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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24)

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Author Topic: Planetary Surveys  (Read 46993 times)

Cycerin

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2016, 03:33:33 AM »

Aw yiss, finally some exploration.
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Deshara

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2016, 03:37:45 AM »

Was there any mention of the Construction Rig I missed?

There wasn't, but oddly enough, thinking about a new use for it that I'm quite excited about, if it pans out. But that's all I can say here :-X

missileslotfighters? :D

Also once the survey/industry features get put out if it's not already in the game I might just wind up motivating myself to mod in a Stellaris style thematic exploration element. I'd ask if that kind of thing were in the pipes but I think it actually might not really fit with the theme I've been seeing from Starsector thus far. Ionno, not my game. Thoughts?
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Histidine

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2016, 04:49:01 AM »

Wooo!

Okay, the usual questions:

1) Will buying survey data or commissioning a separate survey fleet be a thing? (It's the sort of thing you'd expect to exist, but it might also render the skill pointless.)

2) *looks at all the GreekLetter RandomWord star names* We'll be able to rename planets after settling an outpost on them, right?

3) Do the lines in the last screenshot have any particular significance beyond signalling that the stars are connected in a constellation? Does grouping stars together in a constellation have any (other) effects?
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adimetro00

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2016, 05:54:56 AM »

Oh my god! My hype just started! Now I can do something else other than blowing up ships. Also, this makes the "procedural universe" part of the exerelin mod official.
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frogbones

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2016, 07:37:39 AM »

WOW..... :o
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Trylobot

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2016, 07:54:00 AM »

Whoa! Super cool!
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Megas

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2016, 08:01:47 AM »

Quote
Well, it will be nice if the survey game is like minesweeper.
Not if it becomes a luck-based mission.  I stopped playing minesweeper long ago because I got sick of losing to mines that were impossible to locate.  See the trope picture of "Luck-Based Mission" at TVTropes.

Quote from: Luck-Based Mission, tvtropes.org
In Minesweeper, since the boards are psuedo-randomly generated, you can easily end up with situations where there's no way to logically determine where the remaining mines are, and whichever square you click has an equal chance of containing a mine.
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Alex

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2016, 08:45:14 AM »

My OCD level of completionist thanks you for not making me survey every plant that I own every time I get a new level in the survey skill.

:D


If systems will be at least partially random, will the hyperspace of these systems also be randomly generated?

Yep. Actually thinking of moving to an entirely randomly generated (and possibly dynamic) hyperspace, but we'll see.

If the hyperspace locations of some systems are randomly generated, will these locations be hidden on the hyperspace map?

Maybe some sort of one-off thing? In general, I don't really see stars being hidden.


I was more thinking along the line of the example just after but the initial idea was about a way to trade time for skills: if you didn't invest any point in survey skills, you could establish a "survey outpost" that would consume more resources to setup (although less than a full Outpost) and each week/month produce a survey report automatically. And you wouldn't have to really check on them since their findings would appear on the planets screen.

In a way, it could be as efficient as skills once you established several of them, but much more expensive, and probably time limited (or you could remove them to get back your crew and some of the resources invested)

Right, that makes sense. ... you know, I think that's why I was thinking about this myself at one point - if survey skill can't affect effectiveness, perhaps it can affect speed, but don't want to make the player wait with a progress bar, so maybe they just get something started and leave, and then you just kind of naturally end up with "survey posts" etc. Ultimately just felt like it was too involved for something that happens often, but I think I totally see where you're going with this and why.

Though perhaps it'd work if it was something like "deploy some probes in orbit and never come back" - wouldn't be bad in terms of "extra bother level". I still don't like disconnecting action from result unless it's really necessary though.


Well, if it is negative permanent conditions not discovered with the initial survey, you could always have ways to mitigate them. You missed "Frequent seismic activity" before establishing the outpost? Not a trouble if you build the "Dampened foundations" upgrade to the colony. But I can definitively see temporary ones too, "Millennial dust storm" could lower your industry output and kill the food production for a year, but "Sand screens" could mitigate that, and "Underground colony" completely negate it. That kind of things.
It might be a little more interesting for the player if (as mentioned above) some 'things' could pop up later after the outpost/whatever has been in place for a while, like "Oh, hey! Look at this seam of rare earths next to this fault. No wonder we missed that on the flyby" kind of thing.
So additional resources, or quantities thereof. Weird weather/tectonics etc. that effect the way things work.

On the flipside, it could also degrade stuff you've already found.
Not removing a resource entirely - that would be pretty irritating/harsh. But maybe degrading the quality/quantity of a resource in a "We mined all this stuff, and now the rest is super hard to get to." sort of thing.

Neither of these would be particularly common events, but just something to remove the absolute certainty of having a planet be 'worth' x, y or z.

Definitely interested in this though.
Getting a very Starflight vibe from it, and nostalgia is a hell of a drug.

Yep! Not part of the core "surveying" mechanic in my mind, though, more outpost-related.


Also on the surveying skills topic. Would it not be better it have an officer that does the survey for you? It would totally make sense too, one man does not manage everything. Have you considered adding a "special" officer type. Ones that could participate in combat, with certain perks, but gets no exp from it. But they could do stuff like comm(intel) management, outpost management, and survey management. The guys wear scientist or settler outfits etcetc...

As far as outposts, been thinking about that, yes, but on general principles :-X

As far as surveying specifically, the thing to watch out for here is if you can hire someone to do it, it can easily render "getting the skill yourself" useless. I have thought about "staff" officers at various points, though. Mainly it feels like very much an "extra" rather than anything core, so there's not much justification to complicate things tremendously (which it seems like it would, or at least might) on that account.


Well, it will be nice if the survey game is like minesweeper. ;D

;-\


Stellaris style thematic exploration element.

Could you elaborate on that?

I keep meaning to play Stellaris, but 1) time issues and 2) I'm on the fence about whether I want to see it and be influenced by it.


Okay, the usual questions:

And mostly the usual answers :)

1) Will buying survey data or commissioning a separate survey fleet be a thing? (It's the sort of thing you'd expect to exist, but it might also render the skill pointless.)

Maybe - as you say, don't want it to be pointless. But I could see, say, survey data for one specific system being available for sale somewhere. Depends on whether there's a point to doing this, or if that's just a random unconnected thing.

2) *looks at all the GreekLetter RandomWord star names* We'll be able to rename planets after settling an outpost on them, right?

... probably. Most likely, even. Possibly only if it doesn't already have a special name, but maybe it'll just always be editable.


3) Do the lines in the last screenshot have any particular significance beyond signalling that the stars are connected in a constellation? Does grouping stars together in a constellation have any (other) effects?

At the moment, no. In the future, perhaps yes. I could for example see faction AI, pirates, etc take star groups into account, and using constellations as a shorthand for that. Or bounties. So for right now, it's just a new thing that has some cool factor, but it may end up being used more extensively.
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HELMUT

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2016, 09:03:27 AM »

Just finished reading, seems like a solid groundwork for the outpost system. This sounds like much more work compared to your previous updates though.

I'm curious to see how the AI will handle all of this. As said earlier, a local power might not be amused to see some newcomer making its home in the same system. I wonder if some property litigation might result, depending on the relation between the factions, either a irritated sigh of the local administration, or straight-up exterminatus. Might be a bit early for this question though, as the blog-post seems more about exploration mechanics than diplomacy.

Just one question : Will it be possible to discover hidden, inhabited outposts? A bit like the independent world, Killa. Rather than directly appearing as "active" on the system map, they would require to be found first (following smugglers might yield some clues) through survey. I'm saying that, mainly because a "pirate" player would never be able to implement himself in an already populated system, or run the risk of meeting the "welcoming neighbourhood Onslaught party". Hiding its outpost however, might let the player gain some time to grow before being rushed to death.

On a similar topic. Asteroid survey : Yay? Nay? Maybe? Or will it be more a part of the outpost system (creating stations) than the survey one (discovering places to build)?

Also, that pulsar thing is pretty cool, again, i'm curious how the AI will deal with it.
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Megas

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2016, 09:17:46 AM »

Assuming current topology stays the same, I like to commandeer and repair the broken stations like the gas siphon in Yma, Ashura, or all of Penelope's Star.  Or invade a populated system and take their stuff.
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Alex

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2016, 09:32:16 AM »

Just finished reading, seems like a solid groundwork for the outpost system. This sounds like much more work compared to your previous updates though.

It's a lot of work, certainly. I'm not sure if it's that much *more* - maybe, but perhaps it's just more visible and impactful.

Balancing the whole thing is going to be quite the experience, though.

I'm curious to see how the AI will handle all of this. As said earlier, a local power might not be amused to see some newcomer making its home in the same system. I wonder if some property litigation might result, depending on the relation between the factions, either a irritated sigh of the local administration, or straight-up exterminatus. Might be a bit early for this question though, as the blog-post seems more about exploration mechanics than diplomacy.

Yeah, I'm curious as well :)

Just one question : Will it be possible to discover hidden, inhabited outposts? A bit like the independent world, Killa. Rather than directly appearing as "active" on the system map, they would require to be found first (following smugglers might yield some clues) through survey. I'm saying that, mainly because a "pirate" player would never be able to implement himself in an already populated system, or run the risk of meeting the "welcoming neighbourhood Onslaught party". Hiding its outpost however, might let the player gain some time to grow before being rushed to death.

Have definitely been considering it from the player-perspective. Nothing concrete to talk about, though, except just to say that I'm aware of the potential dynamics here and they seem very interesting.

On a similar topic. Asteroid survey : Yay? Nay? Maybe? Or will it be more a part of the outpost system (creating stations) than the survey one (discovering places to build)?

Was just talking about this to David a little while ago! A very remote "maybe", I'd say - definitely not surveying asteroids, but yeah, the remote possibility is being able to create a station in an asteroid belt and getting some market conditions because of that etc. But, again, probably not. It sounds cool, but we'll see if the outpost mechanics lend themselves to that at all.

Also, that pulsar thing is pretty cool, again, i'm curious how the AI will deal with it.

... probably by staying out of the system. Although teaching it to hide behind planets might be neat.

(Kind of like the idea of a player establishing an outpost in a ravaged hellscape system like that, that only they can really get to - no trade, safe, but you're inside a pulsar.)

Assuming current topology stays the same, I like to commandeer and repair the broken stations like the gas siphon in Yma, Ashura, or all of Penelope's Star.

Another thing that's being thought about, but, again, just not something I'm ready to talk about. I would like all the abandoned/derelict stuff to play a role, though.
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Gennadios

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2016, 01:33:26 PM »

Neato! However, are there any plans in place for things to go spectacularly wrong?

Maybe planet conditions adding small chance of casualties (unstable tectonics?) Or maybe some resources that cause casualties when uncovered (survey crew discovers hostile mutants when one gets mauled) or even common resources screwing with the player (common organics with a chance of carrying some kind of diseases that sicken/kill crew, widespread ruins having an errant landmine.)

I don't mind the idea of crew cost not being factored into surveying, but a planet with 75% hazard rating should take some kind of a toll.

======================
On the topic of Stellaris, I don't see it really having much of an influence. It's a great, mechanically solid, well balanced game (147 hours played,) but it's as generic is they come. The Space Colonization theme has been done better, more in depth, and with more imagination elsewhere. Only really worth a pick up to play it, not to learn from it.
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nomadic_leader

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2016, 01:45:52 PM »

Wow this is great. I've been hoping something like this would get into the game and I'm glad you decided to add it.

It might make liner ships useful! Since crew prices don't change much you can't trade them, but now liners can be used to carry survey crews.. Maybe increase the crew/equip/supply costs for surveys? to a player after a certain point wealth is infinite but escorting a fleet of transports without exceeding the 25ship limit would always be challenging.

Also do the crew just vanish after you use them in a survey? I'm cool with that btw.

I think it's ok to have a 'progress bar' for a survey, but it should be one you can just leave and come back to later. For really mean planets it might be interesting if it was substantial - like a month or something. Also the skill level of the crew could effect the amount of time needed!

It also might be neat if you had to keep hostile fleets away from the planet as the survey worked. And if they reached  it they'd grab all the crew/supplies/equiplment and abort the survey. (and you could try to stop AI surveys too)

This could be a good way to add some objective based combat. Overall I feel like starsector  shouldn't do so much temporal slight of hand. like landing/refitting/etc doesn't tick the clock at all which doesn't make sense. sometimes you want to lay low for a while.
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mendonca

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2016, 01:50:37 PM »

Looks cool :)
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frag971

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2016, 04:17:17 PM »

What if each condition like "rich ore deposits" was a bar the player had to fill up? Each day of the survey the player would make, say, 10% survey progress to any random condition the planet may have.

Higher skill levels would improve the quality of surveying without impacting actual effectiveness. Here's an example:

Level 0: 10% progress to a random condition. Progress is random and alternates between conditions.
Level 1: Lists all conditions as "Uknown" until surveyed. Lets you see how many the planet has. Progress among them is still random
Level 2: Shows unsurveyed condition's category such as "Minerals" or "Volatiles" or "Gases".
Level 3: Shows the actual conditions without surveying. The player still needs to survey them to make use of.
Level 4: Lets the player choose which condition to survey first and focus on them instead of spreading the effort.
Level 5: Lets the player survey from a large distance away, with dimishing effectiveness based on distance. The fastest way is to orbit the planet but if for some reason you want to stay away you can still survey it at a much reduced speed.

None of these impact the actual effectiveness of surveying a planet while giving plenty of reason for someone to invest skillpoints into it if they want to.

On a separate note i would like to see survey "weapons" and different hull mods (not just one). Asteroid belt/ring survey could be done in the battle screens and have players orbit and dodge a hail of asteroids while the "weapons" survey them. Survey "weapons" would also double as target painters or scanners that increase accuracy or missile tracking against that target, including a higher chance to ignore Flares/Chaff.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 04:19:49 PM by frag971 »
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