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Author Topic: Hyperspace  (Read 43051 times)

naufrago

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #90 on: August 03, 2013, 07:04:44 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...

Yeah, that's what I was talking about, although it's probably obvious that things would be a bit more complex than that. It doesn't have all the source and sink stuff that I can't quite remember. An example of how it could be applied, though-

Pirates hunt Traders. When Pirates are few and far between and Traders are prospering, Traders may not spend as much on protection and will be easier pickings for the Pirates that are still around. Thus, Pirates will grow in strength. When Pirates are more numerous, Traders will be harder to find and will be a bit more heavily armed, so Pirates will gain less from hunting Traders and will be reduced to in-fighting to some extent, so their numbers will thin, allowing Traders to flourish a bit more.

That sort of thing. It would require some spontaneous formation of Pirates and Traders from existing resources to maintain equilibrium. But yeah, sorry for taking things a bit offtopic.


So, on topic, you mentioned that you could have multiple layers of hyperspace? Would it be possible to have each separate hyperspace have its own fuel consumption rate? Like, maybe you could have a layer of hyperspace that lets you travel twice as fast, but consume four times the fuel?
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xenoargh

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #91 on: August 03, 2013, 07:40:41 PM »

Truly dynamic systems won't allow for the player to be the prime mover (at least, not until fairly late in the game, if that's ultimately what the game's going to be about anyhow).  We're not really butterflies until we're more than noise.

We can talk about the player's relationship to the AI economies (as a predator, consumer, enabler and ally) but there are matters of degree.  For example, if Hegemony and Tri-Tachyon decide that this game, they're going to fall into a long-term pattern of warfare with one another, there are big fleets having big battles with noticeable effects on the economies of both sides.  

Until the Player's in a fleet that can participate in engagements large enough to be more than chance (both sides are going to lose ships somewhat-randomly during this whole period) they're not all that important.  If nothing else, you can see that by playing Exerelin, where a lot of these mechanics are already built- while players can and eventually do play crucial roles, it's not until they're at the point where they can take on multiple big fleets, often without a chance to repair in between.  At that point, the player's a real force; before that... well, the player can only be in one place at a time, so their impact is small.

Now, if we're going to ultimately be able to form our own fleet economies and so forth, that makes things a bit more complicated, but not that much, presuming we don't have much if any micro-management capabilities over our economy's fleets, designs and compositions (if we do, well, then we're practically playing another game and the AI issues are in many ways more fundamentally challenging).  

Our economic presence will matter, but again, only to the extent that it rises above the noise inherent in these systems.  One Outpost with 5 trading fleets in one System is, what, maybe 0.01% of a Hegemony's GDP?  

The problem with the idea that the whole "ecosystem" being so "delicate" that player actions "from the start" largely determine what happens is that if it's that delicate, it'll tip due to noise alone, no player involvement required.  Systems like that have to be pretty robust.  




In Mount and Blade, this kind of dynamic, yet largely-static system was achieved mainly through their siege mechanics and how the kings and lords were supplied with armies.  

Sieges took bloody forever for the AI to execute and failed often.  Kings and Lords never really ran out of money (behind the scenes) and got troops overnight, making up for their losses swiftly enough to prevent radical changes from happening.

Ultimately, the important places changed hands very infrequently.  It kept things pretty stable and allowed the player, when he/she was finally ready-ish, to launch their takeover of the world.  

But the player wasn't a "butterfly"- they were more like a giant, radioactive ogre covered with barbed wire.  They were not noise, essentially; they were making choices that finally mattered and they were equipped to play with these giant robust empires and maybe win.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 07:49:40 PM by xenoargh »
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TJJ

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #92 on: August 04, 2013, 11:42:55 AM »

That blog made me think of Babylon 5 hyperspace. Epic++++;

Any chance of there being currents in hyperspace? :)
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Wyvern

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #93 on: August 05, 2013, 03:49:46 PM »

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.  

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.

Hm... this should probably be taken to a different thread if you want to discuss further, but I do have to speak up here.
In Escape Velocity, ten AI ships was an extremely high number - what they used for the very busiest of star systems - while totally abandoned systems were set to a minimum of one AI ship.  The big difference wasn't in numbers of EV ships as compared to Starsector fleets - the big difference was in the size of a single star system.  In EV, with double-speed off and a decently zippy ship, you'd cross the system in a matter of seconds, not minutes.  If there was a pirate base in-system, it was right there, and you didn't have to wait feels-like-forever flying past the sun to get there if you happened to be on the opposite side of the place.  For comparison... look at the gas giant & moons section of Corvus, where the pirate base is.  That's what one star system in EV felt like, in terms of size.

If I wanted to make an EV-like total conversion for Starsector, I'd start by shrinking each starsystem down by about a factor of... hm... three to ten maybe?  And then I wouldn't need as many fleets for a system to feel busy, since every fleet in system could much more easily interact with any other.
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

xenoargh

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #94 on: August 05, 2013, 06:25:28 PM »

True, good points- if nothing else, that points out a way that the targets for population could be met :)  There are implications for this, though, as I've been finding as I get my little project's balance screwed down a little more firmly; time traveled then is less of a factor than time-on-task for things like resource gathering.  Anyhow, that's a good point, and of course there's the way EV was designed to spawn fleets either in a radius around the sun or radius around the player, keeping things feeling busy without adding load- there are lots of choices here :)
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L33tGuilty

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Re: Hyperspace
« Reply #95 on: August 15, 2013, 10:09:30 AM »

im allready sorry in advance but ... Alex, you gotta throw us a bone mate !! Were starving for some new action  :-X
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