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Author Topic: Make boarding a real choice  (Read 22949 times)

Veneke

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #75 on: December 03, 2012, 07:37:13 AM »


I'm not talking about the inner workings of your minigame or implying they are bad. And I really get the inclination to have a involved and exciting boarding experience. I think ship boarding has a lot of potential for a great game. A real game, though.
My problem is with minigames in general. Honest question: do you like to play mandatory minigames? I think at best they are nice at the beginning and only mildly annoying later on. At worst they can drag the entire game down with them. Mass Effect's planet scanning, Assasin's Creed's tower defense, Final Fantasy X's blitzball, hacking and lock-picking in various games... It just isn't fun to put a simplistic game into a bigger one and force the player to play again and again.

For a boarding game to be engaging on the long run it had to be really complex, almost at much as the ship-to-ship combat. Frozen Synapse would be a fantastic basis for something like this. But it is impossible to implement something that complex, for various reason.

There is potential for a real, fully-fledged, ship-boarding game in the current market. I've been looking for one for years and the closest you can get are things like Alien Assault which are, when it comes down to it, not really that well developed. Fun as hell but limited even beyond the concept.

I do think you're right - mandatory minigames are a bad idea. A minigame is meant to provide an brief, entertaining distraction from the main game. There are quite a number of games that have cool minigames. Card-based minigames are quite popular, Final Fantasy 8's (sorry for using another FF game) card game in particular is an excellent example of a minigame that's fun, simple and can be ignored at your leisure.

I don't think anyone wants the boarding process to replace, or even compete really, with the main game itself. To my mind, minigames are like a strong spice. A little bit adds to the flavour, alot ruins the meal altogether and the big thing you have to remember is that not everybody likes spices.
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Reshy

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #76 on: December 03, 2012, 10:48:47 AM »

There could be a few options on how to handle minigames.


For example say you didn't want to play there could be a 'brute force' option which causes the standard marine losses with high reliability.  Of course playing the game itself will usually result in less losses.


How I think the minigame should work is that each armor 'segment' of the ship is made into a different room that's filled with obstacles, pilots, turrets, or enemy marines.  Each marine you send in will follow a path through the ship that you setup which can allow you to avoid unnecessary losses while you work your way to the command deck to take control of the ship.  Health is shown like armor slots, they progressively grey out the closer they are to death and if they die that counts as a marine loss.  Each room has 'walls' in it that block fire that your and your enemy dots will try to hide behind and trade small yellow dots with the enemy. 
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Gothars

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #77 on: December 03, 2012, 03:18:32 PM »

I think we have the boarding mini game topic exhausted, for further discussion about that please open a new thread. It has not really much to do with the topic after all.

If anyone has new ideas or finds flaws in the initial suggestion feel free to post, otherwise I'd say we let this thread rest until it is needed once again one day :)
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Radradrobot

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #78 on: February 08, 2013, 03:07:06 PM »

Adding to the boarding mechanics.  In FTL, your ship has compartments right.  They can be blasted open, vent O2, start fires, and FUN begins.  Couldn't a mechanic be placed that detects where you blast the ship you plan to board. It then tacks on a higher percent chance of parts/systems in this region being more/less likely to be impermanently disabled/explode to render boarding more FUN. 

The mechanic could, if possible, a outline of ship, with a very basic sectioning off of the engine, weapon, crew, important system storage, bridge, etc...  Then at the end of battle it compares where the blasts are to add a higher percent chance of system failure or explosions. 

EX:  I am fond of blasting Capitals in their engines.  It slows if not stops them from letting them ES-CA-PEEEE, I always wanted to post that since watching Finding Nemo, and they can't bring their might to bear.  This mechanism would see that most, if not 100% of the damage was done to the engines.  If you could board the party, if they bested the rest of the crew and security teams, might find a nice clean whole blasted from where the engines use to be to the bridge.  This leads the ship unable to kept to to the engine disappearing.  Maybe due to a poor ship design, but clearly not the Fire and Control Officers fault ;) If blasted on the sides or front you could have a higher % chance of receiving a failed report related to what systems would be near those blasted sections.

Another idea for you to ponder.  If you have a series of failed boarding missions continues wouldn't the people/corporations selling you the marines hear about your failures.  Then would this info get to the marines?  Would the corps/people doing the selling/these free lance marines/mercs raise their price or just refuse till you turn your luck around, or even prove you know what your doing to invest their soldiers lives into your cause?  Would some just not care/because they are in it for the buck.  Maybe nobody would miss these fodder.

Don't know what's possible, but maybe it is.  Maybe something similar is ;)
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Kurzak

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #79 on: February 08, 2013, 03:35:31 PM »

 Has anyone played SPAZ? All ships have an amount of Crew, if the enemy attacks you with enough Crew - your Crew starts to die and eventually they take over the ship and it becomes theirs. The implementation needs to take place during combat or not at all. Might as well keep the current system if you're going to resolve boarding after combat. Having just Crew might simplify things. Either way it would be a much better mechanic if it all happened during combat imho.

 The nice thing about having just Crew is this:
1) When you send crew to board a vessel you have less crew to run your ship.
2) There is a possibility if you aren't careful with your boarding teams they will just get blown up on the way over.
3) Once you split your crew a couple times you start running the serious risk of not having enough crew to run your current ship.

 You can still do all this with marines, just saying it might be easier without them at all.
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LaughingSmirk

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #80 on: February 08, 2013, 03:59:37 PM »

Has anyone played SPAZ? All ships have an amount of Crew, if the enemy attacks you with enough Crew - your Crew starts to die and eventually they take over the ship and it becomes theirs. The implementation needs to take place during combat or not at all. Might as well keep the current system if you're going to resolve boarding after combat. Having just Crew might simplify things. Either way it would be a much better mechanic if it all happened during combat imho.

 The nice thing about having just Crew is this:
1) When you send crew to board a vessel you have less crew to run your ship.
2) There is a possibility if you aren't careful with your boarding teams they will just get blown up on the way over.
3) Once you split your crew a couple times you start running the serious risk of not having enough crew to run your current ship.

 You can still do all this with marines, just saying it might be easier without them at all.

Yeah i play spaz and lost a lot of ships to zombies thanks to them boarding me, an the marine boarding party idea would be awesome.
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Gaizokubanou

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #81 on: February 09, 2013, 11:44:21 PM »

Gothar's suggestion is probably one of least intrusive way to give boarding some nice depth.

The only other different approach I would like to ponder at is real time boarding in mid combat.  But that may require too much adjustment (at the very least, players and AI will have to set specific crew-marine allocation per ship).  Still would love to see it ;D

Quote
Final Fantasy X's blitzball

I actually enjoyed that more than the core game.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 11:46:20 PM by Gaizokubanou »
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jupjupy

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #82 on: February 17, 2013, 03:57:10 AM »

Come to think of it, why not allow players to abort the boarding any time during? Perhaps a radar-type panel indicating controlled areas of the ship, current marines, current enemy crew, and having it change throughout the battle? Then when you've decided that you've lost enough marines to their crew, you hit abort and cut your losses?

Of course, if you continue, you risk the enemy ship being boarded doing drastic things like blowing themselves up and such.
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Gothars

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #83 on: February 19, 2013, 01:57:33 PM »

I think the new Combat Readiness could really mesh well with ship-to-ship boarding.  This part: "And even then there's still the choice how much the player wants to invest: it is enough to send a frigate, or do you risk damage on your cruiser?" has always bothered me.
Is it really more risky to send a big ship for capturing than a small one? Damaging a big ship might be worse, but its not as likely and the chance for destruction is reduced. Damage is quite harmless in comparison with the loss of a ship.

But the CR system gives a new risk/reward option here: making a ship ready for boarding clearly reduces its CR. That effect has much more impact on fleet performance if you choose a big ship for the job. In case of an accident/sabotage the CR is further reduced. I think with this it is now really best to choose the smallest possible ship for the job  :)
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Kurzak

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #84 on: February 19, 2013, 11:21:33 PM »

I think the new Combat Readiness could really mesh well with ship-to-ship boarding.  This part: "And even then there's still the choice how much the player wants to invest: it is enough to send a frigate, or do you risk damage on your cruiser?" has always bothered me.
Is it really more risky to send a big ship for capturing than a small one? Damaging a big ship might be worse, but its not as likely and the chance for destruction is reduced. Damage is quite harmless in comparison with the loss of a ship.

But the CR system gives a new risk/reward option here: making a ship ready for boarding clearly reduces its CR. That effect has much more impact on fleet performance if you choose a big ship for the job. In case of an accident/sabotage the CR is further reduced. I think with this it is now really best to choose the smallest possible ship for the job  :)

Agreed. Makes a ship specifically tailored to the task attractive too.
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zakastra

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Re: Make boarding a real choice
« Reply #85 on: February 20, 2013, 12:27:30 AM »

otherwise I'd say we let this thread rest until it is needed once again one day :)

Agreed. I'm Board of this discussion ;)
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