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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Personal Contacts (08/13/20)

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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.3.1 - Hiigaran Marine & Assault Frigates  (Read 55421 times)

ChaseBears

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.11 - Hiigaran Carrier
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 03:41:23 AM »

Nice work :thumbsup:

I think its pretty plausible lore-wise to put shields on the ships. Every single Homeworld game has had finding technology unknown to you and adapting it for use in your spaceships as core gameplay.   Although this could be reflected with the use of added shield generator mods in default loadouts instead of native shields.  Maybe with the bigger ships you could do something wacky and have the shield projected from modules instead of the hull.

Do you plan on doing Corvettes as fighters or frigates?

Mechanically, it's very hard, verging on impossible, to balance large shieldless Starsector ships for the player; they tend to be very binary (you either have enough armor and hull to tank long enough to kill your target or you don't) and either boring (nothing to do) or overpowered (nothing competing with weapons for flux) or both.
One way to make shield-less ships more fun to use would be powerful but flux hungry systems. 
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 03:43:48 AM by ChaseBears »
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Gotcha!

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.11 - Hiigaran Carrier
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2019, 03:59:46 AM »

Yeah, Hiigarans are great at adapting other technology, as shown through all Homeworld games.
They'd only have to get their hands on some other faction's ship and take over their shield technology, and even improving on it.
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Lynx

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.11 - Hiigaran Carrier
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2019, 07:29:52 AM »

Mechanically, it's very hard, verging on impossible, to balance large shieldless Starsector ships for the player; they tend to be very binary (you either have enough armor and hull to tank long enough to kill your target or you don't) and either boring (nothing to do) or overpowered (nothing competing with weapons for flux) or both.

=omitted to reduce length=
I see your point about the difficulty in balancing shieldless ships, and I agree a 1:1 translation of mechanics isn't a good idea, maybe a compromise would be like you and the 2 suggestions by @ChaseBears and @Gotcha!, which is to have a shield module hullmod since as they pointed out, the Hiigarans are quick to research and adapt new tech (maybe an omni version of the "Makeshift Shield Generator" hullmod, but reduces ship speed only when active).

Nice looking mod btw, hope to see a release soon!

Thanks darling! Might take yet another hand to the scout, as for the scales in general, there ain't a winning option.
=snipped to reduce length=
No need to sweat exact accuracy haha, just ballpark and visually relative-ish as far as feasible.
I think your fighter scale in general compared to vanilla is pretty good, HW fighters are enormous. Just the scout looks a tad too large, the others aren't really that noticeable.

The carrier looks about right (about the size of a Conquest), and as you mentioned fighters are smaller as implied by the exit animation.

Not sure how's factored into HW2's health bars, but there's a "shield" defined for any ship larger than a Scout.
May be only against EMP damage but'm drawing a blank on any concrete info.
Code
addShield(NewShipType, "EMP", 10000, 20)
You mean in SS? I know there's a couple of ships in SS that don't have built-in shields, like the salvage rig, not sure how that's handled code-wise though.
On the topic of EMP, HW ships are likely hardened to normal EMP attacks, as they did not have ubiquitous shield tech.

Planning some kinda armour repair system for the Shipyard, preferably where the ships came in to dock. Could extend that to the resource collectors and carrier subsystems as a shield replacement mechanic, with some CoH2 style internal crew-repair that disables the ship as a last alternative. But heck even as'm writing this it feels taken too far and doesn't really introduce a new engagement mechanic, just an infuriating back off n' heal one. Particularly if hyperspace systems get introduced, can just hop away from any danger and come back fresh as a brass flannigan.
Guess the only way to know is to test it, but shields can still be a module option, since its not really clear how some production modules can be translated into SS, if you even want to do so that is.
Anyway just tossing out some thoughts and ideas, I agree with prioritizing the sprites done and ingame above balance. ;D
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Armithaig

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.11 - Hiigaran Carrier
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2019, 08:03:25 AM »

While some fibrous half of my being desperately wants to write some fancy pants defence system, yah shields'll do for now. There's some funky ideas to take from the shields introduced in the Complex mod, though replacing the shield AI code Alex's been rubbing on for years with a fancy looking knockoff would be some act of hubris. Nevermind all that.

Maybe with the bigger ships you could do something wacky and have the shield projected from modules instead of the hull.
Had somethin similar in mind for the carrier where certain modules'd change the defensive/ship systems, there's already a cloak generator module so with a mut. exclusive shield generator module you could pick.
Cursory glance told me changing ship systems on the fly'd require calling obfuscated code, no luck there.

Do you plan on doing Corvettes as fighters or frigates?
Unless there's some way to restore the old carrier independent fighter wings, was thinkin' small frigates with a literal buddy system, since they emphasise always working in pairs.

Not sure how's factored into HW2's health bars, but there's a "shield" defined for any ship larger than a Scout.
May be only against EMP damage but'm drawing a blank on any concrete info.
Code
addShield(NewShipType, "EMP", 10000, 20)
You mean in SS? I know there's a couple of ships in SS that don't have built-in shields, like the salvage rig, not sure how that's handled code-wise though.
On the topic of EMP, HW ships are likely hardened to normal EMP attacks, as they did not have ubiquitous shield tech.
Nah's from the (carrier) HW2 ship file, here's the function reference.
Ain't a discernible separate bar for a shield in HW2 that've seen, perhaps it only manifests as a partially regenerating health bar. Or's just a hidden HP bar for EMP attacks before the ship is "stunned".
Can't find much information 'bout it besides the link.
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Lynx

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.11 - Hiigaran Carrier
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2019, 09:30:43 AM »

While some fibrous half of my being desperately wants to write some fancy pants defence system, yah shields'll do for now. There's some funky ideas to take from the shields introduced in the Complex mod, though replacing the shield AI code Alex's been rubbing on for years with a fancy looking knockoff would be some act of hubris. Nevermind all that.
IMO if you can create a good alternate bit of defence tech that fits into the game, I don't think that's hubris (and Alex has IIRC incorporated some select few fixes and additions introduced by mods, into the main game). There's some mods which add interesting new stuff without supplanting shields, like the Blackrock mod which has a ship that interdicts missiles for the ability's duration.

Nah's from the (carrier) HW2 ship file, here's the function reference.
Ain't a discernible separate bar for a shield in HW2 that've seen, perhaps it only manifests as a partially regenerating health bar. Or's just a hidden HP bar for EMP attacks before the ship is "stunned".
Can't find much information 'bout it besides the link.
Ah, yeah, I think it is indeed a HP bar for EMP damage, in particular the special ability for scouts. Good vs fighters and corvettes, frigates and above not so much.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 09:41:44 AM by Lynx »
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.11 - Hiigaran Carrier
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2019, 12:07:46 PM »

People have done shield-replacement systems, and some of them (Templars' old Lattice Shields, BRDY's Scalar Rejector, Exigency's Repulsor) are complex and nuanced enough to offer the player interesting Stuff To Do. It's just, yeah, not a good idea at this stage of a mod, especially when you're new. First get it working, then you can start thinking about ways to make it fancy.

A thought, though; instead of just adding ships to vanilla's factions or doing a traditional star-system-and-home-planet campaign implementation, a station-sized Mothership that spawns dynamically using the Pirate/Pather base script would be super cool.

For a cloak generator, you could probably work up a hullmod to modify the alpha value of the parent ship or even swap right-click systems; I'm not sure how easy it'll be to balance essentially swapping between shields and phase cloaking, especially on a carrier. Also, modules have a performance cost equal to a full ship, so you should be careful about making ships with modules into staple ships for a faction.

Both Tyrador and Interstellar Imperium have hullmods that change the appearance and features (including ship systems, for II) of their base ships; that's a much engine-friendlier way to configure something like the Hiigaran carrier. It does mean that you can't do quite as much mix-and-match; it also means you're less likely to bog the game down to uselessness in large battles. And what Homeworld fan doesn't want large battles?

Other stuff off the top of my head; look at the way Sylphon assigns quad-strip MagicLib trails to ship engines, that would be awesome for giving strikecraft long trails. Again, a bit of a performance hit, but probably worth it for the cool factor.

I can show you how to set up procgen spawning if you want Vaygr-infested star systems to explore. It's kind of a rat's nest but it's so cool when you get it working.
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Armithaig

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.11 - Hiigaran Carrier
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2019, 08:02:25 AM »

Heck that's some treasure trove you dug up for me there Soren, appreciate it. Head out spying once've blurted out this destroyer.

Made a custom base spawning script in a personal faction mod of mine which works kinda similarly: involved in the base economy group, harvest resources they orbit, expands population n' build industries as slots become available. Shucking that in eventually'd be no issue.

Though any faction antics'll be a separate addon, remember when'd first started this game was kinda disappointed by the lack of basic arse ship packs in comparison to the cavalcade of factions. Gonna leave the gate open for newcomers what'd just like to experience the base game with a few extra hulls, avoided explicitly mentioning Hiigarans or Vaygr anywhere player facing so far.
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.11 - Hiigaran Carrier
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2019, 10:43:21 AM »

Instead of a separate mod, you could add a settings file with a boolean for campaign code; have the default be off, so it'll load as a ship pack without any of the campaign scripts, and give players the option to turn it on.

(I mention this mostly because having multiple mod folders for closely coupled features becomes a headache to maintain on your end.)
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Armithaig

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.2 - Vaygr Destroyer
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2019, 11:10:34 PM »

V1.2 - Vaygr Destroyer


That's the Vaygr destroyer done finally, along with the Hiigaran pulsar corvette.
Both've got their signature weapons and unique systems, would've been fairly lacking without 'em.

Tajmahir also got a sensual rubbing: add some more detail in, fix a few errors, try to introduce some minor depth to this flat knobber.
Comparison here, hope's an improvement.


Relatively speaking's a boatload of code in this update so lemme know if something belly-ups.
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dk1332

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.2 - Vaygr Destroyer
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2019, 02:23:59 AM »

Haven't played HW2 for a while but weren't there like AA guns on the capitals? Like actual machine guns hidden inside the hull of the ships in HW2?
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Armithaig

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.2 - Vaygr Destroyer
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2019, 12:52:32 PM »

Yep, carrier's got an embrasure pair visible on the elevated deck slope.
Most others're too bloody small/firing out of nothing which ain't right for Starsector. Nobody wants to get barreled by a load of invisible weapons.

Initial plan for the destroyer was to have 5px2 PD drivers on its hull defense points, activated by the system. Dropped 'at in favour of firing defensive missiles since manipulating weapon groups mid-combat through the API is a pain. Once've written a missile AI they should target hostile missiles as well.


Similarly'd like to make the Wing Leader system call in ships with a matching loadout to yours, which'd take writing a new ship AI to bypass the base drone system.
And then customisable through ship modules like this, bonus points for wingmen in icon.
It'd require some kind of ship creation context so the modules're not added in combat. I.e. is this ship being created for an icon or will it be used by player/AI.
Haven't figured that out quite yet so if anyone's got some tips'll take 'em graciously.

Edit: Hmm had an idea while talkin' to the duck here to seamlessly replace the modules with ships in the system's advance script, rather than try to prevent 'em from spawning outright. Suppose's a moot point until've written that AI, heck.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 01:31:35 PM by Armithaig »
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PyroFuzz

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.2 - Vaygr Destroyer
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2019, 06:09:23 PM »

Wow! That wing leader system is really impressive!
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Armithaig

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.2 - Vaygr Destroyer
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2019, 11:18:05 PM »

Thanks! Feels pretty spiff to roll up with your crew of gangbangers and skrrt some fools. Does 'at mean what I think it does? Eh, probably not.
Hankering for a freighter next, but'll bump up the wing leader system upgrade on my fictitious list.

Just gonna lay out my rough non-final thinking 'round the 3/4 candidates here n' whoever feels like it can chime in with their own ideas.

HGN Marine Frigate
Frigate troop transport, maybe some light ground support.
System: Has three ramming prongs on the front end which'd love to put to use for a ram drive, with some actual NO_FF explosions going off on contact, probably add some glow to 'em as you speed up.
Will probably get reused on the HGN Flak Frigate.
Modules: Undercarriage's fairly easily detachable, could make a regular cargo conversion hullmod for it.

HGN Mobile Refinery
Frigate freighter.
Wings: Resource controllers which can repair other ships. Expend charges to repair so there's some traffic between it and the target like bombers. Limited total charges.
Hullmods: Salvage Gantry

HGN Crew Transport
Cruiser/Capital crew transport, leaning towards capital since there ain't one of those vanilla.
Couple hangar bays but pretty boring ship otherwise.

HGN Minelayer Corvette
Phase freighter corvette? Probably give it a different colour scheme than usual in line with the other phasers.
System: Downgraded Mine Strike à la Doom
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Gotcha!

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.2 - Vaygr Destroyer
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2019, 03:17:24 AM »

Still in awe here. I hope you'll keep it up! I'd love to see whole fleets of these gorgeous ship images.
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Armithaig

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kiith Nabaal Shipyard 1.2 - Vaygr Destroyer
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2019, 08:05:05 PM »

Real grateful for the morale boost Gotcha! Need one of those when'm starting a new ship, s'like passing a kidney stone for the first half.
Keep learning new tricks with each ship've made so far, hopefully look even better by the end.
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