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  #81  
Old 05-26-2011, 03:36 AM
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Magitek Magitek is offline
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I'm glad to see the direction taken for your next game Shadow.
I can easily see the DC engine adapted for a space game.
I really want to get to making my own space opera game but I must remain faithful for awhile longer!

As for emulating SR2:
This game is roughly the pinnacle of everything you want in a dynamic environment, I don't believe there is a single game capable of trumping this feat.

I find myself remembering names of pilots, feuds, locations and other happenings in the galaxy. It is a real living galaxy to me.
Every ship in the game is not only acting to its situation, but is playing out like a game of chess; these things are not just generated when you enter the system. It's quite possible to accurately predict what is going to happen many days ahead of time.

Most people probably don't realize just how impressive SR2 is behind the hood.

The only thing that really disappointed me in SR2 was the lack of capital ships duking it out. I've become seriously tired of being stuck in a tiny space-fighter that my dog could pilot.

My interests in the new game:

Living universe, doesn't have to be as intricate as SR2, I would like to feel involved, but not the sole force acting on it.
News system, detailing interesting events and trade opportunities, keeping the player in contact with your universe.
Simple trading, SR2 is roughly the only game I know of where trading was both easy and fun because of information right on the trade screen. At the same time, it wasn't particularly overpowered; it did however, lose steam toward the end of the game due to low volumes and cargo holds. In SR2 you never need to write anything down or pull out spreadsheets because the game tells you everything important.
Diplomacy, in SR2 you could ask anyone for help and depending on their situation/attitude toward you and the target, they would often help you in times of need: I found myself making virtual friends all over the place. The reverse was true also.

Broadside or arc-based style warfare for larger vessels, with plenty of slow moving projectiles, and powerful weapons that can be mitigated with a bit of brainpower.
e.g slow firing freespace2 style capital beam weapons/torpedoes that can be shot down/drone carriers/slow rotating turrets that can be outrun ala eve/changing subsystems and ammo on the fly to mitigate certain damage types/overloading subsystems at key moments to gain advantage etc

Customizable subsystems which might dictate your skill bar abilities instead of fixed trees.
e.g coolant systems might allow you to overload your weapons for a period of time, a deflector system let you reflect projectiles for a few seconds, weapon racks double/spread your firepower, a gravity generator pull/push projectiles or ships into the firing line. You could even swap positions with your target and have it smash into its own weapon volley.

I wouldn't be opposed to passive trees for each ship scale on top of this, carriers might be able to increase hangar size or ECM abilities, while fighters might see evasion and weapon improvements etc

All ship-scales effective to endgame, a smart fighter should be able to strip defenses off larger vessels while dodging or staying under weapons, a destroyer could offer slow-motion all-or-nothing duels, a carrier able to over saturate defenses, eve-online is really your role model here- it can also be a real bonus for cooperative gameplay while not penalizing the player too much for playing what he wants to be. Too many times am I placed in a role where I don't want to be.

A low-tech destroyer for instance ought to be a flaky but serviceable vessel, an expensive fighter something to be feared if used correctly (more so than the cheap destroyer); let players build up their hull and subsystems technologies rather than dictating what hull they should use.

Faction fleets, again in SR2, there was probably nothing more awesome than being in a randomly organized comp-stomp with your 'fellow' mercenaries or military; you're given the opportunity to not be the center of attention for once.

Player losses and sub-system rant:
Lately I've been thinking about doing away with straight HP systems and relying on disabling and draining rather than outright destroying the player.
For example, once the players hull reaches zero, instead of blowing up, every time you take damage (no matter if it is a bullet or a doomsday missile), there is a % chance of damaging a subsystem. Naturally the longer you fight like this, the more expensive it becomes, and more abilities the ship loses. As a bonus you get to watch pieces of armor being ripped off your ship. Naturally, you aren't sure just when the ship will super-nova fighting in this state.

This gives the player a chance to disengage or beat vessels he/she otherwise couldn't normally, while they are paying for the over-extension, they aren't forced to reload or rage at the defeat screen because they got hit by a stray shot.
It's also a royal joy to survive battles so close to the brink of destruction.

You can envision players detailing their war stories excitedly about losing such and such system they were relying on but still managing to pull through impossible odds improvising with what is left of their devastated vessel.

Setting
I'm purely a mechanics kinda guy, but I figure it can't hurt to throw something often neglected into the mix.

My favorite space setting is probably Emperor of the fading suns.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_of_the_Fading_Suns
It's well worth reading.
I think the premise is a lot greater than simply being a mercenary, although nothing really stops a mercenary from gaining status with faction houses. It could be fun to throw around your political power in diplomacy also. (ordering military strikes, blockades to affect trade, coercing fleets to aid you, or being targeted by assassins from opposing factions etc)

To me, setting is far more important than story in a dynamic environment. It also doesn't stop you from adding mini-stories or quests into the game of any flavor along the way.

This is long enough for now; I could probably drone on for days.
Many of the things I mentioned probably won't fit what you want to do, but at the end of the day, I'll probably be happy with a minimum effort Din's Curse turned sci-fi. (so long as we can conquer the universe, preferably with friends/foes!)
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  #82  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:36 AM
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Shadow Shadow is offline
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Lots of good stuff in there but I wanted to reply to the health thing. I think we are actually going to do something like you suggest. I was going to post some thoughts here but I think I will write up an actually blog about it.
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  #83  
Old 05-26-2011, 10:07 AM
Aganazer Aganazer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magitek View Post
News system, detailing interesting events and trade opportunities, keeping the player in contact with your universe.
I love news systems in games. I forget exactly how it worked in SR2, but I remember it being entertaining and useful.

I liked the news in Master of Orion as well. The interruptions were always welcome. Whether it be some new galactic event, a star that went supernova, a race being wiped out, or even an overview of race rankings. I liked it all. I hope something like this makes it into the game.

And yes, visually devastated vessels must be the coolest thing in all of sci-fi. Even better if they become lifeless hulks that can be salvaged.
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  #84  
Old 05-26-2011, 10:49 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Yeah really good ideas Magitek. I was also drawn to the HP thing: sounds like something out of Tie Fighter. It's common to switch from regular HP to hull + shield values in space games, but it's still basically similar to HP. I do think disabled systems are pretty awesome though. And it would slow down the fighting, making it more strategic. I do think there has to be an explosion in the end though (you mentioned supernova so I guess you agree). A game of just disabling is not exciting enough IMO.

Speaking of SR2, I've been trying to get into it. I've started the tutorial 4 times, and each time something else happens. Either a random pirate destroys me, or the game sends me to do the fighting practice by an enemy faction's planet where I'm soon obliterated, or I try to buy illegal weapons (since they're cheap, as the little thumbs up indicate) and promptly get arrested, spending the rest of my 'tutorial' in the jail adventure.

The moral of the story is, if you're going to make a tutorial, do it in a safe environment so it can actually be finished
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  #85  
Old 07-12-2011, 02:47 PM
Friendzie Friendzie is offline
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Perhaps you guys could also look to the classic Star Control 2 for some inspiration, as that was a relatively dynamic space world where different factions could become more or less relevant depending on your actions. The combat was also a blast, although assuming it's the same engine as your previous games, I realize you certainly wouldn't be remaking Star Control or anything.
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