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Author Topic: Hyperspace  (Read 43049 times)

Hari Seldon

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #75 on: August 02, 2013, 04:23:21 PM »

I would like to see some armor mods to help with hyperspace, trading OP for better exploration and long range.
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PCCL

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #76 on: August 02, 2013, 05:01:37 PM »

hmm, I like the idea of making limited numbers of your own "local" gates, maybe the AI will have a few of those of their own, denied access to you unless you have really good relations with them. These gates are not near instant travel like the domain ones, but travels at about 1/10,000 to 1/1,000,000 times that speed; which equates to a travel speed perhaps 50 times greater than infernium drives. Meaning it'll take about 500 years cycles to go to the next sector, but the system nearby is only a matter of hours or days away. You'll still travel in the hyperspace map, just moving so fast that nothing can really stop you.

Regarding cost being near zero. You're not gonna be hauling 3 battleships across the sector on a whim, it simply won't happen. You're either gonna be stopping by too many systems for fuel or hauling so many tankers to be almost just as slow. The trade-off then becomes speed vs security. You either take a large escort and go the slow path, or go alone/travel light but get there faster. Most of the time (assuming you're going there for business rather than pleasure) I'd reckon it's best to get there fast

Remember that you'll (almost) never have a fleet good against everything in the sector combined. Crossing the sector with your main fleet means leaving whatever assets you have in the old system unprotected. And if you have no assets in the old system... well.... good luck maintaining a fleet of a significant size in the first place.

All these are hypothetical, ofc, which is why I said I'll withhold judgement.

I think Morrowind handled it best

As someone who started on TES at Oblivion, how DID Morrowind handle it?
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Thaago

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #77 on: August 02, 2013, 07:20:44 PM »

My thoughts:
It would be interesting if while in hyperspace/normal space and having a course logged in you could do other things and still have time go by. For example: Lay in course, go to simulator or refit menu and play around for a while. Depending on how good your officers are, they might see those pirates on intercept before they catch up and you get yanked into a battle. Or maybe not :D. Maybe you get pulled from the sim/refit (it would have to pause, not stop) to see an impressive hyper cascade, or if there is a wreck nearby. Of course then the player isn't really experiencing the traveling (staring at the screen and eating a sandwich as the ship goes along). But they are experiencing the time going by, and it strikes me as more immersive than speeding up time by 10x or fast traveling. I guess it all depends on how much travel time there is going to be and how much interesting scenery/events there will be on the way.


...

I think Morrowind handled it best

As someone who started on TES at Oblivion, how DID Morrowind handle it?

If I remember correctly, you could hire transport (big giant walking bug things or boats) that would take you 'instantly' (game time still elapses), you could use the spells to set a mark and then get teleported back to it, or you walked. Oh and the mages guilds offered inter-building teleportation. And then there were these weird temple/fortress things that you had to find the propylon indices for and then you could teleport between them.... So a sorta loose network of fast transport, but you had to walk everywhere else. (The world was smaller than oblivion or skyrim, and you could run very fast if you trained at it. Or make a permanent high powered levitation ring. Or use the 'wind walker' scrolls. Or if you're realllllly daring use those fricken jump scrolls that you got at the beginning of the game randomly. And a ring of feather fall.). Could be accomplished with local gates between hub systems with lots of space in between, or by having wormholes the player can discover. Or both.

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xenoargh

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #78 on: August 02, 2013, 07:51:14 PM »

Quote
Could be accomplished with local gates between hub systems with lots of space in between, or by having wormholes the player can discover. Or both.
Yeah, those are my thoughts atm, with the possibility of re-activating the Domain gates for really huge jumps later- kind of like what you were saying, it wouldn't get rid of all the traveling, it'd just bring it down to a reasonable level. 

That said, I didn't really care for that aspect of Morrowind and I don't think they got the balance right.  After a while, it was like, "wow, I have to cross the whole place... again???". 

I'm firmly on the side of the players who just wanted to skip the whole thing.  I've played enough RPGs with pointless walking around, I hate having my time wasted.  I really loathe the JRPG habit of dumping us into forced encounters every 15 seconds. 

If it's not as relatively-interesting as it was in Fallout (I,II) it needs a Skip Button somewhere or I get annoyed.  And, since we're talking about RNG-generated Systems here for the most part... what's to see?  I suppose that's a whole 'nother can of worms, though, and one that needs to wait until this part of the framework's in place.

Call it a short attention span if you want, I just don't care for games wasting my days "to experience traveling".  If I want to experience travel, I'll put gas in the car and take a road trip.  If I'm playing a video game, and there's traveling, it needs to have a point.

Quote
Regarding cost being near zero. You're not gonna be hauling 3 battleships across the sector on a whim, it simply won't happen.
If it can't happen, how are we supposed to create our 4X empires or explore the dangerous regions?  In all seriousness, I think it's going to have to go that way; otherwise you're left with supposedly-awesome gameplay running an empire or exploring the galaxy or being a trader... but you can't actually do much, because half the stuff is too far away and too dangerous to ever reach.  

This is also a potential game-wrecker, too; if the process is dangerous enough, people are going to be forced to stay in their starting System and grind for days before they've finally gotten the macguffin that allows them to get anywhere.  They'll be complaining about how hard it is to merely get out of the System and videos of the leet going into the Far Reaches while they're frustrated won't help.  

This can be mitigated by how the Sector's designed, for example by having a "danger index" for areas, and making sure that players always start in an area with a low "danger index" (something I intend to prototype when the tools exist, like my prototype for dynamic Systems last year), but once again, we're talking about wide swaths where, yes, players will travel around with fleets that are wreckers.  

If it takes much time at all, then we're back to boredom.  Hence why I brought this up; the long-term implications are pretty big.  Doesn't need to be addressed in 0.6, heck, it's more than likely that the modders here will invent all of the mechanical variations on this that anybody could want within a month of its release, giving us all time to see what works and what doesn't.  Just needs some thinking, in terms of the longer-term implications of the original premise- a thousand Systems, maybe 100,000 different worlds.  It's a big number with big implications.
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Alex

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #79 on: August 02, 2013, 08:19:41 PM »

Just a quick note here, regarding ultimate Sector size: I do recall throwing the 1k systems number out at one point, but at this point I don't think 1k systems/10k? (I'm guessing you added an extra 0 here) worlds is realistic. There's going to be a bottleneck here in terms of what can reasonably run concurrently (even at a larger step size), and a tradeoff between number of systems and content density within those. I mean, it's easy enough to have a huge number of empty systems, but beyond a certain point, you don't really need those.

Also, I don't think "10 worlds per system" is a good assumption. Corvus is packed, and Askonia has a core world in it, so neither are representative of the "average" star system.

(If I had to throw another number out, I'd say somewhere between 100 and 300 systems is more reasonable. But I don't have to, so I won't!)

This isn't set in stone, though, and will need playtesting and probably trying out a few different approaches. So, another "we'll see".


My thoughts:
It would be interesting if while in hyperspace/normal space and having a course logged in you could do other things and still have time go by. For example: Lay in course, go to simulator or refit menu and play around for a while.

That's a really neat idea, but the combat engine and the campaign don't run concurrently... hmm. Maybe they could. But, I don't know. It's probably the kind of thing that sounds good in theory, and then in practice you just end up running into pirates all the time. Having travel that's lengthy and uneventful enough for simulator sessions to be viable doesn't sound like a good thing in the first place.
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xenoargh

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #80 on: August 02, 2013, 08:40:25 PM »

Even 200 Systems is, like, months of exploration.  Don't worry about the target number.  After all, when we're all on 32 cores, you can just refactor to use 'em all to run 10K (and set our houses on fire), amiright?

On a serious note:  I presume that all the stuff happening inside Systems will be heavily abstracted while in Hyperspace, if not frozen or chucked out of memory and built when re-entering?  I mean... we really don't need to simulate the traffic around 200 Systems, let alone all of the interior traffic, battles and so forth... just the stuff within a little distance of the player.  Unless it's super-important, like an invasion fleet going to take over a base, where it needs to be present in Hyperspace but the rest of it is auto-battle if the player isn't present (and it probably needs to be a lot like the siege mechanics of Mount and Blade).

Past that, abstraction is inevitable, imo.  We're already hitting high loads in the mods that throw a lot of Fleets around, and I presume they aren't bothering with draw calls and all that unless they are visible.
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PCCL

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #81 on: August 02, 2013, 09:32:55 PM »

corvus is packed?

that thing has 7 spheres in it (iirc, been in Exar for too long), only one of which is really habitable to any meaningful degree (the rest are habitation stations and outposts at most)

Or does that sound about right?

for comparison, Sol system has about 12 bodies that would prob be counted within the game (8 planets, no Pluto, Sol and 2 more moons from the gas giants. I'm not really sure about the sciences behind this but I think an average of maybe 5-7 is prob on the low-end of alright
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Silver Silence

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #82 on: August 03, 2013, 10:01:32 AM »

On the topic of no. of systems, one could look to SPAZ. In SPAZ, you can choose between 100 to about 300 systems. Smaller galaxies meaning a more compressed game. Now, even in a 100 system game, I've NEVER explored every system. 100 system games compress the game, meaning you could find a difficulty spike in the random generation of systems as you go from a lv7 system to a lv15 system where on top of the enemies now flying bigger ships, their weapons and overall quality of their ships has much improved. Ships are more durable, their shields last longer, their weapons become more exotic, the weapons do more damage. In a 300 system game, the levels are more dragged out which leads to staleness as you trudge through much of the same with the only difference being the technology offered at stations. And you become even less likely to check out these systems, as well.

On a serious note:  I presume that all the stuff happening inside Systems will be heavily abstracted while in Hyperspace, if not frozen or chucked out of memory and built when re-entering?  I mean... we really don't need to simulate the traffic around 200 Systems, let alone all of the interior traffic, battles and so forth... just the stuff within a little distance of the player.  Unless it's super-important, like an invasion fleet going to take over a base, where it needs to be present in Hyperspace but the rest of it is auto-battle if the player isn't present (and it probably needs to be a lot like the siege mechanics of Mount and Blade).

I guess a system like X's method of doing it could be implemented. When the player is not in a system, the system "ticks" and updates itself every couple seconds. This has the side-effect of making every computer I've played X on tank in framerates when the SETA is pushed up past the usual 4x as the entire X universe is being ticked much faster.
In Starsector, that could probably equate to autoresolve. But, autoresolve for everything. Fleets inch forwards, stations orbit, battles autoresolved if they were to occur.
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Alex

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #83 on: August 03, 2013, 11:33:20 AM »

On a serious note:  I presume that all the stuff happening inside Systems will be heavily abstracted while in Hyperspace, if not frozen or chucked out of memory and built when re-entering?  I mean... we really don't need to simulate the traffic around 200 Systems, let alone all of the interior traffic, battles and so forth... just the stuff within a little distance of the player.  Unless it's super-important, like an invasion fleet going to take over a base, where it needs to be present in Hyperspace but the rest of it is auto-battle if the player isn't present (and it probably needs to be a lot like the siege mechanics of Mount and Blade).

Heavy abstraction has some major problems to overcome (whole new system to maintain, abstracting/deabstracting, differing outcomes from player just being there, etc). Right now, what it does is run all locations you're not at at 10x the step size, which means each one only has to advance once every 10 frames. There's a decent chance this type of approach will scale up well enough to handle the final number of systems.

Past that, abstraction is inevitable, imo.  We're already hitting high loads in the mods that throw a lot of Fleets around, and I presume they aren't bothering with draw calls and all that unless they are visible.

Well, vanilla Corvus probably has around 5x the fleets of a "normal" busy system. There's also some stuff (primarily in the AI) that's n^2 on the number of fleets, so I wouldn't put too much stock in a performance dip when the number of fleets goes way, way beyond the intended number, as it does in some of the mods.


corvus is packed?

that thing has 7 spheres in it (iirc, been in Exar for too long), only one of which is really habitable to any meaningful degree (the rest are habitation stations and outposts at most)

Or does that sound about right?

It's another one of those "we'll have to see what feels right" things.
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xenoargh

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #84 on: August 03, 2013, 01:16:39 PM »

A couple of random thoughts on that:

1.  I think that if you polled the players, they'd say Corvus's population is about what they're expecting to find in all but the most-uninhabited places.  More in major Systems (capitals and major Core Worlds).  You can see this trend strongly in the mods as well.

2.  Personally, I'd aim for a step size of 60, distributed randomly per frame per Fleet, and maybe go for a couple of things to make it less wonky, like increasing the effective engagement radius by 2X so that fleet battles happen instead of Fleets missing each other a lot.  I think that's probably enough leeway; wish I could run a practical experiment or three but that'll have to wait until 0.6 is out and I can build multiple Systems with code and test assumptions.  

I think that we're talking, at a bare minimum, 10 Fleets for sparsely-inhabited places, maybe 3-5 for totally abandoned ones (with peaks and valleys as things like long-range patrol patterns are in place, etc., etc.) 30+ for typical Systems and 50+ for Core Worlds.  So if the distribution's 20% abandoned, 40% sparse, 35% typical, 5% Core Worlds, and there are 300 total Systems, we're talking about 300 + 1200 + 3150 + 750 = 5400 Fleets in sim.  

That's the napkin-math; so broken down to 1/60, that's 90 Fleets per Frame, on top of all of the Fleets that need to be handled per-frame.  That's on par with a busy session of Exerelin, which bogs a bit but not to the point of being unplayable, but with the benefits of not having to do much drawing and such.  Probably doable, but I'm not sure it still holds true at 1/10, I guess it really depends on just how much time is used by the draw calls map updates and so forth and so on :)

Anything less than that, and Space is Empty and Boring, imo; these are numbers roughly on-par with Escape Velocity, where it generally felt right (but they weren't simulating actual in-System mechanics when the player wasn't present, economic stuff, blahblahblah).  Granted, 300 Systems is the high target- as was said earlier, even 100 Systems may be more than OK, with a good difficulty ramp.  Just looking at the numbers here.
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Gothars

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #85 on: August 03, 2013, 02:00:35 PM »

1.  I think that if you polled the players, they'd say Corvus's population is about what they're expecting to find in all but the most-uninhabited places.  More in major Systems (capitals and major Core Worlds).  You can see this trend strongly in the mods as well.

Don't forget that the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic scenario. It would be most strange to see systems as brimming with space-life as Corvus is now.
And I think once all the fleets have a purpose or a destination their existence will have much more weight. Right now I feel that the high density of stuff (especially in the mods) is just there to cover up the total absence of purpose.
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xenoargh

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #86 on: August 03, 2013, 02:29:56 PM »

Quote
Don't forget that the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic scenario. It would be most strange to see systems as brimming with space-life as Corvus is now.
And I think once all the fleets have a purpose or a destination their existence will have much more weight. Right now I feel that the high density of stuff (especially in the mods) is just there to cover up the total absence of purpose.
Perhaps, when there are long-distance behaviors.  I'm fairly skeptical, though; a System with 5 fleets, 4 of whom I can't even fight because I'm in a Frigate, and the 5th one's running away from 3 of the others... that doesn't sound like much fun.  Waiting around for a smallish merchant group to show up so that I can ambush it?  Fun, if it doesn't take all day.

EV had a pretty good mix; at the most empty, you might wait around for a little bit (1 minute, max) for a couple of ships to show up.  It also tended to spawn groups, not just singletons, and that meant that stuff showed up and sometimes started fighting immediately (lots of classic EV moments revolved around going to help out one side or the other).  That felt empty-enough; you might wait, but entertainment happened at the end.

Anything more than that, and why bother ever going to the far reaches?  Seems like a waste of a premise to me.

IDK, I've never quite bought into the apocalyptic its-all-getting-worse scenario anyhow, largely because I don't think it'll work in the long term, gameplay-wise. 

If we're able to do permanent damage to things and everything's draining from Day One (i.e., fleet losses in  the sim are actually having economic effects that are a net loss for both parties on average), then by the time the player's able to act on a grand scale, there will be very little to do. 

So the trend with any reasonable working economic sim is likely to go up over time, not down.  This isn't like Fallout, where killing everybody in the villages would be a choice, and fun if you like role-playing Evil.  There, those choices wait for you.  With agents running around on their own autonomously, if they're able to kill the villages before you get there... well, that isn't fun. 

Having a System get raided by Pirates and having everybody there get killed for a while and talking to some sad survivor on a burnt-out Station who is offering you 10K credits to hunt down the Pirates and get vengeance for his dead family- that's Fun. 

Having it be a permanent and creeping condition, where by end-game, players can't even gain levels enough to fight the boss fleets, because there's nothing smaller left to kill?  Not so much.  There's a balance there somewhere and population's a big part of it.  Needs much care.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #87 on: August 03, 2013, 02:40:40 PM »

I wouldn't rule out some way of getting around quickly, should that become necessary. I just really doubt it's going to take the form of "let's just skip the travel bits". If possible, I'd rather go the route of making travel itself dangerous, and having costly options to avoid it - where you'd balance the cost of that against the cost/danger of a lengthy trip.

That said, we'll see.

How about attaching yourself to convoys as an escort (and get paid for it!) or member of the convoy (and pay for it, but have NPC escorts). Then you roll for encounters along the way that you can play out as normal combats. It skips the travel, but with a risk (or reward!) - without being perfect omnipresent quicktravel, because you can't choose where the convoy goes and there wouldn't be convoys to every destination going at all times.
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naufrago

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #88 on: August 03, 2013, 04:20:40 PM »

Quote
Don't forget that the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic scenario. It would be most strange to see systems as brimming with space-life as Corvus is now.
And I think once all the fleets have a purpose or a destination their existence will have much more weight. Right now I feel that the high density of stuff (especially in the mods) is just there to cover up the total absence of purpose.
Perhaps, when there are long-distance behaviors.  I'm fairly skeptical, though; a System with 5 fleets, 4 of whom I can't even fight because I'm in a Frigate, and the 5th one's running away from 3 of the others... that doesn't sound like much fun.  Waiting around for a smallish merchant group to show up so that I can ambush it?  Fun, if it doesn't take all day.

EV had a pretty good mix; at the most empty, you might wait around for a little bit (1 minute, max) for a couple of ships to show up.  It also tended to spawn groups, not just singletons, and that meant that stuff showed up and sometimes started fighting immediately (lots of classic EV moments revolved around going to help out one side or the other).  That felt empty-enough; you might wait, but entertainment happened at the end.

Anything more than that, and why bother ever going to the far reaches?  Seems like a waste of a premise to me.

IDK, I've never quite bought into the apocalyptic its-all-getting-worse scenario anyhow, largely because I don't think it'll work in the long term, gameplay-wise. 

If we're able to do permanent damage to things and everything's draining from Day One (i.e., fleet losses in  the sim are actually having economic effects that are a net loss for both parties on average), then by the time the player's able to act on a grand scale, there will be very little to do. 

So the trend with any reasonable working economic sim is likely to go up over time, not down.  This isn't like Fallout, where killing everybody in the villages would be a choice, and fun if you like role-playing Evil.  There, those choices wait for you.  With agents running around on their own autonomously, if they're able to kill the villages before you get there... well, that isn't fun. 

Having a System get raided by Pirates and having everybody there get killed for a while and talking to some sad survivor on a burnt-out Station who is offering you 10K credits to hunt down the Pirates and get vengeance for his dead family- that's Fun. 

Having it be a permanent and creeping condition, where by end-game, players can't even gain levels enough to fight the boss fleets, because there's nothing smaller left to kill?  Not so much.  There's a balance there somewhere and population's a big part of it.  Needs much care.

That's assuming there are only resource sinks. If there are also sources, like stations gradually generating resources (like people, and whatever materials ships are made of), it could work out. It would be a hell of a balancing act, but it could work. Kinda wish I could remember differential equations, but I'm kinda thinking of a predator-prey system.
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Gothars

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #89 on: August 03, 2013, 04:55:18 PM »

That's assuming there are only resource sinks. If there are also sources, like stations gradually generating resources (like people, and whatever materials ships are made of), it could work out. It would be a hell of a balancing act, but it could work. Kinda wish I could remember differential equations, but I'm kinda thinking of a predator-prey system.

If all goes well the player will be the one to tip the scales, organically with every action. Which would be such an awesome difference to the normal "choose the fate of the world with this three dialog options" approach that most open-world games have.

Predator-prey: Do you mean the Lotka–Volterra model? Don't think that's applicable here...


But we're getting off-topic now...
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