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Author Topic: Crew mechanics  (Read 8937 times)

Mercurio

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Crew mechanics
« on: June 27, 2011, 08:19:01 AM »

Alright, I don't know if it has been mentioned elsewhere on the forums but the mechanics of escaping ships and the shuttle that transfers command to other vessels gave me an idea...

If you plan on having crew members as a resource or maybe as a part of an experience system (veteran crew -> better performance in battle), you could add escape pods to the game.
As soon as a ship is severely damaged or disabled, it could eject the surviving members of the crew in speedy little pods that try to escape from the battlefield or to the closest friendly ship. You could even be able to order them to abandon ship manually, to keep the crew alive or to surrender a certain ship to pirates, to activate a self-destruct-sequence that blows everything up or something similar.

You could even capture the surviving crew members of the enemy fleet and enslave/sell them (if you are a pirate of sorts), or hand them over to justice for bounty (if THEY are pirates).

I don't exactly know about your plans for boarding actions or AI behaviour, but it would be fun to see a puny freighter jettison all of his crew in speedy pods to "get the hell outta there", before you might board it and slaughter or enslave everyone on the ship.

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Flare

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 08:49:02 PM »

You could even capture the surviving crew members of the enemy fleet and enslave/sell them (if you are a pirate of sorts), or hand them over to justice for bounty (if THEY are pirates).

Or maybe even ransom them, I can't imagine there being too many experienced spacemen during the time of degradation in the game's setting.
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theShadow

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 06:15:43 AM »

The crewmen would slowly get more experienced as you play, which is why you would want to be able to save them if the ship is destroyed. I think Mercurio's suggestion makes a lot of sense, but it will make MORE sense once the campaign layer is implemented.
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Mercurio

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 10:03:22 AM »

Or maybe even ransom them, I can't imagine there being too many experienced spacemen during the time of degradation in the game's setting.
Exactly..
Also, if the game supports it, you might let those prisoners work in your sweatshops/colonies as slaves, instead of a paid workforce. Maybe implement riots or prisoners trying to escape.

The crewmen would slowly get more experienced as you play, which is why you would want to be able to save them if the ship is destroyed. I think Mercurio's suggestion makes a lot of sense, but it will make MORE sense once the campaign layer is implemented.

Of course there's not much to experience and long-term game mechanics if you only have single battles, but you could as well be able to hire trained people from some kind of academy, station or whatnot. Either hire a good crew and buy a decent ship, or hire a horde of goons for a penny to let them pilot your army of TIE-fighters...
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Mercurio

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 10:12:02 AM »


Or maybe even ransom them, I can't imagine there being too many experienced spacemen during the time of degradation in the game's setting.
Exactly..
Also, if the game supports it, you might let those prisoners work in your sweatshops/colonies as slaves, instead of a paid workforce. Maybe implement riots or prisoners trying to escape. There could as well be a VIP, say, a politician in the ranks of the captured people. That would lead to all kinds of fun stuff like bounty hunters or even armies trying to track you down before you could sell the poor sod to their arch-nemesis faction.

The crewmen would slowly get more experienced as you play, which is why you would want to be able to save them if the ship is destroyed. I think Mercurio's suggestion makes a lot of sense, but it will make MORE sense once the campaign layer is implemented.

Of course there's not much to experience and long-term game mechanics if you only have single battles, but you could as well be able to hire trained people from some kind of academy, station or whatnot. Either hire a good crew and buy a decent ship, or hire a horde of goons for a penny to let them pilot your army of TIE-fighters...
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 11:42:57 AM by Mercurio »
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mendonca

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 10:31:40 AM »

TIE-fighters...

Whenever I see that word, my brain automatically hears the 'HOWLING VROOM' of the engine noise.

Part way towards fully fledged 'Star Wars Synesthesia', no doubt.
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Mercurio

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 11:47:16 AM »

I was just implying that you could use random crap-crews for suicide missions since they should be cheap and readily available, while you would have to treat the experienced (and expensive) people a bit better.

Like in Mount and Blade where you might be able to hire just a few experienced mercenaries for a ton of cash, that would otherwise allow you to recruit billions of stick-and-torch wielding peasants. Recruiting prisoners anyone? xD
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Flare

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 09:37:06 PM »

I think a more apt comparison would be Aurora's crew management. There are academies where experienced crews are churned out and the pool of trained crewmen is fills up at a rate not dissimilar to EUIII or HOIII, but you are also given the option of drawing fresh, untrained, and raw recruits right off the streets. Obviously, the former does better than the latter in that they respond quicker, aims straight, and provides more efficiency to the ship. The latter is only used when the either the situation is very desperate and there just isn't enough people to man the ships, or the ships in question are more or less suicidal in nature.
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Mercurio

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 09:04:07 AM »

I just don't know if it fits into the story of Starfarer.. It looks like a fairly dystopian future and (please don't be mad), but I think it should be a bit like in SPAZ  ;D
Experienced crews should be hard to come by, maybe you could only hire them from military academies if you have a good relation to a certain faction, or you'd have to pick up random blokes from the streets, with random experience levels(as you said) and train them in your own academies or on your ships and adventures. Going one step further, you might as well have the possibility to let your experienced officers train the new recruits, just like the companions in Mount and Blade do.




Leveling crews with perks and skills anyone?  ::)
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Flare

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 04:13:25 PM »

I just don't know if it fits into the story of Starfarer.. It looks like a fairly dystopian future and (please don't be mad), but I think it should be a bit like in SPAZ  ;D

The only element that is necessarily dystopian in Starfarer is that some technology is lost (arguably forever) from the setting, and that as a result of that the sector is in a continual rate of degredation since colonies, some space stations, and some ships can't be replaced when they are destroyed.
But I do not think this means the world of Starfarer is a bleak place. The speed of losing these irreplaceable things, I think, happens over centuries. Life goes on more or less normally for the people in the sector. War academies will always exist so long as there is a need for a military provided that the society wants to preserve itself.

SPAZ takes more along the lines of a fantasy setting with sci-fi elements. A great deal of the people live in space. So much so that in fact, I think the only planet ever mentioned was earth, and that was a scrap heap.

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Experienced crews should be hard to come by, maybe you could only hire them from military academies if you have a good relation to a certain faction, or you'd have to pick up random blokes from the streets, with random experience levels(as you said) and train them in your own academies or on your ships and adventures. Going one step further, you might as well have the possibility to let your experienced officers train the new recruits, just like the companions in Mount and Blade do.

Military academies take up a massive amount of resources. Equipment, talented teachers, a good pool of manpower, as well as the traditions that make up the academy. I think the only place these few places can exist is on planets or very large orbital stations where a fresh recruits are available.
Also, the off-the-street recruits in Aurora don't have randomly designated experience levels, they have none. That being the case, in that game, it might take the lesser ones a day to full react to orders if put in charge of a ship.

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Leveling crews with perks and skills anyone?  ::)

How might you propose that you do that with every single ship in your fleet without it being monotonous?
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Mercurio

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 06:06:27 PM »

War academies will always exist so long as there is a need for a military provided that the society wants to preserve itself.

So why should they "sell" their especially trained people to, say, a freelancing miner or trader, like the player? I was implying that experienced people are hard to come by and you wouldnt be able to just casually buy a ton of them and staff all your ships with them, but rather have to rely on training noobs on your own.
Being able to just get elite blokes everywhere would render them a bit useless.. Why waste time and money to rescue your veterans if there are fresh ones on sale next door?  ;D


Military academies take up a massive amount of resources. Equipment, talented teachers, a good pool of manpower, as well as the traditions that make up the academy. I think the only place these few places can exist is on planets or very large orbital stations where a fresh recruits are available.

Aren't we supposed to be able to build our own stations and maybe even colonies? I was implying that (being an incredibly powerful supervillain), you could as well order some of your more experienced men to organize regular training in one of your hideouts, while you supply them with "fresh meat" from your raids or recruitment trips :3


Also, the off-the-street recruits in Aurora don't have randomly designated experience levels, they have none. That being the case, in that game, it might take the lesser ones a day to full react to orders if put in charge of a ship.

Depending on how the experience system (if there ever will be one), plays out, maybe one or two people from the local colony know how to operate a mining ship, because they're former employees of a big company or something. I agree, tho. It would be a bit weird to have a clutter of randomly experienced people upon recruitment. I hated it in Mount and Blade when I wanted fresh recruits and got some mediocre Archers instead.

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How might you propose that you do that with every single ship in your fleet without it being monotonous?
Depends on how big your fleets will be. I think with a good GUI there shouldn't be much of a problem. You could split your crew in groups, like troop tiers from other games.

Might as well just handle it like:

Noob -> Recruit-> Semi-Elite -> Pro

And have a box where you can tick "Always use best/worst crew", and a slider to adjust the loadout in detail.

Though I agree that every ounce of depth you add to a mechanic, might force the player to more and more tedious micromanaging. It shouldn't be too in-depth if youre going to handle a ton of ships, but it should allow you to fine-tune everything IF you want to. Better give the player some freedom that he might never use, instead of tying up his hands so he can't even try what he wants to.

If it comes to perks and skills, you might dedicate captains and officers to that. Let their bonuses influence whole fleets or certain ships. A captain with lvl 8 mining in your armada won't help much, but if you're going to crack some asteroids with your ships he will make you rich..
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 06:37:45 PM by Mercurio »
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Dark.Revenant

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2011, 07:13:33 PM »

I always envisioned it where crews started off green and uninteresting, but as they gained skill/rank, the good ones/high-potential crews gained bonuses that can be chosen from.  This way, the amount of management is reduced as only some crews have bonuses while the rest are fairly generic but can still be blanket-trained for greater overall efficiency.  This also adds the dynamic of choosing between inexperienced but talented crews that you could rank up and tailor to your needs, or looking for already-skilled crews that have bonuses that may not be ideal but are still significantly better at first.
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Mercurio

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2011, 07:25:37 AM »

I always envisioned it where crews started off green and uninteresting, but as they gained skill/rank, the good ones/high-potential crews gained bonuses that can be chosen from.  This way, the amount of management is reduced as only some crews have bonuses while the rest are fairly generic but can still be blanket-trained for greater overall efficiency.  This also adds the dynamic of choosing between inexperienced but talented crews that you could rank up and tailor to your needs, or looking for already-skilled crews that have bonuses that may not be ideal but are still significantly better at first.


I was thinking of this, like if you have a mining ship with 50 recruits on it, and you let it bust asteroids for some time, you can choose whether you want to upgrade the crew to dedicated miners, which net you more profit, or if you want to convert those 1200 mining exp into 400 generic exp and just level up a smaller amount of people to a generic higher rank.

It greatly depends on how the crew mechanics would work out. If it was on a per-ship basis, where every ship gains experience and skills, and if you rescue the "crew" you rescue the exp, or if it would track down your crew members in numbers, like assets. Then you could "buy" a level 1 soldier in exchange for 1 recruit and 20 xp, or a level 2 soldier for 1 lvl1 soldier and 40 xp.
Whereas a soldier would be better than a recruit in every aspect, but would only really make a difference if it comes to boarding actions. It would be stupid if you made all of your recruits into soldiers and would have to buy new recruits because they are better in overall performance.

If anyone knows Evil Genius, it should kinda be like there, but without the harsh limitations for any given tier. It sucked that your bio-engineers and nuclearphysicists were too stupid to handle a fire extinguisher...
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Trylobot

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2011, 11:07:05 AM »

Aren't we supposed to be able to build our own stations and maybe even colonies?

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Flare

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Re: Crew mechanics
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2011, 06:03:29 PM »

Since you're going to upgrade the crews collectively. How are you going to treat the prospect of mixing crews, like pulling together crews of differing experience into one big cruise? For around 200, I think it'll be alright, upwards from 1000 is going to be tedious if they are controlled individually.

So why should they "sell" their especially trained people to, say, a freelancing miner or trader, like the player? I was implying that experienced people are hard to come by and you wouldnt be able to just casually buy a ton of them and staff all your ships with them, but rather have to rely on training noobs on your own.
Being able to just get elite blokes everywhere would render them a bit useless.. Why waste time and money to rescue your veterans if there are fresh ones on sale next door?  ;D

Where did I say they would sell them to you :P? They would give some of theirs over if you swear loyalty to them I imagine. It's related to factions, experienced crews are incredibly expensive commodities, it's not something any state will hand over willy-nilly! In what part of the quote you quoted did it appear that these crews would be available to everyone :o?

Aren't we supposed to be able to build our own stations and maybe even colonies? I was implying that (being an incredibly powerful supervillain), you could as well order some of your more experienced men to organize regular training in one of your hideouts, while you supply them with "fresh meat" from your raids or recruitment trips :3

I think Alex said that, colonies aren't exactly on feasible side for the player yet, considering that colonies in the setting comprise millions of people. Space stations, not too sure about those, but I think there will be some sort of space structures we can build.
You are right here however, I've forgotten that it isn't just green recruits kidnapped off the street and state sponsored military academies. There are many intermediary institutions in between them that are affordable to a small pirate group for example. Training someone until proficiency doesn't take that much resources, training someone until they are worth their weight in gold is another.

Depending on how the experience system (if there ever will be one), plays out, maybe one or two people from the local colony know how to operate a mining ship, because they're former employees of a big company or something. I agree, tho. It would be a bit weird to have a clutter of randomly experienced people upon recruitment. I hated it in Mount and Blade when I wanted fresh recruits and got some mediocre Archers instead.

Functionally speaking, anyone who has experience mining in space, operating orbital machinery, or perhaps even fighting in old wars would probably sign up in certain companies that profit off their experience. Kind of like odd jobs I guess.

Quote
Depends on how big your fleets will be. I think with a good GUI there shouldn't be much of a problem. You could split your crew in groups, like troop tiers from other games.

Might as well just handle it like:

Noob -> Recruit-> Semi-Elite -> Pro

And have a box where you can tick "Always use best/worst crew", and a slider to adjust the loadout in detail.

Though I agree that every ounce of depth you add to a mechanic, might force the player to more and more tedious micromanaging. It shouldn't be too in-depth if youre going to handle a ton of ships, but it should allow you to fine-tune everything IF you want to. Better give the player some freedom that he might never use, instead of tying up his hands so he can't even try what he wants to.

If it comes to perks and skills, you might dedicate captains and officers to that. Let their bonuses influence whole fleets or certain ships. A captain with lvl 8 mining in your armada won't help much, but if you're going to crack some asteroids with your ships he will make you rich..

Maybe we can seperate ranks and experience as well :D? One thing I never got in M&B was how a peasant after one or two weeks of heavy fighting and continuously growing with each rank given to him, not get any better in the next few years of fighting simply because I didn't have any more ranks to give him. I think this could also go a ways in allowing the player to pick all the guys that have the most experience and nutured talent, and assign them to a single ship in a fleet to create the hammer or flanking forces.

I think it would be much easier if this whole crew thing was a collective faceless thing. Kinda like how you'd pour water in a glass, you can't distinguish between the individual droplets. You would have a pool of water/manpower and you'd "pour" it into your ships. As you fight more and more battles, the water in these glasses will likely become more and more experience, allowing them to mingle with the rest of the pool gives everyone a collective bonus.

There's also the issue of people who serve on a team for a certain amount of time growing proficiency with the people they work with, but it's probably going to be too complicated at that point.
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