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Author Topic: Everything From This>  (Read 1507 times)

j01

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Everything From This>
« on: February 16, 2012, 06:05:48 PM »

Some observations and suggestions for Starfarer based on something else I loved:

http://www.asciisector.net/

That is an ascii based, roguelike space sim tribute to the old Privateer games, with some pretty ridiculously awesome extra features, despite the project having been abandoned for about a year now. The main features are familiar favorites that we all know and love.

Living interstellar economy, commodity trading, working your way up from scratch with a crappy frigate, taking on bounty missions, joining and advancing in guilds and organizations with often conflicting and varied mission structures and goals, interacting with many factions who actively vie for control of each system, intersystem travel, etc.

Starfarer is already has some of this, and is definitely heading in this direction in some of the best ways I could hope for, and even above and beyond with fleet mechanics and much, much better and more extensive lore, customization, and variety.

One thing of particular note, though, is Ascii Sector's aspect of taking control of your character directly, and actually participating in boarding combat, actually walking into planetary colonies and faction bases to directly deal with NPCs, building personal stats and abilities and all that fun roguelike RPG stuff.

It adds more personal detail to the grandiose fleet commander space opera vibe when you know that, hey, you actually are this little guy and you have to work your way through all this stuff on a smaller scale not just behind the scenes, and maybe you have to pull out your blaster and show some pirate scum why you're Admiral Badass who commands the respect of an entire independent fleet.

I dunno, seeing a universe like the one Starfarer is shaping up to be just makes me want to explore it on an even closer level. Maybe sometimes I just have this overwhelming desire to drop shields, ram an enemy capital ship, and zoom into an isometric or topdown view as my marines invade mid-combat and control my PC directly as he fights his way to the aft and sabotages the engines from the inside with a few well placed grenades.

Or maybe sometimes I just want to waltz into a garbage heap of a ship dealership and walk around inside a tarsus before I burn my creds on it, run next door and order some relevant equipment, and then personally contribute to a mining or salvage operation while it's still just me and a couple of green crewmen on that hunk of junk.

Yeah, it's almost certainly too much to ask of what the devs (what are there, like two of you guys?) are already envisioning and working on, if I'm being realistic, but it can't hurt to dream out loud about going that extra mile to space sim perfection.
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Munchkin9

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Re: Everything From This>
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 07:57:05 PM »

As much as I am always in favor of the more personal the better. Hence my love of games like StarQuest Online. I'm not sure I'm entirely for this, or at least not yet.

The problem is that this would probably require a lot of work as I don't think the engine is built to support something that would feel like 'walking' being built around relatively slow ships which are heavily affected by physics and inertia.

Balance that out with what it brings: mostly cosmetic benefits and very little actual gameplay additions. Not to mention a plethora of of design issues such as what happens when your character gets disintegrated by a Super Lase Rifle MKLVX 2000. Do you receive a message saying "Luckily the weapon only blew half your body off, and the medic was able to put you back together...so ya your alright really." Not very believable.

This is the same thing people have been yelling for in EVE online. And while I would love to see my character actually move around and interact, it wouldn't add all that much. Never mind the fact that they are adding it. That's there choice, and not one which is working out for them right now.
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j01

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Re: Everything From This>
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 08:15:38 PM »

Those are very good points, and as I said I am pretty much just dreaming out loud because of how much extra work it would be.

However, it's actually not that difficult to conceptualize that kind of gameplay into a game that already plays like Starfarer.

The game I cited (Ascii Sector) already does it perfectly simply by making the "on foot" portions of the game play out like a space themed Roguelike RPG. Of course, a key aspect of a Roguelike is that death is permanent, and that risk probably wouldn't be much loved in a game with the scope of Starfarer. Cred-intensive cloning or some other mechanism would work well enough if necessary.

On a less dreamy note, I wouldn't mind just seeing some kind of animations of the boarding process showing your bunch of soldiers fighting, even if it's not something you can participate in. Just having reminders that there are actually tiny little people running around and actively making everything on these massive starships work would be rather nice.

Not vital by any means, but another delicious layer of perspective.
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Forevener

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Re: Everything From This>
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 09:18:12 PM »

Hey guys, check the Aurora also. (I doubt that someone is going to include these games to Starfarer  :D)
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Beagle

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Re: Everything From This>
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 09:42:41 PM »

I like your thoughts on the personal touch. From a perspective of what's realistic, it's extra work that would probably only be feasible after the main gameplay itself is complete, but it's a fantastic idea and I can see it working very well in the top-down engine, similar to GTA before it became 3D.

The biggest problem I see is making effective AI for enemies/your marine teammates. At this point we're really putting a whole mini-game inside the game, but like you say, it's not entirely unfeasible and would take the game above and beyond a top quality experience. I doubt the developers have any time to say anything other than "maybe in the future" at best, but it's a really cool idea to dream about.
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