to replace all those lost teeth in a hurry, rapidly and during combat.

It's also very much a game about making a lot of decisions to build a character through a lot of levels very quickly as you advance through stronger and stronger enemies - It's about progression. As the game gets progressively harder, marginal efficiencies in character builds become more and more important to maintain an effective, and fun, character.

This linearity and progression means that it isn't necessarily fun if you get to a brick wall where 1 skill pick is the difference between being able to advance and not.

I remember getting to Diablo on Diablo 2 and my necromancer could not defeat him with my army of skeletons. The difference was literally one skill pick in getting them SOME elemental resistance (confirmed by cheating!). It would have been a 6-hour grind or something, tracing back through boring levels I could easily conquer to achieve this (going up a level or finding a suitable enchanted head). Needless to say, I dropped the game and don't think I ever returned to it at this point. In this case respeccing would have solved this issue for me, and the lack of it was a problem.

In Starfarer, I don't envisage that this will be the way things pan out. After 6 cycles, in your first game, you might be only just coming to terms with how you are wanting to play the game, and your combat build is really hampering your wish to trade as efficiently as possible. But I don't think Starfarer is supposed to be about progression, so much as ... conflict? Change?

The question is, do you allow respeccing, or encourage the player to stick it out / start a new game?

What does the sector look like after 6 cycles? What benefit would there be in the player becoming the person 'they always wanted to be', in the sector at this point? What's wrong with being a grizzled, battle-seasoned commander running a few freighters from port to port - it's still a fun exercise, even if you aren't doing it AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE?

What about after 16 cycles when the Cult of Lud becoming a monstrous force in your main trade route, and you decide that there is more to be gained by being that legendary Commander from 12-13 cycles ago, maybe throwing your lot in with the Hegemony? Do you let people flip-flop between trades? How does this affect immersion?

I come from a background of enjoying hard and unforgiving games, like Nethack, Jagged Alliance 2, XCOM etc. and I thoroughly enjoy the aspect of 'losing' and coming at it afresh - and having to start a new game or just sitting by as the world crumbles around me (damn Ethereals). My first thought would be that respeccing is not for me.

I hope, if the world is living and breathing (even if those breaths are becoming less and less strong with each cycle) - then the majority of players will step away from thinking about DPS increases of 2%, and just playing things the way they want to play things and going along for the ride.

Having that push on players to stick with their decisions and ride them out to the end (even if that means their end) is (to me, at least) a positive one for the enjoyment of a game, and should form the basis of the 'vanilla balance' of the game.

I'm not against it if it turns out that it really does add to the game (and in truth, it probably will, as I can only imagine how difficult all the design issues will be to truly say that it won't) - but I wouldn't want it to be the default position for the grand-master-plan of how a typical game should play out.

He he ... oops, maybe that's four or five cents
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: sdmike1 on September 10, 2012, 09:00:39 AM
Spoiler

For what it's worth, here's my two (or three) cents on respeccing.

(personal opinions only coming from my own view on how I like to play games,  fully appreciate other people have differing opinions, feel free to discuss / shoot me down where necessary :))

In games like Diablo, I can see the benefit. The storyline is very linear (at least Diablo 2 was) and once you get through act 1, into act 2 and on to act 3, you might be at a point where you are thinking you should have taken an extra point in Orthodontics or whatever, instead of that neat-sounding Synesthesia skill.

Fighting those buffed pit fiends and tasting the colour of their skin every time they hit you is no longer a benefit (it was great in Act 1 at low level), and now you have finally reached Barney the Phase Dinosaur, you really need to be able to replace all those lost teeth in a hurry, rapidly and during combat.

It's also very much a game about making a lot of decisions to build a character through a lot of levels very quickly as you advance through stronger and stronger enemies - It's about progression. As the game gets progressively harder, marginal efficiencies in character builds become more and more important to maintain an effective, and fun, character.

This linearity and progression means that it isn't necessarily fun if you get to a brick wall where 1 skill pick is the difference between being able to advance and not.

I remember getting to Diablo on Diablo 2 and my necromancer could not defeat him with my army of skeletons. The difference was literally one skill pick in getting them SOME elemental resistance (confirmed by cheating!). It would have been a 6-hour grind or something, tracing back through boring levels I could easily conquer to achieve this (going up a level or finding a suitable enchanted head). Needless to say, I dropped the game and don't think I ever returned to it at this point. In this case respeccing would have solved this issue for me, and the lack of it was a problem.

In Starfarer, I don't envisage that this will be the way things pan out. After 6 cycles, in your first game, you might be only just coming to terms with how you are wanting to play the game, and your combat build is really hampering your wish to trade as efficiently as possible. But I don't think Starfarer is supposed to be about progression, so much as ... conflict? Change?

The question is, do you allow respeccing, or encourage the player to stick it out / start a new game?

What does the sector look like after 6 cycles? What benefit would there be in the player becoming the person 'they always wanted to be', in the sector at this point? What's wrong with being a grizzled, battle-seasoned commander running a few freighters from port to port - it's still a fun exercise, even if you aren't doing it AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE?

What about after 16 cycles when the Cult of Lud becoming a monstrous force in your main trade route, and you decide that there is more to be gained by being that legendary Commander from 12-13 cycles ago, maybe throwing your lot in with the Hegemony? Do you let people flip-flop between trades? How does this affect immersion?

I come from a background of enjoying hard and unforgiving games, like Nethack, Jagged Alliance 2, XCOM etc. and I thoroughly enjoy the aspect of 'losing' and coming at it afresh - and having to start a new game or just sitting by as the world crumbles around me (damn Ethereals). My first thought would be that respeccing is not for me.

I hope, if the world is living and breathing (even if those breaths are becoming less and less strong with each cycle) - then the majority of players will step away from thinking about DPS increases of 2%, and just playing things the way they want to play things and going along for the ride.

Having that push on players to stick with their decisions and ride them out to the end (even if that means their end) is (to me, at least) a positive one for the enjoyment of a game, and should form the basis of the 'vanilla balance' of the game.

I'm not against it if it turns out that it really does add to the game (and in truth, it probably will, as I can only imagine how difficult all the design issues will be to truly say that it won't) - but I wouldn't want it to be the default position for the grand-master-plan of how a typical game should play out.

He he ... oops, maybe that's four or five cents
[close]
that is a nice wall of text you have there  ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on September 10, 2012, 09:41:07 AM
Yes it is. And I agree with every bit of it.

You check out FTL at all?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Iscariot on September 10, 2012, 10:02:09 AM
Yes it is. And I agree with every bit of it.

You check out FTL at all?

Yes and yes. I've been really into roguelikes as of late; it's a good genre to make a comeback.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Wyvern on September 10, 2012, 10:03:04 AM
One thing I might suggest: instead of aiming for "enough points to cap out two aptitudes", aim for that plus maybe three to four points - that way, if someone puts their first two points in combat aptitude and then changes their mind, they aren't locked out of the top level of whatever they do chose to pursue.  Plus, personally, I'd find it much more interesting to be able to pick up a little bit of some side interest, than to feel that I need to focus exclusively on capping out whatever my main things are.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on September 10, 2012, 11:58:19 AM
Nice wall of text, very interesting.  Read it all, and I have to agree. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 10, 2012, 12:20:18 PM
Pet peeve: a "wall of text" means there are no paragraphs.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, guys. Lots of food for thought here.

One thing I might suggest: instead of aiming for "enough points to cap out two aptitudes", aim for that plus maybe three to four points - that way, if someone puts their first two points in combat aptitude and then changes their mind, they aren't locked out of the top level of whatever they do chose to pursue.

That, to me, is exactly what the soft cap is.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thaago on September 10, 2012, 12:33:08 PM
My 2 cents on repseccing:

Respeccing makes sense to me in the context of retraining: people can get better at some things while getting rusty at others. However: you can only retrain what a person knows, not who they are. From my perspective this means that aptitudes could not be retrained, but skills might be.

I would support having the option of using a respec point once per level (how much this would do is an open question), but they could not be banked. This represent how people can change in the moment, reacting to new scenarios. Can't bank change for a future date :P.

This would make sense in the context of a soft cap: the levels keep on coming, but after a short while all they let you do is gradually shift your character, rather than become a god.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on September 10, 2012, 12:49:30 PM
Spoiler
My 2 cents on repseccing:

Respeccing makes sense to me in the context of retraining: people can get better at some things while getting rusty at others. However: you can only retrain what a person knows, not who they are. From my perspective this means that aptitudes could not be retrained, but skills might be.

I would support having the option of using a respec point once per level (how much this would do is an open question), but they could not be banked. This represent how people can change in the moment, reacting to new scenarios. Can't bank change for a future date :P.

This would make sense in the context of a soft cap: the levels keep on coming, but after a short while all they let you do is gradually shift your character, rather than become a god.
[close]

+1

That seems "right" to me.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dri on September 10, 2012, 01:17:03 PM
Have you decided wither or not you'll remove the negative part of certain hull mods now that you have to invest into unlocking them? I think it would be somewhat of a bummer to finally unlock one of the really good hull mods and have it still suffer from a pretty hefty downside. =x

Such as removing the flux dissipation penalty on augmented engines and the turret turn speed penalty on advanced optics.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: FalseDead on September 10, 2012, 09:53:00 PM
I would kinda like to see the benefit's be a little random

Sure have some "locked in" Benefit's for choosing a class/skill/aptitude, but also have a sacrifice to the random number god



Every level of skill/aptitude could, rather than providing a fixed percentage or whole number improvement, give a series of random random rolls:

1) to choose a minor benefit from a associated Skill/Aptitude list( Example, Mechanic's having a list including: increased ordinance, reduced ordinance cost, improved hull integrity, improved flux capacity Etc..)

2) type of improvement ( whole number or percentage)

3) amount by which it is improved

4) random chance for second benefit (repeat step 1-3, do not pass step #3 do not collect 200 dollars)

This would make each playthrough be unique and represent each character learning at his own pace

Plus it would prevent, the game from stagnating later on if done without a hard cap


Edit: plus imagine what a great modder "cough" Okim "cough" could do with such a system....
  
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: YAZF on September 11, 2012, 12:17:01 AM
And believe it or not, this game is still in alpha state.

This brings up the question, "Is the game going into beta now?" I thought I remembered somewhere Alex saying all the combat stuff would be Alpha and the heavy campaign stuff would be beta.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on September 11, 2012, 02:00:01 AM
This brings up the question, "Is the game going into beta now?" I thought I remembered somewhere Alex saying all the combat stuff would be Alpha and the heavy campaign stuff would be beta.

I doubt it, since we're still at the single system, no real trade, no taking over of outposts etc. stage in the gameplan. But maybe, just maybe, it'll start in an update or few from the next one.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on September 11, 2012, 03:19:32 AM
Normally, for a game to go into beta it must be feature complete. The beta-phase is just bug fixing, balancing and polish. So we are still many releases away from that.

What's still to come before beta, from the old roadmap:


A full character creation system and skills (next release)
Officers & crew
Establishing outposts on planets
Blueprints and ship/weapon manufacture
Trade & exploration
Faction relations
Raiding core worlds and outposts

Construction Rig, Repair Drones – repair ships mid-battle and build temporary weapon platforms around captured objectives
Munitions Ships/Drones – rearm you ships mid-battle
Mines!

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thana on September 11, 2012, 07:10:28 AM
Normally, for a game to go into beta it must be feature complete. The beta-phase is just bug fixing, balancing and polish. So we are still many releases away from that.

What's still to come before beta, from the old roadmap:


A full character creation system and skills (next release)
Officers & crew
Establishing outposts on planets
Blueprints and ship/weapon manufacture
Trade & exploration
Faction relations
Raiding core worlds and outposts

Construction Rig, Repair Drones – repair ships mid-battle and build temporary weapon platforms around captured objectives
Munitions Ships/Drones – rearm you ships mid-battle
Mines!

That is, indeed, the textbook definition. Whether Alex & co. are going by that, remains to be seen. If they are, you're absolutely right that we won't see the game in beta shape any time soon. On the other hand, I've seen a number of games use the designation "beta" for when the skeleton structure of all the important stuff is in place, so that could conceivably be the case within a few updates.

Ultimately, it's just semantics, though - the point is that the game isn't going to be finished any time soon, but it is going to keep rocking more with every update we get, and that's the main thing as far as I'm concerned.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 11, 2012, 07:34:52 AM
Construction Rig, Repair Drones – repair ships mid-battle and build temporary weapon platforms around captured objectives
Munitions Ships/Drones – rearm you ships mid-battle
Mines!

Erm... where'd you get these? None of those are anything I'd call "planned" - they range from "under consideration" to "not under consideration"...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on September 11, 2012, 07:54:51 AM
Construction Rig, Repair Drones – repair ships mid-battle and build temporary weapon platforms around captured objectives
Munitions Ships/Drones – rearm you ships mid-battle
Mines!

Erm... where'd you get these? None of those are anything I'd call "planned" - they range from "under consideration" to "not under consideration"...


From the only roadmap you (to my knowledge) ever laid out for us: http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/05/17/starfarer-roadmap-whats-next/#more-663 (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/05/17/starfarer-roadmap-whats-next/#more-663)

Back then you wrote:
Quote
Mixed in along the way will be various combat tweaks and improvements. Some of the larger items on the list now are:
And they are in the list just under the points you already made true (phasing, ship-systems, the objective-oriented tactical commands).
 So it seems to me you "planned" those at least at that time...

If that's just to outdated, I'd be happy about a new roadmap ;D

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 11, 2012, 08:07:46 AM
I did say "on the list now", but reading it back, that didn't come across right (as a qualifier meaning the list could change, instead of "useless word".) I should have made it much more clear what stuff was speculation about a particular detail (i.e., "consider it and see if/how it fits in") vs a much higher-level "planned feature". In general: the more low-level a detail, the more likely it is to change.

Ah, well, that's what I get for laying out a roadmap. Given how much of that is still true in over a year, I guess it didn't go too badly :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on September 11, 2012, 08:13:16 AM
Alright, now that that's clarified...which of these features are not under consideration anymore, if I may ask?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 11, 2012, 08:16:10 AM
Munitions ships are just about in "not going to happen" land. Mines a bit less so. Construction rigs will get some more consideration.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on September 11, 2012, 08:30:44 AM
That's what I was hoping :)
 Munition restocking really doesn't seem necessary, both gameplay- and balance-wise.

Building/repairing things mid-battle could be interesting and deepen the tactic element. But for now i'm looking forward to the character system.

Btw., would be cool if you would check out my suggestion (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=4337.0) :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: intothewildblueyonder on September 11, 2012, 04:50:25 PM
Wow the way Alex has finally completed the game is amazing. I mean it was a long alpha and, at least what felt like, a longer beta, but now with the completed game in my hands I just can't get enough of it. I love the...

I'm sorry -  I have to return to the future, for the good of humanity signing off. My time machine awaits

Alex dont forget to- ---  - -  - - -      -
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Blips on September 11, 2012, 11:35:09 PM
don't forget to what?!?!!?!?  :o :o :o
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Dri on September 11, 2012, 11:47:35 PM
Hehe, nice one Intothewildblueyonder.

Hey Alex, one of your Twitter messages said you're tossing synergies out the window. Could you go into a lil more detail on what thats about? O_o Or am I just totally confused?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 12, 2012, 09:21:50 AM
...

:D

Hey Alex, one of your Twitter messages said you're tossing synergies out the window. Could you go into a lil more detail on what thats about? O_o Or am I just totally confused?

No, you're not confused. I got about halfway into a very initial implementation of the skills - enough to see how it would look/play out and synergies just weren't working out. Hard to keep track of - even with some UI help - and felt, well, a bit too much like Excel.

Also difficult to expand/build out - some skills synergize nicely, concept wise, but others do not. Coming up with sensible bonuses Skill A gives to Skill B (and different bonuses that go from B to A!) is in some cases very difficult. Adding an entirely new skill into the mix would be troublesome.

There are some other things to flesh out skills instead of synergies, though - stuff I'm actually more excited about. It's cleaner, simpler, but also (I think) more interesting, because of how it shakes up the curve of when you get bonuses.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Strifen on September 12, 2012, 09:35:07 AM
  So by out the window, would that mean synergies (or cross skill bonuses) won't be moddable possibly inserted via mods?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 12, 2012, 09:41:40 AM
So by out the window, would that mean synergies (or cross skill bonuses) won't be moddable possibly inserted via mods?

I'd like to keep that option open, but it may interfere with the new design. If it does, <window opening noises>.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on September 12, 2012, 02:08:10 PM
Modding is key to a game's survival. :) That is, unless the vanilla is so adaptable you can change gameplay features and systems, then it wouldn't need it. ;D

But anyways, modding is a really important feature to any game, try to keep is open as long as possible until it takes too long to implement it or it starts getting buggy.

And syergies are being taken out?  Well, that's sad.  Guess we'll have to live without an epic Onslaught. ;D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on September 12, 2012, 02:17:39 PM

And syergies are being taken out?  Well, that's sad.  Guess we'll have to live without an epic Onslaught. ;D

You don't know that...I'm really curious about this "more exiting" new thing :)

Alex, will you publish patch notes or will you just surprise us this time?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 12, 2012, 02:21:56 PM
Alex, will you publish patch notes or will you just surprise us this time?

I will. Just want to make some progress re-doing skills in this new way, so that a few skills can be in the patch notes and stand a reasonable chance of actually remaining in a recognizable form by release time :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on September 22, 2012, 04:53:40 PM
Well, seems as if a lot of that stands a reasonable chance of making it in-game.

Could we by any chance get ourselves a screenshot of the character screen? :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on September 23, 2012, 08:29:53 AM
Could we by any chance get ourselves a screenshot of the character screen? :)

It's functional, but not quite ready for that.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on September 23, 2012, 08:41:34 AM
Could we by any chance get ourselves a screenshot of the character screen? :)

It's functional, but not quite ready for that.

But there will be one?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on September 23, 2012, 09:20:28 AM
Is all the skill and stuff getting its own GUI? Will David make a bunch more of those lil' icons for each skill and all that jazz? Having it look slick and artsy is always a plus!

That's the plan.

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on September 23, 2012, 09:21:37 AM
I was talking about a screenshot...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on September 23, 2012, 09:26:22 AM
Ah, I see. I would care more for another blogpost, describing what he thought while designing the interface (including screenshots of course).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on September 24, 2012, 04:36:31 PM
Functional...eh, good enough for me. ;D So long it works, I'm fine.

Blog posts are always welcomed. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: s1rlancerlott on October 16, 2012, 12:10:34 PM
how much progress have you guys made in the past month?
are you going to add more ships in the future?
and are there going to be more pictures for your character to look like?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on October 16, 2012, 12:14:38 PM
how much progress have you guys made in the past month?
are you going to add more ships in the future?
and are there going to be more pictures for your character to look like?

There are patchnotes for 0.54 out :)

http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=4351.0 (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=4351.0)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 18, 2012, 11:57:55 AM
New blog post is up: Revisiting the Command UI (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/10/18/revisiting-the-command-ui/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on October 18, 2012, 12:38:18 PM
Hmm...yes, interesting. :)
Just one problem, do you get a command point back if you rescind the command during the command frequency?  Hopefully you still lose that command point if you rescind it, because it might get abused (although a lengthy process).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on October 18, 2012, 01:00:06 PM
Itl take a while to get used to, but im sure it will be better in the long run. Im looking forward.

Also: New tutorial yay!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 18, 2012, 01:02:32 PM
Just one problem, do you get a command point back if you rescind the command during the command frequency?  Hopefully you still lose that command point if you rescind it, because it might get abused (although a lengthy process).

That's taken care of - if you rescind/cancel an order/assignment that opened the command channel, the command channel gets closed. If you give any "free" orders, stuff stops being refundable (to prevent "open channel, give free orders, close channel for refund" scenario). Let me double-check that actually works, though :)

Itl take a while to get used to

Honestly, I hope that it wouldn't - it's pretty much the same in the major points, and all the differences should make it easier to use by removing some restrictions.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on October 18, 2012, 01:08:27 PM
You gonna make a new combat tutorial while you are at it?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Hyph_K31 on October 18, 2012, 01:09:03 PM
Sounds awesome, I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Spoiler
(http://i.imgur.com/nqKIb.jpg)
[close]

I'll be truly happy If I can execute the pincer maneuverer with ease.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 18, 2012, 01:15:48 PM
You gonna make a new combat tutorial while you are at it?

Probably not at this point, no. Maybe? I suppose it makes sense to do it soon, given that combat is pretty finished now.


... tutorials are the bane of all that is good.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on October 18, 2012, 01:48:54 PM
You gonna make a new combat tutorial while you are at it?

Probably not at this point, no. Maybe? I suppose it makes sense to do it soon, given that combat is pretty finished now.


... tutorials are the bane of all that is good.

Maybe you should wait till you have a proper way of displaying text (communications) during combat, assuming the campaign warrants that.

You already made a somewhat soft transition from the tutorial to the first missions, which I think is great. Definitively helped me when I started playing.

I'd like it if you could expand on that, maybe let the tutorial ship be the ISS Blackstar and add some minimalist narrative elements to it (adventurous grandfather explains spaceflight to his soon-to-be-captain nephew or something). That way the first missions could be better tied in as an advanced tactics tutorials. 

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on October 18, 2012, 02:17:42 PM
... tutorials are the bane of all that is good.

Amen! Huge huge huge huge amen...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Thaago on October 18, 2012, 02:29:35 PM
Looks really good! I see that there is now a medium escort (replacing destroyer escort?). I really like the the direct orders will be free for a short time interval - it makes sense and also lets us get the details right.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on October 18, 2012, 02:31:44 PM
I'm a little surprised to see that left-clicking on an empty space in the map still creates a way-point. I thought for sure you would adjust it so something like shift + left-click would be how you did it. I can already see myself accidentally creating more than a couple of way-points. I have a feeling I'm forgetting something that shift-clicking does in the map though...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on October 18, 2012, 03:18:32 PM
What are those empty waypoints used for anyway?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 18, 2012, 03:20:28 PM
I'm a little surprised to see that left-clicking on an empty space in the map still creates a way-point. I thought for sure you would adjust it so something like shift + left-click would be how you did it. I can already see myself accidentally creating more than a couple of way-points. I have a feeling I'm forgetting something that shift-clicking does in the map though...

Well, shift-clicking adds a ship to your selection, but it could potentially pull double-duty and create a waypoint, since the context is different. But, an accidental waypoint isn't really a problem - it no longer pops up a context menu, so it's less in-your-face when it happens, and it's still removed if you simply deselect it without creating an assignment.

I'm actually hoping that people will stumble on that by accident - the fact that you can create a waypoint isn't obvious, and requiring shift-click for it would, I think, make it likely that people would have a hard time figuring out how that works.

Looks really good! I see that there is now a medium escort (replacing destroyer escort?). I really like the the direct orders will be free for a short time interval - it makes sense and also lets us get the details right.

Yeah, "destroyer escort" is gone. There are now light, medium, and heavy - only difference is the weight of ships assigned, 1/2/4. Ship weight is 1/1/2/3/4 by hull size. A right-click-created escort assignment has a weight matching all the ships in the selection.

What are those empty waypoints used for anyway?

For creating assignments. Say you want to rally a carrier somewhere that's not an objective - left click on empty space there, select "rally carrier".
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on October 18, 2012, 03:23:28 PM
I'm a little surprised to see that left-clicking on an empty space in the map still creates a way-point. I thought for sure you would adjust it so something like shift + left-click would be how you did it. I can already see myself accidentally creating more than a couple of way-points. I have a feeling I'm forgetting something that shift-clicking does in the map though...

Accidental waypoint creation  happens sometimes if I don't hit a objective precisely. I think I issued a capture order with C and wonder why the objective is still not mine a minute later, only to find some ship on a reckon mission beside it.

I'm probably forgetting something, but would it not make sense to only create a empty waypoint with a right click (if nothing is selected)? Right clicking is for orders anyway.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 18, 2012, 03:26:00 PM
I'm probably forgetting something, but would it not make sense to only create a empty waypoint with a right click (if nothing is selected)? Right clicking is for orders anyway.

The way I'm thinking about it, left-click is for selecting things, and that's what happens - a waypoint is created and selected.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on October 18, 2012, 03:26:25 PM
For creating assignments. Say you want to rally a carrier somewhere that's not an objective - left click on empty space there, select "rally carrier".

Oh right. so you'd create some waypoints, then you could assign ships rts style w/o needing to konw the details of what the assignments are.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 18, 2012, 03:33:32 PM
Oh right. so you'd create some waypoints, then you could assign ships rts style w/o needing to konw the details of what the assignments are.

I'm not sure we're on the same page here. To make it as clear as I can - you could:
1) Create assignments exactly like you do now - i.e., either click on an objective and pick one, or click to create a waypoint and pick one.
2) Select some ships and right-click to create an assignment OR right-click on an existing assignment. So it'll either create an assignment on an objective, create a waypoint and an assignment, or assign to an existing assignment.

You still need to know the details of what the assignment is because that affects ship behavior. For example, ships assigned to an "intercept" will have tunnel vision with respect to the target, ships assigned to escort have very specific behavior re: keeping formation with the target, etc.

So, it's not like there's two parallel command structures - it's still the same structure as now, but with RTS-like inputs added.

Let me know if this makes sense :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on October 18, 2012, 03:37:59 PM
Yeah that makes sense. I was thinking there were still waypoints in the game with NO assignment. Which have never seemed to serve a purpose. Just named waypoints cluttering up the map.

Does that make sense?  I know you can clear an assignment on them, then recreate it later, but other than that I see no purpose to the waypoint itself sticking around.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Wyvern on October 18, 2012, 03:40:22 PM
Hm.  Re: Tutorials.  I'd actually suggest giving us access to a bit more in the way of mission scripting tools instead.

If we could prevent the player from changing the outfitting of some or all of his ships, create text boxes and add or remove ships in reaction to in-game events (player dies, player reaches location / moves far enough away from location, enemy ship dies, time passes, etc.) - well.  Not only could we make tutorials for you, but we could also do some really fun things - like making a twitch shooter mission with multiple waves of enemies, or multi-stage bossfights, or...

Don't know if that's more or less work than just making tutorials yourself, though.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 18, 2012, 03:46:46 PM
Yeah that makes sense. I was thinking there were still waypoints in the game with NO assignment. Which have never seemed to serve a purpose. Just named waypoints cluttering up the map.

Does that make sense?  I know you can clear an assignment on them, then recreate it later, but other than that I see no purpose to the waypoint itself sticking around.

Ahh, yes. Right - these no longer exist. If you clear an assignment and then select something else, the empty waypoint will go away.


Hm.  Re: Tutorials.  I'd actually suggest giving us access to a bit more in the way of mission scripting tools instead.

If we could prevent the player from changing the outfitting of some or all of his ships, create text boxes and add or remove ships in reaction to in-game events (player dies, player reaches location / moves far enough away from location, enemy ship dies, time passes, etc.) - well.  Not only could we make tutorials for you, but we could also do some really fun things - like making a twitch shooter mission with multiple waves of enemies, or multi-stage bossfights, or...

Don't know if that's more or less work than just making tutorials yourself, though.

Hmm - thanks for bringing it up, I'll give that some serious thought. Part of what's making tutorials such a royal pain to deal with is the hackiness of it all - doing them right would certainly be more satisfying. But perhaps too time-consuming (which is the part that needs more serious consideration).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on October 18, 2012, 03:52:16 PM

The way I'm thinking about it, left-click is for selecting things, and that's what happens - a waypoint is created and selected.

Yeah that makes sense. I was thinking there were still waypoints in the game with NO assignment. Which have never seemed to serve a purpose. Just named waypoints cluttering up the map.

Does that make sense?  I know you can clear an assignment on them, then recreate it later, but other than that I see no purpose to the waypoint itself sticking around.

Ah, I think I'm starting to see what the problem is here. I and, I suppose, other players don't make a hard distinction between waypoints and assignments.

That's why you think of waypoints as something to select with a left-click, like a ship. While I think of them as if they were assignments or orders, which are usually given with a right-click.


Hmm - thanks for bringing it up, I'll give that some serious thought. Part of what's making tutorials such a royal pain to deal with is the hackiness of it all - doing them right would certainly be more satisfying. But perhaps too time-consuming (which is the part that needs more serious consideration).

If you can fit it in your time frame you can be sure of some epic, player made, story driven campaigns coming your way. The fist campaign would likely be the first concluded element of SF (mods don't feel anymore complete than the main game right now). I think that has the potential to bring many more people to the game before it is even finished.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on October 18, 2012, 07:33:53 PM
ARG.
Why does everything have to be yellow/green or red/green?  I'm red/green colorblind, goddamn it! ;D

Sometimes that blue text when colorblind support is activated is REALLY sore on my eyes.  Just follow BF3's way of doing it, don't make text neon green or red, just a solid color all around.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 18, 2012, 07:46:05 PM
Sometimes that blue text when colorblind support is activated is REALLY sore on my eyes.  Just follow BF3's way of doing it, don't make text neon green or red, just a solid color all around.

Could you point me to a good example? Not sure what you mean by "solid" color.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on October 18, 2012, 10:21:26 PM
Good for colorblind people (http://blogs.battlefield.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/3D-HUD-Colorblind-Console-2.jpg)

Bad for colorblind people (http://www.topshotta.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/bf3-gameplay-pics.jpg)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: DNAz on October 18, 2012, 11:56:36 PM
Good for colorblind people (http://blogs.battlefield.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/3D-HUD-Colorblind-Console-2.jpg)

Bad for colorblind people (http://www.topshotta.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/bf3-gameplay-pics.jpg)


So non glowing/florescent?
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Faiter119 on October 19, 2012, 02:55:02 AM
Yeah no glow and more standout colors.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on October 19, 2012, 11:43:39 AM
^^
That's it.  :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on October 19, 2012, 07:34:39 PM
Thanks, guys - good to know, I'll keep it in mind. Sounds like I'll have to look into this more in-depth at some point.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on October 19, 2012, 07:39:49 PM
One thing that others have done is that shapes ARE differentiable no matter what your color-blindness type is.  :)  So that's a good way to differentiate stuff instead of colors.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: arwan on October 19, 2012, 07:42:40 PM
typically you want to stay away from red when designing for color blind

here is a pic of what the USA flag may look like depending on how color blind you are

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f7/US_Flag_color_blind.png/230px-US_Flag_color_blind.png)

please also take note that if one is red color blind then the actual color RED will likely appear to be GREEN to the viewer. (i have a color blind friend and also the pic shows that) that is in turn also why most color blind UI's should not incorporate the color red next to a color green. Also the other common color blindness is blue and yellow. where blue looks green and yellow looks red.

it should also be said that most people who are actually color blind are Red Green color blind. most primates and mammals can not see red at all or if they can its faint due to them not evolving the ability to see it.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/68/Gay_flag.svg/220px-Gay_flag.svg.png)
A rainbow of colors as viewed by a person with no color vision deficiencies.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d4/Rainbow_Protanopia.svg/220px-Rainbow_Protanopia.svg.png)
The same rainbow as viewed by a person with protanopia.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5a/Rainbow_Deuteranopia.svg/220px-Rainbow_Deuteranopia.svg.png)
The same rainbow as viewed by a person with deuteranopia.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b4/Rainbow_Tritanopia.svg/220px-Rainbow_Tritanopia.svg.png)
The same rainbow as viewed by a person with tritanopia.

aside from that im looking forward for the next release.

Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on October 20, 2012, 04:14:30 AM
Umm...umm....yea. ;D What you said.  For most red/green color blind people, they can easily tell red from green if it's a true, solid color of it side by side, it's seeing them seperatly that gets us confused (e.g in the kill list, if I have a lasher and I see one saying a lasher got destroyer, I start panicing and looking for my own lasher.  May or may not be mine)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: silentstormpt on October 20, 2012, 06:59:00 AM
Should be easily fix if you add the faction after the name for example:

Lasher Disabled (Player)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on November 17, 2012, 12:59:04 PM
New blog post, courtesy of David: Designing Faction Icons (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/11/17/designing-faction-icons/).
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on November 17, 2012, 01:06:52 PM
:D:D:D:D:D
 EXCELLENT!

HURAH!  I'll forge my responce after reading it. :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Zapier on November 17, 2012, 01:17:16 PM
New blog post, courtesy of David: Designing Faction Icons (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2012/11/17/designing-faction-icons/).

One of those mugs on my "bridge" (okay, my desk) might make me look like I actually know what the hell I'm doing. If not, then at least I have something to throw at someone who tells me otherwise as I scream at them to fire despite the flux levels that have been building.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Erick Doe on November 17, 2012, 01:19:57 PM
I LOLed  :D

Quote
(Why orange? No one uses orange. Except the Dutch, I guess. Someone should use orange.)

Spoiler
(http://fractalsoftworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/hegemony.png) (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_o2rDHymDyno/S_hRuAbpUwI/AAAAAAAAAAM/AcmuSfAydtY/S1600-R/dutch+Lion.gif)
Hegemony left / Dutch right
[close]
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: legion on November 17, 2012, 04:16:32 PM
Mark me up for a T-shirt with that logo!
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: SteelRonin on November 26, 2012, 09:08:54 AM
Holy ***...

We are the future hegemony...
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: hairrorist on January 05, 2013, 03:48:02 PM
So... we're all dying to know the story behind the name change, Alex.  And how you settled on Star Sector?  Personally, it sounds kind of an awkward and as a phrase holds no meaning.  Not that it's a bad name.  90% of game titles are even more empty random conglomerations of words marketing decides sound awesome together.  And obviously, the game isn't affected.  Still the same awesome package.  It's more a question of sating the curiosity of your rabid fans.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Cycerin on January 11, 2013, 02:58:50 PM
Mad curious about what's been happening behind the scenes.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Psycho Society on January 11, 2013, 04:24:16 PM
Practically foaming with curiosity.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: icepick37 on January 11, 2013, 08:45:24 PM
I thought the name made perfect sense. It's a game about a sector of stars. Starsector. Starfarer is cool, but all it connotes is a traveler of the stars. Neither is any more meaningful than the other, really.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: RawCode on January 12, 2013, 11:07:33 AM
colorblind mode ehh

just allow player to select colors from GUI, enemy units = color, ally = color, disabled = color and soo on, this will allow user to setup colors and select colors most comfortable to use.

most games use blue + yellow as universal colorblind.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: TheHappyFace on January 24, 2013, 09:25:38 AM
that's actually a usefull suggestion :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on February 05, 2013, 07:44:31 AM
New blog post is up: Painting the Hound and the Hangar (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2013/02/05/painting-the-hound-and-the-hangar/). It's by David, obviously :)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: DNAz on February 05, 2013, 08:03:25 AM
New blog post is up: Painting the Hound and the Hangar (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2013/02/05/painting-the-hound-and-the-hangar/). It's by David, obviously :)
I bet this forum can figure out what ship is wrecked in the last picture.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: sdmike1 on February 05, 2013, 08:40:30 AM
He put the turret on the wrong side ::)
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gothars on February 05, 2013, 08:46:49 AM
Really, really atmospheric, my new wallpaper. I really curios what the final purpose of those pictures is (not tower climbing I guess) and how many of them we will get to see.

Anyone got a clue what the "Thing" is that Stain is cooking up? What does the sound guy want with a high res picture?

He put the turret on the wrong side ::)

That is easy to fix:
Spoiler
(http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/4937/hangari.jpg)
[close]
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: FlashFrozen on February 05, 2013, 09:21:09 AM
Speaking of mirrored, the Astral still has those mirrored navigation (red and green) lights at the front that are reversed from what I can tell since the it originally had the bridge on the left with the lights correctly oriented, I wonder if those will ever get fix'd one day (I can't check atm but I hope I'm not wrong D:) :P

I really do like the station, reminds me of a rustier-less maintained airport with probably equally harsh treatment of cargo  ::)
It does make me wonder if that is the orbital station the hegemony uses, if so, maybe one day we'll get to see a picture of the tri-tachs in their natural environment. ^.^
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on February 05, 2013, 09:33:47 AM
Hey, blog post! :D I'll get to commenting.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Cycerin on February 05, 2013, 09:34:31 AM
Getting flashbacks to the first Starcraft II CGI trailer where Tychus Findlay dons his Marine armor - the smallest, weakest unit in the game, suddenly blown up to epic, life-like proportion. Great work, David.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: BillyRueben on February 05, 2013, 02:21:29 PM
And here I was, going to make some sarcastic comment about how the Announcement thread was still getting bumped without content. Not only was it a good read, it made for a sweet desktop background.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: The Soldier on February 05, 2013, 02:38:59 PM
Ah, yep. :D That's one helluva good one, I hope to see some more of that.

And the progress part of it was interesting, finally got to see some behind-the-scenes.
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gaizokubanou on February 05, 2013, 05:13:09 PM
Sweet picture, few artworks like that could make amazing menu background as a sliding picture in this fashion

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wmDYAS6N-g&playnext=1&list=PLD3E189278505B6C8&feature=results_video

Also just to give Dave some headache, that's still very tiny for a frigate! :P
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: PCCL on February 05, 2013, 08:10:19 PM
ehhh.... the hound is more a tug boat than a frigate anyway....

scale the lasher against that and I think that makes for a decent frigate size
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Gaizokubanou on February 05, 2013, 09:58:10 PM
They are both about as wide (including the engine portion for the hound) as modern day frigates but are about 1/2 to 1/3 of the length and height.

Not that it's a problem in a sci fi world where techs are borderline magic and terminologies may very well be different, but just comparing for sake of it :D
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Sproginator on February 10, 2013, 06:14:57 AM
Just a note to David;

Few images manage to catch my attention, induce Awe and Inspiration. However your's has, which is why I've set it as my new desktop background. Thanks for your amazing artwork, I felt you deserved a praise

~Sprog
Title: Re: Blog Posts
Post by: Alex on May 25, 2013, 02:57:23 PM
Unstickying and locking this because there's a dedicated section of the forum (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?board=13.0) for this now.