Author Topic: Pulsar 4X Ideas  (Read 11325 times)

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Offline Antagonist

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Pulsar 4X Ideas
« on: August 07, 2012, 02:11:03 PM »
Got an idea for Pulsar 4X? Some feature or mechanic that would make your week if implemented? Tell us here!
 

Offline sublight

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2012, 02:53:59 PM »
Our first Odd Idea: Planetary Maps.

My current theory for implementation would be a low-resolution grid with spaces 1k km on a side.
The grid for a body would have a height of (Diameter / 1,000 km) rounded up, and a width of (Surface_Area / (height * 1,000,000 sqkm)), rounded up. The grid would wrap East/West. By assigning minerals, population centers, etc ground combat and multi-faction planet sharing could be better tracked. Someday.

The only reason for even mentioning it now is for database planning. The system map comes first, but if anyone has an opinion on how important planetary details is or how this system could be improved, shout out.
 

Offline Beersatron

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2012, 02:55:26 PM »
Our first Odd Idea: Planetary Maps.

My current theory for implementation would be a low-resolution grid with spaces 1k km on a side.
The grid for a body would have a height of (Diameter / 1,000 km) rounded up, and a width of (Surface_Area / (height * 1,000,000 sqkm)), rounded up. The grid would wrap East/West. By assigning minerals, population centers, etc ground combat and multi-faction planet sharing could be better tracked. Someday.

The only reason for even mentioning it now is for database planning. The system map comes first, but if anyone has an opinion on how important planetary details is or how this system could be improved, shout out.

When you say 'wrap' you mean if you travel off the map to the east you end you end up at the corresponding position on the west? So do the same for north/south?
 

Offline Nathan_

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2012, 03:58:13 PM »
I'm playing around with quad trees and the hyperdrive limit, so how about a hyperdrive auto on feature, provided that we keep that.
 

Offline sublight

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2012, 05:17:03 PM »
When you say 'wrap' you mean if you travel off the map to the east you end you end up at the corresponding position on the west? So do the same for north/south?

Wrapping as in East/West edge jumping, similar to ship armor damage pattern wrapping. The grid would form a simplified Mercator map projection with pole traversal movement neglected.


As a suggestion, lets save all ship movement/tech tree/balance suggestions for latter. At this stage our primary concern is defining the game scope and design User Interface windows.
 

Offline Antagonist

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2012, 06:23:45 PM »
I would prefer keeping maps more... abstracted and lower res.

Either divide the world into grids as territories with larger worlds having more territories, or if 3D, do something like Light of Altair:


By the way, you're welcome to post here with any wild idea. Primary concerns, game scope, UI and game design will happen on support and design documents and main thread. This is just to collect random ideas, even if we won't get to it in years.
 

Offline jseah

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2012, 05:22:47 AM »
While sensors are arguably a matter of game balance, I feel that this suggestion needs to be made early if it is to be made at all. 

In essence, I would like to decouple the emitter from the active sensor. 
Every object throws off radiation in specific bands, based on its temperature and incident light vs albedo (perhaps can procedurally generate a frequency pattern that is race/composition specific?)
ECM throws off radiation in a specific designed profile. 

Passive sensors are all that is needed to see and shoot things, provided you can pick up the signal. 
Active sensors merely have a "flashlight" component that beams incident light onto things to make them radiate more.  Single frequency scanning lasers, broadband generators, wide area pulses... all a matter of design.  In fact, your microwave weapon ought to double as an active sensor. 
 

Offline Antagonist

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2012, 11:10:35 AM »
Sensors and how realistic they are is definitely something I have seen keep coming up on the forums.

While I would like to see this given special treatment, esp since so much else is dependant on being able to see stuff, I would like to bring this up:

Fun vs Realism.  Realistic you can't hide in space. Fun that you can.
Even if we ignore realism for this, we have a problem with the inverse square law for outgoing active sensor, then again for incoming ping. Unless VERY careful values and progressions are chosen this is hard to balance correctly.


Back to topic on hand, decoupling emitter and sensor can work.  I can imagine you detecting explosions across the system say, even if not directly detect the ships, or using fighters with target painters so your large ships can lock on properly. A basic active sensor would be a passive sensor with a built in emitter that raises the signal of everything in your vicinity (yours especially!).

It is certainly too early to implement this, but keep ideas flooding it. Would be good having them in the back of our minds for when we do get to the meat.
 

Offline jseah

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2012, 01:13:30 PM »
Was also thinking of treating stellar bodies the same way as ships.  They'll just be really big ships with thermal = temperature.  Which could mean that outsystem comets and oort cloud type objects might actually need a strong sensor sweep to even see. 

The thing with decoupling emitter and sensor is that it allows you to do things like see laser hits (target's thermal goes up), differentiate engine types (low impulse, high efficiency ion drives would radiate at higher frequencies than a nuclear thermal rocket) and generally make the whole combat sim have far more depth with those tactics you mentioned. 
It also makes ECM and ECCM interesting.  Simply start allowing RL techniques as tech goes up.  (ECM: shine at the sensor a frequency of the simple narrowband sensor = blind; ECCM: narrowband sensors that have reference subtraction from non-directional mini-sensors... higher tech might have frequency hopping etc.)

You also get to spoof your readouts.  ECM might consist of making every single one of your ships appear to have the same profile. 
 

Offline Redshirt

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 11:02:38 AM »
Hmm- hiding in space? How about allowing ships to hide in orbit around system bodies- basically shut down with minimal life support, so there's a chance to be detected, but it's greatly reduced.

I'd like to see better AI and more ability to use tactics/maneuvering in combat. For example, parking some gunboats in among the asteroids, while your main fleet "falls back" from the approaching enemy craft- then, at the appropriate time, the gunboats power up and fall in behind the enemy, who's got a limited rear firing arc, and greatly reduced sensors from the rear due to interference from the engine's wash...

If anyone's played Battlefleet Gothic (a tabletop game in the WH 40k line) some of the ideas in there might be useful- fire arcs, using gravity wells to turn, etc. I think the rules are available online for free now if you look. Oh, it also deals a bit with Newtonian momentum, but I don't know how much of that you're planning on using in this game.
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Offline MattyD

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2012, 05:00:19 PM »
Player races that were distinct from humans in gameplay as well as name. Have some sort of points allocated to tweak settings like pop growth, tech philosophy, etc to a minor extent.

Record somewhere the total number of research points spent to allow a direct comparison with ship designs between players.


The ability of the player to upload that race along with all blueprints for missiles, turrets, ships and PDCs to a central database at various tech levels. Other players can select AI difficulty and the game can randomly d/l appropriate enemies and allies.
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Offline Redshirt

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2012, 05:42:24 PM »
Maybe better targetting allocation and better parasite management. I'm fighting an NPR that's fielding a ton of ships- first 90 FAC, and then a wave of 100 various ships. Chasing down the FAC was bad enough- it took forever to manually target them all. The other wave is getting silly- they've got AMM capability, so the only way to do damage is to launch all fighters, fire everything in the fleet, then recover and reload the box launchers, and do it all over again. (I'm going to run out of ammo eventually, but want to do as much damage as possible before then.) Not sure of a good solution- but it's something to think about.

Which reminds me, better tracking on active sensor missiles would be nice, too- missiles that lose target should continue on course until they can find a new target, rather than going to last known location then searching again.

And maybe we can solve missile dominance by extending the range of beam weapons. If they go beyond 5 light-seconds, they could be treated like missile salvos. They probably wouldn't have a chance to hit fighters at that range, but over a certain tonnage, the target couldn't affect its own momentum quickly enough to get out of the way.
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Offline HaliRyan

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2012, 06:00:46 PM »
Maybe better targetting allocation and better parasite management. I'm fighting an NPR that's fielding a ton of ships- first 90 FAC, and then a wave of 100 various ships. Chasing down the FAC was bad enough- it took forever to manually target them all. The other wave is getting silly- they've got AMM capability, so the only way to do damage is to launch all fighters, fire everything in the fleet, then recover and reload the box launchers, and do it all over again. (I'm going to run out of ammo eventually, but want to do as much damage as possible before then.) Not sure of a good solution- but it's something to think about.

Which reminds me, better tracking on active sensor missiles would be nice, too- missiles that lose target should continue on course until they can find a new target, rather than going to last known location then searching again.

And maybe we can solve missile dominance by extending the range of beam weapons. If they go beyond 5 light-seconds, they could be treated like missile salvos. They probably wouldn't have a chance to hit fighters at that range, but over a certain tonnage, the target couldn't affect its own momentum quickly enough to get out of the way.

This is one of the primary things I'd love to see improved. Currently large scale battles are a pain in the ass to play through, especially if you use lots of fighters. It'd be nice to see some more advanced firing solution orders to help with this. This would also help make it easier to increase the lethality of the AI in fights.
 

Offline Antagonist

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2012, 07:14:01 PM »
WORST CASE... I would like to see scriptable AI added.

Anyone who has every played X3 with some modding would know what can be done with carrier and fighter management scripts. Even if we don't add that much ease of use in the base Pulsar4X, it shouldn't be that hard for someone to put together a script for it.

That said, I support making fighters less micromanagy in base Pulsar4X.
 

Offline Redshirt

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Some UI ideas
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 04:17:06 PM »
Got a few ideas on the UI to toss about. Not sure how everything's going to be implimented, but in addition to opening up windows with icons, maybe the system map could open up windows- for example, right-clicking on a populated planet could open up the Summary/Industry/Research/etc. window. Right-clicking on a star could open up the system summary. Right-clicking a ship, the fleet menu (maybe include the individual ship screen on a tab behind it.) Right-clicking an explored jump point could take you to the system on the other side.

I'm currently playing an Aurora game with a max of 75 systems, and the jump links on the galactic map have gotten so criss-crossed and convoluted it's making me cross-eyed. I keep thinking back to the old game Ascendancy and their 3d system map. It would actually be easier to read than a 2d map, just not as customizable. Only a thought...
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