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Shadow
05-26-2011, 10:21 AM
Health or hit points in RPGs is kind of a nice simplification of reality in RPGs. It works pretty well, but it's a little boring. I'm not sure in a fantasy game there are many other good options, but there are a lot of interesting things you can do when you are in a spaceship. Here's how I'm planning on implementing "health" in our upcoming space game.

Right now I think your "health" will be shields, armor, and then structure/internals. The interesting part is that each layer of "health" increases in cost for you.

Usually your shields are your first line of defense. Shields will automatically recharge fairly quickly over time so damaged shields aren't a big deal.

After your shields are down, your armor will start being damaged. Armor probably won't auto repair at the beginning and when you do get automatic repairing it will probably be fairly slow. You will be able to pay someone to repair your armor though and it will probably be fairly cheap.

After your shields and armor are destroyed, you are in a bad position. Those were your only real defenses. Now all the damage taken is trashing your ship. Some of the damage will hit the structure of the ship. When your structure gets to zero you explode, so that's kind of bad. However, anything that doesn't hit the structure is hitting important internal structures. You know unimportant things like your engines or weapons. :) Repairing internal components will probably be much more expensive to fix.

In most fantasy games the only item you really have to worry about breaking is your weapon. Anything else really doesn't matter that much. With a space ship that's not true at all, so really close fights are going to be interesting. Lose your thrusters or engines and escape is no longer going to be a good option. Lose all of your weapons and you're screwed. Losing other important systems like your computers, counter measures, or batteries are just going to make the fight that much harder.

Pretty much losing any item will impact you in some way so this is going to impact your items strategy. Should you equip 2 thrusters to make sure if one is destroyed you can still move at a reasonable speed? Or should you just load up on as many weapons as possible? Or maybe you should have multiple shield generators to make sure you never take internal damage in the first place?

Anyway that's enough talk about things I haven't even implemented yet, but I think it's going to be interesting.

SimonDark
05-26-2011, 11:47 AM
I think this concept is spot on but has been seen before in other space games. I would love to see positioning and skills tied to this dmg mechanic as well. For example, if I specialize in maneuvering of some kind, piloting, I should take less dmg when my armor is away as I would avoid more hits than say a freight pilot.

Positioning is something that I think a lot of games involving space ships don't take advantage of at all. I would like to see the actual construction of a ship play a part much like the construction of a car does. What happens when I put my main engine in the rear of the ship versus the front or center? If it is in the rear and I take dmg to the rear then it should be dmged first not my weapon system.

just my two cents.

Brian Rubin
05-26-2011, 01:36 PM
Great concept of Shields -> Armor -> Structure. While I'm not a huge fan of EVE Online, this is how they handle it and it makes a lot of sense. Gotta peel back the layers of the onion and so on. Just gotta make sure it's balanced I s'pose. More armor = less space for other things, and so on.

Aganazer
05-26-2011, 02:16 PM
EVE Online

That was my first thought as well. This multilayer defense also allows for the opportunity to specialize in a particular type of defense.

I wonder if Steven's idea of system damage means there will be detailed visual indications of this damage as well.

Shadow
05-26-2011, 02:28 PM
Yeah, I know other space games have done similar things.

I think we will be able to make the item and other related systems cool enough that everyone has a very unique ship build.

I'm hoping that we can show different types of damage visually.

Bluddy
05-26-2011, 05:11 PM
Do other games have Shadow's idea of adding extra components for backup in case those components fail slash are destroyed in battle? That strikes me as pretty awesome and maybe even... unique?

Brian Rubin
05-26-2011, 05:20 PM
Do other games have Shadow's idea of adding extra components for backup in case those components fail slash are destroyed in battle? That strikes me as pretty awesome and maybe even... unique?
I can't recall, but the issue I'd have with redundant systems is that they take up space that can be used for other things, you know?

DeathKnight1728
05-26-2011, 07:43 PM
Questions

-Will you be under the impression that the bigger ship will always win in a dogfight or battle? I'd like to see that the ship with the better technology win the fight, or the ship with better (would you call it internal or armor piercing), or the ship that can outmaneuver the slower ship due to its speed. You get the idea. It would be cool that the little guys have a way to defeat the big guy.

-Will you be able to send a commando onto someone's ship to disable their ship, then parachute back onto your ship. That would be cool cause you'd have to catch him.

-How is this game going to work, are you going to choose from different ship types, or will races have an effect on what they are good at doing? (I'd prefer the second)

The only point i will make is that it would be cool for a change to have a save game feature instead of a save and exit. Im not the biggest fan to that because what if i want to replay a certain battle to pick up on a better tactic. The only reason i could see not doing this would be if there was a co-op mode with pvp.

Magitek
05-27-2011, 04:33 AM
Do other games have Shadow's idea of adding extra components for backup in case those components fail slash are destroyed in battle? That strikes me as pretty awesome and maybe even... unique?

From memory, Star Ruler(4x rts) could have redundant systems.. though it's hard to say if it was useful due to the sheer scale you generally don't have to care about losing ships on an individual basis.

Starshatter(Capital-ship sim) also featured a reasonable damage control system; although you did have often have backups on-board, you had two options if something was damaged:
Prioritize repairing it (typically slower but you had several damage control crews working at once)
Replacing it with spares (usually quicker but not instant, of course also limited in supply)

Although it was difficult to manage during a real firefight, you could tip the battle in your favor by prioritizing systems that you really needed.

Redundant systems:
I wouldn't recommend placing back-ups alongside the main equipment system, no one will use it. As Brian said, having redundant systems is a waste of space generally.

I'm still in favor of having some sort of redundant system in place. There are a number of ways of making redundants useful without penalizing players too much.
Some quick ideas:

1. Damage control stat or upgrade level could determine how many redundant systems you may place on your ship without taking up space. (or reduces the space of redundants)

2. Additional systems beyond your capacity make the ship 1-5% slower per piece or drain additional energy/requirements from the main reactor.

3. Each equipment slot could have a 1-size-down backup that works at 50%. The issue with this idea is that backups become a necessity and not a design choice about how to build your ship, that said, it does give you the opportunity to equip even more gear. Optionally, perhaps if you overloaded the subsystem, the backup would kick in also. (making the 'redundant' system have a more active role in design, overloading might give you both engines abilities, but potentially destroy your backup.)

4. Instead of redundant systems, any destroyed device will operate for a period of time based on your damage control skills or systems, maybe even have the subsystem have its own upgradable damage control stat (something to throw money into)

At minimum it is worth having a secondary engine to escape encounters.
The first drive an efficient fast-turning engine for combat, the second a pure velocity driver for escape.

It's difficult to say what the best approach is, I have the feeling there is a better idea out there.

Bluddy
05-27-2011, 05:00 AM
In my mind, redundant systems could be a result of adding additional stuff. For example, you could choose to upgrade your engine to a huge super engine, that'll produce the most energy. However, you then run the risk that your engine could get damaged, putting the entire ship at risk. Your other option is to add a small mini-engine as backup (that's all the small ship you happen to be flying in can handle). The trade-off is power output vs. redundancy.

The same thing can be applied to lasers. You can choose the next, faster, super duper level of laser, or you can add a small extra laser. The limitations in this case could be both power and space. The small laser isn't particularly strong, but can function in case the main laser gets destroyed.

With balancing, redundancy can be a strategic choice between more power and a better chance of survival.

Shadow
05-27-2011, 09:40 AM
-Will you be under the impression that the bigger ship will always win in a dogfight or battle?

A bigger ship will help because you will have more slots, however better ship components will matter quite a bit.

-Will you be able to send a commando onto someone's ship to disable their ship, then parachute back onto your ship. That would be cool cause you'd have to catch him.

I don't know.

-How is this game going to work, are you going to choose from different ship types, or will races have an effect on what they are good at doing? (I'd prefer the second)

I don't know.

I wouldn't recommend placing back-ups alongside the main equipment system, no one will use it. As Brian said, having redundant systems is a waste of space generally.

I don't think I'm going to do anything official for redundant systems. Right now my idea is that there will be some kind of general slots, something like I believe Eve and Weird Worlds do.

For example your ship might have 4 heavy slots and weapons and engines go into "heavy" slots. So you can have 2 weapons and 2 engines or 3 weapons and 1 engine or any other combination. This way redundant systems are possible but it's completely up to the player.

Bluddy
05-27-2011, 10:50 AM
Questions
-Will you be under the impression that the bigger ship will always win in a dogfight or battle? I'd like to see that the ship with the better technology win the fight, or the ship with better (would you call it internal or armor piercing), or the ship that can outmaneuver the slower ship due to its speed. You get the idea. It would be cool that the little guys have a way to defeat the big guy.


Deathknight, I think this is an excellent point. In Puzzle Quest Galactrix for example, little ships could never win against big ships since the bigger the ship, the more components it could have. Of course, Puzzle Quest deals in a very general abstraction of space battle, but still, the 'reality' of space battle suggests that small ships should have an advantage over large ships. I think that if the game is able to keep small ships relevant until the end game meaning that they would be a viable (but perhaps more difficult) gameplay choice, that would be really awesome.

For example, you could have modules that are multipurpose -- an engine with a laser built in. These modules would only show up in the later game, but they would allow small ships to remain a playable choice. The disadvantage of playing this way would be that these multi-purpose modules would be weaker than the full modules used by big ships. But they would also be lighter and consume less power.

So essentially you'd have 2 upgrade paths: one for medium to big ships, and one for small ships. Small ships would have the advantage of being extra maneuverable and speedy naturally, and the disadvantage that they'd have limited power, a small cargo hold and limited firepower. Large ships would be naturally slow and need super components to become really maneuverable, but they'd enjoy the benefit of having many components (and thus many special abilities) and serious firepower.

pnakotus
05-28-2011, 08:14 PM
The number of equipment items you equip should only be weakly correlated to size. How many equipment slots does a car have? One of the big weaknesses of SPAZ is that the smaller ships are boring because you can't display the flexibility of larger ships. EVE allows both, with smaller ships (generally) having fewer slots, but not to the laughable degree of having to take guns off to mount more radios, and it generally serves only to limit the use of specific modules and create fit windows.

To be honest, subsystem damage is one of those things nerds love to talk about and say they'll love, and it almost never works. It either turns out to be a waste of time because it never becomes an issue (either because the costs are minimal or because once you take system damage you're doomed and just reload) or it becomes the core of the combat system due to it being too significant. The idea of yet another slot-based spaceship configuration game that isn't as sophisticated as EVE really doesn't appeal.

Bluddy
05-29-2011, 08:30 AM
The number of equipment items you equip should only be weakly correlated to size. How many equipment slots does a car have? One of the big weaknesses of SPAZ is that the smaller ships are boring because you can't display the flexibility of larger ships. EVE allows both, with smaller ships (generally) having fewer slots, but not to the laughable degree of having to take guns off to mount more radios, and it generally serves only to limit the use of specific modules and create fit windows.

I tend to agree. At the very least, there needs to be a viable pathway for small ships. I think the bigger point though is similar to stuff that was said about DC: MMORPGs are basically ARPGs, except they've had a lot of time to hone their balance, and the balance has to be really good for them to last a long time. Most of the issues that Shadow will encounter in this game have already been encountered by EVE. It's worth playing it for a while, or at least reading through a good EVE wiki and see how they tackled each issue.

Flexscan
05-30-2011, 05:51 AM
I'm very expect Soldak next game.
BTW I'm Japanese, I wish to that next game use unicode, preferably, cause it will be able to make translate Japanese MOD.

all_zebest
06-04-2011, 11:23 AM
こんにちは。「Kivi」の日本語訳modはありますか。あったら、教えてください。今フランス語訳mod を作っていますが、日本語訳があったら、妻に見せてあげます。
よろしくお願いします。

Flexscan
06-04-2011, 01:59 PM
all_zebest さん
残念ながらKiviの日本語化MODはありません。
現在のSoldakのゲームはUnicodeに対応していないため非常に困難です。
今後のゲームで日本語化が簡単にできるようUnicode対応を要望していきます。

all_zebest
06-04-2011, 07:49 PM
お返事、ありがとうございます。

Sorry gentlmemen for the Japanese interlude.

ShaggyMoose
01-28-2012, 07:33 PM
The health/damage model sounds great.

- Will it also be applied in the same fashion to the enemy ships?
- Will there be weapons/items that bypass shields and/or are designed to destroy specific components? i.e. engines?
- Will the damage allocated to internals be random, or will it be determined by things such as ship facing, angle of incidence, location of components etc? If so, this could make ship design and combat much more tactical.

Shadow
02-16-2012, 09:52 AM
- Will it also be applied in the same fashion to the enemy ships?
- Will there be weapons/items that bypass shields and/or are designed to destroy specific components? i.e. engines?
- Will the damage allocated to internals be random, or will it be determined by things such as ship facing, angle of incidence, location of components etc? If so, this could make ship design and combat much more tactical.

Well currently the answers are sometimes, no, and random. The race ships tend to have things like shields and armor plating but the monsters don't.

I have it on my todo list to at least investigate weapons that specifically target and/or bypass things.

I could do the facing/attack direction/component location thing fairly easily I think, but at the moment I think combat is a little too fast for that kind of thing.