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Author Topic: Planetary Surveys  (Read 48918 times)

Orikson

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2016, 07:41:00 PM »

Sounds like Apogee is becoming more of a godship, or at least be a high-tier combat ship in addition to cargo hauler and other utility.  First, equal or superior combat performance than Aurora for less cost; next, high cargo capacity (for a combat ship) and high-resolution sensors; now, bonuses to surveying?

And some ships previously overlooked may become relevant again. Was there any mention of the Construction Rig I missed? Troop Transport ships outfitted with Additional Crew Quarters, Cargo Expansion and Extended Fuel Tanks will be good. I cheesed that when I was doing a run and couldn't find a cargo early on.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2016, 07:44:39 PM »

To what extent will the AI survey and establish outposts? I can imagine some very interesting scenarios such as the player being able to sell supplies and machinery to a newly established AI outpost at a better price or pirates establishing an outpost near the players outpost forcing them to defend their property. It could also be interesting if the player sees a faction survey fleet near their outpost or an uninhabited planet with valuable resources and decides to attack them to keep the area uncontested or to keep valuable resources hidden. I'm seeing so much potential here. This could really add some purpose to player actions rather than 'get bigger fleet to collect bigger bounties'.
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Achataeon

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2016, 07:45:38 PM »

Maybe Apogee will end up as a jack of all trades, master of none. Can sort of reliably do many things but is outclassed by ships made for that role. Pro'ly needs the nerf bat to turn it into that, though.
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Megas

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2016, 07:50:54 PM »

Currently, Apogee is a master-of-all, or at least clearly superior to Aurora (and Aurora was hurt by the removal of the large missile because Cyclone Reaper allowed Aurora to keep up with Dominator at killing fleets.)
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Gorgonson

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2016, 08:26:04 PM »

In the Civilization games, as you advance the tech-tree, you'll unlock the ability to see resources on the map.  These resources were spawned at map generation, but can't be viewed without the relevant advancement.  Because of this, you'll often find that you've settled one or two tiles away from a very valuable mid-game or late-game resource, that you are now unable to get due to range.  For those who have played Civ, I'm talking about Aluminium, Oil, and Uranium.

You mention uncovering surveyed objects as you increase your surveying skill, Alex - is the above example an outcome we could expect?

In addition to this, have you given any thought to assigning purposes for outposts.  Off the top of my head, I would assume Military, Mercantile, and Research.  In order, these outposts might produce fleets at an increased rate, have a larger market and mission board, and occasionally prompt you for quests or responses to an event on the outpost.  It would be great if the outposts could generate tasks for the player.

And finally, do you feel that the star-map is becoming too cramped when viewed on a screen such as this.  In a very busy Corvus sector, featuring a number of mods, the star-map becomes very cluttered.
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Dri

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2016, 08:29:08 PM »

Has David made icons for all the variations of the same resource? So an icon for poor/moderate/fertile farmlands, and sparse/plentiful/rich ore, etc? If so, then damn, that is A LOT of icons...

Also gonna need a lot of those "planetary surface" shots for all the different types of worlds, too! :O
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Alex

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2016, 08:50:37 PM »

I'm probably going to go for a planet in Corvus anyway, middle of the sector makes it much easier to go around. (Captures Barad A and B through Sabouteurs anyway).

I wonder how the Hegemony is going to react to your setting up shop in their system... I mean, I'm assuming the pirates are paying *somebody* off to go unnoticed right under the Hegemony's nose.


Sounds like Apogee is becoming more of a godship, or at least be a high-tier combat ship in addition to cargo hauler and other utility.  First, equal or superior combat performance than Aurora for less cost; next, high cargo capacity (for a combat ship) and high-resolution sensors; now, bonuses to surveying?

Yeah, very much aware of this, was even thinking "hmm, I'll need to nerf this" while adding the hullmod to the Apogee :)

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

To what extent will the AI survey and establish outposts? I can imagine some very interesting scenarios such as the player being able to sell supplies and machinery to a newly established AI outpost at a better price or pirates establishing an outpost near the players outpost forcing them to defend their property. It could also be interesting if the player sees a faction survey fleet near their outpost or an uninhabited planet with valuable resources and decides to attack them to keep the area uncontested or to keep valuable resources hidden. I'm seeing so much potential here. This could really add some purpose to player actions rather than 'get bigger fleet to collect bigger bounties'.

Hi, and welcome to the forum!

It's hard to say exactly - I haven't gotten into that part codewise yet, and haven't done the design fully enough. I will say that I've been thinking of exactly these scenarios, and also think they are very interesting :) There are just a lot of things flying around design-wise, and it's a question of making it all fit as cleanly and elegantly as possible.


In the Civilization games, as you advance the tech-tree, you'll unlock the ability to see resources on the map.  These resources were spawned at map generation, but can't be viewed without the relevant advancement.  Because of this, you'll often find that you've settled one or two tiles away from a very valuable mid-game or late-game resource, that you are now unable to get due to range.  For those who have played Civ, I'm talking about Aluminium, Oil, and Uranium.

You mention uncovering surveyed objects as you increase your surveying skill, Alex - is the above example an outcome we could expect?

I mentioned it in the context of not doing it, specifically to avoid the above outcome :)

In addition to this, have you given any thought to assigning purposes for outposts.  Off the top of my head, I would assume Military, Mercantile, and Research.  In order, these outposts might produce fleets at an increased rate, have a larger market and mission board, and occasionally prompt you for quests or responses to an event on the outpost.  It would be great if the outposts could generate tasks for the player.

Definitely thought about it, but outposts is a different (though naturally related) topic that I'm not at all prepared to discuss right now.

And finally, do you feel that the star-map is becoming too cramped when viewed on a screen such as this.  In a very busy Corvus sector, featuring a number of mods, the star-map becomes very cluttered.

Yes, keeping an eye on that. For example, in this screen, the minimap is always centered on the player, and is sized to include the target star, but not the entire Sector. This helps avoid the clutter when showing nearby stars, and even when it's showing a far-off star (and thus a lot of other stars in between), yeah, it looks cluttered, but it still conveys what it needs to there, which is the relative location of the other star system to the player.

But, yes, this is a concern and something I'm keeping my eye on. As are map-related things in general, I think there's some revamping to do.


Has David made icons for all the variations of the same resource? So an icon for poor/moderate/fertile farmlands, and sparse/plentiful/rich ore, etc? If so, then damn, that is A LOT of icons...

Yes! and yes.

Also gonna need a lot of those "planetary surface" shots for all the different types of worlds, too! :O

Ah, that's actually a placeholder illustration in that screenshot, though it happens to look alright for that specific planet, with the ruins on it and whatnot. It's supposed to be something generic and survey themed, not planet specific. Would be a bit much to have custom illustrations there for every occasion, both in terms of work for David and video memory requirements.
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Nick XR

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2016, 09:04:57 PM »

Holy **** this looks awesome.

Also Alex, thanks for the thoughtful discussion about what common gaming troupes and their pitfalls that you're trying to avoid.  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.

Harmful Mechanic

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2016, 09:11:04 PM »

I'm excited to see planets developed more, but my favorite thing about this is the procedural content and exploration announcement. Exploration is one of my favorite things in space games and I'm really glad to see Starsector taking steps in that direction.
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Beobachter

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2016, 11:13:25 PM »

Looks interesting, but I have a few questions.

If systems will be at least partially random, will the hyperspace of these systems also be randomly generated?
If the hyperspace locations of some systems are randomly generated, will these locations be hidden on the hyperspace map?
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Tartiflette

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2016, 11:48:59 PM »

  Why should the survey be a one time thing? It's hardly how it work irl: the more time you spend surveying, the more stuff you are able to find. Why not have the outposts operate as a permanent survey mission?

Thought about this exact thing! This seems like too much of a bother for the player to deal with. Imagine having to establish 5+ outposts and then check in on them and cease operations some months later every time you go to survey a star system. Just the mechanics of doing that seem like they'd get repetitive. Plus it takes away the immediacy of something fun - sort of a slot-machine type gambling, finding out what the conditions are.

Instead, you're establishing an outpost to answer the question of whether this planet is one you want to establish an outpost on. This seems a bit circular and confusing, and the question is, what's the benefit?

Not that going to survey 5 planets in a system is something that won't get old, but it's still a lot more concise.

Side note: also thought about surveys taking campaign-time, with a progress bar and all that. Also seems a bit unnecessary.

I think maybe this depends on how many planets you want to ultimately survey. If the game was all about surveying a single star system, then establishing outposts everywhere and then checking on their progress and steering things along, fixing problems that come up, etc, sounds like it could be a lot of fun. But if the scale is bigger than that, then I don't think that would work.

Making some assumptions about precisely what you meant, though, so perhaps I'm off in that.

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)

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As they grow, they could be able to find things that the player missed, maybe even things that cannot be uncovered from space. Just to spice things up, imagine your secondary colony suddenly stumbling upon some major hidden treasure, then you have to defend that outpost with teeth and nails when before you could have let it fall into enemies hands without a second thought.

That, however, could totally be a thing, but perhaps handled through events instead. Effectively, generating new conditions rather than uncovering something predetermined.

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.

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  And, I called dibbs on the Acheron system (and Tartarus too ><)

Ahh - sorry! Not much I can reasonably do about this; a lot of the names are common stuff from mythology, sci-fi staples, animal names, etc. Trying to avoid mod-names would be extremely limiting in terms of what the game *could* use, just not a road I want to go down.

However: there's an API method call you can make to report a system/planet name as being used. So, while "Acheron" will have a chance to show up in a normal game, you could make it so that it won't show up if your mod is enabled.

... actually, you know what - let me add that call to initStar()/addPlanet(), seems like something you'd always want to happen anyway.

Oh it was a random system? Interesting... I don't know why but I interpreted the mention of "procedural" generation as hand placed systems with some random content. And I was worried there would be a lot of lore already attached to it thus forcing me to change my system. A way to "blacklist" names when mods are enabled seems like a perfect solution then.
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Linnis

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2016, 12:21:02 AM »


Yeah, very much aware of this, was even thinking "hmm, I'll need to nerf this" while adding the hullmod to the Apogee :)


Those two drones? Yeah they don't do nothing now, you know what they do ;] It would be cool for apogee to have no active systems, it would also make sense since it can do so much other stuff.



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...


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SweetMango

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2016, 12:47:18 AM »

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

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2016, 01:24:36 AM »

Imagine the modibilities....
Get it....

I'll leave
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Serenitis

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Re: Planetary Surveys
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2016, 02:38:15 AM »

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.
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