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Friday, December 16, 2011

Reminder to Self - Don't post while half-asleep!

It looks like I didn't really finish my post, and just hit publish :)

The reason why I'm scrapping the "construction platform" that you have to build at a star system is because of the new "special equipment" you can add to a ship. Remember that the game supports both starships and system ships. Which means you can build a system ship that aren't going anywhere, with the special construction equipment, and you've essentially got a "construction platform"

I also thought, why not allow ships without engines at all? They'd still require reactors, but they'll be essentially space stations, unable to propel itself anywhere. But it will free up some space for weapons and other stuff. Also, ships with only stellar drives can travel to different stars, but in combat it can't move, making for interesting designs!

I'm also thinking of making Stargates just one size, big enough to allow whatever through, because it'd be very confusing to see two systems with stargate icons, but your ships can't go through. So it will be an "on/off", it's either there or not. Any ships can travel through stargates, even if they don't have engines. Think of tugboats pushing them into stargates :)

To terraform a planet, you will need either a ship with construction platform, or a planet that has a base on it, in the same system as the planet that you want to terraform. Terraforming includes building planets out of asteroids and gas giants.

Refitting a ship will require the same requirements, a planet or a ship with construction. To refit a ship, you just select a ship to refit, then a list of same-size designs to refit the ship into. For example, if you have a scout with one laser cannon, and you've designed a new scout of the same size, but with a rail gun and a shield, you pick the old scout, then pick the new design, and hit confirm. It will be cheaper than building a new ship.

The construction platform special equipment will take up so much space and be very expensive, so you'll have to use a hull big enough to support a platform. I'm thinking of making it so only the biggest hull can support such a platform. Of course, this will all be data driven, so you could create a technology item that allows you to put on a construction platform on the smallest hull and cost only 1 BC :)

I looked at my code, and realized that there's a few more stuff that need to be converted to use data before I can add production screen. I need to flesh out the special equipment/technologies a bit more to allow for colonization and ship production from special ships. Then I'm going to change the home system code to use the data for setting which ships/planets/systems you start with. When that's done, I will then work on the production screen and colonization prompt, as well as invasion/transfer prompt. Then the game will be kinda playable again!


  1. Ships that can't move in realspace...but have hyperdrives.

    Remind me do we have the ability to have larger ships carry smaller ships or have smaller ships piggyback inside the FTL field of a larger ship?

    Cause if so you just created a recipe for GUILD highliners.

    I could have a fleet of system ships and then build Highliners with just FTL drives to help get them around. It'd be somewhat impractical in a sense but very unique.

  2. That's a good question! I thought about this. Obviously the game don't support ships holding other ships like I've commented in an earlier post about starfighters. I tried to think of a good UI that would let players load ships into other ships, but couldn't think of one that would work for both single and stacked ship systems.

    Then the second part of your question struck me. FTL fields... Made me go hmm... Then I thought, what if I add an equipment that you can put on a ship that allows ships slower than it to travel with it in the galaxy field (ships without stellar engines have 0 travel speed)

    I then thought of how I'd implement that, and realized that it's already halfway implemented! When it checks how fast a fleet can move, it checks for the slowest ship. I can just add a check for ships that have FTL field equipment and it can check for the fastest ship with that equipment, and assign that ship's speed as "slowest" speed for the whole fleet!

    Thank you for bringing this point up! Obviously it will need balancing later, but will introduce new twists and strategies!

  3. Balancing not least of which being some kind of 'capacity' limitation for the FTL field expanders so you don't have one Highliner towing ten thousand sublight cruisers through FTL.

    But happy to help.

  4. Could you make it so we can see the name of our homeworld in the setup stage, so as to base our empire names on the homeworld?

  5. How about the ability to "open comm channels" with another ship when there is a fleet confrontation. To: surrender a ship or ransom to be allowed to leave, agree to leave without an engagement, etc.
    Basically to negotiate on a "fleet to fleet" basis/scale, not Empire wide

  6. Hmm... I like Walloping's latest idea. It isn't what you are developing right now, but please consider it/write in your idea book.

  7. I meant as a secondary means of communication, but it might be interesting if in order to send messages to other players your ships have to meet to convey information(messages)/open diplomatic relations. So to discuss treaties you have to send a diplomatic transport with an Ambassador on board.

  8. Another idea: the ability to mark a flare on any of the map pixel tiles or stars that only other designated player(players you choose) can see, to setup a diplomatic meeting spot or even to co-ordinate a major attack.

  9. Shh! Now I have to spoil my surprise :(

    Yes, I'm planning on a fleet-to-fleet communication similar to those in Imperium Galactica 1 where you can demand the others to leave, surrender, or other requests. Remember that there can be more than two empires involved, so you can ask one fleet (even if they're not allied) to be on your side in the combat (maybe against a space monster?)

    As for the diplomacy, I was actually thinking of having to have a ship with an ambassador on board, and it have to be in the same space as one of their fleets, or adjacent to one of their system, to establish contact. This will be an equipment special. You can simply withdraw your ambassador if you're about to do war, or you can kill their ambassador, but with penalty of race relation drop with all other empires.

    That system will make a lot more sense than just being in radar range, and the ambassadors will be more tangible as in that you can kill them in space combat, or establish an contact. However, if you move your ambassador, you lose contact with that empire (trade and other treaties will remain in force until they either expire or you two re-establish contact and cancel it)

    As for the idea of marking a flare in the galaxy map, I'm not sure about that. Perhaps we could do a "loan" system where the other empires loan you their ships for 20 turns, and you have to pay half of the maintenance upkeep on those ships. But those ships will be under your control during the loan's duration, allowing you to coordinate the attacks better. I think that will be a better system.

  10. Sounds good, thanks for the reply.

  11. Another Idea: the ability to construct space stations outside starsystems, like listening posts or refuel stations.

  12. There are no fuel range like in MoO 1/2 in this game. So you can go from one end of galaxy to the other from the very beginning. However, it will be a long time because your first FTL drive will be barely FTL :)

    Using the idea of Highliners that you mentioned in your first comment, you could pack some system ships with you, then you could drop them off in middle of space, so they become "space stations" essentially. With this system, you could create a cheap system ship that only have a reactor and a radar equipment, then you can drop it off at different locations for radar coverage.

  13. I really like the "open-endednes" you plan implementing into this project of yours. :)